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Spectropop V#0205

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 01/02/99

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       Volume #0205                         January 5, 1999   
                      Stereo has Come of Age                  
    Subject:     Christmas Kisses
    Sent:        12/30/18 1:35 am
    Received:    01/02/99 8:16 pm
    From:        Ron Bierma, ELROXXXXXXXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    In a message dated 1/2/99 1:39:53 AM, writes:
    <<I heard a "new" Xmas tune on the radio this year. The DJ did not 
    give the title or artist, but it was a GG-type record, probably 
    titled "Christmas Kisses." Sounded a bit like Joanie Sommers. 
    Anyone know the record, either from the early '60s or from a new 
    Capitol put out a collection of "Christmas Classics from 
    Capitol's Early Years" back in 1990 called "Christmas Kisses" 
    containing the song "Christmas Kisses" by Ray Anthony & the 
    Bookends. liners say recorded 10/19/61-take 14-released 12/4/61 
    (Capitol 4446). The CD # is 94701, but I don't know if it was 
    released again this year or not. That's my guess. RB
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     no cavemen are mentioned
    Sent:        01/05/19 5:30 pm
    Received:    01/04/99 8:27 am
    From:        Jeffrey Glenn,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    >I heard a "new" Xmas tune on the radio this year. The DJ did not 
    >give the title or artist, but it was a GG-type record, probably 
    >titled "Christmas Kisses." Sounded a bit like Joanie Sommers. 
    >Anyone know the record, either from the early '60s or from a new 
    Hi Doc,
    The record you heard was indeed called "Christmas Kisses" by Ray 
    Anthony (yes, he of "Hokey Pokey" and "Bunny Hop" fame - or 
    infame, depending on your point of view!:-)) & the Bookends. It 
    was written by J. Kruger and H. Gilden and released on Capitol 
    4667 (45) on December 4, 1961. It was recorded on October 19, 
    1961 (Take 14) and carries Master #36626. Don't know what the 
    B-side is however.
    This info comes from the notes of a 1990 Capitol 21-track 
    compilation on which it appears called CHRISTMAS KISSES - 
    is CDP 7 94701 2; and I don't know if it's still in print. The 
    version on the CD is a first ever stereo mix (ADD).
    You're right with the Joanie Sommers reference (although no 
    cavemen are mentioned in this one:-)). It's a pretty cool song!
    Hope this helps.
    np: Richard Harris - THE WEBB SESSIONS 1968-1969
    The Retros Home Page:
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Herb Alpert & the Ventures
    Sent:        01/02/99 8:38 pm 
    Received:    01/02/99 8:56 pm
    From:        Jamie LePage,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Carol wrote:
    >I've known Herb Alpert since he was working at Keen Records 
    >with Bumps Blackwell.... He is an EXCELLENT producer, really 
    >knows his craft. 
    >I even did a "jazz gig" ... with Herb on trumpet, and well.....
    >he's great at producing!
    Several months ago we were discussing Herb Alpert on this list. 
    He's usually mentioned favorably by his contemporaries and the 
    people who recorded with him. Surely Herb is a "music man."
    I recall reading somewhere that Herb Alpert sometimes used a 
    different trumpet player on some of his peak era TJ Brass 
    productions. Did you ever hear anything about that, Carol?
    In an earlier digest Carol Kaye wrote:
    >...some of the Ventures played on their recordings but that's 
    >myself on bass and Hal Blaine on drums, etc.
    That's interesting. There are a probably a few Ventures fans out 
    there who are surprised to read that. The Ventures recording 
    career spans decades. Can you recall any song titles or albums or
    which years you played on the Ventures, Carol?
    I recall Mel Taylor gleefully explaining the Ventures method of 
    record making; they would scan the bottom of Billboard Hot 100 
    for new instrumentals. Whenever they found one "bubbling under" 
    or "picked-to-click" they would rush off to record it and get it 
    released before the original had a chance to hit. They'd put it 
    on an album with big letters proclaiming the song's title, and 
    voila. The public thought Ventures were the original. This of 
    course was a clever trick that made the Ventures and their label 
    a lot of money, and I admire the Ventures for their enterprising 
    Sometimes I wonder if this had an adverse effect on the original 
    artists and producers. Case in point is the Tornados' "Telstar." 
