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Spectropop - Digest Number 1474

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 20 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Latest Four Seasons Fanzine
           From: Ken Charmer 
      2. Re: Murray the K
           From: Paul Levinson 
      3. Re: Val McKenna
           From: Peter Lerner 
      4. Re: Pied Piper/Changin' Times
           From: David Coyle 
      5. Re: Nashville Combos of the '50s-'70s
           From: Austin Roberts 
      6. Speaking of hippies - Robin McNamara!
           From: Laura Pinto 
      7. A Thumbs-up for Al Gorgoni
           From: Paul Evans 
      8. Re: Back to Mono
           From: Bob Celli 
      9. Re: Barney Kessel, R.I.P.
           From: Gary Myers 
     10. Re: Four Freshmen
           From: Gary Myers 
     11. "Tu Seras Mi Baby" in Musica.
           From: Julio Niño 
     12. Barney Kessel now playing in musica
           From: David A. Young 
     13. Re: Barney Kessel, R.I.P.
           From: Bill Reed 
     14. Back to Mono / Hippies, etc
           From: Dave O'Gara 
     15. Re: Nashville Combos of the '50s-'70s
           From: Gary Myers 
     16. Re: Hollies -- mono vs. stereo
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 
     17. Bobby Vee Session Photo with Barney Kessel et al
           From: Bob Celli 
     18. Re: Barney Kessel
           From: Gary Myers 
     19. Lawn Guyland; Bobby Vinton on Diamond; Song Hits and Mike Clifford
           From: Country Paul 
     20. Ambrose; Jeff Starr and WNRI; obscure girl groups; Chuck Foote?; Terry & The Tunisians; Eight Feet; Tex & The Chex
           From: Country Paul 

Message: 1 Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 09:50:26 +0100 From: Ken Charmer Subject: Latest Four Seasons Fanzine Hi everyone, The Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons UK Historical Group have just published their latest free Newsletter (No 41) for Spring 2004 on the website Enter via the download ticket. Lots of old articles and historical comment. Please note this web site 'may' close by the end of June due to relocation of the web editor to Spain. We will however reinstate the site as soon as possible. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 17:32:35 -0000 From: Paul Levinson Subject: Re: Murray the K Clark Besch wrote: > He also successfully meshed the NYC Brill building/Spector pre- > Beatles with the Beatles and post-Beatles era, which was not easy > to do. I think Murray's development of "attitude" sets and segues, first on WOR-FM in the mid-60s, and then during his brief return on WNBC-AM in the early 70s, may have been among his most original contributions to radio. Rather then playing songs in a random order, or mixing fast and slow music, or even playing a set all by the same group (as other FM stations did), Murray liked blocks of music that were thematically related. For example, when I worked with Murray at WNBC, I put together a 45-minute "Law and Order" set (of course, years before the TV show), which included "I Fought the Law," "Take a Message to Mary," "Gotta Get a Message to You," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," etc. In effect, what these sets did is transform the radio station into an art form and the dj into an artist, in which "colors" were the songs, blended in particular ways. (I wrote about this a little later in one of my first scholarly articles, "Toy, Mirror, and Art: The Metamorphosis of Technological Culture," 1977. Top-40 rock 'n' roll radio was a mirror of music; Murray's segues were an art.) All best, Paul -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 21:13:01 +0100 From: Peter Lerner Subject: Re: Val McKenna astro4004 wrote in response to news of a Barbara Ruskin website: > If only Val McKenna had some web-savvy family members to do the > same for her. Well I know of no website for Val, but I did sight in her in the performing band of lovely Scottish chanteuse Barbara Dickson a few years ago. Yes, the same Val playing, I recall, bass guitar. Peter -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 13:36:45 -0700 (PDT) From: David Coyle Subject: Re: Pied Piper/Changin' Times Yes, Kornfeld and Duboff were the Changin' Times, and their version of "Pied Piper" is the original. Much more garage folk/rock than what St. Peters did with it. David -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 18:31:51 EDT From: Austin Roberts Subject: Re: Nashville Combos of the '50s-'70s Nick Archer: > There's a great web site that I stumbled upon - Nashville Combos > of the 50s-70s, at Chip Curley, > a combo member, put up the site. Many pictures, and don't miss the > bands' business cards at the bottom. I especially like "The > Ministers Of Sound- Specialists In The Field Of Music". Hi Nick, The first pop combo from Nashville (around 1957 I think) was the Casuals (featuring Buzz Cason, who sang the hit Look For A Star as Gary Miles). The Casuals became