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Spectropop - Digest Number 395





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______________        S  P  E  C  T  R  O  P  O  P        ______________
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                The original hits by the original artists
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There are 14 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 395:

      1. LeGrand Mellon, other notes
           From: "Paul Payton" 
      2. Straight goes Psyche  and 60s Bee Gees
           From: Jon Cook 
      3. Re: John Simon
           From: Stephane Rebeschini 
      4. Re: Turtles Anthology
           From: David Goodwin 
      5. Re: Isleys - 04 Seasons posting - Association Reissue
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 
      6. Speaking of the Turtles and the Four Seasons
           From: Mark Frumento 
      7. Motorcycle Michael
           From: Carole Gibson 
      8. Re: Turtles Anthology
           From: "Mike Arcidiacono" 
      9. Re: Surfer Dan/Four Seasons
           From: Stewart Mason 
     10. The Rokes
           From: "Javed Jafri" 
     11. Upcoming Dale And Grace interview show
           From: Ronnie Allen 
     12. RE: Motorcycle Michael
           From: Jan Kristen Kristensen 
     13. RE --The Tokens
           From: Michael Rashkow 
     14. Recent Tokens releases
           From: "Kingsley Abbott" 


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Message: 1
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 17:25:16 -0500
   From: "Paul Payton" 
Subject: LeGrand Mellon, other notes

Jason Penick writes:
> 
> 1966 Columbia Records artist Le Grand Mellon ... they
> released three 45's for Columbia in '66, including a
> version of "Baby, Please Don't Go".  I've never heard
> any of these, but I must admit they have a very
> intriguing name for '66.  Makes me speculate they
> might have been some sort of early proto-psych outfit....

Surprise, Jason - LeGrand Mellon is one person -
something of a babe, judging by the promotional b&w
picture sleeve. I've actually got two of the three 45's
Jason knows about; being a completist, I kept anything by
an artist if I liked one thing by the artist. The
pic-sleeve liner notes in toto:

"What's in a name? In this name lives a warm, exciting
and completely delightful young lady who sings like a
dream, and, as you can see, is classic in her beauty.
LeGrand's background encompasses studies in arranging and
composing, extensive dramatic experience and a career as
a professional photographer. 'She has never sung
before'...a statement you will find hard to believe after
you've heard her first Columbia recording. We think we
have something special in LeGrand Mellon...what do you
think?"

I think she's got a pleasant, but one-dimensional voice,
with one track in four worth hearing. Both 45's are on
Columbia, produced by Teo Macero, better known as a jazz
and MOR-pop guy:

4-43528 (both sides arr: Dick Hyman) - 
Growin' My Own (wr. F. Huddleston-A. Rinker): light
cha-cha/bossa nova in the Astrid Gilberto mold, very
pleasantly catchy; this was LeG's one dimension. But the
lyrics!! See below; groovy, baby!

- Everybody but Me (wr. F. Huddleston-D. Williams): slick
forgettable 6/8 pop a la Dean Martin's lugubrious
"Everybody Loves Somebody" with nods to Patsy Cline
(forgive me, Patsy) and Lesley Gore's double-tracking.

4-43655
- Summertime (wr: Heywood-Gershwin): done with a 5/4 jazzy
feel; instantly forgettable.
- Baby Please Don't Go (wr. J. Williams): lightweight,
pretty awful attempt at trying to be supper-club-style
"with it."

The lyrics to "Growin' My Own" speak for themselves:

"Growin' my own, happy little pot-plant time,
daffodils and daisies in their prime
multiply my supply

Growin' my own, in my swingin' nursery
All the little posies pose for me
While I toil in the soil

Nobody knows how my little groovy garden grows
Sweet peas are singing tweedledee
What a crazy green thumb - tweedledum

Growin' my own, digging up the wild legumes
Trying to figure out each sprout that blooms
While I sod me a pod
While I rig me a spring
While I weed me a seed
While I chop me a crop
While I groom me a bloom
Growin' my own."

It certainly was a different era.

