Although I’ve known Trade Martin since he was one of most in demand session guitarists in New York, I didn’t work with him very often because he was always booked up! In addition to being an excellent musician, part of why he became so popular among producers in the 60′s and 70′s was the fact that he was constantly singing and playing in Rock and Roll Bands in the tri-state area and he not only knew how the everchanging hits on top 40 radio sounded…he knew how they were constructed.
The first time I worked with Trade, was in 1964, just before I took my first trip to London. I had become bored with the American Music scene and became enamoured of what I heard coming out of the UK. I had written a song with Ben Raleigh (“Tell Laura I Love Her”, “Wonderful, Wonderful”) and Danny Jordan (The Detergents) called, “When She Was What She Was”, which was more of a Gerry and the Pacemakers song than a song for Dion.
When I heard Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni’s production of a song Trade wrote for Evie Sands, “Take Me For A Little While”, I was overwhelmed by his songwriting abilities which equaled his musical skills!. When we sat down to plan out my session and I played him my song and he added chords and changes I was only hearing on English hits. The tracks turned out great but I was disappointed in my own vocal. When I came back from England I put my vocal on again, this time with a pronounced English accent and sold the master to Coed records where it was released under the pseudonym Terry Boyd. This was the same label where Trade was signed, that released his classic “That Stranger Used To Be My Girl”.
Although he’s written and scored films, has been nominated for “Clios” for his work in commercials, and received praise for his productions of B.B.King, including the Grammy winning, “Live at San Quentin Album”, his passion for self-expression remains at an all time high as he continues to perform regularly and write and record on a daily basis.
When we reconnected a couple of weeks ago, I became more accutely aware of the part he and his guitar played in the hit making process of some of greatest record producers of our time including Phil Spector, Leiber and Stoller, Bert Berns, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jerry Ross, Jerry Wexler and Burt Bacharach. I didn’t know Trade played on, “Cherry, Cherry”, By Neil Diamond, “Chapel Of Love” by the Dixie Cups, “Twist and Shout” by the Isley Brothers, as well dozens of others he casually rattled off.
As I scrambled to turn my tape recorder on, I started to ask him questions about what I thought every member of Spectropop might want to know.
AW- How did you first get together with Phil Spector?
TM- I was working at the time with Jeff and Ellie, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector’s contractor heard about me and called me up. He said Phil wanted to meet me, so I made an appointment to see him up at Liberty records. You recorded for Liberty didn’t you?
AW- (Laughs) Yeah, briefly. That’s where I met Phil too…he was on the A+R staff.
TM- The contractor told me to bring my guitar to the meeting, so I brought my white fender guitar.
AW- Did you bring an amplifier…or did he have one?
TM- No…no ( laughs) You could hardly hear the sound, but if you listened close enough you could hear it. I didn’t know it at the time, but Phil was a guitar player himself and he studied with Barney Kessel.
AW- Phil played the guitar solo on the Drifters record, “On Broadway”
TM- Right! I caught him playin’ in the studio one day…you know a lot of jazzy stuff. I was a Jazz oriented guitar player myself.
AW- Tell me more about your meeting.
TM- I remember him sitting behind a big desk, and I was on a couch across from him. Our whole meeting wasn’t longer than 6 or 7 minutes. As I pulled out my guitar, he asked what kind of stuff I liked to play? I told him that I played in a night club, and I knew all the solos by Scotty Moore, Carl Perkins…guys like that. At that point he asked, If I knew the intro to “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry? I smiled, and started playing it. He said I’d be hearing from his contractor.
AW- Which you obviously did.
TM- I played on almost every session he did in New York. He found out that I had this D28 Martin Herringbone Dreadnaught acoustic guitar and after he heard it, he always wanted me to play it on his sessions. I specifically remember one session I played it on it, it was at Mirasound with Brooks Arthur engineering. Phil usually used 2 or 3 pianos on his dates. on this one, Carole King was on an upright piano, as I remember, Paul Griffin was on a grand piano and Jerry, Phil’s contractor, was on another.
AW- And what song was this?
TM- “He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss” by the Crystals
TM- Phil wanted me to play 16th notes all the way through the track, fortunately I play the drums, so I was able keep that rythym up! I used to sit right in front of Gary Chester who played drums on most of Phil’s dates.
