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Spectropop - Digest Number 743

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                        Jamie LePage (1953-2002)

There are 4 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Art Munson - Any Questions
           From: Team Spectropop 
      2. Re: Penny Valentine
           From: Richard Havers 
      3. 4 Seasons on the Hot 100
           From: Mike Edwards 
      4. Re: Seasonal Similitude
           From: Mick Patrick 


Message: 1
   Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 10:47:04 -0000
   From: Team Spectropop 
Subject: Art Munson - Any Questions

Impressed with the quality of our discussions and with the musical knowledge
of the members, Artie Wayne suggested to the Spectropop Team that we throw
some questions at his friend and colleague Art Munson, a significant figure
in the history of the music we all love. You can read the result of that
question and answer session below. The introduction was written by Artie
Wayne and the questions were posed by Peter Richmond. Follow-up questions
are very welcome.

Enjoy! The Spectropop Team

Art Munson - Any Questions:

When I first moved to Hollywood I'd run into guitarist Art Munson at session
after session. As we became friends and collaborators, I slowly discovered
his rich musical history - from riding on the first wave of California surf
music, to being one of the bricks in the "Wall of Sound". He's played with
everyone from the Righteous Brothers, Paul Simon, and Barbra Streisand to
Kermit the Frog. Even though he owns the highly successful Cassette House,
his heart is still in the music. And he's willing to share some of his
experiences with Spectropop.

PR: How did you enter the music business and what was your musical

AM: My dad played guitar in a trio (guitar, fiddle and accordion), called
the Pioneers, starting in the 30s. They played for square dances and had a
radio show. My mom would sometimes sing with them. All this was in
Connecticut. In fact, my mom met my dad at one of the dances and they ran
away to Maryland and got married! She was 16 or so and he was around 24. It
must have "took" as they are still together. The Pioneers were still playing
as a trio up to a year or so ago and then the fiddle player passed on. My
dad and the accordion player still play though and my dad is 86! I started
playing at around 5-years-old or so. I joined my first band at 16. They were
called the Bushwackers and played for dances also. I joined the Marines in
1958 and was stationed in Santa Ana, Calif. I was living off base on the
Balboa peninsula. At that time Dick Dale had just started playing at the
Rendezvous Ballroom after convincing the city to re-open it. He had a record
store right next to where I was living and I would hang out in there. One
day I mentioned to Dick that I also played guitar and he asked me if I
wanted to play with him at a nightclub he was going to perform in. His other
guitar player was too young. Of course I jumped at the chance as his was the
best band I had ever heard! After that night he asked me to join the band
even though his dad did not want to pay me. I didn't care, I was happy.  I
was still in the marines and then got stationed overseas. When I returned I
looked Dick up and his dad still didn't want to pay me, but Dick insisted
and I joined the band.

PR: It must have been an incredible experience to play with Dick Dale & The
Del Tones as his music was so pioneering, didn't he play a right handed
guitar left handed without changing the strings and was entrusted to play
the newly invented Fender Stratocaster?

AM: Yes he did, and uses really heavy strings. That's part of why his sound
is so "big"!

PR: Dick Dale & The Del Tones, the Rhythm Rockers and the Righteous Brothers
were all at one time or another resident at the Rendezvous Ballroom in
Balboa. It is often described as legendary, what made this venue so special?

AM: I think it was because it was one of the only places around of it's
kind. Separated from the beach by only a parking lot.
A magical place, I think built in the 30s. Plus we were all from the same

PR: In 1964 you were in the Fugitives. How did the formation of this group
take place and at what point were the Fugitives transformed into the
Righteous Brothers Band?

AM: After playing with Dick for a while, I was looking for more. I started
sitting in with the Righteous Brothers at the Black Derby in Santa Ana.
Barry Rillera was a sax player with Dick (he is also a great guitar player)
and he turned me on to the Bros. (Trivia: Lee Ferrel was the other sax
player and his son is Will Ferrel the great comedian on Saturday Night
Live.) Mike Patterson and a few of us formed the Fugitives and we had been
backing the Bros. when they started having local hits. When they got there
first national hit they asked us to be their band.

PR: The Righteous Brothers broke new grounds by becoming the first rock n
roll act to play the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas and also broke attendance
records at some of the big night clubs in America. This must have been an
exciting time for you all.

AM: It was a great time, especially for a kid from a small town in

PR: You co-wrote one of the biggest Northern Soul classics of all time,
"Just A Fool" recorded by Jerry Ganey. Was this song written specifically
for Jerry Ganey and were you involved with the recording of the song?

