When I first moved to California thirty years ago and worked for Warner Brothers Music, I wanted to give back to the music community, so I joined the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences, where an enthusiastic active member, Mike Melvoin took me under his wing.

I never worked with him in the studio, but as a music fan, I knew that he was considered one of the best keyboardists in Los Angeles.

In addition to being one of the best Jazz players in the business, he played on such Pop classics as Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable,” the Jackson 5’s “ABC,” and “Pet Sounds” and “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys as well as Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman,” John Lennon’s “Stand By Me,” Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen” and Quincy Jones’ all-star collective, “We Are the World.”

Although I was a New Yorker and considered an outsider to the closely knit LA music scene, Mike helped me gain a foothold in the creative community.

At the time, NARAS, was criticized for having an aging membership, being out of touch with contemporary music and accused of giving out Grammys to the wrong people. Mike supported me in an effort to attract younger voters and helped me, producer Nik Venet (“The Beach Boys), Columbia Records A&R Man, Allan Rinde, and songwriter Van Dyke Parks (“Heroes and Villans”) form listening sessions around the country to play new recordings and artists for our members, so they could vote more knowledgably.

It wasn’t long before NARAS was respected again as the premier music organization and rivaled the new kid on the block, THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS in the TV ratings!

Soon after Mike Melvoin and I were elected to the Board Of Governors, we traveled around the country, New York, Atlanta and Nashville on behalf of NARAS. It was right after the Civil Rights Movement and while traveling through the south there were times when Mike had to soothe my hurt feelings whenever I encountered the stinging barbs of racism…which I never forgot.

Mike went on to become the first musician to become President of the Academy and through the years remained active in the organization. The LA TIMES reported. In 2011, when the Academy made changes in the Grammy awards structure. Melvoin was in the vanguard of the movement to rescind the category changes. As a pianist whose career had touched every stylistic era, he was especially bothered by the effect of the changes upon instrumentalists.

“Everyone who has ever played an instrument,” he said in a public statement, “has had the possibility of receiving recognition from the Grammys gutted. That cannot and will not stand!” 

GOD BLESS YOU…We’re all going to miss you man, may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

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

COPYRIGHT 2012 BY ARTIE WAYNE

There will be a memorial service for Mike Melvoin
Friday, March 2nd at 2pm
at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills.
 
5950 Forest Lawn Drive 
Los Angeles, CA 90068
 

 My new book, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” now available at AT AMAZONor Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

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Back in 1961 my mentor Bobby Darin sent me to see Don Kirshner, who had just formed a publishing company, ALDON music, with music biz vet Al Nevins.

I didn’t know it at the time, but when I signed an exclusive songwriting contract with them, I would be working around and learning from some of the greatest songwriters in history Goffin and King, Sedaka and Greenfield, Mann and Weil.

I learned how to sing harmony from Barry Mann, how to make demos from Carole King, write better lyrics from Howie Greenfield and learned how to plug songs from the best…Don Kirshner!

I remember Don would play the new releases for all of us. We’d analyze the hits then at Don‘s insistence, run off and write the follow up record! At every meeting Don would play a song that would become his Mantra…and ultimately his theme song ”I’m Gonna’ Be A Wheel Someday” by Fats Domino.

When author, Rich Podolsky asked me to contribute to his book “Don Kirshner, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN EAR”, I was not only happy to, but was also anxious to hear about what went on behind closed doors that helped shape the modern music business…I tell you I’m not disappointed!

I’ll let Rich tell you himself.

“When I sat down to write this book, it seemed like Don Kirshner had always been around. I first met him when I was 16 at a record industry dinner in my hometown of Philadelphia. That was 1962. He was only 27 but his song-publishing firm was the biggest thing in the business.

Even back then I knew he had signed Neil Sedaka and Carole King and had started a revolution of teenage songwriting, but it wasn’t until years later that I understood why, and how he was able to achieve it.

When I found out that Kirshner began his career writing songs with Bobby Darin, (when Bobby Darin was still going by Walden Robert Cassotto) I decided I needed to write this book. Kirshner, who had more nerve and guile than anyone, couldn’t understand why publishers (in the ‘50s) weren’t buying their songs.

