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Spectropop - Digest Number 1154

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 14 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: "Kumbaya"
           From: Bill Brown 
      2. Re: Zager and Evans - One Hit Wonders? The Saga!
           From: Clark Besch 
      3. Re: The first song to use a synthesizer
           From: Ron Sauer 
      4. Re: British Invasion redux / The Manfreds
           From: Ken Mortimer 
      5. Jean Shepherd
           From: Mike Rashkow 
      6. Re: The first song to use a synthesizer
           From: Art Longmire 
      7. Re: Zager and Evans - The Saga
           From: Art Longmire 
      8. Re: The first song to use a synthesizer
           From: James Botticelli 
      9. Re: Jimmy Webb
           From: Artie Wayne 
     10. Re: Sound Of Silence / Tom Wilson
           From: Artie Wayne 
     11. Re: Bootleg - Master Use Licenses
           From: Mike Rashkow 
     12. Re: Charlotte Russe
           From: Artie Wayne 
     13. Vintage records in N.Y
           From: Dubois Jean-Emmanuel 
     14. Re: Synthesizers
           From: John Fox 

Message: 1 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 09:48:19 -0800 (PST) From: Bill Brown Subject: Re: "Kumbaya" He was probably upset because he wasn't invited to sing at the party. I was at a church retreat once and John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard) showed up complaining because people were doing target practice in the woods on the church's ranch. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 19:54:17 -0000 From: Clark Besch Subject: Re: Zager and Evans - One Hit Wonders? The Saga! Art Longmire wrote: > Country Paul mentioned several several acts that had number one > hits and no further chart activity. Another one that falls into > that category (I think!) is "In the Year 2525" by Zager and Evans. > Anyone who was around in 1969 will probably recall this dirge-like > little ditty. I have a German copy of this record and wonder how > well it did in other countries -was it a hit in the U.K.? Art, Zager & Evans were from my town of Lincoln, Nebraska and will likely always be our claim to fame in rock n roll history. Yes, "2525" was indeed a huge international hit. Number 1 in the US in August, 1969, it went to #1 in both the UK and Canada in September. In October and November, it was at or near the top in France, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Malaysia, and New Zealand! They also appeared on the "Beat Room" TVer overseas in 69. Here, they appeared on the Billboard mag promoted ABC show, "Music Scene". Surprisingly, their followup 45, "Mr. Turnkey", did not reach the Hot 100, despite charting in many markets, even getting airplay as a "Bonus Play" on WABC New York (America's #1 Top 40 station at the time) on their survey. Their 1970 45 "Crutches" made it to Bandstand's "Rate-a-Record". Fellow Spectropopper, Doug Richard, turned me on to their early history. Doug, feel free to correct or add to this. Z&E began recording in the Lincoln group, the Eccentrics in the early Beatles era. Their 1776 era pompidou hair cuts (thus, the group name) raised eyebrows, no doubt. Their one rather 4 Seasons like Applause Records 45, "Share Me", reached #11 locally on Lincoln's KLMS in November, 1964. Local garage band the Coachmen's leader, Bruce Watson related to me about being so in awe of the Eccentrics in his pre-Coachmen days. He said he and the guys would hang outside the back door of Lincoln clubs to hear the Eccentrics preform because they weren't old enough to get in. He said they were great. An early tape that Zager's brother has by the group the Rebounds, alledgedly is early Zager & Evans. It has mostly Ventures sounding instrumentals, likely recorded around 1964. Judging from the instrumentation as I remember, if this was pre-Eccentrics, they would have been very good indeed! In early 1965, Applause released "Listen to the Raindrops" by Denny LaMarr and the Echoes. I can't remember which, but I think Evans wrote the tune. Not sure if this was the Eccentrics or not. Doug? Anyway, both appear on the White Whale "cash in" Lp from 1970 titled "The Early Writings of Zager & Evans and Others". Funny thing is, the Lp does not list who performs all the cuts on this Lp. Turns out several are from the JK & Co Lp that Sundazed released on Cd a couple years ago. By 1968, Z&E were a duo performing at a local Chinese restaurant. Rick Evans wrote "2525" in 1967. In 68, a local lounge owner spotted Z&E and signed them to perform regularly at his lounge. During this period of forming their song list, they dusted off "2525" and arranged it for their nightly set in the lounge. The song was popular with the lounge patrons and the duo cut the 45 in Texas for Truth records. On March 8, 1969, the Truth 45 appeared on the KLMS Lincoln Hit Parade as an extra. In four weeks, it jumped on at #34, then #5, #2 and then #1 for 5 straight weeks. It knocked "Dizzy" off #1 and was eventually replaced at the top by the Cowsills' "Hair"! That was the sixties! This very serious record sandwiched between pop bubblegum at #1! After 13 weeks on KLMS' chart, it exited on June 7. It should be noted that this early 69 period had been pretty good to Nebraska talent with Professor Morrison and the Smoke Ring reaching the Hot 100 in the 6 month period. Anyway, THAT "2525" success story wuld have been pretty good except that RCA took notice of Z&E's local hit. RCA bought the mono tape, added strings and horns to produce a stereo single and released it in June, just as the Truth 45 was leaving Lincoln's airwaves. On June 21, the RCA 45 hit the Hot 100 as the chart's highest debut single of the week at #72. It zoomed to #35 next, then an amazing jump to #8 and then