BLAXPLOITATION MOVIE TRAILERS!

February 28, 2010

Brother…it’s time to put on your “Psychedelic” shirt, hip huggers, and “Superfly” hat!  Sisters lace up those platform shoes…puff out your fro,’ and click on to some movie trailers for the baddest Blaxploitation films of the ‘60s and ‘70s!



BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

After 40 years of speculation singer Carly Simon has revealed that the subject of her biggest song, “You’re So Vain” was neither Mick Jagger nor Warren Beatty, but music mogul David Geffen.

Although David admitted to being gay many years ago I always suspected him of being more “heterosexual” than anything. I was at Warner Brothers Music in the early ‘70s when David had his label with WEA and his publishing administered by us.

When WB VP. Mel Bly and I would go with David to a party or a concert, he was always in the company of a beautiful woman who seemed mesmerized by him. In the business world it seemed he was the equivalent of a Rock Star.

I remember one night at the Troubadour , I was sitting with Sonny and Cher, who were about to publicly announce their split. David walks into the room and suddenly his eyes met Chers. It was like the scene out of “West Side Story”, when Tony and Maria meet for the first time and the room around them disappears…leaving them standing in two spotlights!

I shook my head and thought my imagination was running away with me until I saw the tabloids soon after filled with stories of David and Cher’s romance.

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

FOR MORE JUST CLICK ONTO  David Geffen – Most Powerful Man In Hollywood And How He Got That Way!

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

“It seems Like Warner Brothers Music is celebrating a victory, or facing a new crisis every day. After spearheading a campaign that results in over a 100 cover records on, “The Summer Knows”, from “The Summer Of ‘42’, I’m asked to be consultant for a new project and find a Black composer, for another Blaxpoitation film, “Cleopatra Jones”.

Again I agree to act as the “house negro” and do the film for a screen credit and no money, which Warner Brothers Music President Ed Silvers agrees to, as long as the film company picks up my expenses. I just look on it as an opportunity get my foot in the door and work with artists and producers I might not otherwise meet. After seeing the Max Julian film, in my head I keep hearing the intro to the O’Jays, “Backstabbers” which is written and arranged by my Philadelphia pal, Thom Bell. The introduction is good enough to be a movie theme itself!

The writer and director, Max Julian lights up when he hears my suggestion, and when I play the short passage, so does Bill Tenant the producer, and Larry Marks, current head of the film department. They want me to bring Thom Bell to Hollywood; I think it’s going to be a sure thing. By the time he gets out here they’ve already changed their mind.

It doesn’t take me long to find out these people don’t know what they’re doing. I throw my hands up in disgust and walk away from this extremely stressful situation. A few weeks later the producers call me up and apologize for making things difficult and tell me they’d like to hire Thom, after all.

I tell them it’s too late; he has three records in the top 20, and has made other commitments. They beg me to help them find someone fast so the picture can be released on schedule. I tell them I’ll help them out if they listen seriously to my suggestions. They tell me that veteran composer, Dominic Frontiere, has finished the score and all they need now is the title song.

I tell them I can not only get Joe Simon to write the title song to the film film, but also get a few potential hit singles by other hit artists from the label to include in the film and soundtrack. I also propose that WB records get the album rights to the singles, while the artist’s original label gets the rights to the singles, which they will promote as usual..

WB records goes along with this unique marketing concept in an effort to get into the very lucrative, but closed, R&B market.

The next morning I meet with Roy and Julie Riffkind, who own the small successful Spring records, they’re riding high on the R&B charts with Joe Simon (“The Chokin’ Kind”, “Drownin’ In The Sea Of Love”) who would be a perfect candidate to score, “Cleopatra Jones”. While I’m in their office they play me a new single they’re putting out by Millie Jackson, “Hurt So Good”, which I think would be great for the film. I tell them the unique idea I had, that WB Records has already agreed to, and they say that it could work for them as well.

I tell Warner Brothers Films that Joe Simon is able to write, produce and record, “The Theme from Cleopatra Jones”, next week which thrills them. When a letter of intent is drawn, I talk to Joe Simon and tell him about the film and the idea I had for a sweeping theme like the intro to the “Backstabbers”.

Joe gets it completely, and when I go back to NY for the session, I’m totally blown away by the funky, yet majestic track he’s recorded. When he starts to put the vocal on, Joe realizes that he hasn’t written the lyric to the second verse.

He seems stumped as where go with the lyric and for the lack of time says he’ll just repeat the first verse. I tell him he can’t do that the record could be a classic. Then I scratch out a lyric that he loves and records on the spot.

