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Spectropop - Digest Number 206

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                "heavily oriented towards staying retro"

There are 11 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 206:

      1. Emitt Rhodes Interview in current Big Takeover
           From: "David Parkinson" 
           From: Mick Patrick
      3. The Poni Tails
           From: Jane Wade
      4. Hit Records from Nashville
           From: Paul Urbahns
      5. Keith
           From: Jane Wade
      6. Hardy/Blackwell
           From: Kieron Tyler
           From: Mick Patrick
      8. Jean-Paul Vignon
           From: "Ian Chapman"
      9. Louis Philippe 
           From: "Robert Pally" 
     10. Re: Great French Pop
           From: Stewart Mason 
     11. Louis Phillippe
           From: "Kingsley Abbott"


Message: 1
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 07:10:39 -0700
   From: "David Parkinson" 
Subject: Emitt Rhodes Interview in current Big Takeover

Folks here might want to check out the current issue of
The Big Takeover (#48, on all discriminating newsstands
now), which among the usual embarrassment of riches has a
nice interview with Emitt Rhodes (Palace Guard,
Merry-Go-Round, solo greatness). It's a pretty grim read,
featuring the sad old story of record company abuses, but
for anyone who has ever been blown away by this man's
music it's essential reading.

And for anyone out there who loves rock music and has
never seen the Big Takeover, go take a look: 288 pages of
DENSE content written by die-hard fans for a laughable
$4.95! I mean, c'mon!


P.S. This is not a paid promotion, honest :-} -The Big
Takeover is simply the best rock mag in existence. It's
heavily oriented towards staying current, and also gives
all due props to the heroes like The Beatles, Hollies,
Kinks, Zombies, &c. &c. In the cover interview with
Guided By Voices leader Robert Pollard, we get to see the
list of 62 cassettes that Pollard took on the road for
the GbV spring tour - suffice it to say that it
intersects pretty neatly with the sort of music that is
discussed here.

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Message: 2
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 20:40:58 +0100 (BST)
   From: Mick Patrick 


In answer to Frank's question - if he has issues 1 thru 7
of PHILATELY magazine, he has a full set. Previously the
Phil Spector Apreciation Society published 20 odd
newsletters. And the last issue of THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN
AGAIN we published was No. 5/6 - a double issue devoted
to Brit Girls. Then I got sidetracked into compiling CDs.

I'd love to get back into publishing my own magazine but,
hey, now we have Spectropop it hardly seems necessary.

Before I go, let me be the first to plug the brand new
website of DIANE RENAY. I hear she has a new CD available
soon too. Check it out;


PS Don't hold your breath for the BREAKAWAYS CD. The
Sanctuary label has placed it on the back burner,
although they're still going ahead with the Paper Dolls
CD. FEH!!  

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Message: 3
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 11:21:03 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Jane Wade
Subject: The Poni Tails

Call me corny but I think "Born Too Late" is one of
the greatest 50's girl group songs ever recorded.
How many of us identified with THAT one?

I'd like to know some background on the group,
whatever became of them and if they had any other hits
after their big one.


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Message: 4
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 06:35:45 EDT
   From: Paul Urbahns
Subject: Hit Records from Nashville

Dan asked:

> Paul mentioned a song on the budget soundalike Hit
> Records label.  Is there a list somewhere that tells
> who went by what names when recording for that label? 
> I have heard that some pretty famous people recorded
> under fake names for Hit before they made it on their
> own.  Details, anyone?

