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Spectropop - Digest Number 629

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                        Jamie LePage (1953-2002)

There are 5 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Val Valentin
           From: Gregg Luvoxx 
      2. Re: instrumentals, multi-charters, garage & more
           From: Country Paul 
      3. Re: Vinyl versus CD
           From: Billy G Spradlin 
      4. Re: Carter/Lewis and others
           From: Hans Ket 
           From: Mick Patrick 


Message: 1
   Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 21:57:02 -0700
   From: Gregg Luvoxx 
Subject: Val Valentin

I'm curious about the man known as Val Valentin, director of engineering on
so many great albums on MGM, Verve, Forecast and others. Recently, The
Velvet Underground has been mentioned on the Spectropop list, and I think
that's appropriate. One thing that always warmed my cockles Velvet
Underground & Nico was recorded at the same studio where The Shirelles
recorded. IMHO The Shirelles and VU records are the greatest recordings in
the history of rock and roll and the idea that they are somehow linked is
like, too much. I've been collecting so many great LPs that all seem to have
this Val Valentin in common - the list is endless. Maybe it's just that he's
worked with so many brilliant artists but it has to be said that he's one
hell of an engineer. What's his story?


-------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 02:56:58 -0400 From: Country Paul Subject: Re: instrumentals, multi-charters, garage & more Richard Tearle notes: > ..."Classical Gas" by Mason Williams came out as the top instrumental hit > of the 1960s - any members here got any thoughts on that? The top hit? Very good, but there are too many good choices pre- and post-1964. I'd possibly nominate "Apache" by Jorgen Ingemann or "Wonderland by Night" by Bert Kaempfert, remembering how radical those sounds were when new vs. how routine they've subsequently become. Also any Duane Eddy on Jamie. Must also mention "Pipeline" by the Chantays and the aurally-related "Penetration" by the Pyramids. (Try naming a song "Penetration" in these oh-so-PC times!) Also perhaps not on the same level are two phantom tracks which are among my favorites - The Survivors' beautiful "After The Game" (Brian Wilson in his best 6/8 ballad style) on Capitol; and the Saturday Knights' (who also backed Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannnon) on a beautiful sax-led slow dance, "Sea Mist" (Nocturne, 1961) - my ultimate last-dance-at-the-prom song. (I'm still looking for an original performance of "After The Game" on any hard-copy format - 45, LP, CD, cassette - without breaking the bank. Contact me off-list if you can help.) Brian Davy, I don't know Donna Lee Ann's "15 Only 15," but she had at least one more 45 on Dore ("Four O'Clock," a teeny girl-group sound) with a beautiful instrumental ("Donna's Theme") on the flip with a whistling lead trading off with piano. (It may have been her theme, but she was obviously not around when the song was recorded.) It sounds like Don Randi on the piano; it's similar to his beautiful "Our Last Dance" on Mark-X from the same era. Incidentally, Mason Williams was originally marketed to radio as a folkie type. Previous to the hit, he recorded a live album for Vee Jay called "Them Poems," early-John Hartford-like off-the-wall humor with about two dozen nonsense poems set to the same diddly little tune. Sample complete lyric: "How 'bout them cheeseburgers / ain't they neat / little piece of cheese and a / little piece of meat." There was also one about "doodle dashers," apparently an LA Police term for individuals engaged in illicit exposure; I forget how he worked up the rhyme of "How 'bout them doodle dashers," but but it ended with them "out in th e park / just dashin' their doodles." Classical? no. Gas? indeed.... and thanks for, Dan Hughes. While on instrumentals, I remember "Summer Set" - nice soporano sax lead. It was on Carlton on the US and was a medium-sized hit, at least in New York, but it was by Monty Kelly (unless ol' Ack cut it under a more euphonious name!). Our friend Mikey, not just "The Twist" and "Wipeout" hit twice. The west coast granddaddy of doo-wop, "Earth Angel" by the Penguins, hit three times - early '55, late '56, and again at the bottom of the top 100 in '58 after being excerpted in Buchanan & Goodman's pioneering cut-in record, "Flying Saucer." By the way, lead singer Cleve Duncan and two of the other original Penguins are still touring; they were in New York again recently, and I heard them live two years ago. They still sound a whole lot like the original recordings, which is quite the stunt considering they're well into their 60's! On a related note, Billy Spradlin writes: > The Righteous Brothers "Unchained Melody" hit the Top 40 again after it > appeared in the movie "Ghost" in October 1990. > It's probably the first time in chart history two different versions of the > same song by the same artist hit the Top 40! No one has yet mentioned that in 1960 or '61, "Every Beat of My Heart" charted in two versions, one on VeeJay (as The Pips) and one on Fury (as Gladys Knight & The Pips). The VeeJay was an earlier recording, which I think was the bigger hit, but the group had several more hits on Fury and Maxx (dist. Amy-Bell-Mala) before going to Motown. Jeff Lemlich: thanks for the Joni Lyman note. Now, who is Nooney Rickett? I remember seeing a record under the name Nooney Rickett Pure (on Capitol, I think). Was that a group name? I always thought he was Mr. Pure, if the name was even real. Garage rock classics around Rhode Island, where I was in the 60's, include, but were in no way limited to: Louie Louie (of course); Gloria (the lead singer loved to gross up the lyrics); 96 Years (the genius of the original is how lame it makes ever cover band seem); Mustang Sally; Knock on Wood; Money (Barrett Strong, not Pink Floyd); Hey Joe; Johnny B. Goode; and when desperate to kill lots of time, the Ray Charles classic What'd I Say. One generation earlier, the blues standard was Honky Tonk. