Streaker reconsiders trying to sneak out.
While you’re relaxing this weekend you might want to check out these exclusive interviews from Artie Wayne on the Web and Spectropop of “Unsung Heroes – the powerful men behind the scenes in the music business who helped shape the Pop culture!
SHEL TALMY- THE MAN WHO DISCOVERED, INSPIRED AND PRODUCED, THE WHO, THE KINKS, THE EASBEATS, CHAD AND JEREMY!
When I first went to London in 1965, Bess Coleman – one of the Beatles’ press officers and one of my co-writers – introduced me to Shel Talmy, a five star general in the British invasion of the pop culture. I was anxious to meet the legend who discovered, inspired and produced the Who, the Kinks, Chad & Jeremy and the Easybeats. About an hour before I met him, I was shocked to find out that he was a fellow American! When I knocked on his apartment door, in fashionable Knightsbridge, his beautiful assistant led me down a long hallway that was filled on both sides with more gold singles and albums than I’d ever seen in one place! As I sat sipping tea in his office, I heard someone playing a guitar and singing in the other room. The door opened, Shel introduced himself, as well as the singer I heard through the walls, Cat Stevens, who was there to play a couple of his new songs. Over the years Shel and I became good friends. He was one of the few people I could play a song for and get some good constructive criticism. Here he shares some stories and insights with me in this revealing Spectropop interview. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/ShelTalmy/index.htm
RUSS REGAN – OVER ONE BILLION RECORDS SOLD! THE MAN WHO SIGNED ELTON JOHN, NEIL DIAMOND, OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN AND BARRY WHITE!
When I decided to do a series of articles, on “Unsung Heroes”, the powerful men and women behind the scenes in the music business, Russ Regan, was one of the first people I wanted to interview. The general public may not know his name, but the former head of UNI Records and 20th Century Fox Records has been responsible for selling over one billion records and CDs in his career! Russ Regan is “the man”, because Russ Regan “was the man” who signed Elton John, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, and Barry White, as well as the one who was responsible for green lighting, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” In his spare time, he also named the Beach Boys! Just click onto http://spectropop.com/RussRegan/index.htm
JERRY ROSS – THE MAN BEHIND SPANKY AND OUR GANG, BOBBY HEBB, KEITH, JAY AND THE TECHNIQUES, NOT TO MENTION SHOCKING BLUE!
Before there was a Rogers & Hammerstein, there was Rogers & Hart. Before there was a Gamble & Huff, there was Gamble & Ross! Working out of Philadelphia, Jerry Ross had an impressive array of hits that he produced with Candy and the Kisses, The Sapphires and the Dreamlovers, that he co-wrote with Kenny Gamble. Then he moved to New York and had an amazing run of hits with Bobby Hebb, Keith, Jay and the Techniques, Spanky and Our Gang, and Shocking Blue. When you read my in depth talk with my old friend and sometime songwriting collaborater, you’ll discover a new connection to songs that you’ve loved all your life. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/JerryRoss/index.htm
HANK MEDRESS – UNSUNG HERO BEHIND “THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT”, ” HE’S SO FINE’, AND “TIE A YELLOW RIBBON (‘ROUND THE OLD OAK TREE) “
Hank Medress, the founder of the Tokens (”The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and producer of the Chiffons (”He’s So Fine”), Dawn ( “Candida”, “Knock Three Times”) , Tony Orlando and Dawn ( “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ( On The Old Oak Tree “) talks about his career, challenges and aspirations. In an exclusive interview that amounts to a couple of old friends talking, Hank shares stories and experiences that make you feel like you’re there in the moment with him! He also talks about the organzation that he represents, and the gratification he receives from finding recording artists who don’t even know they are owed money. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/HankMedress/index.htm
Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/
BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com
November 12, 2006
Kristen Bell blows a bubble!
My interview with Spectropopper, Jean Emmanuel Dubois, for his forthcoming book “Le Bubblegum”, the history of American and French Bubblegum music, published by le cahiers du rock, continues…
JE- There were a lot of sexual overtones in the music? “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”, “Chewy, Chewy”
AW- Sexual overtones! Sexual Undertones! Shit! There was all kinds of sex…all kinds of tones! (laughs) Those guys tried to get away with as much as they could…under the guise of innocent teen pop music! I remember one day a staff writer came into the office with a song, ” 1, 2, 3 Lickety Split”…and was sent home because the title wasn’t suggestive enough!
JE- Weren’t Joey Levine and Artie Resnick the first to have “backwards” versions of their a-sides as the b-sides of their records?
AW- It made sense, kids who were buying Bubblegum records weren’t buying them for the artist…but for hit A-side! There were no production costs for the B-side, and since all of the royalties were divided in the same way as the A-side, it was a win…win situation!
JE- Besides Levine/Resnick you represented Bo Gentry? ( “I Think We’re Alone Now” )
AW- Joey started writing with Bo and started coming up with some excellent stuff! They wrote a song, “Make Believe” and put it out under the name, Wind. This time Joey wasn’t the anonymous singer on the track, it was Tony Orlando. Ironically, Tony was also having hits at the same time as the anonomous voice of Dawn, (“Candida”, “Knock Three Times”)
The record was a modest hit in the US, but the B-side…a “real” B-side “Groovin’ with Mister Blo”, was top ten all over Europe!