The answer was simply that those Brill Building publishers were playing it safe. They were more comfortable with the middle-aged songwriters from Tin Pan Alley writing fare like Perry Como’s “Hot Diggity (Dog Diggity, Boom)” that went to No. 1. They not only didn’t like the teens that were trying to sell their songs, they didn’t trust that there was a big enough market to support it.

But Kirshner knew, because all of his friends were dying for more songs like those from Chuck Berry, Little Richard and the Everly Brothers. Kirshner’s vision drove him to open is own publishing firm and throw open the doors to all of that teenage writing talent waiting to be discovered. In the process he discovered and guided the careers of three of the greatest teams in history: Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield, Gerry Goffin and Carole King and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Kirshner’s other great contribution to the music industry was creating and hosting the groundbreaking TV show, “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert,” which ran for over a decade. Every time I ask someone about it a smile comes to their face. My theory is that they all have fond memories watching every weekend while getting high. It was the first long-form programming that didn’t feature bands pretending to sing. Live performances helped make it great.

Kirshner always had a good sense of humor, and liked to tell this story on himself: (This is one that’s not in the book). When Kirshner was putting one of the first shows together (it was called “In Concert” the first year), someone like Artie Wayne told him that they might be able to get Alice Cooper for that show. Without blinking, Kirshner asked, “Is she any good?”

Don Kirshner, undoubtedly, had a golden ear. At 76, he died too soon, and in April he’ll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, way too late. Politics kept him out, and now that he’s finally being inducted, the Hall’s silly archaic rules are preventing his family from making an acceptance speech. It seems they only allow living recipients to speak.

                                                    *****

Here’s a quick story that didn’t make the book because of deadlines.  Neil Sedaka’s first hit was a song he and Howie Greenfield wrote called “The Diary.” Kirshner had taken it to George Goldner hoping Little Anthony and the Imperials would record it and release as the follow up to their big hit earlier in ’58, “Tears on My Pillow.”

Sedaka told me that when Goldner played Little Anthony’s record for him that both Sedaka and Goldner agreed it was terrible. “Why don’t you record it yourself,” Goldner suggested according to Sedaka. He did and the rest, as they say, is history. But just last week I saw Little Anthony and the Imperials  perform in New York (and they still sound great). After the show I asked them what happened. “Goldner was out of town and the A&R guy decided to release another song instead, “ said Anthony. By the time Goldner returned RCA had already released Sedaka’s version.

Live and Learn. There are always two sides to a story. Or was Sedaka rewriting history in his favor? There are a hundred other stories like this one in the book. Hope you all enjoy it.

                                                   —Rich Podolsky

 

 TO BUY  DON KIRSHNER…”THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN EAR” BY RICH PODOLSKY…CLICK HERE…  http://www.amazon.com/Don-Kirshner-Golden-Changed-Face/dp/1458416704/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329778813&sr=1-1 
copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com 

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My condolences to Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick, and their family and friends on the passing of Whitney Houstonwho was laid to rest today.

by Laura Petrecca, Cathy Lynn Grossman, and Gary Strauss for USA TODAY

NEWARK – Saturday’s New Hope Baptist Church funeral service for Whitney Houston was more celebratory than somber, touching on the pop singer’s flaws, but relishing her talent, beauty, compassion and love for music.

  • “We are here not to mourn our loss, but to celebrate hers!”, Newark Mayor Cory Booker told a celebrity-studded crowd of family, friends and entertainment industry A-listers who filled the pews and aisles of New Hope church, where Houston, known as “Nippy,” began singing with the junior gospel choir at age 11.The service touched a range of emotions, ranging from tears to heartfelt laughter over the course of nearly four hours, peeling back the public veneer of troubled superstar to reveal the generous, dedicated artist, friend and mother those close to her loved and relished.”

