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Spectropop - Digest Number 129

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                 Exemplifying the Best in Popular Music

There are 8 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 129:

      1. Barbara Lewis and I owe Van an apology
           From: Mattie Taylor 
      2. Re: Jackie DeShannon a Ladybug???
           From: bryan 
      3. Re: Ed Cobb
           From: The Right Reverend Bob
      4. Together Radio
           From: Ron Weekes
      5. tape delay, echo chambers and Phil Spector
           From: LePageWeb 
      6. Mystic Astrologic Crystal Band
           From: Glenn Sadin 
      7. Re:Hey La The Girl Groups are Back
           From: James Botticelli
      8. Sonny
           From: Jon Cook 


Message: 1
   Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 22:53:48 +0900
   From: Mattie Taylor 
Subject: Barbara Lewis and I owe Van an apology

Hello Everybody, 

Does anyone know how to contact 60's singer, Barbara
Lewis? Her recording of Van McCoy's "Baby I'm Yours"
immortalized the song. You see, I'm Van's sister and I'm
trying to keep his legacy alive by promoting and
publishing his music copyrights. It is my hope that I
will someday be able to contact Ms. Lewis just to thank
her for recording that song. 

Once when she appeared on a TV show, "Circle of Friends",
she shared her initial reluctance to record the song as
it did not immediately appeal to her. Well, she sure
vindicates my big blunder as I too did not appreciate
the song. I remember Van excitedly playing it for me one
Sunday afternoon. He was thrilled to have the chance to
write a song for the new Detroit star, Barbara. In my
best big sister "wisdom" I said it was a corny tune and
that big star, who ever she was, would not sing about
two and two is three and mountains tumbling to the sea.
Barbara and I had something in common on that song, and
we will have something in common when we have the chance
to apologize to Van when we meet him again. 

I really believe at some point Van's story should be
written. If and when it is, Barbara, the Girl Groups,
Aretha, Gladys, Melba and many others can fill in the
gaps in his spectacular career. It's embarrassing, but I
must confess I spent too much time fussing because Van
did not stay home long enough and always had some "group"
to listen to. I just wanted more fun times with my kind
and loving little brother. He was racing to give the
world a legacy of love and happiness through song that
was overflowing in him. How much I wish we had
understood then, as I do now, the incredible genius of
his works and contribution to music. Barbara Lewis,
reluctantly, but with great beauty, got his message out
to the world. 

All too soon his life was at the end of time and the
great poet ran out of rhyme. Because of her willingness
to sing that "corny" song, Van got to the chance to say
to us, Baby I'm Yours. 

How I love all of you for loving and preserving the
great composers and artists of that bygone era. My
little brother, Van gets to take his place in history
along with the others. 

Mattie Taylor 
Van McCoy Music, Inc.

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Message: 2
   Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 22:12:01 -0800
   From: bryan 
Subject: Re: Jackie DeShannon a Ladybug???

> In a recent posting, it was noted that the Del-Fi group,
> the Ladybugs, consisted of Jackie DeShannon along with
> members of the Murmaids. Can ayone shed more light on
> this interesting fact??? Did Jackie sing lead?? The
> Layybugs recorded a sensational Brill-Building-sounding
> tune called "The Last TIme" (no, not the same Stones
> song!!!)
> Please tell me more!!
> Tony Leong

I can't offer much info about this, but I'm not sure that
the Ladybugs who recorded Chattahoochee 637, or the
Ladybugs who recorded Legrand 1033, or the Ladybugs who
were Jackie DeShannon and the Murmaids were the same
group who recorded one single for Del-Fi. I used to work
for Del-Fi, and know that their "It's The Last Time"/
"Sooner Or Later" 45 (Del-Fi 4233) came out in February
1964. The songs are available on the Del-Fi Girl Groups
CD: Gee Baby Gee. I believe -- but I'm not 100% sure --
that producer/liner note writer Steve Stanley found the
union sheet for this session (which usually lists just
the musicians who played on the songs, but sometimes
provide info about the singers), and we weren't certain
whether or not it was the same group. And Steve's in the
Spectropop Group, so maybe he'll read this and provide
more info...but I'm pretty sure that he wasn't able to
determine either way when we put out the CD...Steve?


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Message: 3
   Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 01:24:37 -0800 (PST)
   From: The Right Reverend Bob 
Subject: Re: Ed Cobb

Ed Cobb is also, "Edward All-American True-Heart, Albino
Cobb" of the always entertaining, Four Preps!

The Right Reverend Bob, dumb angel chapel, The Church of
the Harmonic Overdub

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Message: 4
   Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 10:30:06 -0700
   From: Ron Weekes 
Subject: Together Radio

Just to let all of you that Together Radio with
Spectropop Producers Gary Usher and Curt Boettcher is
currently webcasting at  I wanted to go
with quality on this one so you need either a T1 or DSL
connection to hear it.  It will run until the end of
March when I will switch back to the Gary Usher
Spectropop Radio playlist.  

Someone wrote and asked if I could create two separate
broadcasts.  I'm not sure if live365 will allow me to do
this.  I'll look into it.  If anyone knows, please
e-mail me privately.

