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Spectropop - Digest Number 271

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There are 14 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 271:

      1. Chiffons/David Somerville/Gene Pitney gig review
           From: Stewart Mason 
      2. Re: bun-bustin' fun
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 
      3. Buns!
           From: "Randy M. Kosht" 
      4. Various
           From: "Paul Payton" 
      5. Re: Ellie Greenwich
           From: Frank 
      6. Re: '66
           From: James Botticelli 
      7. psychedelic soft pop
           From: Alan Zweig 
      8. Re: London's A Lonely Town
           From: Andrew Hickey 
      9. Re:  ANDERS N PONCIA CD
           From: "Jeff Lemlich" 
     10. Re: Vinnie Poncia
           From: Will George 
     11. Re: Mynd If I Have One?
           From: James Botticelli 
     12. Re: the sow must go on
           From: "GSPECTOR" 
           From: Mick Patrick 
     14. A Common Language
           From: "Phil Chapman" 


Message: 1
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 20:49:34 +0900
   From: Stewart Mason 
Subject: Chiffons/David Somerville/Gene Pitney gig review

This was the first time I've ever been to a rock and roll
revival show, and walking up the steps of the Kiva
Auditorium in downtown Albuquerque, I whispered to my
friend Joyce, herself a good two decades older than my 32
years, "I think I'm the youngest person here by double
digits."  And with the exception of a couple of
disgruntled-looking adolescents dragged there by parents
or grandparents, I think I was right.  I started thinking
that perhaps there was a reason why I'd never gone to an
oldies show, and until the intermission, I had the
sinking feeling that I'd made a terrible mistake.  Turned
out I was rather gloriously wrong.

Okay, so the Chiffons were first up.  I know that a lot
of the supposed girl groups on tour are brazen frauds,
and when the trio came on, I thought, "The lead singer is
old enough, but unless those other two were in the band
when they were zygotes, uh-uh."  It turned out that the
older woman with the cropped blonde hair was the group's
original lead singer, Judy Craig, and the pretty, zaftig
younger women were her daughter and niece.  Okay, fair
enough, but when I am appointed the Grand Poobah of Rock
and Roll History, my first act will be to declare that
unless you have more than one original member of the
group, you're not allowed to use the group's name.  You
don't need all of them, or even a majority, but you
should at least have quorum.  

Actually, all three sounded pretty good to occasionally
outstanding, and with the exception of a hammy version of
"Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (they did several other girl
group hits besides their own, including Crystals and
Ronettes hits) with an annoying/embarrassing audience
participation segment, they were okay.  Except for their
backing group.  There was a drummer, a guitarist, and a
keyboardist.  This lineup sucked when the Doors had it
and it sucks now.  At least spring for a damn bassist,
people!  The streets are paved with bass players!  You
could find one who's willing to work for a Subway
sandwich and a bunk in the luggage rack!  Furthermore, a
guy playing the "saxophone" setting on a Yamaha synth is
not the same as a sax player.  If there's not a guy up
there blowing on a reed held in a piece of cured metal,
leave the sax part out of the song.

The lame trio stayed on to back the middle act, David
Somerville of the Diamonds, the first Canadian rock and
roll stars.  You'd never guess he had once been a rock
and roller, because his voice and stage manner seem stuck
in the Las Vegas of about 1963.  Not the guy who played
the big room, either, but the kind of second-rate hack
who put up with hostile drunks in the bar.  Everything
about this man creeped me out on several different levels,
even before he told a racist Asian dialect joke in the
introduction to the Diamonds' biggest hit, "Little Darlin'."
What galled me the most is that he always talked about
"Our big hit single thus and such" before he sang each
song, never once mentioning that all of the Diamonds'
biggest hit singles (barring "The Stroll," itself a bald
rip-off of Chuck Willis' version of "See See Rider") were
poached from black artists.  It was a common practice in
those segregated times for white vocal groups to record
quick cover versions of R&B hits -- that's how Pat Boone
got his start as well -- but you would at least think
Somerville would have the common courtesy to note that
the Rays had the first hit with "Silhouettes," or that
Maurice Williams and the Gladiolas originated "Little
Darlin'."  You'd think wrong.  I got more and more
embarrassed as his set went on, and every time he
name-dropped his hometown of Toronto, Ontario, I wanted
to scream "How dare you associate yourself with my
favorite city in the world!  You can claim Mississauga if
you must, but leave Toronto out of it!"