After the session, Joe comes over, thanks me and says he wants me to have a piece of the writers share for my contribution to the song. I thank him and say that it wasn’t my intention to muscle in, but I’ll happily accept his generosity.

It’s another story, however, when I get back to Hollywood. Ed is happy that the recording came out so well, but freaks out on me when he finds out that I’m a co-writer on the song. He says, “I don’t believe you took advantage of the situation and forced your way into a piece of the writers share. Are you a professional manager or a writer?” I don’t say anything, but go back to office and quietly fume.

I should’ve known something was wrong when I’m not invited to screening of, “Cleopatra Jones”. When I go to see the film at a local theater, I hear the theme I played a part in“Theme From Cleopatra Jones” but wasn’t allowed to take credit for, I hear Millie Jackson’s “Hurt So Good”, which is already racing up the charts, but when the film is over, my name is missing as musical consultant!

I’m absolutely livid, but when I confront Ed in my “Superfly” hat, he says he’s sorry, but he can’t do anything about it. I should talk to the producers. He refuses to do anything to help me in my unpaid extra curricular activity as a highly effective musical consultant, and wants me to return to just plugging songs at the company…Yeah…Right!”

(TO BE CONTINUED)

FOR THE STORY BEHIND THE WARNER BROTHERS FILM  “COME BACK CHARLESTON BLUE”,  CHECK OUT “DRIVIN’ AROUND WITH QUINCY JONES” http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/06/14/driving-around-with-quincy-jones/

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

A FEW BLACK MUSIC MILESTONES!

February 25, 2010

I was talking to my Spectropop pal Marva Holliday, an alumnus of Motown about my doing an article celebrating Black History Month, but from a different angle. She agrees with me that this past year has been amazing in terms of race relations in America. The media has so embraced the idea of our having an African American leader; they’ve given more face time not only to Blacks but all minorities!

Back in the ‘50s when I was a kid whenever a “colored” person appeared on television it was considered an event. When Nat “King” Cole got his own fifteen minute network TV show on NBC, every person of color had a new sense of pride and hope. Unfortunately that hope was dashed when the show was canceled for lack of full sponsorship. It hurt even more to find out that sponsors didn’t want a “Negro” to be a spokesman for their product, which might offend their “White” customers.

In the ‘60s when our country was protesting against just about everything,  a new voice of social consciousness emerged in Black music. At first recording artists would sneak “messages” into their music because record companies didn’t want any part of anything that might lose customers…but then the floodgates of long repressed expression opened.


Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

photos at top by Sam Emerson

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

I want to thank everyone who visited Artie Wayne on the Web and brought the total visitors to over a million and a half!

This site is devoted to music of the sixties to the present, our evolving pop culture, and whatever might be spinning around in my head at the time. I’ve always enjoyed turning people on and pissing people off and now I have my own forum to spread the word on the internet. In addition to that, over the past year I’ve used the power of blogging against the tyranny of some music business accounting practices, social network scamming, and the blatant disregard of consumer rights!

For example, for weeks I’d been calling and complaining to Time-Warner cable for sending me picture and sound out of synch’, which forced me to watch “Dancing With The Stars” with everyone dancing off  beat. As soon as I blogged about the problem and threatened to upload video tapes of what I was experiencing to YouTube, within six hours the problem was corrected…as my friend Paul Williams once said, “We’ve Only Just Begun”.

I hope you’ll continue to drop by to be informed, enlightened, and hopefully entertained.

Regards, Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

Here are ten of the best blogs I’ve posted over the past year.

MICHAEL JACKSON…THE GRAND FINALE!

TOMMY JAMES’ SHOCKING NEW BOOK! “ME,THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC”

ARTIE KORNFELD BEFORE AND AFTER WOODSTOCK!

ELLIE GREENWICH R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

IF I DID NOW WHAT I DID THEN, I’D BE WRITING THIS FROM JAIL!

MY FASHION AND THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL!

SECRETS OF UNLOCKING LOST MEMORIES!

MY INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, AND BIZARRE WOODSTOCK ADVENTURE 1969!

ANGELINA JOLIE ASLEEP IN MY BED! SARAH JESSICA PARKER UNDRESSED!

VALENTINE’S DAY VIDEOS…69 TOP LOVE SONGS FOR 2010!

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

As “Shadow” Mann I only had one album release, one single release, and a follow up that barely escaped. After performing at a Hubert Humphrey Rally in Times Square with Tommy James and the Shondells topping the bill, Morris Levy dropped me as an artist from the label.

