It’s certainly one of the odder vehicles for a Top 20 hit…really, everything about it, including the group, the album and its very existence.
In the late ‘60s Southern conductor / composer / musician / author / artist, Tupper Saussy and Nashville singer, Don Gant formed The Neon Philharmonic, a psychedelic pop group that released its debut album in 1969. Described as a “Phonographic Opera” the album’s name was “The Moth Confesses” and there has been much debate over whether it or The Who’s “Tommy” (released the same year) was actually the very first “Rock Opera.”
Curiously, it was inspired by Samuel Barber’s three-act “Antony and Cleopatra” which The New York Times scathingly called a terrible opera. Saussy read the review and went to see the production because he wanted to see what a terrible opera looked like. He then conceived “The Moth Confesses,” centered around a single protagonist, and publicly offered it as a challenge for someone (anyone) to stage. Although no one ever took Saussy up on his challenge, today’s selection (the album’s fourth track) reached Number 17 on the Billboard charts.
Mornin’ girl, how’d ya’ sleep last night?
You’re several ages older now
Your eyes have started showin’ how
The little girl’s growin’ now
Mornin’ girl, was that you last night?
Crying on the radio
Beggin’ for a way to go
To go back where love wasn’t jumbled so
Oh no, things are different now than they were before
You know love is more than kisses
A whole lot more
Mornin’ girl, put your dreams away
And read your box of Cheerios
And powder-puff that pretty nose
And go out and find your man where the wild wind blows