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Spectropop - Digest Number 198

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                        Remembering Alan Betrock

There are 8 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Remembering Alan Betrock
           From: John Clemente 
      2. Keith
           From: "Martin Roberts"
      3. new Ronnie Spector record
           From: "Spector Collector"
      4. Review of "Hawthorne, CA" in Houston Press
           From: Paul MacArthur
      5. Francoise Hardy, France Gall, et. al.
           From: Ted T. 
      6. Re: Francoise Hardy and her Ultra Chick Copains
           From: Frank 
      7. Francoise at Musica
           From: "Ian Chapman"
      8. "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More"
           From: "Phil Chapman" 


Message: 1
   Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 01:17:12 -0400
   From: John Clemente
Subject: Remembering Alan Betrock

Hello All,

A while back, I can't remember exactly how far back,
someone who had contacted me in regard to my book had
mentioned that Alan Betrock had passed away.  I had told
this person that it must have been a mistake; that I had
recently spoken to Alan regarding his book's inclusion in
my bibliography.  We spoke about GG records, photos, my
project and how it would be an expansion of what he
initiated with his efforts.  Alan then sent me a formal
letter giving me permission to use his book.  I went
through my files to find the letter.  The letter was
postmarked in July of 1999.  

I saw his obit on Doc Rock's "The Dead Rock Stars Club"
website of R&R notables who have passed.

I was shocked and had a very strange feeling. Could this
much time have passed?  Now I find it is over a year
since Alan's passing.  This man made such a tremendous
contribution to American pop, not only for his
documentation of GG music, but with some of my favorite
contemporary artists as well, like Blondie, The
Smithereens and Marshall Crenshaw. Alan, for this I thank
you!   Here is an excerpt from his obituary in The NY
Times on April 15, 2000:

> Alan Betrock, 49, Pop Critic and Record Producer
> Alan Betrock, whose love of rock 'n' roll propelled a
> pioneering career as a critic, editor, publisher,
> archivist and record producer, died on Sunday at Calvary
> Hospital in the Bronx. He was 49 and lived in Brooklyn.
> The cause was cancer, said Marilyn Laverty, his former
> wife.
> His 1982 book, "Girl Groups: The Story of a Sound," was
> lauded by the critic Robert Palmer in The Times as
> "everything a rock 'n' roll genre study should be." By
> the time he published it, Mr. Betrock had sold New York
> Rocker and was pursuing a dual career as a journalist and
> an independent record mogul. Releases on his label, Shake
> Records, introduced artists like the dB's, the
> Smithereens and Marshall Crenshaw. In his writing he
> ardently defended American punk, exposing its roots in
> garage rock and vintage teenage pop.

[ Remembering Alan Betrock]

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

Message: 2
   Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2001 19:32:50 +0100
   From: "Martin Roberts"
Subject: Keith

Interesting mail from Brian Flaherty about Keith's first
record 'Caravan Of Lonely Men':

> [from] "Encyclopoedia of Popular Music" edited by Colin
> Larkin:
> [Keith] started with a band called the Admirations in
> the early 60s, recording one single for Columbia
> Records, "Caravan of Lonely Men". 

I can't confess to being a fan but this should be worth
tracking down.

I have two other versions of this early Jeff Barry
co-wr song, the earliest from '62 The Lafayettes
featuring Frank Bonarrigo RCA 47-8082 prod. Hugo &
Luigi. Latin tinged doo wop styled but with no backing
group! The B-Side 'I Still Do' perhaps even better,
again doo wop with no group but this time he supplies
the 'dip dip doo wahs'! The other is on Agon 1011 by
The Lovers, similiar up tempo Latin flavoured doo wop
but with full vocal backing. B-sibe also quite good
version of Jackie Shane/Roosevelt Grier's 'In My


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

Message: 3
   Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 03:31:56 -0000
   From: "Spector Collector" 
Subject: new Ronnie Spector record

Ronnie plays Tina to Andre Williams's Ike in their newly
released duet of the Turners' classic "It's Gonna Work
Out Fine." It kicks off side two of Andre's new album,
"Bait and Switch" (Norton 288), available for $8 (LP) or
$12 (CD) at

David A. Young

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Message: 4
   Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2001 04:09:20 -0500
   From: Paul MacArthur 
Subject: Review of "Hawthorne, CA" in Houston Press

Here it is...

If you dig it, let my editor know....

If you don't, then be quiet :)

- Paul
Paul MacArthur
Assistant Professor
Radio Television Department
Sam Houston State University
Box 2207
Communications Building Room 123
Huntsville, TX  77341


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

Message: 5
   Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2001 14:37:29 -0800
   From: Ted T.
Subject: Francoise Hardy, France Gall, et. al.

