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Spectropop - Digest Number 1959

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 11 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Oldies Radio
           From: Various 
      2. Re: Anka alert
           From: Kurt Benbenek 
      3. The Charmers; The Essex?
           From: Stefano 
      4. Re: Easy Evil
           From: Frank Jastfelder 
      5. Re: Billy Storm
           From: Simon White 
      6. Jeff Barry interview
           From: Deena J Canale 
      7. re: Alan O'Day / "Rock And Roll Heaven"
           From: Artie Wayne 
      8. Re: A Whiter Shade Of Pale
           From: Unsteady Freddie 
      9. I'll Never Need More Than This
           From: Mick Patrick 
     10. "Smells Like an Adult Hit"
           From: Rob Pingel 
     11. Re: The Charmers
           From: Joop 

Message: 1 Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 19:33:27 +0100 From: Various Subject: Oldies Radio Several messages on the same subject: ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Country Paul reported: > An era passes... Friday, June 3, 2005: [headline] New York City > and Chicago both get a "Jack" [sub-headline] Infinity blows up > oldies icons WCBS-FM and WJMK. [story] It happened at the same > time - 5pm Eastern, 4pm Central. In New York -- The Beastie > Boys' "Fight for your right (to party)" introduced the new "Jack" > on 101.1. Infinity says it will preserve the "WCBS-FM" heritage as > a new online station at Infinity had made oldies > WCBS-FM one of its prime projects over the last 9 months with extra > promotional dollars and a new Mickey Dolenz morning show. In > Chicago - longtime oldies outlet WJMK is also history. Paul, my fave comment is from Tom Taylor, editor of the trade publication Inside Radio: "Youth must be served," Taylor said about the changes. "If you look at a lot of media, older Americans aren't important unless you're selling Craftmatic beds." Tom, thanks for being so FRANK! Below is the Chicago FM lowdown. Yeah, can you hear Biondi saying :"Hey everybody, let's smile, let's be happy, let's ALL Wang Chung tonight!" Apparently, it's happening. The Djs are still there?? At "JACK FM"? "Hey everybody, this is JACK Biondi. JACK Winston will be in later. "Right now, hook up my respirator, because 'Love is Like Oxygen'!" Maybe Uncle Lar and Lil Tommy are again having the last laugh over at 1690? Clark Besch ---------------------------------------------------------------------- I would suggest you consider XM radio. No commercials, deeper playlists, more special programming, better sound and at the cost of one new CD a month. You get one channel for each decade 40s through the 90s. I have it and it's great. You also get free steaming on the web with every paid regular subscription. It's the wave of the future to hear the past. I see that WJMK in Chicago also changed. I stopped listening to it long ago because of their lack of variety and depth of music, let alone the endless commercials! Bill Mulvy ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Most of you have by now heard, here and otherwise, of the quick ascension of "Jack" radio, given a quick boost as a result of the seemingly spontaneous switch of WCBS-FM in New York City and several other major market stations. The hostility provoked by the switch rivals the "New Coke" controversy of 1985 and for much the same reason: management grossly underestimates market response and makes a switch without consumer feedback and hopes the fan isn't oscillating in their direction when the verdict comes back soggy and brown. The problem isn't just the format - it expands to the insult to listener intelligence that occurs when one tries to fake free-form with slogans like "we play what we want" when the whole thing is clearly programmed from the headquarters of some radio conglomerate and seems to involve no human involvement at all. Computers don't "want" to play anything, and to invoke the image of an iPod on shuffle like it was a compliment doesn't do a thing for us who remember the feeling of picking out a dozen 45's, stacking them up on an old RCA EY3 and letting it rip. I'm 41, born literally as the baby boom was drawing to an end, and grew up in the 1970's. To my generation, oldies radio meant 50's rock. The 80's expanded the format to the 60's and seemed to set the pattern: oldies radio was defined as about twenty years behind the times. By that standard, the 90's should have brought another expansion into the 70's, yet for the most part this didn't happen. As the decade lurched on some stations ('CBS among them) reluctantly took on the post-Vietnam era, but for the most part the format was pretty much American Pie Radio - like the song, stuck in time and unable to acknowledge anything that happened after 1971. To an audience whose first impression of the 70's was "Afternoon Delight" and "You Light Up My Life" this brought a sigh of relief, but for those of us for whom those were our formative years a nostalgic hole was