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Spectropop - Digest Number 132

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          a egalement enregistre - Super 45 tours - microsillon

There are 7 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 132:

      1. Re: What did Dino Meano?
           From: Frank 
      2. Gold Star echo
           From: "Phil Chapman" 
      3. Just an Old Fashioned Echo
           From: LePageWeb 
      4. Re:  Sonny's singing
           From: Carol Kaye 
      5. Me on Dion
           From: LePageWeb 
      6. Re: Ritchie Valens Tribute
           From: Carol Kaye 
      7. Van McCoy in Philly
           From: "Frank Lipsius" 


Message: 1
   Date: Mon, 19 Mar 01 09:14:55 +0100
   From: Frank 
Subject: Re: What did Dino Meano?

Well, I'm lurking most of the time but as a total Phil
Spector and Dean Martin freak (I have everything related
to these two great ones on records) but it's probably
the fact that I'm French that pushed me to step in this

Saying that Dino's French Way or ("Spanish way" for
that matter) may be his best LP is almost like saying
that Phil Spector's B sides are the best tracks he ever
produced. This "French LP" is probably one of his
weakest (though the "Spanish" one comes a very close
second) with unimaginative arrangements. If you really
want to know what Dean's talent is really like you
should definitely listen to "Dream With Dean" where he
sings with just a small quartet backing him thus
exposing his incredible relaxed and powerful style.
This Lp with a big band swinging one like "Swinging
Down Yonder" perfectly show the full extent of his
unique talent.

Frank ("Back To Spector")

>spectropop wrote:
>>Does anyone know what I'm asking?
>I think you are asking "did deano record any consistently
>great LP's" Well, yes there are two that I recommend:
>"Dino Does It The French Way" is the greatest LP he ever
>recorded IMHO, and his "Cha Cha D'Amore" LP is pretty
>Latino for Dino, pretty smokin' and sexxxy all the way
>through. I'll burn 'em up for you in about a week Alan
>Z...both came out on CD boots a few years back on
>the--Casa Nostra--label~...

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Message: 2
   Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 22:36:15 -0000
   From: "Phil Chapman" 
Subject: Gold Star echo

Jack Madani asks:

> 1. there was an actual "chamber," a room or space of
> some sort, where there was a great sounding echo in it.
> 2. then a speaker was put in the chamber.
> 3. then a microphone was also put in the chamber.
> 4. then the microphone was used to record the echoing
> sound generated by the chamber as the speaker played the
> music.
> 5. then the sound from the microphone was fed back into
> the mixing board, and the echo was added to the
> recording's mix.
> Is this right?

...basically yes, although there was another added
ingredient: tape-delay. Phil/Larry would put signals into
a tape machine, and then send the output of the
replay-head to the echo chamber. In a UK radio interview
Phil said it was just an extension of the 50s slapback
echo principle as used on Elvis etc.

My feeling is that the mechanical innacuracies of this
method produced slight pitch shifts, adding to the
'magical' effect. You can hear it all over the rhythm
section of "Hung On You", and it works particularly well
for Ronnie's vocal on "Born To Be Together" and the
lamentably witheld "Paradise".

One other effect that is not too easy to recreate these
days is the way the echo was added to the track at the
point of recording. A decision on the proportion of echo
was made there and then. Any subsequent equalisation
during the mix, and especially compression, would affect
the echo too.

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

Message: 3
   Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 12:13:21 +0900
   From: LePageWeb 
Subject: Just an Old Fashioned Echo

Jack Madani wrote:

> 1. there was an actual "chamber," a room or space of
> some sort, where there was a great sounding echo in it.
> 2. then a speaker was put in the chamber.
> 3. then a microphone was also put in the chamber.
> 4. then the microphone was used to record the echoing
> sound generated by the chamber as the speaker played the
> music.
> 5. then the sound from the microphone was fed back into
> the mixing board, and the echo was added to the
> recording's mix.
> Is this right?

Yeah, except if the musicians actually "perform" inside
the chamber, then you don't need the speaker (as in
Arthur Lyman and his band recording inside the Kaiser

On a similar (((in the chamber))) subject, check out Hal
Blaine's own recollection of recording Simon & Garfunkel's
"The Boxer" (a personal fave btw) with producer/engineer
extraordinaire Roy Halee:

"Roy Halee would walk around clapping his hands looking
for kind of an echo effect. And we were at Columbia in
New York on the sixth floor I believe it was, and from
the studio you kind of walked out and down and it went
around almost like a ramp to the elevator. And he found a
spot right in front of the elevator that had a tremendous
echo and he loved it! This was a Sunday and we were doing
'The Boxer' and they had me set up... I set up two giant
tom-toms right in front of the elevator where Ray had
found the great echo. And of course there was a line
coming out for my headset, so I was obviously the only
one who could hear the music... (singing) lie la lie POW!
lie la lie la lie la lie lie la lie POW! And at one point
my hands came down to hit that smack and the elevator
door opened and there was an elderly gentleman in a
security guard uniform. And I guess he thought that he
just got shot! It was like a shotgun, POW!"

Great story!!! The whole interview is linked at:

All the best,


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Message: 4
   Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 10:12:29 -0800
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: Re:  Sonny's singing

Jon wrote:  
> especially Sonny's unique singing.

