Jazz and R&B guitarist Wilbert Longmire gained a bit of notice after he joined pianist Bob James's Tappan Zee label in 1978. Longmire and George Benson knew each other and it was Benson who brought him to the attention of James.
Longmire's third Tappan Zee release, With All My Love (1980), contained the radio friendly track Hawkeye, which scored some airplay.
Longmire had begun his recording career as a solo artist in 1969 with the LP Revolution for World Pacific, and the LP pictured above also predates Longmire's Tappan Zee signing. The Way We Were (1975) came out on Astra Records, but the minimal packaging and black-and-white cover indicate this was probably a private release.
Longmire is joined on The Way We Were by keyboardist Bill Mason, Billy Kaye, percussion, bassists Lee Tucker and Robert Evans, drummer Larry Langston and rhythm guitarist Mark Shulte. Longmire's playing on the title track reminds us just how beautiful this tune is.
The Way We Were
The Way We Were has never had a digital release and vinyl copies go for $40 and up on the collectors' market. However, two of Longmire's Tappen Zee albums, Champagne and With All My Love, have appeared on an import CD that's available from Amazon and other online sellers.
Longmire apparently has not recorded as a leader since his Tappen Zee days. As of 2011 he was living in the Cincinnati area and playing local gigs.
Here's the track that got Longmire some national attention in 1980.