When Somerville left the stage, the show's MC, Big Oldies
98.5 morning drive-time jock Bobby Box said, "You know, I
don't know why David Somerville hasn't written a book
with all those great old stories he tells."  I turned to
my friend Joyce and said, "He can't.  He has to wait for
a more talented black author to write it, and then he'll
rip him off."

But then, after a 20-minute intermission, Gene Pitney
came on. I should preface this by saying that Gene Pitney
has been an idol of mine ever since I discovered a 2-disc
set of his greatest hits at a neighborhood garage sale
for a quarter when I was eight.  But the difference
between Gene Pitney and David Somerville was like the
difference between the Beatles and four toddlers banging
on pots and pans on the kitchen floor.  It was like the
promoters had deliberately chosen a horrible opening act
to make the jewel of the lineup shine all the more

First off, the man clearly understands the value of a
proper backing group: besides his own excellent
piano/bass/drums/guitar quartet, he had enlisted the
services of eight local musicians on strings and horns. 
It was amazing to think that the twelve musicians were
working with the benefit of one rehearsal, because they
were perfectly tight, with the orchestra slotted
perfectly into the quartet's playing. After an
appetite-whetting instrumental overture of Pitney's
biggest hits, the man himself strode out in a black suit,
his fashionably-cut grey hair making him look
considerably younger than his 60 years, and went directly
into a dead-on version of "24 Hours From Tulsa." 
Pitney's voice, one of the strongest and most unique of
early '60s pop, has lost none of its power in the last
four decades -- if anything, it might be a little better,
deeper and fuller than it was on his sometimes quavery
early hits. 

Despite some early troubles with the sound mix, Pitney
was in flawless voice throughout, singing all of his hits
and a few obscurities; I was surprised to hear the
relatively unknown but utterly wonderful "Donna Means
Heartbreak."  Pitney had so many hits that, naturally,
some of them were only touched on in two lengthy medleys;
one of these was devoted to several of his classic
Bacharach-David tunes, including a spirited "The Man Who
Shot Liberty Valance" and a particularly heartbreaking
rendition of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" -- he can
still do the whistling perfectly, too! About halfway
through, he paused to sit on a stool with an acoustic
guitar and play three Harry Belafonte hits from the '50s;
no particular reason was given for the tribute, but
Pitney's vocal style adapts surprisingly well to the
calypso-lite of "Jamaica Farewell."  Following this
interlude, Pitney did another medley, this time of songs
he'd written, mostly for other artists.  Mindful of his
enormous European audience, he mentioned not only Bobby
Vee in introducing "Rubber Ball," but also Marty Wilde,
who scored the British hit.  This medley ended with an
almost punky gender-switched version of "He's A Rebel,"
during which Pitney took off his black suit jacket to
reveal a tight black t-shirt and an upper-body build that
caused Joyce and at least two other women sitting around
us to simultaneously mutter, "Damn!"  Again, the man
don't look 60.

That energy level was kept up for a rocking version of
1962's "She's A Heartbreaker" on which the horn section
in particular earned their keep. Listening to it reminded
me that there was a reason that Pitney hung out with the
Rolling Stones during their early days.  After that,
Pitney briefly left the stage as the band kept vamping on
the "Heartbreaker" riff. Coming back on to a full-on,
absolutely rapturous standing ovation, during which
someone yelled in the heat of the moment, "YEAH!  GENE
F---IN' PITNEY!" (okay, it was me), Pitney sincerely
thanked the slightly under two-thirds-full crowd, looking
genuinely touched by the reception, and introduced his
band before letting rip into the night's showstopper, a
powerful rendition of his first hit, "Town Without Pity,"
that underscored the majesty of the melody without
sounding overblown or mawkish.  Like the seasoned
performer he is, he didn't even attempt the daredevil
final crescendo that climaxes the 1961 single, instead
wisely choosing a lower, shorter phrase that he could hit
without faltering.  That was his only concession of the
night.  During the Chiffons and David Somerville's limp
20-minute sets, the Big Oldies 98.5 Rock and Roll Revival
IV was an oldies show, with all of the sad and
uncomfortable associations of that term.  For the hour
and 15 minutes that Gene Pitney was onstage, this was a
rock and roll show, and without question one of the
finest I've ever seen.

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

Message: 2
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 18:56:06 -0000
   From: Billy G. Spradlin 
Subject: Re: bun-bustin' fun

> Jan and Dean-related question: Is there a recommended and
> comprehensive compilation of the pre-surf Jan and
> Dean/Jan and Arnie recordings?  

