New! Jimmy Webb at Spectropop http://www.spectropop.com/sp/jimmy_webb.html ________________________________________________________________________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ S P E C T R O P O P ______________ ______________ ______________ ________________________________________________________________________ The World's Foremost Amusement Newsletter There are 7 messages in this issue of Spectropop. Topics in this Digest Number 118: 1. The NY Music Business in the Early Sixties From: GT 2. Van McCoy From: "David Gordon" 3. JFK From: Doc Rock 4. Dion - Born To Be With You From: LePageWeb 5. I Stand Accused From: John Clemente 6. Re: I Stand Accused From: "David Gordon" 7. Re: I Stand Accused/Sharon Tandy From: Alec Palao ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Message: 1 Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001 20:21:33 EST From: GT Subject: The NY Music Business in the Early Sixties When I was a kid, circa 1961-65, I took to hanging around Broadway, just above Times Square, looking to break into the music business. What was really amazing is that just a few addresses on Broadway, 1619 (The Brill Building), 1650 (Don Kirschner's Colpix stronghold and 1697 (CBS's old Ed Sullivan Theatre building) housed the lion's share of the talent and entrepreneurs that were responsible for what kids were listening to (and growing up to) all across the USA. This was a very special point in time for the music business. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have been around the scene, enough to have a true idea of what it was actually like. Although these are just brief glimpses of that time, with no particular "point" or "payoff" to any of them, here are a few random flashbacks of the things I saw and experienced during those years: One day, at 1650 Broadway, I got stuck in elevator that stopped working for about 45 minutes with two of the Shirelles. Just 13 year old me and them- I was in awe-There was lots of very salty language and lots of laughing. Elvis soundalike, Terry Stafford, a grown man, being dragged by his mother(!), up and down Broadway, from one office to another, trying to get another whack at a hit, long after his one big success, "Suspicion (Torments my heart)" My first day in Quintano's School for Young Professionals, a special high school for kids in show business. My fellow sophomores included Mitch Margo, the youngest Token; Mary Weiss, lead singer of The Shangri-La's; Two members of Randy and The Rainbows AND LaLa Brooks of THE CRYSTALS. My high school was in midtown Manhattan, just a few blocks from The Plaza Hotel. One February morning, a man came to our school and gave anybody who wanted it, a Beatle Wig and a Beatle sweat shirt, with the promise of five dollars, if we would go over to the hotel and scream for the Beatles, who had just arrived in America for the first time. We all went and screamed. While waiting for the elevator on the 9th floor (I think) of the Brill Building, the door to Jobete Music opened up and out came a very young Stevie Wonder, heading towards the elevators (and me). Nobody was with him -I said 'hi' and he asked me to let him know when the 'down' elevator got there. This was right at the time of his first top 40 hit, "Fingertips, Part Two" and way before having an entourage, or 'posse' became fashionable in pop music. On that same floor of the Brill Building (or maybe just one or two floors, above or below-all the floors looked alike) were the offices of Leiber & Stoller (Trio Music); Jubilee Records (run by Al Ham/birthplace of "The Shoop Shoop Song," by Betty Everett) and Trinity Music, which had recently been purchased by Bobby Darin and renamed TM Music. This happened before I learned how to talk my way past receptionists around town: I knew if I wanted to audition for Darin's TM Music I had to come up with a foolproof scheme to catch Bobby's attention. Then it came to me: Realizing that Bobby would eventually have to leave his office to heed the call of nature, I decided to wait for him in the hallway outside the TM offices. So as not to give the impression that I was some sort of wacky stalker, let me give you the visual reality here: I was this heavy set 13 yr old kid in a twenty-nine dollar, silver-gray, iridescent suit that I was given as a present for having just graduated from Catholic elementary school. (As far as I was concerned, the suit was just like the ones worn by Len Barry and The Dovells, those "Bristol Stomp" boys. So I thought I was looking good). Well, in any event, Bobby did eventually head towards the men's room, and I went in right behind him. With no time to waste, I casually sidled up to a urinal one down >from where he was. I played it cool, making as though I was just there for the usual purpose; when I felt the timing was just right, I introduced myself to him and told him that I would like to audition for him and his production company. He just smiled and listened to my pitch (he didn't really have much choice; I DID have him cornered). When I finished, he laughed and suggested that we both wash up before shaking hands. Rather than being irritated or put out by my totally absurd approach to getting discovered, it struck him funny. He brought me back to his office, introduced me to some of the TM staff, telling all about how we met. Although this encounter wasn't exactly my 'stairway to stardom,' from then on I was allowed to hang out in the TM lobby from then on, with an occasional invitation to come into the back offices/inner sanctum to hang out and listen to demos, etc. Very cool. I loved it. A PLUMBING FOOTNOTE-The Brill Building didn't have private restrooms available in its offices, so no matter who you were, you had to go to the communal