The Spectropop Group Archives
presented by Friends of Spectropop

[Prev by Date] [Next by Date] [index]

Spectropop - Digest Number 163

______________                                            ______________
______________                                            ______________
______________        S  P  E  C  T  R  O  P  O  P        ______________
______________                                            ______________
          Enjoy the complete musical definition of instruments

There are 12 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 163:

      1. Send Jeff and Ellie to Cleveland!
           From: "Donny Hampton" 
      2. re: Brill Buidling doc
           From: "Bates, Robert (Cahners-NYC)" 
      3. Long Live The Shangri-Las!
           From: Ron Buono 
      4. Re: Ellie Greenwich
           From: "Donny Hampton" 
      5. Nino & April's All Strung Out
           From: Steven Prazak 
      6. Nino Tempo & April Stevens
           From: Lindsay 
      7. Dr Jon (he's a medicine man)
           From: "Charles G. Hill" 
      8. Re: The Hobbits
           From: James Botticelli 
      9. Back to Mono
           From: "Mark Harris" 
     10. Paul Williams tribute
           From: "Bates, Robert (Cahners-NYC)" 
     11. Re: Digest Number 144
           From: Al Quaglieri 
     12. Hal Blaine
           From: "Donny Hampton" 


Message: 1
   Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 20:07:38 -0000
   From: "Donny Hampton"
Subject: Send Jeff and Ellie to Cleveland!

Not to beat a dead horse, but just to make sure that
everybody at SPECTROPOP knows about this . . .

Please support a petition drive to get legendary Brill
Building songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
nominated and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame!  Their classic hits include "Leader Of The Pack,"
"Chapel Of Love," "Be My Baby," "Doo-Wah-Diddy," "Hanky
Panky," "Then He Kissed Me," "Da Doo Ron Ron,"
"River-Deep, Mountain-High," "Tell Laura I Love Her"
and "I Honestly Love You." Their songs, as recorded by
The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love, The Dixie
Cups, The Shangri-Las, The Chiffons, The Exciters and
Lesley Gore, helped define the girl group craze of the
early 1960s, and since the '70s have appeared in scores
of prime time TV shows as well as blockbuster movies
like Four Weddings and A Funeral, What's Love Got To Do
With It, Forrest Gump and Dirty Dancing.  Jeff and
Ellie were the driving force, not only behind the
success of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's Red-Bird
Records, but also much of the output of Phil Spector's
legendary Philles Records.  They discovered Neil
Diamond and produced such memorable hits for him as
"Cherry, Cherry" and "Thank The Lord For The Night Time,"
thus launching his stellar recording and touring career,
and in the late '60s, Jeff Barry's production company
placed such unforgettable hits on the charts as Bobby
Bloom's "Montego Bay," Andy Kim's "Baby, I Love You,"
The Monkees' "I'm A Believer"(one of the
biggest-selling records in history), Robin McNamara's
"Lay A Little Lovin' On Me" and The Archies'immortal
"Sugar, Sugar."  Jeff and Ellie's songs have been
recorded by 100s of top artists, from Dusty Springfield
to Bruce Springsteen, to Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Tina
Turner, The Beach Boys, U2, Freddie Mercury and Elton
John.  Country artists the caliber of Gary Stewart,
Jody Miller, Glen Campbell, Lynn Anderson and The
Bellamy Brothers have also scored on the charts with
their compositions.  In addition to songwriting and
producing, Jeff and Ellie distinguished themselves as
demo singers,background vocalists and session musicians
for such artists as Van Morrison, Jim Croce, Aretha
Franklin, Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra and the "King"
himself, Elvis Presley. 

Their music has been the subject of a PBS-TV special
("Chapel Of Love") and a Tony Award-nominated Broadway
musical (Leader Of The Pack).  Everyone agrees that the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has ignored them for too
long.  Visit the website,
read the petition, and if you agree with its goal, sign
your name and leave some personal comments about Jeff
and Ellie's music. Pop stars Gene Pitney, Jody Miller
and members of The Crystals and The Pixies Three have
signed the petition!  Add your name today, and spread
the word to all of Jeff and Ellie's friends and
admirers. There's strength in numbers . . . together,
we can STORM the Hall!

Don Charles

[Ed. Note: Please sign this petition if you haven't
already!!! It takes less than five minutes, is
completely private, and supports two of the greatest
Spectropop era songwriters/artists/producers.