Thanks for asking Dan, I have been research Hit for
probably 30 years and have these things sagging the
floors. Besides using all the well known session
musicians in like Boots Randolph, Bill Pursell, Jimmy
Wilkerson, Billy Sherrill (later a Columbia producer) and
others, Vocals were mostly by Bobby Russell, Bergen White
and Buzz Cason (who were the Daytonas in Ronny and The
Daytonas) The Anita Kerr Singers, Margie Singleton
Singers, both groups had Priscilla Mitchell (later Mrs
Jerry Reed), The Jordanires (the gospel group that
appeared on Elvis and Ricky Nelson records) Ray Stevens
is supposed to be on two Hit recordings (can be heard as
the Mexican voice on Speedy Gonzales)  Jimmy Buffett did
four songs, Ricky Page did a ton of records as did Connie
Landers their two main white girl singers. Sandy Posey
recalled doing Hit sessions while working in Nashville
(sounds like she was the girl singer between Connie
Landers and Rickey Page's time. Posey probably did 6
songs in a 6 month period. Hit wrote their own
arrangements of the hits, and the guys who wrote the
arrangements were Bill Justis and Bergen White. Hit tried
to "sound like" the hits but were not note for note
representations. There was no playing by ear all
arrangements were done in the typical Nashville style
written on paper.

Black singers were mostly Nashville folks, Herbert Hunter
(later part of the Area Code 606), Peggy Gaines and Earl

Off the top of my head that is a brief summary of some
involved. Since many of the hits of the 60s were originally
recorded in Nashville, Hit tried to use as many of the
original musicians on sessions as possible. A newspaper
reporter attending a Hit session said it was almost like
watching money being printed. On the Elvis, Brenda Lee,
Connie Francis records especially, they would replace the
lead singer and use many of the same musicians that
worked the original session that way they cut down on
studio time. 

Hit made some of the best (and worst) sound-a-likes in
the business. All Hits were recorded in less than 45
minutes per song with no overdubbing. Union regs only
allowed 4 masters out of each three hour session.

You can do the math.

Paul Urbahns

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Message: 5
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 11:27:33 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Jane Wade 
Subject: Keith

Cass and All:  I was always sorry he only had but two
hits, "Ain't Gonna Lie" and "98.6"....

"Ain't Gonne Lie" has a great production on
was one of my favorites.


Cass wrote:

> It's really nice to see people posting and asking
> about Keith's music!! 
> In reply to the last post regarding Keith by Dan,
> Keith is ALIVE!!! You must have come across a bad
> piece of info.
> Anyone who would like to know more about Keith please
> take a moment to visit his official website
> Have a great day! Cass (webmaster for the official
> Keith site)

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Message: 6
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 9:53:01 +0100
   From: Kieron Tyler
Subject: Hardy/Blackwell

Hello there,

Jake Tassell was asking about Charles Blackwell and the
stuff he produced arranged for Francoise Hardy. It was
all recorded in London at Pye Studios in Bryanston Place,
just behind Marble Arch. She first recorded In London at
Pye for Tony Hatch. Charles also did some Richard Anthony
stuff there, and one Brigitte Bardot EP at Olympic. I did
an article in 1998 for Record Collector on Charles which
talks about this stuff.

Other French people who recorded in London in the '60s
include Serge Gainsbourg, Eddy Mitchell and Michel

Francoise Hardy's dislike of her early stuff is centred
around her earliest EPs, recorded for Vogue in Paris at
their Avenue Hoche studios. She said 'some of the worst
musicians in Paris' were on them. A funny comment
considering that Jacques Dutronc, her future beau and
father of her son, was session guitarist on at least one
(Le Temps D' Amour). She still thinks Charles was great,
as she said recently in Mojo magazine.

Re the Spector sound on her records. It's hardly
surprising considering Charles Blackwell's pedigree and
her desire to make better-sounding records. Charles also
arranged Adrienne Posta's Shang A Doo Lang, a big Spector
soundalike. Charles says Spector was at the session with
producer Andrew Loog Oldham.

