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Spectropop V#0215

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 01/21/99

  • _________________________________________________________________
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       Volume #0215                               January 21, 1999   
    To prevent scratching surface, hold by center hole and outer edge
    Subject:     Beach Party on AMC
    Received:    01/21/99 12:27 am
    From:        Paul Urbahns, PaulurbXXXXXXXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    I received this information from the cable movie channel AMC 
    concerning february dates for some films. I have caught most of 
    them this month and they are well worth watching, if you haven't
    seen them before. This advance notice allows you to either mark 
    your calendar or figure out how to work the timer on your VCR...
    just kidding.
    Paul Urbahns
    "Thank you for your interest in AMC and American Pop. "The Lost 
    Beach Boys Concert" will air on Saturday, February 6 at 10:00pm 
    EST (and 4:00am EST) followed by "The Girls on the Beach" at 
    10:30pm EST (and 4:30am EST). "Beach Ball" will air on Saturday, 
    February 13 at 10:00pm EST and 4:00am EST. "Beach Party" wil
    "Beach Blanket Bingo" will air on Saturday, February 27 at 10:
    00pm EST and 4:00am EST.
    Thank you for watching American Movie Classics."
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     He Hit Me an intentional flop?
    Received:    01/21/99 12:27 am
    From:        Jamie LePage,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Going way back to when Barbara Alston wrote:
    >Why would five (possibly four at the time) young girls sing 
    >something extraordinary like "he hit me and it felt like a kiss"
    >-- yuk, was what I truly felt...There's plenty more to this story, 
    >but I guess you have an overall sense of how I felt about 
    >singing any of those songs.
    Well, my own overall sense comes only from reading books and 
    articles and listening to the records. Hearing it straight from 
    you is brilliant! Welcome back, Barbara.
    >Finally, we found out years later that Phil made us do "He Hit 
    >Me" to make a flop record. He wanted to get rid of his partner 
    >(Lester Sill) and if we had a flop, he would be in a better 
    >position to buy Lester's share out. Isn't that amazing? He 
    >actually used us for his personal gain in more ways than one.
    I can safely say most of us on the list do not take as gospel 
    what is written in books. Still, I seriously doubt "He Hit Me" 
    was intended to flop. My guess is you have the right idea, but 
    the wrong record. Here's why:
    1. In September 1962 Spector decided that Lester Sill had to go.
    By this time, He Hit Me had already been withdrawn and He's a 
    Rebel had already hit. Over the next several months, Phil 
    negotiated a buy-out, and part of the agreement was that Sill 
    would get a share of the next two Crystals records. By this time, 
    Da Doo Ron Ron was slated for release, and Phil still owed one
    more Crystals single to Lester. He recorded the Crystals record 
    (Let's Dance) the Screw, which was a throwaway recording using a 
    skeleton crew of musicians playing a 12 bar blues. It is fairly 
    well documented that the record Phil intended to flop for 
    reasons of buying out Lester Sill was indeed (Let's Dance) the 
    Screw. Reportedly, only a handful of copies were pressed. Mark 
    Ribowsky in his book "He's a Rebel" goes so far as to say only 
    one copy was made and it was given to Lester, but I guess that's
    probably not accurate.
    2. Lester Sill hated He Hit Me and, still actively involved with
    Philles at the time, he confronted Spector about it. Once Spector 
    negotiated a buy-out, Sill was no longer in a position to voice 
    an opinion.
    3. The arrangement on He Hit Me is beautiful. Embellished with a
    (costly) string section. The production is very polished. Top 
    notch. Why would Phil go to all that trouble (and spend all that
    money) if he intended He Hit Me to flop?
    4. He Hit Me actually started to get airplay and was bubbling 
    under the charts when the backlash came. Philles pulled 1,000's 
    of copies from retailers and one-stops. If Spector from the 
    beginning planned to kill the record, he surely wouldn't have 
    gone to the trouble of "setting up" its release properly. It 
    would never have gone past DJ/promo copies.
    5. Even if public sentiment against the lyric content was 
    overwhelming, the record could have easily been flipped by DJs. 
    If Phil wanted it to flop, he definitely would not have put the 
    fantastic No One Ever Tells You on the B.
    6. Both sides of He Hit Me 45 were less than 3:00. Yet, when 
    Phil recorded (Let's Dance) The Screw he made sure that both 
    sides were 5:00+, too long for radio, thus ensuring the record 
    would not get any radio airplay - at all.
    7. Crystals were his only hit act at the time. The label was 
    only 5 singles deep. Phil wouldn't have jeopardized the name 
    value of the Crystals so early. He hadn't even made the Bob B. 
    Soxx hits yet.