Jeff and Ellie at Spectropop

Sign it today! ]

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

Message: 2
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 16:05:52 -0400 
   From: "Bates, Robert (Cahners-NYC)" 
Subject: re: Brill Buidling doc

> Because it was all news to the producer, the show kind
> of feels like a history of Trenton, NJ as told by a guy
> who drove there for the first time last week.

Well, remember, this is for general TV viewers -- not
for people who know this stuff. As such, I think it was
a good -- and certainly entertaining -- intro to the
period. Remember, there was a lot to cover. I agree
that it didn't make sense to say there isn't a lot of
source material, but in the question period, the guy
showed he had a pretty good grasp of the subject. Plus,
he said his favorite Brill Building song is "I Never
Dreamed," so he must know something.

If I had to name a flaw in the documentary it was that
the chronology of things wasn't clear. It jumps around
a lot in time -- sometimes confusingly so. 

There were also a couple of instances when the
tunesmiths degrade their own work -- I don't
necessarily blame the filmmaker for that, but if the
purpose is to reignite interest in the period, that
doesn't help. In one case, Goffin degrades the work he
and King did for the Monkees as not "meaningful"
enough; in another, Jeff Barry says songs like "Sugar
Sugar" are just for kids and have no value. In both
cases, I think time has proved them wrong; I only wish
we could hear more songs like that, from those guys or
anyone, today. 

Finally, to Jack's post, I believe that "Condition Red"
is a different Goodies than "Dum Dum Ditty." But Mary
Weiss is awesome. If you're familiar with the New York
Dolls, it's striking how much Johnny Thunders and David
Johansen copy her style.

Rob B.

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

Message: 3
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 14:59:02 EDT
   From: Ron Buono 
Subject: Long Live The Shangri-Las!

spectropop writes:

> Great to read of MARY WEISS of the Shangri Las spotted
> out in public at the Brill Building documentary
> screening. I have an amusing Shangs story to share but
> it will have to wait until another day because I simply
> HAVE to wash my hair.

AW, c'mon Mick, don't leave us hangin' like that. SHARE!
SHARE! I also was lucky enough to see the Brill
Building doc last week. I loved the studio shots of the
Shangs, not to mention the rare demos played throughout.
The two-second clip of the Shangs singing "Out in the
Streets"  (on Shindig, I think) was a cruel
teaser.....I want MORE!

During the all-too-short interview with Mary Weiss, she
mentioned that she was able to convey all that emotion
due to the pain she was in at that time. Mary, WHAT DID
YOU MEAN by that comment? If you are a Spectropop
reader, can you elaborate?

Long Live The Shangri-Las!

Ron Buono

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

Message: 4
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 22:09:25 -0000
   From: "Donny Hampton"
Subject: Re: Ellie Greenwich

AZ wrote
>Finally I bought a record that's fully relevant...
>The record is Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces and
>Sings. Half the songs are originals.  I don't think
>they're quite the classics some of her other tunes are
>but I like the arranging - by Hutch Davie, Gary Sherman
>and Jimmy Wisner - and her voice is certainly suited to
>this kind of vaguely Ronettes-ish material.
>Of the five originals, I think maybe "Goodnight
>Goodnight" could have been a hit. If it wasn't.  I don't
>recognize any of the originals myself.  They all have
>that sound but I don't think they quite measure up to
>her more famous hit songs.

"Goodnight, Goodnight" is great, isn't it?  That and
"The Sunshine After The Rain" are my faves from Ellie's
first album.  I was lucky enough to find a copy years
ago, at a reasonable price.  I'll bet dealers want an
arm and two legs for it nowadays!

>Anyway in the liner notes it says she's about to produce
>a group called The Definitive Rock Chorale. Did that
>happen?  That sounds interesting.

Yes, Ellie did produce singles by The Original Rock
Chorale, with Mike Rashkow, who was her partner in the
late '60s.  I think one of the titles was "I Hear The
Grass Singing'" with Tony Passalacqua on lead vocals.  I
may be wrong about that, though.  I'm sure somebody in
this group knows for sure.

>can anyone tell me about "The Jon and Robin Elastic

I know a little bit about Jon & Robin.  They were on the
scene in the mid-60s, and as I recall, they were also
known as Jon and Robin and The In-Crowd.  Jon was Jon
Abnor, and I think he wrote most of their material.  They
had some chart records, but the only one that comes to
mind is "You Got Style" from 1968, which was written by
Jeff Barry and Andy Kim.

