Stu Nunnery – 35 Years On: The Interview

by TW on November 3, 2008

If you’ve never heard of Stu Nunnery, you’re probably not alone, but it would be your loss. Nunnery is a singer/songwriter who released one self-titled album on the short-lived Evolution label in 1973. The nine-song LP showcased a heady talent, playing a mix of folk-rock that fans of Dan Fogelberg, James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot and Jackson Browne should connect with immediately. Yet, Nunnery sounded like no one else. And if you’ve never heard him, read and listen on, for there’s plenty of great music to discover here.

I first learned of Nunnery when I found his album amid tens of thousands of old, dusty LPs in a St. Paul, MN, building, whose lower floor was serving as a used record store. That same day, I discovered another singer/songwriter (Jimmie Spheeris) who comes up in this interview, as well. I plunked down $1 for Nunnery’s album and left not expecting much. I got home, dropped the needle on Side 1 and after about 20 seconds of hearing the lead cut, “Isle Of Debris,” I was thinking,  “How has this been hidden for so long?” Later, I found out this was his only record and one could only hear it on vinyl. How could this album languish in obscurity and never find its way to compact disc? Why didn’t he release more albums? As I was to find out, truth is crazily stranger than fiction. Nunnery’s story is one you just have to read for yourself.

You released one album in 1973 and then seemed to disappear. What happened?

First off, I always appreciate hearing from someone who had picked up my first and only album. It’s funny, at this point in life I’m getting a lot more calls [about my music] than I got many many years ago.

My story is a simple one. I did one album in 1973-74. Over the next couple of years, two of the cuts from that album – “Madelaine” and “Sally From Syracuse” – reached the Top 100 on the American charts. And in 1976 – after I had left the company I was with – “Lady It\’s Time To Go,” which is on the flip side of the album, became the #1 Record in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil. And it was my recording of it, sold to a label called Copacabana Records, which was part of the RCA stable. And in 1976, I got a phone call after I had left the record company I was with, telling me I was a big star in South America, and, “Can you come down here and perform?”

Well, I could barely eat back in 1976 – I was still [playing]  in small clubs. And I never saw a dime for that #1 Record down there in South America. In fact for all of 1976, my English-speaking record was the 57th-best-selling record down there, which is really bizarre.

You didn’t receive any royalties?
I also never received anything from the album that I did do, which sold fairly well. I had a lot of turntable hits around the world: I had a turntable hit in South Africa, Australia, England and Canada. In addition to the two records on the Top 100 American charts, “Lady It\’s Time To Go,” was recorded by B.J. Thomas, and Nicky Hopkins, if you can believe that – the former keyboard player for the Rolling Stones. So there was a lot of attention; I did some concerts. The label I was with – it was Evolution Records: part of the Longines-Wittnauer watch company’s series of companies. They went out of business in ‘74/’75, I guess.

After that, I went back to the Berkshires, where I lived. I was living in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts when my first album came out. After that and the first album came out, I went back to the Berkshires and continued playing in clubs. And I received a call from a woman, who was in the fashion industry but very interested in the music industry. She found me through somebody, and for a time became my manager. She represented me to John Hammond, at Columbia Records, and I was signed to Epic Records in 1976. I went into the studio in New York and cut four records, four sides. I was then sent to California to redo one side and to cut a few more sides. I was told, at the time, that one of the records, which I had done, was going to be the theme at the CBS Convention that year. Soon after I got a call [saying] that Epic Records was going to move into disco, and I was asked if I would consider being a disco artist. [laughs] I was 26 at the time and quite full of myself – I thought I knew what I was doing – and I said, “Absolutely not.”

And then the thought was, back then, that they were going to put some supergroup together. And some names of people you know from other groups that were not functioning at the time – they were going to put us together. I was going to be the lead singer and the writer, and they thought that was a great idea. Well, that kind of fell apart as well, and Epic really became more of an R&B and disco label. And I left CBS Records in early 1977, without having anything released. I had recorded, I think, five or six sides – at least half an album – and nothing was released. Walking out the door of CBS, though – I was living in New York at the time; this was ‘77, I had moved down to New York. Friends of mine ran jingle houses in New York City, and they were kind of the feeder companies for advertising firms that wrote radio and television jingles. A woman that I knew, who liked my music, asked me if I would consider coming in and writing jingles. And given that I didn’t have a recording contract at the time, I said, “Sure. Why not?”

