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Spectropop - Digest Number 347




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                   Life is Sweeter with a Dansette Gem
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There are 12 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 347:

      1. Re: Spectropop
           From: "Paul Payton" 
      2. early Motown CDs
           From: Al Quaglieri 
      3. Velvs & R. Dean
           From: "Ian Chapman" 
      4. Re: CD Towers
           From: "Robert Conway" 
      5. THE TAMMYS
           From: Doc Rock 
      6. Darlene or Edna?
           From: "Don Charles" 
      7. PIXIES THREE COMPILATION
           From: "Justin McDevitt" 
      8. Re: early Motown CDs
           From: "Vincent Degiorgio" 
      9. Sam's Flagship Store to stay open
           From: "Vincent Degiorgio" 
     10. Re: early Motown CDs
           From: "John Lester" 
     11. Re: Velvs & R. Dean
           From: "John Lester" 
     12. Re: Darlene or Edna?
           From: "John Lester" 


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Message: 1
   Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 10:52:48 -0500
   From: "Paul Payton" 
Subject: Re: Spectropop

Re: the Brian Wilson article - so good that it's worth
printing out and saving. Thanks, Peter!

A couple of notes to Javed: last I heard, the Mad Peck was
still living in Providence, RI. His "Providence"
postcard/poster has become a classic. I don't know if it's
common knowledge that Robot A. Hull was originally Robert
Hull who started out at WBRU in Providence, my alma mater.

Re: hair - my two strands worth: if they looked scruffy,
like "real" "hippie hair," they probably had progressive
creds. If they looked like they used hairspray, or had a
"convertible" hairstyle - combable into conservative for
weekdays, combed down on weekends, they were probably
softer. We'd derisively call 'em "weekend hippies."
Exceptions abound, as always. I wish I still had the hair
to grow! This stuff used to be really important to me back
when I was in a band and credibility was an issue; now
it's just about the music. (BTW, the band was "Benefit
Street," working out of Rhode Island from 1969-71. Many of
our demos were played on WBRU's 20,000 watts, which made
it seem like we had an album out - but we didn't. The
thought of issuing them has periodically crossed my mind,
however. And although we thought ourselves to be "real"
hippies, we were quite melodic.)

Re: personal taste - the Chi-Lites' "Have You Seen Her?"
is my personal fave, and to me their most honest song. I
like "Oh, Girl," but then I lose them - as someone said,
EVERYONE is on this list, and so is their wide range of
tastes. On the other end, I question our deep foray into
The Lettermen, who, for the most part after "The Way You
Look Tonight," are a Las Vegas club act. Then again, even
Vegas acts have their moments - i.e. Wayne Newton, never
my favorite, did "Comin' On Too Strong," "Once Upon A Time,"
and the amazing doo-wop "The Real Thing" (a couple of
years before "Danke Schoen"). There's also some very early
rockabilly he did with his brothers; I've heard one track
and it was surprisingly good and credible. I'm certainly
not trying to choke off discussion on any topic, but I do
skip over some of the posts on the above - and I'm sure
plenty of you skip over some of mine! :-)

Billy G. Spradlin writes: "Actually I have always liked
"Where Did our Love Go" (BTW count how many times they
sing "Baby Baby")[.]" Check out Josie 45-927: Bassett Hand,
"In Detroit"/"Youm" (1965). A-side is a loping jazzy
instrumental, with a "Baby baby" quote as the only vocal.
"B-side sounds like the instrumental track to a
Beach-Boysesque surf or hotrod record; there are hints of
a suppressed lead vocal and some neat background vocals,
"youm" being one of the hook syllables. Both sides of the
record are written and produced by
Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer later a/k/a The Strangeloves.
Bassett Hand was their frequent arranger on many of their
productions. Does anyone know if he was a real person or a
made-up concoction? (Remember, FGG asked us to believe
that the Strangeloves were Miles, Giles and Niles Strange!)

Closing for now with my pick for best Velvelettes track:
"You'll Never Cherish A Love So True (Until You Lose It)."
Killer drum fill with a rimshot that'll make your day!

Country Paul


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Message: 2
   Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 11:39:01 -0500
   From: Al Quaglieri 
Subject: early Motown CDs

Billy G. Spradlin wrote:

> Motown did a lousy job of remastering their catalog for
> CD in the 80's and those remasters have been used on
> countless CD compilations all over the world and on
> radio. I think the guy who mastered most of thier
> material (John Matousek) didnt have a clue what a
> "first generation" master tape was.

