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Spectropop - Digest Number 278


                  
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           Viva-tonal Recording - The Records without Scratch
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There are 10 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 278:

      1. doo lang, doo lang and so forth
           From: Jack Madani 
      2. Phil and Brian
           From: Tom Simon 
      3. Fw: Intentionally Deleted
           By: "Spectropop Administration" 
      4. Carole King and Barry Mann demos
           From: Peter van Dam 
      5. Re: Nashville 60s pop
           From: Will George 
      6. the vogues, etc.
           From: Carol Kaye 
      7. A Different Drum
           From: LePageWeb 
      8. The Gary Sound
           From: Alan Zweig 
      9. Re: 'Look for a Star'
           From: "Peter Lerner" 
     10. The Third Rail
           From: "Guy Lawrence" 


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Message: 1
   Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 02:25:59 -0000
   From: Jack Madani 
Subject: doo lang, doo lang and so forth

For years I've carefully held close to my heaving breast
a vinyl compilation from 1984, called "Where The Girls
Are."  I happened to stumble upon it in a cutout bin back
in '84, back in the days when all I knew about girl
groups was what I heard on the oldies station.  And this
album had like NOBODY at ALL on it that I knew of, save
for the final track (Our Day Will Come, by Ruby & The
Romantics).  But I bought it anyway, because it also
included Revolution, by Rachel & The Revolvers--the first
non-Beach Boys production by Brian Wilson that I had ever
heard.

When I got it home, I put it on the turntable and
proceeded to have my mind completely blown.  Track after
track was pure geeeeenius, absolutely pure gold--and I
had never heard of these recordings before!  Well, I sed
to meself, there MUST be more of this sort of thing out
there--and thus began my love affair with obscure
girlgroup recordings.  Thus also began my love affair
with faux-Spector, because amongst the many magnificent
tracks was one Baby That's Me, by The Cake.  Oh, momma!

Anyhoo, the amazing thing about this album is that out of
the 15 new-to-me tracks, I think that only ONE has since
ever shown up on a legit cd compilation (Let's Break Up
For Awhile, by The Sapphires).  A couple others have
shown up on gray-area issues, but that's it.

So I finally got around to transferring the album to
digital so's I could enjoy it more than once a year (yipe!
what if I scratched it?), and while doing so I sat
looking at the back of the record jacket, and guess whose
name is listed under the liner notes as well as under the
"compiled by"?  Our own Mick Patrick.  Attaguy, fella!

And finally, to the TRUE point of this post:

There are a couple of songs on Where The Girls Are (the
vinyl version) that just kill me because of the backing
vocal chants.  One, It Hurts To Be Sixteen by Barbara
Chandler, has the girls singing "ratta tang ratta tang
sh-tang sh-tang."  Another tune, "You Better Leave Him
Alone" by The Ginger Snaps featuring Dandee Dawson, is
actually subtitled "The Sh-Down Down Song."  You can
guess what THOSE girls are singing in the background.

Re-listening to these songs got me to thinking about all
the crazy, wacked-out spectropoppish tunes that I have
loved over the years that have similarly bizarre backing
vocal chants.  Doo-lang doo-lang, bop- shoo-bop, hey-la
hey-la, buppee-ah-oo, lang lang lang lang, and so forth. 
And I'm not talking about those hey mister bassman
fifties versions--for some reason, those male rama lama
ding dongs don't stir my heart the same way they do when
they're sung by a trio of gum- snapping high school
cuties.

What kind of warped genius does it take to come up with
these pearls of wisdom, and are there some individuals
who seemed to be particular masterful at this special
task?  Personally, I have to imagine that The Tammys
would come in for Special Mention in this category.

jack "shoop shoop" madani


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Message: 2
   Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 17:07:24 -0600
   From: Tom Simon 
Subject: Phil and Brian

At 10:42 AM 10/27/2001, you wrote:

>Someone sent me this link - A revealing, sometimes
>hilarious audio/video interview with Brian Wilson.
>
>"So what music have you been listening to lately, Brian?"
>"Phil Spector....."
>
>You gotta check this out!

I remember reading in Brian Wilson's autobiography
several years ago that he was a big fan Phil Spector's
music. At one point, Brian says he told Spector that the
best record ever was "Be My Baby," to which Phil
supposedly replied that his favorite was "And Then He
Kissed Me."

