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Spectropop - Digest Number 418




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          Enjoy the complete musical definition of instruments 
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There are 17 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 418:

      1. Grate Grape/Pure Pop For No People
           From: "Javed Jafri" 
      2. Re: video beat
           From: Will George 
      3. Mr. Wirtz New Voice Question
           From: Leonardo Flores 
      4. From Mark Wirtz re Philwit&Pegasus
           From: Michael Sinclair 
      5. Re: Starsailor?
           From: "beatle bob" 
      6. Father's Brown
           From: Luis Suarez 
      7. Re: Interesting video site
           From: "Peter Lerner" 
      8. Re: Nick DeCaro
           From: "Peter Lerner" 
      9. Philwit & Pegasus
           From: "Phil Chapman" 
     10. The Ashes
           From: "Phil Chapman" 
     11. Re: Video Beat VHS Tapes
           From: Michael Edwards 
     12. Re: Chip Taylor
           From: Michael Edwards 
     13. Any info on the Avons?
           From: Nick Archer 
     14. GRAPE SOLO
           From: Scott 
     15. Re: Any info on the Avons?
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 
     16. ooops - re Philwit&Pegasus
           From: Michael Sinclair 
     17. Re: Philwit & Pegasus writers
           From: Michael Sinclair 


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Message: 1
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 00:51:32 -0500
   From: "Javed Jafri" 
Subject: Grate Grape/Pure Pop For No People

> Dan Hughes mentions Clear Light and Moby Grape. I was in
> radio at the time, and we played both groups extensively
> at WBRU in Providence. Clear Light had a couple of prime
> psych tracks, but solid promotion from Elektra never
> reached us - we wouldn't be caught dead reading Hit
> Parader! Moby Grape had the opposite problem - overhype
> from Columbia, including the album and all its tracks on
> 45's release simultaneously. My copy of the LP walked
> away, but I still have the 45's in their picture sleeves!
> While Clear Light didn't have a hit, Moby Grape did with
> "8:05," and had many FM turntable hits as well, such as
> It's A Beautiful Day Today," "Hey Grandma," and "Truck
> Drivin' Man" (not the country classic). I firmly believe
> the group would have been as huge as the hype said
> they'd be - if only they hadn't had so much hype.

As great as "8:05" was it was never a hit, not even a
regional one in San Francisco, as far as I know. It
definitely never cracked the Billboard 100. Only one song
by Moby Grape did and that was Omaha which reached number
88 and which was one of the five 45's released
simultaneously. IMO the original line-up was one of the
most talented groups to emerge from San Francisco in the
60's. The hype overkill may or may not have contributed to
their non success. We will never really know. Brinsley
Schwarz suffered a similar fate in the early 70's. Victims
of a publicity stunt from which they had a hard time
recovering.

Javed


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Message: 2
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 12:06:54 EST
   From: Will George 
Subject: Re: video beat

I recently purchased a video via the www.videobeat.com
website: Surf Party, a 1963 B&W surf/JD/R&R flick starring
Bobby Vinton & Jackie DeShannon. They have great service,
and offer many extremely rare videos. They are obviously
not commercially available, and the prints may not be the
best quality, but where else are you going to find this
stuff? It is basically the VHS equivalent of CD-R. But if
they have something you're looking for, I found them to be
a good company to deal with.

Bill


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Message: 3
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 03:34:09 -0000
   From: Leonardo Flores 
Subject: Mr. Wirtz New Voice Question

Mr. Wirtz,

First of all thank you for all your wonderful music I find
it a real pleasure to have you here on this site.

How did it come about that Excerpt from a Teenage Opera &
White Bicycle end up being released on Bob Crewe's New
Voice label? Who contacted who about this set up? Did you
ever plan to have any more records released by Crewe but
were not released because of the low chart positions of
the first two New Voice records ? 

Just so you know one of my cherished New Voice 45's is
Excerpt from a Teenage Opera. It's such a great single
that is so above and beyond...as well as fun.

Thanks again for everything!

Cheers,


Leonardo Flores


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Message: 4
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 02:19:34 -0000
   From: Michael Sinclair 
Subject: From Mark Wirtz re Philwit&Pegasus

Philwit & Pegasus (Philwit being an abbreviation of Philipp
- my middle name, and Pegasus a metaphoric pseudonym for
Maria Feltham, my lyric collaborator at the time), was -
thanks to Les Reed - the only actual concept album I was
ever allowed to produce in the UK. In the spirit of my
"movies on records" idea, I "cast" singers (like actors)
to fit the material and the concept, rather than the
customary other way around. Thus, the superb, if somewhat
anonymous talents of Carter- Lewis and Peter Lee Stirling
were my "Stars." They all gave breathtaking performances,
notably Peter Lee Jones in "And She Came," which must
surely rate as one of the most extraordinary pop vocal
renditions ever.