How did jingle writing go?

Well, it turned out to be a very lucrative profession, and the first four or five things that I wrote became national campaigns. I sang solo on a number of campaigns, for GMC Trucks, cars, sodas – all kinds of things – and made very nice money for about two or three years. I was actually starting to study acting and dance in New York, and I figured I was going to be a triple threat on Broadway – in addition to being a recording artist – because I continued to seek a recording contract with other companies in New York. Then in April of 1978 is when everything… the day the music died. I stood up off a bed after a nap – after a recording session – and an explosion happened in the left side of my head. It was not a stroke. Thirty years later, it appears to have been probably a rupture or breakage of a blood vessel. And it immediately filled up my ear chamber, and I was 40 percent deaf in 24 hours on the left side. While there was no diagnosis in the polytomography – they take an X-ray of your ear – it did not show a tumor. Nonetheless, I was 40 percent gone in 24 hours. I had terrible vertigo and dizziness for a long time.

I continued to record in New York City, doing jingles and things, but I was beginning to miss-pitch, because my tonal discrimination had been distorted in the left ear. When you’re in the studio and recording, of course, you’re wearing a headset. And in one ear you’re trying to hear yourself, and in the other you’re trying to hear the band. Well, now I only had one ear to work with. It became obvious to me that things were not going as well, but I still continued to pursue music. And in 1981, while painting my apartment, I had the exact same explosion in my right ear. By then, it was gone. I had almost no hearing at all. I had terrible vertigo and tinnitus in both ears – it was over. And I was 31.

What I did immediately – after seeing all the doctors I could see… I went out to the House Ear Institute in California, and I had a well-known ENT [ear, nose and throat specialist] here in New York. They were trying all kinds of things; they were putting me on steroids, thinking it was some kind of auto-immune thing. They weren’t sure what had happened, but it was very rare that it would be bilateral like that.

Three years later, I started losing my sight. Both retinas detached while I was driving home from a business trip. In 1983, with no music career, I decided to try and take care of my health – I became food crazy, basically, foods and health. And my hearing was improving enough in ‘83-’84, that I thought, “Maybe I could do this [music] again.” The interesting part of the story is that I took some of the money that I had made doing jingles, which was considerable, and I hired a producer friend of mine and went into the studio to cut four more tracks, probably late ’82/early ’83. They were excellent tracks but never got released because my hearing was essentially gone soon after that. But if you can imagine, my band was Paul Shaffer on piano; Lawrence Juber, from Wings, was my guitar player; Allan Schwartzberg was the drummer; Jimmy Malin, who passed away several years ago, was percussion; and Will Lee was on bass. These were friends of my producer, Bert Dovo. We were able to put together this very hot band to do a couple of tracks, and the four tracks were done but the songs were never released. So, I still have that music, and, in fact, I still have a lot of old music on tape of some things I’m thinking of doing.

In late 1984, I went to work for a natural food company and worked on the road for seven years. I was a sales manager for a natural food company in the Midwest, but I worked from Maine to Washington D.C., and literally was on the road three weeks out of four. In addition to selling food, I was also telling my story.

How would you compare the music you did with that band to your first record?

The biggest frustration for me is that I’ve never been able to evolve from that first album. Now, I always got good responses to the music back then, and when I listen to it now I cringe, because you think of all the things that you could do now. The other thing, I believe, is that what I can do vocally right now is far superior to what I could do back then – of course, I haven’t recorded in 30 years. So the frustration is that I don’t know how it would have evolved. The four songs I cut, I think, were definitely an evolution from where I was at that point – not that much different, but I think I started to develop a style. But it never progressed beyond that because I didn’t record after that period of time.