Ron Weekes 

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Message: 5
   Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 10:22:08 +0900
   From: LePageWeb 
Subject: tape delay, echo chambers and Phil Spector

I asked Phil Chapman about his reference to Jerry
Riopelle in connection with "You're Baby Doesn't Love
You Anymore"

He replied:

> I was referring to the use of echo. This Ruby & The
> Romantics track has far more echo than their other
> recordings and you can quite clearly hear in-time (tape)
> delays on the rhythm section, and the hi-end build up on
> the choruses - this reminded me of the Clydie
> King/Bonnie & The Treasures productions of Jerry
> Riopelle (& Nino Tempo, Sonny Bono etc) from the period
> when everyone was influenced by the Spector sound. 

Got it. Thanks. 

Yeah, that in-tempo tape delay is one of the most
endearing qualities of this era of music. Of course now
they just dial up the delay using a chart based on the
BPM...a far cry from the days when they had to use
splicing tape wound around the capstan!

One record that uses this effect particularly well is
Gerry Goffin's "Hey Girl" by Freddie Scott, doncha think?

> It always interests me the amount of echo producers
> threw on when Spector himself didn't actually use that
> much apart from on drums - "Be My Baby" for example is
> virtually dry, the power is achieved with acoustic
> guitars, keyboards, saxes, percussion, backing vocals &
> strings all churning out the same thing. 

That's interesting. When I read this I immediately
thought of Darlene's "Long Way to be Happy" which screams
echo, although as you say it is mainly that terrific

Here is a quote from Larry Levine about Phil and echo:

"[Gold Star's] console had a divider, so as you increased
the echo send, you decreased the send to the fader, which
was the way we thought echo should be. Echo was to make
things sound farther away, not to create the effect. 

"Dave had designed two chambers that were angled, so that
they were two geometric shapes that would fit side by
side. These were the chambers that Phil Spector would
make famous. Inside the chambers, we put a little
eight-inch speaker and a RCA flat ribbon microphone to
capture the echo and bring it into the board. 

"I remember during the recording of "Then He Kissed Me," 
I was trying to get more level because Phil wanted things 
louder and louder. What I decided to do was to send the 
original to two tracks and double up the level of sound. 
Later, I would just keep one of the tracks and use the 
other track for voices and strings. What had happened was 
that the echo also got doubled. It was okay when I had 
both tracks, but when I erased the other track I was left 
with essentially twice the echo that I had originally put 

"I didn't admit it was an accident, though Phil knew how it 
had happened. But he liked what he heard. He listened and 
understood exactly how it had happened."

Well, good for Mr. Spector. I don't get it, though. If a
mono track is being sent (with echo) to two separate
tracks, and one is erased later, I don't see how the echo
is doubled up unless the erased track was dry. This has
puzzled me since I first read this.

> I think the only other person who handled echo this
> skilfully was Brian Wilson.

Now THAT is something to think about! Brian's use of
echo during the Today/Pet Sounds era is absolutely



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Message: 6
   Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 10:19:11 -0800
   From: Glenn Sadin 
Subject: Mystic Astrologic Crystal Band

>Finally I do have one Xmas voucher left and I'm
>deliberating between The Tiffany Shade and Mystic
>Astrologic Crystal Band featuring Steve Hoffman (who he?)
>both of which I've heard described as similar to Yellow
>Balloon and The Millennium. Anyone out there who can
>shed some light/offer opinions on these?

If you like the Yellow Balloon, you would probably enjoy
the Mystic Astrologic Crystal Band, although they're a
bit more psych. Steve Hoffman has had an interesting
career; after the MACB project, he went on to write,
produce, perform on and sing most of the musical
soundtrack for the hilarious "Lancelot Link Secret Chimp"
kiddie show in 1969/70. I have the rare soundtrack LP,
and it is fantastic late '60s hard bubblegum. I am also
about 90% sure that the same Steve Hoffman was the
reissue producer for DCC Compact Classics in the '80s
and '90s, and responsible for the great "Pet Sounds"
gold disc, as well as "Surf Legends and Rumors" and the
first Arthur Lyman CD issue.


Glenn Sadin,

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

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Message: 7
   Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 11:50:01 EST
   From: James Botticelli
Subject: Re:Hey La The Girl Groups are Back

How come PBS, the prissy gatekeeper of highbrow
culture in the United States, continues to trot out pop
culture performers everytime they fundraise? This is an
insult to pop culture as far as I'm concerned. Sneer at
it while you suck the cash cow dry producing "high
minded" stuff, then turn to it when u need to reach the
"great unwashed" to raise more money to produce pablum
for the intelligentsia. Last month they had Barry
Manilow--this month the Girl Groups (it WAS good to see
them, I'll admit!) Who's next? Shaun Cassidy?...My .02


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Message: 8
   Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 23:38:24 EST
   From: Jon Cook 
Subject: Sonny

Greetings, fellow members.

I was wondering why there hasn't been more discussion on
Sonny Bono and his efforts. Too popular, perhaps? Or
maybe too obvious? I think of him as Spector's most
loyal disciple, as he adhered to Phil's formula even
more than Brian Wilson. Did anyone else purchase the
Sonny solo album from Rhino Handmade besides me? I
recently caught his, and Cher's, movie, "Good Times".
While it plays like a long Monkees episode, I greatly
enjoyed the hip clothing and their modern furnishings,
both in the 'real' world and within Sonny's dream
sequences.  Besides, any movie that features a rock star
playing chess against a monkey is alright in my book. 

jon cook

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