The Spectropop Group Archives
presented by Friends of Spectropop

[Prev by Date] [Next by Date] [Index] [Search]

Spectropop - Digest Number 117

                     New! Jimmy Webb at Spectropop
______________                                            ______________
______________                                            ______________
______________        S  P  E  C  T  R  O  P  O  P        ______________
______________                                            ______________
       An endeavor to epitomize great stars in the recording field 

There are 6 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 117:

      1. Van McCoy
           From: John Clemente
      2. Doomed LP
           From: Mark Landwehr 
      3. Spector Xmas album
           From: "Kingsley Abbott"
      4. A Christmas Gift to You
           From: Paul Woods 
      5. LP jackets
           From: Ron
      6. I Stand Accused
           From: James Botticelli 


Message: 1
   Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 01:58:59 -0500
   From: John Clemente
Subject: Van McCoy


Patrick asked for information about one of my favorite
people, Van McCoy.  His track record for writing and
production is impressive, if not always capable of
climbing the national charts.

McCoy came from Washington DC.  His first taste of the
music business came from a group he formed with his
brothers called The Starlighters who recorded three
singles for New York's End Records from 1958-60,
including "It's Twelve O'Clock" and the sorrowful "I
Cried".  McCoy then moved north to Philadelphia,
continuing his songwriting skills with the local artists,
writing "A Night Like Tonight" for Lee Andrews, "There Is
A Girl" for The Larks and "Mr. DJ" for himself and The
Baby Dolls answer record "Thanks Mr. DJ".  The two
singles released under his own name were on Rock "N"
Records, distributed by Florence Greenberg's Scepter
complex.  This led to an association with Greenberg. 
McCoy came to NY to write and produce records for UA with
Leiber and Stoller and Scepter/Wand, creating "Hard Way
To Go" for The Exciters, "Don't Think My Baby's Coming
Back" for Dee Dee Warwick and "I Don't Think So" for The
Shirelles, among countless others. 

McCoy also had an independent productions going with
Philips Records, producing Robert Parker and one of his
proteges, Kenni Woods (real name Kendra Spotswood).  For
these productions and writing credits, he sometimes used
the pen name Allen Davis, usually published under
Elevator Music Productions.  

He also sang in and produced another vocal group,
possibly including his brothers, called The Four Buddies.
They recorded "Lonely Summer" for Philips in late 1962
and "I Want To Be The Boy You Love" for Chancellor in
1964.  He also had his Maxx Records, producing Gladys
Knight and The Pips' soul stirrer, "Giving Up".  McCoy
produced "Jive Guy" for Kenni Woods (under her real name)
and "Gee What A Boy" by The Fantastic Vantastics for Tuff
Records in 1965, possibly a mixed gender group consisting
of his favorite session singers.  

In 1966, he landed at Columbia, producing his most
popular act, fellow DCers Peaches and Herb.  This
association lasted until the early 70s, when he
resurrected his label, now called Maxwell, producing a
trio called Faith, Hope and Charity. He and his writing
partner Charles Kipps parlayed this deal into an
association with RCA Records, where they hit big on the
disco charts with FH&C's "To Each His Own", "Life Goes On"
and State Department's "I'm Counting On You".  

By this time, McCoy was big with "The Hustle".  He
released a series of mildly popular albums until his
untimely death in 1979 at age 38.  His early productions
have not yet surfaced in one place.  His sister runs his
estate and all the affairs connected with it.  Maybe
she's working on something.

John Clemente

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

Message: 2
   Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 06:57:18 -0500
   From: Mark Landwehr 
Subject: Doomed LP

Stewart Mason wrote:

> I believe the Christmas album came out in 1964 originally.

Actually it was Friday, Nov. 22nd, 1963, the day Kennedy
was shot - Nice timing, Phil!!