Tom Simon


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Message: 3
   INTENTIONALLY DELETED
   By: Spectropop Administration


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Message: 4
   Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 09:56:18 -0000
   From: Peter van Dam 
Subject: Carole King and Barry Mann demos

Hi folks,
Could somebody provide adress to catch the CDs with
Carole King and Barry Mann demo material.

If somebody willing to burn a copy for me, lots of
vintage stuff of Van Morrison.

Did someone tape the recent documentary on the Brill
Building writers, as this was only seen on American TV.

Thanks a lot for your reply,

Peter van Dam
P.O.BOX 73925
2507 AK Den Haag
Netherlands
vandampeter@hetnet.nl 


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Message: 5
   Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 11:41:54 EDT
   From: Will George 
Subject: Re: Nashville 60s pop

Don't forget Skeeter Davis!


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Message: 6
   Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 11:26:59 -0700
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: the vogues, etc.

> did you play bass on 'You're The One"??

Yes, on bass, tons of dates in my log for the Vogues.

Kingsley is right....all the studio musicians were
constantly adjusting for not only the studio mikes,
styles of music, the sounds the arranger and/or producer
usually liked, but also what we thought was appropo in
our playing - that's why we were the "clique", the 50-60
of us who did most of the record dates (out of the pool
of 350-400 hard-working regular studio musicians)....the
sounds were built around the tune, the singer, and all
these other variables.

You get good at what you do when you do it 6-16 hours a
day, year after year etc.  Earl Palmer's book of
"Backbeat...the Earl Palmer Story" has some in there
about that too.

In rhythm sections especially we could all get the
sounds required of us, and sound like anyone in any
style we wanted to.  That's why on some dates, they'd
play a demo of the kind of style and sounds they wanted,
no problem - if they didn't have an arrangement or any
written music, we could all easily write out the chords
on blank music as the demo was played 1 or 2x too, no
problem and quickly figure out what to play as our own
role, no-one "led the way" at all except what the
producer expressed what he wanted.......we all worked as
separate entities  in our instrumentation roles.  Later
on as dates were more arranged in the 60s, the arranger
became the "leader" etc.

I think it blows people away when they find out that a
black musician can play hard-rock like a white guy and a
white musician can play the lowest funkiest music like a
black guy too.....we were always constantly doing that
every day, no problem.  Even Plas Johnson did some of
the corniest famous chicken-sax solos and then told the
producers "not to put his name on the recording" as he
didn't want to get known for that. Other stories like
that with us all.

Carol Kaye   http://www.carolkaye.com/


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Message: 7
   Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 23:28:45 +0900
   From: LePageWeb 
Subject: A Different Drum

Kingsley wrote:

> [Hal Blaine:] "With Phil it was a bigger band, so I
> had a higher snare designed to cut through the rest."
>
> Hal therefore did vary his tuning, and there may
> have been some other natural variations between the
> different sets that he had at Gold Star and Western
> as well as possible miking (and mike) differences. 
> It's hard to imagine that such wonderful
> professionals like Hal and Carol didn't almost
> automatically make adjustments to fit the feel of
> the recordings they were involved with. 

It's *impossible* to imagine, Kingsley, especially if
you've heard the SOT sessions where they are making
adjustments right on the spot!

On the other hand, when Mark Tilley wrote he'd bet Hal
Blaine was the drummer on Dum Dum Ditty, I thought
"Yes...but it sounds more like someone affecting that
style" was cooler than just taking his money. I mean, I
understood what Mark was saying - the drumming does
feature a lot of fills not dissimilar to those we all
associate with Hal Blaine, even though it's not Blaine 
himself.

OK - I could be wrong here - maybe Mike and Jerry
actually did give crazy George the budget to fly out to
the West Coast, book Western, hire all the "A" cats and
cut the first single on the Goodies (who?) - and maybe
at the session Hal and everyone then intentionally
altered their sound on the date to get that groovy "Long
Island" sound. I wouldn't bet on it, though (although
maybe Goldner would).

----

Still, I definitely don't want anyone to confuse the
Shadow Morton date with the important distinction Carol
made - the "clique" did NOT sound the same on every
record. That's for sure.