    The first UK 45 to reach #1 in US (long before the Beatles), the 
    Ventures had the Telstar/Lonely Bull album out before Joe Meek 
    could mutter "Rotten Pigs!" Taylor explained that even though the
    Tornados had the #1 on Billboard, the Ventures sold ten times more
    Telstar records in US than Tornados did. To my ears, the Ventures'
    Telstar is a decent cover and their Telstar/Lonely Bull album is 
    mildly inspired, but the original Tornados 45 and LP are works of
    genius. There are similar Ventures stories in connection with 
    Pipeline, Apache, etc. - even today many believe the Ventures' 
    recorded the original versions of these songs.
    We all know there were a lot of sound-a-like knock-offs made in 
    the 60's. Those knock-offs aren't necessarily all bad by 
    definition. Some are apparently collectible as Paul Urbahns 
    mentioned with regard to Jerry Fuller. Still, I wonder why much 
    of the Ventures recorded repertoire is not more widely regarded 
    today as knock-offs.
    All the best,
    Jamie LePage <>
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Various
    Sent:        12/29/18 10:23 pm
    Received:    01/02/99 8:16 pm
    From:        Carol Kaye,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Subject:     Larry Levine
    Yes, Phil especially loved to work with Larry Levine, who loves 
    Phil a lot. I attended a breakfast a few months ago with Larry, 
    Dave Gold, Perry Botkin, George Tipton, and Stan Ross (others too) 
    and Larry, no matter what, will ALWAYS stick up for Phil (even 
    about the Darlene Love lawsuit -- Stan Ross will too for that 
    matter, Stan did the very first Phil Spector dates, and then went
    to Hawaii and so Larry did them after that in the beginning of 
    Phil's 60s dates).
    Larry designed the A&M studios also for Herb Alpert, Larry just 
    plays golf these days mostly.
    Subject: Jerry Fuller/Gary Puckett
    There was a LOT of studio-musician creative input 
    arrangement-wise for the Gary Puckett & Union Gap dates, I'm on 
    most (if not all) of those, OK, that rings a bell about Jerry now
    too. You do forget who did what on a lot of those dates, and I do 
    remember working also "just" for Gary Puckett. He had only the 
    BEST of the studio musicians on his dates, creating arrangement 
    ideas too. He relied on musician ideas - Jerry Fuller did too.
    Subject: Barry White/Jim Messina
    Yes, I do remember working for Barry White, am on his hit 
    recordings cut I believe late 60s, very NICE NICE man. Barry 
    White was great to work for, very appreciative and above the call
    of just the niceties, he truly loved the musicians.
    And in fact, I just got a "hello" from him through a mutual 
    friend when we were recording the interview for the Brian Wilson 
    A&E biography (will be out late spring, they just started 
    shooting last Nov.). Was a pleasant surprise.
    I just re-read one post about Barry White, and it listed Jim 
    Messina in the credits. Boy, I didn't know that.
    When you're doing 2-3-4 dates a day, you usually work with the 
    regular studio musicians, but once in awhile a new guy will be 
    there (maybe part of the traveling band with that artist or?). So
    yes, that could have gotten by me. Am surprised as I've always 
    been an admirer of Jim......but of course this had to be before 
    he did his own thing.
    Subject: Union payments for reuses
    Yes, we do get an annual royalty Union check for movies and all 
    re-used hit recordings in those movies. I have about 200 movies 
    on my annual list that pay every year (it varies slightly 
    according to which are used on "free" TV), but 100s more are cut 
    but are either probably on the cable list (no royalty paid for 
    cable) or the Union simply can't "collect" the monies etc.
    Most of the films are movie scores I did, but a few like "Ghost",
    "Top Gun" "Good Morning Vietnam", etc. are re-uses of our 60s hits, 
    I didn't play on those scores except for that. You get a 
    nominal re-use sum then a little bit per picture each year, no 
    biggie, but every bit helps.
    Subject: That Motown Thing
    Now....about the Motown thing. Originally, I complained to the 
    Union in the late 80s about the fact that we get "no royalties", 
    as we did go "legal" with Motown about 1967 (when they announced 
    they had "moved to LA".
    Along came the use of "My Girl", very popular in the last 10 yrs.
    in movies, TV shows, etc. Bill Peterson, pres. of our Union, MADE 
    up a contract, relying on people's testimony that they did that 
    tune (which I always thought was a Detroit product). Some of our 
    LA horn men are listed on that contract.
