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Spectropop - Digest Number 1119

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 17 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: Remarkably short albums
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 
      2. Re: Royalties
           From: Rex Strother 
      3. Re: Short albums
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 
      4. Re: Carl Hall
           From: Dave Heasman 
      5. Re: When did rock & roll begin?
           From: Paul Bryant 
      6. Re: early Folk Rock
           From: Paul Bryant 
      7. Monkee Daydreams and the lot
           From: Albabe Gordon 
      8. Re: Sinatra concept albums
           From: Paul Bryant 
      9. Arthur Conley
           From: Nick Archer 
     10. Short albums & Knebworth Horror
           From: Watson Macblue 
     11. Re: When did rock & roll begin?
           From: Richard Havers 
     12. Re: Sinatra concept albums
           From: Steve Harvey 
     13. Re: The Four Minute Single
           From: Steve Harvey 
     14. What Was The First Rock and Roll Record?
           From: Albabe Gordon 
     15. Re: Royalties
           From: Mike Rashkow 
     16. Re: When did rock & roll begin?
           From: ehwimoweh 
     17. Re: Gay, Lesbian & Cross Gender GG songs
           From: JD Doyle 

Message: 1 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 21:43:36 -0000 From: Billy G. Spradlin Subject: Re: Remarkably short albums Michael wrote: > Wow, before I read your post I was going to nominate another > Dave Clark Five album as the shortest album of all time...The > entire 'Try Too Hard' album is just twenty minutes in length, > but it looks like they've beaten their own record! (I had > previously noticed that Side Two of their 'Coast To Coast' > album is less than ten minutes total.) If there was a band that cranked out the "product" for their American audience, it's gotta be the DC-5. How many LPs did they release a year? 4-5. 1-3 hits, filler tracks (though there were many gems) and then add the horrible fake stereo Epic added and no wonder critics didn't take them seriously. Then I think that's why music evolved so lightning fast through the 60s - major artists were under pressure to crank out 3-to-5 albums and 6 singles a year. The best British Invasion groups evolved from doing R&B cover versions into writing thier own material and finding their own style. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 14:59:17 -0700 From: Rex Strother Subject: Re: Royalties Dan Hughes wrote: > As of Jan 1, 2004, the ASCAP composers' royalties will be 8.5 cents per > song, or 1.65 cents per minute, whichever is greater (so a song longer > than five minutes will earn more money). This is for each song on a CD, > so if a CD has 12 tracks (typical?) all composed by the artist, the > artist earns $1.02 per CD sold for writing (this is in addition to the > royalties the artist gets for being the performer). As explained by Dan, mechanical royalty rates in the U.S. (royalties paid to a composer for each CD, album, cassette, 45, DVD [if an audio-only track]) are set by Congress. For a very long time, this was $.02 per song, but it is now increased each year or two, and in 2004, the rate is $.085 per song per unit sold (or $.0165 per minute, for songs over 5 minutes in length). Of course, this royalty amount is then split between the publisher and the songwriter(s), usually 50/50. The owner of the copyright (whether the publisher or, if self-published, the songwriter) can actually accept any rate which they are willing to negotiate - and asking only 75% of statutory rate is common on re-releases, etc. Of course, negotiating your own rate can cause problems - as the Eagles discovered when they set their 1970s contract rate at $.02 per song, rather than choosing "the statutory rate" (which would have increased). In 2000, they were still getting $.02 per song, rather than the "new" rate of $.075. They took that to court. So, for a 12 song CD released by a U.S. company, the issuer must pony up $1.02 in royalties for the various songs' composers (assuming a public domain song wasn't covered in there somewhere), which is usually paid to Harry Fox (a mechanical rights agency favored by many U.S. publishers). This $1.02 amount covers only the song royalties, not artist royalties which are different. Many record labels in the U.S. like to add a restriction to album agreements insisting that they will only pay the mechanical royalties on a maximum of 12 songs - so if the artist wants to release 15 or more songs, those go unpaid. This obviously discourages high track listings! In the U.K., the mechanical royalties for songwriters are a set amount for the whole disc; in 2004, the amount is calculated as 8.5% of the wholesale price of the CD. If an album sells for $10.00 wholesale, $.85 goes to the songwriters and that amount is sent to MCPS (the mechanical rights agency in U.K.) to be divvied up and sent here and there to the various publishers/songwriters. But this amount is divided among all the songs on the CD (portioned according to the time length of each song; my 3 minute