Take the Gary Lewis recordings for instance. The drums on
the Snuff sessions (arr. Leon Russell) have a tighter,
more defined sound than do the drums on "Happiness" (prod.
Gary Klein arr. Nitzsche). But even though Happiness has
the "bigger band" drum sound, Blaine's drumming there is
still more restrained than a typical Spectorian date, as
if he was intentionally holding back in an attempt to
keep some consistency between the earlier "small combo"
sound that Leon got and the Spectorian "bigger band"
sound Nitzsche was going for.

Intentional or not, by the time of Happiness, there was
apparently no need to maintain the illusion that the
Playboys were actually playing on their records.
Happiness sounds like a full blown Spector Xmas date! OK,
it's true that the Monkees caught flak for not playing
their instruments around then, but I think the Monkees
thing was more because they didn't play at their live
shows. I'm pretty sure GL & the Playboys actually did go
out and perform at places like the Tomorrowland Terrace
Stage, even though their live sound had nada to do with
how Gary's hits were made. If you think about it, Tommy
Garrett could have easily recorded Brian Hyland or Bobby
Vee on This Diamond Ring and probably had the same hit.
The track is suitable for either. If Garrett had a
specific "pop" style as a producer, I would say these
three artists best exemplified it.

Billy Spradlin on "Happiness":

> The back cover of "Listen!" credits "Producer: Gary
> Klein, A Product of Koppleman-Rubin Associates" dont
> know anything about him. Any relation to (the
> infamous) Allen?

I don't know much about Gary except that he's a great
guy. Gary wrote the immortal "Bobby's Girl" and a bunch
of other songs, worked with Koppleman/Rubin, and ended up
at one of the majors after Koppleman and Rubin sold. I
think he produced a Janis Ian album too - maybe Restless
Eyes.

No blood relation to Allen and Betty, methinks, but I am
interested to learn more about Gary's career if anyone
can help out.

Jamie


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Message: 8
   Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 14:51:14 -0400
   From: Alan Zweig 
Subject: The Gary Sound

"Mike Arcidiacono"wrote:

>Carol's comments are right on...Hal could sound VERY
>diferent when need be. For instance, on the Gary Lewis
>records, he doesnt play like Hal at all...he seems to
>intentionally downgrade his playing to appear simpler and
>more basic....as Gary would have sounded.  On the
>Playboys records,  Hal repeats the famous triplet roll
>from snare to small tom on many of the fills. This helped
>define the Gary Lewis sound,

I agree that there is (sort of) a Gary Lewis sound. But
this begs the question "where did that sound come from?"
I don't think it came from Gary but if Hal Blaine changed
his sound to achieve the Gary Lewis sound, then clearly
he was working in service of another vision.

I have tremendous respect for the session musicians of
that era but sometimes the discussions about them - on
this list and elsewhere - remind me a bit of talking
about the (talented) crew members on films. The key crew
members make tremendous contributions and some of them
have become semi-famous in their own rights.  But the
various films they worked on, were quite different.

Their job was to serve a vision, not create one. Anyway,
anyone have any idea how the Gary Lewis sound was arrived
at.  It had something to do with his voice.

His records really don't sound like anyone else's.

They resemble a lot of others but you always know it's
him.

AZ 


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Message: 9
   Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 17:24:38 -0000
   From: "Peter Lerner" 
Subject: Re: 'Look for a Star'

> > ...Buzz Cason (the writer of Everlasting Love) aka Gary
> > Miles, doing 'Look for a Star'
>
> Wow! I didn't know that! So who was Gary MILLS, who also
> had a hit record with the same song? 

Gary MILLS was British and had the UK hit with Look for a
Star on Top Rank. Methinks this was the original, and
Buzz changed his name to Gary MILES for this record to
cash in. I have a nice version of the song on Liberty by
Vicki Vote. So who was she?

Peter


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Message: 10
   Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 12:22:00 -0000
   From: "Guy Lawrence" 
Subject: The Third Rail

Hi everyone!

Yep, the Revola reissue of the Third Rails "Id Music"
contained several bonus tracks, mopping up all their
non-lp tracks except "Beggin' Me To Stay". These included
some of the best stuff released under the Third Rail name,
especially the truly amazing "She Ain't No Choirgirl"
which sounds like a psychedelic Detergents! 

The moral of this story is - dont lend anyone your
precious CDs! Someone borrowed my copy about three years
ago and I never got it back. Since Creation records (of
which Revola was a spin-off) ceased trading a couple of
years ago all the Revola releases have been deleted. I
checked with their U.K. distributor and they knew nothing
of them.

Regards,

Guy Lawrence.


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