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Spectropop V#0380

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 01/29/00

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       Volume #0380                        January 30, 2000   
           Long Playing Microgroove Unbreakable Records       
    Subject:     Singapore Source?
    Received:    01/29/00 3:36 pm
    From:        Jack Madani
    To:          Spectropop!
    A friend is going to Singapore end of next week. Is it 
    still possible to pick up "greymarket" cd's there? If so, 
    any suggested softpop or girlgroup comps that would be 
    worth searching for there? Perhaps a private reply to me 
    would be appropriate, so that I can let my friend know 
    before he leaves (Feb 5).
    Many thanks, all. 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Cookies and company
    Received:    01/29/00 3:36 pm
    From:        John Frank
    To:          Spectropop!
    Brian Ferrari said:
    >One of my favorite all-time girl group records is their
    >1967 Warner Brothers single "Wounded". Anyone know if they
    >recorded other sides at Warner Brothers?
    My reference gives the flip of "Wounded" as "All My Trials." 
    There was a follow-up single put out on WB called "Mr. 
    Cupid (Don't You Call On Me)." Great title, huh? I'd like 
    to hear it someday. (The flipside to this one isn't listed, 
    so maybe one of the sides of their initial WB single was 
    Regarding the pre-Dimension Cookies, here's a segment of 
    the liner notes of "The Aladdin Records Story":
    'Another Lamp [Aladdin subsidiary label] group with a rosy
    future were The Cookies. Formed by Lamp artist Margie 
    Hendrix, The Cookies were a leading studio group backing 
    hundreds of artists through the years. "Don't Let Go" was 
    their first record ... Hendrix also formed a Cookies 
    offshoot group, The Raeletts, to back Ray Charles on most 
    of his hits. [What the liner notes fail to mention that 
    while The Raeletts were backing Ray Charles on Atlantic, 
    that label was also releasing many singles by "The 
    Cookies".] Another member, Ethel MacRae, more commonly 
    known as "Earl-Jean," kept The Cookies' name going and scored 
    several hits with them, including "Chains," "Don't Say 
    Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)," and "I'm Into Something Good" 
    (as simply "Earl-Jean"), later a hit for Herman's Hermits. 
    Dorothy Jones rounded out the trio and joined Earl-Jean 
    and Margaret Ross to back Neil Sedaka on "Breaking Up Is 
    Hard To Do."'
    I think Earl-Jean's "They're Jealous of Me" (B-side of 
    "Randy") is one of the greatest flipsides ever. 
    I've heard that one Darlene McCrea, who had singles 
    released by Tower, Jubilee and Roulette between 1959 and 
    1966 (one single on each label) was also a Cookie. Any 
    truth to this?
    John Frank
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     The Cookies
    Received:    01/29/00 3:36 pm
    From:        Ian Chapman
    To:          Spectropop!
    > Brian Ferrari wrote:-
    > The Cinderellas ("Baby Baby I Still Love You",
    > "Please Don't Wake Me", "Good Good Lovin")
    > The Honeybees ("One Wonderful Night", "She Don't
    > Deserve Him", "Some Of Your Lovin")
    > Bach's Lunch ("Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow")
    > The Cupcakes ("The Pied Piper")
    > The Palisades ("Make The Night A Little Longer")
    > I am also pretty sure that they were The Emeralds ("I
    > Wanna Make Him Mine", "Did You Ever Love A Guy", "Dancing
    > Alone").
    Hi Brian,
    I guess there is a certain similarity, but the Emeralds 
    were in fact a "real" group in their own right, and the 
    second of the Honeybees records (Some of Your Lovin'/You 
    Turn Me On Boy) isn't the Cookies, although the first one 
    (One Wonderful Night) is. Maybe the girls weren't 
    available for the second record, so G&K used a different 
    set of session singers. When it comes to the number of 
    fictitious group names, I think the Blossoms may have the 
    edge, but that's a whole other post.......!
    > I would also love to know anything about The Cookies.
    > Earl-Jean McCrea is pretty easy to identify on record.
    > Different sources site either Margaret Ross or Dorothy
    > Jones as the belty lead singer of numbers like "I Never
    > Dreamed" and many of the above named recordings.
    > Can anyone give any backround into this amazing group?
    OK Brian, here goes. Hope the following helps....
