Thursday, August 19, 2021

Cinderella Sings

In this post, I want to give credit to a woman who was all but overlooked for having sung on many of the songs recorded, during the flurry of recording at The Father House in Los Angeles, and who could belt out a song with so much force and power with the most distinctive voice of all the other female singers.  Yet, she wasn't given any credit.  It's Cinderella's distinctive singing voice heard on How Long In Time and she sings the lead vocals on songs like Do Me and Sea Like Me.  Because the music that was made was marketed and sold as being The Source Family music; it made it that much easier for people to enter into licensing and distribution deals with record labels without having any kind of signed agreements in place with the individuals who actually wrote or performed on the songs.  That was the case with the box set that included every single album that was made and produced at The Father House when two former members of The Source Family negotiated a record deal with a Japanese record label without any agreements or even approval in place by any of the songwriters or musicians, and so those two individuals were paid thousands of dollars for that box set!  Ostensibly, the creation of The Source Foundation by two other former members was to supposedly protect the rights of the individual songwriters and musicians, but in reality ended up being just two people who also felt a sense of entitlement to take and use the music made at The Father House however they wanted and who entered into record deals.  So, because Stacie Altman, otherwise called Cinderella and later renamed Quintessence refused to sign any kind of agreement or release for any of the songs that featured her; she has never received any kind of recompense, and there were others.  The songs that I've included in this post were from an album released by Drag City titled Children of The Sixth Root Race specifically How Long In Time, Do Me and Sea Like Me on which you can hear Stacie's distinctive voice. Also unbelievably; the guy who put the album together neglected to include a photo of Stacie among the photos of those who performed on the album!  Below is the Source Foundation agreement that Stacie was advised by her lawyer not to sign.

Stacie, had she signed would have signed away all of her music rights for perpetuity ie forever to the two former members who had set up their own foundation, and so any of the musicians and singer/songwriters who didn't sign one of those foundation agreements were not compensated from any album sales which are still going on today.  As I've stated before in other posts; it was a friendly form of piracy by two people who simply took every recorded song from the early days of The Source Family recorded in the studio garage at The Father House and entered into marketing and distribution deals with record labels whether or not any of the singers/songwriters or musicians signed anything! 

But, enough about how the songwriters, singers and musicians who happened to be in The Source Family have been ripped off, because more than anything I wanted to finally give some recognition and credit to the woman called Cinderella, who sang her heart out with an intensity and vocal projection that few have and could easily sing with a rock band without even using a microphone.

Everyone who joined The Source Family had their own story to tell, but Stacie Altman had a particularly unique and interesting one.  Being the daughter of Hollywood actor and tv personality, Dick York thrust a very young girl into a wild and fast life like many kids of Hollywood actors.  Being young, beautiful and blond also made it that much easier for a young woman living in the Hollywood Hills to be thrust into a lifestyle that few other young people experienced in their early teens.  Stacie ended up joining The Brotherhood of The Source, after the handsome young man she had fallen in love with decided to join, and so in 1972 wanting to be with him; Stacie followed her future husband into The Brotherhood of The Source.  So, when female singers; primarily female backup singers were needed; Stacie's singing voice stood out more than any others, like on the song How Long In Time heard here.

But, because of the male dominated environment created by Jim Baker within his group/cult; the guy who wrote the songs that Stacie sang on wanted full credit and so her performances were merely seen as being supportive of the the main performers----the men in the group.  Things weren't much different in the supposedly new age/aquarian tribe of Jim Baker's than from how things were in the real world of recording where female backup singers were often overlooked.  But, even equally disheartening was when two music indie people involved with the production of Hair came to The Father House to hear the band dubbed The Spirit of '76 and were very interested in working with the band, and they were especially interested in Stacie, after hearing her sing.  But, Jim Baker told the two men that unless they proclaimed him to be their Earthly Spiritual Father; that he would not agree to anything.  The two men's response was no, and so Stacie along with the other band members missed out on what might have been a lucrative recording contract.  The same thing happened later to the band Breath, when Jim Baker refused a recording contract with A&M Records, because they were not willing to make it a Source Family contract giving him complete control over the money.

Here was Stacie singing a song titled Sea Like Me.

Here Stacie is belting out a song titled Do Me (although album credit was incorrectly given to Robin Baker).

Here is Stacie knocking it out of the ballpark with her powerful vocals on Lost Dead But Hoping.

Stacie was the dominate female voice heard on the song Godmen, although the woman hitting the high notes at the end were made by Michelle Scovern aka Aquariana.

Below is a photo of Stacie nursing her infant son, while singing alongside Les Adam aka Rhythm at the piano.  Reminds me of how Cyd Charisse was credited with not only able to dance as well as Fred Astaire, but backwards and in high heels.  Cinderella was able to nurse her infant son and take care of him, all while still singing in the band.

Photo below of Stacie named Cinderella by Jim Baker, a name which I find to be very fitting for the woman!  I wanted to add this Wikipedia definition of the name Cinderella: The word Cinderella has, by analogy, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognized: one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect.  

In 1991 Demi Moore posed nude and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair; and here was Stacie posing nude and pregnant back in 1973 outside the teepee located at The Father House; a brave trendsetter in her own right. 

Photo below of Stacie in Paia, Hawaii 1974 holding her infant son with his father, Alex seen behind.

Photo below taken on Maui 1975

Early family photos of Stacie seen looking sleepy to the left of her Mom in the one below.

Stacie ended up marrying the film director Robert Altman's oldest son, Michael perhaps because they both had famous parents and had experienced growing up in the Hollywood Hills, and so having that shared experience; they fell in love and were married for over twenty years having two extremely talented children together.
Anyway, I just wanted to acknowledge the musical contributions made by Stacie aka Cinderella aka Quintessence while she was in The Source Family and also give her some personal recognition.