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Spectropop -Digest Number 5

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                           His Master's Voice

There are 4 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: Connie Stevens
           From: Pekka Halonen 
      2. Comment from Perry Botkin Jr.
           From: Carol Kaye 
      3. mann/weil
           From: Jack_Madani
      4. Quote from Toronto Globe re: Brian Wilson
           From: Carol Kaye 

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Message: 1
   Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 20:03:33 +0300
   From: Pekka Halonen 
Subject: Re: Connie Stevens

Jack_Madani wrote:

> I saw in a recent Collector's Choice Music catalog that
> they have a cd of "Connie Stevens Sings Hank Williams."
> Seems like a goofy combo, but I can't be sure since I
> haven't heard it.  Hey, it could be as killer as Dean
> Martin singing C&W for all I know.

"Connie Stevens sings Hank Williams" was also reissued
by Globe Records in 1992 (Globe CD 1460/14), if it isn't
the same CD that you're talking about?

There are 12 tracks from "C.S. Sings Hank Williams"
album and 14 "bonus" tracks including all of her TOP 100
hits. The "bonus" tracks were the reason for me to buy
the CD, but the cover versions of Hank's songs are
actually not bad at all, even though the arrangements of
the songs are mostly close to originals. I would have
loved to hear a version of "Hey Good Lookin'" produced
in Phil Spector's way here, but no, there aren't any
surprises like that...

There are a few excellent non-charters among the "bonus"
tracks, like "Apollo", "Little Miss Understood" and
"Lost in Wonderland" (written by David Gates). 

Pekka Halonen

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Message: 2
   Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 17:13:45 -0700
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: Comment from Perry Botkin Jr.

I quoted something and sent this to Perry Botkin Jr.,
prolific arranger of a lot of the 60s hits - we all
worked a lot for the wonderful Perry who sort of
pooh-poohs his importance in that era, he was always
great to work for, and wrote some good decent stuff...
....he did tons of arrangements for dates back then, and
here is what he replied, tho't you all would be

> I saw in a recent Collector's Choice Music catalog that  
> they have a cd of "Connie Stevens Sings Hank Williams."  
> Seems like a goofy combo, but I can't be sure since I  
> haven't heard it.  Hey, it could be as killer as Dean 
> Martin singing C&W for all I know.

>From Perry:  " I arranged this album and think I'll order
a CD from Collectors Choice. Should be fun hearing
(without clicks and pops) what I was up to all those
year's ago.  You probably played bass on the dates.  All
I remember was that Jessie Sails was the drummer.  Wow!
that is a while ago. 

I feel that with Jessie Sailes on the drums, it was
probably very early 60s, as Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer
really took over most of the dates back then altho'
Jessie still worked and so did Sharkey Hall, but it was
mainly Hal and Earl by around 1963-64.  Interesting that
Perry remembers those dates.  His website is at:

BTW, I sort of remember I also played on the Donna Loren
dates, sure is in my log.  

Carol Kaye

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Message: 3
   Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 15:24:40 -0400
   From: Jack_Madan
Subject: mann/weil

I happened to catch Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill on NPR's
Fresh Air program.  It was an interesting interview,
nothing earthshattering but interesting nonetheless.

Points of interest:  they compared the Animals' version
of We Gotta Get Outta This Place with Mann's own version
on his new cd (which I think was the real reason for
Mann/Weil to be on the radio--hawking the new product, ya
know?).  And ignoring the age of the two recordings, you
really could hear an ocean's worth of difference in the
approach to the song.  Mann said he was thinking of
getting out of his little N'Yawk neighborhood, whereas he
said the Animals were singing from the perspective of
getting out of one of those dirty coal mining towns that
they came from.

Mann said that the British Invasion forced him to have to
think in terms of guitar-based melodies, giving as an
example the opening bass riff of We Gotta Get Outta This
Place (on his own singer/songwriter version, the riff was
played on the lower end of the piano).

Weil said that the words in the chorus to "You've Lost
That Lovin' Feelin'" were actually dummy lyrics, and that
Spector told her to leave them, they were perfect as is.

Weil said how her lyrics mostly never really fit in with
the girlgroup vibe, whereas Goffin and King had that down

Mann sang a few bars of an alternate version of "Only In
America," a darker, cynical view of how America treated

Mann and Weil were stumbling to explain to the host just
what Spector contributed to the songwriting process that
would justify his name on the writing credits.  I love
Spector, love him love him love him love him. Great
producer.  Great great great.  But after reading that
Ribowsky book, which albeit definitely had a point of
view about Phil the not-so-good personal guy, and then
hearing Mann and Weill not being able to say exactly what
Spector added to songs, I'm still not so sure about his
contributions to those songs where his name is the third
one on the songwriting credit.

By the way, Barry Mann co-wrote the theme song to
Disney's animated version of Oliver back in the late
eighties.  Sung by Huey Lewis and with plenty of BW '88
synthy production, the song "Once Upon A Time In New York
City" nevertheless has that unmistakeable Uptown sort of
spanish harlemy feeling, combined with the pedal point
bass thing that pops up in all those Righteous Brother
tunes, that I associate with a Mann/Weil type of song.