AM: Thanks for the compliment, now if only that would pay off into $$$ :)
Bill and I wrote it for Jerry as he was one of those great singers that we
had run across in our travels.

PR: You formed the group Big Foot following the break up of the Righteous
Brothers. Didn't Big Foot also feature on an unissued Bill Medley MGM album?

AM: Actually I quit the Bros. as I was bored and wanted to do something else
so I joined another band called the Pyramids. They had had a surf hit but
were not doing much, so we started a band called the Family Cat. We played
around in local clubs and after a year or so I was looking for a change. The
best band around was called the 5th Calvary and they were looking to make
some changes so they hired me and the band was renamed Big Foot. After
playing local clubs we started backing up Bill Medley on tour. I was also
made Bill's Musical Director around that time but the other band members
would change. At one time Mike Botnick (?) was the drummer and he later
joined Bread.

PR: The "6680 Lexington" album by 6680 Lexington on MGM Records wasn’t by a
group as such, just very talented musicians including all the members of Big
Foot and singers including Darlene Love, Chris Morgan and Bill Medley. How
did this most unusual album all come about?

AM: It was Mike Patterson's concept and he got Mike Curb to fund it.

PR: You worked on the Blossoms' "Shockwave" album, but you must have played
many times with them and Darlene Love in the 1960s.

AM: Yes I did work a lot with them. Haven't seen them in years though I know
Jeanie passed away a while ago.

PR: When the Righteous Brothers reformed in the mid-70s you co-produced
several tracks with Bill Medley - "Let Me Make The Music" plus 2 other
unreleased at the time tracks, "Happy Song" and "Father Of The Rock N Roll".
Were these tracks a part of a planned album?

AM: Yes, I think for MGM at the time.

Thanks for the questions. I got to exercise my brain in areas I hadn't
thought about in a long time!

-------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 10:23:48 +0000 From: Richard Havers Subject: Re: Penny Valentine Richard Williams wrote: > ...who was the Penny Valentine who recorded "I Want To Kiss Ringo > Goodbye", a 1965 Liberty single? Info gratefully received at > Richard, I would think she is probably American. It came out in the US as Liberty 55774 in 1964 with Show Me The Way To love You on the b-side. More than that I do not know. Agree totally on your views about her reviews.....a lady of good taste. Richard -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 04:41:03 -0000 From: Mike Edwards Subject: 4 Seasons on the Hot 100 One of the feats achieved by the 4 Seasons was to score 4 hits on the Hot 100 in the same week! Let's look at the week ended January 15, 1966: 15 Let's Hang On/4 Seasons 36 Don't Think Twice/Wonder Who 60 Little Boy (In Grown Up Clothes)/4 Seasons 86 (You're Gonna) Hurt Yourself/Frankie Valli "Little Boy" is an interesting title. A great tune from their Vee Jay days, it did not show up on their early albums but appeared in 1965 on "Recorded Live On Stage" (VJ 1154), a fake live album. The version from this album (with the fake applause) was included on Rhino's 25th Anniversary triple CD. Rhino goofed, so true fans have to own the Vee Jay 45 to keep their collections complete. No hardship though, because it has a great b-side, "Silver Wings". Mike Edwards -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 09:21:17 -0000 From: Mick Patrick Subject: Re: Seasonal Similitude Off the top of my head, below is a list of just a few of my favoured 4 Seasons soundalikes. Sorry if any of these have been aforementioned. Some of us members of the Bob Crewe generation are no longer able to keep up with each and every message: The Volumes - Sandra (Jubilee). Lenny Coleman & the Ebbtides - Four Seasons (Laurie). Little Stevie Wonder - Contract On Love (Tamla). The Rocky Fellers - Standing On The Corner (Westside CD). The Ray-Vons - Judy (Laurie). The Supremes (!) - Let Me Go The Right Way (Motown). The 4 Evers - Stormy (Constellation). The Chants - I Don't Care (UK Pye). Fabulous British group. Billy Stewart - Because I Love You (Chess). As heard at the S'pop Party - thrillingly uplifting, commercial, melodic, stomping, clomping, pop/soul falsetto-fest from genius DC "Fat Boy". No Crewe, Calello, Rambeau, Linzer or Randell in sight - unbelievably! Try spinning this one at the 45 Club, Leonardo. MICK PATRICK P.S. Jack, how's your foot? Justin, how's your guts? Rashkovsky, how's life "off wheels"? -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------

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