And one thing I want to make clear, because we hear a lot about musicians losing their hearing because of noise: As much as I would have liked to believe that that was the problem, there were several other factors that were never really eliminated that were involved here. Noise certainly could have exacerbated it, but most noise-related hearing loss takes the top off. I’d had this bizarre hearing loss that killed much of the lower tones. It was in part done either because of the blood vessels bursting or this auto-immune response – it really destroyed that [ability to hear lower tones]. I can hear about a third of the keyboard properly. The rest of it, I hear the over-rings, or I hear the third or the seventh; I don’t hear the dominant. So in trying to sing again – I can sit at the piano and sing and play, for the most part, pretty much on key. But if I were to try and sing live with a band, it would be nuts. I couldn’t do it.

You couldn’t focus or key in on anything.

Yeah. There would be too much interference, and my ears couldn’t translate it all – and I had perfect pitch. For me now, because I still have tinnitus in both ears, I already have musical tones in my ears that play 24 hours a day. So, hearing those, then hearing a keyboard and six other instruments and trying to find my voice in the middle of that would be pretty impossible.

At the same time, because of technology right now, I think it’s very possible that I could go into the studio – or even sit at my computer – I could probably record again. In fact, your call and other calls I’ve gotten over the last couple of years – I miss it very much. The thing I miss most – this is a nice long weekend – I’d love to sit in a club somewhere and sing for a couple of hours. But I couldn’t do it, because even with me just playing piano I couldn’t guarantee I would be on pitch the whole time. It would literally be, “What would you do if I sang out of key? Would you stand up and walk out on me?” [laughs] Well I think people would, you know?

That said, I could probably in a controlled situation and with technology that could adjust anything that’s not right, I could probably record again. But I could never go out and perform live again. So, I’m thinking with the Internet and everything, “Why not record an album and release it and sell it online?” If the music is good and people love it, and do that. So what if I can’t perform live?

There’s a lot to be said for playing music just for the joy of it, regardless of whether you ever play live.

You’re absolutely right. I would do it just ‘cause I enjoy it. But it is time consuming, and I do have enough music that I’ve already written that I can go in and just do that and not have to spend a lot of time writing new songs. But the one thing I’m trying not to do is assume that I can go back to that. Rather, I would say that’s another aspect of my life – it’s another part of my creative life. Now I write and speak and do a lot of other things that I enjoy very much. Music could be a nice piece of that. The music thing – your call and other people’s call tell me that it’s still there, and I still sing everyday – that would be a nice thing to do. My friend Don Puluse, who was a well-known recording engineer, recently retired, is still around and not far from me, in Boston. There’s probably ways we could put those things together. We’re not at that point, but given the technology I think that’s a possibility.

Let me ask you a question. What attracted you to my record? And it’s funny that you mention Jimmie Spheeris, because you’re not the only one… Jimmie Spheeris’ [first record Isle Of View] and mine, I think, came out about the same time.

Yeah, I bought that Jimmie Spheeris album and yours on the same day back in the early ‘90s. I was in this used record shop in St. Paul, MN, called The Landfill. I had never heard of either of you, but I bought both because they looked interesting and I recognized some of the session players that worked with you. I listened to the records and was blown away. I remember thinking, “Why haven’t I heard this before?” Who is Jimmie Spheeris? Who is Stu Nunnery? Your record label, Evolution, was one I didn’t know.

Did you know Neil Harbus?

No.

Neil Harbus was the artist on that label before I was signed, and he was produced by Neil Portnow, head of NARAS [National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences] now. Neil was a good friend, too…

How did you find me recently? Did you Google me?

I’ve been trying online to find you or some info about you for probably seven or so years. But no success.  Right now, I’m looking at an online acoustic guitar forum, and somebody wrote – this is in 2001 – “Anyone know how to play ‘Isle Of Debris’ by Stu Nunnery?’ Then he follows it up with, “Anyone ever heard of Stu Nunnery… besides me?” Then, an answer comes four years later: “If you’d like to chat, I was a hired musician that played with Stu Nunnery in about 1974/1975, or around there. I always considered him one of the most talented writer/composers that just didn’t make it.” He signs it as “Jack .”

