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Spectropop - Digest Number 1678

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 10 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: Terry Phillips / Virginia Wolves
           From: Austin Roberts 
      2. FYI Dave Diamond / Susan Cowsill
           From: Artie Wayne 
      3. Re: days of Steam
           From: Joe Nelson 
      4. Defining genius
           From: Artie Wayne 
      5. Re: days of Steam
           From: Steve Harvey 
      6. Re: "Breaking Away" or "I'm Breaking Away"
           From: Jeffrey Mlinscek 
      7. Tony May/Bessie Banks
           From: Phil Chapman 
      8. Re: L. David Sloane
           From: Rat Pfink 
      9. Re: Claire Francis / Smith
           From: Claire Francis 
     10. Re: "I Can Hear Music"
           From: Tony Leong 

Message: 1 Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 07:19:52 EDT From: Austin Roberts Subject: Re: Terry Phillips / Virginia Wolves Joe Nelson: > I believe it. My brother's nineteenth birthday came up while he was at > Parris Island. His present from the DI: his own personal extra twenty > minutes of "mountain climbing". Joe Nelson (figures Austin can explain > this better than I can...) As I sorta remember it (sorta is an appropo word for most of my memorial jaunts), mountain climbing was doing high and many step ups on cement blocks or whatever was handy. They may have a more sophisticated version, but the pain is the same. When they asked about my birthday, I told them I was born on Feb. 29th so I wouldn't have a birthday again for another couple of years. Plus my birthday was actually Sept. 19th. which was close to the infamous billboard review chomping, so God knows what they'd have made me eat for my birthday, War And Peace? Austin R -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 08:46:45 -0700 (PDT) From: Artie Wayne Subject: FYI Dave Diamond / Susan Cowsill I'm happy to say that my friend Dave Diamond, who was a popular radio personality in Los Angeles and San Francisco with his show "The Diamond Mine", is now a best selling author. His book "Cool Hand in a Hot Fire" is number 4 [with a bullet] on! I've been listening to quite a lot of contemporary music [Usher, Maroon 5, Ashlee Simpson] I keep coming back to my longtime friend Susan Cowsills new self-titled, self released album. It's among the best of what I've heard...and deserves to be a hit! Why hasn't a major label picked up distribution rights on it yet? regards, Artie Wayne -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 12:30:40 -0400 From: Joe Nelson Subject: Re: days of Steam Andrew C. Jones asked: > Was any S'popper involved, either onstage or offstage, with > the "real" version of the group Steam that was formed in the > wake of the huge success of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"? Austin Roberts: > Na Na Hey Hey was cut in the last hour of a session Paul Leka was > producing on me. We had finished, so he decided to cut the B-side > to a single for Gary DeCarlo, another Mercury/Phillips/Fontana > artist. Gary , Paul and Dale Frazier (all super people, I might > add) had written the song as a 'definite' B-side. They had a > Mellotron and some kind of electric drum sounding thing, plus ash > trays, Coke bottles, cans, chairs, plus a percussion kit. I can't > remember if I played some of the cans, sticks, rocks or whatever but > I probably might have, since Paul never let anyone sit around, they > had to be doing something musical or, in this case, rhythmical. > > I don't remember if I sang any background with everyone or not. I > believe it was Charlie Fach that wanted it out right away, but Gary > wanted to be a solo artist so they called the group Steam and the > sucker flew up the charts to number one and has become a mainstay at > sports events even today. Who woulda thought? The story told is that Leka had certain ideas that would identify the song as a B side so the record woudn't get flipped by DJ's: 1) The words PLUG SIDE on the A side of the promo single (ahem...) 2) Bad song. Boring melody. Mediocre lyrics. 3) Make the record longer than typical pop singles of the time to discourage airplay (gotta fit as many hits as we can between the commercials, folks!) The song, frankly, wasn't that great and fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunately at only two verses it was going to be difficult to elongate, so Leka wrote a chorus. Not much - just four bars of incidental melody. No words - no problem. Just sing "na na na" and fill the space. And then to pad out the time, you can sing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over..... If Leka had given a little more thought to the events of the past couple of years he might have tried something different* since the last time anyone tried this the record was a chart topper just about everywhere (no prizes for naming the song). As we all know, lightning struck twice and the "na na na"s transformed the duff song into the catchiest thing on the radio! Thus the moral of the story is: if you want to make bad rock and roll, DON'T WRITE A DAMN HOOK! > The funny part was, when the record hit number one and Gary still > wouldn't go out with it (what a super vocal he did on the lead), > someone at Mercury -- probably Charlie Fach or Paul Leka -- asked > me if I'd go out as lead singer of Steam. Like Gary, I wanted to go > solo (Arkade kind of blew that theory for a while), plus I felt > funny about going out as a lead singer who hadn't sung the lead; > maybe I should have. Hell, I don't know, with all the ghost singing > several of us were doing, who knew what would happen and what would > never even mumble at the charts. Wish I could remember better, but > that was around 1969. I do know one thing: Gary DeCarlo should've > been a star, he could sing his ass off. Curiously, DeCarlo recut the song a number of years later under his stage name (used on his Mercury solo singles) of Garrett Scott. Probably one of those "new stereo recordings featuring the original lead singer with one