PART OF SWAMP DOGG'S SOUL & BLUES COLLECTION
First time on VINYL since 1970!
Never officially released by Canyon (the label went belly-up just after shipping the first copies in 1970), this album was meant to be a follow-up to the Doris Duke hit record “I’m A Loser”.
Produced by Swamp Dogg in Macon, GA this is Deep Soul at its best. Sandra Phillips (a/k/a Sandra Reeves-Phillips) has become a star on Broadway, movies and TV, winning awards and appearing in movies such as “Round About Midnight” and “Lean On Me”, and on TV Shows such as “Law And Order”.
LINER NOTES BY SWAMP DOGG
SANDRA PHILLIPS a/k/a Sandra Reeves-Phillips
On April 21st, 1970, I, Swamp Dogg, signed Sandra Phillips to an exclusive recording contract. I had only known Sandra for a short time; her ex-husband, Phillip, introduced me to her earlier recording on Epic. He constantly insisted that I give his wife a chance since companies like mine were selling records and the “majors,” as we now refer to them, couldn’t break an egg.
There were several factors that prompted me to go into business with them. Number one, I liked her voice and saw great potential. Number two, she was willing to work on my terms, and with enthusiasm. Number three, Doris Duke had gone crazy – missing gigs, avoiding my phone calls, and getting the Buick Estate Wagon that I bought for her shot up by some nigger that she had appointed as her manager. She fell in lust damn near everywhere she went and often appointed her gentlemen as manager.
I signed Sandra to Wally Roker’s Canyon label and then took her to Macon, Georgia, where I had a magic lantern that produced a band consisting of Johnny Sandlin (drums), Robert Popwell (bass), Pete Carr (guitar), Paul Hornsby (organ & piano) and me, also on piano. My genie wouldn’t let me do wrong. I had a production deal with Wally for as many albums as I wanted to do, with complete autonomy. I’m damn sorry he went belly-up. I always recorded the strings in Philadelphia in the old Cameo-Parkway studio with Richard Rome at the helm. He’s still the greatest arranger in the world. I’m looking at a hotel bill from the Philadelphia Marriott for $25.97 per day, I was there for three days while I was there putting on strings.
I was grooming Sandra to be the next Doris Duke. As a matter of fact, Doris went into hiding on my ass and I booked Sandra throughout the Midwest, pretending she was Doris. There was a tremendous amount of work piling up that translated into currency. The audiences, promoters, DJ’s and club owners loved her dirty drawers. I encouraged Sandra to talk to DJ’s on the phone periodically as a promo ploy, and one DJ in Kansas ended up wanting to marry her. He kept Doris Duke’s record top ten for two months as a result.
The album that you are drooling over was never officially released. Canyon shipped it and then Canyon bought the farm.
I gave Sandra an unconditional release and we have remained friends.
Sandra has since become a star on Broadway, and in movies and television. She has won awards on and off Broadway, including the Drama League Recognition Award, the Audelco Award for her portrayal of Bessie Smith, and for playing the title role in the Pittsburgh Public Theatre production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She has been on television both as a lead and a star, first on the show Law And Order and going on and on. French director Bertrand Tavernier thought enough of her thespian ability to give her the lead in “Round About Midnight” and she also had a starring role in “Lean On Me” with Morgan Freeman. - SWAMP DOGG
It's a great reminder of the roots of soul music--the church. It's down home, unassuming, in the pocket. From the hand swaying "I've Been Down So Long" to the groove of "Some Mother's Son", this is classic soul borne of that Southern Baptist church down the street. Stylistically, this is pure "secular gospel" and it makes my heart (and soul) happy. – POPA'S TUNES
Too Many People In One Bed is a great southern soul album which improves on every listen and Swamp once again demonstrated his remarkable talent for writing from a woman’s perspective. “She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking)” where Sandra listens to another woman bragging about her man, only to realize she’s talking about her own husband, is a masterpiece. – MONKEY PICKS
Phillips invests the near-hit “To the Other Woman (I’m the Other Woman),” “She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking)” (later a top 10 R&B hit for Dee Dee Warwick) and the deeply depressing “Ghost of Myself” with real feeling, singing with a tone of resignation more than anguish. Light relief comes from the peppy kiss-off “Please Don’t Send Him Back to Me,” which Phillips delivers with perfectly withering sass. Whether he’s using strings or sticking to guitar/piano basics, Dogg keeps the dry production centered around Phillips’ even-toned singing, bringing out her vulnerability and avoiding anything close to melodrama.
Though too low-key to storm the castle walls of R&B history, Too Many People in One Bed deserves its rescue from obscurity. – Michael Toland / BLURT
While missing much of the Dogg's convoluted sense of the absurd, it exhibits his masterful production skills combined with a great backing band and the impeccably arranged Swamp Dogg horns. Swamp Dogg is a peer to the finest producers at Stax. This band does not miss a beat in comparison with the Memphis Horns and Booker T and the MG's. – WYMA
While Sandra Phillips went on to a successful acting career for legions of soul fans, her greatest achievement will always be the dozen songs she cut with Swamp Dogg back in the seventies. Southern Soul aficionados will already know the gems this albums contains. For those taking tentative steps into this genre then waste no time in buying this album. It really is one of the best. – PENNYBLACK MUSIC
Too Many People In One Bed is like a twelve short stories. Tales of betrayal, heartbreak, loneliness and love gone wrong, it’s all on Too Many People In One Bed. A whole range of emotions come pouring out. We also see different sides to Sandra Phillips. One minutes she’s heartbroken, the next defiant, feisty or sassy. Whether Sandra’s vocal is powerful or tender, it’s equally effective. – DEREK'S MUSIC BLOG
As the title implies, some of the tunes are more forthright about squabbles over romantic partners than was the norm in soul and pop music at the beginning of the 1970s, especially on "To the Other Woman (I'm the Other Woman)" (a song more renowned to soul fans in the version sung by Doris Duke). Phillips might have missed out on a potential hit on what's apparently the original version of "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)," which Dee Dee Warwick had a Top Ten R&B hit with in 1970. – Richie Unterberger / AMG