Oh. That’s interesting. He was my bass player after I had left… his name is Jack Okolowicz. That’s right. I saw that, and Jack and I communicated about a year ago. He was my bass player between [my time with] Evolution Records and CBS Records – around 1974-75 when I was playing live.

Another thing: I’ve watched for 30 years as my records and sheet music have been sold all over the world by peddlers everywhere, and, of course, I haven’t seen a dime from that either. All the music that I did, I never saw one dime, which might sound like many other’s stories. I still have the tapes. I still own all that stuff and could re-release it tomorrow, and, frankly, I’m thinking about it. It’s intriguing to me.

Let’s talk about a few songs from your album. The lead-off Isle Of Debris” is a classic.

Rock Classic, at KSHE in St. Louis used to play it… it’s funny because my ex-wife is from St. Louis; I have friends in St. Louis. For some reason that song really stuck out there. Best story: We had been trying to download my music from the Web, and we’ve only found two songs. The songs were actually put to videos created by amateur video makers. If you go onto Youtube.com and search for Stu Nunnery, you’ll find videos for “Lady It\’s Time To Go” and “Isle Of Debris.” Two people – one in St. Louis and one in Brazil – apparently put their own videos to them. I’m wondering if people who are seeing those videos are saying, “Is this Stu Nunnery’s video of this song?” Or do they get that it’s Youtube?

A couple years ago, I was googling myself and saw an advertisement for Stu Nunnery’s first and second album. I never did a second album. I couldn’t find it again, but I’m wondering, did somebody record me playing live in a number of different places and cobble together some kind of an album? I don’t know.

Is “Sally From Syracuse” autobiographical?

[laughs] I think anybody that says any song is not autobiographical to some degree is a liar. It’s one of the adages of good writers to write about what you know. It was really inspired by a trip in the early ‘70s to see a friend in Syracuse, NY, with my wife, at the time. It was my blue period, when I was writing songs, and it just came to me. In many instances some songs write themselves. Well, this one pretty much did. And it was actually the song that got me my first recording contract. It had become a hit at country stations in New York City, where there are lawyers – I can’t remember the station there, but they used to get requests from lawyers all the time to play the song. [laughs] Which I thought was great. Autobiographical? No, not to the degree of detail, but inspired by a real event. I was interviewed soon after that – I went up to Syracuse, actually, I was asked to sing “The National Anthem” at a Syracuse football game, which I did not do. And then I got very disparaging letters from women in Syracuse, who thought that I was a sexist idiot. When I had to remind them that this was about a woman who took charge, not me, I threatened that my next record was going to be “Eunice From Utica.” [laughs]

The album arrangements are very interesting, and you had a great cast of backing players.

They were very interesting arrangements and were done by Paul Griffin – wonderful stuff. And if you look at the people who played on my album: “Buzzy” Feiten [bass], Hugh McCracken [guitar], Elliot Randall, the guitarist who did [Steely Dan’s] “Reelin’ In The Years,” Rick Marotta [drums], David Spinozza [guitar], John Tropea [guitar] – wonderful musicians – Eric Weisberg [fiddle]. He had just come off “Dueling Banjos.” And we had [fiddler] Kenny Kosek – just some great folks on this album, and they did a very good job. When I listen to it and hear all this great music around me, I realize how much I would have loved to be in that atmosphere again and again and again. It would have matured my music even more. I was still shooting pretty much from the hip on that first album.

Have you been approached by any labels wanting to reissue your album on compact disc? It never got a CD release, and it can be challenging to find a good vinyl copy.

I am now thinking about doing something with it. Maybe the thing to do, instead of going in to redo it – because how many times have you heard an album and said, “Shit. That’s not as good as the original.” I’ve heard James Taylor recut his songs, and sometimes they haven’t been as good as the originals. Or Gordon Lightfoot, who was one of my heroes back in those days, would recut some of his songs, but they didn’t have the same soul as the originals. Maybe not mess with the originals?

You mentioned earlier that you still sing everyday. How much, if any, songwriting did you carry on with?