Brenda Lee's backup band. Incidently, Buzz just had a book released called Living The Rock And Roll Dream. Austin Roberts -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 14:07:55 -0000 From: Laura Pinto Subject: Speaking of hippies - Robin McNamara! Hi S'poppers, I can't get over the timing of S.J.'s post about hippies. Just last night, I finally got the long-awaited interview with Robin McNamara (the "ol' hippie" himself!) up on my site, Oldies Connection. Robin is the real deal, and if anyone can answer questions about the hippie movement, he can. In fact, he does, as you can see by accessing this page: Robin is best known as the singer of the 1970 Top Twenty hit "Lay a Little Lovin' On Me," but some people who only know him from this tune are unaware that he was also in the Broadway production of "Hair" from 1968 to 1971. The article is accompanied by new photos of Robin, taken by yours truly. Robin is still very active in the music business, as you'll read in the interview. Enjoy, Laura -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 7 Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 15:24:19 -0000 From: Paul Evans Subject: A Thumbs-up for Al Gorgoni Art, A thumbs-up for Al .................. Along with Charlie Macey, Al Gorgoni was one of the first guitarists that I ever worked with in the New York studios. Not only has he always been a terrific picker, he's always had a great studio attitude and was always fun to have on a session. Paul Evans -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 8 Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 17:01:25 -0000 From: Bob Celli Subject: Re: Back to Mono I've been sitting back and reading all the posts in regards to the stereo-mono controversy. I agree that mixing has everything to do with how good a song sounds in the end. The idea that some things sound better in mono on record may be true but I would venture to say that the only reason for that is that the stereo mix (if available) was poorly done. In reality when I go to a "live" performance by a solo artist or a group, that performance is in stereo, is it not? If you closed your eyes, you would certainly hear music and vocals coming from different sources thus creating a panorama of sound. When I listen to my recordings at home whether through speakers or headphones, a soundstage is created to hopefully duplicate that "live" performance. The Mamas & Papas vocals that have been discussed here recently, should not have been mixed as they were, because they would not sound realistic. They certainly would not sound like that if you were sitting in the concert hall during one of their shows. I recall buying a Gary Lewis hits package on Liberty in the mid sixties and being dismayed at how poorly mixed it was. I was used to the early sixties Liberty recordings by Bobby Vee, Gene McDaniels, Johnny Burnette, et al mixed by Eddie Brackett and Jim Economides. They were great sounding records and really created an illusion of being "in the studio". For a short period in the mid sixties it seemed like the engineers didn't know what to do with all the extra tracks they had access to and hence a lot of poorly mixed music showed up! Bob Celli -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 9 Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 10:01:17 -0700 From: Gary Myers Subject: Re: Barney Kessel, R.I.P. > Barney Kessel, 80, a Guitarist With Legends of Jazz, Dies I had the opportunity to see Kessel on an off-night gig he did at PJ's in Hollywood around '65 - '66. Besides the great playing, he was also funny. He told a joke for which I don't remember the punch line, but which included a line about a guy walking along "whistling 'Little Brown Jug' and other PD tunes." gem -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 10 Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 10:21:41 -0700 From: Gary Myers Subject: Re: Four Freshmen Previously: > Did you ever hear any of the stuff that the 4 Freshmen did on > Liberty in the late 60's? LP's included "Memphis", "Everyday > People", "It's Not Unusual", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", etc. > One LP was arranged by Mike Melvoin, IIRC. Brian Chidester: > Are you saying that you like those records? Sure! I love hearing stuff like that done in ways that you wouldn't expect, and I love hearing artists do songs - in their own style - that you wouldn't expect them to do. > ... most jazz afficianados find the Liberty Four Freshmen records > to be the nadir of the group's recorded work. Maybe some of those afficiandos need to loosen up a bit. I've always been jazz-oriented (I began playing in pre-r'n'r days), and I guess I like more jazz than the average pop/rock fan/musician, but more pop/rock than the average jazz fan/musician. Here's another example that might polarize some of those on either side: the Lloyd Price version of "Misty". gem -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 11 Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 19:14:58 -0000 From: Julio Niño Subject: "Tu Seras Mi Baby" in Musica. Hola Everybody. I have played in musica "Tu Seras Mi Baby" by Tony Jackson and The Showmen (an alias for the Spanish singer Micky backed by the Spanish instrumental combo Los Relampagos). The song is an extremely rare Spanish version of "Be My Baby". I don't know why but I like the track very much. It was released in 1964 in an EP issued by the Spanish Brandy Fundador, as a publicity item. Fundador was a very rude liquor, and according to its publicity slogan was, "Cosa de Hombres" (a man's thing). The slogan must have came from the feverish mind of a gay publicity creator. Chao. Julio Niño. PS: I love the sumptuous "You Can't Lose Something You Never Had", played in musica by Simon. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 12 Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 00:22:22 -0000 From: David A. Young Subject: Barney Kessel now playing in musica Hi, gang, It's become something of a Spectropop tradition to honor recently deceased luminaries of interest to the group by sharing a bit of their musical legacies in our listening lounge. Though sad to say farewell to Mr Kessel, I'm happy for the occasion to spin the two sides of his 1963 Reprise single 'Diamonds'/'TV Commercials' for your pleasure. (Anyone know whether this was his only pop release? Though he played many pop sessions, his renown as a solo artist is, of course, as a jazz musician.) The A-side seems to bridge the gap between the Jack Nitzsche and Duane Eddy releases of the period, while the flip features Darlene and The Blossoms (it doesn't say that anywhere, but it's obvious) on a cute novelty, especially fun given that Barney was working as a session man on many TV commercials at that point. Aw, play it, Barney! David -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 13 Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 04:58:59 -0000 From: Bill Reed Subject: Re: Barney Kessel, R.I.P. Dave Thompson's Phil Spector bio "Wall of Pain" quotes a 1956 Letter to the the Editor of Down Beat mag from teenage Phil that was printed in its 11/14 issue, which reads in part: "Just finished reading your article. . .'Garrulous Sal'. . .and am a little disappointed that, when naming his favorite guitarists, Salvador left out the name of Barney Kessel, who in my opinion holds the title of greatest guitarist. "Salvador mentioned Howard Roberts, a very fine jazz guitarist from the West Coast, and also mentioned the state of California, where Kessel is most well-known. Yet he failed to say a word about the man whose style of guitar is copied so much, but never equalled, and is a favorite of jazz fans everywhere. "This I cannot understand. Maybe you could ask Salvador, who I think is also a fine guitarist, just why Kessel does not rate. Sure wish you could ease my pain and have a story about Barney in one of your future issues" Phil Spector At the time, Spector was an unconstructed jazzbo, with his visionary Wall of Sound barely a gleam in his eye. The Down Beat letter led to a meeting between Spector, still a student at LA's Fairfax High, and Kessel. The latter would become, only a few years later, a key player of PS's studio "Wrecking Crew." Bill Reed -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 14 Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 21:00:20 -0000 From: Dave O'Gara Subject: Back to Mono / Hippies, etc Catching up on a few earlier posts..As a former AM radio DJ on an Oldies station, it used to kill me when people said they would only listen to the FM stations playing oldies so they could hear the songs in stereo. I always countered with the argument that in all probability they came to know and love the songs in mono on AM radio. Now that I play these songs on a great sounding FM station, I have to say that I also enjoy the stereo sound. But I do agree with many earlier posts that bad stereo mixes serve no good purpose... Ed S. mentioned Dick Bartley. I was listening to American Gold this weekend and heard Dick play the Beach Boys "Help Me Rhonda", the one with the instrumental lead-in. I have a version that starts with a cold vocal open on one of my vinyl Beach Boys Lps and it got me to wondering which version was original. The one Bartley played today seems to have a more pronounced lead guitar throughout compared to my version. Anyone know which version was the one that hit #1 back in '65? And finally, SJ made mention of hippies in Philly back in the early 60's..don't know the answer to his particular question but I do know that Dobie Gillis was NOT the hippie on the old show. The hippie was Maynard G. Krebbs, as portrayed by Bob "Gilligan" Denver. And one bit of Maynard G. Krebbs trivia: In one episode, Dobie asked Maynard what the G. stood for, and Krebbs answered, "Walter." Now that's a hippie answer! Dave 0' -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 15 Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 