All That's Left Is the Lemon Tree
Los Angeles, California
Records with Sonobeat in 1968
No commercial releases on Sonobeat Records
A publicity photo of Paul New (out front at the microphone) and the Crew (circa 1967) at the Gaucho Room
A May 1967 Austin Statesman newspaper ad for Paul New and the Crew's appearance at The Club Seville at the Crest Motor Inn in downtown Austin
Sonobeat co-founder Bill Josey Sr. first hears Paul New (Brandon Paul R. New) and his pop combo, The Crew, perform in September 1966 at The Club Seville at the Crest Motor Inn (now The LINE Austin) on Austin's Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake). During 1966 and 1967, Bill, at the time station manager of Austin's KAZZ-FM, hosts KAZZ's weekly live remote broadcasts featuring musical acts from The Club Seville. When The Club Seville opens in January 1966, club manager Don Dean has the heady job of enticing world class musical acts to come to Austin to perform at the club. But Don's a seasoned night club manager and knows where to find top talent, so The Club Seville rapidly establishes a reputation for booking quality national and international acts as well as the best of Austin's jazz and pop artists.
So, how does Paul New and The Crew come to The Club Seville? In the 1950s, Don Dean works for Paul's father at the Ambassador Hotel, home of the world famous Coconut Grove night club, in Los Angeles, where Paul grows up around luminary Hollywood film and recording stars such as Harry Belefonte, Harry James, and Eddie Fisher. After graduation in 1957 from Hollywood High School (where one of his classmates is TV and recording star Ricky Nelson), Paul attends two years at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and then transfers to St. Louis University in Missouri to finish his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Management. In 1961, Paul returns to Los Angeles to cut his musical teeth playing the club circuit throughout the L.A. area and on Catalina Island, just off the Los Angeles coast (you know, "26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me...", the Four Preps 1958 hit). Paul's act develops into more than just dinner and dance music; he interweaves a bit of stand-up comedy and puts on a musical-variety floorshow that by the mid-'60s Los Angeles newspaper critics call "blockbuster entertainment". So, it's no surprise that when Paul begins touring the southwest U.S., Don books him into The Club Seville. Paul's first appearance at The Club Seville is in September 1966 and is so well received by the club's patrons that he plays at least four return engagements over the following two years.
Enter Sonobeat, formed in Austin in May 1967. Although Paul New and The Crew make at least two return engagements to The Club Seville after Sonobeat is founded, it's on the band's final stop in Austin, in March 1968, that Bill Sr. sets up a recording session with Paul. The Club Seville's Embassy Room serves as Sonobeat's remote recording studio, where Paul completes three tracks: a cover of Don Ho's Hawaiian hit All That's Left Is The Lemon Tree, an original instrumental inspired by the Southern California beachside resort that Paul frequents as a child called Balboa, and Johnson City Rag, also an original as well as a parody of the pop standard Johnson Rag. At the time Paul writes Johnson City Rag, Johnson City, about 50 miles west of Austin, is home to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson's sprawling ranch.
Sonobeat co-founder Rim Kelley engineers the Paul New sessions on Sonobeat's Ampex 350 and 354 tape decks. Bill Sr. selects Lemon Tree and Balboa for release as Sonobeat stereo 45 RPM single PV-s114/I-s114, sending the master tape to record pressing plant Sidney J. Wakefield & Company in Phoenix, Arizona, where lacquer masters are cut, disk pressing plates manufactured, and a dozen vinyl test pressings made and delivered to Sonobeat. But the single is never commercially released for reasons undocumented in the Sonobeat archives and now unrecalled. There's no other information about the sessions nor the names of Paul's bandmates (although we've discerned Paul's likely sax player and drummer on the Sonobeat tracks through internet research) in Sonobeat's archives.
Throughout his long career, Paul is a musical "jack of all trades", playing guitar, trumpet, vibes, banjo, trombone, ukulele, mandolin, and keyboards, but he's publicly said keyboards are his favorite. After living on Catalina Island until 2013, today, in his late 70s, Paul lives – and continues to perform – in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Paul New: piano, vibes, and vocals
Les Lowrey: sax
Uncredited musician: bass
Eddie Walters: drums
Uncredited musician: piano
All That's Left Is the Lemon Tree
Johnson City Rag
Engineered by Rim Kelley
Instrumental tracks recorded at The Club Seville at the Crest Motor Inn, Austin, Texas, on March 7, 1968
Vocal overdubs recorded at The Club Seville on March 8, 1968
Recording equipment: ElectroVoice 665 microphones, ElectroVoice Slimair 636 microphones, Sony ECM22 electret condenser microphones, Ampex 350 and 354 tape decks, custom 10-channel portable stereo mixer, Ampex 434 and 681 tape stock
All That's Left Is the Lemon Tree: PV-S114A and SJW-10908
Balboa: I-S114B and SJW-10908
"SJW" in the matrix number identifies Sidney J. Wakefield & Company as the lacquer mastering and pressing plant