Kubernik: David Chatfield and Harmony Records

Pictured (l-r): David Chatfield and John Stamos

2023 has seen the re-emergence of David Chatfield’s Southern California-based Harmony Records, it’s subsidiary Sound Image Records (both founded in 1981) and related publishing companies, Chatfield Music BMI, Southern California Music ASCAP, and By Sound Image Music BMI.

   David is a 36-year voting member of the Recording Academy and member of the Producer’s and Engineers’ Wing of the Recording Academy.

   Recently, Harvey Mason Jr., Recording Academy CEO, commented that; "David is a prolific creator and we are proud of his long-time membership in the academy." 

   Chatfield is a native of Los Angeles, graduate of Grant High School, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science University of Southern California, a law degree from the University of LaVerne, as well as certificates from USC Law Center in the Practical and Legal Aspects of the Music Business, and earned six certificates from UCLA Music Business Extension including personal management, concert promotion, radio programming, music marketing and promotion.

During November 2023 I conducted an interview with Chatfield.

The record label owner, producer, arranger, manager, and lawyer discussed his Harmony Records company and current production endeavors.

Q: During December you’ll be releasing a single, “Rearview Mirror,” from the band Destiny Forever featuring John Stamos. John is an actor and musician and his If You Would Have Told Me: A Memoir was an instant New York Times bestseller, debuting at number 4. Three-time Emmy Nominee and People’s Choice Award winner Stamos is a skilled drummer who has been working with the Beach Boys since 1985.   

A: Destiny was John’s first band, a trio with brothers Philip and David Bardowell. They have reunited as Destiny Forever featuring John Stamos. The band’s first music is being released on Harmony Records, which I produced and arranged. The first song “Rearview Mirror” has been in development since March and I produced the tracks at Grammy Award winning ES Audio studio in Glendale.  John has a very unique commercial/progressive playing style on “Rearview Mirror.” Like many others of my releases, the song features my recognizable harmonic California Sound (TM.)

I’m sure drummers will be recording YouTube videos to teach others how he played the song.  John said the recording session was “one of my favorite days yesterday.” 

Q: There has been a lot of growth and momentum with your various musical and recording endeavors as well as building your Harmony Records label and its Sound Image Records subsidiary. I'd like to discuss your winter 2023-24 plans and activities.

You are also very active in recordings by the legendary six-time Grammy winner Puerto Rican guitarist/singer Jose Feliciano, a 2021 National Medal of Arts recipient awarded by President Joe Biden.  Jose also was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2023 guitarist Feliciano joined Bad Bunny at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for a version of “La Canción” and “Yonaguni.”

A: I am remixing, remastering and releasing Jose Feliciano’s smooth jazz version of “God Bless the Child” (made popular by Billie Holiday and Blood, Sweat & Tears) to be released this November and I am currently remixing, remastering and releasing the featured song on the new Jose Feliciano EP coming in early 2024.

Q: The Jose Feliciano recordings are done in conjunction with Bob Conti, a noted producer/arranger, and percussionist, who was with Donna Summer for over a quarter of a century and toured extensively with Feliciano.  Bob has become a valuable part of your Harmony Records' vision. You've placed him as head of your International Music division. Tell me about the available and future Jose recordings you’re issuing. 

A: Currently streaming world-wide on all streaming services is my remix of “Sixty Years On”, featuring Jose’s great performance and Bob Conti’s great production of Elton John’s beautiful and meaningful song. The Video of “Sixty Years On” on YouTube is amazing, directed by Vladimir Gribul in Kyiv, Ukraine. Also streaming is Jose Feliciano’s performance of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, also originally produced by Bob Conti. The video of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” is the centerpiece of a peace and unity television special in planning for spring of 2024.

Q: Work continues on the musical group Steel Breeze. What a saga this band and yourself have been through together.

A: As chronicled by deejays Casey Kasem and Dick Clark, Kim Fowley and I discovered Steel Breeze’s demo of their hit “You Don’t Want Me Anymore” in a trash bag collected from Madame Wong’s nightclub in Los Angeles.

In late 2022, I started remixing, re-recording, editing and mastering dozens of Steel Breeze’s best (and many unreleased) songs. So far, the remixed recordings released have been streamed more than 3 million times by nearly 1 million listeners.

In November 2023, I am releasing a remix of “Who’s Gonna Love You Tonight”, recreating the feeling the song had when Steel Breeze played it on tour with The Who, Jefferson Starship, Joan Jett, Kansas, Hall and Oats, and several others. Also in November 2023, I will be releasing a new unplugged version of “You Don’t Want Me Anymore”. At the beginning of 2024 both an EP and a full album will be released with new focus tracks.