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Message: 4
   Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 13:43:26 -0700
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: Quote from Toronto Globe re: Brian Wilson

> This is, after all, a man who was so traumatized by the
> outside world that he had a sandbox built in his very own
> living room, and pretty much lived in it for two or three
> years back in the late sixties.

Yet another person making up a fantasy. Sure Brian had
sand around his piano, capturing a mood-sense for a tune,
composing. David Rose used to sit in his miniature train
for ideas and power his train around his Sherman Oaks
mansion....both of the "crazy"? Not if you're a musician
and understand the creative-process that so many people
are mystified about.

Paul Horn recorded in an Egyptian pyramid for the sounds
he could get there, other musicians do all sorts of
things that wouldn't be considered "normal" for getting
ideas and sounds for their music creating.

>From that Houston article I'd say, there were other
things going on in his life, not a "nervous breakdown"
as they called 

As for how Brian was in those 60s years, I was working
for him practically ALL the time, and never saw any
"bizarre" behavior at all! In fact, he was very very
normal. I heard one day that yes, that he didn't "want
to travel with the BB's anymore" and worked for him on
his record date "after that decision", he was absolutely
NORMAL, great to work for, a fine producer, handled
himself and us studio musicians (and believe me, we
spent HOURS with him each time) in a very professional
way, was the same man both before when he was traveling
and afterwards, no problem.

When anyone got angry, flipped out, or just plain didn't
act themselves, this was called a "nervous breakdown",
and nothing else should be read into that from today's
standards at all. This is a far cry from anything anyone
is trying to imply with an incident of someone getting
upset over something.

I repeat, Brian never exibited ANY tendencies other than
being himself, a great producer, a young talented man
fun to work for, a leader really - extremely cool and
collected, all-business (as the bootlegs belie with his
talking, his instructions, his handling of the
production of recording) on the record dates.

And I can tell you, as he and Marilyn right after they
got married, came over to my house socially too a couple
of times. While Marilyn and I mostly chatted while
watching TV, Brian enjoyed using my Niagara Massage/Heat
lounger chair with the rollers, he loved that chair and
just luxuriated in it. I know I said something about how
it "helps my neck, shoulders, etc." after he said "Carol
I love this chair" and I pointedly remember him saying
"yeh, my neck hurts badly and am having bad head pains,
but this is really helping me a lot".

About 15-20 years ago I lived in horrendous pain from
TMJ (jawjoint). If you've got constant pain in your head,
ears, neck, shoulders, back etc. that can drive you nuts,
especially if you're FLYING!! Your ears are affected by
flying as you all know, all of you who fly, and to have
the damaged ear that Brian had, that had to be extremely

His remarks at my house have always stuck with me as it
was the FIRST time that Brian had ever complained he was
in bad physical pain a lot of the time....he loved my
massage chair back then.

I'm not writing this to "get Brian out of anything that
really happened", no way, but this is insane for these
types of rumors and myths to be carried on in an age
when it should be plain for people to see, with all the
lawsuit,s what people's real motivations are..

Now I hope that people can be wise enough to put the two
things together and see why some of what people say in
the past (if they said it) has been misunderstood and
misconstrued to mean something else....the man was in
pain and probably going through changes too. Maybe pain
wasn't the cause of him being upset, but you'd better
believe it had something to do with it.......who can be
totally calm, and serene, functioning well when they're
living in god-awful pain almost all the time?

I never saw him use drugs at all in the studios nor
anywhere else - that doesn't mean I believe he didn't
use drugs. Of course he used drugs, he later told us all
that, but do you think he used any "more" drugs than
anyone else in those years? And he functioned
professionally with us, and we were super-critical of
ANY young producer back then, about 95% of them had no
idea what they were doing, and we knew it! But we also
knew that Brian KNEW what he was doing, and admired him
for it, the rest couldn't do what he could do.

We admired Brian, he knew what he was doing in
production, his arrangements, his engineering, etc, I
saw him bring in his own written parts of the music (no,
maybe not for harmonica!), saw him conduct himself
absolutely great like any other older experienced
professional producer...we all admired him, respected
him and thought he was the best to work for! Is this the
same man described in that hearsay article? I'd say not,
someone is pulling the wool over your eyes for reasons
which probably the public will never know.

I don't have to lie about these things, I don't have to
say anything, no I'm not being hired by Brian for any
recording work, nor am on tour with him, I'm just sick
and tired of all these lies out there that do NOT
describe the man I know and have worked for. Had this
been Herb Alpert, I'd be writing this to defend him too,
and all the rest of the fine people I've worked for.
Brian was just the "kid" of them all and one of the
greats to work for.

 The above Quote from Toronto Globe illustrates how lame
 journalists sometimes are, they love to invent rumors
 and myths and then they are in turn quoted. You see how
 this stupid stuff keeps on going. Glad I'm not a star!
 It's tough enough just being a recognized studio
 musician "did you have trouble being a girl?" No, I
 just kicked them in the pants and everything was fine.
 Hahaha. I sure wouldn't want to be Brian Wilson for all
 the money in the world with all this dumb stuff out

Just reflecting, thank-you. 

Carol Kaye

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