    Dorothy got the group started, back in the 50s. She was 
    doing back-up work, and recruited Earl-Jean and Margie 
    Hendrix, to form the Cookies. There was reportedly a 
    single on the Lamp label as early as '54. The girls won 
    Amateur Night at the Apollo, which got them a deal with 
    Atlantic, resulting in 3 singles with the label. There, 
    they did back-ups for many singers on the Atlantic roster,
    including LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown and Ray Charles. When 
    Margie Hendrix decided to go with Ray Charles full-time as
    a vocalist, she was replaced in the Cookies by Margaret 
    Ross. The Aldon connection came about when Neil Sedaka 
    used them on some of his early RCA tracks for back-up, and
    he recommended them to Carole King. Carole used them on the
    Aldon tracks she was then doing with Tony Orlando. During 
    these sessions, Don Kirshner suggested that Dorothy cut a 
    solo record. Although the label said a "Nevins/Kirshner 
    Production", it was actually Goffin & King who produced 
    "It's Unbearable" for Dorothy on Columbia in '61 (complete 
    with pic sleeve). A dramatic Goffin/Keller number, the 
    record even got a UK release on Philips. So the Cookies' 
    presence was already established at Aldon before the 
    Dimension label was formed. They did innumerable back-up 
    sessions in the early 60s - two good examples where they 
    feature most prominently are Eydie Gorme's "Blame It On 
    The Bossa Nova" and Mel Torme's "Comin' Him Baby"/"Right 
    One of the impressive things about the Cookies was that 
    each girl was a potential lead singer, and in combination,
    their voices blended beautifully. We should maybe mention 
    Little Eva here, as she was often an honorary Cookie too, 
    on the early sides - heard very clearly on "Chains". Often
    on the Dimension records, the vocals would be shared by all
    three girls, sometimes underpinned by a trademark 
    interjection from Earl-Jean, e.g "so girl you better shut 
    your mouth", "thirty-six; twenty-one; thirty-fiiiiive" 
    (name those tunes!) Sometimes however, one particular girl 
    would get a lead to herself. Dorothy, for example was 
    practically solo on "Stranger In My Arms", the flip of 
    "Chains" - it was very similar to her Columbia 45, and 
    could well have been done at the same session. Margaret 
    was the main voice on "Softly In The Night" - she also got
    the lead on "Only To Other People" and what is for many the
    ultimate Cookies track, "I Never Dreamed". (The Sequel 
    "Complete Cookies" compilation incorrectly credits Dorothy 
    as lead on these tracks) Earl-Jean of course did her own 
    thing on Colpix, but always remained a Cookie. If you want
    to hear and compare each girl individually, look no further
    than their original version of "On Broadway", where each 
    girl takes one line at a time in the verses - first 
    Earl-Jean, then Dorothy, then Margaret. Towards the end of
    their stay at Dimension, it seemed that Margaret was 
    increasingly the preferred vocalist, not only under the 
    Cookies name, but under many of the fictitious group names
    that Brian mentioned. Margaret had an identifiable 
    trademark sob in her voice that added a sincerity to any 
    song she graced. Witness the impressive list of girl-group
    classics that she led:- "I Never Dreamed", "Please Don't 
    Wake Me", "Baby Baby I Still Love You", "Make The Night A 
    Little Longer", "One Wonderful Night". Margaret Ross is 
    surely one of the unheralded greats, and yet she was 
    probably the least recognized of the trio, her name never 
    having appeared solo on a label.
    Let's also give a mention to Earl-Jean's sister, Darlene 
    McRea, one-time girlfriend of Russ Titleman. Russ shared 
    an apartment with both Darlene and Earl-Jean at one point 
    in New Jersey, and Darlene was one of Ray Charles' Raelets
    for a while (either she, or Earl-Jean - hard to be sure 
    which - appeared as a Raelet in the '66 UK-produced movie 
    "Blues For Lovers" aka "Ballad In Blue") Darlene had a 
    voice that was almost identical to her sister's and she 
    was responsible for another girl-group gem, "My Heart's 
    Not In It", on Tower. Russ wrote it for her in 
    collaboration with Gerry Goffin, and it sits right up 
    there with the classics mentioned above.
    > One of my favorite all-time girl group records is their
    > 1967 Warner Brothers single "Wounded". Anyone know if they
    > recorded other sides at Warner Brothers?
    Yes Brian, there was reputedly another track cut at 
    Warners, "Mrs Cupid" - it's been seen in Warner's listings, 
    but it's one of those legendary records that nobody seems 
    to have seen, or heard. Presumably still in the vaults.
    > What happened to them after the 60's heyday?
