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Spectropop - Digest Number 17

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There are 9 messages in this issue #17.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: Yellow Balloon album
           From: Stewart Mason 
      2. Yellow Balloon, another version of the tale.
           From: Doc Rock 
      3. Mellow Yellow Balloon
           From: Paul Urbahn 
      4. Chapel Of Lame
           From: john rausch 
      5. Ronnie sings Spector (or not)
           From: "Scott Bauman" 
      6. 5:00/$50.00 World
           From: DJJimmyBee
      7. Local Hits That Never Made It Nationally
           From: Richard Globman 
      8. Boston locals
           From: DJJimmyBee
      9. Re: The Present
           From: Michael Gessner 


Message: 1
   Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 11:40:02 -0600
   From: Stewart Mason 
Subject: Re: Yellow Balloon album

At 08:42 AM 8/7/00 -0000, Spectropop wrote

> I am told by other fans the Canterbury album was padded out 
> with some dead dog songs that were cut in about two 
> sessions. 

If "How Can I Be Down" and "Stained Glass Window" are
dead dogs, I'd love to hear what *wasn't* stuffed in the
bottom drawer!  I'm not as huge a Zekley fan as some
people (I think the Clique album, for example, is largely
forgettable), but the Yellow Balloon album is simply



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Message: 2
   Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 20:31:07 -0400
   From: Doc Rock 
Subject: Yellow Balloon, another version of the tale.

Here's the story on Yellow Balloon as told to me by Dean
and Alex Valdez. Take it for what it is worth!

Dean recorded "Yellow Balloon" twice.  Once was in Joe
Osborn's garage studio.  This was a "demo" version.This
got him a deal with Columbia, were he re-cut "YB."

When Dean went to re-cut "Yellow Balloon" for Columbia,
Gary Zekley objected to the changes Dean made in it. 
Gary liked the demo arrangement better.  So the decision
was made to make a third version, back in Joe Osborn's
garage again, using "approximately the same people" who
were on the J&D version and keep the flavor of the J&D
version, and release it under a different name.

The name chosen: The Yellow Balloon.

At this point, there was no group, Yellow Balloon.  But
as the record gained popularity, a group was needed.

That's where Alex Valdez came in.  Inn the 90s,  Alex
worked on the set of the ABC TV series "Young Riders" --
or at least, he did until the show went out of production
February 18, 1992.  But back in 1967, he worked in rock
'n' roll.  In August, 1992, Alex Valdez told me his story,
the Yellow Balloon story.

 Alex Valdez: The original version of "Yellow Balloon"
 was cut in Joe Osborn's garage.  Joe used to manage, in
 fact he found, the Carpenters. Joe was supposed to be a
 real hot bass player.  Quite to the contrary, Joe was a
 stand up bassist, and just learning.  His girl friend,
 Carol Kaye, was the hot ticket in Hollywood at the time.
  She played on most of the Motown hits.  Monkees, Beach
 Boys, she was bass on all the big sessions.  But in
 order to hire Carol, you had to hire Joe on acoustic.

Joe had a nice little studio, where Dean did "Yellow
Balloon" with Gary.

Gary was a strange fellow.  He had had a few success in
the record business.  He wasn't happy with the way his
song "Yellow Balloon" was being recorded.  So he went to
Canterbury Records.  The president of that company was
Ken Handler of Ken and Barbie fame.  He was Barbara's
brother, their parents owned Mattel.  Gary asked him
about re-recording "Yellow Balloon."

Ken was a young fella with a lot of money, so he told
Gary, "Hey, let's do it!"

They got Don Altfeld to help them.

 DOC:  Don was a friend of Jan & Dean's from high school.
  But I thought Don Grady was the singer of the Yellow

 Alex Valdez:  Don Grady was there, and he contributed,
 but he was not the lead voice.

 DOC: Is he on the LP cover, the guy with the sun glasses?

 Alex Valdez: Yes.  I'm the first one on the cover.  The
 boy in the background carrying the balloon is Cory
 Crawford, brother of Johnny Crawford of the Rifleman. 
 His other brother, Bobby Crawford, was vice president of

 DOC: That is fascinating!  But who sang lead on "Yellow
 Balloon" on Canterbury?

