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Spectropop - Digest Number 109

______________        S  P  E  C  T  R  O  P  O  P        ______________
             Take a virtual pilgrimage to the Brill Building            
                  and sign the Jeff and Ellie petition 


There are 10 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 109:

      1. Re: 1650 Broadway
           From: Marc Wielage
      2. re:  1650 Broadway
           From: "Jack Madani" 
      3. Re: 1650 Broadway
           From: Tom Simon 
      4. Re: 1650 Broadway
           From: Jamie LePage 
      5. Re: The Screw
           From: Mark Landwehr
      6. Curt Boettcher, The Ballroom, The Millennium, Sagittarius and Gary Usher
           From: "Ron Weekes"
      7. White people on black artists' covers
           From: "James F.  Cassidy" 
      8. Motown sleeves
           From: Glenn Sadin 
      9. leader of the play
           From: "Jennifer Sullivan"
     10. Rainy Daze
           From: "Antonio Vizcarra" 


Message: 1
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 02:13:12 -0800
   From: Marc Wielage 
Subject: Re: 1650 Broadway

Rex Patton commented on the Spectropop group:

> Just a message to those who might make a pilgrimage to
> the Brill Building sometime - I hate to disappoint you,
> but the Brill Building wasn't home to Carole and Gerry,
> Jeff and Ellie, Barry and Cynthia, the Neils (Diamond
> and Sedaka) and the others.

Yeah, I know.  Sedaka went into it in great detail in his
auto-biography. 'Scuse me for livin'.

Still, it was all a couple of doors down, in the same
neighborhood.  Just to be within a block of that
incredible place was pretty damned cool.


-= Marc Wielage      |   "The computerized authority   =-
-= MusicTrax, LLC    |       on rock, pop, & soul."    =-
-= Chatsworth, CA    |                                 =-

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

Message: 2
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 07:03:01 -0500
   From: "Jack Madani"
Subject: re:  1650 Broadway

rex writes:

>Just a message to those who might make a pilgrimage to
>the Brill Building sometime - I hate to disappoint you,
>but the Brill Building wasn't home to Carole and Gerry,
>Jeff and Ellie, Barry and Cynthia, the Neils (Diamond
>and Sedaka) and the others. The Brill Building, at 1619
>Broadway, was home to the Broadway tunesmiths who had
>been there for years.


jack "Khannnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!" madani

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

Message: 3
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 10:05:24 -0600
   From: Tom Simon 
Subject: Re: 1650 Broadway

Rex Patton wrote

>Just a message to those who might make a pilgrimage to
>the Brill Building sometime - I hate to disappoint you,
>but the Brill Building wasn't home to Carole and Gerry,
>Jeff and Ellie, Barry and Cynthia, the Neils (Diamond
>and Sedaka) and the others. The Brill Building, at 1619
>Broadway, was home to the Broadway tunesmiths who had
>been there for years. The writers you're thinking about
>were ensconced across the street at 1650 Broadway where
>Aldon Music (among others) was located.

In defense of Marc Wielage and to point out to some who
may even have been there in the late 50's /early 60's:
over the years, the term "Brill Building" has come to
signify a style of music that was written, produced and
recorded in a series of five or six buildings in the area
around 1619 Broadway in New York City. At least, that is
my understanding of it. So, someone who is referred to as
a Brill Building songwriter, for instance, could be
someone who was writing songs in a building across the
street from the actual Brill Building itself.

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

Message: 4
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 21:01:20 -0800 (PST)
   From: Jamie LePage 
Subject: Re: 1650 Broadway

Jack Madani writes:

>> the Brill Building!  I stopped and touched the wall and
>> spent 10 seconds of silence paying tribute.

Brother Marc Weilage adds:

>"holy crap!  This is the Brill Building!"  I believe that
>was 1600 Broadway, or close to it.  There was a small
>brass plaque commemorating the spot.  Man, that really
>gave me goose bumps, knowing the history of that place.

*sigh* I wondered if anyone was going to do it...

...and Rex Patton did:

> the Brill Building wasn't home to Carole and Gerry, Jeff
> and Ellie, Barry and Cynthia, the Neils (Diamond and
> Sedaka) and the others. The Brill Building, at 1619
> Broadway, was home to the Broadway tunesmiths who had been
> there for years. The writers you're thinking about were
> ensconced across the street at 1650 Broadway where Aldon
> Music (among others) was located. The Brill Building had
> been used for musical purposes the longest so the name
> became a generic for the two buildings.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong.

