__________________________________________________________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ S P E C T R O P O P __________ __________ __________ __________________________________________________________ Volume #0377 January 25, 2000 __________________________________________________________ ONE WORLD - ONE RECORD COMPANY Subject: Just very good vocal groups Received: 01/25/00 1:42 am From: Joseph Scott To: Spectropop! Hi all, Jamie wrote: "We seem to have reached a general conclusion that at least some of the 'sunshine pop' artists were really just very good vocal groups who were riding a wave. I contended that many simply had the fortune to land a record deal, get superb vocal arrangements, and record what was at the time contemporary vocal pop. The result was a psychedelic 60s tinged take on what groups like Chordettes, Four Freshmen, Lettermen etc. had been doing for years. Obviously the arrangments on any of these records didn't happen in a rehearsal hall full of stoned hippy guitar players, no matter what the record jacket might lead you to believe." These are very interesting issues. Here is my take on some of this stuff: Young people always want to perceive their music as very distinct from their parents'. (Whether it really is or not is completely irrelevant to that.) E.g. in the late '50s Elvis didn't put a sticker on his records saying "Your parents will enjoy this too because my pianist Dudley Brooks used to be Benny Goodman's pianist and is playing in basically the same style he did with him" -- it would have been true, but it would have been very foolish marketing. Similarly, Jagged Little Pill does not have a sticker from Alanis reading "Your parents will enjoy this too because I hired organist Benmont Tench, who was playing on Tom Petty hits before you were born" -- again, that wouldn't turn the kids on one bit. From generation to generation, this aspect of marketing never changes. Now, one could ask "Was Dudley Brooks an authentic 'rocker'?" "Is Benmont Tench an authentic 'Generation Xer'?" In my opinion these are meaningless questions -- musicians either play well or don't. The rest is marketing. Now the way the above applies to the '60s, I think, is this. As in every other decade, the way to market records to young people was to tell them what they wanted to hear. Young people generally wanted to hear about something vaguely like a "counterculture" and all that good stuff. (These things never change.) Magazines such as Rolling Stone played into this. The rock groups played into this. Basically everybody played into this. As a result, the big question became, Who is one of us (the young, the counterculture, yada yada yada) and who is just pretending to be one of us, but is really one of THEM, our parents' age group, those hopeless insensitive bores? And that big question has never really gone away in the minds of most. Many people still often tend to judge Simon and Garfunkel and Janis Joplin and Bob Thiele and the Byrds and the Mothers and the Association and everyone else largely on the basis of their perceived street cred etc. (or, I should say, how their supposed street cred etc. was marketed)! The funny thing is if you try to actually rationally apply those "street cred etc." criteria retroactively to '60s acts, it just doesn't work. Who smoked more pot, Zappa or Simon? Gee, THAT can't be what makes music good, can it, whether the artists have an ingenuous, serious commitment to drugs? :-) Who hung out with Coltrane, Thiele or Joplin? Oh wait, never mind. :-) And it can't be jumping on a bandwagon, because one can easily argue that e.g. the Byrds were a close-harmony vocal group who decided to "ride the wave" of folk-rock-psych. Does that makes their c. '66 stuff invalid in some way? Certainly not, according to my ears! (Indeed the whole notion of supposed bandwagon jumping is very tenuous, because musicians ALWAYS influence one another, and playing in a style that is currently popular -- just about everyone does that, if they want to sell any product.) Basically, this (imaginary) who's authentic/who's not divide is all about the younger generation (as of the '60s ) vs. the older generation (as of the '60s). When did Simon and Garfunkel lose their "street cred" in the minds of many? When a ton of older people happened to love " Bridge Over Troubled Water." Why do many people consider Donovan more hip than Mel Torme? Because he's YOUNGER. That's IT. (Note that Torme's cover of "Sunshine Superman," which is excellent, has been