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The Neon Philharmonic

Personnel:
DON GANT vocals
TUPPER SAUSSY keyboards

ALBUMS:
1 THE MOTH CONFESSES (Warner Bros. WS 1769) 1968
2 NEON PHILHARMONIC (Warner Bros. WS 1804) 1969

(1) reissued on CD (Sundazed SC 6084). (2) reissued on CD.  


45s:

1 Morning Girl/Brilliant Colors (WB 7261) 1969 #17

2 No One Is Going To Hurt You/You Lied (WB 7311) 1969 #120

3 Clouds/Snow (WB 7355) 1969 -

4 Heighty - Ho Princess/Don't Know The Way Around Soul (WB 7380) 1970 #94

5 Flowers For Your Pillow/To Be Continued (WB 7419) 1970

6 Something To Believe In/A Little Love (WB 7457) 1971

7 Gotta Feelin' In My Bones/Keep The Faith In Me (WB 7497) 1971

8 Making Out The Best You Can/So Glad You're A Woman (Trx 5039) 1972

9 Annie Poor/Love Will Find A Better Way (MCA 40518) 1976


Such was the influence of psychedelic music in the late '60s that even pop-based acts like the 5th Dimension, Kenny Rogers, and the Association felt obliged to put in their two cents' worth. Such was the case with the Neon Philharmonic, which was primarily a vehicle for songwriter/arranger/keyboardist Tupper Saussy. Also featuring singer Don Gant, the group had an easygoing, not-too-memorable Top 20 pop hit in mid-1969, "Morning Girl." Their debut album, The Moth Confesses, was a much stranger piece of work, sounding something like Jimmy Webb on acid. For all of its ambitious orchestral arrangements and operatic lyrical reach, it has dated in the most embarrassing and silly of fashions, sounding like the aural equivalent of the middle-class accountant who decides to take acid with his kids in a misguided attempt to get with it. The Nashville-based Saussy's primary credit prior to the Neon Philharmonic was his contributions to The Swinger's Guide to Mary Poppins, which featured jazz renditions of songs from the children's film. This, and even the "Morning Girl" single, weren't exactly the sort of resumé credits that led one to expect an ambitious song cycle. That's what he cooked up with The Moth Confesses, however, though the bloated arrangements, Gant's white-bread vocals, and the overwrought, sentimental lyrics came closer to Rod McKuen than Van Dyke Parks. The NH did manage another album, as well as a few singles, and were active as late as 1975. Gant was a session vocalist before dying on 6 March 1987, aged only 44. Saussy, as befitting a man with such unpredictable interests, became an anti-tax activist, going underground to avoid Federal authorities in the 1980s. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

THE MOTH CONFESSES
(issued January 1969):

All done in a tiny room within the Acuff-Rose complex on a 4-track Ampex. Over a considerable period of time. For the relatively paltry sum of $8950.36.

Glenn Snoddy got his ears cleaned for every recording and mixing session and is largely responsible for what might be terned "the sound."

Ronald Gant is Don's brother, and a more convincing argument against nepotism in the recording industry cannot be found outside him. He must be commended, though, for the quality he achieved in recording his brother's voice. He is Glenn's paid assistant.

Wesley Rose came in every now and then and snorted.

Norbert Putnam, Chip Young, Jerry Carrigan and Kenneth Buttrey were the NP's rhythm section.

Chet Atkins, Mickey Newbury, Larry Henley, Ray Stevens and Norris Wilson were inspirations to the composer and the singer.

Robert McCluskey called himself Executive Producer and sat around giving everybody a lot of guff.

All selections written and arranged by Tupper Saussy.

Produced by Tupper Sassy, Don Gant and Bob McCluskey

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