To me, Ph & P still stands as my best work in the UK. When
the LP was released, Peter Jones and Penny Valentine wrote
rave reviews and features about it in the music press, but
the BBC (just having regained its monopoly after the
Pirates had been shot down) refused to play it. I produced
a Ph&P single (not on the original LP) entitled "Elephant
Song" c/w "Pseudo Phoney Mixed Up Croney" that I felt sure
would bust the charts. Kenny Everett played it once, but 
was immediately forbidden by the BBC to play it again -
the track had been banned because of the record's simply
silly "Elephant making love to a chimpanzee" line which,
according to the BBC, glamorized bestiality. As such, Ph &
P was yet another flop in my ever disheartening journey.
Ironically, though, it served as the prototype for the
later Alan Parsons Project, which also featured music
concepts performed by random vocalists, rather than image
prevalent Stars. I was devastated by Ph&P's failure. But
worse, nobody would hire me after that. I felt like a
Roman Candle that had fizzled out; a "one Trick Pony" that
had broken its leg and kicked off the tracks. Subsequent
to a phone conversation with my old buddies Denny Cordell
(who had moved to Hollywood and formed Shelter Records
with Leon Russell) and Kim Fowley, I followed their urging
and started to pack for my secret exodus to La-La - Land
only 4 weeks later. During those 4 weeks, i produced one
last project - again for Les Reed - The Roger James LP
(never released) . As a "finger" to the UK record business,
I finished the album off with what must surely be the most
bombastic, sarcastically pompous and absurdly extravagant
bubble gum recording ever made (since that was all the BBC
appeared to allow in its play lists) - yet a cry of
triumphant defiance for me: "Something Wonderful" (an
unfortunately sonically poor transfer from an acetate of
it is on the "Fantastic Story..." CD). The day after the
final mix I stepped onto the Pan Am flight to Los Angeles
with a one-way ticket, only Kenny Everett and his wife
seeing me off at the gate...

To my knowledge, there are no plans to re-release Ph&P.
(By the way, it was released in the States on London
Records - and a shit mastering job they did!). Mind you,
if enough people bugged Mark Stratford of RPM Records to
put it out, I am sure he would. I am also sure Les Reed
would gladly give his permission.

Without a doubt, the key albums of my career were "Philwit
& Pegasus" - "Balloon" - "Hothouse Smiles" - "Cartoon"
(never completed and released, though most of the recorded
tracks appeared on my recent "The Hollywood Years" CDs)
and my 1996 production of my new musical "TEMPO" -
without a doubt my best and quintessential work to date -
alas, despite raves from the highest sources, I have not
been able to find a record company willing to release it
because there are no marketable "Stars" featured in the
recording. Not much has changed since the Teenage Opera
days, has it? LOL

Love and thanks to you all for listening and caring. You
are the reason why I do this stuff :)

Cheers!

Mark


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Message: 5
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 17:05:02 +0000
   From: "beatle bob" 
Subject: Re: Starsailor?

Hello Bryan,

I recently talked to all the members of Starsailor
backstage at a recent Capitol Records showcase as part of
the South by Southwest music conference held in the city
of Austin,Texas. On March 15th, the group told me, as a
whole, that nothing further has developed in terms of Phil
Spector producing them, although they said they would
definitely be interested if he pursued the matter.

Spectropop Group Archives presented by Friends of Spectropop


Speaking about the recent South by Southwest Music
Conference, Chip Taylor performed and hosted a
singer-songwriter showcase at the Austin Music Hall. It
was a wonderful evening of music, With Chip Taylor being a
most warm and wonderfully entertaining emcee.


Beatle Bob


>From: Bryan 

>Does anyone have any more info about Phil Spector
>working with Starsailor??
>(Mojo, March issue, pg. 15)


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Message: 6
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 20:52:11 -0000
   From: Luis Suarez 
Subject: Father's Brown

> --- Luis Suarez wrote:
> 
> > Welcome Mr. Wirtz! I have so many questions, about the
> > Matchmakers especially, but also about Father's Brown,
> > Judd, Samantha Jones and Kris Ife, but I'll leave them
> > for later. For now, thank you for the wonderful music.

Michael Sinclair wrote:
> I look forward to your questions. One thing though -
> I've never heard of Father's Brown. Am I supposed to
> have had something to do with them?

This is the single I have. 

Father's Brown - Maybe Baby (Wirtz-Ife) b/w The Yellow
Moon Is High (Friend-Velt), Produced by Eric Bauwens for
Apollo Music Ltd. FRENCH Decca 79.104 B

I guess it's a cover, then. Did you release a song called
Maybe Baby? The melody is almost identical to America
Sundae.

