When you think about people you've been friends
with for many years, one tends to remember various deeds
Seeing Bill again after ten years made me realize that Bill
Fries is a frame of mind, as well as a wonderful human
being. Bill's tremendous creative ability and his thinking has
saturated a lot of what I do, and have done, with American
Our common love of nature and burning desire to communicate
Creativity has made this project a thrill and joy for me.
It's a great honor and privelege to have Bill back home at
Chip Davis, President
American Gramaphone Records
Comin' Back For More (3:51)
Ghost Town (3:59)
Glenwood Canyon (3:26)
There Won't Be No Country Music (3:50)
The Little Brown Sparrow (4:34)
Aurora Borealis (4:11)
The Silverton (3:51)
Wolf Creek Pass (3:58)
Night Rider (2:34)
Rocky Mountain September (3:39)
Black Bear Road (2:08)
Camp Bird Mine (3:33)
THE REAL McCALL
Words - Bill Fries
Music - Chip Davis
C. W. McCall, as portrayed by Bill Fries (The Real)
Produced by Chip Davis
Recorded and Mixed by John Boyd
Strings and Brass Engineered by Bill Bradley
Recorded at Sound Recorders, Omaha and
Universal Studios, Chicago
Orchestral Contracting by Arnold Roth
Engineering Assistants -
Mastered by Wayne Jesz, Sound Recorders
Orchestral Asistant, Louis J. Stout, Jr.
Keyboard Technician, Louis F. Davis, Sr.
Locomotive Whistle, Dale Hoaglan
Jacket Concept by Bill Fries and Chip Davis
Art Production by Hirsch Design
Jackson Berkey, Keyboards
Chip Davis, Drums, Percussian, and Keyboards
Eric Hansen, Bass
Steve Hanson, Banjo
Ron Cooley, Guitars
Willis Ann Ross
Alice Render Clevenger
It has been a great thrill for me to go back
to the studio and re-create these story songs
after all these years. I know Chip has gotten a
kick out of it too. Fifteen years ago, (we can't
believe it's been that long) Convoy was num-
ber one with a bullet on every conceivable
chart in the Known Universe.
Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant Boys.
Eight more years went by. Then, last
Rocky Mountain September, Chip called me
up on his Watts Line and said, "Hey Willy. I
got an idea. Why don't we re-do all those old
McCall tracks and release 'em on compact
disc?" I said, "I don't even
We knew right off we must
have been doing something
right. So I went home and got
out my word processor
(chewed-up pencil) and Chip
went home and got out his
music processor (elegant
quill) and sixty songs later we
had knocked off six albums.
own a CD." Chip replied,
"Don't worry, it's nothin' but
zeroes an' ones, digital,
dontcha know." I said, "Why
Three months went by.
We picked out 15 of those old
McCall tunes and added a
new one for good measure
That took six years. I had
run out of stories to tell, so I packed up my CJ-
5 and the love of my life, Rena Jayne, (the R.J.
in Black Bear Road) and all the kids and
moved off to Ouray, Colorado to go fly-rod-
ding for Cutthroat Trout.
Meanwhile, back in Omaha, Chip, who
never seems to run out of steam, began com-
posing his famous Fresh Aire series with a
group he called the Mannnheim Steamroller
... funny, those guys were the same bunch
that used to back me up out on the fair-
ground circuit, only then we called 'em the
(Comin' Back For More).
Rearranged a couple of my own personnal
favorites such as Columbine and Aurora
Borealis. Went off to Chicago and got us
some of the greatest strings and brass players
in the world, came back to Omaha, mixed it
all down... leaned back and listened to it
and said, "You know what? This sounds
better than it did back in '75. Must be the
C. W. McCall
COMIN' BACK FOR MORE
This is my version of the legend of Alfred Packer, the guy who
had a few friends in for dinner back in 1879. We took a few liberties
with the truth, so if you're after historical (or hysterical) accuracy,
better check your Public Library. By the way, that's Chip doing
High in a remote San Juan Mountain valley, the crumbling
walls of Animas Forks watch in silence as the River Of Lost Souls
collects the debris of dreams and carries it off to the sea . . . and
what was once a gathering place for those with the spirit of
adventure . . . has become a ghost of the past.
