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Spectropop V#0143

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 09/09/98

  • ________________________________________________________
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       Volume #0143                    September 10, 1998   
              THE PERSONALITY SOUND of the SIXTIES          
    Subject:     Dionne Debate
    Sent:        09/09/98 6:40 am
    Received:    09/09/98 7:06 am
    From:        Stos, William,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    When I first bought Dionne's hits from the 60s on Rhino I couldn't
    get enough of them, but as time goes on I've found other versions 
    of her Burt/Hal stuff that is superior. I love Aretha's version of
    "I Say A Little Prayer For You," and anything Dusty ever recorded 
    that I've heard tops her originals. Dionne has a great voice, and 
    when she does other material by different writers she's great, but
    maybe I'm the only one who thinks although her biggest hits came 
    from her two writers, she wasn't always suited to perform them.  
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     more on La DeeDee
    Sent:        09/09/98 1:57 pm
    Received:    09/10/98 1:25 am
    From:        Ron Bierma, ELRONXXXX@XXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    In a message dated 9/8/98 11:36:39 AM, you wrote:
    <<And like Aretha, she 
    also became a lazier performer (Dionne's concerts  during her
    prime were sometimes spectacular, although she showed traces of 
    erratic behavior even then, and occasionally a weird hostility to 
    her audience) over the years.>>
    Just watched a tape of the B. Bacharach tribute last night (thanks,
    Frank!) & couldn't help but notice Dionne's seeming indifference. 
    She obviously wanted to be elsewhere.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Dionne Debate
    Sent:        09/09/98 3:48 am
    Received:    09/09/98 12:08 am
    From:        Jamie LePage,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    David Feldman wrote:
    >Jamie says, in part:
    >>As much as I adore Dionne Warwick's mid-60's recordings, I don't 
    >>really care much for her as an artist. Her voice works on those 
    >>early records, but Sandie Shaw, Jackie DeShannon and Dusty 
    >>Springfield made great covers of Bacharach/David material 
    >Taste is taste, but I couldn't let this pass without a murmur.  
    Hey, Dave! That's what friends are for!
    >I think DW is a great singer.
    I wouldn't dare disagree. I adore her vocals on all the sixties 
    Bacharach/David stuff.
    >It's funny that you mention these three singers, because I've 
    >heard DW sing versions of at least one of each their songs that 
    >I prefer to the originals, as much as I've enjoyed the latter.
    Interesting. I was under the impression that Chris Andrews (for 
    Sandie) and someone (Ivor Raymonde<?> for Jackie) picked up 
    Bacharach/David songs off of Dionne album tracks and covered them.
    I never really researched it, it was just a hunch based on the 
    difference in production quality between the Dusty/Sandie singles 
    and Dionne's versions. Are you saying that Bacharach/David penned 
    the songs for Dusty/Sandie and then had Dionne cover them for LP 
    tracks? Either way, I prefer the British productions.
    >It just goes to show, IMO, how important producers and writers  
    >are to any singer.
    Especially to any singer's *records.*  
    >Dionne's concerts  during her prime were sometimes spectacular, 
    >although she showed traces of erratic behavior even then, and 
    >occasionally a weird hostility to her audience) over the years.
    Well, I never saw her in concert and never consciously perceived 
    any hostility, but I have always imagined Dionne to be difficult 
    to work with. Having said I do think she sang wonderfully on her 
    60's hits, something about her has always put me off. Maybe it is 
    the tacky Scepter album jackets, I don't know. Sandie, Jackie, 
    Ronnie...they all did something for me, in terms of "cool" for 
    lack of a better term. Dionne always seemed so square, as if she 
    didn't relate to her audience or appreciate the gems Bacharach and
    David bestowed on her.
    >I think of Jackie DeShannon and especially Sandie Shaw as relatively 
    >minor singers, and Dusty Springfield...effective singer 
    >with a relatively limited instrument.
    I believe that's a fair judgment.
    >Dionne, on the other hand, had an extraordinary vocal AND expressive 
    >range. I just can't think of many singers, male or female, who have 
    >both the emotional and technical range of Dionne.
    Believe me, I don't disagree!  I recognize all that. That's why it 
    intrigues me that in spite of her qualities, I never really felt any 
    attachment to her as an artist, despite loving her Bacharach/David era 
    records. Maybe it's because I have never placed much importance on 
    technical proficiency. For instance, I like Mary Weiss's vocals more 
    than Dionne, despite Mary's amateurish sound, and I doubt any of us 
    here would deny that Mary and the Shangs spoke volumes about teenage 
    Thanks for the comments, David. 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Dionne/Joel Dorn/etc.
    Sent:        09/09/98 3:51 am
    Received:    09/09/98 7:06 am
    From:        Paul MacArthur, Rtf_XXXX@XXXedu
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Dave Feldman Sez...