johns, next to the elevators on each floor. It was a very different time.) Anyway, that's all for now. Glad you're there, SPECTROPOP! Best, GT --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 2 Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 04:24:48 -0000 From: "David Gordon" Subject: Van McCoy Hi people, It's a shame that Van seems to be best remembered for his least interesting records. I had a quick look at the BMI database entry for Van to refresh my memory - he has around 700 published songs so to give his work its rightful due would take a book in itself. http://repertoire.bmi.com/writer.asp?WriterID=223662&WriterName=MC+COY+VAN Among other career highlights - Chris Bartley's "The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven" David Ruffin's " Walk Away From Love" The Vonettes "Touch My Heart" - a great Northern Soul stomper The Ad-Libs version of "Giving Up" on Share, a label owned by Van. The Presidents on Sussex - they had a very emjoyable sweet soul album Brenda and the Tabulations, Sandi Sheldon, Kenny Carlton, Tommy Hunt and hundreds more. I haven't checked yet but wasn't he only in his late 30's when he died? He was amazingly prolific yet managed to sustain high quality in almost all his projects apart >from his own records which are either too close to MOR for comfort or well produced but rather sterile instrumentals. If I can find the time it would be interesting to do a chronology of his writing / production work. Thanks to John Clemente for revealing that Kenni Woods and Kendra Spotswood are one and the same. Odd that she seemingly reverted to her full name for her final (?) release. David Gordon --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 3 Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001 12:56:13 -0500 From: Doc Rock Subject: JFK For a couple of decades, I've been hearing that a reason that the Beatles succeeded in 1964, the reason the British Invasion did so well, the reason the Raindrops "That Boy John" tanked, or the reason the Spector Christmas album fizzled was the national depression caused by the death of JFK. My family members are long-term democrats. I even campaigned for RFK and almost met him (came within 5 feet). I was in high school when JFK was assassinated. In fact, I was in American History class when my teacher made the announcement. I saw Oswald shot dead on live TV. But neither I, nor any of my friends, got depressed. "Current Events" was a class assignment, not a way of life. My thoughts were still on my girl friend, my homework, and rock and roll radio. The assassination was a blip on the radar, not a painful body blow, to mix metaphors. My musical interests and day-to-day attitude and activities were not affected in the least. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Doc (who bought the Xmas LP in an early '64 sale bin for 50 cents) --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 4 Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 13:53:50 +0900 From: LePageWeb Subject: Dion - Born To Be With You This link is on the Spectropop web page but for those who may not have noticed, March 5 is Ace Records' release date for the Spector produced Dion album "Born To Be With You" on a 2fer with "Streetheart." Sean Rowley writes: "Every school day afternoon I'd have my portable transistor pressed up to my ear from 3:45pm (school closing time) to 7:00pm (the end of the show). I was fourteen years old and my hero was Roger Scott, Capital Radio's drive time DJ. He played a record by a singer I had begun to idolise, produced by a man who made records that were like pocket symphonies. The record was five minutes forty seconds long and when it finished he played it again in its entirety..." http://www.spectropop.com/go2/dion.html Rowley raves it. Do we love this record or not? Opinions? All the best, Jamie --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 5 Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001 12:49:32 -0500 From: John Clemente Subject: I Stand Accused Hello, Jerry Butler's song, "I Stand Accused" is the same title, but not the same song. Jerry has writing credit on his. John Clemente --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 6 Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 04:06:57 -0000 From: "David Gordon" Subject: Re: I Stand Accused --- In spectropop James Botticelli wrote: > Jerry Butler did it as a ballad. James, I haven't heard the Tony Colton or Elvis Costello records but I'm pretty certain they're different songs - Jerry Butler's was written by Jerry and his brother Billy Butler. David Gordon ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Message: 7 Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001 14:53:04 -0800 From: Alec Palao Subject: Re: I Stand Accused/Sharon Tandy >Jerry Butler did it as a ballad. Same title, different song (though no less great for that). Incidentally I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Tony Colton's original version of "I Stand Accused" with the Big Boss Band (Pye, June 1965). It's a slower, more kinda nightclub/mod arrangement, but equally cool. Tony Colton is also responsible for writing/producing perhaps my all time fave Brit Girl 45, Sharon Tandy's "You Gotta Believe It", released on UK Atlantic in 1968. Though Sharon recorded in the US, most famously at Stax in Memphis, this was done in England, most probably at Philips in Marble Arch, 'cos its got that killer Peter J. Olliff drum sound. An amazing kitchen sink production in a mid-period Dusty style, strings and vibes etc. Great emotional vocal from Ms Tandy. Bit of a looker too, if I remember correctly. Archivally yours Alec --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
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