Here’s a video of the entire funeral http://newyork.cbslocal.com/whitney-houston-funeral/

and here are a few of the afternoon’s highlights including the Winans Family singing “Tomorrow” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-YSzqjpBTk  and Tyler Perry talking about  Whitney’s grace http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcXBpM8YSEQ

JUST POSTED! The article eveybody’s talking about by Dawn Lee Wakefield for the National Examiner  http://www.examiner.com/classic-rock-music-in-national/did-whitney-houston-really-have-to-die-a-wakeup-call-for-wannabes

Finally, here is my tribute to Whitney who i met as a child. http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/whitney-houston-r-i-p-rock-in-perpetuity/

 Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com 

Wayne’s new book, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” is available at  AMAZON , Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

TO READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS  CLICK  HERE

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

The first time I met songwriter Toni Wine (“Candida”, “Tonight You’re Gonna’ Fall In Love With Me”) she was only 14 years old and we were both staff writers for Don Kirshner at ALDON MUSIC.

Over the years we remained friends and occasionally worked together. Back in 1966, when I was writing songs and producing for Scepter Records, my friend Stanley Greenberg who was head of A+R asked me to rehearse a new act he was producing, Diane and Anita.

Although we went into the studio with my song, “One By One” as the A-Side, the song that Toni Wine brought Stanley, “A Groovy Kind of Love”, which she co-wrote with Carol Bayer Sager came out of the studio clearly the winner! 

I’m proud to say that ours was the first recording of the classic, which was followed by two number one records, one by the Mindbenders the other by Phil Collins  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsC_SARyPzk

Seen here with Tony Orlando and producer/ engineer, Brooks Arthur For the past few years Toni has been touring around the country playing synthesizer and singing background for Tony Orlando. 

To reach Toni Wine    http://toniwine.com

Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne

NOW YOU CAN BUY MY NEW BOOK ,“I DID IT FOR A SONG” AT AMAZONor Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

TO READ A CHAPTER OR TWO FOR FREE CLICK  HERE

TO READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS  CLICK  HERE

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT – DIONNE WARWICK, CLIVE DAVIS, DONNA SUMMER,  WHITNEY HOUSTON, CISSY HOUSTON, AND ARTIE WAYNE AT CLIVE’S  GRAMMY PARTY IN 1986.   PHOTO BY SAM EMERSON

Back in 1966, when I was recording for SMASH records my producers Stanley Kahan and Gary Sherman invited me to series of what are now considered historic radio and TV commercials they were producing for Coca-Cola.

They would create one minute exact duplicates of current hit records with the original artists, and at the end of each track would use the tag line, “IT‘S THE REAL THING” in the style of the recording replicated.

I watched Cissy Houston, of the Sweet Inspirations who was adding a background part to one of Aretha’s hits, keep one eye on her lead sheet and the other on her little daughter Whitney, who was quietly roaming around the studio.

Even then she had an aura about her, a special indefinable quality along with a GOD-GIVEN voice of an angel that she was always able to tap into throughout her troubled public life.

As long as there is a Valentine’s Day, “I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU’ will be an everlasting tribute to Whitney Houston and the love she shared with the entire world!  

Whitney Houston R.I.P.  May you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

 

FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON WHITNEY HOUSTON PASSING  http://news.yahoo.com/family-fans-mourn-whitney-houston-tears-prayers-015331440.html

 Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com 

Wayne’s new book, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” is available at  AMAZON , Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

TO READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS  CLICK  HERE

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

“In early 1964, the Beatles are making their mark on the world. Even Walter, my labrador retriever, is a fan. Every time the intro to “I Feel Fine” comes on the radio, Walter jumps up on me, and I have to dance him around the room!

I’m not only excited about the Beatles coming to play Carnegie Hall, but also because there’s a 3-foot Liberty Records publicity picture of me in photographer James Kreigsman’s permanent display case outside the venue, touting me as the artist of the month.

I buy 4 tickets for the second row, a few weeks in advance of the concert, for a ridiculously high price of $40 — $10 each! I invite Ed Silvers and his wife Maryanne, to the concert, to repay them for all the kindness they’ve shown me. I also ask Jemela, the inspiration behind “Midnight Mary” to be my date, and to bring her camera. They all laugh and are surprised to see my publicity photo while we’re waiting on line. Jemela wants to take a picture of it, but I say we’ll have plenty of time to do that after the show.