    >It just goes to show, IMO, how important producers and writers are
    >to any singer. I totally agree that artistically, her career fell
    >off a cliff when she left B&D, but I don't think her descent was
    >any steeper than most of Aretha's output.
    Funny you mention that. I love the B&D/Warwick era stuff and I 
    agree with your assessment of her fall.
    I recently interviewed Joel Dorn who was a producer at Atlantic 
    from the late sixties through the early seventies and produced a 
    number of classic albums by the likes of Jimmy Scott, Rahsaan 
    Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef, etc. He also produced the first albums 
    by Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Leon Redbone, etc. Right now he 
    runs a record label called 32 Records, which focuses mostly on 
    Anyway, Dorn told me that his a job a s producer was to make the 
    performer feel as comfortable in the studio as possible and let 
    them basically do what the do. He basically started with the 
    performer and built from there. This is pretty much the opposite 
    of what Spector did, as Spector built the record and then inserted
    the appropriate performer (this is Doc Pomus' assessment BTW, so 
    you can argue that point with him, well you can't, but...). The 
    reason why Dorn was able to take this type of approach, according 
    to him, was because the talent he had was so good, that he didn't 
    need to do much. Let's face it, with Roland Kirk all you really 
    have to do is document.
    With Dionne, you're dealing with the type of artist who needs 
    great songs - she's not the type of singer who can take a fair 
    song and make it great. That's not a 'dis' on Dionne. She requires
    good material to shine. When the B&D/Dionne split happened, it 
    didn't surprise me she went downhill. Bacharach is an underrated 
    composer and he knew how to write for her. Her subsequent albums 
    showed that most people didn't.
    - Paul
    Album of the Week: INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW on Del-Fi
    Shameless Self Promotion:
    "Don't look to hard for it, Taylor.  You may not like what you find."
    R.I.P: Carl Dean Wilson  (1946 - 1998)
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Dionne & Timi - Distortion City
    Sent:        09/09/98 3:08 am
    Received:    09/09/98 7:06 am
    From:        Doc Rock, docroXXXX@XXXcom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    I've found that with a lot of these pressings Dionne's belting 
    voice seems to distort the recording, as if the levels had been 
    allowed to go way too far "into the red.
    For a voice that goes into the red, dig Timi Yuro!  Distortion-City!
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     My B-Day Show
    Sent:        09/09/98 6:47 am
    Received:    09/09/98 7:06 am
    From:        Stos, William,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Well, Egyptian Shumba still hasn't died down. I think I'm going to
    have to play it again next week. If the requests keep coming in I 
    might even suggest the oldies station add it to their rotation. 
    Other big hits included Lesley Gore's version of "Wedding Bell 
    Blues," the Chiffons' "Strange Strange Feeling," and Candy and the
    Kisses' "Shakin' Time."
    I'm going to include more of your suggestions in up-coming weeks, 
    but I think that I want to add a new feature to my show. I had 
    such fun reading your top ten lists that maybe I'll do a top ten 
    segment every week. How about it? I'll use Sheila's good idea and 
    ask you for your top ten anythings. Songs about love, racing songs, 
    songs by a certain writer or producer. The only thing I'd 
    encourage is staying away from Top 40 stuff if possible. My 
    station tries only to play stuff out of the Top 100 (can you 
    believe it?) so since most people at the station won't recognize 
    things out of the Top 40 from years ago, I should be safe. Let's 
    see some lists!
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     P.J.Proby
    Sent:        09/09/98 2:47 am
    Received:    09/09/98 7:06 am
    From:        james fisher,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Doc Rock...P.J. (Oh come on then, let's give the man his full title-
    -"The Button Popping, Trouser Splitting P. J. PROBY!!!!") may well 
    have done demos for Elvis, he had that kind of voice for sure. The 
    first thing that comes to mind when you hear him do "Hold Me" 
    however is Jerry Lee Lewis. He may have been casting around for a 
    "style". He had success (at least in the UK and Australia) with 
    "Maria" and "Tonight" from West Side Story....I'm not sure where 
    you could slot him in with these tunes, perhaps Post-Army Elvis/Roy
    Orbison mini-operas. In any event he was a great showman and he 
    could sing up a storm...does anyone know where he is/what he's up 
    to? (I met his drummer from the London recording days a while back
    here in LA, he goes by the name "Bongo" and is convinced that he's a
    vampire...he lives on the streets near Beverly Hills but refuses all
    offers of help. He carries around a little suitcase full of 
    clippings from the glory days of his pop-stardom (62-66) and some 
    days he is happy to share them with you then on others he just 
    wants to drink your blood. In his more lucid moments he puts his 
    situation down to over-doing the drug scene in Swinging London. 