to #1 for the week ending July 12. On July 11, the Omaha World-Herald ran a pic of the duo and a story with headline: "Zager, Evans Recognized Except in Their Hometown". The first sentence asked the question: "Which pop singers with more than a million in record sales can walk down the streets of their hometown unrecognized?" Answer: Zager & Evans. Sans the Eccentrics pompidous, Z&E had garnered a small following after the local hit, but still played the Lincoln lounge for the most part. Obscure in their own hometown! How unique that is. Their notoriety quickly grew. The 45 had stayed an astounding 5 weeks at #1 locally. Now, it held #1 nationally for another 6 weeks in a row!! Blood, Sweat & tears never reached #1 on Billboard. "Spinning Wheel" stayed at #2 for 3 weeks behind "2525". The Cowsills' "Hair" had knocked "2525" out of #1 in Lincoln months earlier. The 45 got revenge on the musical by holding Oliver's "Good Morning Starshine" at bay. Why didn't "Crystal Blue Persuasion" reach the #1 position of "Crimson & Clover"? "2525" held it at #2 for 3 weeks. "One", "My Cherie Amour", "Ruby", "Sweet Caroline" all came and went without challenging. Finally, after holding it at #2 for a week, the Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" knocked it off the top. The Beatles?? Not a chance. "Ballad of John & Yoko" only reached #8 while Z&E peaked. So what was going on in Lincoln while "2525" was #1 nationwide? The story gets wierder. Often panned as the weakest Beatles single ever, "John & Yoko" spent 3 weeks at #1 on KLMS in this period!! Locally, Z&E would folowup their megahit with KLMS placings at #11 for "Mr. Turnkey", #11 for "Listen to the People" and the above mentioned, "Crutches" would not even chart in Lincoln! RCA dropped them, but they resurfaced on Vanguard with a pic sleeve 45, "Hydra 15000" which reached #4 on KLMS. I have to say, it could be the worst record ever recorded! Back on Truth Records (talk about full circle!) in 1972, their swan song was "Sunday Morning Band" reaching #10 on KLMS.The duo split up, Rick Evans and his wife did an Lp for Truth. No one seems to know about the duo's falling out for sure, but there is a lot of animousity somewhere. Zager & Evans have refused for decades to perform together again, despite many attempts including one to induct them into the Nebraska Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Just adds to the mystique of it all. There you have it: Exordium and Terminus! Clark -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 22:21:36 -0000 From: Ron Sauer Subject: Re: The first song to use a synthesizer I was always under the impression that the first use of a synthesizer was Max Crook using what he called a "Musitron" on the instrumental break in "Del Shannon's "Runaway". Ron -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 22:24:46 -0000 From: Ken Mortimer Subject: Re: British Invasion redux / The Manfreds John Berg: > I did catch the PBS special -- happened to be "channel surfing" > and came in just as the Manfreds were launching into their > performance. I was in the UK this past summer on a 5 week > "sabbatical" from my job and picked up a great CD by The > Manfreds featuring virtually all the hits by versions "Mark 1" > and "Mark 2" of the band. Paul Jones' singing is simply superb > on everything he handles, and while Mike D'Abo is not as > technically gifted he does pull ... I've just seen the Manfreds live with Alan Price, Colin Blunstone and Pat (PP) Arnold. Pat stole the show it has to be said - and looked stunning too (certainly a good 20 years younger than she is!!) Ken -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 18:37:12 EST From: Mike Rashkow Subject: Jean Shepherd Phil Milstein writes: > Thanks for the Shepherd low-down. Do you recall the name of the LP? > Your description makes me want to look into finding a copy. Indeed I do. The Declassified Jean Shepherd. Had I more than one copy left, I would be glad to sell it to you at the usual usurious rates for such collector's items--and autograph it in the bargain. Here's a link to Shep's site where you can find the liner notes and maybe other options: Di la, Rashkovsky -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 22:53:36 -0000 From: Art Longmire Subject: Re: The first song to use a synthesizer Nick Archer wrote: > What instrument was used on "Telstar" by the Tornados? Was that > an early synth? Also I've heard the Musitron keyboard used by Del Shannon in "Runaway" referred to as "an early synthesizer" by some sources. I have read a few articles on electronic music that trace the development of synthesizers and instruments such as the mellotron. It's fascinating stuff but, not being a musician, some of it's a bit over my head. It seems that tracking down the first use of a synthesizer on a pop record is every bit as difficult as identifying the first rock and roll record. Whenever I get a record from the sixties that features a synthesizer, I try to sit up and take notice...the synth is featured on "The Blue Marble" by Sagittarius and on an album I have by Buffy Saint Marie called (I think!) "Illuminations" from about 1969. One group that was mentioned in an earlier post was The United States of America-I've never heard their album but have always heard that it is great. I recall reading an interview with the woman who played the synth in the group-she said that it was used primarily to add sonic variety and that they considered it to be no different from any other instrument. It's interesting that I've always enjoyed finding early synthesizers used on music from that era, but I've got to say that by the late 70's-early 80's I was so sick of hearing cheesy synth playing in pop music I was ready to declare the synthesizer a modern plague! By the way, I