> Chuck Britz

Chuck Britz

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Spectropop - Digest Number 25

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               "I've often played Pet Sounds and cried."

There are 7 messages in this issue #25.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Chuck Britz - In Loving Memory
           From: Carol Kaye 
      2. Steve & Eydie
           From: John Love 
      3. Steve & Eydie
           From: "Ian Chapman" 
      4. Re: Cynthia Weil's name
           From: Tobias 
      5. Blame It On The Striped Blouse
           From: JB 
      6. Cynthia Weil
           From: "Ian Chapman" 
      7. Re: Ritchie Valens
           From: Carol Kaye 


Message: 1
   Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 08:53:42 -0700
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: Chuck Britz - In Loving Memory

Our wonderful engineer, Chuck Britz is gone. He passed
away on Monday evening from a long battle with brain
cancer.  I had spoken with him in hospice just 2 weeks ago,
Chuck was in "good spirits", well, as good as he could be
under the circumstances. When I saw him he had just
checked in, and naturally I kidded with him about the cute
nurses. He huffed in response "They're not that cute
around here and I'm not really into that", I backed down
"Oh Chuck, I'm just ribbing you - I know you're a good
family man". 

We both laughed. 

It was wonderful to re-establish old ties in recent times.
You know, even though we all knew it was coming, it is
still a shock to lose someone as vital as Chuck.

In the 70s, when it seemed nearly no-one was Brian's
friend, Chuck Britz quite often went over to Brian's
house to talk and visit with Brian.

I had recently heard about this from David Leaf. During
that era when Chuck befriended Brian, I was in hot water
myself with a bad marriage, etc. I had no idea Chuck often
visited Brian during that troubled period in Brian's life.
We spoke about this at hospice. I commended him for that,
and I could tell he was so pleased that we all now
understood what had happened and that yes, he did go to
bat for Brian....good man that he was, truly loyal and so
helpful to Brian, giving him the honest and sincere
friendship he needed.

Chuck, who had lived in Northern Calif. all this time,
spoke of how wonderful it was to see Brian last year in
San Francisco, how he enjoyed being with the people, how
nice it was.  If any of you who were involved with that
show are reading this, thank-you so much for being so nice
to our dear Chuck Britz. 

Chuck worked long and hard in the studios. He was a top
ace engineer, and he personally taught Brian the ins and
outs of sound recording during the dates with Brian....he
was a patient, sort-of father figure to Brian, and I feel
that Chuck's influence, on both a personal and
professional level, helped Brian in so many ways. 

As you can hear on the Pet Sounds Session box and the
various other Beach Boys session tapes in circulation,
Brian was in total control, showing humor and confidence
all the way....and a very large part of that is due to the
wonderful Chuck Britz, who was a straight-laced, good
family man, revered as a talented yet amiable person in
the studios, and one of the greatest ever for engineering.

God rest you Chuck, you were always NICE and pleasant to
be around....your expertise was wonderful, your manner was
no-nonsense, and your morals were pristine.....I and many,
many others will miss you dearly.

In Loving Memory, 
Carol Kaye

PS.  Chuck Britz is survived by his lovely wife, son and
daughter. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting
donations to the hospice Chuck spent his final days at,
the phone no. being: 530-877-4923.  Services for the
memorial to Chuck Britz are this Saturday, at 4PM in Rose
Chapel, Paradise, California.


Chuck Britz started his recording career in the 1950s
cutting big bands for Armed Forces Radio Network. Around
1960, he took a position at Western Studios and began
cutting rock 'n' roll records. At the time, the big
labels all had in-house studios, but the smaller
independent labels in Los Angeles recorded their artists
at the independents such as Western and Gold Star.Chuck
usually worked in Western Studio 3, the birthplace of
many, many hit records, and the place where most of Brian
Wilson's Pet Sounds was realized.

His hands graced the board on sessions for many popular
artists and producers of the time, including the Turtles,
Grass Roots, Lee Hazelwood, Sunrays, Bruce & Terry, and
various Lou Adler productions.

Besides having knowledge of mics, recorders, outboard gear
and recording technique, a good recording engineer must be
able to work alongside producers and artists who,
sometimes, can be trying. In the days when sessions were
three hours and there was no luxury of 24 track or digital
dubbing, the engineer was often the anchor in the storm.
Chuck Britz was all that and more, as the notorious Help 
Me Rhonda vocal session tapes exemplify.

Brian Wilson: "Chuck maintained a very cool disposition,
but he was working under extreme pressure...and he kept
his cool. Chuck was always saying 'I've gotta get out of
here by 6:30 because I have a bowling tournament.' And
we'd say 'C'mon. Let's get to work. We're gonna lose Chuck.'"

Al DeLory: "Maybe not enough credit has been given to
Chuck Britz, who knew what to do. An engineer is so
important to the whole thing."

Chuck Britz: "I think mono was great from the standpoint
that there's no second guessing, no 'We can correct it
later.' You do certain things when you're doing mono, like
you're equalizing, you're doing feedback, echo, all the
things you have to do to make the sound big."