song gets 50% "more" than your 2 minute song). Fill the CD to the brim with 25 tracks, the fans get more tracks at no extra cost, but the songwriters each get a smaller take. Still, with obscure songs, it's better for a songwriter to get something than nothing, eh? All this only covers songwriter royalties, as there is also the matter of licensing the "master" recordings which you want to release (if you are issuing a compilation of "Greatest Hits of 1956" or "Songs That Sound Like Donovan"). Each label expects a royalty for their "master sound recording" and unfortunately, this is not a set rate. Thus some songs are unapproachable in cost and must be left off compilations. Or the master's ownership is in question - and it ain't worth the legal wrangling, bad blood, deep research, etc. And the copyright on a sound recording lasts a huge length of time, usually a minimum of 95 years. Until then, the "master" remains the property of the label (usually). Now, in the U.K. and other European countries, a copyright term of only 50 years is recognized. Thus, recordings after 1953 are fair game for re-release WITHOUT licensing (although royalties to the songwriter are still necessary). This makes it possible for U.K. labels to release some great oldies music which the U.S. is hiding in its vaults. What artists get paid by their labels for their contribution to the master (whether they wrote the song or not) isn't considered here as it's extremely negotiable. Nor are performance royalties (radio play) or synchronization fees (up front fees to use a song in conjunction with a video image - a la commercials by Reebok). Fun, eh? And this is hardly in-depth. It is not hard to see why artists and songwriters are so easily screwed out of money in the past and today! Rex -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 22:02:59 -0000 From: Billy G. Spradlin Subject: Re: Short albums Dan Hughes wrote: > The Dave Clark 5 was on Epic in the US, and Epic limited > themselves to ten songs per album on their British reissues. > So the DC5 and Donovan albums were always short. (Who else > was on Epic?) The Yardbirds, Tremeloes, and The Hollies (starting with "Carrie Anne" in 1967) were the best known UK groups on Epic. > I always thought that strange, because Columbia - which owned > Epic - had no such limitation. My guess Epic had a different philosophy about how to package albums. Perhaps after they sold millions of DC-5 albums they decided every UK artist must get the same "treatment". I dont have a LP around but some Epic albums have a "prepared for the USA by.." statement on the back. I bet it was some old MOR loving geezer who didnt care about what songs went on and just tossed these albums together! I have always read that Epic was designed to be CBS's "poor sister" label - like Atco was to Atlantic or Tower was to Capitol. Maybe a tax write off too. Epic was the first CBS label to release Rock N Roll (I think Link Wray was the first) because Mitch Murry hated it and wouldnt put that kind of music on the higher profile and "classier" Columbia. Billy G. Spradlin -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 21:53:28 -0000 From: Dave Heasman Subject: Re: Carl Hall Phil Milstein: > Talk about my ignorance -- I am embarrassed to say I have never > before heard of this cat who so many of you attest to having the > greatest voice of them all. Can we get a (witness!) brief > overview of his career, or should we check the Archives for that? Being lazy now and not getting up to the loft to check the vinyl, but was it Carl Hall who did "You Don't Know What Love Is" on Loma? Someone did, and it was blinding... -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 14:10:23 -0800 (PST) From: Paul Bryant Subject: Re: When did rock & roll begin? Richard Havers: > But Paul, when did rock and roll begin? > > There is a good case to be made for its genesis in the late 40s, well > before 'Rocket 88' (1951). Similarly if you listen to Western Swing > you here some elements of skiffle and folk rock; and the blues are > never too far away from all three. In truth I don't think it matters > a whole hell of a lot. All these terms are just marketing men trying > to pigeon hole things. It's a convenient way of establishing a new > phenomenon. I beg to differ here. I believe that folk or pop culture is formed by two big things pushing in opposite directions. On the one hand, people invent their own thing (for instance, blues), or more commonly, they take an existing thing and modify it out of all recognition (for instance, rock & roll). Once some new thing is out there among the people, the marketing men (like that marketing genius Ralph Peer) do their best to corral these new beasts into neat paddocks and sell them back to the people (like Columbia proclaiming in 1969 that they had the best revolutionaries on their label!) So I believe it's a two-way street. Sometimes, yes, a trend is wholly created by the companies and marketed either well or badly to their intended target (say, girl groups in the early 60s, or boy bands in the 90s). Mostly, the companies are trying to catch hold of something which is always a just little