Varese Sarabande did the trick with "Teen Suite 1958
-1962" which does a great job of rounding up all the
pre-Liberty singles, some amusing liner notes and the
sound quality is great despite some songs taken from

It even has the homemade demo version of "Jennie Lee"
without the studio overdubs - just Jan & Arnie, an old
(out of tune) upright piano, someone smacking a metal
chair and lots of slap-back tape echo. 

> What was the deal
> with the drum mix on "Heart and Soul," anyway?  I thought
> percussion didn't get pushed that far up into the mix
> until the disco era!

I dont know, it sounds good to me, lots of dynamics. I
like J&D's version better than the Cleftones rockin'
doo-wop take on the same tune. 


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Message: 3
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 12:10:04 -0700
   From: "Randy M. Kosht" 
Subject: Buns!

I was going to weigh in on the "bust your bonce"
question, but I see it's been pretty well answered. 
Really got a kick out of Mike Conway's explanation...


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Message: 4
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 13:57:09 -0400
   From: "Paul Payton" 
Subject: Various

First, thank you to all for the Tradewinds info. I have
"Girl from New York City," "Mind Excursion" and "Catch
Me In The Meadow" on the original 45's, as well as the
Videls' "Now That Summer Is Here" on the original JDS 45.
It's amazing how how many labels, names and artists
these guys worked with!

Second, what is the scoop on these Brill-Tone CD's? Any
help in finding them?

Third: Welcome, Alan Gordon. Are you the person who
wrote "Me About You" (and other songs) with Garry Bonner?
His recording of that track (Columbia 45 - don't think
there was an LP) is one of my all-time faves.

Fourth: I assumed Mick meant "show," too, and got on
with it. I did have the privilege of seeing Ronnie
Spector at a showcase for female artists (as opposed to
"wimmin" or "womyn") at the Bottom line a couple of
years ago. She had a 5-piece group - no drums - and
obviously didn't look like her youthful self (who among
us does?) - but then THAT VOICE came out! Great night -
thanks, Ronnie!

New topic - Teddy Bears questions and more:

I have in my collection an LP called "My Little Pet" by
The Teddy Bears, ostensibly on Trey Records #20207 (no
address, but "Made in Denmark"), date unknown,
purporting to contain the Imperial album and single
tracks as well as some from Dore:

Side 1
1. Don't You Worry My Little Pet
2. To Know Him Is To Love Him
3. Till You'll Be Mine
4. Wonderful, Loveable You
5. Oh Why
6. Unchained Melody
7. My Foolish Heart
8. You Said Goodbye

Side 2
1. Seven Lonely Days
2. I Don't Need You Anymore
3. Tammy
4. Long Ago and Far Away
5. Don't Go Away
6. If I Give My Heart To You
7. True Love
8. Little Things Mean A Lot


It's been a while since I've heard it - gotta fire up
the turntable for a replay - but I remember thinking
that the standards covered therein were pretty lame, and
that the Imperial album contained those, and not the
wonderful singles. (Wish I owned that original album - I
blew a chance to buy it for $1.98 back in 1962 and have
been kicking myself ever since!) I also remember that
some of the songs from the singles were present on this
issue in inferior outtake versions, most noticeably a
hash job of "You Said Goodbye," one of Spector's most
exquisite compositions.

Does anyone have any info on this LP and the sources of
the alternate versions? Is there a CD (that won't break
the bank) available with studio-fidelity original
versions of the Imperial and Dore singles? (Missing from
this album is "If You Only Knew The Love I Had For You"
- and my 45 is in about Poor+ condition.) Also, is
[Annette Kleinbard] Carol Connors' "Angel My Angel"
(Capitol 45) on a CD, and if so, where?

And while into this sound, does anyone have any
information on The Blackwells on Guyden ("Oh My Love"
sounds like a Teddy Bears' clone) or Skip and The
Echotones ("Born To Love" on Warwick, two girls and a
guy and a great cha cha that goes well with the Teddy

Also, does anyone have any info on a group called the
Emjays on Greenwich Records, probably 1956-57, who had
"This Is My Love," "The Pitty-Pat Song" and "Cross My
Heart"? (Their sound popped into my head as I was
organizing my thoughts above.)

Thanks, all

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Message: 5
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 01 09:07:42 +0200
   From: Frank 
Subject: Re: Ellie Greenwich

Any idea where this CD can be bought on the net ?