Just before I lost my hearing I got into more – I’m not going to say spiritual music, but more music with some meaning to it. In fact, a couple songs that I wrote I’d very much like to release. I think they’re very strong songs as well. They’ve had that kind of soul to it, that I was moving toward. More global, universal-type stuff. I tend to write that way. In fact, a couple songs on my album – “Roads,” the very last song; “Isle Of Debris” – people always asked, “Where did that come from?” You know, they were kind of like cautionary tales, and here I was 25 years of age. Where did that come from? I have no idea. [laughs] But clearly that was part of my soul that was being expressed, and I think more of that would have come out. At the same time, I was good at writing clever songs and up-tempo things and love songs. I’ve written some jazz and other things, so I think there’s a lot there that could be done. Who knows, I may be sitting right here in front of my computer someday and composing, finding the software I need and working with a couple old bandmates, and putting some things together online.

I would think the pull would be strong to get back to writing.

Probably the main reason I didn’t go back into music was that I had no context after 1983. Since 1983, I have not heard anything that has been recorded. Yes, I’ve heard it on the radio, but I don’t know what key it’s in; I don’t know what the melody line is; I don’t know the chords; and I can barely make out the lyrics. So, I have no context for what contemporary music sounds like.

You’ve been frozen in a musical time capsule.

I think that’s true, but songwriters are from Mars anyway. [laughs] My job as a writer is to channel whatever comes through me and create some form. But I know that that form may not be contemporary sounding. It may be something that I’m holding onto or connected to. I have no context for what music’s been like for almost 30 years. I think I would get more out of reading lyrics, so if all I did was read lyrics of top songs for the last couple years, perhaps I could learn. But I’ve always been a good lyric writer, so I’m not sure that I would learn anything, because I’ve never had any reluctance or hesitation to what I could or would say. I’ve always tried to say something a little bit differently.

I’ve been a musical virgin for the last 30 years. I don’t know what Sting sounds like; I don’t know what Madonna sounds like; I didn’t hear any of Michael Jackson’s newer stuff. I have no context, so I couldn’t be derivative! [laughs]

{Stu Nunnery is the director of the Rhode Island Center for Agricultural Promotion and Education (RICAPE). You can read more about his work and the Center’s mission at http://www.rifarmways.org. Special thanks to Stu for sharing his story and letting me post his music. Let’s hope his album will get a long-overdue re-release very soon.}

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Moran November 3, 2008 at 1:30 am

Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Chris Moran

Starlene Lang November 3, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Hey Stu! I remember you from back when in the Berkshires. You sometimes sang with my husband Jim Lang. You were such an inspiration to all the musicians with your unique style and great talent. I am so sorry to hear of your physical problems, but that sure doesn’t hide your talents, least of all your great writing whether music or text. Give us more!
Star

Carl Ferris November 11, 2008 at 3:09 am

I was the bar manager of a place called The Spaghetti Factory in Pittsfield Ma and Stu played there many times, and each and every time the place was packed. I can’t believe people are not demanding more Stu Nunnery.

Wake up Pittsfield we want more Stu Nunnery!

And Hi. Starlene Lang I knew Jim, in fact Stu and Jim played at my apartment one night . Those were the days!

Shawn December 9, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Cool. I am going to search for Stu Nunnery’s record. I’m a huge Jimmie Spheeris fan and stumbled on this blog by accident. Great interview, thanks.

Debbie Nyberg December 15, 2008 at 4:51 am

I’m a K-SHE Classic Music Fan. I have the album. I wish I could get it on a cd. The music is incredible. Isle of Debris is one of my faves and will be for many years to come. Thank you for your great music.

Bob Martino December 17, 2008 at 6:11 am

I was one of the lucky ones to actually see Stu Nunnery in concert. Before that concert I had never heard of him. He was the warm up for Gordon Lightfoot I think. I m slure it was at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ back after the album was released. I remember that because after the concert I went out and bought it. My copy is still in good shape and I still play it as I’ve been listening to it for over 30 years. It is a great album. I’m glad I found this interview.