AW- Gary’s one of the most innovative drummers I ever worked with…you could recognize him on every record he played on!
TM- He’s the best…and what a nice guy!
AW- I’ve been to a couple of overdubbing sessions of Phils but never a tracking session. Tell me more…who were the other musicians?
TM- There was Carl Lynch on Electric Guitar, Billy Butler on another electric and percussionist, George Devins.
AW- And on bass?
TM- Bob Bushnell on electric and Russ Savakus or Dick Romoff on stand up. Phil always liked to use two basses on his tracks.
AW- I worked with all those guys, but I never knew that they were the foundation of the “Wall of Sound”…Great musicians and incredible positive vibes! I heard that once a track was done, Phil would have the musicians double it…to give it his signature sound.
TM- No…not on any sessions I’ve been on. I’ll tell you what he did though…
(To Be Continued)
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
The complete interview with Trade Martin will appear exclusively on Artie Wayne On The Web and Spectropop in about a month. I honestly didn’t plan to do any more interviews for a while, but after reconnecting with Trade, I realized how much of Pop history he’s been part of…and it would be a shame not to document it.
I’m going to be talking with him again on Tuesday at noon, If you have any questions you want me to ask him, about Phil Spector or any of the legends he’s worked with, you can e-mail me at email@example.com
To reach Trade Martin http://trademartinmusic.co
Thanks to Dave Monroe for sending Evie Sands performing ,”Take Me For A Little While” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZTG-5brNII
For Spectropop http://spectropop.com
To get back to Artie Wayne On The Web http://artiewayne.wordpress.com
Special thanks to Jeff Rubin for reconnecting me with Trade.
February 12, 2007
Dixie Chicks Sweep Grammys With 5 Awards!
I was holding my breath when the 49th edition of the Grammys came on last night. I was hoping for the best, but braced myself for a disappointment. I was actually shocked at how good the show was! I have a long history with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, from being a member in the 60′s to becoming a Vice- President under Jay Cooper, in the 70′s, as well as sitting on the Board of Govenors.
My biggest complaint has always been the artists who appear on the telecast who are there to promote their latest release, that sometimes leaves you wondering, how the hell did they get nominated in the first place? Last night was different, every artist who performed did a song that was not only one of their best, but one that was familiar to the public. I’m sure that when the artists saw each other in rehearsal and realized what they were up against… and the bar was raised!
My favorite performances of the evening were by John Mayer, Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown and the Dixie Chicks…and I look forward to watching the videotape I made over and over again! Congratulations to the Dixie Chicks for winning 5 awards, Mary J. Blige 3 and to an array of the most deserving recipients I’ve ever seen!
I also want to congratulate my long time friends, Steve Cropper who won a lifetime acheivement award with his group Booker T. and the M.G.s, and John Densmore, who won with his group, The Doors.
For a complete list of Grammy Winners go to http://grammys.com
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
For more of the Dixie Chicks. http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/10/27/let-sleeping-bitches-lie-dixie-chicks-stirring-things-up-again/
December 9, 2006
Mary J. Blige, leading the pack with 8 nominations is applauded by Justin Timberlake who has four nominations of his own!
When I was General Professional Manager and Director of Creative Services at Warner Brothers Music, I became acutely aware of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The organzation was looked upon as antiquated, whose membership was old with little understanding of the contemporary music They also had a tendency to vote for their peers and the same familiar names year after year. When the American Music Awards (with no industry credibility at the time) came on the scene, it trounced the Grammys in the ratings, NARAS took a long hard look at itself!
I had recently joined the organization to rub elbows with some of the greats in the industry including bandleader Billy May, critic Leonard Feather, Lawyer Jay Cooper, Composer Jim Helms, Producer Bones Howe, Keyboardist Mike Melvoin, and Producer Nik Venet. After a month or two of going to NARAS meetings at the Brown Derby in Hollywood, I came to a simple conclusion. I realized most of the membership was hip enough to recognize and reward quality recordings that they heard…they just never had the opportunity to hear the new stuff! At that point, I organized listening parties in every city that Naras had an office. After experts in each catagory narrowed the field down, the membership was able to listen again then make final choices.