When the new stretch of four-lane superhighway is completed
in this beautiful canyon, the final piece of the massive jigsaw puzzle
known as the Intestate Highway System will be put in place . . .
and we'll be able to drive non-stop from New York to L. A. . . .
without seeing anything.
THERE WON"T BE NO COUNTRY MUSIC
The original title of this song was "1997" and the words were
written as a protest to the way our supposedly civilized society is
methodically trashing our land. Only seven more years to go now
. . . no deposit, no sad songs, and no return.
I miss that old tomcat.
THE LITTLE BROWN SPARROW
I guess just about everyone has had this experience, but for me,
as a kid growing up in the thirties, it was a lesson in life and death
that I never forgot. Chip's lovely music and my bittersweet memories
of that green April morning so long ago make it hard for me to
tell you this story without getting a lump in my throat and tears in
There is nothing quite so pleasing to the senses . . . so soothing
to the troubled mind . . . so refreshing to the soul . . . as a joyous
journey back to those special places where the works of man are
not present. Come on along and breathe the clean fresh air of
I've always thought of the mind as the ultimate recorder, collecting
and storing all the sights and sounds of our lives, saving them
for some future playback. If this concept of memory is correct, the
last line in Aurora Borealis will give you what the glorious night
sky in High Rockies gave to me . . . a new answer to an old
I can't think of a more nostalgic sound than the haunting whistle
of a K-28 steam locomotive echoing in the San Juan Mountains
of Colorado. Here she comes again, up from Durango
an' a-shovelin' coal, happier than ever with some delightful new
piano licks in the choruses . . . the Silverton!
WOLF CREEK PASS
The first time I performed this song in public was on Johnny
Carson's Tonight Show in front of thirty million viewers. That was
scary enough, but the thing that worried me the most was . . . I
couldn't remember the words. Miracuously, I got through the
ordeal, sorta like Earl an' all o' them chickens outa Wiggins.
When we did this little number in the road shows, back in the
mid-seventies, there was this pair of humongous strobe lights
flashing with every beat . . . which was supposed to represent
blinding headlights out on some desolate highway. The fair-
grounds crowd loved the effect . . . but it almost put me away.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SEPTEMBER
The prettiest time of the year in the Rockies. Golden aspen
leaves against a background of silvery snow . . . the chill winds of
approaching winter in the air . . . a time for remembering . . . lost
loves, or old friends . . . or in my case, my old black CJ-5. Yeah, we
climbed the mountain together.
BLACK BEAR ROAD
An absolutely true story. Cross my heart. The infamous Black
Bear is one of the highest, roughest and cliff-hangiest 4-wheel
drive trails in the world. And the chart for this bit is rated 4WD
to. Just listen to the awesome power of Jackson, Eric, Steve, Ron
and Chip. Five of the best pickers in the USA.
CAMP BIRD MINE
Several years ago I had one of the eeriest experiences of my life.
with a yellow wet-suit, heavy boots, a hard hat complete with
headlamp and a battery pack, I descended to level nine of the
fabled Camp Bird Mine . . . Three thousand feet below the
surface, I wondered what it must have been like to be a gold
miner . . . in 1890.
There are probably a couple of million beat-up 45s and at least
that many eaten-up eight-tracks of this gold-platinum-uranium
record still hanging around. There was a time back in '76 when
you could punch any number on your AM radio (most FMs too)
and hear Convoy. Now here it is in 1990 in all it's brand new
As I grow older, the whirlwind events of my younger days
seem to fade into insignificance . . . little things have become far
more important. Climbing the trail to Yankee Boy Basin on a
sunny summer day to see the wild Columbine in bloom . . .
knowing they'll be gone in a few weeks . . . and thinking about
next summer . . . will they be there? Will I? Little things. This song
is for you Rena. You understand these things.
(c) 1990 American Gramaphone Records (P) 1990 American Gramaphone Records
(c) 1976, 1977 American Gramaphone (c) Dots & Lines Inc. - SESAC All Rights Reserved