The Spectropop Group Archives presented by Friends of Spectropop

[Prev by Date] [Next by Date] [Index] [Search]

Spectropop - Digest Number 450

______________                                            ______________
______________                                            ______________
______________        S  P  E  C  T  R  O  P  O  P        ______________
______________                                            ______________
                        Jamie LePage (1953-2002)

There are 12 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Obscure Gurls
           From: Will Stos 
      2. Vernons Girls & Sue & Sunny
           From: Ian Chapman 
      3. Re: PP Arnold
           From: Norman 
      4. Re: more cartoon rock
           From: Laura E Pinto 
      5. Fave record labels
           From: Paul Payton 
      6. Vernons Girls
           From: simon white 
      7. RE: Vernons Girls spin-offs
           From: Ian May 
      8. Re: I Can Hear Music etc etc
           From: Mark Wirtz 
      9. Research/Mark Rogers - Excerpt from a Teenager's Schooldays!
           From: Ian Chapman 
     10. Re: Vernons Girls & Sue & Sunny
           From: Norman 
           From: mick patrick 
     12. Re: Obscure Gurls
           From: Norman 


Message: 1
   Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 19:37:49 -0400
   From: Will Stos 
Subject: Obscure Gurls

Question for Mick Patrick, Ian Chapman, et al

How on earth do you guys find all this information on obscure girl 
groups? Every time I flip through liner notes from cd compilations 
written by members of this group I'm amazed at the info you share! 
When I was first interested in learning about girl groups I had a 
difficult time trying to track down biographical information on 
some of the groups that had bigger hits, but you often have 
interesting tidbits on groups that only had a single release. Is 
this all pieced together through interviews with producers, or old 
trade magazines, or something else? I'm quite interested to know 
how everyone on this group who wasn't directly involved in the 
recordings discovered all this stuff.

