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Spectropop - Digest Number 407

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          May be played on monophonic or stereophonic equipment

There are 17 messages in this issue.

Topics in this Digest Number 407:

      1. Big in Japan
           From: Bill Reed 
      2. re:sitars in pop
           From: Freeman Carmack 
      3. electric sitar
           From: "profrock" 
      4. two more recent electric sitar sightings
           From: Stewart Mason 
      5. The Merseybeats
           From: Rachel Michaeli 
      6. Reparata  by Ian Chapman on Treasure Island Oldies
           From: Michael Godin 
      7. quo vadis castle sequel?
           From: "Jack Madani" 
      8. Tony Romeo Question/Cryan Shames
           From: Mark Frumento 
      9. Donna Loren
           From: Alan Gordon 
     10. "Where the Boys Are"
           From: Thomas Taber 
     11. re: Chip Taylor and James Voight
           From: "Norman" 
     12. Re: The Baby/songs using sitars
           From: "Robert Conway" 
     13. Re: Elvis Costello vs Merseybeats
           From: Ken 
     14. Chip Taylor
           From: "Paul Payton" 
     15. I'm Gonna Make Lou Mine
           From: "Jack Madani" 
     16. Re: Tony Romeo Question
           From: "Norman" 
     17. Re: Big in Japan
           From: Scott 


Message: 1
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 08:53:08 -0800 (PST)
   From: Bill Reed 
Subject: Big in Japan

> The Japanese are the true appreciators of all musics
> american..... They have this sensibility that
> incorporates soft pop, ez listening, disco and
> electronica...often surrounding it with retro wordless
> vocal melodies that evoke an era while simultaneously
> creating a new one. There's nothing in the world like
> it....Try some today!...

My friend, r n b/folk, r n b singer / guitarist, Ellen
McIlwaine, woke up a few months ago to discover that
she now had the major career in Japan, that she should
have had long ago in the west. Now, she has just
returned from a major tour and recording a new album
there for Japan Polydor. All as the result of sampling
by two Japanese electonica musicians, Shinichi Osawa
(Mono Grosso), and Kei Kobayashi. The latter sampled a
track for her 1972 Polydor US album. 

A beautiful redhaired Caucasian, what the Japanese did
not know when they booked her to come there last
month, is that she was raised in Japan and speaks the
language fluently. I haven't had a full report yet,
but when she opened her mouth and began speaking in
perfect Japanese, they must have rushed the stage
before she had even played a note.

It's a great story, not really one of a comeback, with
Ellen having fairly big folllowing in Japan, Germany,
Scandanavia. Her two Polydor US albums are still in
print on one CD and I highly recommened them

I write about western music for several Japanese music
magazines and am fairly familiar with their advanced
love and understanding of western pop. I could tell
you things. . .. But none more amazing to me than
Ellen McIlwaine's recent reniassance there.

When I was in Japan recently, I saw at least a dozen
books on the shelves of stores devoted to "Soft Rock,"
S"unshine Music," etc, among the two more common names
for Spector, Brill Bldg, West Coast - type music. The
one I bought this time was Soft Rock A - Z.

Current Japanese artists I strongly recommend are
Tatsuro Yamashita, Eichi Ohtaki, Chage and Aska,
Hideaki Tokunaga, Motoharu Sano, Maria Takeuchi. AND
the sui generis Ryuichi Sakamoto, who can and does,
literally and with great facility make EVERY kind of
music known to man. There are artists who have been
around for a while there but are still very popular,
unlike in the west where, with the exception of James
Taylor and a handful of others, we tend to discard our
pop stars like so many used kleenexes once they SEEM
to have outlived their usefullness to us. 

Yamashita is especially popular and has just made
music news in Japan by effecting MAJOR digitalization
and remixing of his 70s recordings. It is probably the
number one album there even as I write this.

Alas, many of the younger Japanese musicians are
following the path of more recent western music and
much of it is godawful, esp the recordings of the
all-powerful producer Komuro. Anxiously chic Nihongo 
house, hip hop, rap, etc. Aside from the previously
mentioned on this list, Pizzicato Five (there's only
two) there is an even newer  group that I also like a
lot (though maybe not for the ears on this list),
known as Love Psychedelico. Kind of a cross between
the Velvet Underground and the Beatles. Of course,
what makes it so diffiuclt for westerners to access a
lot of these fine Japanese artists, is not just the
language barrier, but the dauting costs of CD's from
that country.

Bill Reed

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Message: 2
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 17:13:25 -0000
   From: Freeman Carmack 
Subject: re:sitars in pop

lets not forget "Turn Down Day" by the Cyrkle,or
"Cry Like a Baby" by the Boxtops.

This is a neat discussion.


Freeman Carmack

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Message: 3
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 14:23:12 -0000
   From: "profrock" 
Subject: electric sitar

Interesting discussion about the sitar in pop music.
Another fascinating instrument used for the first time in
pop music in that era was the theremin. Obvious example:
Good Vibrations, but are any of you familiar with Lothar
and the Handpeople? "Lothar" was the name the band members
gave to their theremin, and their spacey sound was
attributed to it. I bought their CDs from a company in
England because I have their vinyl. No one else around
here is familiar with them and am just curious as to the
extent of knowledge you Spectropoppers have of theremins
and their use in the mid and late 60's. I saw a movie
about Leon Theremin (the inventor) that was very
interesting and educational. 

theremin at Spectropop

BTW: I thought I knew about 60's music till I joined
Spectropop and started reading your informative messages.
Thanks for letting me in to the world of obscurities!

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Message: 4
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 18:11:00 -0700
   From: Stewart Mason 
Subject: two more recent electric sitar sightings

Marshall Crenshaw -- "Blues Is King" (DOWNTOWN, Warner
Brothers 1985) Redd Kross -- "Play My Song" (NEUROTICA,
BigTime 1987)

The solo on the Redd Kross song is played on an electric
sitar, and it sounds wonderfully silly and inappropriate.


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Message: 5
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 19:00:10 +0200
   From: Rachel Michaeli 
Subject: The Merseybeats

Norman wrote about the Merseybeats Dont turn around/Really

> As with most B sides it can be considered better than the A
> side

and Mark Frumento says:

> The Merseybeats have a great best of still in print I guess

 There is an LP release from sixty four also on CD called
THE MERSEYBEATS  -  FONTANA 2-167248 There was also a
release of a collection LP in the early eighties called THE
have Really Mystified I recomand as well on the EP  - THE
MERSEYBEATS ON STAGE - FONTANA  TE 22471  which shows the
rocknroll true side of the band 

about the A/B sides of The Merseybeats singles  the band -
not like other Liverpool bands released ballads  on A sides
and Rocknroll on B sides while the B side not like the A
side was mainly their own

Really Mysified was written by their 2 vocalists Tony Crane
and Johnny Gustafson  Gustafson a superb bass guitarist
replaced Billy Kinsley on bass & vocal for almost a year
and brought with him  the Rock touch from his previous band
The Big Three The Big Three or Cass & The Cassanovas their
previous name is probably my favorite sixties Liverpool
band and the greatest lost from the Mersey beat scene as
far as I can see even more than Rory Storm If there was a
time machine and I could only choose between a gig of The
Big Three and The Beatles I will be more curious to see the
first one

 Rachel Michaeli

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Message: 6
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 08:49:43 -0800
   From: Michael Godin 
Subject: Reparata  by Ian Chapman on Treasure Island Oldies

Hi Folks,

Reparata & The Delrons are the featured Girl Group this
week on Ian Chapman's Girl Groups, heard only on Treasure
Island Oldies. You can hear the show live Sunday, March 13
>from 6 to 10 p.m. Pacific, or at any time on demand via
the archived show within about 15 minutes of the
completion of the show.

Thanks and continued special thanks to Spectropop frequent
contributor Ian Chapman for his weekly feature.

Michael Godin
Treasure Island Oldies

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Message: 7
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 12:05:43 -0500
   From: "Jack Madani" 
Subject: quo vadis castle sequel?

Did something happen to Castle Communications and Sequel
Records?  I just checked out their old web site
( and it's
not there anymore. 

And a quick perusal of the web with dogpile doesn't come
up with anything promising.


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Message: 8
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 15:28:11 -0000
   From: Mark Frumento 
Subject: Tony Romeo Question/Cryan Shames

Was exchanging email with another Spectropopper about The
Partridge Family and it reminded my how great Tony Romeo's
songs are. I love the Lou Christie album as well. Who else
did he work with? I'm sure he had songs scattered all over
the place but is their anyone else who benefited from this
many high quality songs by him?

