Stephen Ambrose, Singer

I used to have an album by a singer named Stephen Ambrose.  No one ever heard of him except me and my sister, I think.  One song on the album was called “Tumbleweed”.  Our neighbor used to drive a truck and he had a delivery of albums to take somewhere.  Part of the delivery were these albums by Stephen Ambrose and he gave us one, even though they probably were not his to give as gifts.  We played it until it was all scratched up because we didn’t take care of it.  It was a great album and the lyrics were tender and sad.  

So if anyone has a copy or has even heard of Stephen Ambrose, contact me. I’m going to search the U.S. Copyright Office and see if I find anything there….. 

So I did some research at the U.S. Copyright site and I dug through my old record collection.  I have a copy of the album, but it’s so scratched.  I was reading the back cover and saw that Andrew Gold played acoustic guitar, so did Fred Carter, Jr, and David Powell.  Steel guitar was played by Ed Abner, who was also the engineer,  and Weldon Myrick.  Keyboards by Don Galucci, Bee Bee Cruiser and David Powell.  Bass by Kenny Edwards and Steve Schaffer.  Drums and percussion by Gene Farfin and Jerry Carrigan.  Mandolin and harmonica by Kenny Edwards.  Strings and flute, Manna.  Produced and arranged by Don Gallucci.  Executive Producer Ken Mansfield.  Produced by Larry Murray in Nashville.  So where are all these people?  Where is Stephen Ambrose?  He doesn’t show up when I Google him.  The mystery deepens.  The trail has gone cold.  1972-MGM Records. 

    http://www.copyright.gov/records/

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37 thoughts on “Stephen Ambrose, Singer

  1. Just thought you would want to know that Stephen got considerable airplay in the Hartford, CT radio market. I loved that album (and still have it in excellent shape), and played it on the air every chance I got.

    • Radioactv915 as Triage : I have my original beat up copy and a newer copy, in great shape, that I bought a few weeks ago from discogs. I was so pleased to find it

  2. LOL LOL LOL !!!! GARNET IF YOU EVER SEE THIS “WENDY PALM” FROM CD ASSOCIATES LOVES YOUR LIFE !!!! (And yours too Judith) !!!!!! SMOOCHIES !!!!

  3. Pingback: 2010 in review « Triage

  4. I’m amazed that this discussion goes on. I located a pristine copy of the original vinyl “Gypsy Moth” at Bongo — http://groovytunesday.com/refined.html
    I think he had two or three copies left.

    Let me add a bit to John B’s history of the recording. As he said, Stephen was able to get a contract with Barnaby records because of the two cuts we recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound–“Friend” and “Tumbleweed.” Jerry Masters was extraordinarily generous and gave us the many hours of studio time on spec–he got nothing out of it but the experience. After Stephen signed with Barnaby, we recorded my two songs, “Answer in the Rain” and “Safely Home” in Nashville. Fred Carter, Jr. (who also produced the “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album, played on the sessions and Larry Murray produced. Carter is possibly the best guitarist I ever had the privilege to work with.

    At that point the suits in LA decided we were spending too much money and didn’t have a single yet, so they moved the sessions to LA. My trip out there was great fun but unproductive musically, and from that point Don Galluci took over the project and I, being unwilling to sign with Barnaby, returned to Tennessee and stayed in school. Don’t read any bitterness into that–it was the right choice for both Stephen and me, and I’m still proud of the work we did.

    Many thanks to all of you who appreciate “Gypsy Moth.”

    • Safely Home is still one of my favorite songs, a true desert island disc and the best song on the album. Thank you for writing it. I put the song on cd compilations I make for friends and they come back asking me about that song and thanking me for turning them on to it. Hope you are having a good life.
      Jay Bartlett, Boston Mass

  5. Hi,
    I also had “Gypsy Moth” as a teen, and played it often. If you are a fan of Joni Mitchell, you will notice that the song “Gypsy Moth” is absolutely inspired by Joni’s “For Free”,”Blue”,and also other songs from Ladies of the Canyon. The piano is really ripped off Joni, and a great song.
    The opening song, Friend, sounds contemporary today. I still have a copy, and did find a download on Rapidshare the other day, and it’s searchable on the net. The download was copied from an LP (surface noise) but it can be turned into a CD if your computer has the software (easy). It was good to hear that LP again, without using my turntable!

