Saturday, June 09, 2007

KYLE - LOST RIVAL TO BILLY JOEL


When Billy Joel signed his first solo deal, he had competition.
There was another promising male singer-songwriter on Artie Ripp's "Family Productions" (a division of Paramount Records). Billy released "Cold Spring Harbor" while Kyle (shortened from William Kyle Eidson II) offered "Times That Try a Man's Soul." For some, Kyle's earthy rock seemed more promising than Joel's Long Island pop.
Guitarist Don Evans played on both these 1971 albums...that's how even Billy and Kyle were.
A big difference between Kyle and Billy's albums: Kyle's was properly mastered at the right speed! (The flaw was finally rectified for Billy when Columbia re-issued "Cold Spring Harbor). But in the end, both the chipmunk-y Billy Joel and rootsy Kyle debut albums both failed, in part due to Paramount's indifferent parent company Gulf + Western.
Billboard, on May 22, 1971, declared that Kyle ("a new discovery from the West Coast") was a "winner." The mag praised the "well written and performed" album. The same issue also had the same complilment for the debut album of another Illfolks fave, "Gun Hill Road," pronouncing this debut "a winner" as well.


Most performers never get any kind of deal and say "some day..."
On your sample song from the album, Kyle sings: "Some day's late and yesterday's right on time." If he's still singing, he's singing that line out of years of experience.
Sticking to the single name "Kyle," the singer-songwriter would get two more chances: "KYLE" (released by MGM in 1973, featuring "Stoney Road" and "She Brings Sunshine") and "KYLE" (released by ABC-Dunhill in 1974, and featuring "Rescue Me" and "I'll Be Back Again.") Both were more pop than country-rock, which one might expect from producers Bobby Hart and then John "At the Hop" Madara. Despite the three different record labels, all were "Family Productions," the name of Artie Ripp's management company.
UPDATE

The original post below gave Kyle's real name as "Kyle Garrahan," due to what seemed like a well-researched reference on the Internet. Ahem. Hmmm. Wasn't the case. Thanks to the poster who mentioned the esteemed Joel Whitburn, and the news that a Kyle single nearly made the Top 100 back in 1973, "She Brings Sunshine." Additionally, I've researched music publishing records, and found that Layne Music, on December 16, 1971, registered one of Kyle's songs, "Ain't No Use in Loving You," as "w & m Kyle, pseud, of William Kyle Eidson II." So forget Kyle Garrahan as being THIS guy, or Kyle Minogue.
KYLE, instant download

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I actually have the LP and it is as current today with some of the music as it was when published. Especially, "Times That Try A Man's Soul" Please put this music on your site.
Thanks

Ill Folks said...

Will try and re-visit Kyle for you. A hard-to-find album and some of the tracks on mine are a tad scratchy.

That's part of why I tend to do only one song...it's hard to find perfect tracks on some of this well-worn vinyl.

I also have primitive, tedious vinyl-to-mp3 capabilities so I tend to do one song each from a bunch of albums when I get around to it...with literally thousands of albums waiting to be digitized and polished in their entirety.

So little time...and digitizing is part of the "times that try a man's soul."

Anonymous said...

This "Kyle" is not Kyle Garrahan.
Kyle Garrahan played in "The Lost"
and "Chamaeleon Church." This "Kyle" did not. I don't know
this hislast name, but it ain't Garrahan.

Erroneous

Ill Folks said...

Hi Anon,

There seems to be a mystery about this. Here's a website that states Kyle is Garrahan:
http://www.bsnpubs.com/dot/paramount.html

And here's one that says, hmm, maybe it ain't so:
http://intothemusic.ca/blog/entry/1333/

The Ripple Effect said...

just found this album for $1 in the discount bin. Wrapping my ears around it to see if it's a "keeper" or not. So far so good, though in truth, I haven't found that killer cut or standout track.

Thanks for the info on this album.

Ill Folks said...

Thanks, Ripple...actually I thought the one I posted was the best track!

I think it's his best album of the three.

He did a good job of obscuring his identity back then, and I guess he still values his privacy now. Kyle, you still have fans!

Anonymous said...

now i have his first record from 73 with stoney road and she brings me sunshine on it. And his second lp Times That Try A Man's Soul. Man i love this guy. Is there anybody who can trade his third record from 74 for his first or second??? please help me out with mp3. you can mail me on conradleone@yahoo.co.uk

Stu Shea said...

According to Joel Whitburn's book "Hit Records 101-150," which shows that one Kyle single ("She Brings Sunshine," from 1973's 'Kyle') made #123 on the Record World chart, he was born as William Kyle Eidson II.

Ill Folks said...

Thanks SO much, Stu...and thanks to Joel Whitburn for adding that little tidbit...his books aren't just lists of Billboard charts!

These days we all tend to rely on Internet websites for supplying facts, but it's great to have the shelf space and the bucks to enjoy REAL BOOKS. And Joel sure has published a lot of them:

www.recordresearch.com

Anonymous said...

BMI also has his name as William Kyle Eidson II and his publishing is Stoney Road Music in Las Vegas.

Anonymous said...

Also on the BMI site, he has written 59 songs, the question is if there's more recordings out there?

Ordinary Average Guy said...

I happen to be Kyle's son. Our last name is not Garrahan, and, my father never used a pseudonym. Email me for further questions at kyleeidson@u.boisestate.edu