Some quick notes:

Dan Hughes wrote:

> [T]hose were the Diamonds.  After several head and 
> handle replacements.

As they said in the hippie days, "Check your source."
Having seen too many of George Washington's axes, I
always do.

Re: The Tokens: their website, www.thetokens.com, has a
decent quantity of their material available, including
"Intercourse." They had at least one LP as "Cross
Country" on Atco, plus Tokens LP's on B.T. Puppy and
Warner Brothers, which gets into their later period. Be
careful to put "the" in front of their name, lest you
wind up at a numismatic website.

Mark Frumento writes:

> 
The first 3 to 4 Bee Gees albums are GREAT pop records
(of course many will argue they continued to be great a
pop act long after that. But these earlier records
really proved their creative song writing abilities,
their inventiveness and a knack for memorable melodies.)

Agreed. But they wisely opted to be the "first Bee Gees"
instead of the "second Beatles."

Ronnie Allen: I remember the existence of Miss Frankie
Nolan, but know nothing about her. However, in
searching for LeGrand Mellon, I tripped over an old
fave, Kevin McQuinn's "Every Step of the Way," the
first 45 on Diamond, and produced by Bob Crewe. Very
cool record! It too got serious airplay on WABC, but
would up peaking at the bottom of the national charts.

Okay, your turn now....
Country Paul


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Message: 2
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 17:18:07 EST
   From: Jon Cook 
Subject: Straight goes Psyche  and 60s Bee Gees

Glad to see someone else interested in this! I posted
about this subject a while back and got a collective
yawn in response- guess it's all about timing. I love
the Genuine Imitation Life album and the Watertown
record, too. Some other one that are great are Of
Cabbages and Kings (Chad/Jeremy) and Inner Views (Sonny
Bono). 

As to 60s Bee Gees - Is there any definitive list of
the songs the wrote for others? Pre-1970 I mean. The
best I've heard so far is 'Cowman, Milk Your Cow' which
was given to Adam Faith. Definitely another case of
Straight Goes Psyche. 

Anyone heard Abyssinian Secret by Cilla Black? I would
love to hear more discussion on this subject!

Jon


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Message: 3
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 20:57:54 +0100
   From: Stephane Rebeschini 
Subject: Re: John Simon

> Harvey Williams wrote:
> 
> > Did John Simon release any other solo records 
> > around this time?

Paul Payton wrote:

> Never saw the movie but he was a producer of
> significant note in the 60's. Can anyone offer more
> about him and his productions?
> 
------------------
Productions: Blood, Sweat and Tears, Brute Force LP,
Leonard Cohen...plus the first LPs of The Band and many
more.

Soundtracks: "You Are What You Eat", LAST SUMMER ...

Solo LP :  JOHN SIMON'S ALBUM (Warner WS 1849) 1971, but
unfortunately it's not good at all, IMHO, although the
musicians are excellent: Danko, Manuel and Hudson of The
Band, John Hall, Leon Russell, Faryar, Harvey Brooks...

Stephane


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Message: 4
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 15:41:52 -0600
   From: David Goodwin 
Subject: Re: Turtles Anthology

> Add to that "Cat In the Window" which I believe has
> either never been on CD or has not been for some
> time. Add great sound and a wonderful booklet and
> you have a nearly perfect package.

Not quite true, and this bears home my big problem with
the set. Essentially, if you own the easily-obtainable
Repertoire version of the Turtles catelogue, you *have
everything on this set*, except for the two
previously-unreleased tracks. That they couldn't unearth
more than two rarities is kind of disappointing. 

I know the set isn't geared towards Turtles fanatics,
but c'mon...while the Grass Roots and the Association
needed the Anthologizing treatment (as their albums are
either hard to find or unavailible, and don't
necessarily sound all that great) the Turtles stuff is
all easily availible and lovingly remastered...

-D


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Message: 5
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 20:38:01 -0000
   From: Billy G. Spradlin 
Subject: Re: Isleys - 04 Seasons posting - Association Reissue

> John Lester wrote:

> Response:
> 
> I guess the likes of Holland Dozier Holland and Ivy
> Hunter are second rate producers then as are second rate
> songs in the guise of I Heard It Thru The Grapevine,
> Behind A Painted Smile and This Old Heart Of Mine.  Jeez!