    Over the years, Russ Wapensky, writer of the contract credits 
    book, did find the "Get Ready" contract (we did do some "legal" 
    dates out here in the 60s), with my name on it playing bass and 
    of course the G.I.T. On Broadway Television special (with Diana 
    Ross and the Tempts) cut at NBC with Al Lapin as contractor is a 
    matter of record (think that was late 68), with my name not only 
    on the contract but trumpeter Ollie Mitchell even has that on his
    movie camera (on super 8 film) and almost had his camera 
    conviscated when Diana Ross got angry (boy she had some energy 
    I'll tell you).
    So NO, they did not play on the credits I (we) claim (and I 
    totally remember the music, the parts I made up some of the ideas
    written in the 1st bar, etc., some of the incidents surrounding 
    the cutting of those dates).
    It makes sense -- the LA studio musicians who were responsible 
    for the 60s greatest hits that have lasted this long, were NOT 
    hired to do demos and album fillers for Motown - I have 113 dates
    logged in my log, plus my sound is distinctive altho' Armin 
    Steiner (who also verified that we cut a ton of Motown 60s hits 
    here in LA in a magazine interview) tried to add compression a 
    little to try to "match" Jamerson's sound (hear my soundbytes on 
    "Bernadette" and "I Was Made To Love Her", sounds like "fingers" 
    doesn't it).
    Even Berry Gordy said it in his 1964 filmed interview, bragging 
    about all the "great tracks coming out of LA for Motown."
    Well......I'd think people could put 2 and 2 together, when 
    people used the hit making factory studio musicians of LA -- it 
    was not for "demos". We heard "demos" cut in Detroit (but played 
    by Armin who told me about all the plane-flights back to Detroit), 
    played to give us a "feel" for the records which we cut out 
    I spoke to Lester Sill about this about in 1991 or so, as he was 
    president of Jobete for Berry for many, many years. He said (and 
    I quote), "Carol, you all didn't cut 30-35% of Motown's 60s 
    original HIT tracks out here in the 60s, it was over 60% of all 
    of Motown's biggest hits and you played bass on most of them."
    When I tried to counter with "Lester, I thought it was only 30% 
    to 1/3 of Motown", he got angry, and re-stated "60%!" Well...I 
    still don't know, don't think anyone will ever be able to prove 
    There are some films made where we talk about Motown, and there 
    have been a few magazine articles in the past where, besides 
    Armin Steiner, Earl Palmer, Joe Sample, even Steve Douglas, etc. 
    talked about Motown.
    We will never see a dime of that money, and I don't think that 
    Berry Gordy is interested in setting the record straight.
    Motown was started by the 2nd wife of Berry Gordy, herself a 
    talented arranger/pianist/composer, who got the groups started in
    Detroit, filed the corporation papers for Motown, it was all her 
    idea. But Berry got it away from her when they split up, she went
    to NY, and the year? 1963, when we really got into gear out here 
    in LA. There's more but from what I know etc., that will be put 
    together very well in my book.
    I also used to hear from Berry Gordy from time to time a "hello" 
    too through a mutual friend of Don Costa's brother who was 
    engineer for Berry for many many years (died about 1 year ago).
    BTW, Bill Peterson played trumpet on some of those cash dates for
    Motown, and we spoke about the "demo singers' mike not being 
    plugged in all the time" (indicating "tracks" for singing to be 
    later added on), he also worked the "later cash dates" where they
    tried to use the 2 white girls (for the Supremes tracks) who 
    couldn't sing at all, they were terrible singers, nice girls but 
    couldn't sing.
    We knew it was a all a sham, but who wouldn't jump at the chance.
    Lew McCreary used to say "we were making history w/Motown, that's
    why I did it", yes, our musicians are all angry about it. It's our
    fault though that we let them get away with it for years (instead 
    of 3-4 months like we did with other "new" record companies for 
    whom we'd do a few "demos" and if they hit (which they usually 
    did), then we'd bring them into the Union by insisting they had 
    to have us "Union" on their recordings). God's truth.