 With all due respect to Rex, who appears to have meant
well in his tactful attempt to clarify, Marc Weilage was
more accurate when he wrote: "'This is the Brill Building!'
I believe that was 1600 Broadway, or close to it."


For the Brill Building sound really came from the entire
strip along Broadway between 53rd and 49th. Aldon was at
1650, other centers of activity were at 1674 and 1697.
The actual Brill Building (named after the Brill Brothers
clothiers who occupied the first floor and later bought
the building) was at 1619.

The building at 1619 Broadway was completed just as the
Great Depression set in, and the building's landlords
found it necessary to let out space to music publishers
in lieu of other takers. Early publishers housed in the
Brill Building included Famous, Mills and Southern.
Music biz tenants grew until by 1962 the Brill Building
had well over 150 music publishers housed within its

By the early 60s, the Brill Building was the total
one-stop shopping center for Teen Pan Alley rekkid biz
whiz kids. You could go in and pitch a song, get a lead
sheet done, have copies run off, run over to one of the
demo studios and cut a quick demo using the musicians
and singers who were always hanging around (some
themselves aspiring writers), and then get an acetate
cut. You could then take the acetate around to the
various publishers, record companies, artist managers -
all without ever leaving the building.

The Brill Building page at Spectropop

has a pic of 1619, yet it leads to pages on many of the
Brill Building writers who worked out of 1650, including
Carole King. It doesn't seem like a mistake. On
Spectropop's Carole King page there is a Gavin Report
interview in which Carole King says:

"...we didn't operate in the Brill Building. It was 
widely thought that we did, but we operated out of 
1650 Broadway around the corner."

Despite the fact that Aldon was at 1650, nearly all
musical historians and fans consider Carole King an
important Brill Building writer.

And here's a quote I found from a Jeff Barry interview:

"I met [Leiber and Stoller] when I was signed to TM Music,
Ed Burton's firm. It was right next door to Leiber and
Stoller's offices in the Brill Building."

Jeff and Ellie, of course, were not Aldon Music writers
during the Brill Building era. They were signed with 
Leiber/Stoller's Trio Music, which Jeff appears to be 
saying was based at 1619. Clarifications, anyone?

So if anyone makes a pilgrimage to the area from where
the Brill Building sound emanated and wants to pay
tribute at the shrine of that glorious era we celebrate
here, by all means do visit the Brill Building. Jack,
did you even notice 1650 Broadway? Believe me, you
touched the wall of the right building...

Regards to all,

n.p. "Up on the Roof: Songs from the Brill Building" 
by Neil Diamond

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

Message: 5
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 16:05:51 -0500
   From: Mark Landwehr
Subject: Re: The Screw

Sorry to have to put my two pennies in on this, gang, but
I feel I have a right...More so than all but about 4 other
people on this planet.

The blue-label "The Screw" that's resurfacing now is a
BOOTLEG, totally unauthorized and unlicensed (which is
basically the definition of a bootleg)! What's wrong with
using that word, Paul!!! Someone had a copy and pressed it
wo/anyone's permission - They didn't even try to fix the
skip at 2:00!!!...That's pretty poor "mastering", if you
ask me.

No matter what the "intentions" were (this could be
passed off as an original to the uneducated - I've seen
sellers on eBay try to do that ), it's an illegal pressing,
period. Just because someone didn't want to "make money"
off of it (which I don't believe for a second), let's not
avoid calling the kettle black...B-O-O-T !!! And, this
ain't no "re-issue" either, altho I sense that Jimmy's
reference was tongue-in-cheek.

With that off my chest, the positive side is that this is
one of the few ways that people can hear this aberration
(and was for many years) and I have to give credit &
thanks to whomever for that (I've had several copies for
20+ years) - The CD that was mentioned only has Side
One...The flip is more of the same at a much slower tempo.
How many have heard THAT??!!

