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Spectropop - Digest Number 547



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                        Jamie LePage (1953-2002)
                   http://www.spectropop.com/Jamie.htm
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There are 6 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Grassroots, Fanita
           From: Doc Rock 
      2. Stewart Mason // Little Boy
           From: Jimmy Boy 
      3. Re: Simon's Saturday Morning Playlist
           From: Paul Richards 
      4. Re: Bonner & Gordon
           From: Karl Baker 
      5. Re: Grassroots
           From: Glenn 
      6. Re: Bonner & Gordon
           From: Glenn 


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Message: 1
   Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 09:46:03 -0400
   From: Doc Rock 
Subject: Grassroots, Fanita

Speaking of "Original Versions:"
The first time I heard "Where Were You When I Needed You," I 
thought it was by Jan & Dean. I'd been listening to their (Jan's) 
version for months on their Liberty LP, Folk 'n' Roll.

And the recent quote here in SpectroPop from  Fanita about 
recording a version of "It's My Party: slowly, that's from my 
interview/article/book:

Since Fanita was a singer on the "Crystals" version of "He's a 
Rebel", perhaps she can shed some light on the controversy of 
whether Phil stole that song from Snuff as most people claim 
and used the Blossoms instead of the Crystals in order to steal 
a march on Snuff; or whether Spec thought he had a valid exclusive 
on the song as did Snuff. 
"The only thing I ever heard about 'He's a Rebel' was that Phil 
Spector was mad at the Crystals. It was his song, but he was angry 
with the Crystals about something so he refused to fly them out 
from New York. He just got us to do it here. I always thought Phil 
had the song as an exclusive. I never knew any different. I think 
I would have heard some kind of scuttlebutt."
"The follow-up to 'He's a Rebel' was supposed to be 'It's My Party.'
Darlene sang lead, it was to be released under the Blossoms' name. 
We learned it and we were doing it slow, we would drag it. But Phil 
never put it out! The here comes Lesley and, boy, was that a big 
record. Isn't that something?"