    Pretty sad story whatever the reason.) Jim.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Oldies stations
    Sent:        09/09/98 9:54 am
    Received:    09/10/98 1:25 am
    From:        Marc Wielage,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    james fisher <>
    asked on the Spectropop List:
    >There have been a few references to oldies radio recently and I
    >wanted to add my beef against the major player in that game out
    >here in LA: Does this multi-zillion $ station actually only
    >possess those 50 songs that they endlessly recycle???
    This question gets asked all the time on the
    b Usenet groups. Here's the response I generally post:
    Essentially, the way Oldies radio works in the 1990s, at least in 
    the U.S., is that the songs on their playlists come from five sets
    of criteria:
    1) songs that test well with "focus groups" of people
    2) songs that were relatively-big hits (or had big airplay) during
    their respective eras
    3) songs that are played by other similar stations that get big 
    4) songs that, according to their market research, are familiar to
    large groups
    of people. ("You know every song we play!")
    5) songs that are requested most frequently by listeners.
    Unfortunately, songs that you and I might agree are *good* don't 
    always fit the above requirements! If I won the Lottery and could 
    run a station, I'd use the above criteria, but I'd also let my 
    guts and personal taste determine whether we'd play a song, and 
    how often we'd play it. [On the other hand, multi- millionaire 
    author Steven King tried the same thing in his hometown of Bangor,
    Maine, and even he couldn't afford to keep the station running more
    than a few years.]
    The reason why certain key songs are played incessantly is that 
    the stations' research tells them these are the songs people want 
    to hear the most. The stations are terrified of the thought of 
    playing something different, or playing something that most people
    haven't heard. Incredible as it may seem, their research says that 
    _even if the song is good_, if it's an unfamiliar tune, the 
    station runs the risk of average listeners changing the station!
    LA oldies champ KRTH-FM just hit #7 or #8 in the ratings (as of 
    late 1996), and given that there's at least 50-60 stations in the 
    market, this is incredibly successful. However, I believe their 
    current playlist covers less than 300 songs, if that. The 70s 
    oldies station, KCBS-FM, has a similarly-restricted playlist, yet 
    has somewhat lower ratings.
    So, James, the answer to your question is:  Oldies radio stations 
    are not really designed for fans of 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s music.
    They're designed to be palatable to a huge audience of people who 
    don't have any specific interest in any music, and to play these 
    people stereotypical songs they've heard before and enjoy on a 
    certain level.
    It's kinda like cursing HBO because they don't play any great 
    Hitchcock or Kurasawa films, and instead play "
    artistically-bankrupt" crap films from the last couple of years. 
    Now, I think there maybe a day, someday, when it will be possible 
    for oldies stations to exist that do play thousands of songs -- 
    maybe even those from a specific sub-genre, like all-surf music, 
    or all-doo-dop, or even all Phil Spector (!) -- but that day is 
    not yet here.
    For now, my advice would be to either listen to CDs, or try 
    listening to some of the "alternative" oldies stations in LA. I 
    occasionally tune in to Mega-100 (100.3 FM), which is a quasi-
    1960s/70s Soul station that has played a few songs I haven't heard
    in about 20 years.
    -= Marc Wielage      |   "The computerized authority     =-
    -= MusicTrax, Ltd.   |       on rock, pop, & soul."      =-
    -= Chatsworth, CA    |         =-
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Chiffons
    Sent:        09/09/98 2:32 am
    Received:    09/09/98 7:06 am
    From:        Paul Urbahns, PaulurbXXXX@XXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    In a message dated 98-09-08 12:36:39 EDT, you write:
    >Anyway, I was wondering something. Did the Chiffons who 
    >recorded "He's So Fine," and others really recorded the first 
    >record released as by the Chiffons, "Tonight's The Night," 
    Yes, but the Shirelles were a bigger artist at the time and had the
    bigger hit on it. I have the Chiffons version on a album someplace,
    it was originally issued on an independent label, before they stuck
    it big.
    Paul URbahns
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     the Spector "leaks" 
    Sent:        09/09/98 7:24 am
    Received:    09/10/98 1:25 am
    From:        R Teyes, RTeXXXX@XXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    To Mark and John- my Phil Spectorophiles:
    Yes, you are right, Mark, perhaps Helen and Harry are out of the 
    picture in terms of the "leaks" releases...but I tend to go back to
    everyone  whom I remember...hey, I even have to rule out Freddie 
    from the old Variety Recording Studios on West 45th Street where 
    Phil would send someone to cut his acetates. Variety had the best
    machine in NYC. I personally have two of these I saved that Phil 
    didn't like...towards the late 60's, Phil sent Robert Kirstein to 
    NYC to market Ike & Tina's releases with no luck as history 
    reveals...Robert gave me promo copies of "I'll never..., "River Deep"
    etc. but even with my contacts at WMCA, WABC and WWRL (an old R&B 
    station - black owned) the programmers would not listen to them.