Hey, Billy Spradlin, MY "copy" doesn't have the skip in
it either ;-))

Mark Landwehr
The Phil Spector Record Label Gallery @

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Message: 6
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 16:43:24 -0700
   From: "Ron Weekes" 
Subject: Curt Boettcher, The Ballroom, The Millennium, Sagittarius and Gary Usher

Knowing that a lot of you on this list are interested in
the great music created by the folks listed in the
subject line, I thought you might be interested in the
interesting read I'm having with Stephen McParland's
volume three of his Gary Usher biography series.

I have just started it, but if you want to know more
about any of the above artists and how Gary worked with
them, along with many other Columbia recording artists
like The Byrds, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Simon and
Garfunkel, etc.  this book is a must read!!!

One interesting point is McParland has illustrations
depicting two possible track line-ups of the only until
recently released The Ballroom LP.  I don't have my
Rev-Ola CD here so I can't compare how that CD was
actually sequenced.

The mono master tape boxes list this sequence:

Side One:
Would You Like To Go
5 A.M.
Love's Fatal Way
Crazy Dreams
You Turn Me Around

Side Two:
Musty Dusty
Magic Time
It's A Sad World
It'll Grow Stronger
Lead Me To Love
Baby Please Don't Go

On the acetate dubs we see this sequence:

Side One:
Spinning, Spinning (Vocal)
Spinning, Spinning
Musty Dusty
Lead Me To Love
Would You Like To Go

Side Two:
5 AM
You Turn Me Around
It's A Sad World (Crossed out with a pen)
Crazy Dream
Baby Please Don't Go

Of course the dilemma is which of these is supposed to be
the true track listing?  Maybe it's a situation with Brian
Wilson's proposed track listings for  a similar unreleased
album, SMiLE.

We can only speculate.  But 'tis great music!

For more information on how to order this book "The
California Sound: An Insider's Story...The Musical
Biography of Gary Lee Usher" Volume Three, pay a visit to

I hope to have a full color (colour) scan of the book's
cover on the front page of early next

Ron Weekes

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Message: 7
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 12:14:24 -0500
   From: "James F.  Cassidy"
Subject: White people on black artists' covers

People shouldn't read too much into the selection of
cover art for albums from the late '50's and early '60's,
for several reasons:

1.  Record companies weren't sophisticated marketers back
in those days.

2.  Most independent labels were cheap.  They weren't
about to pay the high cost of a professional photo shoot
- with props, lighting, hair, make-up, etc., if they
could avoid it.  A cheap illustration costs less than a
photo to produce, and less than a color photo to print
(especially back then).

3.  They often used stock photos to save money.  In that
era, virtually all stock photos were of white people.

4.  Expediency.  If a group had a sudden smash on their
hands, a label would want to rush out an album to cash in
quickly.  That might preclude doing photos (if the group
was on tour, for example).

5.  Albums were not a top priority for record companies
then.  And they certainly weren't considered "art"!

This is not to say that racism wasn't a factor in record
company decisions.  It might well have been in some cases.
There were also probably some white soul singers whose
photos were kept off their record sleeves in an effort to
conceal their race while marketing to the black community.

Jim Cassidy

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Message: 8
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 18:29:01 -0800
   From: Glenn Sadin
Subject: Motown sleeves

> The Miracles first greatest hits album showed a bland
> ocean sunset, for no apparent reason.

"From the Beginning" is the title of that LP. As if the
music contained is from the beginning of time! It looks
like a tacky gospel LP cover, fer gosh sakes! Nevertheless,
it's one of my all-time favorite albums!


Read about Japanese pop from the '50s & '60s!

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

Message: 9
   Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 09:38:49 -0500
   From: "Jennifer Sullivan"
Subject: leader of the play

I'm so glad someone posted a review of this play because
they just announced the show dates here in Boston. It
looked interesting but I wasnt sure about shelling out 50
bucks for it. If anybody else has seen this play please
review it here!!



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Message: 10
   Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 21:28:43 +0100
   From: "Antonio Vizcarra" 
Subject: Rainy Daze

Hi Freeman

The song you mentioned is called Snow and Ice and Burning
Sand. It is a beautiful and moody song that is also the
last track of the Rainy Daze's only album.

Unfortunately I bought this record through a mail order
record shop. It was listed as VG+++  but I found that the
guy that graded the condition of the record maybe had a
look only at one of the sides, as the other is really

So, my question  to all members of this list would be the
following: is there any reliable mail order record shop
who do not overgrades the records they offer?

Any suggestion is really welcomed.

All the best.

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

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