    I wish I knew. I'm afraid I can't fill in any detail of 
    what happened to them or where they are now. I wonder if 
    Little Eva, who is performing again, kept in touch with 
    any of them. After all, it was Earl-Jean who recommended 
    her for a certain baby-sitting job.....!
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Electric Prunes/David Axelrod
    Received:    01/28/00 5:17 am
    From:        Stewart Mason
    To:          Spectropop!
    Joseph Scott writes:
    >Or, to look at it from another of the many possible
    >angles, often the studio musicians were doing their own
    >thing anyway -- Howard
    >Roberts' amazing guitar solos for the Electric Prunes c.
    >'68 were in the exact same style as his for David
    >Axelrod;  '68, wasn't David Axelrod the writer/producer/
    musical director/all around main guy for the Electric 
    Prunes, which by this time had seen all its original 
    members fired and replaced by studio players under 
    Axelrod's direction? Or am I confusing them with someone 
    ****************************FLAMINGO RECORDS****************************
    Stewart Allensworth Mason       
    Box 40172                        "Mom, stop saying 'Mofo'!"
    Albuquerque NM 87196                    
    **********************HAPPY MUSIC FOR NICE PEOPLE***********************
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Giving credit where it's due
    Received:    01/29/00 3:36 pm
    From:        Lindsay Martin
    To:          Spectropop!
    The discussions about soft rock and about session 
    musicians lead me to admit to my weakness for the recorded
    works of Gary Lewis and the Playboys. (Anyone else like to 
    join me?) See how I say "weakness" and "admit"? This is 
    because Lewis is usually dismissed by critics as "pathetic" 
    and "goofy" and maybe an exploiter of his dad Jerry's 
    name and influence, and I always take too much notice of 
    what critics write. Anyway, I love "Everybody Loves a 
    Clown", "Green Grass", "Count Me In", "Save Your Heart For
    Me" and "Sure Gonna Miss Her" for a start, and I've never 
    had a problem with Gary's voice. (I'm not sure what to 
    make of "Time Stands Still", where he bizarrely launches 
    into a parody of Jerry. Dealing with some issues there, I 
    suspect.) Soft rock? Bubblegum? Teenybopper fodder? Please
    yourself, but I'm hooked.
    Looking at the credits for these songs, though, we see the
    names of Snuff Garrett, producer, and Leon Russell, 
    arranger, both of whom also contribute to many of the 
    songs as writers. I've no idea who played on the sessions,
    but after reading the discussions by Carol and others, I'm 
    not going to be surprised to learn that there were some 
    seasoned studio professionals involved (well, Leon Russell
    for one, I guess).
    It's all a matter of giving credit where it's due. In the 
    shorthand of pop marketing, and so in the minds of most 
    consumers, it's the artist who gets the credit. It's only 
    people like Spectropop readers who dig deeper and see the 
    full picture, and reveal the collaborations that produce 
    records. Sam Phillips' name, for example, is well-known in
    the story of Elvis, but full credit isn't always given to 
    the contribution of, say, Otis Blackwell. And although 
    George Martin is famous, most people probably think about 
    Lennon & McCartney even when they are enjoying Martin's 
    string arrangement on "Eleanor Rigby". After years of 
    admiring the Beatles' skill in coming up with that 
    gorgeous French horn line in "For No One", I discovered 
    that a bloke called Alan Civil made it up on the spot and 
    played it! (Civil remarked that it was "just another day's
    work".) Go back further and it seems that Fletcher 
    Henderson was often unsung as Benny Goodman's arranger. 
    It's possible to get a bit obsessive about this, and in 
    practice it's a mouthful to list Phil Spector and Jack 
    Nitzsche and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Carol Kaye 
    etc. when you're referring to a particular pop record, but
    it's good to see every issue of Spectropop doing its part 
    in giving credit where it's due. 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     "Boots'
    Received:    01/28/00 6:41 am
    From:        Carol Kaye
    To:          Spectropop!
    Jamie wrote: 
    >>>No schoolteacher of mine was ever THAT groovy. Dig 
    those shades! And the boots! Hipper than hip!<<<
    Jamie, after wearing jeans, and ordinary street clothing, 
    I was looking for a husband by the start of the 70s. That 
    was my teen-aged daugher's idea, I always felt 
    uncomfortable wearing such clothes. If you check the other
    photos on the Library page of my website, you'll see what I
    mean. I finally later settled on nicer slack suits. 
    And everyone wore DARK glasses in the studio to be able to
    read the music, it was NOT trying to be "hip" at all, we 
    couldn't see the music if we didn't have dark glasses on 
    to cut the terrible glare in those brightly-lit studios. 