It’s been 42 years since I’ve been in touch with Tommy, and was excited when I heard he had dared to write a book about his experiences with Morris and Roulette Records called, “Me, The Mob, And The Music”. He gave me an exclusive “no holds barred interview” where he made even more revelations than he did in his astonishing tell all autobiography!

Tommy- “in 1969, when crime boss Vito Genovese died in prison things were tense up at Roulette. All of a sudden they were having a lot of meetings with all the “boys”, figuring out who his successor would be. Were they going to shoot up the place? Was there going to be a challenge? Morris brought me into his office I shook hands with Vincent “The chin “Gigante, “Fat Tony” Salerno (who Tony Soprano character was based on). I also shook hands with Quiet Don Cirillo, and Tommy Eboli (a/k/a)  Tommy Ryan.

Morris had his hands on my shoulders and as he is introducing me to of these (notorious people) I felt like a puppet! I couldn’t believe it and said to myself oops…this must be Hell!”

Artie – WOW!”

Then Tommy said he always wondered whatever happened to the “Shadow” Mann? When I told him that I moved to California in 1970, he asked if I heard about the gang wars in New York, between crime families, where 400 gang members were killed…I told him no and confessed that I hadn’t finished the book.

Tommy – “It got so bad that Morris hid out in Spain for a year and left me and everybody at Roulette holding the bag. I had to make myself  scarce and went to Nashville. All the details are in the book.”

Artie – “Our pal, Brooks Arthur wanted me to ask you if you remember working on a album with him, while you’re in the middle of re-negotiations and Morris comes into the studio and demands that you sign a new contract .

Tommy – “ Yeah”, Morris said, ” Okay, the contract will say twelve percent, you’re makin’ eight,…I’m paying’ you six!”

Artie – “I know you had a problem with drugs, and my friend, Gary Stromberg, who’s written several books on addiction and appeared with Dr. Drew Pinsky VH1 on “Celebrity Rehab” Specials, wanted me to ask you , “Many artists falsely believe that drugs and alcohol are the sources of their creativity, and when they stop drinking and using they must confront their creativity without these substances”

Tommy – “ I went into the Betty Ford Center for six weeks and have been clean since 1986!   Being straight has been like floating on a pink cloud…I can accomplish so much more by being clear”

When Tommy speaks of his complex love/hate relationship with the late Morris Levy, who passed away 20 years ago he still gets emotional.

Tommy – “He asked to see me on his death bed, but I wasn’t able to get to the hospital in time…something I’ve always regretted. If it wasn’t for a Morris Levy,there wouldn’t have been a Tommy James.”

It’s easy to understand what the excitement  surrounding “Me, the Mob, and the Music” is all about. Tommy told me a deal has just been signed to bring his story and his music to Broadway by the producers of “Jersey Boys”, and negotiations are nearly complete to bring it to the big screen.

After I thanked him for the interview, I took the opportunity to pitch an idea to develop a series of five minute segments for “Classic Hits” and college radio stations, with my friend, “Country” Paul Payton.

I’m happy to say that Tommy loves the idea and wants to work on it with us when he gets back from his promotional book tour.

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/


YOU CAN BUY TOMMY JAMES’ “ME, THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC” ON HIS WEBSITE http://www.tommyjames.com/

Thanks to members of  Spectropop , Forgotten hits, Alan O’Day, “Country” Paul Payton, Brooks Arthur, Ed Salamon, Alan Karr, Jim Cassidy, Kent Kotal, Dee Trane, Patti Dahlstrom, Ayrton Mugnaini, Robby Leff, Art Munson, AJC, and Matthew David, for the questions this article is based on..

IF YOU MISSED PART ONE OR TWO OF MY TOMMY JAMES INTERVIEW JUST CLICK ONTO

TOMMY JAMES’ SHOCKING NEW BOOK! “ME,THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC”

PART TWO…TOMMY JAMES “ME, THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC”, AND OF COURSE,

To reach Gary Stromberg  http://www.garystromberg.net/

To reach Spectropop  http://spectropop.com

Forgotten Hits http://forgottenhits.com

Special Thanks to Carol Ross – Durborow and Ed Osborne for their assistance in putting this article together.

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

I was shocked when I checked Facebook this morning and saw my longtime pal Ellen Feldman had posted that our friend Doug Fieger, lead singer of the Knack, and co-writer of “My Sharona”, had passed away.

