Early Earl: 1965-1977

Early Earl: 1965-1977 album cover art
Earl at Penn State, 6/21/76. Photo by Mom.

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1. Joann   (1:45)     < The first song I ever wrote! >     MP3   lyrics chords
2. All I Gotta Do Is Call   (2:02)
(primitive 1966 recording)
    MP3   lyrics chords
3. I Know My Love Don't Mean Too Much   (2:10)
(primitive 1966 recording)
    MP3   lyrics chords
4. Beautiful Star [live, 5/3/68]   (3:05)     MP3   lyrics chords
5. high school graduation, 6/5/68 [excerpt]   (0:35)     MP3  
6. US Army swearing-in ceremony, 8/23/68   (1:22)     MP3  
7. leaving Viet Nam - sergeant's instructions to troops   (0:44)
(early 1970)
8. I've Just Got To Get Away   (1:53)     MP3   lyrics chords
9. What's Your Name?   (3:08)     MP3   lyrics chords
10. I Meet My Love [double-tracked version]   (1:54)     MP3   lyrics chords
11. Sell My Car   (9:30)     MP3   lyrics chords
12. Wrong-Way Corrigan   (2:01)     MP3   lyrics chords
13. Get Real   (4:08)     MP3   lyrics chords
14. In the Beginning [instrumental]   (7:50)     MP3  
15. A Carrot & A Whip   (4:07)     MP3   lyrics chords
16. Eternity [instrumental]   (2:19)     MP3  
17. I Hate Music   (2:17)     MP3   lyrics chords
18. Leading Lady   (1:45)     MP3   lyrics chords
19. Don't Believe Anything   (2:01)     MP3   lyrics chords
20. When Could We Have Met?   (2:37)     MP3   lyrics chords
21. Earl Sr. "talking letter" 12/6/42   (3:22)     MP3   transcript

