Interview with Geraldine of Geraldine & Ricky

Another post in an occasional series, where I track down the stories behind unusual album covers.

This time,TREES TALK TOO, the hit LP from Geraldine and Ricky.

Geraldine Funkel and Ricky Garr were an American Duo who had a number of quirky,minor hits between 1963 and 1965, (remember The Aint no flies on Dick and Fanny?) until a plane crash nearly ended their career and nearly killed Ricky. The duo were busy with a tour of Southern states when their single engined Cessna lost power and landed hard in a field. Geraldine was thrown clear and sustained leg injuries, but Ricky was trapped in the flaming wreckage. Doctors saved him, but could only rebuild his shattered body by reducing him in size and the use of extensive plastic surgery. Many say the pioneering work was used years later on Michael Jackson. The Trees Talk Too is a reference to the couple's early concern with green issues and HRH The Prince of Wales, to whom the album is dedicated. It has the well known chorus:

If I could be
a leafy tree
we could talk
just you and me
and save the world

Sadly, Ricky died last year, due to complications arising from his injuries and a dependence on homeopathic medicines. They have a son, Simon Garr - Funkel.

I met Geraldine at a Cliff Richard fan convention and concert. Apparently she is a big fan. When I asked her about the last years with Ricky, she told me,

"It was difficult. He just sat in a corner muttering to himself. Sometimes I think he couldn't do anything without a hand from me - his confidence was shot after the crash and because his voice had gone falsetto and Robin Gibb kept pestering him"

Geraldine has retired from full-time singing and runs "The International House of Flapjacks" in Oakland, Ca. I left Geraldine to go after Cliff. She was hoping to do a duet on "Livin' Doll", but first handed me a blueberry flapjack, which I thought was a nice touch.

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