never filled. Just because Chuck Berry's only #1 was the embarrassing "My Ding-A-Ling" didn't automatically mean all the music sucked, and the discovery of a pile of 45's from the era would often serve to remind us that there was a great deal of great music being ignored by what was supposed to be its prime archivists - oldies radio. About four years ago I was summoned to the home of my friend Paul DiMarco - Mister 70's, who as a disc jockey had been one of the most successful programmers of 70's oriented radio. Paul had been fighting for years to explain why PD's experimenting with the format weren't getting his ratings, and ultimately gave it up for the far more lucrative job of selling ice cream. Paul called me over to explain that the PD of Oldies 97 here in Poughkeepsie had apparently decided to grow up. "Here's the deal," Paul explained. "Come Monday Oldies 97 is now Mix 97 - the best of the 60's, 70's and 80's. 60's is down to the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and a handful of other mainstays. All that "96 Tears" crap - gone." I said it sounds great, but generally a "Mix" station is a mix of the old and the new. "Well, here it's a mix of the old and the older." I said fine, but mark my words they'll be playing contemporary stuff within a year. Six months later 80's ruled the station, and by the end of the year they were effectively an AC station. Paul's dream format had just been a transitionary move to try to hang to some of their audience through the format change. For this reason and others, I've often thought of the 70's as the Lost Decade. Oldies radio is heavily 60's based, AC tries to reach out to Debbie of Bowling For Soup's "1985" with the music of her youth but is afraid to reach back any further for fear of reminding her that once she shared her kids' opinion of her parents as boring old farts, and the music I grew up with falls through the chasm in the middle. IMO, the steerage away from traditional oldies formats is largely demographic. As most of us are painfully aware, the music makers of the 60's are mostly in their 60's themselves. The audience is literally dying out, and to stay in business the stations are courting a younger demographic while they still have time. I have to understand the move even if I don't personally like what it's doing to the music I love (and just as the Cameo-Parkway catalog is finally seeing the light of day in the digital domain, too). Yet there's a part of me that wonders if oldies radio didn't turn a deaf ear to the 70's when the timing was right, an easy transition from the 70s into the 80's would have occurred by now and the format would acceptably have embraced the full spectrum of rock radio's history - 50's through 80's - with little if any flack from the audience. Joe Nelson ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Bobster, what these radio Gods do not realize is that we listen to OUR OWN CHOICES and Cds when we are at a computer. When we are in the car or at work, the radio is what we listen to, not internet radio. If I'm at home, I am NOT listening to internet radio (unless it's 60's airchecks at Uncle Ricky's site). It does no good to have Fred Winston and Biondi on internet only. How do you get ratings there, anyway? I would listen to Uncle Lar and Lil Tommy if it were on radio here in Lincoln, but not on the internet. I am currently listening to some song by a current group, Jet, that someone gave me at work cause it sounds like the Beatles. Yeah, it sounds like "Free as a Bird", which means it sounds like the Beatles sounding like ELO. Just put some 60's on and forget the pretneders. I was talking with Kingbee Ron Britain (formerly WCFL) and saying how much radio has botched everything. Unlike me, he likes progression in radio, however, he did agree that this was not a wise decision. Heck, here in Lincoln, the oldies station rates in the 10-15 category of popularity. Being #8 in New York City has got to be pretty good-- especially when being the same format for 30+ years!!! Clark Besch ---------------------------------------------------------------------- With the loss of the two oldies heritage stations in NYC and Chicago, a listener of my show, Treasure Island Oldies, called in to say that more than ever he is so thankful that I provide such a great variety of oldies from the 50s, 60s and 70s. He went on to say that as soon as the Internet is wireless and able to be listened to in cars, Treasure Island Oldies will be huge. Well I thanked him and said I sure hope so. I went on to say he could listen to the show anywhere via his cell phone, although not in high quality broadband feed. LOL I am not generally one to do a 'shameless plug', but ask S'popper Ian Chapman his thoughts on my show. He was a contributor for over a year with the feature "Ian Chapman's Girl Groups". Anyway I invite any oldies starved person to come have a listen either to the live show Sundays from 6 to 10 p.m. Pacific, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. or at any time to