Pat Engle March 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Stu is credited with the music and words for “I’m Walkin’ Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA” on the Disney Sing Along Songs Disneyland Fun (available on Netflix). This came out in 1990. Did he write it earlier when his hearing was still good? Before 1983? Stu, do you have a “story” for this song and your work with Disney?

TW March 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Hi Pat,

I forwarded your question to Stu. Here’s his response:

I wrote words and music to “Main Street USA” in 1978 while writing for a “jingle house” in New York. Disney bought the song and there was supposed to be a rollout of the song in 1980 when Disneyland was to celebrate its 25th anniversary (1955). The song did not appear publicly until 1985 when Disneyland celebrated its 30th anniversary and it was sung on a TV special
by none other than Marie Osmond and a cast of characters. Since then, the song remains a parade theme at the parks, is sung by the barbershop a capella groups walking down Main Street at the parks and is one of the advertising themes for Disney Japan and Disney France, from which I occasionally get a check for about $240 for airplay.

Oh, and you can hear the song on Disney Sing-A-Long tapes that your kids might already have in their possession.

Jon Dubin April 11, 2009 at 10:53 am

I got to meet Stu and listen to a few of his songs and jingles live at my aunts house in the mid to late 70′s. he had been my cousin Ron Brachman’s roommate in college. It was his enthusiasm for life and music that kept me practicing guitar over the years. Thanks for the wonderful memories! And please release the album to cd, my copy is just about worn out.

bruce Gelb May 30, 2009 at 12:06 am

I found a very old tape made by Stu around 1973-4 when i was cleaning out old files of music. I hadn’t thought of Stu in a long time but this afternoon I thought i would google and see what i found. That fashionista that Stu mentioned in his interview introduced me to him and i thought I was hearing a great new American writer/perfomer so much so that I called a friend who was an icon in the “business”, the man who discovered Billie Holliday early in his career and later did the same for Bruce Springsteen, namely John Hammond, Benny Goodman’s brother in law. I made the introduction and Stu was on his way. So much so that Ham mond arranged for a recording contract and honestly believed that he had “done it again”. Unfortunately, Stu was just a young twenty something and had a kind oof “knoiw it all” attitude and so ticked off the folks at CBS (I was told) that they dropped him and I thought that was the end of a great dream. I never knew anything about Stu’s medical nightmare until this afternoon on line. I was partially blown away by Isle of Debris and thinking about the garbage (debris) that is clogging the airways today had to write this comment because I think there is still time for the world to hear that piece of music produced with the best of today and performed by a big name. In any case I wanted to let Stu know that his big talent fits today more than ever!

jim hutcheson June 21, 2009 at 5:53 am

yo
grew up in the early 70′s in the st. louis area
and now living in NE miss.area
your music is still as poinient to me as it was back then
thank god for thei internet
you know most of us never have that chance for eternity like you
have had
i will introduce every member of the younger generations that i can to the wonder of your music and the wide variety of the music from our time
i thank the big guy in the sky for you and all like you
jim

Brian Beckmann July 2, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I located Mr. Nunnery in 2004, I’d heard ‘Isle of Debris’ on K-SHE and it reminded me of something I’d wanted to do.

After locating him at RICAPE, -and a bit of communications back and forth- he graciously sent me the lyrics to the song as I’d been having more than a bit of difficulty in working out what they were.

I worked at the local NPR affiliate at the time so I took the record in and burned ‘Isle of Debris’ to computer and then onto a CD (WAV format) as, like most people, I only had it on LP. I have sent the song to several people who have posted requests (non-commercial) for it online.

I learned the song several years ago and posted it to a guitar tab website, strangely enough, I found the same comment you posted above: “Anyone know how to play ‘Isle Of Debris’ by Stu Nunnery?” and it prompted me to learn the guitar chords to the song.

The address for the tab is:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/s/stu_nunnery/isle_of_debris_crd.htm

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this interview with Stu Nunnery, thank you very much for doing it.