His singing drove me up the wall too - he couldn't sing
but would be the first one to admit it.  He didn't sing
on their tracking dates - so he spared us, but I heard
him later, yuck.....but he is far underrated as a
producer -- he ranks up there with the finest as a
producer....he was excellent in the booth and just simply
great to work for, I truly loved the guy.  He treated the
studio musicians with great respect, and was fun to work
for.  It was usually Harold Battiste who wrote the
arrangements, and Sonny had me on the elec. 12-string
fills (and other guitar work) for most of his first dates,
and later I played bass on the Sonny & Cher (or just Cher

We used to kid Sonny before when he was a gofer for Phil
Spector as he'd love to sit in with the rhythm section
and play tambourine (or something).  He couldn't pat his
foot in time....and just before the take, Phil would
hollar the PA "Sonny, there's an important phone-call for
you, come and take it" and as soon as Sonny was out of
the room, Phil would roll the take.  We'd crack up about
that, but Sonny proved himself a terrific producer,
wonderfully decent person, and was simply great to work
for.....made me cry for days when he died.

When I first moved back to Calif. in 1993, I saw him at
his Palm Springs restaurant and he was the same Sonny
Bono, was very warm - friendly as ever, welcomed me and
we had a good chat there, he even got his real estate man
to try to help me find a house in the area - he knew he
was responsible for Cher getting up there but wasn't a
bitter man at all for not getting his real due as a
producer...he had his eyes on the politics and producing
a stage show for Broadway, but mostly politics - he was a
dedicated man -- I think people got really fooled by his
demeanor of acting the comedic parts he used to
do.........I miss him and Cher as good people, fun people
to work for.  

Carol Kaye
Interviews at:


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Message: 5
   Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 12:15:16 +0900
   From: LePageWeb
Subject: Me on Dion

"Spector Collector" wrote:

> "Born to Be With You"...I like that song, but I love
> the non-LP Spector-produced (and Jeff Barry
> co-written) single "Baby Let's Stick Together." 

> I'm hoping desperately that Ace has added the single
> as a bonus track. Does anyone know?

Yes, according to the web page the CD includes "Baby
Let's Stick Together."

Dion - Born To Be With You

> "Baby Let's Stick Together" is an amazing track, all
> vocals and drums up front, with (I think) fuzz and alto
> sax texturing the wall of echo way down in the mix.
> Quite an atypical Spector production for its or any
> other time, lacking strings and the funereal pace of
> almost all the other Spector tracks of the period.

I smiled when I read that, David, because "funereal
pace" nicely sums up Spector's 70s style. Could a song
like Born To Be With You be performed any slower? You
gotta wonder why everything had to be sooooo laid back.
Take Lennon's Be My Baby for example.

I think the Dion album is helpful in an attempt to
understand what happened to the post-Philles Wall of
Sound. As multitrack recording became commonplace,
overdubs and "punch-ins" changed the way performances
were recorded and mixed. Isolation of individual tracks
became the norm and Phil's Wall of Sound approach did
not seem to be adapt well to these changes. My
conclusion (at least this week) is that Spector's
deliberate, slow arrangements and dense multitracked
productions of this era were (a) out of touch with
contemporary styles, (b) more glossy and smooth, yet
less effective, than his recordings of Gold Star era and
even the Apple era. So while it may be argued that River
Deep, Mountain High deserved to be a worldwide smash, I
don't believe the same can be said for, e.g., "A Woman's
Story" by Cher. That being said, to a Spector fan, these
70s Spector recordings are essential as part of the
whole picture.

One other thing that always seemed peculiar about the
Dion album was thqt it was never issued in the United
States. The above-referenced web page says:

> Dion had been signed to Warner Brothers since 1969 and
> had delivered six albums when a collaboration with a
> label mate was suggested. Phil Spector had recently
> been offered a label deal by Warners, with full
> artistic control and the opportunity to work with any
> artist on their roster. The first artist he chose was
> Dion.

So it seems really odd that the record was not issued
in Dion's and Spector's own country - which was also 
where the actual Warner Spector deal originated.

Anyone have a clue why? Any other opinions on the Dion


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Message: 6
   Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 10:14:52 -0800
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: Re: Ritchie Valens Tribute

This is in reply to Randy Kosht.....Randy I don't think
the Tribute is open to the public, it's only a
400-seater, but in view of who you are, let me email you
privately on this.  It's not known yet if Chris Montez
will be able to attend, he's committed to a road tour at
that time, but again, Chris is a friend of mine, and
I'll help you get in touch with him. 

Carol Kaye

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Message: 7
   Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 11:00:31 -0500
   From: "Frank Lipsius" 
Subject: Van McCoy in Philly

I recently spoke with Weldon McDougal III about Van
McCoy's participation in the Larks, which was featured in
the Best of the Larks CD that we recently put out (Jamie
4014). Weldon met Van in Washington while Weldon was in
the Marines, then they remet in Philly while Van was
working construction on Jocko Henderson's house and
living with a cousin near Weldon. Weldon invited Van to
do some music with the Larks, resulting in "Rain" and
"Let's Drink a Toast" -- both on the CD. (A generous and
very together person, Weldon also worked with Tommy Bell
and put together Baker, Harris & Young -- the essence of
the Philly Sound and MFSB -- which are on the Larks CD,
as well as having Barbara Mason as lead singer on the
Larks' "Dedicated to You," also on the CD.) While in
Philly, Van started working with Gilda Woods with her
group Brenda & the Tabulations, resulting in the cuts
that became our "Right on the Tip of My Tongue" CD (Jamie

It was from here in Philly, Weldon says, that Van made
the contacts that eventually got him to New York and a
staff position on Scepter.

Frank Lipsius

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

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