Will Stos

-------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 00:50:23 +0100 From: Ian Chapman Subject: Vernons Girls & Sue & Sunny Norman wrote: > The Breakaways were a spin-off group from the Vernon Girls. I'd > like to see a thread touching on the Vernon Girls and the spin-off > groups that they led to. Norman, There'll be precisely such a feature up on the Spectropop website in a few days' time. It's a slightly re-written version of a piece I did for the 60s Brit-girl edition of "That Will Never Happen Again", all about the Vernons Girls and their hierarchy. Sue and Sunny's (it's spelt with a "u") first record was for Oriole under the name of the Myrtelles. It was a version of the Lesley Gore song, "Just Let Me Cry". When they switched to EMI's Columbia label in '64, they were calling themselves Sue and Sunshine and doing covers of cool things like Alder Ray's Gary Zekley-penned, "A Little Love (Will Go A Long Long Way)" (on which they were backed by the Breakaways, funnily enough). It was only with the third Columbia single that they adopted the more familiar Sue and Sunny moniker. I personally rate these two, Sunny in particular, amongst the most soulful-sounding of the Brit girls. Their voices turned up on so many things - Norman already mentioned the Joe Cocker back-ups and they were actually members, not back-ups, of the original Brotherhood of Man, but for a perfect 60s pop moment, listen to Sunny's deliverance of the line "meet me where the rainbow ends" on the Love Affair's hit version of "Rainbow Valley". They were also the Stockingtops on CBS and Toast, by the way. And let's not forget Sunny's fab '74 solo hit, "Doctor's Orders". I wonder what the chances are of persuading a certain Spectropopper to post his 60s acetate of Sunny singing an unissued track called "He's Not There" to musica. THIS MEANS YOU MARTIN! And would I be correct in thinking another Spectropopper once recorded Sue - I wonder what the chances are of persuading him to share any recollections he may have. THIS MEANS YOU PHIL! Ian -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 07:54:28 +0930 From: Norman Subject: Re: PP Arnold Bob Rashkow: > Was P P Arnold a member of Ike and Tina's Ikettes? Didn't have > any idea. Her take on "First Cut Is The Deepest" is second on > my list only to Keith Hampshire's 1973 version that died halfway > up the chart (with apologies to Rod Stewart!!!) I think Rod Stewart squashed anyone's hopes of being recognised for their interpretation of Cat Steven's "First Cut Is the Deepest". Around about the time PP Arnold had her hit version nearly every other group gave it the treatment. One of the more interesting interpretations is by Love Affair on their 1968 album Everlasting Love Affair. Steve Ellis always did have an interesting voice, similiar I suppose to both Steve Marriott and Rod Stewart. Give the Love Affair's version of First Cut a listen and see that Rod Stewart owes more than a nod to their rendition! In my hometown Keith Hampshire was the only version that charted (discount historical- revisionist radio playing Rod Stewart). Also his Daytime Night-time made the top 40 here. PP Arnold also had Chip Taylor's "Angel of the Morning" as a potential hit but, as we know, Merrillee Rush beat her to the post with her version. Norman -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 23:04:24 -0000 From: Laura E Pinto Subject: Re: more cartoon rock Will George wrote: > The Cartoon Channel has a new channel on cable called Boomerang. > I was watching the other day, and they featured Josie & the > Pussycats, Droopy, and others. One other cartoon they showed > that I had completely forgotten about was The Chan Clan..... The animated rock group "The Chan Clan", like The Archies, featured Ron Dante as its lead singer, and, as with The Archies, the music supervisor was Don Kirshner. Ron composed most (if not all) of the songs for the Chan Clan with Howard Greenfield. I recently acquired all the Chan episodes on video and was surprised at how good the songs are. I hadn't heard them since the cartoon originally aired, which was 1972-1974. Not sure which song you heard but there was some good music on that show, songs like "Who Dunnit", "Number One Son", "I Got My Eye on You", and others I can't recall right offhand (gotta dig the tapes out again). These terrific songs were never released on vinyl, which is a shame. I'll have to find out from Ron if there's any chance of ever hearing these tunes again. That would be great if Ron could not only get the unreleased Archies songs out but also the Chan Clan material! Laura -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 01:08:24 -0400 From: Paul Payton Subject: Fave record labels Stewart Mason writes: > Anyone but me remember Harlow Wilcox's "Groovy Grubworm," which was on seemingly *every* Plantation Records compilation? That's because it was one of the label's two legit biggest hits, the other being "Harper Valley PTA" by Jeannie C. Riley. Frank Youngwerth asks: >So why is Paris Tower your favorite label of all time? Who else >has a favorite label, and which is it? To be insanely obvious, especially in this company, Philles seldom if ever let us down. I also found Indigo interesting: cool stuff included the Innocents, Kathy Young, the experimental Babs Cooper version of "I Really Do", a strange instrumental by the Crystals (not "our" Crystals) called "Dreams and Wishes", and a country hit by Pat Zill (right name?), "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down". I also liked Keen, where IMHO Sam Cooke did his greatest work. Chip Taylor's Rainy Day label certainly issued more good than bad stuff. Minit made perfect New Orleans music; like Philles with PS's sound, their whole ouvre seemed to be different movements in a long funky symphony. I also like(d) Jamie a lot, especially for Duane Eddy and other Sill-Hazlewood acts like Sanford Clark and Connie Conway, as well as for their broad-based yet Philly-centric catalog. (If you haven't been there, check out for their great discography, history and