 Alex Valdez: Don Altfeld did.  At least I am pretty sure.
  We were never really told.  It was a big secret.  At
 one point, we came to suspect that Jan & Dean had a part
 in it.

Then we found out that it was a potpourri of Dick St.
John, Don Grady, Don Altfeld, Jill Gibson, a bunch of
people.  So I assume that Don Altfeld did it.

 DOC: So how did you, Alex Valdez, come to sing with the
 Yellow Balloon?

 Alex Valdez: I came out of a Tucson r&b band called
 "Five of Us."

In Five of Us, I was singing Wilson Pickett and Otis
Redding-type stuff. We had some local records and were a
good local group.  When we auditioned with Don Grady to
be in his Windup Watch Band, he selected just two of us
to be in his group, Paul Cannella and myself.  Paul
became the lead guitar of Yellow Balloon.

We got the call March 30th, 1967.  The record had been on
the charts a few weeks. (4-1-67, Billboard)  The original
Yellow Balloon was two weeks in to it, made up of mainly
of the leads and Jill.  And they had the original bass
player with the Yellow Balloon, who is with Heart now,
Mark Andes.  The drummer was the Leaves' ("Hey Joe")
drummer, and the Leaves' guitarist John Beck was in the

These guys started demanding big money, although they
hadn't even been on the record.  So they were released
and Don Grady stepped in and started a new group.  He
wasn't in the group as it was first put together.  But he
had had some success on the label, so he took control of
the concept.

 DOC: What is the story on the follow up singles, "Good
 Feeling Time" and "Can't Get Enough of Your Love."

 Alex Valdez: Don, Don, Jill, Gary, they wrote them, I
 sang them.  Don sang "Stained Glass Window," I sang "I
 Got A Feeling For Love."

Actually, I also went back and put another vocal track on
"Yellow Balloon."  I could be the one singing it on the


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Message: 3
   Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 06:35:09 EDT
   From: Paul Urbahn paulurbahn
Subject: Mellow Yellow Balloon

In a message dated 8/7/00 4:42:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
spectropop  writes:

<< This is from David Bash's review on the Gary Zekley page 
 > Zekley was proud of the song, but didn't like the way
 > Torrence had recorded it, so he went around to different
 > labels to shop it. Among those who Zekley visited was Ken
 > Handler of Canterbury Records, who was very excited about
 > the song and immediately set about having it recorded. He
 > had Zekley do the vocals, and then he brought in
 > noteworthy studio musicians to add the embroidery.  >>

It's a good story and the real truth is probably somewhere
in the middle. However the facts remain. If Zekley was so
proud of the song and wanted his version out why wait a
full year until the Jan and Dean version was scheduled for
release on Columbia. Besides the song is so much more
commerical than anything else he had put out and
definitely has a "Turtles" type sound as described by Dean.



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Message: 4
   Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 22:00:57 -0400
   From: john rausch 
Subject: Chapel Of Lame

My opinion is that the Jeff Barry tribute could have
been so much better, just wondering what others on the
list have to say... Here is my 2 cents worth...

Ronnie was sounding good and looks the same, I don't think
that was really a duet with Brian but they just said
that so Ronnie could perform it re: the lawsuit. I am
not a Brian Wilson fan so I won't even mention what I
thought of his performance....

The Dixie Cups looked pretty silly in those ridiculous
gowns I thought, and The Crystals TRIED to raise the
roof with their performance but the band sucked. Mary
Wilson looked supreme (pun intended).I am beginning to
respect her as time goes on.

Andy Kim looked in fine shape, his rendition was
terrible, I love his original remake of B.I.L.Y, but
that performance was just lame. I was also very VERY
disappointed in the ending with everyone on stage and
Ronnie was completely cut from that scene, even tho you
could hear her. I will watch it again tonight and  give
it a second shot.