Paul McCartney: "I've often played Pet Sounds and cried."

Yes, we have lost Chuck Britz, but we are left with the
body of recordings he crafted during his stellar career,

Rest in Peace.

(*some biographical information and quotations for this
eulogy were taken from the Pet Sounds Sessions liner

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 2
   Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 04:25:17 -0500
   From: John Love 
Subject: Steve & Eydie

I've been fascinated to follow the posts on Steve & Eydie.
I picked up an official CBS release of The Best of Steve
& Eydie (dated 1966) sometime in the late 80s I think,
and was always wondering why a CD version had never
appeared. Like John Frank's Point CD there's some schlock
in here, but all the best stuff as well:

I Want To Stay Here (S&E)
Go Away Little Girl (S)
Everybody Go Home (E)
Walking Proud (S)
Can't Get Over The Bossa Nova (E)
Don't Be Afraid, Little Darlin' (S)
Yes My Darling Daughter (E)
Dia Das Roas (S&E)
I Can't Stop Talking About You (S&E)
Blame It On The Bossa Nova (E)
Yet.... I Know (S)
I Want You To Meet My Baby (E)
Millions of Roses (S)
The Look of Love (E)
Everybody Knows (S)
True Love (S&E)

Great news about the release of Dion's Born To Be With


--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 3
   Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 18:17:44 +0100
   From: "Ian Chapman" 
Subject: Steve & Eydie

I agree totally with all the enthusiastic comments
regarding Steve & Eydie's "Brill Building" era - they're
way off beam if they think this is stuff to be ashamed of.

Two other great tracks that should be noted and which
weren't included on the Canadian CD John mentioned are
"The Dance Is Over" (Goffin/Weiss/King) by Eydie on ABC,
and the dramatic "Last Night I Made A Little Girl Cry"
(Kaye/Springer) by Steve on Columbia.  The latter is
probably my favourite of Steve's "mature Brill Building"
output (along with Goffin/King's "Walking Proud") - in
the same league as Andy Williams' "Music To Watch Girls

By the way, any opinions on Dusty's Pet Shop
Boys-produced version of  "I Want To Stay Here" from a
few years back?


--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 4
   Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 23:32:21 +0200
   From: Tobias 
Subject: Re: Cynthia Weil's name

>By the way, for the longest time I pronounced Cyn's family
>name as "wheel". I was recently told the correct
>pronunciation is "while". Can anyone corroborate?

Well, you're an American so you say "wheel" just like you
pronounce "stein" as "steen" - the German pronounciation
of Weil is "vile", so I guess "while" is a sort of
linguistic compromise :-)


--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 5
   Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 18:26:03 EDT
   From: JB 
Subject: Blame It On The Striped Blouse

In a message dated 8/23/0 4:59:01 AM, Spectropop Group

>"Blame It On the Bossa Nova" was one of those records I
>played a million times when I re-discovered it back in

And that killer-diller striped blouse she sports on the
cover. My wife would kill to cop it...JB

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 6
   Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 18:27:24 +0100
   From: "Ian Chapman" 
Subject: Cynthia Weil

Regarding the correct pronunciation of the lady's name,
Spencer Leigh asked her the very same question in the
July Record Collector interview.  She replied:  "It's
pronounced "Wile", but everybody says "Wheel".  My
father came from Poland.  Nearly all the writers at 1650
Broadway came from immigrant families, but they all
lived in Brooklyn and I came from Manhattan."

The only release I know which features a lead vocal by
Cynthia is the dance novelty "The Toddle" by Miss Prim
and the Classroom Kids (Amy 872), which has Cynth
affecting a plummy schoolmarm voice over a kiddie
backing.  Now that *is* one I bet she'd rather forget!


Cynthia Weil at Spectropop

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 7
   Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 08:58:51 -0700
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: Re: Ritchie Valens

Glenn, yes, I did the Ritchie Valens recordings, but on
rhythm guitar, not on Dano bass guitar.  Am pretty sure
that's Rene Hall on Dano....I didn't have my Dano bass
guitar until around 1959-60 and yes, did a few hits with
Dano ("In Crowd" Dobie Gray etc.), but that's not me on
Dano on Ritchie's recordings...he was great to work for
btw, a fine singer, pleasant person, good feeling from
him at Gold Star.  Has to be Rene Hall.  I hired Rene to
play bass on my multi-guitar album, recorded in 1965, now
put out as "Calif. Creamin'"...he was so good on bass
(was a fine blues guitarist too, did some solo guitar
work on the 60s Ray Charles hits).

Bill Pitman is the one who did the most hits tho' on Dano
Bass Guitar (he was a guitarist, did a lot of dates
around LA 50s-60s), he's the one who started the
popularity of the Dano in the studios.  Rene did his
share, I did mine, even Barney Kessel played Dano bass
guitar (on the early Sonny & Cher hits).

You know, I love the "Blame It On The Bossa Nova"
recording too, it was a darned fine record, good tune,
good performance!  

Carol Kaye

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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