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The Connells First Big Single

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Book signing Friday night December 21st at Lincoln Theatre

I had a soft spot in my heart for The Connells, back in the spring of 1987, before the release of their third LP, Boylan Heights, the band had come to WRDU in Raleigh for the day, and the program director, Michael Hughes, motioned me into his office. I walked in and found the band’s manager, Weed Mercer, as well as most of the band, sitting in chairs; some of the band sat on the floor. Mercer wanted our opinion of the first single from the album. You have to know what your local station thinks, because if you’re going to do the deal, you at least want your hometown station’s support—you gotta start somewhere, right?

doug mcmillan interview

Doug McMillan interview-The Hibernian summer of 2010
The song was “Over There,” and Mercer had brought two versions of the song—one had trumpets in it; the other didn’t. We all listened to both versions on a cassette, and clearly, I liked the trumpet version better as a single and told them so. They went with the trumpet version as the single, and Reece Jensen of the band later told me their decision was largely based on my opinion. As best as I can remember, that was the only time I ever influenced a single from any album, in any way. I am proud of that.