Wow - it's fascinating to see that French popular music
has such a keen Spectropop following. Living in
Switzerland, I remember the heydays of ye-ye very well.
Have to agree, however, with those who don't find many
Spectorian touches in the work of Francoise Hardy. Her
records have great charm, to be sure, but not much
passion. Her specialty has always been wistful,
intelligent lyrics with pretty melodies, and understated
arrangements. She remains much revered on the French
music scene, and makes occasional appearances on TV.
However, her main interest for the past twenty years has
been astrology, with music taking a back seat. She still
looks fine, still very slim, but has let her hair go
unabashedly gray.

That aside, it is clear that the French music scene was
acutely aware of Spector and his work during the Philles
years. Darlene Love's singles were frequently played and
joyfully discussed on the top radio show of the period,
"Salut les copains". There was even a French adaptation
of Bobb B. Soxx's "Why Do Lovers", entitled "Oui les
filles", released by French studio veteran Jacques
Revaux. In the early seventies, Sylvie Vartan did an OK
version of "Da Doo Ron Ron."

But of the many French hits aiming for the Spector style,
my favorite is probably Nicoletta's powerhouse 1967
single "La Musique", which is the French version of
Barry Mann's "Angelique". I way prefer Nicoletta's
version. She also did a pretty good, very elaborate
version of "Macarthur Park", called "Le Luxembourg" (a
lovely park in the middle of Paris).

Another terrific French Spector-style record is the
mid-tempo "Le Seule Bebe Qui Ne Pleure Pas" by boy-girl
duo Stone & Charden, released around 1970. Eric Charden,
a journeyman French singer-songwriter-producer,
surpassed himself with this one: great echo, pounding
orchestral arrangement...could have been a hit for the

While we're traveling, let's not forget Italy, which has
probably produced more great songs and great singles
than any other European country. Just last night I
turned on the Italian TV network RAI Due and was
stupefied to see a documentary featuring, among others,
GENE PITNEY. There he was, in person, speaking in
passable Italian, and reminiscing about the good old
days. Like Francoise Hardy, he hasn't changed much (put
on a little weight though) and has let himself go gray.
Gene had a huge fan base in Italy, and the program
featured very clear, well-preserved clips of him doing a
live duet with Italian icon Little Tony,, and also doing
a solo number in Italian. For a special treat, the show
also unearthed a priceless 1960s clip of Neil Sedaka,
singing in Italian and really juking and jumping all
over the set.

Judging from these samples, the RAI TV archives must be
packed with similar high-quality treasures. Let's hope
they'll be preserved, unearthed and made available some

Ted T.


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Message: 6
   Date: Sat, 30 Jun 01 08:15:08 +0100
   From: Frank 
Subject: Re: Francoise Hardy and her Ultra Chick Copains

Thanks for the tip Glynis. I'll check your site.


>Ultra Chicks is a series of 6 "unauthorized" CD
>compilations. Sometimes they go out of print for a time,
>depending on who is chasing the manufacturer, but after
>a few months they reappear. I can not give a direct
>source, since [the person] who makes them has been in
>trouble a few times over them. However, you can usually
>get these from sources which normally sell 60's garage
>style music. If you need links to these sources I
>have some links on one of my web pages


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Message: 7
   Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 01:01:50 +0100
   From: "Ian Chapman" 
Subject: Francoise at Musica

Must admit the current "is there/isn't there" discussion
regarding the question of a Spector influence on selected
Francoise tracks leaves me somewhat bemused, but may I
direct readers to [. . . ] "However Much" (the English-
language version of "Et Meme"). I'm aware that sometimes
the terms "girl-group-influenced" and "Spector-influenced"
don't always mean the same thing, but for me those
jangling pianos and drum fills are a clear homage to "Da
Doo Ron Ron".  I'd be interested to hear other opinions.



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

Message: 8
   Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 01:00:28 +0100
   From: "Phil Chapman" 
Subject: "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More"

One thing that's always puzzled me about The Walker
Brothers' "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" is that the
UK 45 has an extra 10 seconds on the end which includes a
Frankie Valli/Bobby Hatfield-style falsetto ad-lib. Every
album/CD version I've found since fades just before this.
I wonder if the decision was taken because the ad-lib is
not in keeping with Scott's newly achieved 'heroic' vocal
sound, or simply to get it closer to the magic 3 minutes?

I've grafted the original end on to one of the stereo
cuts for interest value.

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

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