I remember Nik Venet got us Capitol Studios in Hollywood, where he was producing the Beach Boys and Linda Rondstadt, to hold our listening parties. I brought my pal Allan Rinde, then head of West Coast Contemporary A&R for Columbia and “Underground Tastemaker”, to help with publicity. And finally I spearheaded a campaign to recruit new members among songwriters, artists and producers who were currently making hits! Although I’m no longer with the organization, I’m proud to have been on the Board Of Govenors for several years, and Vice-President for a few.
I’m looking forward, not only to see who gets the awards for 2006, but to the performances of the best that music has to offer. The following is a complete list of nominations from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
December 7, 2006
Nominations for the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced today by The Recording Academy, reflecting a year in which multiple genres were represented in top categories, new up-and-comers were nominated alongside established artists and a diverse array of producers and other creative professionals garnered multiple nominations. The 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on “GRAMMY Sunday,” Feb. 11, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
The press event was held at The Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood and was attended by national and international media, as well as key music industry executives. Artists reading nominations this morning included Mary J. Blige, James Blunt, Chris Brown, Evanescence’s Amy Lee, Ludacris, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rascal Flatts, Justin Timberlake and KT Tunstall.
Mary J. Blige tops the nominations with eight, while Red Hot Chili Peppers garner six, James Blunt, the Dixie Chicks, John Mayer, Danger Mouse, Prince, Rick Rubin, will.i.am and John Williams each earn five nods. Beyoncé, Bryan-Michael Cox, Gnarls Barkley, Israel Houghton, T.I and Justin Timberlake receive four each.
“These nominations truly reflect a diverse and vibrant community of music makers and creators who represent some of the most remarkable music of the year,” said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. “Once again, the GRAMMY Awards process has delivered a well-rounded group of excellent nominees, which promises music lovers a spectacular show filled with dynamic performances and ‘GRAMMY Moments’ that can only be seen on the GRAMMY Awards telecast.”
In the General Field, nominees for Album Of The Year are Taking The Long Way by the Dixie Chicks, St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley, Continuum by John Mayer, Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake. Nominees for Record Of The Year are “Be Without You” (Mary J. Blige), “You’re Beautiful” (James Blunt), “Not Ready To Make Nice” (Dixie Chicks), “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley) and “Put Your Records On” (Corinne Bailey Rae). The Best New Artist nominees are rock troubadour James Blunt, R&B singer Chris Brown, British singer/songwriter Imogen Heap, neo-soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae and country singer Carrie Underwood.
This year’s Song Of The Year nominees represent multiple genres from pop to R&B to country. Nominated songwriters include Johnta Austin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox and Jason Perry for “Be Without You” (performed by Blige); Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson for “Jesus, Take The Wheel” (performed by Carrie Underwood); Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Dan Wilson for “Not Ready To Make Nice” (performed by the Dixie Chicks); John Beck, Steve Chrisanthou and Corinne Bailey Rae for “Put Your Records On” (performed by Rae); and James Blunt, Amanda Ghost and Sacha Skarbek for “You’re Beautiful” (performed by Blunt).
Earning five of her eight nominations in the R&B Field, Mary J. Blige dominates the Field. Among her nods, in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category she earned a nomination for “Be Without You,” along with Beyoncé (“Ring The Alarm”), Mariah Carey (“Don’t Forget About Us”), Natalie Cole (“Day Dreaming”) and India.Arie (“I Am Not My Hair”). In the Best R&B Album category, her Breakthrough album vies with Jamie Foxx’s Unpredictable; India.Arie’s Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship; Prince’s 3121; and Lionel Richie’s Coming Home. Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals nods go to George Benson & Al Jarreau for “Breezin’”; Jamie Foxx featuring Mary J. Blige for “Love Changes”; Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams & Carl Thomas for “Everyday (Family Reunion)”; John Legend & Joss Stone with Van Hunt for “Family Affair” (Sly & The Family Stone); and Prince & Támar for “Beautiful, Loved And Blessed.”