  6. HELLO I AM JOHN B POWELL AND I WAS THE BASS PLAYER FOR SYVESTOR Y. OMING. I TOOK THE GROUP, STEVEN AMBROSE AND DAVID POWELL, TO THEIR FIRST RECORDING SESSION IN MUSCLE SHOALS, ALA. IT WAS FAME RECORDING STUDIO, THE PRODUCER WAS JERRY MASTERS. HE WORKED FOR RICK HALLM OWNER. I HAD BEEN DO SOME COMMERCIAL JINGLES THERE AND HAD MET THE CREW. I WAS GOING TO MARTIN COLLEGE WHERE I HOOKED UP WITH AMBROSE AND DAVID POWELL.
    WE WENT DOWN TO THE STUDIO AND RECORDED A SONG CALLED, “FRIENDS”, THAT AMBROSE HAD WRITTEN. THE PRODUCER, JERRY MASTERS THOUGHT WE HAD A HIT ON OUR HANDS, BUT JUST BEFORE THE RELEASE, ELTON JOHN CAME ON THE SCENE WITH HIS FIRST HIT AND IT WAS CALLED,”FRIEND”. IT KIND OF MESSED UP OUR WHOLE PLAN, AND THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR SYLEVTOR Y. OMING.
    DAVID TEACHES COLLEGE IN ROME, GA. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE STEVE IS. I STILL PLAY BASS 2 OR 3 NIGHTS A WEEK, WITH “LOADED OTIS”.

  7. hi my name is August, Stephen Ambrose is my Uncle, I was living with Stephen and Garnet in the late 90s. so i just did a completely random search to see if i could find my uncles album Gypsy Moth to show my Daughter . To my discovery i couldnt believe this forum page . If you would like to know more about his and his wife’s whereabouts or just bits of info i can be reached at darksheep@live.com . Also if someone can send me a link to where i can download the mp3 files of the album it would be great thx .

  8. What can I say… Steve and David were two of the most amazing talents I have ever had the pleasure to meet in my life! I was fortunate enough to have known them very well for 2 years at Martin Colleger from ’70 to ’72. Steve did have one of those voices that you would never forget. David could play anything back to you on guitar or piano after listening to it only once! His song lyrics and melodies still blow me away to this day. Gypsy Moth will always be a wonderful album and the music they created together will always carry me “safey home.”

  9. Went to Martin College in 1971 with both Stephen and David Powell. I was in the studio (perhaps Woodland Studios?) in Nashville for the recording of “Safely Home Like a River” (written by David) and one other song I don’t remember. It’s pretty awesome to read the names of all the players on the album that are so familiar now. I had no clue at the time. BTW, my copy of “Gypsy Moth” is very scratched as well.

  10. I met Stephen in 1972. We were both in at XXXX at the time. He used to play at (a place we knew). I remember, in particular, a song of his “Carolina” that he used to sing for me. He teamed up to play guitar with a fantastic musician named Mike Mallen. Stephen was a sensitive soul. I lost touch with him after awhile. I often wondered what happened to him. Funny thing, when I met him he had a little tiny dog tucked in his coat jacket close to his chest. He did love animals, that’s for sure. I always felt that the only way he could really let out his true feelings was through his music. Boy, I wish I had a copy of that album. I do fondly remember my experiences with him. He always reminded me of a male Joni Mitchell. Anyway — sorry to ramble. Peace.

  11. If anyone has a recording of the single from the album “Gypsy Moth” called “Friend” it would be great to hear it again. I never heard the entire album but that was a great song.

  12. was it on barnaby records? i think so… got it for $1.98 at a record store in johnson city, tn in about 75, when i was 14 or so… liked the song that went ‘seasons will make you and reasons will take you around and around and around’ (Which was, i think ‘ gypsy moth’) but LOVED ‘safely home like a river’, which went, let’s see now…. ‘winter is the only time i can write/ the kind of song i’m singing, tho’ it’s misty grey horizons are my only true home….’ and then the gorgeous, gorgeous chorus: “morning is a prayer/afternoon is rest/ but the night, oh, the night is only emptynesss…” … safely home like a river?

  13. was it on barnaby records? i think so… got it for $1.98 at a record store in johnson city, tn in about 75, when i was 14 or so… liked the song that went ‘seasons will make you and reasons will take you around and around and around’ (Which was, i think ‘ gypsy moth’) but LOVED ‘safely home like a river’, which went, let’s see now…. ‘winter is the only time i can write/ the kind of song i’m singing, tho’ it’s misty grey horizons are my only true home….’ and then the gorgeous, gorgeous chorus: “morning is a prayer/afternoon is rest/ but the night, oh, the night is only emptynesss…”

  14. Nice to see you yesterday, I do remember like yesterday when you had your 45 Birthday party downtown and I brought my daugther from Texas. You are major talented and I will never forget you or the band, hope you and Debbie are doing well. Am old and listening to John Lennon. Hope to see you soon.