In a totally unrelated topic: I just picked up the three
new Cryan Shames CDs on Sundazed and have to report how
great they are. The second two LPs are solid almost all
the way through. Their third album is advertised as a
psych album but its really a harmony/sunshine pop record
with a slightly serious tone. The second album is the CS's
in their element. Great singing all around! If you like
the Legacy collection that came out a while ago then
you'll love these CDs because their are plenty more songs
by these guys that deserve to be on a best of comp.

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Message: 9
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 11:13:56 -0800
   From: Alan Gordon 
Subject: Donna Loren

>From Paul Payton:

> BTW, there are some remarkable links from the Sloan
> site. For example,,
takes you to

> Donna Loren's fashion site for her swimwear company,
> and has several pages on her in the 60's. (There's
> also a photo of her now; she obviously looks different,
> but still looks good.)

ahhhhhh, Donna... my first love.  I was probably 11, and
her... well... at least 18.  She never knew either... sigh.

Donna's site is really great... but I was wondering if any
Spectroppers might "have," or know where a wistful old
fanboy might find better resolution copies or those great
Dr. Pepper ads, or calendar pieces, or just about any old
retro thing with Donna on it that could be used as desktop
wallpaper.  All of the images at Donna's site were very low

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Just as an aside here:  does Janine Turner from Northern
Exposure remind anyone else here of an '80's reincarnation
of Ms. Loren?

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Message: 10
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 07:49:35 -0800 (PST)
   From: Thomas Taber 
Subject: "Where the Boys Are"

Mention of the "WTBA" movie brought back a memory of
Neil Sedaka, probably on the Mike Douglas Show. I
believe Howard Greenfield was on with him.  It seems
that they labored over the theme song for some time. 
When they got to the producers' office a bit early,
they started to wonder "What if they don't like it?"
and hurriedly came up with another version and melody,
just in case, in about 15 minutes.  Can we all guess
the rest? Did the original ever see the light of day
anywhere?      Tom Taber 

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

Message: 11
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 21:05:32 +1030
   From: "Norman" 
Subject: re: Chip Taylor and James Voight

further to my last contribution, was Chip Taylor the same
James Voight who was a member of the Peanut Butter


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

Message: 12
   Date: Fri, 08 Mar 2002 08:59:23 -0600
   From: "Robert Conway" 
Subject: Re: The Baby/songs using sitars

"Cry Like a Baby" had a sitar as my memory serves.

Bob Conway

>Richard Williams wrote:
> > primary evidence that the presence of an electric sitar on a
> > record is an absolute guarantee of quality. Some examples,
> > just to start things off: Joe South's "Games People Play",
> > the Corner Boys' "Take It Easy, Soul Brother" and Pat
> > Metheny's "Last Train Home" . . .

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

Message: 13
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 19:33:24 -0000
   From: Ken 
Subject: Re: Elvis Costello vs Merseybeats

-----Original Message from Mark Frumento

> Costello also does the Merseybeats version of "Nighttime"
> and another song that escapes my mind right now (a Smokey
> Robinson song).

The Smokey Robinson song you could be thinking of is "From
Head To Toe" released in 1967 by Chris Clark on one of
Berry Gordy,s labels. She was a white girl who went on to
be a big wheel in the Motowm set up. She also recorded a
number of classics whilst there, including "Love's Gone
Bad (what an atmospheric track that is!!). "Head To toe"
was also released by a Sharon Tandy maybe on Polydor in
England, who if I remember correctly spent some time with

May I chance my arm with a tentative "Dont worry mother
your son's heart is pure" The McCoys as an "electric sitar"

West Coast Ken.

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

Message: 14
   Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 00:57:56 -0500
   From: "Paul Payton" 
Subject: Chip Taylor

Nick Archer writes:

> Wasn't there a Danelectro Sitar?

As I remember, the Coral Sitar was made by Danelectro. It
certainly made one of the most distinctive sounds in rock
and pop.

Alan Gordon suggested

for lyrics. There are lost of pop standsards here, and
some pleasant surprises. More broadbased is Lyrics World,
which I'd highly recommend for its accuracy and depth of

Ken Levine wrote:

> I just learned that Chip Taylor is Jon Voight's brother.
> Maybe that's common knowledge but I didn't know it.