Loads of other French stuff reflects the US pop sound of
the period (just like anywhere else really). For example,
Sylvie Vartan's 1st big hit was a version of The

All the best, 


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Message: 7
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 21:00:48 +0100 (BST)
   From: Mick Patrick 


Attention Jake in SW2. With any luck your comments about
the great CHARLES BLACKWELL will prompt a reply from Ian
Chapman. It was Ian who first got me interested in French
Pop. Ian also convinced me that, in their way, Brit Girls
were as worthy of my attention as US Girls. Previously
I'd disliked them, regarding them as crude. I soon grew
to love them BECAUSE they were crude. I hear Gallic
heartthrob RICHARD ANTHONY is flavour of the month chez
Chapman. Over to you Ian.


PS No-one answered my querie about JUNE ADAMS. Arse!!

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Message: 8
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 22:16:10 +0100
   From: "Ian Chapman" 
Subject: Jean-Paul Vignon

Frank said:

> Jean-Paul Vignon, was a not so successful but good
> looking French singer in the late 50's early 60's.
> Probably due to this lack of success he left for the
> States where he appeared in a few Tv series and got
> involved in the disco scene making a few records again.


I'm very partial to Jean-Paul's '65 Columbia waxing of
"Don't Cry Little Girl" - best described as Steve
Lawrence does Brill Building in a French accent!


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Message: 9
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 06:55:39 +0200
   From: "Robert Pally"
Subject: Louis Philippe 


I know him. Not so long ago I interviewed him for an
E-zine called Fufkin. He is currently working on new

His music is really great!! 

BTW: I am new on this list. My name is Robert Pally. I am
a swiss journalist.



Try also Louis Philippe albums with great arrangments.
Anyone here know them ?

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Message: 10
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 08:33:10 -0600
   From: Stewart Mason
Subject: Re: Great French Pop

Pollicesteve writes:
>A new tradition of pop in the 2000's.
>You should listen to April March "Chrominace decoder" She
>sang once with Brian Wilson (still in the vaults) & this
>album is very fresh & sometimes "sexualy oriented" if you
>dig French.

Some of April March's earlier records are even more
French pop-oriented: a personal favorite is her single
"Chick Habit," which puts new English lyrics to the
Gainsbourg/Gall tune "Laisse Tomber les Filles" and sets
the song to a great garagey "Peter Gunn" rhythm.  There's
a compilation called LESSONS OF APRIL MARCH which
contains material from all the different phases of her
career, including a terrific girl group pastiche called
"Stay Away From Robert Mitchum."

April March's real name is Elinor Blake.  She's also an
animator who worked on REN AND STIMPY in its early days
and used to be in both the Pussywillows (more girl group
pastiche, from the late '80s) and the Shitbirds (punky
pop from the early '90s).
>Try also Louis Philippe albums with great arrangments..
>Anyone here know them ?

Him.  The arrangements are great, the songs are unremarkable.


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Message: 11
   Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 15:55:53 +0100
   From: "Kingsley Abbott"
Subject: Louis Phillippe

Great to see a mention of the great Louis Phillippe (A
frenchman living and working in London for the french
section of the BBC I believe).  I found his "Ivory Tower"
LP many moons ago with a great version of BW's "Guess I'm
Dumb" on it, and more recently stumbled across his 1998
album "Azure".  This CD (XIII Bis Records 189932) is
absolutely beautiful - wonderful songs, playing (with
Prague Philharmonic) and a feel reminiscent of "Pet
Sounds" in several places - a complete album that I
recommend unreservedly to anyone with a love for crafted
melodious pop!  There is also a collection of his best
called "A Kiss In The Funhouse" (XIII Bis Records 151212).
In the UK at least, they are available via Cherry Red. 
Lovely stuff!

Also on Hit Records masqueraders, check out "We Built A
409" as by The Roamers - Messrs Wilkin, Cason et al - aka
Ronny & The Daytonas.  Possibly/probably some involvement
with The Jalopy Five as well.

Also list members might like to look out for a recently
issued sampler for RPM Records.  Called "Pet Sounds" (in
name only- to catch the attention) it contains tracks
>from Tony Rivers in various guises and other nice people
on that label.  Good at around two of our English pounds.

Kingsley Abbott

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