Even before the concert begins, there’s a restless rumble in the crowd, the kind of reaction that usually precedes a revolution!

As John, Paul, George, and Ringo make their way through the fans who are seated on stage, including NYC Mayor Wagner and his family, thousands of flashbulbs go off at the same time! By the time they plug their guitars into their Vox amps, everyone in Carnegie Hall is standing. I look around and see thousands of people experiencing a musical orgasm, simultaneously releasing themselves from the repression of the 50s, and embracing the promise of the 60s!

I’ve never seen an audience react to a band like I witness tonight. Although Carnegie Hall has some of the best acoustics in the world I can’t hear one word over the constant roar of the crowd. Fortunately, I’m close enough to read their lips so I can tell what song they’re singing. By the end of the night, I’m totally part of the mayhem, as I stand on my seat screaming, I Want To Hold Your Hand,!”

 After the show, a reporter from the Daily News comes over to me and asks, “Aren’t you a little old to be acting like this?” I say, “It’s the Beatles, man! It’s the bloody BEATLES!” When he asks my name, I say,”Ed Silvers.”

After the show, we all forget about taking pictures of my display, and go for a snack at the Russian Tea Room. The next morning, when I pass the display case on the way to Liberty Records, it’s completely covered in lipstick and magic marker with messages for Paul and Ringo. Oh well, at least I can say I made one brief appearance in my lifetime, at Carnegie Hall.”

 Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne.

Last week was my 70th birthday but I let it quietly pass…now ever since I’ve been celebrating the first day of the rest of my life! I’m very fortunate to have a few friends on Earth who have helped me get this far. I’d like to name them, but if I did they’d probably get together and beat my ass! They all agree, however,  that I should share my discovery with the rest of the world!

I’ve long believed in the power of music and its ability to change moods, inspire, distract, soothe, and sexually arouse. Now I want to talk about the healing power of music. “HEALING BEATS” are rhythms that  every human responds to on a deep genetic level, which have been used by primitive tribes since the beginning of time in ceremonies and rituals to promote health and well being. 

As I look back, Music and songs have always played an important part in my life. As an only child who was raised by my Mother and Grandmother living in the Bronx of the ‘50s, sometimes music was my only friend. Songs talked TO me…Songs spoke FOR me…they gave me a livelihood, and NOW they are healing me.

It’s been only a few weeks since I discovered that percussion, drums and rhythms , have been helping me to realign and calibrate my body when I play certain dance Videos during my physical therapy sessions.

After doing my exercises to Lady GaGa, Dan Hartman, and Michael Jackson, I found that I was using parts of my wheel chair bound body that I haven’t used for years! After warming up a little, I was raising and lowering my arms, rolling my neck around, playing imaginary maracas, and then I started emulating the upper body movements of the dancers in the videos. It wasn’t long before I was kicking my atrophied legs in front of me.

Producers like Quincy Jones have been using native percussionists  playing authentic instruments from Africa, Asia, South and Central America on his hit recordings for decades, and now they are  being sampled by everyone. Is it any wonder that we feel so good after listening or dancing to Michael Jackson!

As I “dance” in my wheelchair, I visualize the adult stem cell procedure I’ve been undergoing working at its optimum…and I feel severed nerves being reconnected as I’m moving different parts of my body to various “HEALING BEATS”

Here are my current favorite songs to exercise to, ‘’BLACK OR WHITE” by Michael Jackson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2AitTPI5U0&feature=relmfu  “BAD ROMANCE” by Lady GaGa, and “I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU” by Dan Hartman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc3Sa4n0rS8.

Remember you don’t have to get up to still get down! and “IF YOU CAN ONLY LIFT ONE FINGER YOU STILL CAN POINT THE WAY” 

TO SEE THE TWO MINUTE VIDEO OF ARTIE DANCING IN HIS WHEELCHAIR…CLICK HERE http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/the-healing-power-of-music/

 Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com

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