From Randy Thornton, Digital Restoration Producer
In 1994, I was able to restore Annette's early recordings to be included in the Walt Disney Records boxed set "Annette: A Musical Reunion with America's Girl Next Door." Presented here are 12 of Annette's very best recordings.
For the restoration, I used the original 1/2" 3 track masters. Technical wizard Steve Hazleton built us a vintage Ampex 3 Track tape machine from parts he had collected over the years including brand-new playback heads. Steve also gave us the three original tube amplifiers that went with the machine. Going back to these original 3 track masters allowed us to not only restore each individual track, it also gave us the opportunity to take some of the recordings that were originally released in mono and remix them in stereo. We decided that when we re-mixed for stereo, we would be faithful to the technique of the era.
Now a faithful restoration should, when possible, include at least some of the people involved in the original sessions. This one did!
Annette's original record producer, renowned musician Tutti Camarata, joined us for the re-mixing sessions. Now retired, Tutti worked with such greats as The Dorsey Brothers and Billie Holiday. While running his own studio (Sunset
Sound) Tutti also served as one of Disneyland / Buena Vista Records' first producers. It was Tutti who told Walt that Annette could have a singing career. It was also Tutti who had Annette over-dub her vocals (sing in unison with herself) to create that unique "Annette Sound." That sound was so effective that John Lennon told Tutti that it inspired him to use the same technique for The Beatles.
The re-mix and mastering was engineered by one of Annette's original engineers - Bruce Botnick (who also engineered The Doors albums around the same time). Bruce today is one of the biggest names in the recording arts. Chances are that your current favorite film score was recorded by Bruce.
I also had Disney's legendary songwriting duo Richard and Robert Sherman in the studio. Not only did the Sherman's very first song for Disney give Annette her first hit, it began their partnership with Disney, giving us such memorable music from films like "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," and theme park attraction songs like "The Tiki
Tiki Tiki Room" and "It's a Small World." These brothers wrote so many songs for Disney that it literally takes over seven minutes just to read the list of titles.
Obviously, this was a labor of love. Not love for nostalgia, recording history, or even music. It was a love for Annette. So, as before, this album is for our favorite Mouseketeer!