  15. “Gypsy Moth” is one of my oldest vinyls I have.
    I was about 11 to 12 years old. I was still a teenager then 😉
    One of the best folks – album ever, and I think, the one and only record from Stephen Ambrose. He never made another one, or at least I have never seen another one from him.
    The issue of Gypsy Moth that I have is scratched , too 🙂
    Greetings from Germmany,
    Flo

  16. My name is David Powell. I went to school with Stephen, played in a band with him, wrote two of the songs on Gypsy Moth, and also played guitar & piano on it. The band Jim C heard at TTU was called Sylvester Wyoming and featured Stephen, bass player John B. Powell, and me. John B. still lives in Sparta, TN, still plays music three nights a week, and currently has my only copy of the album which he has been promising to digitize for about two years now. Working on that album was an astonishing experience that was fun and taught me a lot about music, the music business, and the world at large, but I consigned it to the distant past long ago. To hear it discussed now on the internet leaves me rather breathless. I have tried sporadically to locate Stephen over the years, and if anyone manages to find a contact point I would love to know. It sounds as if he still has the restless inventiveness I remember from those days.

  17. Stephen Ambrose of Gypsy Moth fame is alive and well. Stephen Ambrose has been involved in the development of in-ear hearing monitors since the early to mid 80s (has a patent). His patent of 1989 covers earphones and hearing aids. He may have others. He became interested when he felt the ones available were inadequate for musicians when they perform on stage.

    He has a company that is pioneering the development of these devices.

  18. I grew up in Cookeville, TN, and once double dated with Stephen and his then girlfriend (she was a friend of my girlfriend at the time). I saw him perform with David Powell and another guy in an acoustic band in the early 1970s at the Wesley Foundation at Tennessee Tech University. I have an old scratchy copy of GYPSY MOTH and still play it now and then. Very much of its time, but quite nice in its way. I’ve always wondered what happened to him.

  19. I just met Stephen and Garnet this last weekend for my mom’s birthday. He is my cousin and I had never met him before. Hi Dana, great seeing you at the folks 50th! I will make sure to get his info to you. For the others, I will let him know your interest in contacting him and will post his email with his permission.

  20. Interesting! I bought “Gypsy Moth” at a garage sale in Stockholm half a year ago, cost me about a dollar. I only bought it because the cover looked nice and 1972 was a great year in music.

    But it turned out to be one of my luckiest shots in record buying! The record is great! His music reminds me of Tim Buckley’s, but even better.

    Does anyone know if he’s made another album? It’s probably impossible to fins anyway, but still.

  21. Stephen is my cousin; I lived with him and Garnet in the mid-80’s in LA for a year. We’ve lost touch and I don’t know how to get hold of him, either. When his mother ( my aunt) died a couple of years ago, I’d heard they were working with some kind of orphanage out in the woods, but no details. He is amazingly talented as a guitarist, singer and inventor! He was always working on one brilliant idea or another.

    I don’t have a copy of his album (Gypsy Moth?- something like that) but have heard many of his songs. His only flaw may be that he’s too talented at too many things to sit still! Oh, he’s also a wiz with animals and can train dogs, ferrets and macaws to do anything. Garnet is very talented, as well, and a real doll.

    I would love to get in touch with him again and will check back here.

    • Dana!!!!Please email me then I’ll give you my phone#. I have talked to your Mom a couple of times. She is getting ready for Scott”s wedding. Are you going?

      Love, your cuz, Judith

  22. Around 1995/96 I worked with Stephen and Garnet at a company called CD Associates in Orange County California – I don’t know where he went from there – they may still know. Owner’s name is Bob Dobbin.

    This guy was there as well at the time: Mark Worthington, director of research and development for Irvine, CA-based CD Associates, Inc. (CDA).

    Bob it looks like has moved on.

  23. Stephen Ambrose and significant other, Garnet – musician turned inventor turned musician have most recently been residents of Colorado. The last time I spoke with Stephen, he said that they were going to be returning to California shortly as several of his inventions were about to “take off”. His is an incredible ability/gift and I do hope that I will have the chance to hear his music again.

  24. I went to school with both Stephen Ambrose and David Powell at Martin College in Pulaski, Tennessee. Both were excellent musicians, but I don’t know where they are now.

  25. i had a stephen ambrose record; i found it in the cutout bin at the local record store sometime around ’73/74. i loved the album; it might still be in my basement. i’ve also looked now and then for other things by him — but found nothing. of course, that was harder in the pre-internet days. great album. good luck digging anything up on him.

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