    8. Most importantly, both sides are wonderfully written Brill 
    Building classics. No matter what Spector's agenda was, Carole &
    Gerry had no reason to intentionally write a flop song. In fact, 
    Goffin spoke of the song saying that working with Spector gave 
    Carole and him the opportunity to explore darker themes (besides
    He Hit Me, Goffin/King gave Spector No One Ever Tells You and 
    Please Hurt Me; with He Hit Me, these three songs are the 
    Crystals/Goffin-King "dark" trilogy). I personally believe He 
    Hit me was a very sincere attempt at writing a song with social 
    commentary, much as Spanish Harlem was (and Black Pearl much 
    later). A misdirected attempt, perhaps, but nevertheless a great
    piece of songwriting. Spector of course would have recognized 
    this (he co-wrote the song) and I can't think of any reason why 
    he would have bothered to use such a well-written song for an 
    intentional flop. A twelve bar blues would certainly suffice for
    that purpose. As it did for The Screw.
    So, that's my theory! Barbara, you did say "there's plenty more 
    to this story," and any further comment on this would be most 
    All the best,
    Jamie LePage 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     In Concert With The Four Seasons - The Early Years
    Received:    01/21/99 12:27 am
    From:        Billy G. Spradlin,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    What label has re-issued this (Curb?). I dont think this album 
    been isssued on CD in the USA before.
    >From what I have read over the years, The 4 Seasons and Bob 
    Crewe owed Vee Jay one more album in 1965, so they dug up a tape
    of a early performance at a nightclub, added the canned 
    teenybopper screaming and tacked on "Little Boy In Grown Up 
    Clothes". Since they were already sigined to Philips and making 
    hits with them they weren't about to give Vee Jay anything good.
    I would love to seen the look of the Vee Jay executives when they
    played back the master tape! I'm sure fans who bought this album 
    felt the same way.
    "Little Boy" wasn't that bad of a song, I have heard it now and 
    then on Oldies shows even though it never made the Top 40. But 
    bet many stations stayed away from playing it because it was on 
    the Seasons old label and Philips released the great "Working My
    Way Back To You" a month later in January 1966.
    I just wished they could have cut a live album in 1964-67 when 
    they were at the top of their game, screaming teenagers and all!
    Billy G. Spradlin
    29 Rim Road
    Kilgore, Texas 75662
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Sue Thompson
    Received:    01/21/99 12:27 am
    From:        Doc Rock, docroXXXXXXXXcom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Shelby wrote:
    Doc Rock,
    You are partially correct in your evaluation of Sue Thompson, 
    (real name, Eva Sue McKee). Sue was born on 7-19-25, not 1926. 
    Sue today is 73, and will be 74 on 7-19-99. Sue's a very close 
    friend of my wife & myself, and she is one of the nicest ladies 
    that I have had the pleasure to know. Sue has forgotten more 
    about the music industry than most people ever knew. She still 
    performs occasionally, and is married to to Ted Serna. She has 
    known Ted since her high school days. She finally found the 
    right man after 3 bad marriages. If you would like Sue's home 
    phone #, I will gladly give it to you.
    I got the birthday info from Suzie! Do me a favor -- call her up
    and ask her if she ever heard of Doc Rock, and please report back
    to this list her response!
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     RE: Hal vs Earl
    Received:    01/21/99 12:27 am
    From:        Doc Rock, docroXXXXXXXXcom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Jan Berry solved the dilemma of Hal vs Earl on the Drag City 
    session. He hired them both, as Hal explained for me when I was 
    writing "Liberty Records."
    There was no music more exciting than Jan & Dean records in 1964. 
    The sound effects, the fast tempo, the tight harmonies all 
    made for terrific music. One thing that made Jan & Dean records 
    so energetic was that Jan used two trap sets for his sessions. 
    Originally, he had tried having ace drummer Hal Blaine overdub 
    his drums, playing the same licks twice, synchronized on tape. 
    Not satisfied with the results, he had Earl Palmer come to the 
    sessions as well as Hal. Together, they rehearsed until they 
    were playing their drums in perfect synch! This pioneering 
    effort on the part of Jan is just one of the things that set Jan
    & Dean records apart from other similar records of the era, and 
    gave hits like "Drag City" an extra punch and excitement!
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Thanks Carol
    Received:    01/21/99 12:27 am
    From:        Frank Youngwerth, FMXXXXXXXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    >Hal and Earl, they are thought of as the best, yet each a 
    >little different in their styles.
    Couldn't agree more. Your overview was generous and helpful.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     The Elgins' "Heaven Must Have Sent You"
    Received:    01/21/99 12:27 am
    From:        Matthew Kaplan, TweeXXXXXXXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    OK, there are those bands that I seem to miss until one day I 
    come across a single then and fall in love. This past weekend I 
    was making a compilation tape filled with some recent 7" finds 
    from the Salvation Army like Baby Washington, Betty LaVette, 
    Ruby & The Party Gang, Lettie & Junior, Patti LaBelle & The 
    Bluebells ("Decatur Street" on Nicetown), Dennise LaSalle and 
    Little Jerry Williams, when I came across "Heaven Must Have Sent
    You" by The Elgins (VIP Records 25037). Can anybody tell me if 
    all of their material was as wonderful as this 1966 Holland 
    Dozier and Holland penned tune? How is their album "Darling Baby"?
    Matthew T. Kaplan
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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