You can't blame all that on Matousek.

The real factors: 
1. Motown's tapes were in disarray, poorly catalogued,
many many unmarked boxes. 
2. Motown didn't have a clue how to treat the history
within its catalogue. At the label's heyday,
hastily-tossed-together albums and compilations were the
rule, with few exceptions. They really didn't grow out of
that mindset until Amy Herot took over catalog in the
early '90s. 
3. Early digital studio technology was generally unkind
to the ears. 
4. By the '80s, a lot of Motown's "fist generation
masters" were either lost or unplayable due to overuse.

I got to work with the Motown masters around 1994-96. By
then Amy and librarian David Moss had made some sense of
what years of neglect and a few unfortunate years of some
arcane filing system MCA had imposed on the tapes during
their brief stewardship of the label. I did a few single
artist titles (Commodores, Rare Earth), but the most fun
was a series called THE SOUND OF YOUNG AMERICA: MOTOWN
YEAR BY YEAR. Allowed unfettered access to the tapes and
a generous lead time, I was able to find a lot of
early-generation tapes that hadn't been chewed to death
or touched in years. All tracks were stereo versions
where available. We were only able to get a dozen or so
volumes out (from a planned 35) before Motown closed down
its west coast catalog division. I think the existing
volumes hold up quite nicely, if you can find them,
especially the '60s years.

After the catalog division was dismantled, we were all
very lucky that Harry Weinger picked up the ball for
Polygram/Universal. Harry's research and work on the
Motown catalogue is exemplary, and just keeps getting
better and better (the recent Four Tops box and the
Marvin/Tammy set are must-haves). I believe, though, that
the company is still licensing material to overseas
divisions, and that this stuff is being compiled without
Weinger's assistance. This material is of variable
quality, often using same old-same old 8th generation
copies of stuff that Weinger could easily find better
sources, so buyer beware.

A lingering question from my brief Motown tenure: it was
common knowledge at the company that in the old days,
they used to send actual mixdown masters (NOT production
copies) directly to RCA Indianapolis for pressing. I
volunteered repeatedly to trek there to recover this
material, but no one ever took me up on it. I wonder to
this day how much is still languishing about - poorly
identified - in RCA's vaults.

Al Q.


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Message: 3
   Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 02:00:37 -0000
   From: "Ian Chapman" 
Subject: Velvs & R. Dean

John tantalised:

>I just thought of a way to get an invite to people's
>gatherings.....including YOURS!!! I have the Velvelettes 
> performance on Where The Action Is....

John, you can come to one of my gatherings ANYTIME!!
Assuming you'd actually turn up :-) Thanks for those
great stories about the Velvs and other Motown people.
Keep 'em coming!  Fascinating stuff - it certainly made a
few things fall into place: when the unissued Motown
tapes were first in circulation years ago (and at the
time not officially identified), I was never totally
convinced that "Love Is Good" was the Velvelettes - there
was something just not quite right about the vocal.  So
now we know - Cal was holding her nose!! Brilliant!!

I've heard their version of "(We've Got) Honey Love" and
I think it's better than the Vandellas, even though, if
memory serves, it sounds like the same backing track (?) 
Any hope, d'you think, of it and those other unissued
tracks surfacing in the near future?

Let me just put in my bit about R. Dean Taylor.  I loved
the CD - I've been hoping for years that the fab "Just
Like In The Movies" would get a legit release.  "My
Ladybug, Stay Away From That Beatle"?  It's great!  The
intro alone is a cross between "Heatwave" and "When The
Lovelight Starts Shining". Other than that, I've
personally always had a soft spot for "Don't Fool Around"
(the Andantes at their best - well, apart from Barbara
McNair's "Baby A Go-Go", that is).  And thanks for
clearing up who duetted with him on "Let's Go Somewhere"
- that's bugged me for years.

I do recall hearing an interview with R. Dean where he
was talking about being present at the session for the
Vandellas "Nowhere To Run".  He said the H-D-H wanted a
special percussion effect for the intro, "so there we
were, shaking these bloody great car tyre chains". 
Always thought it was nice how he tailored his words for
the British listeners!

Ian


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Message: 4
   Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 12:36:59 -0600
   From: "Robert Conway" 
Subject: Re: CD Towers

I very much enjoyed reading about the CDs that some of
you have in your towers.  I saw some titles that are
quite interesting and some artists that are available
via alternative labels.  I always enjoy this type of
information as well as lists of fave Beach Boys' covers,
etc.  Please don't be shy.  We all can learn a thing or
two so please keep 'em coming.

