Peoria, Illinois’ The Third Booth recorded their classic I Need Love for Producer Jerry Milam in 1967. With a little self-promotion, The Third Booth’s J.C. Clore was able to attract a handful of record labels and have the song reissued in 1968.
J.C. Clore Recalls The Third Booth
I Need Love was originally recorded on Thunder Records under the title Sound Incorporated. We paid $250.00 for an eight hour session. We had spent at least 40 to 50 hours rehearsing the song so we (were able to get) it done on the first or second take. It was recorded at Golden Voice Studios in South Pekin, Illinois.
I had to agree to get my hair cut so my father would loan me the money (for the recording session). My bass player got his cut, too, so I wasn’t alone. We first recorded the rhythm section, and then added a fuzz bass track. (The sound) was thin because of the fuzz so we added a regular bass track and double-tracked the lead vocals. I supplied the lead vocals and added the background vocals, then added the organ leads and guitar leads.
I Need Love took six hours to record. We then realized we needed a B-side and wrote Mysteries on the spot and recorded it there. I wrote all the material. Tom, the bass player, had been experimenting with the guitar player’s Maestro fuzz tone for a month or so. It was his idea – and it was pure genius. Tom was more of a lead player than a bass player and had lots of talent.
Jerry Milam owned the studio we recorded in and engineered the project. I owned all the rights and production rights on Sound Incorporated (I Need Love). Jerry was from Nashville and had more knowledge of the industry than we did. I signed over my producing rights for one dollar; this gave him the right to collect our money. He collected - but never gave us any of our royalties. I was paid for the first three days. It was an extra on the charts; I received $1700.00 but nothing more. This was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I was ripped off.
I Need Love was on two labels. We spent one or two sessions in the studio; we might come up with something decent and then go on the road. After we’d come back, musicians imported by Jerry had changed the entire song; we were looked upon as a one-time shot. Jerry left our mix of I Need Love alone because it was just another song to him, but we were responsible for giving him his first nationwide recognition.
We had the song out for nine months but no one would give us any airplay. We had a friend named Pat Lopeman who worked at WBYS, our local station, but the owner refused to allow him to play it. Pat played it anyway, and so he holds the distinction of playing the song on the air first...but he was promptly fired! He is today known as Lee Patrick and owns 17 radio stations in and around Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
We were unsuccessful at getting airplay in Peoria (and locally) so we decided to take a trip to Chicago. We left the record on the desk in a world of payola. Three kids left a record for someone to listen to but that "someone" turned out to be Art Roberts; we had gone to WLS. By the time we returned home three record labels had called wanting the song! It was a dream come true.
Special thanks to Michael Reid for providing the photo of The Third Booth.
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