The American version of “Doctor’s Orders” was recorded for Midland International who ran an ad in Showbiz magazine specifically to recruit a singer to cover Sunny’s UK hit for the US market: the successful applicant, Carol Douglas, was a veteran performer who had remained an unknown recording artist.
Douglas recalled when she first auditioned she was told “I sounded great, but too black. [The track’s] producers wanted to capture my more melodic pop/commercial tones which undeniably made me sound white on the radio.” Although Douglas admitted to reservations about the song itself – (quote) “I really [would have] wanted a more soulful song” – she’d also recall “I felt the minute I heard the music that it was going to be something, and after hearing my voice on the track it was even more amazing…[It] did throw me off when they played me the [Sunny] version. So I had to approach [singing the song] in my own way.”
Douglas’ version, recorded at Groove Sound Studio in New York City, was produced by Meco Monardo but because of contractual complications the production credit was assigned to Midland International vice-president Ed O’Loughlin. One of the players on the session was guitarist Jerry Friedman who, according to Monardo, invented the “bubble guitar” effect of “playing on a single muffled note” which became a trademark of disco music, as did the “gallop” effect provided by Carlos Martin pounding the conga with his fists. Wiki