current life; and thanks, Frank, for posting my quote on the home page!) Of the majors, when Warner Brothers and Reprise made the progressive turnaround, they were almost unfailingly cool for several years; so much about their artists has been said here already. I also always liked Capitol pre-EMI-ownership, when their indie blood was pumping; they had some really original and fascinating one-shots, good doo-wop, excellent country artists and some interesting subsidiaries and "distributed by's". On Capitol: the Ross Sisters, "You Still Want Her" (1960?, pretty country-tinged rock ballad - anyone know about them?), Ed Townsend's exquisite first hit, "For Your Love", the Mavericks, "Sugar Babe"/"Sheree" (B side is superb doowop ballad), the Four Preps (many of their tracks were grossly inderrated IMO), the Fascinators (Tony Pass[alacqua]'s doowop group), the rockabilly of Gene Vincent (although pretty much over on the charts by the 60's), the Galaxies, "Big Triangle" (discussed here at length a while back) and even Wayne Newton & the Newton Brothers' credible doo-wop ballad, "The Real Thing", his first Capitol release. Of course, they had the courage to pick up and drive home the Beach Boys and later the Beatles - seeming no-brainers now, but a bit of a reach at the time. A side comment: it seems with the smaller physical entity and totally customized graphics on CD's (rather than an identifiable logo writ large), label affiliation of an artist or album matters less to me now than it used to - even though it probably shouldn't. Anyone else share that feeling? Country Paul -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 07:26:55 +0100 From: simon white Subject: Vernons Girls While the Vernons name is up here bathing in the Spectropop spotlight, I would like to mention their "Dat's Love" which everyone on the list owes it to themselves to have. Simon -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 7 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 08:22:22 +0100 From: Ian May Subject: RE: Vernons Girls spin-offs Somewhere I have a 45 of The Vernon Girls - Funny All Over. Ian May -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 8 Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 22:12:57 EDT From: Mark Wirtz Subject: Re: I Can Hear Music etc etc Phil Chapman writes: > there more than one version of "I Can Hear Music"?. > ...Ian Chapman says it sounds like a female vocal, but I > favour it's a male vocal (Chas Mills?) a la Beach Boys. Oh boy, Margo would be soooo hurt if she read this. No, with all due respect to good old Chas, he could never pull off a vocal with that much soul. It was Margo on lead and the Breakaways on background. And I never recorded more than one version of this. > I especially like your Spector influenced recordings, but this > seems to be the only actual Spector (co-)written song that you > have recorded. Are there any others, released or not? Not that I ever even thought about it, but, as it happens, I never recorded any Spector song, although I adore the man's music and genius. In fact, until then, I had always assumed that I CAN HEAR MUSIC was written by Brian Wilson. > I recently dug out Ray Singer's "The Richest Man Alive" ... > which contains a number of musical ideas utilised in your later > recordings (inc. "A Touch Of Velvet...."). Indeed, I did it repeatedly throughout the years. Very simply, my ideas were like my children. Since most of the early recordings never made it and nobody ever heard them, it felt like my kids had been rejected or ignored. So, I "pushed" them out there again at the next opportunity. In some other cases, it was more like a "signature" or "theme" that I "continued." My musical "TEMPO" is a downright "festival" of it - original, yet embodying countless "echoes" of past "themes" as well as homages and tributes to the music makers by whom I was touched and influenced. Hope you'll get a chance to hear it. Mark Frumento can get you a copy of it if you are interested. Ray Singer was a relative of Ember Boss Jeff Kruger. I produced four tracks with Ray for Jeff, all American songs, recorded at Landsdowne Studios. I never recorded there again afterwards, or any other studio that used Scully multi track tape machines, because I hated the in-built auto compressors. > How did you persuade the engineer to mix the tambourine so LOUD? Easy - I just said, more tambourine! LOL > Is this a cover version (Z.Sands - M.Rubin) Those are indeed the US composers, but I cannot recall if it was a cover version, or came from a publisher's demo. I produced another M. Rubin song, "That Girl Of Mine" with Russ Loader (Rubin - Koppelman), so my guess is that I discovered the songs at the same publisher. > or is it another one of your pen names? Why did you use so many > different writing names? Because I ridiculously strove for anonymity on the one hand, while desperately trying to find acclaim on the other - more for my music, though, than me personally. That is why I was such an enigma (trying to conceal my German background identity - though I wasn't even born there, I was born in Alsace Loraine - for fear that not only I, but my music would be hated). I have since learned the hard way, that, in show business, you gotta have a face. No face, no show. Since then I have become an obnoxious self-promoter ;) > Finally, what were you on when you recorded "Good Wizard Meets > Naughty Wizard":-)??? Don't shoot the mail man! - ask Twink and Junior what THEY were on, LOLOL. I just "photographed" the thing. No doubt about it, when you ask questions, you don't screw around. As you can see, neither do I! Smiles to you. Mark -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 9 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 03:22:47 +0100 From: Ian Chapman Subject: Research/Mark Rogers - Excerpt from a Teenager's Schooldays! Will asked: > How on earth do you guys find all this information on obscure > girl groups? Every time I flip through liner notes from cd > compilations written by members of this group I'm amazed at > the info you share! Hi Will, A combination of things - researching music papers/books/ interviews, both from the time and more recent, amassing piles of vinyl, scanning the credits on the labels and making connections - and having a good long-term memory helps! Sometimes if you follow a few leads, it's possible to contact or meet some of the artists or producers themselves, most of whom, in my experience, are happy to talk about their careers, however fleeting their time in the spotlight may have been. Everyone's got a story worth listening to. Undoubtedly, the advent of the net has made a big difference in terms of legendary names becoming more accessible. If you'd have told me ten years ago that I'd be reading emails from the likes of Mark Wirtz, Carol Kaye, Mike Rashkowsky, Diane Renay and Barbara Alston, to name a few who've passed through Spectropop........ But you have to love the music! Personally, I'm quite happy wading through a pile of old Billboards or Pop Weeklies, but only because I'm driven by a desire to find out as much as I can about the records I've enjoyed so much over the years and the people behind them. And it's amazing what a little dedication can turn up - you never know what you might find.......... For example, I have in front of me a cool little Record Mirror article from 1963 with the heading "New Pianist Mark - Expelled Five Times!" Here's a brief excerpt:- "Mark Rogers (real name Mark Wirtz) comes from Germany. EMI's Norman Newell, the man who launched Russ Conway to chartdom, sees him as a new star pianist. Mark himself, though grateful, sees himself as a young-hopeful comedian. He was quite a comic at school. At least his school friends thought so. In fact, his sense of humour led him to being expelled from no less than five schools - which could be a record! At one, he poured castor oil into a master's soup to stop him accompanying the boys on a 20-mile hike. At another, he cemented up the lock of the main entrance door so effectively that the door had to be broken down. Seven hundred locked-out boys laughed........." No wonder Marlene was nervous about working with you! Neat pic too, Mark :-) Ian -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 10 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 17:02:59 +0930 From: Norman Subject: Re: Vernons Girls & Sue & Sunny Thank you Ian, being a Love Affair fan I never knew that was Sunny sang that brilliant piece on "Rainbow Valley" (which incidentally was not a hit in Australia). Look forward to the Vernon Girls info on Spectropop. Can you also clear up whether it was Sunny who sang "Doctors Orders". Norman -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 11 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 08:29:36 +0100 (BST) From: mick patrick Subject: WIRTZ, BRIT GIRLS & RESEARCH Original message from Will Stos: > Question for Mick Patrick, Ian Chapman, et al: How on earth do > you guys find all this information on obscure girl groups? > Every time I flip through liner notes from cd compilations > written by members of this group I'm amazed at the info you > share! Hi, Gee, someone who actually READS CD booklets. Will, I think I love you. Seriously, the answer to the above question is research. Good reference books are essential. You may have noticed that I usually list my sources at the end of each of my sleevenotes. And I have plugged numerous books on Spectropop. My copy of Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1996 is permanently at my side, right next to my Silk Cut Ultra, my mug of coffee and my tube of Bazuka (don't ask!). - See, I always plug my sources. Of course, one also needs a good record collection and a good memory. Plus lots of helpful and sharing friends. And over the years I have amassed many magazines. In fact, just this very sunny morning I was flicking through an old issue of Goldmine while waiting for Rugrats to start ( or ) when I came across a 1983 interview with MARK WIRTZ... I found some interesting bits in the accompanying discography. For example, maybe Mark would like to tell us a little about producing tall, weird KIM FOWLEY...or the German language recordings of rockabilly goddess WANDA JACKSON...or PEANUT'S unissued single "Rumours". > Norman wrote about: ...the Breakaways...the Vernons Girls...the > Ladybirds...Dusty Springfield...Kiki Dee...Madeline Bell...P. P. > Arnold...Sue & Sunny... Hey, Norm, have you seen issue 5/6 of THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN magazine, the all Brit Girls issue? All the babes you mentioned are featured in it, along with dozens of others. It was rather good (he said, modestly). I have a spare copy at my side, right next to my foot ointment. Send me your address and it will be on its way to you before you can say "Grazina touched my leg". MICK PATRICK -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 12 Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 21:09:22 +0930 From: Norman Subject: Re: Obscure Gurls Will Stos asks: > How on earth do you guys find all this information on obscure girl > groups? My answer is similiar to everyone else's; Research and sources, which can be accessed. Having lived during the period helps. An obsession at the time with that particular genre and the ability to remember and store enough information while you are still young....I can tell you I remember seeing the Undertakers on 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' way back in 1964 but can't remember the name of the group I saw on 'Top of The Pops' last night! Norman -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------

Click here to go to The Spectropop Group
Spectropop text contents copyright 2002 Spectropop unless stated otherwise. All rights in and to the contents of these documents, including each element embodied therein, is subject to copyright protection under international copyright law. Any use, reuse, reproduction and/or adaptation without written permission of the owners is a violation of copyright law and is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.