Don Charles

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

Message: 5
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 11:45:03 -0400
   From: Steven Prazak 
Subject: Nino & April's All Strung Out

I'm completely over the moon about Nino Tempo & April
Stevens' All Strung Out single. One of my fave 45s ever!
But how's the accompanying White Whale album which I
believe has seen a CD re-ish recently. As good as the
single or is it loaded with fillers? Any comments from
the Spectropop masses?

steven prazak
Atlanta, GA

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

Message: 6
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 10:36:51 -0000
   From: Lindsay 
Subject: Nino Tempo & April Stevens

Does anyone else here share my weakness for these tracks?

Deep Purple
I'm Confessing That I Love You 

What is going on here?  They are all arrangements of
old songs, served up in an idiosyncratic style which
shouldn't work more than once, but somehow it does for
me.  They all have that strong what... upbeat?
backbeat?  ...maybe some muso can describe it for me. 
They all have the heaving harmonica, the spoken bit in
the middle, usually a chorus going, "Whoa".   I should
groan and say, "Oh no, not again!" but I'm addicted,
especially to "I'm Confessing..." (it's the one that
doesn't seem to have the "Whoas"; but it has whistling,
like in "Whispering").

Love 'em all!


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

Message: 7
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 06:10:18 -0500
   From: "Charles G. Hill" 
Subject: Dr Jon (he's a medicine man)

Alan Zweig wrote:

> can anyone tell me about "The Jon and Robin Elastic
> Event".  It's a boy girl thing that sounds almost
> exactly like Nancy and Lee.  Did they have any hits?
> They do this tune "Doctor John" that sounds like it
> could have been a minor hit.

This might have been the last gasp of Jon and Robin
and the In-Crowd, who hit with "Do It Again A Little
Bit Slower" (#18, 1967).  Last name was Abnor, which
possibly suggests some connection to the Abnak label,
on which most of their stuff was released....cgh

 Charles G. Hill 
  online since 1984, and very sleepy

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

Message: 8
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 09:43:12 EDT
   From: James Botticelli 
Subject: Re: The Hobbits

Alan Zweig asks "How many bands called The Hobbits
were there?"

Answer: about one quarter as many as bands called The
Outcasts...Any other overused names??  JB/former
member of The Shadows

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

Message: 9
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 13:40:56 +0100
   From: "Mark Harris" 
Subject: Back to Mono


Just subscribed to this list to ask if anyone in
resident the UK knows where I can get a copy of the
"Back To Mono" CD boxset - I've looked in all the
obvious places in The Capital, but with no success...



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

Message: 10
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 16:10:54 -0400 
   From: "Bates, Robert (Cahners-NYC)" 
Subject: Paul Williams tribute

Spectropoppers in the NY area may be interested in a
Paul Williams tribute in June, which you can read about
at These tributes are generally

Rob B.

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

Message: 11
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 11:33:01 -0400
   From: Al Quaglieri 
Subject: Re: Digest Number 144

Once again, let me dispel a persistent untruth about the
Spector stereo material currently circulating as mp3
files. This stuff is NOT a "synch-up," it is a bunch of
crude mixes that were quite obviously made from the
original three-track tapes, and - from the sound of
things - in a major hurry. Nonetheless, they are genuine,
the results aren't the kind of thing you can there are quite a few alternate takes
and backing tracks...if there's a ProTools method of
generating a completely different vocal take (not just
pitch correction and editing), I (and a lot of engineers)
would love to hear about it.

Al Q. NY

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

Message: 12
   Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 22:32:09 -0000
   From: "Donny Hampton" 
Subject: Hal Blaine

Hal Blaine was interviewed by Terri Gross on the radio
show "Fresh Air" today.  Very interesting.  He talked
about working with Spector and The Beach Boys, and how
Phil threatened to release an album featuring nothing but
"fades" from his singles because so much work went into
them!  For me, it was kinda bittersweet listening,though,
because they talked about Spector, they talked about Jack
Nitzsche, they talked about various session musicians,
but they never mentioned any songwriters other than Brian
Wilson . . . and they opened the program with "Be My Baby,"
written by you-know-who!  Hal Blaine, by the way, is in
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Guess who ain't!  A crime, isn't it?

Don Charles

--------------------[ 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.