the archives. Cheers and here's to our music!!!! Michael Godin -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 00:51:33 -0000 From: Kurt Benbenek Subject: Re: Anka alert Jim Cassidy wrote: > Before you tune in Anka on Letterman, be aware that he'll be > promoting his new CD called (gulp!) "Rock Swings." If that > sounds like a Bill Murray SNL skit from 30 years ago, check > out the NY Times article below (free registration required) > and see for yourself. Be sure to dig the audio samples while > you're at it. I picked up Paul Anka's new "Rock Swings" CD a few days ago. It's actually very good and quite listenable. His version of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is getting the most airplay -- and most ridicule around the Internet. But it's one of the best tracks on the album. Anka's cover choices lean toward the less-obvious side, though Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme beat him to Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" several years ago. All the arrangements are great, and to my ears it's not a joke album or a put-on at all. A good pop song is a good pop song, whether it's performed in a hard rock setting or in a swing band mode. I wish more "seasoned" vocalists would follow Anka's lead and record good, off-beat comtemporary pop songs. Kurt Benbenek Long Beach, CA -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 18:40:22 -0700 From: Stefano Subject: The Charmers; The Essex? Does anyone have any info about The Charmers? I am aware they did one single on Pip, "Looking For Trouble", and three on Laurie, one of which is "Shy Guy". Are there any other singles by this group? I see there was more than one group named Charmers, but which is the group that recorded these aforementioned songs? Has the original single mix of "Looking For Trouble" ever been released to CD? Also, can someone please help me I.D. a song I've heard by a group with a female singer, and male background singers, that starts out, "Our love will never die, as long as there is you and I"? The song continues with, "Our love will go on and on, through gladness and through sadness". It sounds like it could be the Essex, but I can't find a listing for this anywhere. Any ideas? Thanks, Stefano -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 10:59:09 +0200 From: Frank Jastfelder Subject: Re: Easy Evil Alan O'Day wrote: > I just want to thank everyone for their responses to my demo > and post, it's such a kick to hear from you! I know it's a little late but I don't wanna miss to thank you for sharing your hidden gems with us. This is more than a demo, it's really a blueprint for so many versions. I think Peggy Lee listened to your demo very well. Frank Jastfelder -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 10:05:06 +0100 From: Simon White Subject: Re: Billy Storm Talk on Spectropop of Hank Levine coupled with the featured Record of the Week on Martin Roberts' Jack Nitzsche site has prompted me to dig out another Billy Storm 45 I have, on Infinty (013), "(Love Theme From) El Cid" / "Don't Let Go", from1962. Hank is on the arranging/conducting side of things, while John ("Good Golly Miss Molly") Marascalco handles the production work. "El Cid" is totally ethereal, and sounds purely orchestral, until Billy's voice comes in one minute and eighteen seconds into the two minute thirty five second record. The inference on the label is that the song appears in the movie of the same name ("An Allied Artists Release"), but does anyone know if it's Billy on the soundtrack? The label is vague on that point. I also wonder if any members of The O'Jays might have seen the movie, because there are hints of "Lonely Drifter," the song they recorded with H.B. Barnum, in there too. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 08:38:36 -0400 From: Deena J Canale Subject: Jeff Barry interview Jeff Barry interview, from the L.A. Weekly: -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 7 Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 09:42:49 -0700 (PDT) From: Artie Wayne Subject: re: Alan O'Day / "Rock And Roll Heaven" Alan...How ya'doin'? I had forgotten how complicated the story of "Rock And Roll Heaven" becoming a hit was until you called me a couple of days ago. When we matched memories we both discovered things we each didn't know. I remember it being one of the most difficult publishing situations I've ever encountered. We represented Marc Gordon's publishing company Caesars Music, and I heard a master he had just produced with Johnny Stevenson called "Rock And Roll Heaven". The music and lyrics in the verses were totally different than the version we know, but the chorus was totally intact. I remember bringing it to you to see if you'd be interested in collaborating with Johnny on the song and turn it into a sort of a modern "Hillbilly Heaven", but using pop icons who'd recently passed away. You said you'd be up for it if I could arrange the details with the writer and all of the publishers involved. First I had to convince