I worked with Doug in the studio helping on background parts when he was in the Sunset Bombers, a group DJ Scott Shannon and radio spot maker Joe Klein produced for Ariola Records. Doug was one of the most natural lead guitarists I’ve ever seen in the studio. He could emerge from driving a solid musical track track to playing a dazzling solo in a heartbeat, without overdubbing.

After the Sunset Bombers flew off into the horizon, I ran into Doug a few times at the Whiskey and the Starwood. He told me about a new band he was forming. A few months later Ellen Feldman, who was working at EMI records at the time, kept raving about this new group she wanted me to see, The Knack. You can imagine how happy I was to see Doug with a great band and a set that included “My Sharona.”

The last time I saw Doug, it was after his first #1 record. We were having dinner at Martoni’s Restaurant in Hollywood, with his girlfriend, Sharona and CBS’ Allan Rinde.  I remember we had a lot of laughs, hearing stories about the Knack on tour, but I don’t remember much else, since I spent most of the night flirting with Susan Lucci at the next table.

Doug was always a positive person and years later, even though he knew he was fighting a losing battle with cancer he said to others who find themselves in similar circumstances, “Don’t stop living your life. Do every possible thing you can to build up your body. Stop doing anything that might be hurtful to your body. Eat really well, exercise, stop smoking and stop eating junk food,” he advises. “I’m here to tell you that you can get through it. I can’t tell you it’s fun. But going through it, I have to say, is nowhere nears as bad as the fear of going through it. The fear of having cancer is way worse than the reality of having cancer.”

Doug Fieger R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

HE’S BACK…AND HE’S PROUD!  AFTER LURKING IN THE BACKGROUND FOR YEARS, VOWING TO ONLY COME BACK WHEN THE WORLD NEEDED HIM. HERE HE IS…”SHADOW” MANN RIDES AGAIN!

WHO IS “SHADOW MANN”…HERE ARE THREE RECENT ARTICLES I’VE POSTED WHERE HE MAKES AN APPEARANCE! (JUST CLICK ONTO THE TITLES BELOW)

LEGENDARY MUSIC MAN MORRIS LEVY AND “SHADOW” MANN A LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND!

TOMMY JAMES’ SHOCKING NEW BOOK! “ME,THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC”

PART TWO…TOMMY JAMES “ME, THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC”, AND OF COURSE, MORRIS LEVY!

COMING ON TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2010, IS THE FINAL INSTALLMENT OF MY EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TOMMY JAMES AND MORE STORIES YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU’D NEVER HEAR!!!

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

Photo at top of “Shadow” by Stephen Paley

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

February 14, 2010

“CUPID…DRAW BACK YOUR BOW…AND LET YOUR ARROW GO…STRAIGHT TO ALL OF YOU TONIGHT!

HERE ARE THE TOP 69 VALENTINE’S DAY VIDEOS OF ALL TIME!

SAM COOKE, BEYONCE, NAT “KING” COLE, ELVIS, MICHAEL JACKSON, LIONEL RITCHIE, DIANA ROSS, ADAM LAMBERT, ALICIA KEYS, USHER, STEVIE, THE BEE GEES, CARPENTERS, WHITNEY HOUSTON, BILLY JOEL, ELTON JOHN, AND DOZENS…AND DOZENS MORE!  (JUST CLICK ONTO) http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/thirty-top-love-song-videos-for-valentines-day/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

Here is part two of my exclusive interview with Tommy James (“I Think We’re Alone Now” , “Mony, Mony”) about his controversial new book, “Me, the Mob, and the Music”…and the owner of Roulette Records Morris Levy! the story starts back in 1967.

“Although I was apprehensive about having a label with Morris and being an artist for the notorious Roulette records as “Shadow” Mann, I felt somewhat safe because my silent partner in my publishing company was Irving Green (who owned Mercury and Smash Records), who was not only my partner Kelli Ross’ father, but also Morris Levy’s best friend.

I always considered Tommy James, Roulette’s top artist, and his records to be ahead of their time, but I wonder how many people know that he was a major creative influence on the Beatles. How many people are aware that George Harrison even wrote a few songs for him (which were eventually passed on because they too much in the vein of “Mony, Mony”).

Now I had a chance not only to see how the infamous but charming, Morris Levy and Roulette promoted records, but also how Tommy James made them! One day I was up at the label walking past Morris’ office and I heard some great music coming out. I couldn’t help but stop and put my ear a little closer to the door. SUDDENLY…the door swings open and I’m a bit scared to see a startled, serious looking Morris less than a foot away from me!