You're right - a lot of 60's groups would have killed to
get thier hands on those songs and productions. But lets
face it - those songs were pure Motown Formula and could
have been hits for The 4 Tops, Temps and other Hitsville
USA acts. 

Motown's smooth pop sensiblities didnt jibe with the
Isleys love for hardcore soul and funk. Thats why they
jumped ship to start thier own label and produce
themselves. I would have loved to see the faces of Motown
executives when they first heard "It's Your Thing" (and
later when it became a monster R&B and Top 40 hit). I
need to dig up the MOJO article about the group and read
it again.

As for the 4 Seasons - I have dug up and played the mono
45 version of "Raven" over at musica. The version on
Rhino's "Rarities - Volume 2" and "Off-Seasons" CD's is a
little longer than the original 45 and less punchy in
stereo. Very strange that this track was never re-issued
on LP (and in stereo) until that CD. I guess the group
and Bob Crewe thought it was too old sounding for 1967
and buried it on a b-side.

Also I picked up the Association - "Just the Right Sound"
2-CD set this weekend. The sound quality is the BEST I
have heard for this material - even beating the Japan
"From The Original Master Tapes" CD. Bright, punchy (you
can really hear Joe Osbourn's great bass playing) with
very little tape hiss - great job from Dan Hersch, Bill
Inglot and company. "Along Comes Mary" is so clean and
crisp you'd swear it was a ADD remix - I heard a horn
track that popped out of the mix I never noticed before. 

BTW Someone mentioned that "No Fair At All" wasn't on
this set - it is on it (CD #1 - track 19). Go get it
along with the Turtles "Solid Zinc" reissue which is also
an excellent, though I think they used too many mono 45
and LP mixes for the 65-66 material.

Billy 


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Message: 6
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 17:02:38 -0000
   From: Mark Frumento 
Subject: Speaking of the Turtles and the Four Seasons

Was listening to the Flo and Eddie song "Rebecca" and I
do think I hear a distict 4S take off there... the whole
middle eight is Valli all the way. Where is goes "go
home, tell your father's friends..."

Great song.


> > ...the theme show to a kids show called Aunt Norma.
> > Does anyone know this song? 
how about Norma Tanega.   mama of folk
****Yeah, that's it!! :>)


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Message: 7
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 23:38:18 +0000
   From: Carole Gibson 
Subject: Motorcycle Michael

Can anyone tell me anything about a song I just heard on
Sounds of the Sixties on Saturday morning.  It was
called Motorcycle Michael and sung by Jo Ann Campbell. 
Is it still available and if so what on?

Many thanks,

Carole x 


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Message: 8
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 10:40:14 -0500
   From: "Mike Arcidiacono" 
Subject: Re: Turtles Anthology

In Spectropop "Mark Frumento" wrote about the Turtles
Anthology...

Guys....is "She'll Come Back" on this Anthology?

Is it on the Laserlight Anthology also?

thanks,

Mike


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Message: 9
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 22:28:23 -0700
   From: Stewart Mason 
Subject: Re: Surfer Dan/Four Seasons

Robertgippy wrote:

>Before the movie started, they were playing "Surfer Dan"
>by the Turtles.

Ah, "Surfer Dan," probably my all-time favorite Turtles
song.  In my review of the new Anthology, I referred to
the "Elenore"/"Surfer Dan" single as possibly the most
sarcastic record ever released. I certainly can't think
of two songs paired on one record that deliberately give
the finger (or two fingers, for our UK contingent) to
two different segments of their primary audience, and
that turned out to be one of the group's biggest hits,
to boot!

Bob Beason wrote:

>>Something I don't think I've ever seen mentioned is
>>that the intro. to "Touch Me" by the Doors is a
>>straight steal from "C'mon Marianne.
>
>So is the intro to Lauryn Hill's version of "Can't Take
>My Eyes Off You".