In my home office I have a bookshelf that I refer to as
the holding area when all newly purchased CDs are
stored.  On my office desk I have an orange crate (an
encomium to my college days) tower that holds my
rotation CDs--40 or so older CDs plus my faves from
recent purchases:

Barenaked Ladies "Gr. Hits"--"You Can Be My Yoko Ono" is
wonderful
C. Boettcher "Innocent Face"
L. Buckingham "Out of the Cradle" (contains some great
melodic pop)
Byrds "Preflyte" on Sundazed
Enya "Day without Rain"
J. Foskett  "Best of"
Four Evers compilation
Free Design  "Cosmic Peekaboo"
new John Hiatt
Elton John  "...West Coast"  I almost gave up on this
guy. A GREAT CD.
Izzy K.
new Carole King
Dianna Krall "Look of Love"
(John Blakely)/Jeff Larson "Daytrips"
Jeff Larson "Watercolor Sky"
Jamie Lawwrence "There Is Love"
Christy McWilson  "The Lucky One"
Mina  "Gold"
The Negro Problem  "Post Minstrel Syndrome"
Sally Oldfield...double best of
Os Mutantes
Orpheus  "Best"
Saint Etienne  "Smash the System--Singles"
Skydiggers  first and second LPs on CD
Steve and Eydie "Best" (solo/duo--Columbia sides with
G./King stuff
Swing Out Sister "Millenium Collection"
Wondermints--all three CDs
Various UK artists--"Goin' Back:  Songs of Goffin King"
ST "I Am Sam"


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Message: 5
   Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 09:19:01 -0500
   From: Doc Rock 
Subject: THE TAMMYS

EGYPTIAN SHUMBA 
Easily my all-time favorite single!


Doc


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Message: 6
   Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 18:26:57 +0000
   From: "Don Charles" 
Subject: Darlene or Edna?

Again I ask:  Who is the female duet voice on The
Checkmates, Ltd's version of "Proud Mary?"  Is it Darlene
Love or her sister, Edna Wright?

Don Charles


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


Message: 7
   Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 23:10:31 -0600
   From: "Justin McDevitt" 
Subject: PIXIES THREE COMPILATION

Is there a Pixies Three CD compilation that is still in
print (I would assume as a Japanese import)?  

I am putting together a Girl Group CD to include the
track Cold Cold Winter.

I would appreciate any assistance.

Justin


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


Message: 8
   Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 00:04:59 -0500
   From: "Vincent Degiorgio" 
Subject: Re: early Motown CDs

Al Quaglieri wrote:

> A lingering question from my brief Motown tenure: it was
> common knowledge at the company that in the old days,
> they used to send actual mixdown masters (NOT production
> copies) directly to RCA Indianapolis for pressing. I
> volunteered repeatedly to trek there to recover this
> material, but no one ever took me up on it. I wonder to
> this day how much is still languishing about - poorly
> identified - in RCA's vaults.
>
> Al Q.

I worked for BMG for 10 years, the last five ending in
June at RCA NY. They couldn't find much there for me, so
the Motown stuff and its actual settling place could be
another untold story.

Vince


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


Message: 9
   Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 00:57:55 -0500
   From: "Vincent Degiorgio" 
Subject: Sam's Flagship Store to stay open

All of you catalogue lovers will be happy to know that
Sam The Record Man's flagship store in Toronto will
remain open. Sam Sniderman's sons, Bob and Jason, will
operate it.

Let's wish them luck...


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


Message: 10
   Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 08:19:23 -0000
   From: "John Lester" 
Subject: Re: early Motown CDs

I would like to respond to Al's note.

I can assure everyone here that Harry Weinger makes sure
that he knows what is going on as far as Motown releases
are concerned.....and that is anywhere in the Western
world....buyers can rest assured that the days of poor
quality reproduction are now, thankfully, long gone. 
Yeah, there might have been exceptions in his tenure but
Harry is on the ball now and has been for some time.

It was very pleasing to hear some nice things said about
Amy Herot.....and the Year by Year series.......

