Doctor's Orders (5:00)

Cover of Doctor's Orders: The Best of Carol Douglas

From Doctor's Orders: The Best of Carol Douglas and 38 other releases

The American version of “Doctor’s Orders” was recorded for Midland International who ran an ad in Showbiz magazine specifically to recruit a singer to cover Sunny’s UK hit for the US market: the successful applicant, Carol Douglas, was a veteran performer who had remained an unknown recording artist.

Douglas recalled when she first auditioned she was told “I sounded great, but too black. producers wanted to capture my more melodic Pop/commercial tones which undeniably made me sound white on the radio.”

Douglas’ version, recorded at Groove Sound Studio in New York City, was produced by Meco Monardo but because of contractual complications the production credit was assigned to Midland International vice-president Ed O’Loughlin. One of the players on the session was guitarist Jerry Friedman who according to Monardo invented the “bubble guitar” effect of “playing on a single muffled note” which would become a trademark of disco music as did the “gallop” effect provided by Carlos Martin pounding the conga with his fists.

In the autumn of 1974, Midland International issued test pressings of Douglas’ “Doctor’s Orders” to New York City discos where the positive response led to the track’s rush release that November, with 100,000 units being sold the first week — mostly in the New York City area — and sales of 200,000 reported by 30 November 1974, the date of the Billboard Hot 100 chart on which Douglas’ single debuted at #79 to debut on the Top 40 that December on its way to a #11 peak (#9 R&B) in February 1975.

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