One day in 1973, while driving down La Brea in Hollywood, I saw Jerry Moss waiting in line at Pinks hot dog stand. I leaped out of my car and introduced myself!
He was standing with Jack Daugherty (the Carpenters producer) They were both surprised and amused by my boldness…which led to both of them opening the doors of the A+M lot to me. As time went by, I became friendly with not only Jack, but with Richard Carpenter, John Bettis ( who co-wrote “Top Of The World”, “Yesterday Once More”and Paul Williams ( “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Old Fashioned Love Song”). We would sit around Paul’s office, discuss music and play songs for each other.
About a year later, when the top position at Irving/Almo music became vacant, Paul Williams suggested to Jerry Moss that they consider me for the job.
In 1974, I left Warner Brothers Music and was asked to join the Irving/Almo publishing arm of A&M Records. The company had been run by Chuck Kaye, but Chuck had decided to take some time off. I was in the right place at the right time.
The following is the actual press release that Rondor Music (the parent company) put out to announce my hiring:
MOSS NAMES WAYNE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IRVING/ALMO MUSIC
Jerry Moss, president of A&M Records, has announced that effective March 15, 1974 Artie Wayne has been named executive director of publishing for Irving/Almo Music. He was formerly general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music.
Wayne was first discovered by Bobby Darin in 1959…who sent him to Donny Kirshner who had just formed Aldon Music with vet song man/producer Al Nevins. It was there that Wayne learned how to write songs from Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield.
He went on to collaborate with Paul Vance and in 1963 co-wrote his first hit “Meet Me at Midnight Mary” with Ben Raleigh and produced Bell Record’s first hit with Joey Powers.
In 1965, Wayne went to Scepter Records with Ed Silvers, where he produced the Shirelles, the Kingsmen and the Guess Who. When Silvers moved to the coast to join Viva Records, Wayne stayed in New York.
Unable to afford to sign Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, whom he worked with at Scepter, he took the duo to Eddie Holland, who signed them to Motown. In the next four and a half years, Wayne and partners Sandy and Kelli Ross build Alouette Productions into the top New York administration and exploitation firm of the late sixties. They represented Quincy Jones, (Joey) Levine and (Artie) Resnick, (Gary) Geld and (Peter) Udell, Bobby Scott, Janis Ian, Ron Haffkine, Leslie Gore, Bo Gentry and Jerry Jeff Walker.
After moving to the coast in 1970, he contributed pieces to Rock and Fusion magazines and reviewed acts for Cash Box before joining Viva Music as professional manager.
For the last three years, Wayne has been general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music. He directed the New York, Hollywood and Nashville professional staff, which has been dubbed “The Warner Raiders.” During those years, they represented the works of America, Badfinger, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, the Faces, the Fifth Dimension, the Kinks, Gordon Lightfoot, Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, Randy Newman, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimmy Webb, Neil Young and many others.
He spearheaded campaigns that resulted in multiple recordings by Three Dog Night, the Lettermen, Bobby Sherman, the Jackson Five, Johnny Winter and Art Garfunkle. His “Raiders” were also responsible for over 50 “cover” records of “Theme From Summer ’42” before the composition received a Grammy or Academy Award nomination. In 1973 the company boasted 55 chart singles and representation in the average of 33 chart albums every week.
More recently, Wayne acted as musical consultant on Warner Bros. Films’ “Cleopatra Jones” which resulted in two top 20 records by Joe Simon and Millie Jackson.
Although his time only allows him to be an occasional song writer, over the years he had nearly 200 of his own compositions recorded, including, among others, titles by Aretha Franklin, Bobby Darin, Jose Feliciano, Chi Coltrane, Rick Nelson, the Jackson Five, Miriam Makeba, Tiny Tim, Wayne Newton, and most recently, the much-covered “Flashback” (co-written with Alan O’Day) with chart records by the Fifth Dimension and Paul Anka.
My first day at the office I found “I Honestly Love You” and sent it to Olivia Newton John http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/09/13/olivia-newton-john-tries-to-squeeze-one-more-hit-out-of-jeff-barry-and-artie-wayne/
The following week I discovered and signed Rick James
I had a chance to work with Brian Wilson http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/brief-encounters-with-brian-wilson/
I didn’t have a chance to work with Billy Preston http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/25/rock-and-roll-heaven-rocks-internet-special-tribute-to-cash-pitney-preston/
Got to work with my old pal Jeff Barry http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/02/10/jeff-barry-i-honestly-like-him/
Became friends with Barry White http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/a-very-special-tribute-to-barry-white-mickey-most-and-jimi-hendrix/
During a time when women were treated unequally in the music business, I did everything I could to give talented, qualified women a break. I promoted my Secretary, Margo Matthews, to the Head of the Copyright Department where she remained for over 30 years.
Brenda Andrews, had been a secretary for seven years before I arrived. Not only did she have a good song sense, but she was showing songs in the catalog and getting more covers than anyone on the professional staff! I doubled her salary and made her an official songplugger. I’m happy to say that she retired a few years ago after becoming senior Vice-President of the company!
Lance Freed, the son of disc jockey Alan Freed, was fairly new to publishing at the time, but had potential. He ultimately became president of the company, a position which he still holds today.
I was told by Jerry Moss when I was hired that I was in charge of the World Wide Publishing operation, only to find out from one of A+M’s lawyers on the eve of my departure to Europe, that I was only in charge of the operation in the US!
Jerry was out of the country, so I couldn’t get this “mistake” straightened out. Besides, I had a meeting in London the next day with Richard Branson to make him an offer to buy his company…Virgin Records.