>> Do you mean another BrillTone Records disc?  
>Yeah another pleasant surprise courtesy of the modern
>marvel of CD technology.  Great pix in the liner notes as
>well.  This is the third installment (I think)--I own the
>3-CD set by Barry Mann, the two-CD set by Carole King,
>and now this wonderful 2-CD set by Ellie Gee and some
>surprise stuff like the demo acetate by Carole King,
>"Don't Count Your Chickens."

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Message: 6
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 12:27:09 EDT
   From: James Botticelli 
Subject: Re: '66

In a message dated 10/21/01, spectropop writes:

> back in '66 soft pop was still seen as one of the
> perfectly "valid" approaches to making psychedelic music.

1966 was in incredible year for pop and rock to really come
together and show some unique promise...too bad the whole
'67 San Francisco faux-psychedilic thing trashed it. We
were onto something....JB/kinda kamelottish about '66

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Message: 7
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 14:45:00 -0400
   From: Alan Zweig 
Subject: psychedelic soft pop

"Joseph Scott" wrote:

> The overlap between soft pop and psychedelic music is
> an interest of mine. As I understand it, psychedelic
> music and soft pop became seen as fairly incompatible
> some time _after_ '66,

The overlap is an interest of mine too.  But that's
partly because in the process of looking for soft pop,
psychedelia was unavoidable.  I think they're almost
inherently connected. 

I'm sure there were psychedelic music fans who stumbled
upon soft pop elements on some record they were hoping
would be "pure psychedelia" and were disappointed.  And I
suspect this still happens.

And I don't really blame them.  

But I think it was inevitable the two "genres" would get
mixed together. And maybe that's because I think that
psychedelia is almost too "narrow" and unspecific a genre
to totally stand on its own.  It's more a flavor than a
genre unto itself.

I mean, what was it?  An attempt to imitate a drug
experience? Maybe.  But it wasn't like there was a whole
array of interpretations. The drug experience became
associated with a fairly narrow palette of sounds and
studio tricks.

So you take a soft pop song, put some dreamy references
in the lyrics, add some echo to the choruses, play the
guitar solo backwards, make it twice as long as a normal
pop song, fade out for a really long time and voila,
you're psychedelic.

There's also the fact that "soft pop" harmonies
themselves were often used as a psychedelic "technique".

I don't collect psychedelic records per se.  I end up
with a few though. And even I have a few that don't sound
much like soft pop.  But still, they're basically
pop/rock records.

I also think, by the way, that "soft pop" itself is a
kind of hard to define genre.  The Association are pretty
different from The Free Design; they're much more a rock
band.  And some of their material - like on Birthday -
borders on psychedelia.

So any genre that includes those two bands is a little
vague to begin with.

 Which is fine with me.

The way I see it, there's the odd record that's "pure"
soft pop, the odd record that's pure psychedelia, but for
the most part they were each of them, just elements that
pop/rock bands of the time were fooling around with.  And
they showed up in lots of odd places, in lots of odd


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Message: 8
   Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 20:56:10 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Andrew Hickey 
Subject: Re: London's A Lonely Town

> On another note, has anyone heard Dave Edmunds' 
> "London's A Lonely Town...
> It is truly a fitting Tradwind tribute...JB

Yeah, that's a phenomenal track. For those who haven't
heard it this is Edmunds with the California Music
regulars (Boettcher, Johnston, Usher, Melcher, though
no Brian Wilson unlike the usual credits read),
redoing the Tradewinds track with appropriate lyric
changes - 'From Malibu to Picadilly's such a long
way/The cars all keep coming down the street the wrong
way' and so forth.

It was given a release on the Pebbles Vol IV - Surfin'
Tunes set, which seems to be only quasi-legal, but I
highly recommend it to surf/car song people. The CD is
mostly Usher, Sloan or Christian knock-off tracks by
bands like The Super Stocks, but also features stuff
like LSD-25 by the Gamblers (Bruce Johnston, Kim
Fowley, Sandy Nelson, Elliot Ingber and someone whose
name escapes me) and The Big Surfer by Brian Lord And
The Midnighters (an early Zappa track with Paul Buff).
Much of the CD is drivel ('there's a little old lady
just a little bit meaner/than the little old lady from
Pasadena' is a typical example) but there's a lot of
good stuff...

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

Message: 9
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 13:28:27 -0400
   From: "Jeff Lemlich" 

Who is performing "Small Town Bring Down" on this
compilation?  Is it the Tony Bruno Buddah single, or is
it actually Anders & Poncia doing this tune?