Q: You are also working on overdubs, remixing and remastering a group of songs for an EP for Tony Moore. One song has a planned released in 2023 and 4 more songs scheduled for an EP in 2024.

A: Tony Moore’s one man show Awake is currently running in the UK to rave reviews and will be the opening act for “British Lions” UK tour starting in January 2024. That tour sold out in 19 minutes! “British Lions” is a highly popular spin off from “Iron Maiden”. Tony Moore was an early member of “Iron Maiden” before joining “Cutting Crew” (“(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight.”

Q: You've just inked a multi-album relationship with Julian Shah-Tayler, a terrific singer/songwriter. Tell me about the recordings he’s done and will be doing for the label. I would also like to know about your collaborations with Julian.

A: Julian Shah-Tayler is a wonderfully talented singer/songwriter/performer who has great success both on streaming services (Spotify Number 4 on the New Wave Chart in 2022) and live performance, both in the US and Internationally. I recently traveled to Northern California to see Julian perform three different shows; one set featuring his original songs, one as “The Electric Duke” a tribute to David Bowie, and one as a member of “Strangelove: The Depeche Mode Experience.”

I have completed my work on a great song written and performed by Julian and produced by the well-respected engineer/producer Robert Margouleff (Stevie Wonder, Devo) called “Easy.

I am remixing some of Julian’s previous recordings and we are contemplating re-recording several more of fan favorites from Julian’s past releases and combining this all into a “Best Of” album. Robert Margouleff will be involved in what I believe will be a co-production with me of some of Julian’s best material. One or two singles should be released in 2023 with the balance of the album released in 2024.

Q: You have a long-term relationship with singer/performer David Aldo. Talk to me about his very interesting career.

A: David Aldo has had 7 #1 solo singles, was named Best Male Vocalist in South Africa and has toured the world opening for acts like Lionel Richie, and has fronted the Grammy winning and multi-platinum selling iconic group Blood Sweat & Tears. The South African born, now Los Angeles resident has built a career on hit singles, world tours performing with international superstars and being dubbed the “Artist To The Stars” by being the first call performer for celebrity clientele such as Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, James Caan, Clive Davis, Rod Stewart and Elton John as well as making his performances memorable around the world and from Beverly Hills to Newport Beach, California.

David’s single ‘When You Love Someone So Much’ debuted at No. 26 in South Africa on its first week of release and eventually reached the #2 spot on International Pop Charts in South Africa and other countries.

In the U.S., Canada and Australia the single “Grace” also garnered major radio airplay and debuted in the Top 30 in the United States. David’s single “Where’s The Good In Goodbye” became Aldo’s 6th international #1 single and “Grace” reached No. 1 shortly thereafter. David opened for Crosby, Stills and Nash and Natasha Beddingfield in New York. David has performed alongside Justin Bieber, John Mayer, Michael Bolton and David Foster to name a few.

David created the music for The Good News Girls TV talk show for Nigel Lythgoe (American Idol and Dancing with the Stars producer).

David supports multiple charities including “The Hisaoka Foundation” helping people living with Cancer, (having helped raise over 10 million dollars), and Project Child Save, bringing awareness and saving kidnapped children sold into the sex trafficking trade. David is endorsed by Taylor guitars, Ultimate Ears and Shure microphone systems.

I am releasing the tracks from David’s Sound Image recordings on Sound Image Records after remixing and remastering them. The first single, “I’ll Be There” is currently streaming world-wide. The second single, “Someday”, will be released in November 2023.

I am scheduled to remix and remaster releases from Sound Image Recording artists The Storm and Brickyard before the end of the year and am remixing a release and co-writing two more songs with South Bay artist KrisTEN on Harmony Records.

In addition to my work with Harmony Records, I have taken on a co-management role with Atlanta’s Billboard and TikTok charting artist Joie Grey who currently has more than 10million streams world-wide.

Photo below, from left to right: Destiny Forever member and former touring Beach Boy Philip Bardowell, Destiny Forever member John Stamos, producer David Chatfield, engineer Donny Baker, Destiny Forever Member David Bardowell.

     (Harvey Kubernik is the author of 20 books, including 2009’s Canyon Of Dreams: The Magic And The Music Of Laurel Canyon and 2014’s Turn Up The Radio! Rock, Pop and Roll In Los Angeles 1956-1972. He is the former West Coast Director of A&R for MCA Records, now Universal Music Enterprises. During 2006 Kubernik spoke at the special hearings initiated by The Library of Congress in Hollywood, California, discussing archiving practices and audiotape preservation. In 2017 Harvey appeared at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in their Distinguished Speakers Series). •