-Brian

Ed Freedman July 21, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I played drums with Stu, mainly at Princeton Univ., in the early 70s, and a bunch of my musician friends comprised the rest of his backing band. In fact, we made the demo on which the songs Madeleine, Sally from Syracuse, et al first appeared–at the Shaggy Dog Studio in the Berkshires, if memory serves. Somehow or other, this music fell into the right hands, and I accompanied Al Gorgoni (I can’t remember who else)–the future producer of the Stu Nunnery album–on a hunt for an appropriate studio to create the LP. We settled on a place not far from my parents’ home, in Fayeville, Mass.–a studio colony settled by people from NYC’s Electric Lady Land. When we first arrived there, Chip Douglas was recording “Just Call Me Angel in the Morning,” which became a hit for somebody else. Anyway, to make a short story even shorter, I and my bandmates were dropped from the project during the wait to record in favor of the illustrious session musicians that Stu mentions above. Stu and I did not speak again until we met, quite by accident (late 80s?), in the sleepy seaside village of Rockport, Mass. We had a nice little chat, but God knows what we talked about.

Maurice Whelan August 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Loved this album for over thirty years. Always wondered why a second never came. Thanks for providing me with the story. Stu you were great.

Clive Grantham August 20, 2009 at 6:35 am

When I met my ex-wife in Botswana in 1977, she had a 4 track cassette of Stu Nunnery’s album. She had bought it a couple of years before in a trading store in Mahalapye (a village in the east of the country), and had been listening to it avidly since – proved by the state of the tape…. I was also taken with the music, but really wanted to hear it in its original “unstretched” form
I had a contact Gallo Records in Johannesburg who, after some time, managed to get me an LP – I certainly was not disappointed when I listened to the clean recording – it was very good and it was different. I waited with enthusiasm for the next album, which of course never happened….
After several house moves the LP disappeared and I miss it to this day. I agree, it is high time it was released on CD, and re-released on vinyl too.
The interview was great and explains a lot. Thank you.

Amanda Simpson October 14, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I taped this album from my brother’s record over 25 years ago, so my tape is now stretched beyond it’s limit. Even if there is no second album (though it would be great), the first album recreated at it was would be much appreciated, and maybe provide the royalties to Stu. Not many people here in South Africa have heard of him, and it’s time they did! So nice to read the interview, and hear he’s still alive and kicking!

joel1974 February 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Seeing again this image of the album is very nostalgic for me. It was 1974, I was 16, and I just have to be content at looking at the album from a store window in, of all places, a southern city in the Philippines, as a couldn’t afford it. I heard of Stu’s music from a friend and simply got blown away from that time on. Somehow I later managed to secure copy of a 45 single (Madelanie/Sally from Syracuse) and must have probably worn it out beyond playability. I lost it as I moved around -but tried looking for Stu just to hear anything about him (I’ve probably been searching him since the internet was introduced. Now, almost 40 yrs later, I must thank you for this update. I’m saddened at what I’m hearing. I guess we abruptly lost an outstanding talent -too early, but in today’s technology, I think Stu can readily pick up everything and carry on. I absolutely love your music.

JustaWhisper August 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm

What a joy! A good friend of mine found this site and e-mailed it to me…knowing how very much I love Stu Nunnery. How cool to read the words of someone I’ve loved for so long, yet have never known. Like many of the posts I’ve just read, I’ve always wondered, “Why is his music not more widely known, or played?” *I happen to be one of those “KSHE” St. Louis girls. “Isle of Debris” has been my favorite song since the FIRST TIME I heard it. Such a tragedy, regarding the hearing issue. I have holes in both of my ear drums. With all of the new medical technology, it would seem something could be done to restore the hearing. Cochlear implants??
I’m just so happy that I’ve had the chance to know more about Mr. Nunnery. The enigma becomes a reality. I thought maybe he’d hit the road with Frank Serpico…never to be heard from again! A 1,000 words couldn’t describe what Isle of Debris means to me. And IF he ever reads these things, he would make me an extremely happy hippie chick and write me a “HELLO” at sukibbad@yahoo.com Stu, we need ya!! I’m one happy girl right now! Much love to Stu! Justa

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