-------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 10:35:10 -0400 From: Jimmy Boy Subject: Stewart Mason // Little Boy You're most probably right about the backing chant... though, admittedly, I waver on various days depending on whether I'm experiencing an objective or subjective mood... ==Jimmy Boy== -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 16:09:06 -0000 From: Paul Richards Subject: Re: Simon's Saturday Morning Playlist Ian Chapman wrote: > For the ultimate in girl-group-goes-spy, you just gotta > hear the Kane Triplets' vocal version of "Theme From Mission > Impossible" on U.A! Definitely one for you! I'd love to hear it,I've got a great vocal version of 'Mission Impossible'too by The Alan Copeland Singers which is them singing 'Norwegian Wood' over 'Mission Impossible',perhaps the first ever bootleg/mash-up. Re The Kane Triplets-I've got a great single by them called 'Buttercup Days'on UA. Great track. Paul R -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 14:14:04 -0400 From: Karl Baker Subject: Re: Bonner & Gordon Glenn wrote: > Garry Bonner has been singing with Kenny Vance in a retro-group > called The Planotones for the last 8 years. I don't think he > composes anymore. The group has always had flexible membership, so he doesn't always perform with them. > I once wrote him a long fan e-mail praising him to the heavens, > and after two months of prompting and urging by the people who > ran his website, he finally responded to me. Here's what he wrote: > "Glen, > Thanks for the compliments. > Garry" > I always thought that it was weird that a guy with such a thoroughly > unconventional spelling of his first name, Garry, who has probably > had to deal with misspellings of it his whole life, wouldn't even > bother to spell my name right While here's no excuse in not spelling your name correctly (I've encountered plenty of that myself), you do have to wonder if he ever received you letter in the first place, hence the cursory response. > Bonner and Gordon split as a team around 1972. Bonner recorded > some solo singles for ATCO which he wrote himself. I think that the singles you are referring to were actually on Migration/Atlantic (1974-5) were produced by Bob Ezrin and were quite good ("I Can't Stand It", in particular), I thought. He had earlier singles on Columbia, Faithful Virtue and MGM as well as an album on Calla, on whose cover his named is misspelt! Did you know that Bonner & Gordon also released singles under the names Elmo & Almo and The Parrots? > Alan Gordon formed his own publishing company, ExtraGordonary > Music (always loved that name) and continued to write songs > (mostly by himself without co-writers) at least well into the > 70's. His biggest hit was with Barbra Streisand in 1977, a Top > 10 song called "My Heart Belongs To Me". My favorite thing he > wrote post-Bonner/Gordon was a 1974 single by Sha-Na-Na called > "Maybe I'm Old Fashioned". Alan also recorded this song himself under the pseudonym Alias Billy Hills for 4 Star Radio Records (1972). The single had a wonderfully hysterical B-side "When I Was a Gopher". His best recordings were under the name The Barracuda which had Peter Sando from Gandalf as lead singer. Alan was still an active staff songwriter for EMI Music where he continue to have modest successes (The Soaps And Hearts Ensemble "Merry Christmas Wherever You Are" (RCA, 1994)) until the ouster of Charles Koppelman from the company. > I don't know what Gordon is doing now. I'd like to write to him, > but I'm afraid to. Alan moved from NYC to Arizona (?!?) a couple of years ago. He was considering putting together a Broadway musical a la Smokey Joe's Cafe using the songs that he had penned with Garry. Hope that this has been of help. Karl Baker -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 20:54:43 -0000 From: Glenn Subject: Re: Grassroots Alan Gordon: > isn't the original single on the Varese album, "Where Were > You When I Needed You" (VSD-5511 1994)? It says it's the > "Original Single Version." Hi Alan, Shew! At first I thought you were the songwriter of the same name and were going to get on me for knocking your former partner. :) Not really! I've seen your posts before and knew you weren't THAT Alan Gordon. Besides, if you HAD been, you would have answered the Bonner/Gordon questions before Karl and I did. :) As to your Grass Roots question, give me some time to check into that CD reissue of the album. I know that CD liner notes can be wrong - and often are - but on the Grass Roots CD compilation "Their All Time Greatest Hits" (now out of print, replaced by the decidedly inferior "Millenium Collection") the credits say the version used there is Bill Fulton's. The credits on Rhino's "Anthology" and MCA's "Millenium" say they are using the P.F. Sloan version. There is no question that these two different versions were recorded, but there IS some controversy about whether it was P.F. Sloan or Bill Fulton on the Dunhill single that charted. That's how close the two vocals are to each other, so close that some people don't believe Sloan when he asserts to this day that it was Bill Fulton's version on the single. According to the liner notes on "Anthology": "Sloan maintains that the first officially released version of 'Where Were You When I Needed You' featured Fulton's vocal in place of his, citing as evidence the sheet music for the song, which has a picture of Fulton and the band." Weak, huh? I mean, the vocals are so close that most people can't even tell them apart. And by "officially released", he is contrasting it with the previous promo-only single sent to radio stations which unquestionably had Sloan's vocal, since Fulton's band hadn't even been considered at the time. To dispel one widely-held impression of the Grass Roots as a studio-only project a la Sloan/Barri's previous "Fantastic Baggies" incarnation, both Sloan and Barri state that their initial intention with the Grass Roots name was much more serious, and they actually considered putting together a group including themselves and going on the road. But they were always iffy about it, and finally when the promo of "Where Were You" got such a hot response, and they began to consider the realities of being in a nationally touring band, they changed their minds and decided to hire a group. Anyway, I'll have to check into the Varese reissue of the "Where Were You When I Needed Ya" album, and get back to you. I think the best way anyone can decide these questions is by A-B-ing the different versions with their own ears. If YOU can tell the difference for yourself, you'll be ahead of some of the people that made the records! > You sound like you're a serious expert when it comes to all things > Botanical Hey, I know nothing about the Seeds OR the Leaves, although I'm somewhat familiar with the Rock Flowers. > Also: The Repertoire 2fer album of "Feelings" and "Let's Live For > Today", with a couple of extra bonus tracks is also very nice. That's up for bid on eBay right now. I'm considering it. Thanks for the recommendation. Glenn -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 21:44:08 -0000 From: Glenn Subject: Re: Bonner & Gordon Karl Baker wrote: > While here's no excuse in not spelling your name correctly > (I've encountered plenty of that myself), you do have to wonder > if he ever received you letter in the first place, hence the > cursory response. Okay, I kinda simplified this story for the sake of space, but rather than an e-mail to Bonner it was on a message board on the Planotones site that I posted my long, raving complimentary "letter" to him. And it stayed on the board for months, for all the world, including Garry, to see. When I wrote to the webmasters about the lack of response from Garry, they sent me e-mails like "we're really sorry, we're trying to get him to respond to you, we'll remind him again." And finally he wrote that one line response on the board. I don't know; people are different. I once wrote a fan letter to writers Harvey Price and Dan Walsh, and they responded by calling me from one of their homes in California, each on a different extension, and talking with me for an hour and a half! So, in contrast, Bonner's actions seemed a bit rude. Try writing to the famously reclusive Joey Levine, the guy behind Ohio Express and the Third Rail and Reunion, and he'll write you a nice letter back and send you a tape of some of the jingles he's written over the years ("Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't", "Come see the softer side of Sears", and many others we all know.) So does this comparatively make Bonner a jerk? Well, I don't know him personally, but in my book it does. > > Bonner recorded > > some solo singles for ATCO which he wrote himself. > I think that the singles you are referring to were actually on > Migration/Atlantic (1974-5) were produced by Bob Ezrin and were > quite good ("I Can't Stand It", in particular), I thought. Yeah, those were the singles I was referring to. In fact, "I Can't Take It" [so good that you forgot the title ;)] was co-written with Gordon - maybe that's why it was good. I'll have to give those some more listens. > He had earlier singles on Columbia, Faithful Virtue and MGM as > well as an album on Calla, on whose cover his named is misspelt! Well, there IS some justice in the world. > Did you know that Bonner & Gordon also released singles under > the names Elmo & Almo and The Parrots? No, I didn't. You know more about these guys than I do, and I'd love to get as much info as you can give me on them. I am a huge fan, and the more of them I can find, the happier I'll be. If you have any more you can e-mail off-list if you like, although others here may be interested, too. > Alan was still an active staff songwriter for EMI Music where he > continue to have modest successes (The Soaps And Hearts Ensemble > "Merry Christmas Wherever You Are" (RCA, 1994)) until the ouster > of Charles Koppelman from the company. This is all great information. Thank you very much! Do you know either of these guys personally? Your information is incredible! > Hope that this has been of help. Absolutely, Karl! I can't thank you enough! I'm sure the other Bonner/Gordon fans around here (and I know there are plenty) will also appreciate this very much. BTW, I always thought "Cat in the Window" by Petula Clark was one of their better songs. Also the incredibly clever Turtles song "You Know What I Mean", whose word play and not-of-this-earth song structure is mind-blowing, has always been an underrated classic. The talent of the Bonner/Gordon team seemed to have no limits. Glenn -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
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