Chelsea Lee or Eleanor Barooshian and Her Musical Cake
Chelsea Lee and the 1960s girl group The Cake
You have no doubt heard all about The Secret and the idea of the Law of Attraction, which basically says that we attract into our lives what we think about. I had been thinking about writing an article for Hub Pages about The Cake, who were a brilliant '60s girl group, and a funny thing happened next because a cake of the type you can eat got given to me.
I had gone to Italia in Bocca, a favourite local restaurant here, with my writer friend CJ Stone, who was on the island visiting, and after we had paid our bill the manager of the place gave me a large boxed lemon cake covered in icing. "Why did he do that?" my friend wanted to know. Well, it's because they know and like me here and it was a gift, I said. And also because it looks like the Law of Attraction is actually working for me but in a very strange way.
You Can Have Him by The Cake
Kevin Ayers and The Cake
I had quite recently become a friend of Chelsea Lee of the group The Cake, and she had discovered me at Kevin Ayers' site at Myspace. I have been a fan of Kevin's since the late '60s and so was excited to find out that Chelsea, who was formerly known as Eleanor Barooshian, not only knew Kevin but that he had written the song Eleanor's Cake (Which Ate Her) about and for her.
It was released on his album Joy of a Toy, which happens to be one of my favourite records, although I had never realised who this particular song was about.
The Cake started life in 1966 in New York and they sang R&B and what has been described as "baroque pop." Some of their most popular recordings, such as You Can Have Him, featured production that was similar in style to Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" that had been used on so many hits of the time.
In the case of the Cake's albums all the arrangements and production were by Harold Battiste. Unlike other girl groups of their day The Cake - who were made up of Eleanor Barooshian (now Chelsea Lee), Jeanette Jacobs and Barbara Morillo - wrote many of the songs they sang, as well as doing covers of R&B standards like Mockingbird.
The Cake only released two albums on Decca Records - The Cake (1967) and A Slice Of Cake (1968) - and both were recorded at the legendary Gold Star Recording Studios in Los Angeles.
Chelsea Lee had a part in the 1967 film You Are What You Eat, which was made by Peter Yarrow of the famous folk group Peter, Paul & Mary. In the movie Chelsea sings the Sonny & Cher hit I Got You, Babe with Tiny Tim as her duetting partner and with backing music by The Band.
Before The Cake broke up in 1968 they contributed backing vocals to Why Are We Sleeping? on the debut album of the Soft Machine, a psychedelic experimental British band, which Kevin Ayers had been a founder member of. After this Chelsea Lee and Jeanette Jacobs sang as backing vocalists with Dr John and The Nighttrippers and Ginger Baker's Airforce.
Chelsea Lee also recorded an LP in Japan with the bass-player Tetsu Yamauchi from the rock band Free, whilst Jeanette Jacobs went on to marry Chris Wood of the hit-making psychedelic pop group Traffic.
Moving forward many years in time to 2006, Chelsea Lee and Barbara Morillo reformed The Cake to perform at a one-off special Jimi Hendrix tribute concert in New York City. Jeanette Jacobs-Wood wasn't able to join them because tragically she had died in 1980, aged just 30. The Hendrix tribute show was organised by documentary film-maker, David J. Kramer.
Rev-Ola Records re-released both The Cake's Decca albums in 2007 and their songs are now enjoying a new lease of life.
After this slice of The Cake I hope you will be wanting more, and by the way, that lemon cake I was given was absolutely yummy!