Family Productions (Famous Music) – 1972

Lynn Carey – vocals
Neil Merryweather – bass and backing vocals
James Newton Howard – organ and piano
Coffi Hall – drums
Rick Gaxiola - guitar

Produced by Artie Ripp
Engineers – Bob Hughes, Michael Stone

Album Cover Concept – Neil Merryweather
Album Graphics – Fred Marcellino and Bill Levy
Photography – Front Cover Photo, Maria del Ré, Back Cover Photo, Ed Caraeff

Ain’t No Sunshine
Be Bad With Me
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
Candy Man
Mr. Invitation
Sister Sister
Can’t Find My Way Home
It’s Only A Dream

Family Productions (Famous Music) – 1973

Lynn Carey – vocals
Neil Merryweather – bass and backing vocals
James Newton Howard – organ, piano, Ionic synthesizer
Coffi Hall – drums and percussion
Alan Hurtz – electric and acoustic guitar

Produced by Neil Merryweather and James Vickers
Engineers – James E. Vickers, Craig Davis, Chuck Johnson, Bobby Ross

Album Design – Bill Levy
Photography – Hank Dunning

Give It Everything I’ve Got
I Wanna Be Your Woman
Life Is Just A Four Letter Word
Mama Never Told Me
Crazy Place
Dark Garden
From Bad To Worse
I’m Tired
In a nutshell …

After the “Merryweather & Carey” days, Neil put together a new band, took them into Paramount Studios and cut some demos featuring Lynn Carey on lead vocals.

Neil saw a restaurant called “Mama Lion’s” while driving in downtown LA and took the name for the new band.

He played the demos for manager Ken Mansfield, ex A&R for Verve Records (later became Waylon Jennings manager). Ken signed the band to a management deal and played the tapes for Artie Ripp who signed them to his new label called “Family Productions” (Famous Music).

When the organ player severely injured his arm, Neil found a new keyboard player named Jim Howard (James Newton Howard) and, Mama Lion recorded their first album at the Record Plant with Artie Ripp called “Preserve Wildlife”.

Neil produced Mama Lion’s second album “Give It Everything I Got”.

Neil starts the James Newton Howard solo project.

Friend and fellow label mate Billy Joel played on some of Neil’s new songs. At one of the sessions, Neil records a demo for Billy of his song “Piano Man”.

Neil leaves Mama Lion, Mama Lion breaks up shortly thereafter in Paris, France.

Want to know more? Click here to read more in Neil’s interview with Ruth McCartney.