Monday, July 23, 2007

Chasing Keedy

It was the summer of 1991 and a new voice was taking the Billboard charts by storm with her debut single Save Some Love. That singer was Keedy who after cracking the Top 20, released a follow-up, Wishing On A Same Star. Both these songs were featured on Keedy's debut album Chase The Clouds which was released on Arista Records in 1991. Like many acts of this era, it seemed as if Keedy had quietly faded away into pop obscurity. Now let me just say that Keedy holds a special place for two of our contributors (myself and ChicagoSexBox) , because just like Keedy we all hail fom Milwaukee, WI and grew up listening to her. On a personal note I am beyond geeked to be bringing you this Milk Carton Pop Stars exclusive interview. So what is Mootown's First Lady of Song up to these days? Well let's find out! Without further ado...


Keedy Arista Records promotional picture circa 1991
(Photo courtesy of Keedy & Royce Hall)

1. Welcome to Milk Carton Pop Stars Keedy! We are honored to have you here. Your debut single "Save Some Love" became a Top 20 smash during the spring of 1991. It remains one of my favorite songs of all time, tell us how this song came about.

Thank you it’s great to be here. I love reading about other artists and their stories, so it’s fun to be a part of the gang.

Well… “Save Some Love” was written by Greg Gerard during a time when I was in the Milwaukee based band GERARD. Greg and his brother Bill Gerard had been recording songs with a number of different singers in the band and the idea was if one of us could get a foot in the door we could help the rest of the gang. “Save Some Love” and “Lazy Day” were the songs that caught the ears of record industry people.

“Save Some Love” was written about two members in the band that had an on-again off-again relationship. I always loved the solo and the bridge section in that song and to this day it still makes me happy to hear it.

2. Two of our contributors (myself included) are from your hometown of Milwaukee. Tell us about growing up & how music played a part in that.

I grew up all over the place because my dad worked for UPS and we were transferred every 5 years it seemed. Music was my one constant friend that I had wherever I went. I would sit in my room for hours listening to my latest favorite records or the radio count down and I would play piano and guitar dreaming about playing for people. My uncle Buddy who played guitar with guys like Don Rich (Buck Owens) was my first influence with music. I believe Buddy had the greatest impact on my journey in music. Milwaukee was the last stop on the UPS transfer program for me, my parents had to move onto Connecticut but I was in Gerard and doing what I loved, so I considered Milwaukee my home even though I was born in Texas.

3. What led to you getting a record deal w/ Arista?

Lisa Wells at Geffen Publishing heard “Lazy Day” and loved it. She flew to Milwaukee and came to a Gerard performance and signed Greg and I to a publishing contract. She then contacted Mitchell Cohen at Arista and said you have to hear this… at that point (I’m not sure if this is true or not but it’s what I was told) Mitchell was playing “Save Some Love” and Clive Davis walked by his door and heard the song and said who is that… go find her… within a few months I was signed to a record deal with Arista.

4. You also released a second single which also charted on the Billboard Hot 100, "Wishing On The Same Star". After your debut album reached it's peak, so to say, fans were naturally expecting a follow up to "Chase The Clouds". What happened?

Diane Warren wrote “Wishing On The Same Star” and I was asked by Clive to give it a chance. The week it came out Bryan Adams’s song “(Everything I Do) I Do For You” was being played and a number of the radio stations went with the Bryan Adams song as there wasn’t enough room in their play lists for another new ballad. My manager (at the time) and I took off on a radio road trip and hit every radio station we could from Milwaukee to Florida trying to get support for the record but we kept running into the same questions “why should we play your record when your own home town’s Top 40 radio station isn’t playing it. The main radio station in Milwaukee decided they weren’t going to play it because it wasn’t “Sorry” which was the song THEY liked and if we could get the record company to release that one they would lend their support (nice of them huh?). After a couple of weeks I was told that support for “Wishing On The Same Star” was being pulled because Whitney Houston’s new record was having trouble, and all the label’s resources had to go to helping her record out. “Wish On The Same Star” fizzled out and the end of “Chase The Clouds” came shortly after.

Greg and I then moved to Los Angeles and wrote and demoed over 100 songs for the follow up to “Chase The Clouds”. Arista had to accept 6 songs before they would start recording the second record. They would like 4 and then say you need 3 more like this one and so on and so on. Then we found out that there was a shift in management at Arista and we were lost in the shuffle. My new A&R guy didn’t believe in what we were doing and hip-hop was taking off as was Nirvana and grunge. After trying to get the second record off the ground for several years it was apparent that I needed to be released from any dealings with Arista. It was a liberating feeling and the end of that chapter of my life. “And what an amazing chapter it was!”

5. What little info I was able to find out about your whereabouts, I see you used to perform w/ a band called The Orphans in Milwaukee. Were you involved w/ any other groups and/or projects over the years?