15:36:02 -0700 From: Gary Myers Subject: Re: Nashville Combos of the '50s-'70s Austin Roberts: > The first pop combo from Nashville (around 1957 I think) was > the Casuals... Austin, How far back to you go in Nashville? I'm trying to find a Maurice White (aka Marty Wyte, and no connection to the EWF guy) who recorded there from about '58 - '61. I visited that website and I've sent the same question to them. Gary Myers / MusicGem -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 16 Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 08:13:52 -0000 From: Billy G. Spradlin Subject: Re: Hollies -- mono vs. stereo > 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. I have that 30th anniversary CD, and I thought the remixes of many songs missed the mark many times. I didnt like the way the vocals were spread out and sometimes they were louder or softer than the original mix. Ron Furmanek also decided to remove all the reverb and compresion that was on the original recordings and remix everything "clean" like a modern digital recording. Most of the remixes had cleaner sonic range but no punch! I read somewhere on the web the Hollies themselves were never happy with the remixes so they never included them on later reissues. My only guess why there is such a wide varience in Hollies stereo mixes is because most EMI stereo mixes were done by a group of staff engineer, usually without the supervision of the groups producer or the artist. The Hollies didnt have the luxury of time like the Beatles did in the studio and many sessions were rush jobs. I wish EMI's backing tracks would have been recorded live on two channels and the lead vocal/solo/backing vocals recorded on the other two and mixed in the center. Manfred Mann's "Do Wah Ditty Ditty" is a good example of this kind of mix. Billy (all stations in MONO, I'm not a stereo-only snob!) -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 17 Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 10:33:38 -0000 From: Bob Celli Subject: Bobby Vee Session Photo with Barney Kessel et al I've posted a photo taken at United Studios circa 1961 at a Bobby Vee recording session. People in the photo are from left to right, Jim Economides, Snuff Garrett (kneeling) Arnold Mills (Bobby's manager), Bobby Vee, Ernie Freeman, Tommy Allsup, Barney Kessel and Red Callendar (standing with Bass) Just out of the photo on the right next to Kessel was Howard Roberts. Bob Celli -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 18 Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 10:46:23 -0700 From: Gary Myers Subject: Re: Barney Kessel David A. Young on Barney Kessel: > Though he played many pop sessions, his renown as a solo artist > is, of course, as a jazz musician. He is also the co-writer of Rick Nelson's "You're My One And Only Love." gem -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 19 Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 01:28:34 -0400 From: Country Paul Subject: Lawn Guyland; Bobby Vinton on Diamond; Song Hits and Mike Clifford Larry Lapka on Long Island mentions: > The Vagrants, The Rascals (via New Jersey), Mountain, Vanilla > Fudge, Stray Cats, Twisted Sister, Taylor Dane.... Also The Illusion and The Good Rats. In the heart of our era, wasn't Marcie Blane (Marcia Blank) from Long Island as well? And cheers to TD Bell for mentioning the Aquatones. But Al Kooper suggests including Queens; perhaps not - they have a different inferiority complex all their own! :-) S. J. Dubai: > I recall reading Bobby Vinton's recollections of the [Mr. Lonely] > --how Epic didn't believe in him as a singer and they considered > Greco to be a "real" singer, so they released it by Greco and kept > Vinton's record in the can for a while. Right around the time it hit, Vinton had another hit on Diamond, "I Love You The Way You Are." Apparently a master purchase, it was released to cover the big one on Epic. They didn't even have a flip side on Vinton, so they put something miscellaneous there! Phil M: > Some weeks back I attempted to load scans of some articles from the > Feb. 1962 issue of "Song Hits" magazine to the Photos page of our > Yahoo site.... I've posted it to my own site, at >; there you'll find articles about > and photos of The Paris Sisters, The Tokens, Jerry Butler, Dick & > Dee Dee, Ann-Margret..., The Marcels, Donnie Brooks, Patsy Cline, > Gene Krupa and Mike Clifford. What a treat, Phil - thanks a for all the extra effort! TI thought the Mike Clifford article was sort of odd; hadn't he already had his biggest hits on UA in '60 and '61: "Close To Cathy," "What To Do With Laurie" and "Danny's Dream"? The latter two were even more beautiful that "Close." There was also another very pretty track, "One By One The Roses Died," which was originally an Italian hit, if I'm not mistaken. The guy had a very flat voice (he hit the notes, but had no vibrato), but, at least on UA, he had great material. Bit parts: Hugo M., re: phantom girl groups: > Adorables -- several nice 45s on Golden World. Also sassy black girls. "Be" (on Golden World) smokes! It think it was even a low-charter. Mac Joseph, no info on Billy Abbott & The Jewels' "Groovy Baby," but thanks for dropping the name of one of my favorite lower-chart hits on Parkway! Country Paul -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 20 Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 00:30:19 -0400 From: Country Paul Subject: Ambrose; Jeff Starr and WNRI; obscure girl groups; Chuck Foote?; Terry & The Tunisians; Eight Feet; Tex & The Chex Dave O'Gara: > Were there really five versions of Ambrose? No - "part 5" was a put-on. The one version is the one you know. The piano jazz trio backing the recitation is a nifty little song in its own right. Does anyone know if the jazz track was ever released without the vocal? > In the late sixties a fairly well-known Massachusetts DJ named > Jeff Starr played a taped version (always late at night) with > "his" commentary edited in after Linda's lines. It was a highlight > of his show.... Was that the same Jeff Starr who worked at WNRI, Woonsocket, RI in the early 60's? He had a '49 Ford (I think it was) painted black with a star in a circle on the door, which he called the Starrmobile; he took to record hops and the like. There was another jock on that station - Quincy Jay - who was really talented, and unusual in that his "hook" was talking very quietly while other top 40 personalities in the area were screamers or closer to it. Assuming we're tapping the same pipeline here, do you know what happened to Quince? Haven't seen two of my favorite obscure girl groups mentioned yet: Iridescents, "Three Coins In A Fountain" (Hudson, early '60's) - fine doo-wop version from New York (femal leader, not sure about the group) Cheer Leaders, "That's The Way With Love" (Encore 1402, 1962) - very sweet and soft; Gary Paxton involvement And a couple of off-the-wall ones to add to the list: Velveteens, "Please Holy Father" (Stark) - two versions of this; the first was almost Shaggsian in its awkwardness and innocence, not to mentionits fidelity - it was rumored to have been cut in a church basement in Springfield, Mass. The second, also on Stark, as I remember, was slicker, better recorded, and "corrected" some awkward chord progressions from the first version, but wasn't as much fun. Cal Raye & The SweeTeens, "Lovely Lies" (1962-63)- four versions exist, three on a local label whose name I forget; the first, with a spoken intro (with a HEAVY Providence accent) was a hit in their hometown, Providence, RI. Two more followed without the intro, and a slicker solo version came out on Hollywood (I think - pressed on purple vinyl). Cal was a guy; the backing was all female. Frank, re: girl-group B-sides: > The Chantels - I'm The Girl (with that "Junior Prom Of The > Dead" groove that I love so much) Almost everything they recorded on End has that wonderful slow pounding 6/8 groove. Apparently it was writer/manager Richard Barrett or sometimes Dave "Baby" Cortez (Dave Clowney) playing the keyboards. By the way, Richard Barrett wrote the beautiful "Summer's Love" backed by The Chantels on Gone 5060 (flip: "All Is Forgiven"). There is also an exceptional cover by Tony Rice (Princeton 101, 1962) which is well worth checking out, and Barrett also re-recorded (1963?) it on Crackerjack, dist. by Sue, which I also remember as being really good. Mike Rashkow, re: Fuzzy Bunnies (awhile back): > Foote (aka Chuck Alden) was guitar and vocals Was this the same person as Chuck Foote who recorded the beautiful "Running Out Of Kisses" on Soncraft in the early 60's? If so, do you - or anyone - have any info on it? It's one of my all-time faves! Gary Myers, thanks for the Bernie Schwartz info. Fred Clemens, re: Phil M.'s obscure girl groups: > The only one I can identify is the Terry and the Tunisians > record,"Tom Tom". If I'm correct, it's on the Seville label, > and the other side is called "The Street" (THAT'S the side I > like it for!!!) Me too - it rawks! Anyone know: Did they ever do anything else? And was that doo-wop back-up group a one-off with Terry, or do they have a history? Ian Slater, re: obscure girl groups: > Eight Feet - Bobby's Come A Long Long Way It's good (I know Al Kooper is involved with this), but the flip side, "What Am I Without You," is a gorgeous folkie-influenced track and a personal fave. Hal Muskat: > Imagine how absolutely elated to find this list AND a > reference from Alan Gordon, the bands drummer(?), to Tex > and The Chex. I seem to remember a 45 by this group, "Be On The Lookout For My Girl," on a light blue label, which I somehow think is Newtown, the same label that The Blue Belles started out on. Is this true - or am I dreaming*? Country Paul * which was the title of the first A&M 45 in the US by The Strawbs, and a superb song in its own right. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
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