Thanks, Jeff Lemlich

"Robert Conway" wrote:
> Here is the only Anders and Poncia (Tradewinds, etc.)
> '60's best of CD that is currently available.  Pricey
> of course but worth it.  
> Best [IMPORT]
> Anders N Poncia
> Audio CD (May 12, 1999)
> Track Listings
> 1. Mind Excursion
> 2. Catch Me In The Meadow
> 3. Bad Misunderstanding
> 4. New York' S A Lonely Town
> 5. I Believe In Her
> 6. Only When I'm Dreamin
> 7. Small Town Bring Down

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

Message: 10
   Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 00:18:10 EDT
   From: Will George 
Subject: Re: Vinnie Poncia

He cowrote two of the better songs on Jackie DeShannon's
1974 LP "Your Baby Is A Lady." 

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

Message: 11
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 12:37:35 EDT
   From: James Botticelli 
Subject: Re: Mynd If I Have One?

In a message dated 10/21/01 spectropop writes:

> There's a 30 song Import Sequel Records compilation
> called Mynd Excursions: A journey thru the vaults of
> Kamasutra Records on cd.  It's really great.  6
> Tradewinds cuts, plus, The Vacels, The innocence, The
> Brooklyn Bridge, The Pendulum, The Myddle Class and
> more.

THIS is the one I want someone to burn for me!...I have
a nice compilation I put together for Ursula1000's
wedding present with a group of good soft things I would
trade: Below is the liszt: (e-mail me privately, JB)

Friends of Distinction      Can't Get You Out Of My Mind
The Millenium               5 AM
The Innocence               A Lifetime Loving You
Botho Lucas Chorus          Kuss Mich
Blades Of Grass             Just....Aaaah!
Fifth Dimension             Its A Great Life
Fleetwoods                  Mr Sandman
The Forum                   The River Is Wide
Ronny & The Daytonas        Nanci
Orpheus                     Lesley's World
The Match                   Don't Take Your Time
Les Masques                 Bal Chez Le Baron
Bola Sete                   Workin' On A Groovy Thing
Susan Rafey                 The Big Hurt
Mama's & Papa's             People Like Us
We Five                     Soon Its Gonna Rain
The Lettermen               Bright Elusive Butterfly
Spanky & Our Gang           Byrd Avenue
Sugar Shoppe                Privilege
Singers Unlimited           Chelsea Morning
Keith                       Mind If I Hang Around?
Gals & Pals                 Bossa Nova U.S.A.
Friends of Distinction      Its Sunday
Jefferson                   Montage
Novi Singers                It Doesn't Matter
Free Movement               I've Found Someone Of My Own
Fleetwoods                  Go Away Little Girl

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Message: 12
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 17:13:28 -0600
   From: "GSPECTOR" 
Subject: Re: the sow must go on

Hello All,

I will admit I was thinking the same thing and David in
the last newsletter. I found it hard to believe that he
actually meant "Sow".

There are 2 problems with the type that Mick may have

1- Gramatically, both words fit.
2- Mick has not posted a correction if one is needed.

>From the Keyboard of:
Gary Spector
Not just another P.S. Fan,
His son.

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

Message: 13
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 21:00:04 +0100 (BST)
   From: Mick Patrick 


Such a fuss over a lost consonant! I never dreamed anyone
would take my recent reference to Ronnie Spector as a
"sow" as anything other than a typographical error. Which
it WAS. The word I intended to use was, of course, "show".
So filled with nostalgia was I when composing the
offending missive that I neglected to proofread it before
clicking on the dreaded click button. And heck, I ain't
no skilled typist.

Anyhow, visitors to Patrick Towers this weekend included
my brother-in-law. In his youth he worked on a farm. He
reckons that the female pig, the sow, is a clean,
intelligent animal with admirable maternal instincts. In
fact, he recalled an incident when he went too near to a
sow's litter of new piglets and was bitten on the willy
for his trouble.


PS: I know all about the language barrier but, hey, I'm
>from Leicester and I understood perfectly every word and
joke in Rhoda. It is very frustrating when a joke has to
be explained so PLEASE think twice before complaining
about gratuitous reference to my brother-in-law's penis
in the final sentence above.

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

Message: 14
   Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 23:50:51 +0100
   From: "Phil Chapman" 
Subject: A Common Language


>Whoops!  Remember, Paul's British!  Talking about fannies
>in relation to this song will only confuse and embarrass

Yes, I had to re-word my reference to Ronnie's snatch of
"Paradise", for the same reasons:-)

Up until this thread I, too, always sang "..bust your
bonce..", as in break your skull open, which was the more
usual consequence of skateboarding on the pavement in 60s

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

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