marketed on CD as camp, which has nothing to do with reality and is in poor taste. Donovan himself says he was influenced by the Torme-era jazz singers, and it shows.) So what I'm trying to lead up to here is that I think, aurally, Jackie Ward is Jackie Ward, whether she's singing with Anita Kerr or anyone else. Know what I mean? There's this perceived distinction between (1) the vocal groups who were marketed in the '60s to older people and (2) the vocal groups who were marketed in the '60s to younger people -- that's what it comes down to, and it is written right into decades of rock and roll literature (which has mostly been controlled by baby boomers, makes sense eh?) like you wouldn't believe -- and the distinction basically was NEVER there in the first place. Which is why Brian Wilson listened to Four Freshmen records (and I'm sure glad he did!). Best to everybody, Joseph Scott --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: examples of jazz vocal harmony pop Received: 01/25/00 1:42 am From: DJ JimmyB To: Spectropop! In a message dated 1/23/0 10:59:38 AM, you wrote: >but I wonder if there aren't examples of jazz vocal >harmony pop that would similarly appeal to fans of >sunshine pop. Singers Unlimited, Sergio Mendes, Chris Montez, The Sandpipers...all crossed into jazzy turf. Also don't forget Johnny Mann Singers, Ray Conniff Singers, even a touch of We Five....more?? Jimmy Botticelli --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: unison versus harmony Received: 01/25/00 1:42 am From: Nat Kone To: Spectropop! >...examples of jazz vocal harmony pop that would >similarly appeal to fans of sunshine pop. Something like >the Randy van Horne Singers doing Bacharach and Brian >Wilson covers. That is a list I would like to see >alongside David's comprehensive soft pop list. I have a little section in my collection with the Kirby Stone Four, the Hi-Lo's, the Double Six of Paris and a bunch of other things like that, including Ray Conniff's "S" records, like "S'Wonderful". I don't know if the KS4 lasted into the sixties and made hippy records - I haven't seen any - but certainly the Ray Conniff Singers did, along with similar aggregations by Percy Faith, Billy Vaughn, etc. But it seems to me that on Ray Conniff's fifties records, the singers were really doing something. There were arrangements and harmonies happening. In the sixties, it seems all they did was sing along in unison. And this is true of virtually all the "choir" records I have from that period. The Living Voices - and their classic version of "Like A Rolling Stone" - the Doodletown Pipers, the Enoch Light Singers, the Ray Charles Singers. I don't know why they felt they had to work less hard when they were singing sixties tunes but it seems they did. And this is sort of why I don't include the Lettermen in "soft sunshine pop" though certainly they're related. I don't know enough about harmony to comment on their arrangements but there's not a lot going on there. Not that some soft pop doesn't also include a lot of "unison" singing. Anyway, here and there I have found a few "choir" records with a bit more going on. Not enough for a list but for a short paragraph. There's the Singers Unlimited. They have an association with the Hi-Lo's and bring a kind of soft jazzy harmony to bear. I can recommend the one record I have by them "Try to Remember". But I suspect all their records would qualify. The Anita Kerr Singers are a cut above. They have a record "All you need is love" with a lovely version of the Bee Gees' "Holiday". Keith Textor, who made a Stereo Action record, made at least one "hippy" record, "Measure the Valleys". Then there's Hugo Montenegro. His "Good Vibrations" is one of my all-time faves and he made a bunch of records in that period with similar vocal arrangements and moogy instrumental backups. (I can't recommend all of them as Chuck knows.) I'm not sure this helps you since these are LP's and I'd be surprised if much of this had been (legitimately) reissued. Then again, I'm often surprised this way. Nat --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Re: Soft Pop Which *Isn't* On CD Received: 01/25/00 1:41 am From: David Bash To: Spectropop! > Also, while I am on the subject, I would like to see your > list of soft pop which *isn't* on CD, David. I bet that > list includes more Gary Zekely material besides the Yellow > Balloon, and Michael Brown's Montage album too. > > All the best, > > > Jamie LePage > n.p. Introducing the Four King Cousins Hi Jamie, Well, since you