    I will always appreciate Robert's help towards me and my 
    collection, but he had unlimited access to Philles Catalog. Also 
    in here in NYC, GAC (General Artists Management) had the complete 
    Philles Catalog...there is where I obtained my promo copies of the 
    Ronettes and Crystals 45s, and my 8x10 of the Ronettes. Mark and
    John (and others) we need to find if there are copies of the old 
    Clay Cole and Soupy Sales shows on TV where the Ronettes appeared...
    I attended one Clay Cole show on channel 11 and Soupy on channel
    5 if I remember well...I sent John copies of the pics on the 
    Ronettes on Soupy's show...
    Robert the Ronette Hound
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Growin' Up Too Fast
    Sent:        09/10/98 1:05 am
    Received:    09/10/98 1:25 am
    From:        Doc Rock, docroXXXX@XXXcom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Growin' Up Too Fast
    Several references have been made to the Growin' Up Too Fast GG 
    set. For my taste, this is the best GG compilation there has ever 
    been! It sounds amazingly like the tapes I make for my own 
    listening pleasure!
    Did anyone ever notice that "Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard" 
    by Diane Ray, an interesting 1963 #31 hit? It may sound a little 
    off to experienced collectors for a couple of reasons. First, this
    is not the 45 version, but the LP version (in stereo no less). The 
    difference is that the 45 had multi-tracked lead vocals, 
    simulating the girl GROUP sound; the LP (even in mono) did not. 
    Second, fans from the Cleveland, Ohio, area will be more familiar 
    with the original 1962 local hit version by Andrea Carroll on Epic
    I like Ray's 45 version best.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Connie & Verdelle
    Sent:        09/09/98 2:49 am
    Received:    09/09/98 7:06 am
    From:        Mark Landwehr,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    >Since many of the people on this list are into Phil Spector
    >(Spectropop is a Spector list right?) Anyway I would like to hear
    >his version of Second Hand Love by Connie Francis. Phil wrote the
    >song and recorded with Connie, but the record company didn't like
    >it and she recut the song in a country style and that is the
    >version that has been released. I wish someone would put the
    >original Spector version on something as a bonus track. Wonder if
    >it sounds like Darlene Love?
    Spector CO-WROTE the song with free-lance writer Hank Hunter. As 
    was Phil's practice, he often added his name to writer's credits 
    w/o doing very much of the actual writing...Just ask 
    Barry-Greenwich or Mann-Weil...Don't know if that was the case 
    here, though. The song (MGM 13074) does not sound like Darlene 
    Love, it sounds like, well, Connie. And, not a speck of 
    "Wall-of-Sound" in it. Came with a pic sleeve - Look around, Paul, 
    it's still offered out there!
    >This is Italian indeed and translates to "The Boy From Gluck
    >Street" as Jimmy well said. And Gluck is German for Luck, so, it
    >would be "The Boy From Luck Street". This is a song by one of
    >Italy's most popular singers in the 60's Adriano Celentano. Do I
    >understand, then, that Verdelle's song is a cover of this one??
    >Celentano's original features a lot of acoustic guitar, and it has
    >an environmental message, as it talks about a boy living in a
    >beautiful street in a beautiful country village and how that
    >beautiful country village is being polluted by the factories and
    >the "civilization".
    >Celentano is still making records but his best period was the 60s.
    >He used to do a lot of covers too, like Preghero (Stand By Me). His
    >Italian version was very popular in Europe and it was a smash hit
    >for him. There are a lot of Celentano compilations (at least in
    >Europe) and he is really worth checking out.
    Thanks, Francesc and Jimmy, for the great info on "Tar and Cement"
    The actual writer's credits are Vance-Pockriss-Beretta-Del Prete-
    Celentano. This had to be an "American cover". Thanks again...
    Mark (Philles Phanatic)
    The Phil Spector Record Label Gallery
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     tar and cement original
    Sent:        09/09/98 8:21 am
    Received:    09/10/98 1:25 am
    From:        james fisher,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Francesc...yes, that would have to be the same song...the first verse
    runs: "the town that I came from is quite and small /we played in 
    the meadows where the grass grew so tall/ in summer the lilacs 
    grew everywhere/the laughter of children, it flowed in the air." 
    Does that sound like it? I've never heard of Adriano Celentano but
    then I know zip about European pop music. It's always interesting 
    to hear a song you know in a different language. (I was going to 
    add that "Tar and Cement" is the only song I know that uses 
    building materials for it's title but then I remembered "Concrete 
    and Clay". Hmmmm, another title like that and I'll think that I've 
    stumbled onto a sub-sub genre of music.)
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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