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Al De Lory

In terms of public recognition, Al DeLory stands somewhat in the shadow of his daughter, singer Donna DeLory. On the other hand, Al DeLory has played on some of the most popular and enduring records of the '60s, including the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and many of the group's hit singles from the middle of the decade, and on the Phil Spector-produced session that yielded "Zip a de Doo Dah." Additionally, as a producer, DeLory worked on a string of hit singles and platinum-selling albums by Glen Campbell -- and although he's usually identified as a country producer and arranger, DeLory has also produced and arranged songs for the Lettermen, the Four Preps, and other pop-vocal ensembles. DeLory first came to prominence in the late '50s for co-authoring the song "Mr. Custer" ("Please Mr. Custer, I don't want to go...."), which became a million-selling novelty hit in the hands of Larry Verne. By the early '60s, DeLory was a very busy session musician, playing piano and organ for records produced by Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, among others, and was signed as a producer at Capitol Records. When session guitarist Glen Campbell was signed to Capitol as a recording artist and expressed a desire to break out of doing bluegrass instrumentals, DeLory was assigned to produce him and steered him to a very appealing country-pop sound. With help from a large handful of Jimmy Webb songs (and one, "Gentle on My Mind," by John Hartford), Campbell and DeLory generated a string of million-selling singles and albums between 1965 and 1970; DeLory was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as a producer three decades later for his work on Campbell's recordings of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Wichita Lineman." DeLory also did one film score during the '60s, collaborating with Nick Venet and Fred Darian in writing and assembling the background music to the exploitation film Out of Sight (1966) (which featured the music of the Turtles, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Dobie Gray, the Knickerbockers, and the Astronauts), and also occasionally cut his own instrumental records as a bandleader, enjoying a modest chart hit in 1970 with a single of the "Theme From M*A*S*H* (Suicide Is Painless)." He became less visible during the '70s and '80s after permanently moving to Nashville, following his wife's death from cancer, but continued to produce and arrange for other artists while also leading his own band. He occasionally composed the soundtracks to feature films, including Norwood, Pioneer Woman, Buster & Billie, and The Devil's Rain. During the '90s, he was busy leading his own band, Al DeLory and Mambo '98, and most recently, he has been leading a salsa band in Nashville. In the intervening years, his daughter, singer Donna DeLory, has emerged as a recording artist in her own right. ~ Bruce Eder
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