Luis


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Message: 7
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 22:48:46 -0000
   From: "Peter Lerner" 
Subject: Re: Interesting video site

I have no financial interest in the videobeat either, but
they did supply me with a nice copy of the Jackie
DeShannon / Bobby Vinton movie Surf Party, which I've been
looking for for 15 years, and I'm truly grateful to them.
It's an interesting site well worth a browse.

Peter

----- Original Message from "Paul Payton"

> While I usually blow away anything that looks like
> advertising when it arrives via e-mail, I did check out
> http://www.thevideobeat.com, which had some cool-looking
> videos, both US and European, from the 50's and 60's. I
> didn't check further as I'm not a video collector, nor do
> I have any financial interest whatsoever in the site; but...
> I'd be curious to see what kind of discussion this spurs.


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Message: 8
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 23:05:06 -0000
   From: "Peter Lerner" 
Subject: Re: Nick DeCaro

Bill asks for information on the Nick DeCaro / Irma Thomas
link. Well, my EMI compilation CD Time is on my side has
Nick as producer on (I want a) true true love, Think again,
Long after tonight is all over, Times have changed, He's
my guy, and Maybe. Unfortunately, Anyone who knows what
love is is credited to one Eddie Ray.

I only know of one DeCaro / DeShannon song but what a song
- Is there anything I can do, recorded by The Ashes.

Peter

----- Original Message from "Bill Reed"

> I am expanding my Japanese magazine article about
> arranger/producer/singer/ songwriter/singer Nick DeCaro
> from last years into a much large piece for U.S.
> consumption. In Japan, along with the article, I had a
> discography pushing upwards of 300 albums on which he
> appeared in one capacity or other.
>
> I keep finding new additions to the discography and I am
> guessing that Irma Thomas' Anyone Who Knows What Love Is
> might be one of them.
>
> Would anyone who has this single be kind enough to take a
> look at it and tell me if Nick is on it as arr/prod. I am
> beginning to develop a sixth sense about these things and
> my guess would be "Yes."
>
> Any other info on DeCaro, esp when it comes to Liberty
> Singles, would be greatly appreciated.


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Message: 9
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 22:43:28 -0000
   From: "Phil Chapman" 
Subject: Philwit & Pegasus

Mark Frumento:

> Maybe Mark can tell us all if the Philwit and Pegasus
> album is going to see the light of day again.

Being a Mark Wirtz nut, I got this album on release, yet
find it has gained stature outside of its chronological
context. The vocalists credited are: Peter Lee Stirling,
John Carter, Guy Fletcher, Chas Mills and Roger Greenaway.
Although the writing credits all go to P&P, the songs are
distributed across two different publishers. Mark, who
were the writers? Perhaps if I promise not to upload the
autographed dedication pic you sent to me at the time, I
might be allowed to upload some/all of the album to
musica?:-) 

And thanks for the career advice way back when.......

Phil


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Message: 10
   Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 00:25:43 -0000
   From: "Phil Chapman" 
Subject: The Ashes

Peter Lerner:

>I only know of one DeCaro / DeShannon song but what a song
>- Is there anything I can do, recorded by The Ashes.

Peter, is there anything else you know about this record?
It's a great little tune, and I can't believe it's the
only version. The 45 credits Larry Levine with the
engineering, and it has *that* sound. The flip, "Every
Little Prayer", is interesting too, a male lead, and a
drum intro with more or less the same sound and content
as the Ronettes "Oh I Love You". I just played both sides
at musica for inspection.

Phil


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Message: 11
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 21:20:03 -0500
   From: Michael Edwards 
Subject: Re: Video Beat VHS Tapes

I would fully endorse Bill George's comments re: Video Beat.

----- Original Message from: "Will George"

> [videobeat] have great service, and offer many
> extremely rare videos. They are obviously not
> commercially available, and the prints may not be the
> best quality, but where else are you going to find
> this stuff? It is basically the VHS equivalent of CD-R.
> But if they have something you're looking for, I found
> them to be a good company to deal with.


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Message: 12
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 21:30:01 -0500
   From: Michael Edwards 
Subject: Re: Chip Taylor

I'll pay more attention next South by South West when
I'm in Austin for the Record Convention. I would have
liked to have attended Chip Taylor's show.

I did buy one of his records, though: Jean Thomas' "Don't
Make Me (Fall In Love With You)", which was covered in
the UK by Babbity Blue (backed by the Tremeloes). Chip
wrote and produced the Jean Thomas version on MGM.


