I don’t listen to this album a lot, but I have to admit it’s one of my top 10 favorite finds ever. It’s a self-published one-man album by Harley Frye from West Lafayette, Indiana. I found a sealed copy of this at a record convention –the joy of finding a homemade multitracking vanity album was great enough, but of course the unfortunate subtitle “A Record of a Man Playing With Himself” is what sealed the deal. I posted it on my old blog and wrote some rather unflattering remarks regarding Mr. Frey’s vocal and instrumental abilities, an much to my surprise received this email:
I am Harley Frey. I am 91 years old, but retired. I am curious how you found that record. It’s about 40 years old.
I liked your critique, it was right on. I did everything using two open reel recorders. No sound board, no one two turn things on ( the piano was about 40 feet away from the records), took the pictures with a Polaroid camera, air brushed the sides of the pictures to make them seem
like one. Anyway it was a lot of fun.
Wow. Of course I wrote him back (somewhat sheepishly) and asked if he thought it was OK to share his album with the blog world.
“I had a hunch you were somewhere in Indiana. Since you correctly called “Here’s Harley” a vanity record you most certainly have my permissionto digitalize it and offer it online. I am still here in West Lafayette, living in a retirement home for senors. in the last
10 to 15 years, I have been honing my skills as an “elevator” pianist, do not play in public any more.”
So there! I have permission from the artist to share this. Harley, you are awesome.