or more members of the original group". > Hope I remembered everything correctly. I do remember Paul got in > some trouble (probably very little) from the Musicians' Union for > using a Mellotron. I wonder why. It takes a musician to play one. If anything, the drum track Leka spiced together from one of the Garrett Scott singles would have been a problem - one drum part, one session payment, two songs. "Hey guys, I just invented sampling..." Joe Nelson *The most obvious different approach would be to slow the thing down to a tempo just a few dozen BPM's slower than a funeral dirge. Better yet, have the record cut with the lathe running at 78 RPM so it sounds like something dying when played at the standard 45 RPM speed. Now, THAT would have been interesting to hear on the radio... -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 10:14:57 -0700 (PDT) From: Artie Wayne Subject: Defining genius Mark...How ya' doin'? You really started me thinking about how many people should be called a "Genius". I "Googled" the word, and came up with 1,400,000 hits! For centuries they have argued what a genius is or isn't. I've always believed it was someone who had exceptional ability and originality that transcended time. This cuts down our list [a bit]...but what do I know? regards, Artie Wayne [genius of BS] -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 10:53:25 -0700 (PDT) From: Steve Harvey Subject: Re: days of Steam I remember Rolling Stone doing a "Where Are They Now?" issue and talked with Gary DeCarlo talking about how much he hated the tune "Kiss Him Goodbye". "Piece of shit" were the exact words. Amazing considering how much airplay that tune gets even in the 21st century. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 19:48:59 -0400 From: Jeffrey Mlinscek Subject: Re: "Breaking Away" or "I'm Breaking Away" Mike the Bass Player wrote: > Thanks. I'm familiar with the Tracy Ullman tune, and this is different. > Lead singer on this tune was a guy. I think the song (Breaking Away) you're looking for is by the group, Balance. Peppy Castro, formerly of the Blues Magoos, was in this group. It hit the charts in July of 1981. Jeff M -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 7 Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 00:37:25 +0100 From: Phil Chapman Subject: Tony May/Bessie Banks Pres: > Now that Bessie has entered discussion, as much as I love "Go Now", > I've come to love the flip "It Sounds Like My Baby" even more. Yeah, I've always liked this side too. My favourite Tony May/Bessie Banks collaboration is "I Can't Make It (Without You)" with those eerie backing vocals, and a great Horace Ott arrangement. At the time of its release, the term 'Northern Soul' did not exist, but I suspect it may now be a known 'classic' and available on a CD comp. Phil C. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 8 Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 19:59:22 -0400 From: Rat Pfink Subject: Re: L. David Sloane Joe Nelson wrote: > (wishing I knew Michelle Lee's full name... :-/ ) Michelle Lee Dusick -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 9 Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 21:09:51 EDT From: Claire Francis Subject: Re: Claire Francis / Smith Phil Chapman: > A question for Claire: Rummaging through my 45s, I came up with a > Claire Francis and Richard Hill production sung by an artist called > Smith. It's two classic tunes back to back, "La Mer" and "Stormy > Weather". Both have the trademark 'big' sound, and the vocal seems > to be influenced by PJ Proby, who must have recently been in the > charts with his 'West Side Story' renditions. For interest, I've > posted the flip to musica as the intro quotes "Maria" and "You've > Lost That Lovin' Feelin'". Claire, do you remember anything about > Smith? Thanks for your question Phil, Here's what I remember about Smith. (Or what I think I remember). His first name is Stewart. He was from either Edinburgh or Glen Carse (spelling?) in Scotland. When I recorded him in London, he was all of I think either 18 or 19 or maybe twenty years old. As a matter of fact I think the reason I sent up to Scotland was to meet his parents and to assure his parents that I would make sure that when he came to London he would be well looked after. He had bright red hair, and I had the feeling that he was very much loved by his family. His manners were impeccable. His voice was incredibly strong. I believe this was his first record. When I first heard his voice, I knew he could handle a full studio of musicians and strings, and so I think I had 5 vocalists and about thirty some odd musicians. My thoughts about his career were that he would be a rare young artist who would sing standards and develop a beautiful following of people who loved those kinds of music. Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to recall that his family wouldn't let him record again. Either they didn't like the music business or they didn't want Stewart to go away from home because he was still pretty young. I hope he kept singing because he was pretty good for such a young person. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 10 Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 04:59:58 -0000 From: Tony Leong Subject: Re: "I Can Hear Music" Tom Taber: > I believe Carl Wilson produced "I Can Hear Music". It's miles ahead > of the Ronettes version. Phil C: > .....The rumoured Spector-produced Ronettes version did not > materialise, and the eventual Philles release was produced by Jeff > Barry in the fashion of the Barry-Greenwich Red Bird hits. However, > I do think it is one of their finer records, and one of Ronnie's > best vocals. Hey Phil (and group): Yes, the Ronettes wonderful "I Can Hear Music" was a total New York affair produced by Jeff Barry. According to Ellie, the track was done at A&R Studios in Manhattan, and Ellie herself and singer Mikie Harris backed Ronnie on vocals!! Tony Leong -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
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