Marc Gordon not to put out the Johnny Stevenson record and to eat the $7500 he had just spent on the master, and to give up 2/3rds of the publishing to Warner Brothers music and E.H. Morris Music, who had Alan O'Day under exclusive contract. Next I went to Johnny Stevenson, to see if he would be up for this collaboration. He agreed, since he thought he had recorded another song on the same date that would make a stronger first single. Then I went to my pal and boss Ed Silvers at W.B. Music, and Sidney Goldstein, who ran E.H. Morris, and both were adamantly against any further split of an Alan O'Day copyright. Alan was becoming one of the hottest writers in Hollywood, and really didn't need to collaborate with anybody. After playing Johnny's record and explaining what Alan could contribute to the song, as well as with a good deal of begging, they both reluctantly agreed to allow the deal to go through. The easiest part was when you sat down and wrote the new verses and lyrics. The minute I heard it, I knew it was a classic! Marc Gordon recorded the first version of it with Climax, about a year after they had a #1 with "Precious And Few", but not much happened with it. By the time The Righteous Brothers put their version out I had left W.B. Music, to run Irving/Almo Music. When that one peaked at #3 on the charts I remember you coming over to my office and bringing me a dozen roses and thanking me for the part I played in the songs' development. Until a couple of days ago I hadn't known that Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter had contributed the last verse of the song. You never know what you'll discover on Spectropop! Regards, Artie Wayne __________________________________ Discover Yahoo! Stay in touch with email, IM, photo sharing and more. Check it out! -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 8 Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 03:27:05 -0000 From: Unsteady Freddie Subject: Re: A Whiter Shade Of Pale Bob Rashkow wrote: > So Keith Reid DIDN'T write the lyrics??!! Being a Procol Harum > fanatic, I'd better check the credits on all the LPs again. I was > given to understand that all the lyrics to every Procol Harum song > except the few covers they recorded are the work of ultra-talented > Keith Reid. Now if Fisher is claiming credit for the MUSIC...... It's the MUSIC. His claim is that his goth organ instrumentation is an integral part of the song that he 'wrote' (he should also thank Bach for his contribution!) The WORDS are Keith's--no dispute there UNSTEADY FREDDIE -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 9 Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 01:33:38 +0100 From: Mick Patrick Subject: I'll Never Need More Than This I just listened to Ike & Tina Turner's 'I'll Never Need More Than This', a hit record in the UK in 1967. What a great song - one of the very last to be written jointly by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. Talking of Ellie Greenwich . . . As most of you know, following her split from Jeff Barry, she embarked on a creative and business venture with Mike Rashkow, a familiar S'pop name. For a few years the Greenwich-Rashkow team ran Pineywood Productions. Currently, Mike Rashkow is planning the release of a double CD of Pineywood productions, featuring recordings by the Definitive Rock Chorale, the Other Voices, Ellie Greenwich, Dusty Springfield, the Daily News, the Fuzzy Bunnies, Steve Tudanger, the Hardy Boys and other acts. Some months back, he asked me to write the notes for the CD booklet. I was flattered to be asked and agreed to undertake the job. For various serious reasons I had a subsequent change of heart and withdrew from the project. No worries, I thought, he don't need me to write his story anyway - we all know he's capable of doing it himself. Anyway, now he's threatening to sue me for breach of contract. Ho hum. Whatever. Getting back to 'I'll Never Need More Than This' . . . What a drag Universal wouldn't allow Ace Records to use any Ike & Tina Turner tracks on their 'Jack Nitzsche Story' CD. Life's a bitch sometimes. Hey la, Mick Patrick -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 10 Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 18:22:07 -0000 From: Rob Pingel Subject: "Smells Like an Adult Hit" When I heard that Paul Anka had recorded a bunch of 80's songs in swing format, my first reaction was "Oh God, no." After seeing him perform on Letterman last night, change that to "yeah, baby." I think this CD is GOING TO BE HUGE. Is it making any noise on the Billboard charts? Rob Pingel -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 11 Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 18:47:54 -0000 From: Joop Subject: Re: The Charmers Stefano wrote: > Does anyone have any info about The Charmers? Hello Stefano, Maybe you can distil the info you need about the Charmers from this link: Joop greets. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
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