More Chip Taylor info at
- his 
label. Bio, discography, but no ordering or e-mail info.
(Beware: gets you to an educational
video distributor, not our man!)

This opens the opportunity for me to ask about one of Chip
Taylor's first records, if not the very first, which I've
been looking for for almost 40 years: "Little Joan,"
recorded as Wes Voight (his full name is James Wesley
Voight) on Deluxe, late 50's-early 60's. It's a nice
bluesy doo-woppish ballad which has personal meaning since
my first "true love" was named Joan. If you have it - or a
lead to it - please contact me off list.

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

Message: 15
   Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 14:30:51 -0500
   From: "Jack Madani" 
Subject: I'm Gonna Make Lou Mine

>From the Rhino Lou best-of, to the Collectables twofer of
"Lou Christie/Lou Christie Strikes Again," to the brand
new RPM "Lou & The Tammys Egyptian Shumba" issue, I just
gotta say that I love that Lou Christie sound.  But of all
the many high notes (heh, heh) in his oeuvre, I think that
maybe my personal favorite is the 1969 release "I'm Gonna
Make You Mine."  Actually, maybe "If My Car Could Only
Talk" is more spectorianly cool, and "Rhapsody In The Rain"
is more sexually ejaculative, and "Lightnin' Strikes" is
more historically important to Lou's career--sure, all
that said and acknowledged.  But for being most
quintessentially Lou, I think I like "I'm Gonna Make You
Mine" the best.

Dig: after years of experimenting with trying to keep up
with the latest sounds, Lou gets back to his original
roots with this 1969 track.  You got your brassy trombone
section, your perky backup girl vocals (even though I'm
not sure if they're the actual Tammys), and the Lou vocal
that arches up from regular register on the verse to a
keening falsetto at the start of the choruses.  With a
melody for the chorus that sounds as inevitable and
familiar as a child's playground ditty.  Even better--you
got all this piled on top of a production that sounds like
it could have been a test run-through for the Partridge
Family version 1.0.  Pop at its very finest.

My favorite moment is the third verse, which is actually a
repeat of the first verse, which has these lagging
call-and-response backing vocals, coupled with a horn
section whose attacks keeps trying to rush the next phrase,
AND--coup de grace--the tiny little bell that "dings!" as
an accent for each line.

And then comes the bridge:
I'll be a hard lovin' pushin' kinda
individual knockin night and day at your door
you'll have to turn me away like a
indestructible force"

Like "a" indestructible force.


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

Message: 16
   Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 23:05:11 +1030
   From: "Norman" 
Subject: Re: Tony Romeo Question

Mark Frumento wrote:
> Was exchanging email with another Spectropopper about The
> Partridge Family and it reminded my how great Tony Romeo's
> songs are. I love the Lou Christie album as well. Who else
> did he work with? I'm sure he had songs scattered all over
> the place but is their anyone else who benefited from this
> many high quality songs by him?

Indian Lake and Path of Love by the Cowsills were Tony
Romeo songs.  The latter being a blueprint for the sound
of the Partridge Family (give it a listen).


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

Message: 17
   Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 07:46:31 EST
   From: Scott 
Subject: Re: Big in Japan

> Ellen McIlwaine

Wow, there's a name I haven't heard in a long time ...
Years ago I bought a "guitar gods" double album set issued
by Polydor (forget the exact name).  Anyhow, it featured
material from Rory Gallagher, Clapton, Roy Buchanan, etc.
and Ellen McIllwaine.  I had no idea who she was, but her
contributions to the LP simply kicked butt !!!  Her 2 (?)
solo albums for the label are exceptional.

I'm not surprised she found an audience in Japan! Japanese
audiences have helped a generation of soul artists survive
(the fantastic Otis Clay readily comes to mind).

Regarding Japanese pop (or J-pop as the kids call it), it
is amazingly popular in the States.  It's just that nobody
over 18 seems to know it!  My local PBS radio outlet had a
piece on the Grammy awards.  They were interviewing a
bunch of high school kids to see who they thought would
win.  The kids just didn't care about any of the acts
(accept for a couple of rap bands and a couple of the toy
boy bands).  They were all into stuff like trance and


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

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