out of reach. So pop culture is what happens when these two forces push against each other. Rap is a great example of this. > Skiffle, it could be argued, started out in the late 20s.... > > "Hello Folks. We are gathered here to do the > Hometown skiffle Everybody > shake that thing." > > In 1929 Blind Lemon Jefferson and other stars of the Paramount label > made what has been described as the first sampler record. It was > entitled Hometown Skiffle by the Paramount All Stars. The label of the > record credits Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Will Ezell, Charlie > Spand, Papa Charlie Jackson and the Hokum Boys. The Hokum Boys were > made up of the others plus Alex Hill and Georgia Tom Dorsey. The > record has one or two choruses of a number of the artists best known > records. It is the first known mention of the word Skiffle. At that point the home made sound of skiffle was one strand amongst many of the amazing black music mosaic of the late 20s. The skiffle craze of the 50s in Britain was a whole thing all by itself, British kids making a rough and ready home-made music based on second- or third-hand versions of American folk songs for the first time. Elvis and Lonnie exploded into the grim lives of British teenagers in 1956. Elvis was the King, but he was remote, god-like. But Lonnie showed them that you could do it yourself. And this was inspirational. It inspired John & Paul anyway. pb -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 14:14:25 -0800 (PST) From: Paul Bryant Subject: Re: early Folk Rock Cannot forget the Springfields, and the indelible opening line of their big hit "Island of Dreams": "I wandered the streets and the gay crowded places" pb -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 7 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 15:02:29 -0800 From: Albabe Gordon Subject: Monkee Daydreams and the lot From: Phil Milstein, Subject: I dream of Monkees > I had a most Spectropop dream last night. It was of one of the > musical segments of The Monkees TV show, for a song I could not > identify. In it, Davy was finally pushed over the edge by being > allowed only to sing a little and shake the occasional maraca or > tambourine. In his frustration, and with Peter off playing > keyboards, Davy picked up his bass and played wild one-finger runs > up and down the fretboard. The oddest part (besides the fact that > no one stopped him) is that these bass runs exactly matched the > soundtrack, nd thus this unnamed song was the one example of them > playing "live" on their TV show. No one need tell me I need > professional help, as I'm already well aware of that fact. Of course you know, Phil, that is almost exactly what happened with the first Television broadcast version of "Pleasant Valley Sunday." The story as it appears in Marky Pazorsky's great Monkees tell-all encyclopedia, is that Davy was bass-sincing to the pre-recorded version of said tune, and being incredibly bored, was reminiscing about that crazy night when he was just a lad, and appeared live on the Ed Sullivan show with the Beatles. Marky takes it up here: "As every Monkees fan knows, Davy is very allergic to seafood and garlic croutons, and while waiting for his sissy bit on Ed's show, was unknowingly having a severe reaction after someone had mixed some anchovy paste into his Blood Pie. He was a bit tipsy and made a pass at Ed, which pissed Ed off a bit, but which also gave him the idea to dress Davy up as a mouse-hand-puppet and make fun of him on national TV. After becoming more coherent while leaving his anchovy-induced psychedelic state, Davy realized his faux pas and introduced Ed to Rolf Harris and his little mouse Pepino. Of course that didn't work for Ed either. Ed had decided his show needed a mouse hand puppet... bad. But that's another story. So years later, during the afore-mentioned Davy-Daydream - after the Monkees had become a house-hold name - it seems Davy had accidentally eaten some lobster-flavoured breakfast cereal (Captain Claws) that fateful morning. In this rehash of his last out-of-body state with Eddy from years ago, Davy started to "freak-out" while the Monkees were lip-sincing to that previously recorded "Pleasant Valet Sunday" (as it was originally titled) track. Davy, under the colourful influence of the lobster-Captain, improvised his now-famous insane-but -dazzlingly adept bass solo - shifting keys and time-signatures more that a few times on a bass guitar tuned down to Eb - with Ms. Kaye looking on, who was a guest of the studio and only an amazing jazz guitar player at the time. Mike, dressed as the congenial Limo driver (hence the songs original title), dashed off the set and flipped on the Studer 4-track that was always kept primed and ready for such likely melodiously-masterful Monkee musical occurrences, and poof<... there it is. A few days later, the boys added the background and new vocal parts to Davy's amazing solo, and a timeless hit was born. It is also widely known that the first televised version of this very episode was the flash-point in Jaco Pastorius' childhood that started his life-long obsessive interest in the harmonica. ...need... more... coffee. ~albabe PS: Oh yea. The Monkees Season Two box set is supposedly out today. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 8 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 14:24:39 -0800 (PST) From: Paul Bryant Subject: Re: Sinatra concept albums Richard Havers on Frank Sinatra's "Watertown" LP: > ...The measure of its commercial failure is in the fact that over > 400,000 were pressed at the time and it sold around 35,000, which > was about 40% of A Man Alone; Sinatra's previous album. It became > his third album in succession to do better in Britain than America. > One aspect of Watertown’s failure was its lack of obvious single > material. As a concept album it was very definitely the sum of its > parts. So this sounds like the second concept album in one years to fail spectacularly in which Bob Gaudio had a major hand - the other was "Genuine Imitation Life gazette" by the 4 Seasons - this also divides fans. pb -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 9 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 17:48:58 -0600 From: Nick Archer Subject: Arthur Conley There's a nice tribute piece to Arthur Conley at this link:,2933,103361,00.html Arthur was one of my favorites. I'd put "Funky Street" on my top ten singles of all time. In fact, I think I'll go play it right now. Nick Archer -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 10 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 15:53:22 -0800 (PST) From: Watson Macblue Subject: Short albums & Knebworth Horror Shortest LP side I ever came across wasn't on a popular title at all, but on a classical LP - side 4 of Henze's Raft of the Medusa, issued in 1971. This came in at an insulting 3 mins 55 secs - shorter than many singles. Full-price LP, too. You can now get the whole of the same piece on a single CD with room to spare. There was just under an inch of playing surface, then a run-off groove you could hold a party on. If the Beatles had tried that, there would have been a riot, and quite right too. albabe writes: > For any Beach Boy fans. If you haven't checked out the DVD of the > "Beach Boys: Good Timin' at Knebworth England 1980" you're missing a > really great experience. It's brimming with nice recordings and > performances of some really fantastic songs and harmonies. One song > by Al Jardine called Lady Lynda has an amazing acapella break that > gave me chills. Dennis plays drums, and what he lacks in finesse, he > more than makes up for in strength. He really beats the crap outta > those skins. Carl, as usual, sings like a gutsy yet gossamer rock and > roll angel. Brian sings okay but looks pretty spaced-out. And Mike > does his usual snitty Bantam Rooster impersonation. Well, it's certainly of interest - especially if you were actually there, in which case it's a very weird experience indeed. To describe the sound as "sweetened" barely does it justice; there are so many postdubs that the film looks out of synch for long portions, or a particularly splashy lip-synch. The raw live tape (now a prize Christmas party exhibit at a certain London radio station) is staggeringly bad. Dennis's drumming is doubled (or just plain played) throughout by Bobby Figueroa, who is kept disgracefully, misleadingly out of shot (this was before he was hauled off stage mid-concert by INS thugs, of course). Check out Brian's piano, which was not plugged into anything; on the very few occasions you can see his hands, he's playing something entirely different from what you're hearing. As he was at his barely-credible worst at the time, the unplugged approach was probably wise. This was his piano-bench-throwing period, after all. And here we are now, 23 years on. Carl and Dennis are gone, Al is doing his "Beach Boys Family To Support" number after being fired, Bruce is doing The Weakest Link (oh, don't go there), Brian is getting Fugue-Like Feels in Leafland. But worst of all, Mike is still Mike. And here's a band out there who swear they're the Beach Boys. Aaargh!! Watson -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 11 Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 00:31:30 +0000 From: Richard Havers Subject: Re: When did rock & roll begin? Paul Bryant wrote: > I beg to differ here. I believe that folk or pop culture is formed by > two big things pushing in opposite directions. I don't really think you were least I don't with you! The point is as I said, it doesn't really matter what it's called. Most of us on S'pop like 'Sunshine pop', and I'm damned if I can really define it.....but I know it when I hear it and I like most of it. > At that point the home made sound of skiffle was one strand amongst > many of the amazing black music mosaic of the late 20s. The skiffle > craze of the 50s in Britain was a whole thing all by itself, British > kids making a rough and ready home-made music based on second- or > third-hand versions of American folk songs for the first time. Elvis > and Lonnie exploded into the grim lives of British teenagers in 1956.  > Elvis was the King, but he was remote, god-like. But Lonnie showed > them that you could do it yourself. And this was inspirational. It > inspired John & Paul anyway. I think you were making the point I was making....that skiffle is essentially a home-made sound. You can't get much more homemade than a guy blowing over a whiskey jug! I agree it was just one element of black music, and jug bands were another, and there is a direct line back from 50s skiffle to what was going on pre-war. It was what Lonnie was listening to, amongst other things. Lonnie was a huge star, and a huge influence on just about every early 60s beat band. The trouble was he drifted from his heartland and that's when he lost it. All in all Paul I totally agree......Lonnie was a giant figure in British music. An unsung player in all this is Chris Barber, he tends to be forgotten about. He was instrumental in bringing Muddy Waters to the UK. As the quote from Alexis Korner in my last post indicated he was another who played their part. He was a great catalyst. We should probably call a halt to our private debate, it's probably boring most of the list! Richard -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 12 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 16:47:00 -0800 (PST) From: Steve Harvey Subject: Re: Sinatra concept albums I remember my mom getting "Watertown" out of some bargin buin in the early 1970s. This explains it. Will have to swipe it next time I'm over at her house. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 13 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 16:51:07 -0800 (PST) From: Steve Harvey Subject: Re: The Four Minute Single I have a promo of "Like A Rolling Stone", white label Bob disc. It fades out under three minutes. You have to flip it over where it fades in and ends on that side. Evidently the folks at CBS weren't sure 5 minutes of Bob was going to go over. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 14 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 17:15:24 -0800 From: Albabe Gordon Subject: What Was The First Rock and Roll Record? Richard Havers: > But Paul, when did rock and roll begin? Forgive me for butting in, but... It's a mystery. But for the perversely inquiring minds (like mine), check out this good book. What Was The First Rock and Roll Record? Jim Dawson and Steve Propes ISBN: 0-571-12939-0 (paper) 50 possibilities are outlined and dissected in great detail in this tome, all with good reason to be called "The First." There are also a few detailed posts about the contents of this book, way back in the early S'Pop days. Do a search... sigh... our baby has grown up. ~albabe -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 15 Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 20:16:43 EST From: Mike Rashkow Subject: Re: Royalties Dan Hughes: > As of Jan 1, 2004, the ASCAP composers' royalties will be 8.5 cents per > song, or 1.65 cents per minute, whichever is greater (so a song longer > than five minutes will earn more money). This is for each song on a CD, > so if a CD has 12 tracks (typical?) all composed by the artist, the > artist earns $1.02 per CD sold for writing (this is in addition to the > royalties the artist gets for being the performer). I was definitely born too late--and with the wrong licensing society. And Rex, You an attorney??? -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 16 Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 01:21:32 -0000 From: ehwimoweh Subject: Re: When did rock & roll begin? Anyone who tries to tell you what the first "rock and roll" record is, is either a ignorant fool or a liar. "Rock and Roll" didn't begin with any one recording. It evolved out of other already established formats, which had evolved out of earlier unpegged (at the time) forms of music. The term was coined to describe a distinctive change in music that had already taken place, and the feelings it evoked and inspired. To pin it on a single recording would be impossible. It's roots would carry to almost the beginning of recorded sound. I'm sure there were elements in many early recordings that many could take as being "rock and roll", but since the term didn't yet exist, other names were applied. That is not to say that the same intent was not present. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 17 Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 02:04:02 -0000 From: JD Doyle Subject: Re: Gay, Lesbian & Cross Gender GG songs Me: > Naturally my additional motive is to spur some posts and have folks > tell me of all the ones I've overlooked...:) Please, Please do that..:) Bill George: > Jackie DeShannon recorded several demos from a "boy's" perspective. > And in another way, Lisa Hartman recorded a song called "Johnny's > Always On My Mind" about falling in love with a gay guy. Kind of like > "Johnny Are You Queer Boy" by Josie Cotton. Thanks, Bill....yeah, I knew about the DeShannon demos, but not the Lisa Hartman song...and, gee, with google's help, found it immediately on Lisa's site, with lyrics and you can stream the whole song...:) I love this, folks, Please let me know of other obscure queer songs...:) JD Doyle -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------

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