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (In The Garden of Eden originally) was a cliche from the starting line; it was immortalized as the one song our band would never play - although at one New Year's Eve job we trashed the hell out of it as "In the Garbage With Vito" just for kicks; of course, the gig was already a drunken rave at a Vermont ski resort, so it didn't really matter.... More soon, Country Paul -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 08:05:07 -0000 From: Billy G Spradlin Subject: Re: Vinyl versus CD One thing I noticed about the "Wall of Sound" box set is that many of the 1963-6 songs sound muffled and flat, like they were EQ'ed/noise processed to get rid of tape hiss. I could understand why Phil wore those "Back to Vinyl" buttons around the same time! Abkco just redid the whole Rolling Stones catalog - most of the remasters blow away the old 80's CD's (especally the Jimmy Miller produced LP's) - They did a lousy job of remixing "Satisfaction" though! I was at a freinds house yesterday who had the new Elvis 30 #1 collection and the sound quality is outstanding - whoever remastered it pulled more detail off the old masters than I've ever heard on any other CD reissue. (My gripe here is that they included the lousy "Wooden Heart" and left off "Little Sister!!") Billy -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 11:57:14 +0200 From: Hans Ket Subject: Re: Carter/Lewis and others Mark wrote: > The Flower Pot Men question reminded me to comment > on/ask about John Carter related releases on CD. > Listed below are the CDreleases I know of. Can anyone > add to this list... I would love to hear from you... I've got one addition to Mark's list: The Carter-Lewis Story (C. L. & Southeners, Ivy League, Haystack, Dawn Chorus a.o.) Sequel u.k. Is there any chance that there will be a "John Carter - As You Like It Vol 2"??? During the mid-end sixties products of J. Carter & K. Lewis and many other "background" people defined an important part of the british pop sound. And I really mean "A SOUND", a coherent patern of musical styles, orchestrations and productions which were "brought" to the continent by the English broadcasts of Radio Luxembourg and offshore radio like Caroline, London, England, Veronica etc.. That's how I get a chance to listen to D. Springfield, the Walker Brothers, M. Faithfull, Twice as Much, the Fortunes, David & Jonathan, The Rocking Berries, the Ivy League, the Flower Pot Men, Keith West, Pinkerton's Assorted Colors, the Californians and many many others. In Holland these artists were mostly regarded as "Third Division" or "One Day Hit Wonders" between gods like the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, the Who, Them, the Pretty Things, Spencer Davis Group, a.s.o.. During the sixties I wouldn't dare to think of the above mentioned artists as "different sides of the same stone" but now, (at least to my continental point of view) I regard many of their recordings very close to, or better, as a part of the concept "SPECTROPOP SOUND". It is remarkable that more then thirty years later there's so much interest in Carter/Lewis products (as Marks list suggests). Remarkable because the Ivy League were, as I remember, low profile. In Holland they had only one hit with "Tossing & Turning" (highest position nr.16) and their albums were only available by a budget label "Marble Arch". The news that "the Who" needed them as (backing) vocals on their first album give them some prestige, but their image as the Flower Pot Men, a studiogroup who tried to cash in on the flower power (Let's go to San Francisco) and psychedelica (Walk in the sky) craze, did them no good and they were written off as phony clowns. (Didn't the "road version" of the group wear flowerpot styled hats??) Lucky that so many recent (re)releases of unisued tracks, complete albums, and retrospectives prove that Carter/Lewis were no followers and copycats but fantastic creators of good pop music. Compared to the attention for and publications on U.S. musicians, producers, arrangers like Gary Usher, Brian Wilson, Jack Nitzsche, Curt Boetcher, the Wrecking Crew a.s.o. the interest in and the acknowledgement of the testators of some parts of the british pop scene is a bit poor. It's great that some musical vaults of "background people" like Mark Wirtz are opened by companies like R.P.M. and by "private releases" of M. Wirtz himself. But there're a lot more names to save from oblivion. I'm really curious to the more obscure heritage of people like Ivor Raymonde, Les Reed, Johnny Franz, Reg Guest and Irving Martin (how's progress M. Roberts??) and many others who contribute so much to British "Spectropop". Hans Ket -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 11:49:04 +0100 From: Mick Patrick Subject: Re: CHRISTMAS SONGS Hi, Someone mentioned Pearl Bailey's "Five Pound Box Of Money". Bravo! It's one of those roots-of-rap cuts that I love. In a similar vein, might I also recommend "Be Bop Santa Claus" by Babs Gonzales, an ultra-hip Yuletide '58 offering on George Goldner's End logo. For a Christmas disc with a difference - and, indeed, a message - I'd suggest Shirley Ellis' "You Better Be Good, World", released on Congress in 1965, a plea for peace in which the Name Game gal warns, "Don't let no hydrogen bombs go boom-boom-boom, scaring all the little reindeer in the sky". Cool record. By the way, all I want for Christmas is a copy of "Abracadabra" by Erma Franklin. Anyone? Mick - Mick, Bo - Bick, Banana Fanna Fo - Fick, Fee Fi Mo - Ick, Mick -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------

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