JE-How were you involved with Tommy James and Shondels?
AW- I recorded an album under the name Shadow Mann, for the legendary Morris Levy, and he sometimes put my label mates and me out on promotion together. I remember once we all did the Upbeat TV show in Cleavland, Neil Diamond was there, Jimmy Ruffin, Kenny Rodgers and The First Edition. Tommy sang his number one hit, “Crimson and Clover”and I performed,” Come Live With Me ” the title track of my album. I also introduced my protoge, Sissy Spacek, who I renamed “Rainbo”. She was promoting her single, “John, You Went Too Far This Time”, which was a Bubblegummers reaction to the naked John Lennon and Yoko Ono, “Two Virgins” album cover.
JE- It was around this time you started writing songs with Gary Zekely and Mitch Bottler, who wrote, “Sooner or Later”, “Wait A Million Years”, “Superman”, and other “Sunshine Pop Songs”?
AW- I fell in love with a beautiful, Playboy Playmate on my last trip to California…and couldn’t wait to get back to the West Coast! The night before I was scheduled to write with Gary And Mitch…I broke up with her! I was crushed and devestated, but when I heard the chorus that Mitch started banging out on the old stand up piano I started singing some of the happiest, most positive lyrics I ever wrote in my life!
I used to look at life through a shade of grey
‘Til I found some satisfaction in the things you’d say
You took me in your hands like a piece of clay
Made me a man now I gotta’ say
Copyright 1969/ 2006- EMI music/ Artie Wayne music
JE- What about the beautiful Playmate?
AW- Never saw her again…anyway, Gary Zekely had a top ten hit as producer for the Clique with “Sugar On Sunday” ( written by Tommy James), and recorded “Hallelujah” for the album. It was covered about a year later by Sweathog, and went to the top 30 in the US!
JE-You also produced, Sal Tramalchi who wrote the smash,”1, 2, 3 Redlight”, for the 1910 Fruit Gum Company.
AW-Sal Tramalchi was a very complex person. He could go from writing bubblegum songs to psychedelic anthems in the time it takes a cube of sugar to dissolve in a cup of coffee! He wrote a great song, “Woodstock”, which Howard Bogess and I produced for Vanguard. Sal was magic when he played guitar and sang, so I got the “Brilliant” idea to cut him live with my studio band. Unfortunately, Sal arrived in the sudio, “inspired” but unable to perform.
After we redid the tracks and overdubbed the N.Y. Philharmonic string section, Sal came in and did an excellent vocal in one or two takes. The record came out and quietly sank into the sunset, as I packed up the last of my belongings and moved to Hollywood.
JE- What would you consider your greatest acheivement in bubblegum music?
AW- In 1973, I was at the Tokyo music festival for Warner Brothers music and picked up a song from a white South African writer, who the music people were avoiding because of his country’s stand on apartheid!
JE- You’re an African- American, why didn’t you ignore him also?
Aw-After talking to him, I felt he had the heart and soul of an artist that transcended the archaic practice of his country. It only took a few minutes to listen to the song that nobody wanted to hear…but I knew right away it was a hit!
Terry Dempsey gave me the sub-publishing rights for no advance, if I could get his song, “Daydreamer”, covered by a major US artist. Within days of my returning to Hollywood, Stephen Craig Aristei, one of my “Warner Raiders” gave it to David Cassidy. He was fresh from the Partridge Family, and it became his biggest solo hit, selling 5 million records!
JE- I never realized how involved you were with Le Bubblegum!
AW- Now that you mention it…neither did I!
Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne
If you missed the first half of the interview…and Elisha Cuthbert blows! click on http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/10/29/play-me-something-bubblegummy-chewy-chewy-yummy-yummy-yummy/
EXTRA! Lindsay Lohan And Paris Hilton On Top Of Britney Spears. PHOTOS! http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/12/04/exclusive-photos-lindsay-lohan-and-paris-hilton-on-top-of-britney-spears/
To see the naked John Lennon and Yoko Ono Naked album cover and hear Sissy Spacek (“Rainbo”) sing, “John, You Went Too Far This Time” Just click onto http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/18/the-naked-truth-about-john-lennon-and-yoko-ono-and-an-outraged-sissy-spacek/
Hank Medress – The Unsung Hero behind, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, “He’s So Fine”, And “Tie A Yellow Ribbon”!
October 31, 2006
l to r Hank Medress, Mitch Margo, Phil Margo, and Jay Siegal
The Tokens are inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame 2005
Hank Medress, the founder of the Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and producer of the Chiffons (“He’s So Fine”), Dawn ( “Candida”, “Knock Three Times”) , Tony Orlando and Dawn ( “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ( On The Old Oak Tree “) talks about his career, challenges and aspirations.
In an exclusive interview that amounts to a couple of old friends talking, Hank shares stories and experiences that make you feel like you’re there in the moment with him! He also talks about the organzation that he represents, and the gratification he receives from finding recording artists who don’t even know they are owed money.
Artie Wayne On The Web and Spectropop proudly present The Hank Medress interview http://spectropop.com/HankMedress/index.htm