    I had one guy put his computer tracking sound gear on my 
    "Bernadette" bass line soundbyte on my website (I recut my 
    original bass part note for note in 1994, was able to re-create 
    the exact feel and notes I originally played on the 4 Tops 
    recording), thinking he's going to "catch me" as he was a 
    Jamerson fan.
    He emailed me about it some months ago and was so apologetic, he 
    said "they match, the attack, the...." whatever he said, 
    something about the technical stuff -- he was flabbergasted. He 
    couldn't say enough beautiful words about how it was "me" on 
    Bernadette when all along, he thought it was Jamerson, etc.
    So eventually they will be able to prove us. We know we did many 
    of the hit tracks, I still think it was about 35-40% though, but 
    some very important hits for Motown.
    Subject: Bobby Goldsboro
    I played bass on "Honey" and that "Leaving the Straight Life
    Behind" (correct title?) by Bobby Goldsboro, and did "Little 
    Green Apples" and "Hickory Hollar" with O.C. Smith - both O.C. 
    and Bobby Goldsboro loved that small studio at Columbia, where we
    also did dates with Andy Williams (H. B. Barnum arranger for O.C. 
    Smith, H.B. also did a lot of Motown hits too). Well anyway, I'm 
    lucky I had a studio career, I could have stayed in playing jazz 
    and had a really tough life. Or I should say "tougher".
    Happy New Year, 
    Carol Kaye
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Phil Spector masters in good hands?
    Sent:        12/29/18 3:25 am
    Received:    01/04/99 8:27 am
    From:        Paul Urbahns, PaulurXXXXXXXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    In a message dated 1/2/99 1:39:53 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
    >Thankfully the Spector masters are in good hands now. ;-)
    Last I heard they were in Phil's hands, that's not good because 
    his partner is Allen Klein who has been sitting on Cameo-Parkway 
    stuff for years. I don't understand why they only limitly release
    stuff. If I owned it they would be on every oldies comp issued, 
    just like Duke Of Earl. Whoever owns that song is making a 
    fortune. The more copies sold the more money you make as either 
    record company or songwriter and Phil is in on both. Even though 
    new releases are out under Phil Spector Records logo, I heard he 
    never closed down Philles. Any truth to that rumor?
    Paul Urbahns
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Session players royalities
    Sent:        12/29/18 1:25 am
    Received:    01/04/99 8:27 am
    From:        Paul Urbahns, PaulurXXXXXXXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Doc Rock asked
    >And you mentioned Motown songs being in films. Do session players
    >get royalties for that? I never thought they did, but do they?
    Paul Urbahns comments:
    I interviewed Boots Randolph several times and he did mention 
    once that he played on Dolly Parton's record 9 to 5 and he still 
    gets royalities from the movie that used the song. Of course he 
    played on most of the early Elvis Presley soundtracks including 
    Blue Hawaii and he didn't mention getting checks for them, but I 
    never thought to ask.
    Paul Urbahns
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     They seek Ry Cooder here, they seek Ry Cooder
                 there..../Burt Bacharach
    Sent:        01/08/19 4:41 am
    Received:    01/04/99 8:27 am
    From:        The Elf Who Could Not Love,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Went to see my dad for a couple of days and he told me a funny 
    thing; a guy at his work is the cousin of Ry Cooder!! Pretty much
    shows how small the world can be sometimes, eh?
    Xmas gifts, Xmas gifts....did anyone get any special records? I 
    got Burt Bacharach's "What's New Pussycat?" OST which is pretty 
    good and in the same style as his two other comedy filmscores, 
    After The Fox and Casino Royale. The only real disappointment is 
    the length of the CD (29 minutes) --- yet it's an expensive 
    full-price record. A bit of a rip off if you ask me!
    Speaking of Bacharach, I'm waiting for the new Box Set to arrive 
    in the mail and I'm surprised it hasn't been discussed on the 
    list yet (the Box Set, that is, not me waiting for it to arrive 
    in the mail :-)). Has anyone bought it yet? What tracks are the 
    highlights? With 85 songs, it looks like every Bacharach-fan's 
    wet dream :)
    Carol Kaye, did you ever work with Bacharach? I think he recorded
    in LA, atleast....I hear he's quite a perfectionist in the studio 
    too. All those bizarre time signatures and chord progressions not
    to mention the constant key changes must've been pretty hard to 
    follow for the studio musicians sometimes, no?
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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