For a giggle, Four Seasons fans should seek out a 1991
single by the Pet Shop Boys that marries U2's "Where the
Streets Have No Name" to "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You,"
set to a throbbing Eurodisco synth backdrop that sounds
exactly like Donna Summer's "I Feel Love": twice in the
song, the melody veers from the bombastic U2 song
directly into the just as bombastic but far more camp
horn section fanfare and the "I love you baby..." bridge.
I swear, they sound like the exact same song.  The
transistion is utterly seamless.  (It's on the singles
collection DISCOGRAPHY, which you can find used just
about anywhere.)

Stewart


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Message: 10
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 23:30:13 -0500
   From: "Javed Jafri" 
Subject: The Rokes

> That Italian group was actually British - The Rokes,
> who were quite successful in Italy.  That song was
> "The Works of Barth . . . which I can't spell right
> now to save my life!!!

This was the group that did the original version of
"Lets Live For Today". I recall reading that in
somewhere. I don't know anything about them and have
never heard their version of the song though.

Javed


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Message: 11
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 22:47:26 EST
   From: Ronnie Allen 
Subject: Upcoming Dale And Grace interview show

To all fans of #1 hits from the 60s!

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be doing a two-hour
interview show this coming Thursday night from 10 PM to
Midnight E.S.T. with Dale And Grace, who had the 1963 #1
hit "I'm Leaving It Up To You" plus the top-ten follow-up
"Stop And Think It Over."

In addition to those hits Dale And Grace also made many
other fine recordings, some of them never-released. I'll
be playing many of those and they will be sharing loads
of wonderful stories behind them as well as additional
fascinating tidbits about their musical career in general.

These are two extremely nice people who still perform
today and I'm looking forward very much to this show.

We hope that many of you will join us.

The URL is: www.mpakradio.com.

Ronnie Allen


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Message: 12
   Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 07:44:13 +0100
   From: Jan Kristen Kristensen 
Subject: RE: Motorcycle Michael

-----Original Message from Carole Gibson:

> Can anyone tell me anything about a song I just heard
> on Sounds of the Sixties on Saturday morning.  It was
> called Motorcycle Michael and sung by Jo Ann Campbell.
> Is it still available and if so what on?

Motorcycle Michael can be found on a TNT Laser CD with
JoAnn Campbell called "I'm Nobody's Baby/For Twistin' and
Listenin'"

Jan K


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Message: 13
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 21:52:10 EST
   From: Michael Rashkow 
Subject: RE --The Tokens

Guess who is the "bass" voice on Robert John's The Lion
Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) --- none other than Ms. Ellie
Greenwich. 

Rashkovksy


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Message: 14
   Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 16:34:25 -0000
   From: "Kingsley Abbott" 
Subject: Recent Tokens releases

In response to the queries, the two recent tokens CDs
I've picked up are:

Tonight I Fell In Love With The Tokens - Crystal Ball
1038 - Single CD with 29 tracks, including 10 completely
unreleased songs, two alternates and the rest pretty
rare (i.e. not the standard hits). Particularly nice to
have here is their version of "Cathy's Clown" (really
good) and the "Tribute To The Beach Boys" that they put
out in 1976 as a one-off as The Sands Of Time

Golden Moments From Our Past & A Walk Down Memory Lane -
Crystal Ball 1036 - Double CD - First CD has 24 tracks,
mostly previously unreleased (16 of 'em) with some good
stuff (bit more middle period here) and the second Cd
has 68 adverts that they did the voices for + "Pay
Attention" (unreleased) and "He's In Town". the ads make
surprisilgly good listening as they cover many different
vocal groups styles as the boys ape the hit styles of
the day or simply do things Token-styled.

Both packages appear to have been done with Jay Siegal's
involvement and blessing and appear to be put together
by Ed Engeln (white group expert) of Crystal Ball.
Sparse notes, but some great rare photos. Crystal Ball
is out of NY, and I love both these issues! CB also has
great collections by many early sixties white NY groups
- Elegants, Four Evers etc

Hope this helps
 
Kingsley Abbott
 


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End


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