Dec 9, 2023: Brenda Rowlandson and Robert Williston present these two fabulous tracks from 1972 exclusive to citizenfreak.com.
Debuting on Hit Records, "Alone Together" exudes a catchy sunshine pop vibe, reminiscent of Judy Singh's "A Time For Love." Art Snider, the owner of Sound Canada where the tracks were recorded and leader of Brenda's former band, approached songwriter Al Rain to compose a song for her, despite not having met her. Brenda reflects on his unique arrangement: "A strange arrangement really. Art must have played him a track or two from some of the songs we laid down for a prospective album, or else I’m sure Al wouldn’t have agreed. He was a prolific and highly regarded songwriter in the 60’s and 70’s. I don’t think I ever knew whether Al was happy with the finished product."
In 1969, Bobby Darin penned the protest song "Simple Song of Freedom," later recorded by Tim Hardin. By 1972, the Vietnam War protest movement had reached Canada, infusing the anthem with a Canadian patriotic essence. Brenda, initially uncomfortable with the folk style, appreciated Art Snider's arrangement: "It was originally sung as a folk song, but Art Snider gave it some grit with the arrangement that I sang. I didn’t feel comfortable with it at all, as I felt I was really a jazz singer (first love) but to my ear now, it doesn’t sound too bad. And it is certainly applicable to current time.”
Having resided in Toronto for nineteen years, Brenda's move back to Australia in 1992 was a spontaneous response to her second marriage's breakdown. "I regret it now. Australia is so far away from anywhere I want to be!
Written by Al Rain for Brenda Gregory (Alone Together); and Bobby Darin (Simple Song of Freedom)
Produced by Art Snider
Recorded at “peaceful” Sound Canada
Released on yellow and red labels