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Drift Away (MCA Records - Late 1972 / Early 1973 )
    Still heralded as Gray’s signature song, and still in heavy rotation on radio stations around the country today, Drift Away was recorded at Quadrafonic Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The album, of the same title, is considered by most to be some of Gray’s greatest work.
With songs by Mentor Williams (composer of "Drift Away" and Gray’s producer), Troy Seals, Will Jennings, Don Dunn and Gray, the album became a stand-out in that it was one of the first to be in on the ground floor of a new sound dubbed "Country Rock." Its appeal brought Gray the same audiences that were followers of The Allman Brothers, The Charlie Daniel’s Band, The Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
    Gray’s album featured the cream of the crop of Nashville’s musicians: Reggie Young on guitar/banjo; Mike Leech on bass & string arrangements; Kenny Malone on drums/percussion; David Briggs on keyboards; Troy Seals on guitar; Buddy Spicher on fiddle; Weldon Myrick on pedal steel; and Mentor Williams on guitar.
    Gray shares some droll anecdotes he’s heard on the song’s hook over the years: "Gimmie the Beach Boys," "Gimmie the meatballs," "Gimmie the sweet boys," "Gimmie the wheat boys" (proposed for a cereal ad ), "Gimmie the peat moss" and his favorite: "Gimmie a beatin’ boys."
    Gray’s brilliant re-creation of the title cut appears on his 1997 Diamond Cuts CD, available from Dobie Gray Productions through this website.

Loving Arms (MCA Records 1974)
    Many Dobie Gray followers concur that Loving Arms is the most beautiful ballad of the many recorded by the singer.
    The sparse track and no-frills production is the perfect accompaniment for Gray’s empathetic vocal translation of the late Tom Jans’s explicit declaration of lost love. Not unlike Drift Away, Loving Arms, often referred to as Too Long In The Wind, is immediately identifiable by the unmistakable Reggie Young guitar lick in the opening strands of the song.
    The "Loving Arms" album features the same choice of excellent musicians that graced Drift Away. An addition is the great Charlie McCoy on harmonica.
    Versions of the song prior to Gray’s include Rita Coolidge and Waylon Jennings. Subsequent versions include Elvis, Ray Charles and Millie Jackson.
    Gray’s excellent reproduction of Loving Arms appears on his 1997 "Diamond Cuts" CD, available from Dobie Gray Productions through this website.

Hey, Dixie (MCA Records 1974)
    Whatever became of Hey, Dixie, Gray’s third album for MCA, is a mystery. It is certainly one of his best efforts for that label. Mentor Williams’s production is flawless and the choice of material outstanding. This album leans more towards Dobie’s pop side than the two works preceding it (both of which bordered on the country edge), but is by no means somewhere out there in left field. For hard-core Dobie Gray fans, Hey, Dixie is a must, and well worth the effort it might take to find it.
    Stand-outs: "Hey Dixie" /"Watch Out For Lucy"/"Old Time Feeling" /"So High (Rock Me Baby Roll Me Away" - later popularized by John Mayall) /"Turning On You" and "The Music’s Real: Mentor’s Song" (Gray’s tribute to producer Mentor Williams).





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