I have been involved with lots of projects over the years. Mostly involving writing and recording but for a number of years I played with The Orphans and had a great time doing 70’s folk, country and rock tunes. I really learned how to play rhythm guitar in that band. During that time I wrote with two of my friends Mykl Stanley and Alec Miller. We wrote every week for a couple of years and I felt real growth as a writer.

A current photo of Keedy & her husband Royce Hall (photo courtesy of Keedy & Royce Hall)

6. I was very happy to find out that you are still making music. Can you tell us about your current project?

For the last six years I have been writing, recording and playing with my husband Royce Hall. We write and record when inspiration hits us and then post the songs on myspace. One thing I wouldn’t do again is get mixed up with a major label and have them get between me and my feelings for music. (You know… no suits in the art department!)

7. Are there any upcoming gigs that fans can check out? Any plans to release any new music?

We aren’t doing any gigs right now as we have multiple things on our plate but we are thinking of doing a video podcast or something of that nature in the future. As for new music we are always writing and recording but only some of it makes it to myspace.

If we had the inclination to pursue music full time we would want to put out CDs and end up on Austin City Limits with radio airplay on The World Café. But to do that you have to work so hard that all other areas of your life get put on hold and life’s just too much fun right now to do that.

8. Other than music is there anything else that you are passionate about?

Royce & I have an antique business and we go out treasure hunting for collectibles. I have also been making art out of buttons and newspaper and taking photos.

9. I finally just saw the video for "Save Some Love" after all these years! Itunes has it for purchase and I immediately purchased it. You were rockin' the early 90s fashions like there was no tomorrow! Any stories you'd like to share about the filming of the video?

The director wanted it to be a take on the 1954 Fellini film “La Strada”. It was shot in LA at the Sepulveda dam, where a lot of movies were and are shot. It was a two-day shoot. And it may seem crazy when you watch it but the day outside at the Sepulveda dam it was freezing cold. There is also a part where I’m roller-skating but you can’t see my skates… J The zebra and camel had a little fight. Oh and the day before we started shooting I thought I would be really cool and go and get the longest red finger nails I could, when I walked in and the stylist saw them I thought she was going to faint. So it was a seriously nutty time just like the video.

10. Keedy thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Any final words for your fans and our readers?

Thank you for keeping “Chase The Clouds” alive, you have been a beautiful light in my life for a long time and I thank you for giving me so much.

I'd like to give a huge thanks to Keedy and her hubby Royce for being so generous in helping get this interview done. For all you fans out there, make sure and visit Keedy and Royce's myspace page @ Tell 'em Milk Carton Pop Stars sent ya!


enrique free said...

I love the interview with Keedy. It was good to hear that Keedy is still around. It saddnes me to hear that the 2nd ablum fell out of the works. But everything works out for the best at the end. At least I still have my album to listen to everyday!!

Chicago_Sexbox said...

I loved Keedy back in the day and was so happy to see talent from Milwaukee get rcognition on a national level (even if she wasn't born in Milwaukee I still consider her an honorary Milwaukean, lol). The interview was great! It is indeed a shame that record label politics had to bring such a quick end to the album and it's follow up.

bomitoni said...

I am so glad you guys are enjoying this interview. It was definitely a thrill for me to do it.

rob said...

wow. that was awesome.
she sounds so cool and down to earth.
it's funny, because after Save Some Love, Lazy Day was my favorite single.

ok--here's some suggestions for more milk cartons:
stacey q
chris cuevas
tracie spencer
paris by air

rob said...

doh. i guess i should have scrolled down,then i would have seen mr. cuevas.
way to go!!

NastyG said...

Brilliance Bunny! Love it! Great interview. Keedy is SO cool. That album is classic pop, especially Never Never Land. And I also agree with rob. A Paris By Air profile! I got their internet only album. Fantastic!

sirtoa said...

never heard of the song, but after watching the video its obvious to me she is heavily influenced by "miss m". the moves, the style, even musically. at the time this was released the market was saturated with madonna sound alikes/lookalikes. had she been a better vocalist maybe she would have gotten more respect as an artist. its clear to me why we never heard from this artist again.

michael said...

Do you have a program to transfer video clips from DVD to computer so you can get them on to YouTube? The reason I ask is that I have the music video of Wishing On The Same Star (it's an original from a Wolfram promo) so if you have the program, I could send you a copy for you to put it on there.

aquadonia said...

To this day "Chase The Clouds' makes so happy when I hear it. Though I don't listen to much 90s pop these days, I can put it in and remember every single word and vocal nuance. Thanks so much, Keedy!! <3

John said...

Its 2011 and I still listen to Keedy's "Chase The Clouds" album. It is still great pop fun to listen to and between her voice, the writing, and the production its as good today as when it was released. I would agree that "Sorry" should have been released as its one of the coolest songs ever.

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