Black Bear Road

Black Bear Road LP. Cover scan by T A Chafin. Black Bear Road
The Silverton
Lewis And Clark
Oregon Trail
Ghost Town
Convoy
Long Lonesome Road
Green River
Write Me A Song
Mountains On My Mind

The second C.W. McCall album, which contains his biggest hit, “Convoy”.

On Wolf Creek Pass, all of the songs are credited to Bill Fries and Chip Davis. On Black Bear Road, the credits are “C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis”. C.W. finally gets credit for his contributions. :)

Releases

Date Distributor Format Catalog number
1975 MGM Records, Inc. LP M3G-5008
1975 MGM Records, Inc. Cassette M5H-5008
1975 MGM Records, Inc. 8-Track M8H-5008

LP

Cassette

(P) 1975 MGM Records, Inc.


Notes

The LP

Black Bear Road is the only C.W. McCall album with a lyric sheet: it’s printed on the inside front cover.

In the lower right corner of the front cover: “Photographed on the Cinnamon Pass road, near Animas Forks, Colorado”.

Black Bear Road back cover

The back cover has a picture of C.W. in the window of an old building, smiling and looking a bit like John Denver. In addition to the track listing — sans timings — there’s a short article:

The Real McCall

Just who is C.W. McCall? Well, he’s not the rhinestone cowboy type. He won’t wear ruffled shirts or sparkly pants. He’d rather run around in the mountains in a muddy Jeep, thinking up songs and chasing rainbow trout. So, what kind of artist we got here?

McCall’s a kind of grassroots all-American story teller. He and his music seem to be made of just about everything that’s right and good. Somehow he gives everybody something to smile about. Or think about. Or maybe even cry about. Something to hold on to. And anyone who can do that these days has got to have a little magic going for him.

Jerry Smithers

The LP cover folds open; to the left, on the inside front cover, are the lyrics for the songs on the album. On the right, the inside back cover, C.W. stops to smell the flowers.

C.W. takes a break

This picture was also used as the cover for C.W. McCall’s Greatest Hits.

The “C.W. McCall” logo is orange with a gold outline, with the album title “Black Bear Road” angled across it; while on the cassette, the logo is black&white, placed above the cover photo, and the album title is printed on the photo.

Trivia

On the cassette, the song “Lewis And Clark” is listed as “Lewis & Clark”.

The order of the songs on the cassette is different than the LP. This rearrangement was done to make the total length of the tape shorter by making the duration of the sides approximately the same length.

I bought the cassette long before I acquired a copy of the LP. The difference in the track sequences is, to me, slightly confusing. After many listenings to an album, as one song ends I begin to anticipate the beginning of the next song. In this case, as the final horns of “Oregon Trail” are played I’m waiting for the opening drumbeats of “Convoy”. When I listen to the LP, the “Oregon Trail” followed by “Ghost Town” seems oddly annoying.

The Credits (on the inside cover of the LP)

Produced by Don Sears, Chip Davis
Arranged by Chip Davis
All songs written by C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis
Published by American Gramaphone SESAC
Recorded & mastered at Sound Recorders, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska
Engineered by Don Sears, John Boyd,
String recorded by Ron Ubel
Album design: Bill Fries, Don Sears
Photography: Don Sears
Art Direction: Sheir Leverich

The asterisks in the LP track listing refer to “The Cast” listing on the inside cover. Herewith in its entirety, and neatly formatted for your reading pleasure:

The Cast:

Hidden in the inside seam: “Art Production: Dudycha, Schirck & Assoc. Inc., Omaha, Nebraska”

And, in the lower right corner of the inside front cover,

To join the Official C.W. McCall Fan Club, Send $2.00 to:
C.W. McCall Fan Club, (Address omitted; see the explanation below. — Ed.)
(Please add .25c for postage and handling)

The Fan Club address was that of Don Sears’ company, Sound Recorders, the studio where the “Original Six” C.W. McCall albums were produced. . I’ve not published the address here, because apparently some people still try to contact Bill Fries through that address, and he isn’t there!