----- Original Message from Beatle Bob
>
> Speaking about the recent South by Southwest Music
> Conference, Chip Taylor performed and hosted a
> singer-songwriter showcase at the Austin Music Hall. It
> was a wonderful evening of music, With Chip Taylor being a
> most warm and wonderfully entertaining emcee.


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Message: 13
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 22:06:28 -0600
   From: Nick Archer 
Subject: Any info on the Avons?

I found this 45 locally, the Avons, "Push a Little
Harder" Groove PPKM-0287
Writers Ronnie Wilkins/Robert S. Riley
Produced by Bob Ferguson

I know this is a Nashville production, but does anyone
have any more info on this group? I played it on musica
just now.

Nick Archer

Check out Nashville's classic SM95 on the web at 
http://www.live365.com/stations/289419



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Message: 14
   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 22:26:09 EST
   From: Scott 
Subject: GRAPE SOLO

In a message dated 3/20/02 Javed writes:

> IMO the original line-up was one of the most talented
> groups to emerge from San Francisco in the 60's.

I just bought a solo album from Bob Mosley and it's really
good - better than most of the Grape catalog ...

Scott 


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Message: 15
   Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 07:50:30 -0000
   From: Billy G. Spradlin 
Subject: Re: Any info on the Avons?

I found this info from the "Girl Group Archives" (which
is down for some reason - but Google's Search engine had
archived this page)

The Avons were one of the best Nashville girl groups
largely due to the excellent songs from Ronnie Wilkins of
Ronny and the Daytonas. The Avons began their career with
"Push A Little Harder" on Grove Records. In 1965 they
recorded a sensational version of Ronny & the Daytonas'
"Be Good To Your Baby" for Sound Stage 7. They later
recorded for Abet, Excello, and Ref-O-Ree.

"Push" has been a favorite since I first heard it on
Ace's "Where The Girls Are - Volume One" CD (In excellent
stereo!). I just wonder how Ronnie got those lyrics past
the Groove/RCA A&R people, it's one of the most
suggestive (and sexiest) GG records ever. I wonder how
well it did on Billboards Hot 100 and R&B radio. One
search result showed it made the WQAM Miami Top 50 chart
in November 1963.

Billy

PS: To everyone recording mono 45's and converting them
to MP3 - here's a tip - use the mono switch on your
stereo (if your stereo reciever has one) or use a patch
cord adapter to combine both the right & left channels.
This helps to get rid of a lot of scraches and surface
noise. (and give them a good cleaning before recording
them too!)


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Message: 16
   Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 05:39:52 -0000
   From: Michael Sinclair 
Subject: ooops - re Philwit&Pegasus

Ooooops, a couple of goofs there in my posting about
Philwit& Pegasus. The singers on the album did NOT
include the (John)Carter-(Ken) Lewis team - John appeared
without Ken (I can't remember why, he was usually part of
the crew). Roger Greenaway stood in for Ken and, together
with Guy Fletcher and Chas Mills, formed the background
vocals, while John Carter and Peter Lee Stirling carried
most of the leads. And it was, of course, Peter Lee
Stirling, NOT Peter Lee Jones (DUH!) who sang "And She
Came." Well, hey, it was late that night when I wrote the
posting, so I have an excuse, LOL.


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Message: 17
   Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 01:27:07 -0000
   From: Michael Sinclair 
Subject: Re: Philwit & Pegasus writers

--- In Spectropop, "Phil Chapman" wrote:

> Mark, who
> were the writers? Perhaps if I promise not to upload the
> autographed dedication pic you sent to me at the time, I
> might be allowed to upload some/all of the album.... 

LOL - Philwit & Pegasus, are the writers, course. Philwit
is an abreviation of Philipp (my midle name) and Wirtz,
and Pegasus simply a metaphoric pseudonym for Maria
Feltham, my lyric collaborator at the time. I sent a more
detailed mail piece to the group re Philwit & Pegasus that
might shine some more light on the "mystery" project.
Maria, by the way, also co-wrote some of the lyrics for my
Capitol "Balloon" LP

Great to hear from you, Phil! Am writing to you at length.
Meanwhile, a big hug to Mike Ross if you run into him
(Mike engineered all my pre Abbey Road productions,
including A TOUCH OF VELVET, the PEANUT and RUSS LOADER
singles, the LATIN A GO-GO Ember LP (originally entitled
"Wirtz 'n' Music") and the TEN AGAIN LP. Mike was awesome,
technically brilliant in an intuitive way, yet
artistically astute - and he had no fear!!! Yeyy!! Those
studio days were the most innocent and happiest ever -
every session felt like Christmas :)

And PLEASE - if you have any knowledge of Kris Ife's
whereabouts, let me know. I would love to connect with him!

Best,


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