4 January 2017

Reupload - Village East - Building With A Steeple/ Tumblin' Down

Label: MGM
Year of Release: 1967

I'm not really too sure why or what's happened, but a freightload of American Sunshine Pop records - a lot of them on MGM, and almost all of them relatively obscure - seem to have washed up on British shores in recent months.  Some collectors assumed that this one never made it past the promo stage, for example, but here's the stock copy as living proof, live and at large in the UK.

"Building With A Steeple" is probably the best example I've found yet, scrubbing away any edgy credibility it might have with a Christian message and yet sounding so downright lovely it's hard to understand how anyone could resist.  There's not much originality present here as the vocal harmonies and arrangements echo the likes of The Mamas and Papas, but crucially it's not inferior to their work in any way and was clearly extremely unlucky not to have sold in greater quantities.  There's a yearning to the vocals and an intricacy to the delicately strummed and plucked arrangements which would soothe the most troubled soul, and like all the best West Coast sounds from the period it sounds simultaneously lush and sincere.  The very concept of sanctuary in a church on a blazing hot Californian day sounds thoroughly appealing here.

Sadly, The Village East didn't release any singles after this one effort, as apparently the lead singer (whose name I've been unable to locate) immediately left to pursue an unsuccessful career as a solo artist after this flopped.  There's a sense that a lot of potential was wasted here, and my guess is that if they'd released some more tracks of a similar quality they may have broken through.  As for the song, it was also recorded by The Eighth Day (with a near-identical arrangement) and Frank Sinatra Jr.

I originally uploaded this entry in April 2013. Since then, Jim Holway, an ex-member of Village East has been in touch, sending some very old pictures of the group and a bit more information. It seems the band consisted of him, Terry McAloon and Nancy Petachi:

I have no idea what they are doing now. The reason the group broke up was because Nancy Petachi had a boyfriend who told her that she didn’t need us that she was the star and it all started. I told her lets make it first and then you can do what you want but she wouldn’t listen. Ronnie Dante would not put up with that and got The Eighth Day to record the songs. 

We were working on another single at the time called "A Million Lights". It was a great song but we never made it to the studio. What a shame. We were the pick hit of the week in Erie Pa and I know that for a fact cause a good friend of mine's cousin was visiting for the summer and when I started to play the song she knew all the words. I asked her how she knew it and she said "Are you kidding, it’s the pick hit of the week in Erie".

We were written up in Billboard as well. Called our song a real toe tapper. I can’t find that article.

We had a shot and blew it. Oh Well. That was a long time ago. I still do music and my group that broke up a few years ago had a couple of cd’s. The latest was called "Doo Wop to Motown".

Thanks so much to Jim for getting in touch and sending us that information and picture. If any other member of the band would like to drop me a line or add memories, please do drop me a comment. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you Dave

Totally unknow for me,

Greetings Albert

Nancy Bryan said...


I am Nancy Petocchi Bryan! Just saw this. Sad I left so long ago! What was your band? I am on Youtube under Nancy Bryan. I wound up doing several things with Acoustic Sounds, an Audiophile label. Also wrote a number of songs for Disney in California. ( nominated for a Grammy for co-writing a song for a winnie the Pooh Cd! Nancy