Total time:   61:25


# title musicians / singers
1. Joann EARL: vocal, guitar
This was the first song I ever wrote! I made it up in my head while walking my dog in Baltimore. That was in 1965. I finally got around to recording it for the Secret Songs video project in 1990, using the actual guitar that I first played the song on in 1965. Joann was a girl in my class at school.
2. All I Gotta Do Is Call EARL: vocal, guitar
These two songs comprised the first "demo" that I ever sent out. It was a little 3" reel tape that I mailed to a music publisher, a sign that I considered myself a writer rather than an artist. My little demo package was returned unopened. "I Know My Love Don't Mean Too Much" was originally called "No Matter What," and the original title for "All I Gotta Do Is Call" was "In Your Place." The recording was made in late 1966 using a mono tape deck that my stepfather owned. I was still using the black Harmony guitar that I had received on my 9th birthday. I had only been writing songs for a year and a half. By now our family had moved to Pennsylvania.
3. I Know My Love Don't Mean Too Much
4. Beautiful Star EARL: vocal, guitar
Admittedly poor audio quality, this is my earliest known live recording. I played this song at a high school May Day assembly. A friend named John Campbell made the recording for me using my cassette deck. Afterward, people complimented my musicianship, but nobody liked my voice. There was rumored to be a recording of the entire show made in the A/V control booth, but I've never heard it.
5. high school graduation This time it was my grandmother who did the recording for me. In this excerpt, you can hear a little bit of "Pomp and Circumstance" as played by the school band, plus the announcement of my name. When I went to bed that night, the California primary election returns were just beginning to come in from the West Coast. The next morning, I learned that Robert Kennedy had been shot. By coincidence, one of the songs the choir had sung at my graduation was the same number they'd been rehearsing in 1963 when it was announced over the P.A. that JFK had been assassinated.
6. US Army swearing-in ceremony You can't hear it on the tape, but when the officer told us to "state your full name," I said those words instead of my name.
7. leaving Viet Nam I remember that it was nighttime, and we were standing in formation.
8. I've Just Got To Get Away EARL: vocal, guitar
Two songs recorded in 1971 while I was still in the Army. I was living off base in Bradley, California. "What's Your Name?" was possibly the first song where I rapped a "snare" beat on the pick guard, a feature that would soon become a regular part of my playing style.
9. What's Your Name?
10. I Meet My Love EARL: vocals, guitars
Recorded in 1972 while I was at Penn State. I was using a "quad" tape deck. It wasn't designed for recording individual tracks one at a time, but I was able to manipulate it into multitracking. On this song, I double-tracked my voice and guitar.
11. Sell My Car EARL: vocal, guitar
Another 1972 recording. By this point, I had bought an electric guitar and was playing in a Top Forty cover band. On this song I'm playing a Fender Telecaster through a Sunn amp, with Maestro fuzz box. The lyrics have to do with a long distance crush on a penpal.
12. Wrong-Way Corrigan EARL: vocals, guitar, bass, percussion
This 1972 recording is about real life aviator Douglas Corrigan, who had filed a flight plan for a flight from New York to Long Beach, but ended up in Ireland instead. He claimed it was a mistake, but it was always assumed that he kept his plan to duplicate Lindbergh's feat a secret because he knew that his old airplane would have never been approved for such a journey. The lyrics compare him to Clifford Irving, a writer who was in the news for his autobiography of Howard Hughes (as told to Irving), which turned out to be a hoax.
13. Get Real EARL: vocal, guitar, bass
A 1972 song about leftist agitators I'd seen on campus. They always wore "work shirts, jeans and boots," but never worked a day in their lives. They inflated and distorted the truth. I thought they were a bunch of phonies, no better than the people they were protesting aginst. A guy named Tom Aims (that's how he spelled his last name) ran the tape deck, and is responsible for throwing in the nice echo at the later part of the song.
14. In the Beginning EARL: piano
For a brief time I owned a piano. I never had the coordination to play very well, but I did manage to write a few things on it. This recording, made in Spring 1975, is heavily edited because I couldn't play the piece all the way through without making mistakes. I recorded the sections in sequence and then spliced them all together.
15. A Carrot & A Whip EARL: vocal, guitar
I had been reading about different philosophies and religions. That and prevailing political winds inspired this Spring 1975 song. The folksy farmboy approach was a result of having just read Woody Guthrie's Bound For Glory.
16. Eternity EARL: piano
Another piano piece from Spring 1975.
17. I Hate Music EARL: vocal, guitar
Written in response to self-serving stuff like Sound of Music. I recorded this in October 1976 after returing from a six-month tour with the Bicentennial Wagon Train.
18. Leading Lady EARL: vocal, guitar
These are the two songs that I played for my BWT show audition at Penn State in October 1975. I wrote "Leading Lady" during a post-graduation trip to France. I think you can hear the European influence in the melody. I always have loved French pop music. "Don't Believe Anything" was written after I read a news article about people in the Middle East who doubted that man had walked on the moon. The song also refers to the recent Watergate scandal, which I had followed closely. Both recordings are from the October 1976 demo project.
19. Don't Believe Anything
20. When Could We Have Met? EARL: vocal, guitar
The title song from the October 1976 demo project.
21. Earl Sr. "talking letter" This is the only known recording of my father's voice. As a young GI away from home, he made this record in one of those booths they used to have where you could make a disc to send to your loved ones.
A 90-minute version of this compilation appeared on cassette as Anthology 1 in 1996. In order to fit this collection on a single CD, the five post-1977 songs have been shifted to Deceptively Simple as bonus tracks. Also omitted from this reissue are two cover songs ("Jeepster" and "Things We Said Today"), a solo version of "I Meet My Love," a poorly recorded idea for a radio jingle, and an impressionistic sound montage that I had edited for a broadcasting course.

All words and music by Earl P. Reinhalter.



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Last updated: February 21, 2024

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