RUSSELL MORRIS
Rachel
(Raymond Froggatt)
Australia 1969
#10 Melbourne #10 Perth

Original version?

Single on Columbia December 1969, charted 1970.

Russell Morris is a Melbourne singer-songwriter best known for The Real Thing (1969), previously lead singer of Somebody's Image. He now tours frequently with fellow Australian music legend Brian Cadd.

Russell Morris first recorded Rachel in London but was unhappy with the result and re-recorded it late in 1969 upon his return to Australia.1

Rachel was written by British singer and composer Raymond Froggatt (b.1941) who, in the mid-60s, formed The Monopoly with fellow Birmingham musicians, later called The Raymond Froggatt Band. (Guitarist Hartley "H" Cain was still touring with Raymond Froggatt in 2008.)

Signed to Polydor, the band's singles included Froggatt's composition Callow-La-Vita (1968), also known as Red Balloon, a hit when covered by the Dave Clark Five (1968, #7 UK).  Raymond Froggatt has since followed a long and varied career as a solo performer and songwriter: he wrote Cliff Richard's 1969 hit Big Ship, for example. An associate of such luminaries of the Birmingham scene as Robert Plant and the Move-ELO-Wizzard circle, Froggatt has inspired a dedicated following of frog-carrying fans for whom he is Froggie.

The theme of Rachel is the horrors of war as told in a letter home from a battle zone hospital. It was released during Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, and Australians made the connection, but it is unclear to me whether Froggatt had in mind that specific conflict - which Britain was not involved in - or war in general. 

References, further reading:
1. Russell Morris biography and discography at Milesago.
2. RussellMorris.com
3. Raymond Froggatt Band's MySpace page.
4. Raymond-Froggatt.com
5. Raymond Froggatt/Monopoly singles discography at 45rpm.co.uk.
6. All Music Guide biography of Raymond Froggatt.
7. Raymond Froggatt - Callow-La-Vita (Red Balloon) at YouTube.
8. Hartley-Cain.com
9. Dave Clark Five - Red Balloon at YouTube.

Later versions:

BRIAN CADD & RUSSELL MORRIS
Rachel
(Raymond Froggatt)
Australia 2007
Later version

On album Live At The Con, recorded in 2007 with the Queensland Conservatorium Orchestra.

Australian singer-songwriter Brian Cadd, as a member of The Groop, contributed to the backing on Russell Morris's 1969 hit The Real Thing. These days, Cadd and Morris frequently tour together.

Further reading: 1. The Brian Cadd page at Milesago. 2. Wikipedia article on Brian Cadd. 3. BrianCadd.com

JOHN SCHUMANN AND THE VAGABOND CREW
Rachel
(Raymond Froggatt)
Australia 2008
Later version

Track on Behind the Lines (2008), an album of songs with a war theme released by ABC (link). John Schumann was lead singer and songwriter of Redgum, best known for their Vietnam war classic I Was Only Nineteen (1983).

Further reading: Schumann.com.au

JOAN BAEZ(?)
Rachel's Comin' Home(?)

Unconfirmed version

Oldies.com (citing Colin Larkin's Encyclopedia of Popular Music) mentions Rachel's Comin' Home by Joan Baez as a Raymond Froggatt composition. (The title matches the refrain of Russell Morris's recording.)

Rachel's Comin' Home is not on the song list at JoanBaez.com, and the site's discographer tells me she is unaware of any Joan Baez song with that title or lyric.

Thanks to Nancy at JoanBaez.com.

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.