Mark Landwehr
The Phil Spector Record Label Gallery @

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

Message: 3
   Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 12:57:54 -0000
   From: "Kingsley Abbott" 
Subject: Spector Xmas album

>From one who remembers from the first time around:

The Spector Xmas album was released in 1963, on both
sides of the Atlantic.  Wasn't it on the same week that
JFK was shot?  I recall that this damaged the US sales as
no-one felt like making whoopee so much that Christmas. I
certainly value my 1963 plum coloured London label (HA U
8141).  Whilst we too in Britain were shaken by the
shooting, I do seem to remember particularly grooving to
this album after school in the run up to the festivities.

On another tack, does anyone know the personnel involved
with the Garden Club single "Little Girl Lost And Found"
(circa '68 A&M Ithink without digging it out).  Joe
Foster understands it was largely Ruth Ann Friedman on it
but I'd love to know who else.  Anyone??  Quite probably
some of Curt's crowd.  It's a great harmony filled
sunshine pop single, very well worth seeking out.  It was
covered quite well in the UK by Peter & The Wolves.

Kingsley Abbott

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

Message: 4
   Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 17:59:34 +0000 (GMT)
   From: Paul Woods
Subject: A Christmas Gift to You

Stewart said:

> I believe the Christmas album came out in 1964
> originally.  Possibly the source of confusion for the
> MOJO author (Geoff Brown) was that Apple reissued it
> in 1972 in a different cover, which I *think* was the
> first time the LP was available in the UK, but
> perhaps one of our UK listees knows better.

A Christmas Gift To You came out In England on the
London American label around about the same time as the
original Philles issue, on London HA-U 8141.  Mono only.
Cover the "gift-box" one.  I had been waiting for it for
quite some time, and ordered it from my local sweetshop
(as in "I met him at the candystore...") on Park Parade,
Harlesden (which British listees, who watch BBC2 on
Tuesday nights will know is now the "murder capital of
England" - news to me, as a 16 year old!) which also
stocked records.  They ordered the album specially for
me, and I got it on the first day of release - and it's
been played every Christmas since then.  Great concept,
and it was _wonderful_ to see all my favourite Spector
artistes posing together on the front.  Of course the I
was too naive to believe that it wasn't necessarily they
who sang on the records credited to them. 

It was the same sweet shop where I got my copy of a
Crystals single the day it was released.  I rushed in,
asked the teenage shop assistant "Have you got Then He
Kissed Me, by The Crystals".  She did a double-take, and
asked:  "By the WHERE, Love?"

Best wishes,

Paul Woods

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

Message: 5
   Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 11:11:06 EST
   From: Ron 
Subject: LP jackets

In a message dated 2/24/01 3:51:45 AM, spectropop writes:

<< Jonz: In the early days of Motown you never saw the
artist on the album cover; you saw a white couple on a
beach or blonde, blue-eyed go-go dancers. We have to
respect that in the time this took place -- 25 or 30
years ago -- what Berry Gordy did made sense from a
marketing standpoint, but Motown's motto was "the
sound of young America," not "the sound of young black
America." It was created and performed by black
artists, but it was universal young people's music. >>

I'm sorry I'm so far behind in my response and forgive me
if this has been covered by someone else already, but I
had to comment that 25-30 years ago, there were many
labels that used this practice-Pacific Jazz and Epic come
immediately to mind. Just go to any used record store and
look at the covers in the jazz or soul sections. 

Also...3-4 years ago, Verve introduced a series of CDs
called Jazz Round Midnight by different artists; Bird,
Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Billie Holiday, etc...all
the great artists, that all featured white faces, so this
type of thing happens to this day! (most of them are
still in print!)  

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

Message: 6
   Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 16:22:35 EST
   From: James Botticelli
Subject: I Stand Accused

Jerry Butler did it as a ballad.


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

Click here to go to The
Spectropop Group

Spectropop text contents & copy; copyright Spectropop unless stated otherwise. All rights in and to the contents of these documents, including each element embodied therein, is subject to copyright protection under international copyright law. Any use, reuse, reproduction and/or adaptation without written permission of the owners is a violation of copyright law and is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.