asked...here it is, keeping in mind that this list is not all-inclusive, mainly because I haven't heard everything (like those King Cousins discs, for example). And yes, Jamie, you were quite right in your guesses. :-) #1 Album-Chris & Peter Allen (Mercury, 1968)* The American Revolution-The American Revolution (Flick Disc, 1968) A Symphony For Susan-The Arbors* (Date, 1967) The Arbors Sing Valley Of The Dolls-The Arbors (Date, 1967) I Can't Quit Her/The Letter-The Arbors (Date, 1969) Are Not For Smoking-The Blades Of Grass (Jubilee, 1968) Bound To Happen-Cashman, Pistilli, and West (ABC, 1968) Chamaeleon Church-Chamaeleon Church (MGM, 1968) The Cambridge Concept of Timothy Clover-Timothy Clover (Tower, 1968) Rain And Shine-The Canterbury Music Festival (B.T. Puppy, 196?) Peter Cofield-Peter Cofield (Coral, 1968) The Collage-The Collage (Smash, 1967) Colours-Colours (Dot, 1968) We Can Fly-The Cowsills (MGM, 1967) Captain Sad And His Ship Of Fools-The Cowsills (MGM, 1968)* II X II-The Cowsills (MGM, 1969) Touch 'N Go With The Critters-The Critters (Project 3, 1968) Daughers Of Albion-Daughters Of Albion (Fontana, 1968) So Good-Don And The Goodtimes (Epic, 1967) Edwards Hand-Edwards Hand (GRT, 1968) Miss Butters-The Family Tree (RCA, 1969) The Magic Garden-The Fifth Dimension (Soul City, 1967) Five Man Electrical Band-Five Man Electrical Band (Capitol, 1968) Elephant Candy-The Fun and Games (UNI, 1969) Color Blind-The Glitterhouse (Dynovoice, 1968) The Gordian Knot-The Gordian Knot (Verve, 1968) Take A Picture-Margo Guryan (Bell, 1968)* Blew Mind-The Hard Times (World Pacific, 1968) Down To Middle Earth-The Hobbits (Decca, 1967) Tic Tac Toe-The Jackpots (Sonet Svenska, 1967)* Jack In The Box-The Jackpots (Sonet Svenska, 1968)* Love Generation-The Love Generation (Imperial, 1967)* A Generation of Love-The Love Generation (Imperial, 1968)* Montage-The Love Generation (Imperial, 1969)* A Midsummer's Day Dream-Marc Eric (Revue, 196?)* Marshmallow Way-Marshmallow Way (United Artists, 1968) Montage-Montage (Laurie, 1968) Without Earth-The Moon (Imperial, 1968) Mortimer-Mortimer (Phillips, 1968) October Country-October Country (Epic, 1967) Orange Colored Sky-Orange Colored Sky (UNI, 1968) Will You Be Staying After Sunday-The Peppermint Rainbow (Decca, 1969) Peppermint Trolley Company-Peppermint Trolley Company (Acta, 1968) Hot, Cold, & Custard-Peter & Gordon (Capitol, 1968) Procession-Procession (Smash, 1969)* Queen Anne's Lace-Queen Anne's Lace (Coral, 1968) It's Happening-The Red Squares (Columbia Denmark, 1967) The Robbs-The Robbs (Mercury, 1967) It's Now Winter's Day-Tommy Roe (ABC, 1967)* Phantasy-Tommy Roe (ABC, 1967) The Rose Garden-The Rose Garden (ATCO, 1968) The Blue Marble-Sagittarius (Together, 1969) The Smoke-The Smoke (Sidewalk, 1968) Divided We Stand-The Split Level (Dot, 1967) Captain Nemo-The Sundowners (Decca, 1968) Basic Magnetism-Teddy & The Pandas (Tower, 1968) Island In The Sky-The Tuneful Trolley (Capitol, 1968) Twinn Connexion-Twinn Connexion (Decca, 1968)* For Women Only-Bergen White (SSS International, 1969) Hair-Zen (Phillips Holland, 1969)* The ones with the asterisk are those I'm looking for, so if anyone has any of them for sale or trade I'd be very grateful. :-) As you might imagine, a lot of the albums on my list are pretty scarce. However, I've seen them, and have won some of them on eBay, so that seems to be the most viable ticket for finding these albums. -- Spectropop Rules!!!!! Take Care, David --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Re: Renee Armand Received: 01/25/00 1:42 am From: Hans Ebert To: Spectropop! Would someone be able to tell me whatever happened to a very underrated singer-songwriter named Renee Armand? The lady, who was a backup singer, recorded, at least one solo album for A&M titled 'Rain Book' which included a great track co-written- as I believe were all the tracks- with then-husband Jim Gordon called 'England.' Also, the whereabouts and musical odysseys of of Mark Radice, Felix Cavaliere, the brilliant Leon Russell, any members of the Critters, Left Banke and Alan Merrill. Alan was once a member of the Arrows, the first band to record 'I Love Rock 'n Roll' and stayed in Hong Kong for some time before moving to Japan and then the UK. Alan, if you happen to read this, I just found a tape of our collaborations when in Hong Kong- 4 tracks that were perhaps slightly ahead of their time! Thanks, Hans Ebert --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
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