Then a smile sweeps across his face as he grabs my arm and says, “Shadow…I want you to meet somebody.” Then he introduces me to Tommy James, who brought by a test pressing of his next single, “Crimson and Clover”. From the beginning it sounds like a hit, but when it reaches the end and goes into an electronic chant “Crimson and Clover…over and over”, it sounds like a classic!

(Here’s the original clip of “CRIMSON AND CLOVER” 1969) http://www.faniq.com/video/Tommy-James–the-Shondells-Crimson-in-Clover-YouTube-38590

When my pals at Spectropop and Forgotten Hits, the ‘60s and ‘70s music forums, heard I was interviewing Tommy they submitted six pages of questions. Two of those pages were filled with questions that basically asked, “How did you get that sound on “Crimson and Clover”?

Tommy said, “We had done the record with tremolo on the guitar. It’s just a built-in sound on guitar amplifiers. When I played the guitar, we recorded it with tremolo pretty much in synch with the music. In other words, we tried to make it so that it was vibrating at the same speed that the drums were playing. So we made the whole record that way. And then at the end, it was like one of those whimsical ideas, we said, “Why don’t we put it on the voice?” So that’s what we did, we ran the vocal mike through an Ampeg guitar amp, turned on the tremolo and miked it, and ran it back through the board. It was just that simple. What was so amazing, back then, if you wanted to make a sound wiggle, you had to basically do it yourself. There was no button you could push on a synthesizer, you basically had to build the circuits yourself and everything else. So that’s what we did, we just ran the vocal mike through the guitar amp, and then miked the amp and ran it back through the board.”

“Crimson and Clover” was not only a major point in their career turning them overnight from AM singles artists into FM album artists; it was also the first of the hits that Tommy James and the Shondells created themselves. After working with producers Ritchie Cordell and Bo Gentry on his earlier records, “I Think We’re Alone Now”, and “Mony, Mony”. ” Tommy says, “Those guys were the best and we learned a lot about producing and getting new sounds from them!”

I then I told him that Forgotten Hit’s Kent Kotal, wanted to know if there are any stories about “Crystal Blue Persuasion”. Tommy said, “That’s from the Crimson and Cover” album. At that point we had drastically changed our style. It was a difficult record to make. We completely over produced it, so gradually we started pulling instruments out, guitars, congas, percussion, etc. until it became as you know it.”

Artie – “So basically you let it breathe”

Tommy – “Yeah, we let it breathe…and it came to life!”

Artie- “There has been a lot of speculation about the meaning of “Crystal Blue Persuasion”. I always thought you were writing about Crystal Meth.”

Tommy – (smiles)  “No. It’s about my conversion to Christianity…just listen to the lyric.”


The more time I spend up at Roulette I start to believe more and more of the stories I’ve heard about Morris. One day I see him and Nate McCalla, his friend and partner in Calla Records getting off the back elevator with a dozen hot TV sets…giving me the pick of the litter!

Although I was honored to sit in on some of Morris’ meetings there were times when I’d leave the room for fear of hearing too much…especially when the conversation would turn to Morris’ favorite forms of promotion…payola and intimidation.

Tommy told me about his first day up at Roulette, when he overheard Morris and some of his pals, talking about beating up some guy for bootlegging his records, then resumed the conversation as if nothing happened.

Tommy actually tells dozens of compelling stories in his book, “Me, the Mob, and the Music”, which made my hair stand on end…or laugh, sometimes both at the same time!

I told him how my producer Ron Haffkine and I would sit in Morris’ office while he was on the phone “encouraging” disc jockeys to play my records. “You play the Shadow’s records…or I’ll break your legs!”… Then Tommy told me something that made my mouth drop open!

(To Be Continued)

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song” Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

YOU CAN ORDER TOMMY JAMES’ “ME, THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC” ON HIS WEBSITE http://www.tommyjames.com/

Thanks to members of  Spectropop , Forgotten hits, Alan O’Day, “Country” Paul Payton, Brooks Arthur, Ed Salamon, Alan Karr, Jim Cassidy, Kent Kotal, Dee Trane, Patti Dahlstrom, Ayrton Mugnaini, Robby Leff, Art Munson, AJC, and Matthew David, for the questions this article is based on..

IF YOU MISSED PART ONE AND PART THREE CLICK ONTO

TOMMY JAMES’ SHOCKING NEW BOOK! “ME,THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC”

PART 3 – TOMMY JAMES INTERVIEW…”ME, THE MOB, AND THE MUSIC”

To reach Spectropop  http://spectropop.com

Forgotten Hits http://forgottenhits.com

Special Thanks to Carol Ross – Durborow and Ed Osborne for their assistance in putting this article together.

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers