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Spectropop - Digest Number 1472

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 4 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: Murray the K
           From: Clark Besch 
      2. Re: "Vehicle" lick
           From: Clark Besch 
      3. Re: Hollies -- mono vs. stereo
           From: Joe Nelson 
      4. Barney Kessel, R.I.P.
           From: S'pop Team 

Message: 1 Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 15:33:28 -0000 From: Clark Besch Subject: Re: Murray the K Ted T. wrote: > Very nice to see the discussion and remembrances of Murray the K. > The 'Swingin' Soiree', with it's resolute R&B slant, was a life > saver to many (including me) between 1959 and 1963. As a midwesterner, I had no way of hearing Murray on the air in his heydey ("ah-bey days"?), so my ideas come from all the press and tapes I've accumulated since. His "Happening with the Beatles" 45 I bought as a bootleg. It showed me that the Beatles treated Murray as kind of a joke, like they did many Djs then. Yet, Murray was the one they put on their "Around the Beatles" Tv show and Murray gave the Beatles a soapbox for some things like Lennon's poetry, etc. He certainly had a showmanship style in his "It's What's Happening" TV special for the armed forces, which had him often doing PSA's for kids trying to get jobs. So, the sponsors must have thought correctly, that he had the ear of the teen at the time. He also successfully meshed the NYC Brill building/Spector pre-Beatles with the Beatles and post-Beatles era, which was not easy to do. His WNEW tribute show from 1980 or so was excellent. Really proved Murray was a unique talent of his trade and was willing to cut ties to his previous success to set out in new directions and, to his credit, successfully recreated himself in the later 60's. Another untimate tribute was Tom Hanks' recreation of the Murray personna in his film "That Thing You Do!". One of the greatest films of Beatles era rock n roll, I could ever think of. In it, a DJ with the trademark Murray the "K" hat, is out on stage hamming it up introducing a miriad of acts and acting very much in command, just like his stage act in the TV special he had in 68. Murray had no lack for ego when he was on stage, but any DJ that was any good had to have ego when he was on the air, so that was ok. His comments off air on the WNEW special showed he was a nice guy who was kind to his fans and seemed to believe in rock n roll and the kids of his era. As I've read, he is indeed missed! Clark -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 16:33:10 -0000 From: Clark Besch Subject: Re: "Vehicle" lick Me: > ... a part from near the end of an obscure Cryan Shames Lp cut, > "Painter", in which the horn part you hear, slightly resembles > the opening 5 horn notes of the opening of the Ides of March's > "Vehicle". Since both groups hailed from Chicago, did Jimmy > Peterik and gang hear that part in the Shames song of a year > earlier? Gary Myers: > It seems to me that horn line came from a song on the first BS&T > LP - was it "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know"? (Al?) And, I > think I once heard that Al and/or BS&T got it from ... Gary, This is what I'm talkin about! It is cool when we hear these things that make us think about other songs with similar things in them. You may very well be correct. It's just that I heard these in songs I really like and you heard things in songs YOU really liked. It's very possible the Shames and Ides both got it from the songs you mentioned!! Clark -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 18:12:50 -0400 From: Joe Nelson Subject: Re: Hollies -- mono vs. stereo Billy G Spradlin wrote: > As for BAD stereo mixes, one of my all-time favorite groups is the > Hollies, but even when Abbey Road had 4-track recorders their > producer Ron Richards mixed almost everything they did hard-right/ > left until the "Butterfly" album in 1968. Mike McKay: > The Hollies are one of my all-time favorite groups as well, but this > situation was NOT redressed on the 3-CD 30th Anniversary set. For this > comp, the early stuff was mixed into true stereo, but just as with The > Mamas & Papas, they spread the vocals all across the stereo spectrum > instead of massing them. Again, a mind-numbingly incomprehensible > decision -- only this time you can't pass it off as the result of not > really understanding stereo mixing, as you might with the M's & P's. > The blend, fer cryin' out loud, the blend! That's the point with both > groups. Why on earth would you want their vocals widely separated from > one another? How one remixes four track tapes is limited by how the tapes were laid out in the first place. You're limited by what's there. Using the Mamas and the Papas as an example, consider the song "Monday, Monday". Denny's solo vocal is on one track. Michelle and Cass are on a second, and John's vocal is mixed in with some instruments on a third (very bad decision). I wouldn't have laid it out this way myself, but given a chance to remix it for stereo I couldn't have changed much (maybe pan Denny over to where John is on the bridge so it sounds like the Mamas and the Papas are each paired off the way they performed live). The combination of voice and intruments on a single track makes any other picture practically unworkable. Likewise, try the Beatles' Rubber Soul album. Most of it is reminiscent of the early two track sessions, yet it's all rhythm right/vocals left. Why? Well, remember with separate