And why , when everyone does their version, Ronnie too,
last night of I Can Hear Music...they never do that
part that goes.."I hear the music hold me tight, I hear
the music hold me tight now baby" For me, that is the
"hook" of the song. The station offered an unabridged
version of the airing but for a hefty (contribution)
cost. Maybe seeing the uncut version would make more

Anyone else have their opinion?

John Rausch



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Message: 5
   Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 22:29:44 -0700
   From: "Scott Bauman" 
Subject: Ronnie sings Spector (or not)

David A. Young  wrote:

>And how does she get away with doing "I Can Hear Music"
>on the upcoming "Chapel of Love" PBS special? Because
>she's duetting with Brian Wilson?

David, if I remember correctly from my days in music
publishing, public broadcasting stations are not required
to obtain synch licenses for music broadcast on their
shows.  If that is indeed the case, since the publisher's
permission is not needed, the publisher would not have
the ability to deny permission to Ronnie.

-- Scott


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Message: 6
   Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 08:25:04 -0000
   From: DJJimmyBee
Subject: 5:00/$50.00 World

In a message dated 8/7/0 4:42:56 AM, spectropopwrote:

> I associate the Vogues with Pittsburgh, and have always
> thought of "5 O'Clock World" as a song about steel mills.

I saw an origninal pressing of the "5 O'Clock World" LP
in a used rekkid bin the other day. Asking price:
$50.00.........JB/Laboring past 5:00 to pay for THAT one

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Message: 7
   Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 09:14:59 -0400
   From: Richard Globman 
Subject: Local Hits That Never Made It Nationally

Frank brought up a very interesting thread:

>This remark makes me think that it could be a good idea
>if Spectropop listers could send lists of local hits that
>never made it nationally. I know for sure there were
>quite a few that really made it big (like the Scott
>English" track) in their region. Difficult to know about
>them if you weren't there. I'm pretty sure we would make
>some great finds in these lists. Anybody for it ?

Ohmygawd!  Living here in the southeastern U.S....right
in the middle of "beach music" country...there are
probably zillions!  The deejays search 'em out to play
at parties and stuff.

Off the top of my head:

Thank You John (Willie T)
Summertime's Calling Me (The Catalinas)
Ms. Grace (The Tymes)
Carolina Girls (Chairman of the Board)
With This Ring, I Love You 1,000 Times, Washed Ashore (All by The Platters)
Drive It Home (Clovers)
Rooster Blues (Delbert McClinton)
Call The Plumber (Big Joe Turner)
Slow Boat To China (Ronie Dove)
Hold Back The Night (The Trammps)
Rainy Day Bells (Harlem Globetrotters)
I Got The Fever (Billy Scott & The Georgia Prophets)
My Little Red Book (Drifters)
Ain't No Big Thing (Radiants)
Fat Boy (Billy Stewart)
Alligator Walk (Mojo Blues Band)
Murder (Kim Bassinger)
Maybe Someday Baby (Delbert McClinton)

Gimme another 10 minutes...I got lots more...


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Message: 8
   Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 12:45:44 EDT
   From: DJJimmyBee
Subject: Boston locals

In a message dated 8/7/0 4:42:56 AM, spectropop wrote:

>Local hits that never made it nationally

Fourmost Authority-Dance Dance
Rockin' Ramrods-Bright Lit Blue Skies
Teddy & The Pandas-We Can't Go On This Way
.....Many more, just gotta tune up my memory bank

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Message: 9
   Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 00:29:10 -0400
   From: Michael Gessner 
Subject: Re: The Present

Frank  wrote:

>This remark makes me think that it could be a good idea
>if Spectropop listers could send lists of local hits that
>never made it nationally. 

I grew up in central Florida. We had a big 1967 local hit
by The Present (on Philips) titled "Many's the slip twixt
the cup and the lip (Baby the world really turns)".
Written by Fischoff and Powers (whatever happened to them?)

It had a psychedelic harp in it. I spent years just
trying to remember who sang it when Denver (later
Louisville) DJ Joe Donovan aka Joe Douglas ID'd it as The

Does anyone know anything about this group?


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