saw the Chamberlain mentioned in an earlier post as a precurser to the mellotron-I always associate that instrument with song-poem king Rodd Keith...his use of it on the song "Little Rug Bug" is nothing short of masterful! Art -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 7 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 23:13:47 -0000 From: Art Longmire Subject: Re: Zager and Evans - The Saga Thanks, Clark, for your exhaustive and very informative account of the recording careers of Zager and Evans...your article really brought back some memories of that wonderful musical year of 1969. I remember in the late summer of 1969 my family and I went on a vacation to San Diego. I was 13 at the time. My dad always played the radio while we drove, and your post reminded me of the absolutely fantastic state of radio at the time. Bearing in mind that I was not really a music afficionado then (that didn't happen until the following year) I still remember hearing all the songs you mentioned, plus many more; and probably more than anything else, I heard "In the Year 2525", so much so that it's probably wired into my DNA. This song tends to polarize people, I notice some like it quite a bit and some loathe it with every fiber of their being...I like it, but hearing that it kept a REAL favorite, "Crystal Blue Persuasion" from the top spot on the charts, I may have to revise my opinion a bit. Art -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 8 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 17:14:42 -0500 From: James Botticelli Subject: Re: The first song to use a synthesizer Nick Archer wrote: > What instrument was used on "Telstar" by the Tornados? Was that > an early synth? It's the thing Kai Winding used. Forget the name. Early synth will do though! -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 9 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 15:17:12 -0800 (PST) From: Artie Wayne Subject: Re: Jimmy Webb I'm really happy that Jimmy Webb is getting so much attention from Spectropoppers. He's one of the most talented and prolific writers I ever worked with. When I was Prof. mgr. at Warner Bros music Jimmy was one of the writers we put together with my friend Artie Garfunkle when he went solo. The collaboration produced "All I Know" ......The first top ten single from the album. regards, Artie Wayne -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 10 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 15:06:37 -0800 (PST) From: Artie Wayne Subject: Re: Sound Of Silence / Tom Wilson Clark.........You're right....the year was 1965 not 1964!!!! How foolish of can't fool a Spectropopper!!!! regards, Artie Wayne -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 11 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 18:23:33 EST From: Mike Rashkow Subject: Re: Bootleg - Master Use Licenses With regard to the bootlegging issue: I think that Rex Strother's ideas on licensing make a great deal of sense. Of course he has paid me a licensing fee to say that and I have paid him a fee to use his name in print. Actually it's such a good idea that he should trademark the name thus: Rex's Rx for Bootlegging. Seriously, it is a good idea, but the folks who own White Cristmas et al ad infinitum are not likely to think that way---they should. It will become a moot issue soon enough when someone markets a chip containing all the recorded music in the history of the world for $29.95---oh I forgot to mention, that's + $49.95 for shipping and handling. Di la, Rashkovksy -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 12 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 15:25:14 -0800 (PST) From: Artie Wayne Subject: Re: Charlotte Russe Mark.......How ya' doin'? Thanks for the nice words about The Charlotte Rousse on Phillips. My partner Kelli Ross and I had Paul Leka ["Green Tambourine"] produce them for us.......unfortunately nothing happened. regards, Artie Wayne -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 13 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 23:54:49 +0100 From: Dubois Jean-Emmanuel Subject: Vintage records in N.Y Dear Spectropoppers, I'm looking for adresses of great record shops in New York. Where to find cool Beach Boys + sunshine pop + Brill Building rarities. Thanx. Jean-Emmanuel -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 14 Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2003 18:35:14 EST From: John Fox Subject: Re: Synthesizers Since we're talking about early synths, does anyone else (or just my warped mind) remember this one? In about 1968 an album was released called "Moogie Woogie" by a group called The Zeet Band. Most of its members were under contractual agreements with other record labels so they couldn't use their real names. One was Paul Beaver, perhaps the first musician to be associated with the Moog. Another was Mike Bloomfield (an accomplished keyboardest as well as blues guitarist), whose pseudonym for this album was "Fast Fingers Finkelstein". I never saw this album, but my cluttered attic of a brain remembers all this from a fantastic radio commercial for the album that aired on underground FM. Two vivid memories are: "Here's a little taste of the Beaver Boogie" (3 seconds of the song) "And if you've ever seen a beaver boogie, you know how exciting it can be" (spoken in a totally deadpan voice--I remember laughing for days over that one, and even calling the station to request the ad so I could hear it again). The other was the very end of the spot: "The Zeet Band-- What the hell kind of a name is that?" Does anyone else remember this album or ad? I would pay just to hear the ad again!! John Fox -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------

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