mono versions availible the stereo version had to be noticably stereo. (In today's stereo only age people aren't paying extra to hear it in stereo and aren't going to complain about getting their money's worth.) Most of the four track layouts are all rhythm on one channel, lead and backing vocals on two, lead (and maybe backing) vocals double-tracked onto three and the instrumental break on four. Looking back, they probably could have gotten away with centering the rhythm and going hard right/left with the two vocal tracks (as was done on the "Nowhere Man" remix from the Yellow Submarine Songtrack CD), but this way would have been a nightmare if the third track was lead vocal alone. Thus George Martin opted to keep it seperate and keep it stereo, rhythm on left and vocals on right like the old days, with the break on the right to avoid the old "solo vacuum" that existed on the first two LPs when the solo came up. I believe much of the Hollies stuff follows this pattern. Re Ron Richards: how many people know that although George Martin is traditionally credited as the producer of Tollie 9008 ("Love Me Do" b/w "P.S. I Love You") the disc was actually produced by Ron Richards? (Richards was considered EMI's expert on rock recording, and was apparently originally considered for the job of producing the Beatles as Martin wanted his opinion of the group before signing them.) Both sides were recorded and mixed in a single day, September 11, 1962, with George taking the day off: if he produced this in any way he phoned it in as he wasn't anywhere near the studio. The earlier take with Ringo on the drums that was released in the UK originally was recorded several days earlier with Martin behind the desk. FWIW, the four track recorders started getting used on non-classical records at EMI in late 1963. Joe Nelson -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 10:34:04 +0100 From: S'pop Team Subject: Barney Kessel, R.I.P. >From The New York Times, May 8, 2004 Barney Kessel, 80, a Guitarist With Legends of Jazz, Dies By PETER KEEPNEWS Barney Kessel, a guitarist who was both a celebrated jazz soloist and a ubiquitous but anonymous studio musician, died on Thursday at his home in San Diego. He was 80. The cause was brain cancer, said his wife, Phyllis. Mr. Kessel had been inactive since a stroke in 1992, and he learned in 2001 that he had inoperable cancer. By the mid-1950's Mr. Kessel was one of the most popular guitarists in jazz, a perennial winner of music magazine polls and a sideman whose résumé included work with Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Art Tatum and countless others. But he still found it hard to pay his bills, so he began a second career in the studios, which came to dominate his professional life until he decided to return to jazz full time in the 1970's. He was born in Muskogee, Okla., on Oct. 17, 1923, and began his professional career there at 14 as the only white musician in an otherwise all-black dance band. Mr. Kessel initially modeled his style closely on that of the pioneering electric guitarist Charlie Christian, a fellow Oklahoman, and he continued to regard Christian as his main influence. But when he had the opportunity to play with Christian at a jam session, he told The New York Times in 1991, the experience inspired him to develop a style of his own. "I realized that I had been methodically lifting his ideas from records," Mr. Kessel said. "What was I going to play? All I knew was his stuff. There were two guys playing like Charlie Christian. I knew I had to find myself." With Christian's encouragement, Mr. Kessel moved to Los Angeles in 1942 and was soon on the road with a band fronted by the comedian Chico Marx. Over the next few years he worked with the big bands of Artie Shaw, Charlie Barnet and Benny Goodman, establishing a reputation as one of the most versatile and reliable guitarists on the West Coast. He soon began working regularly as a sideman for the record producer Norman Granz, and in 1944 he was one of the many musicians featured in "Jammin' the Blues," the acclaimed short jazz film produced by Granz and directed by the photographer Gjon Mili. (In a strange echo of his first job, Mr. Kessel was the only white musician in that film; all that was clearly visible of him were his hands, which were dyed black.) Mr. Kessel's profile in the jazz world continued to grow in the 1950's. In 1952 he joined the pianist Oscar Peterson's trio and toured with Granz's all-star Jazz at the Philharmonic aggregation. The next year he began his recording career as a leader with the first of a series of small-group albums for the Los Angeles-based Contemporary label. Within a few years he had also become a fixture in Hollywood's recording studios. In this parallel career he could be heard on movie and television soundtracks and in television and radio commercials as well as on records by everyone from the Beach Boys to Liberace to Frank Sinatra. In 1973 he joined forces with his fellow jazz guitarists Herb Ellis and Charlie Byrd to form the group Great Guitars. In 1983 at 59 he made his New York nightclub debut as a leader. In addition to his wife, Mr. Kessel is survived by two sons from a previous marriage: Dan, of Hemet, Calif., and David, of Pacific Grove, Calif. Also surviving are three stepchildren: Christian Wand, of Los Angeles; Colette Wand Wirtschafter, of Marysville, Calif.; and Cleo Dougherty, of Boonton, N.J.; and five grandchildren. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
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