    And if you really could have looked up close, you'd see 
    some of the ugliest buck teeth you ever did see....kept 
    everyone at bay, was happy to say.
    >>> Fascinating, and it makes the records all the more 
    interesting to listen to.<<<
    Yes, somewhat different than the TV, magazines, etc. all 
    portray a "recording studio" was. Was 80% boring I'll tell
    you, it was intense, the main focus was to get a hit 
    recording for all the different artists you recorded for...
    that was business, and we were lucky to have been in on 
    the ground floor...they still talk about the "Carol Kaye" 
    bass sounds, the "Hal Blaine" drum sounds, etc.....we all 
    sort of invented some lines, patterns, styles, sounds, etc. 
    that influenced rock music for all time during the 60s 
    blitz of recording and night. Not bragging,
    that's just body can feel all that hard work 
    believe me, feels like I picked cotton for years.
    Jimmy Botticelli says: 
    >>>>Although the players for Johnny Mann probably played 
    for The Byrds as well. But that makes the jazz players 
    fakers too and perhaps in part has earned them the "jazzbo" 
    label in some circles. After all if it isn't "out" and 
    improvised, then its too structured and "pop", which is 
    fake and designed for those oh-so ignorant consumers of 
    that pop we play for hire, rather than playing "real" jazz
    We were very sincere in cutting ALL STYLES of music, it's 
    just that jazz musicianship uses a tougher and more 
    intricate way of using theory. No, not fakers at all, but 
    excellent took real musicianship to cut 
    a hit record, no matter the style of music.
    Javed wrote: 
    >>>>They used outside musicians (i.e. Van Dyke Parks, Hugh
    Masekela) even on later recordings but the group members 
    were the predominant musicians.<<<
    I'm sure they had "guest musicians' from time to time, yes
    ...but the normal studio musicians (of which Van Dyke did 
    other dates sometimes too, I worked with him for awhile 
    for a few years) I am talking about recorded for years and
    years and were the "clique" about 50-60 of us out of the 
    entire pool of 350 regular studio musicians which includes
    the movies and TV films, commercials etc. 
    We called each client an "account" ("do you have the Andy 
    Williams account? I have the Beach Boys account" etc.). 
    Simon and Garfunkel were an "account", Paul Revere & 
    Raiders, Dino-Desi-Billy, Markettes, T-Bones, Hondells, We
    3, Sonny & Cher, Phil Spector, Buckinghams, Monkees, Jan & 
    Dean, I could on and on (see the lists of groups on my 
    I realize that little is known about the 1,000s of record
    dates we did for everyone in the 60s. If anyone wants to do
    some research, look at my website, look at Hal Blaine's 
    website:, read
    Hal's book, read 
    Earl Palmer's book "Backbeat...the Earl Palmer Story", 
    these are on, then you'll learn more about what
    I'm saying...I know this must hurt your percieved images of
    our business.
    Carol Kaye
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Byrds
    Received:    01/29/00 3:36 pm
    From:        Bryan Thomas
    To:          Spectropop!
    It is my understanding that the Byrds first single -- "Please 
    Let Me Love You" as by the Beefeaters (Elektra) -- featured 
    Ray Pohlman, Earl Palmer, McGuinn/Crosby/Clark/Hillman.
    The next single -- "Mr. Tambourine Man" as by the Byrds (on
    Columbia) -- featured McGuinn alongside Hal Blaine, Larry 
    Knechtel, Russell Bridges (Leon Russell), and Jerry Cole.
    After these two, the sessions featured the group members
    supplemented by occasional session players. Can anybody
    shed any more light on this?
    >I thought that the Byrds played on most of their first
    >album as well as subsequent recordings. The commonly held
    >belief is that Roger was the only group member to play on
    >Mr. Tambourine Man but that does not apply as far as
    >their other recorded output is concerned. They used
    >outside musicians (i.e.Van Dyke Parks, Hugh Masekela)
    >even on later recordings but the group members were the
    >predominant musicians.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Double Quartet and history rererevisited
    Received:    01/29/00 3:36 pm
    From:        Nat Kone
    To:          Spectropop!
    >Subject:     Re:  unison versus harmony
    >From:        Ron Sauer
    >The Kirby Stone 4 made a great duet record in the last 
    >sixties with the Tokens. They listed thenselves as "The US
    >Double Quartet" and the song was "Life is Groovy" on BT 
    >Puppy records. 