In the Pop Field, nominations for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal went to the Black Eyed Peas for “My Humps”; Death Cab For Cutie for “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”; the Fray for “Over My Head (Cable Car)”; Keane for “Is It Any Wonder?”; and the Pussycat Dolls for “Stickwitu.” Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals nods go to Tony Bennett & Stevie Wonder for “For Once In My Life”; Mary J. Blige & U2 for “One”; Sheryl Crow & Sting for “Always On Your Side”; Nelly Furtado & Timbaland for “Promiscuous”; and Shakira & Wyclef Jean for “Hips Don’t Lie.” And the nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album include Back To Basics by Christina Aguilera, Back To Bedlam by James Blunt, The River In Reverse by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, Continuum by John Mayer, and FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Raconteurs, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Neil Young earned nominations in the Rock Field. Vying for Best Rock Album are the John Mayer Trio’s Try!; Tom Petty’s Highway Companion; the Raconteurs’ Broken Boy Soldiers; Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Stadium Arcadium; and Neil Young’s Living With War. Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal nominees are Coldplay with “Talk,” the Fray for “How To Save A Life,” the Raconteurs for “Steady, As She Goes,” Red Hot Chili Peppers for “Dani California” and U2 & Green Day for “The Saints Are Coming.” And Best Rock Solo Vocal Performance nominees are Beck (“Nausea”), Bob Dylan (“Someday Baby”), John Mayer (“Route 66″), Tom Petty (“Saving Grace”) and Neil Young (“Lookin’ For A Leader”).
In the Rap Field, Missy Elliott competes with male rappers in the Best Rap Solo Performance category with “We Run This.” Other nominations in this category are “Touch It” by Busta Rhymes, “Kick, Push” by Lupe Fiasco, “Undeniable” by Mos Def and “What You Know” by T.I. In the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, nominations go to Akon featuring Eminem (“Smack That”), Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z (“Deja Vu”), Eminem featuring Nate Dogg (“Shake That”), Jamie Foxx featuring Ludacris (“Unpredictable”) and Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. (“My Love”).
The Dixie Chicks earn two of their five nominations in the Country Field. In the Best Country Album category, their Taking The Long Way is nominated along with Like Red On A Rose by Alan Jackson, The Road To Here by Little Big Town, You Don’t Know Me: The Songs Of Cindy Walker by Willie Nelson and Your Man by Josh Turner. For Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready To Make Nice” is up against the Duhks’ “Heaven’s My Home,” Little Big Town’s “Boondocks,” Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts The Most” and the Wreckers’ “Leave The Pieces.” Nods for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals go to Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” Solomon Burke & Dolly Parton for “Tomorrow Is Forever,” Kenny Rogers & Don Henley for “Calling Me,” Rhonda Vincent & Bobby Osborne for “Midnight Angel” and Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks for “Love Will Always Win.”
This year’s Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical, nominations reflect established professionals across multiple genres with nods going to Howard Benson, T Bone Burnett, Danger Mouse, Rick Rubin and will.i.am.
In the newly re-named Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album category, the nominations are Solo Acoustic Vol. 1 by Jackson Browne; Black Cadillac by Rosanne Cash; Workbench Songs by Guy Clark; Modern Times by Bob Dylan; and All The Roadrunning by Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris.
Best Jazz Vocal Album nominees are Footprints by Karrin Allyson, Easy To Love by Roberta Gambarini, Live At Jazz Standard With Fred Hersch by Nancy King, From This Moment On by Diana Krall and Turned To Blue by Nancy Wilson.
The Best Gospel Performance category features nominees Yolanda Adams (“Victory”), Israel & New Breed (“Not Forgotten”), Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers (“The Blessing Of Abraham”), Chris Tomlin (“Made To Worship”) and Tye Tribbett & G.A. (“Victory”). Vying for Best Traditional Gospel Album are An Invitation To Worship by Byron Cage, Paved The Way by the Caravans, Still Keeping It Real by the Dixie Hummingbirds, Alive In South Africa by Israel & New Breed and Finalé Act One by Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers.
GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed to the voting members of The Recording Academy on Dec. 13. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 10, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the telecast.
The 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by John Cossette Productions in association with Ken Ehrlich Productions for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich and John Cossette are executive producers, Walter C. Miller is producer/director, Tisha Fein is the coordinating producer, David Wild is the writer, and Tzvi Small is supervising producer.