Al Quaglieri wrote:

> Motown didn't have a clue how to treat the history
> within its catalogue. At the label's heyday,
> hastily-tossed-together albums and compilations were
> the rule, with few exceptions. They really didn't
> grow out of that mindset until Amy Herot took over
> catalog in the early '90s. 
> 
> ...the most fun was a series called THE SOUND OF
> YOUNG AMERICA: MOTOWN YEAR BY YEAR. Allowed
> unfettered access to the tapes and a generous lead
> time, I was able to find a lot of early-generation
> tapes that hadn't been chewed to death or touched in
> years. I think the existing volumes hold up quite
> nicely, if you can find them, especially the '60s
> years.
> 
> After the catalog division was dismantled, we were
> all very lucky that Harry Weinger picked up the ball
> for Polygram/Universal. I believe, though, that the
> company is still licensing material to overseas
> divisions, and that this stuff is being compiled
> without Weinger's assistance. This material is of
> variable quality, often using same old-same old 8th
> generation copies of stuff that Weinger could easily
> find better sources, so buyer beware.


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


Message: 11
   Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 08:43:20 -0000
   From: "John Lester" 
Subject: Re: Velvs & R. Dean

Ian Chapman wrote:

> I was never totally convinced that "Love Is Good" was
> the Velvelettes - there was something just not quite
> right about the vocal.  So now we know - Cal was
> holding her nose!! Brilliant!!

Love is Good - I have a picture of Cal just at the point
when she finished pinching her nose singing along to Love
Is Good....and she looks fine.  I can send it to you if
you want.  Pity I didn't have a video camera to show you
her demonstrating the dance steps to Bird In The Hand -
that was typical Motown choreography.  Cal is such a
wonderful lady, I feel really privileged when she calls
me her friend...I know you guys know I have worshipped
her for the past (cough cough) years.

>  I've heard their version of "(We've Got) Honey Love"
> and I think it's better than the Vandellas, even
> though, if memory serves, it sounds like the same
> backing track (?) Any hope, d'you think, of it and
> those other unissued tracks surfacing in the near
> future?

I have to say (biased that I am) that Cal seems to put
more into "Honey Love" than Martha, and the same applies
to "Twilite Time" - Martha does this latter one too and
she does not shine at all.  Anyway, I want to mention
these two cos you, Mick and the rest can sort this one
out.  Those two tracks were demo'd by some group called
the Shivelles.  Who the heck are they?  Cal and Martha
were dubbed onto them later.

The Velvelettes "Honey Love" is one of those songs that
was being saved for Motown Treasures Volume 2....trouble
is, I am not sure that Motown Treasures Volume 1 sold
enuff for the powers that be, to guarantee another one. 
Too many people these days are burning Cd's and that
means follow-ups are not always forthcoming.

In case I forget Ian, remind me to urge you to get the
Marvelettes Millennium but I need to tell you why. For
the time being, I need to concentrate on one subject at a
time though.

> And thanks for clearing up who duetted with him on
> "Let's Go Somewhere" - that's bugged me for years.

Let's Go Somewhere - I asked Harry to check this one up
years ago - its clearly Kim to my ears and you can always
pick out that harmony of the Andantes.  However,
documented records only point to "VOICES"...well as
everyone knows, voices can be anybody and it is well
known that anyone who was in the studio or even in the
corner shop buying a newspaper got roped in to add
handclaps, scream, make the coffee or just clean the
studio floor!!!  So its hard to be certain, I offered an
opinion and if anyone wants to challenge it, fire away. 
Wasn't it amazing to get that track in stereo and hear
additional backing vocals on the Andantes!

> I do recall hearing an interview with R. Dean where he
> was talking about being present at the session for the
> Vandellas "Nowhere To Run".  He said the H-D-H wanted
> a special percussion effect for the intro, "so there
> we were, shaking these bloody great car tyre chains". 

That chains story might have been on the Top Ten Story in
Sound that was on the radio in about 12 parts. It needs
pulling out, playing again and reminding ourselves. I
love the story from Jimmy Ruffin waiting to see if his
version of "What becomes Of The Brokenhearted" would get
the release after finding out that La Ross had been given
the song to record. 


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Message: 12
   Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 08:52:46 -0000
   From: "John Lester" 
Subject: Re: Darlene or Edna?

Don Charles wrote:

> Who is the female duet voice on The Checkmates, Ltd's
> version of "Proud Mary?"  Is it Darlene Love or her
> sister, Edna Wright?

Don

I listened for you, and I can normally pick out Edna but I
just couldn't...I assume you mean the chorus...Rolling
Rolling rolling down the river....there's too much going
on.

It made me realise in those days we were spoilt for
choice for wonderful music. I took the opportunity to
play the whole of that CD album - and I still think that
Hair suite is wonderful....(sorry Mick!!!)....


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


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