    I guess that's some kind of answer to the Double Trio of 
    Paris. I just got another record on the Tokens "BT Puppy" 
    label. "The Happenings" Seems like the Tokens were real 
    "soft pop" impresarios. The Happenings sorta strain at the 
    limits of MY soft pop definition but in the end, I'll put 
    them in that box.
    Speaking of recently found records, what can you tell me 
    about this apparent girl trio on Decca, called "The Cake"?
    Fellow listmember Ms. Kaye played guitar on this one (along 
    with Mac Rebennack) so maybe some info will be forthcoming. 
    I'd never heard of them but there's something intriguing
    about the record. Sorta like a white Ronettes with lots of 
    And while I'm staring at the studio musician credits on 
    this record, I want to try and say one more thing about 
    this marketing/studio musician/real vs fake controversy. 
    At this point I'm not even sure what the point is but it 
    feels like it's being stretched to the point of breaking.
    For instance, looking back at sixties pop music, how do 
    you factor in the early local garage band scenes? Or the 
    various folk scenes?
    There was a sound happening. A lot of people of various 
    musical backgrounds and various age groups ended up 
    contributing to that sound. And some tried to ignore that 
    sound until their sales dried up and then they jumped on 
    John Davidson recorded "Both Sides Now" and "Suzanne". 
    Was I just a gullible teenager to prefer Joni Mitchell and
    Leonard Cohen? (Or maybe a super patriotic Canadian.)
    And just to revisit that Mel Torme/ Donovan/ "Sunshine 
    Superman" business, you have to remember that a lot of us 
    were listening to whole albums at this point. Even if I'd 
    liked Mel's cover of that one hit, I don't think I'd have 
    felt the same about the rest of the record, for instance 
    his cover of "Take a letter Maria", which he almost 
    rescues but not quite.
    I love looking back at the sixties and seeing all the 
    points of intersection in these musical universes that I 
    once thought were parallel at best. I love all this 
    reconsideration and even rewriting that's happening. But 
    when Mel Torme becomes this misunderstood troubadour being
    outfoxed by Donovan's powerful myth-making machine, I think
    the rewriting has gone a bit far.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     More...
    Received:    01/28/00 6:41 am
    From:        Carol Kaye
    To:          Spectropop!
    Nat wrote: >>>>And I'm sure I could still be surprised - 
    and heartbroken - to hear about other records which, to 
    this day, I still assume were recorded by the actual group. 
    Like Paul Revere and the Raiders. <<<<
    Yes, Hal Blaine, myself others did some of those....don't 
    blame the "messenger"....the public will have a lot of 
    heartbreak out there when they "find out." It took 2-3 
    years for the Beach Boys fans to accept that studio 
    musicians did their favorite hits.
    And no, I didn't play on any of the Byrds stuff, but Hal 
    Blaine, Larry Knechtel and Leon Russell did. Roger did do 
    his own playing on the Byrds.
    >>>(Of course, we who laughed then became the marketers 
    and we did learn from their mistakes.)<<<
    I hope so, but I also think they did "pretty good".... 
    Musicians' Union/Federation records all show according to 
    the royalties fund, that the 60s is still the "hottest" 
    selling group of records world-wide. Do we get royalties? 
    Only if they're used in movies, the phonograph fund is set
    up so that only "currently recording studio musicians" get 
    those phonograph royalties.
    Joseph wrote: >>>Can you tell us more about Dennis Budimir?
    He seems to have played on everything, every style.<<<
    Dennis Budimer became the No. 2 call studio guitarist 
    about mid 60s along with Tommy Tedesco and in some cases, 
    was preferred above Tommy who was the no. 1 reader, but 
    Dennis being a close 2nd. He could play any style whether 
    the fuzz-tone on the theme of Shaft (it was cut out
    here, I'm on the sheet music listed as "the movie theme 
    bassist etc.", a contract irregularity which Russ Wapensky, 
    writer of the studio musician credits book almost done, 
    Dennis was one of the all-time greats, recognized by LA 
    musicians as "the FINE jazz guitarist along with Barney 
    Kessel, Howard Roberts, only he didn't stay playing in the
    non-paying jazz clubs of the late 50s but went into studio retired now (but too happily, he misses all 
    the studio work he used to do), has had surgeries on his 
    shoulders, arms, etc. (all related to all the hard long 
    years of playing he did, you don't work 9-5 in the studios, 
    it's like 7AM to 11PM or later every night back then).
    Carol Kaye
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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