(To Be Continued)
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
February 10, 2007
Songwriter and Producer Jeff Barry, is always someone I’ve looked up to…and not just because he’s about a foot taller than me! Before I got into the music buisness, I remember first seeing Jeff’s name on one of my favorite records, “Tell Laura I Love Her” (Raleigh/ Barry) by Ray Peterson, and paying attention to his creative output ever since.
The first time I met him was in 1650 Broadway at the office of Paul Vance (“Itsy, Bitsy, Teenie Weenie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”) where I was putting the finishing touches on a song I had written with with Ellie Greenwich and Danny Jordan (the Detergents), “You Should’ve Told Me”, that the Angels were about to record. I was introduced to Jeff when he came in to pick up his Fiance Ellie, for lunch.
While Danny and I sat daydreaming of songwriting superstardom collaborating with this talented lady on dozens of future hits, Jeff had plans of his own. He and Ellie, had started writing with Phil Spector and created songs that not only would become instant classics but would define the 60’s as well, including “Be My Baby”, for the Ronettes, “Do Wah Diddy” for Manfred Mann and “River Deep, Mountain High” for Ike and Tina Turner. Jeff’s love of Doo-Wop, Ellie’s affinity towards girl groups and Phil’s ability to mold the songs they all had written into a “Wall Of Sound”, made for an unbeatable combonation!
Jeff and Ellie sang together as the Raindrops, and co-produced Neil Diamond’s first hits, “Solitary Man”, “Cherry, Cherry” and worked with Shadow Morton, on “Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand)”, and “Leader Of The Pack” by the Shangri-las and “Chapel Of Love”, by the Dixie Cups. When their marriage ended , so did their collaboration with Phil Spector and Jeff started producing on his own. After a successful string of hits with the Monkees, “I’m A Believer”, “A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me”, and the Archies, “Sugar, Sugar”, “Bang Shang -a-Lang”…his creativity took a new turn.
I didn’t see Jeff for a couple years, then while I was visiting my friend songwriter, Paul Williams (“We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Old Fashioned Love Song”) on the A&M Records lot. Jeff, who had just signed a co-publishing deal with Irving/ Almo Music, came in and played me a song he had written, “Walking In The Sun”
Walkin’ In The Sun
Words and music by Jeff Barry
Well, things have been goin’ wrong long enough to know when everything’s just right
I’ve been walking in the dark long enough to know when I’ve finally seen the light
I’ve been losing long enough to know when I finally have won
And even the blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun.
Well, I’ve cried enough tears to recognize this feeling of a smile
I’ve been bottom rung long enough to know when I’m doing it in style
I’ve been running long enough to know when there’s no more need to run
(O Lord) Even the blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun.
The wind is at my back and I’m sailing on a ship long overdue
I’ve blown so many chances, I ain’t gonna blow this one with you
And I’ve seen enough bad times to know when the good times have begun
O Lord – Even the blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun
(Oh yeah) Even the blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun.
Copyright 1973 Irving Music/Jeff Barry International, administered by BMI.
I sat there with my mouth dropped open, fighting back a tear. I always admired and respected Jeff for his ability to tap into the teen market and realistically express their emotions…but I realized his writing had reached a new level. Although I was working for Warner Brothers Music as general Professional Manager, and it was my job to plug my companies songs, I gave a demo of “Walking In The Sun” to my friend, Bob Monoco who recorded it the following week with Chaka Kahn and her group Rufus!
It was years later that I learned that the song was written for his father, who was blind and only this morning did I read the complete story behind the song, in Jeff’s own words on his official website.
The next time I placed one of Jeff’s songs, it was in a more of an “official” capacity. I was hired to run Irving/ Almo, and on my first day on the job, I gave Olivia Newton John, “I Honestly Love You”, that Jeff wrote with the late Peter Allan, which became the record of the year in 1974!
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
For Jeff Barry’s Official Website http://lpintop.tripod.com/jeffbarry/
Special thanks to Laura Pinto http://laurapinto.tripod.com/
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
September 13, 2006
In 1974, on the day of my taking over as head of Irving-Almo music, A&M records publishing arm, Olivia Newton-John called me from London looking for material. I knew very little about the catalog, so I held a song casting meeting to take suggestions from everyone on the publishing staff. After listening to quite a few songs, one caught my attention, “I Honestly Love You” by Jeff Barry and the Late Peter Allen. I was late for an appointment so I had only a chance to hear one verse and barely scan the lyric. We shipped it to London as quickly as we could along along with an idea I had, Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows”.
About a month later, Olivia calls me from Beverly Hills, to say she’s in town and she wants to come over and play me her recording of the two songs I sent, “God Only Knows” and “I Honestly Love You”. I put her on hold and ran through the offce yelling, ” What’s “I Honestly Love You”? Things at the publishing company had been moving so quickly, that I didn’t remember the song! When Olivia came over to my office with her producer John Farrar and played a dub for me…I was almost in tears. The first thing I said to them was, “This should the Record of the Year!” You can imagine my surprise when MCA records didn’t even want to put it out as a single because, “It was too slow!” That’s when Jerry Moss (the M in A&M) let me use his top record promotion staff to break it out of the album. Btw, it did become the Record of the Year!
August 8, 2006
I’m proud to present the second in my series of “Unsung Heroes”, the powerful men behind the scenes in the music buisness. Russ Regan “is the man”…because Russ Regan “was the man” who signed some of the biggest acts in the buisness!
The general public may not know his name, but he’s responsible for selling over one billion records and CDs. The former head of UNI records and Twentieth Century Fox records, shares some never before told stories from the past and gives us a preview of his latest project, which many are predicting to be his greatest acheivement.
Artie Wayne on the Web and Spectropop proudly present the exclusive Russ Regan interview, just click onto http://spectropop.com