In 1970, although I was a partner in a successful music publishing firm, Alouette productions, in New York I was ready to trade in New York Canyons for California fields.  When I went to work as professional Manager of VIVA music in Hollywood the first record session I went after was teen idol, Bobby Sherman (“Julie, Julie, Julie Do You Love Me”) produced by Jackie Mills.

As I was going through the VIVA catalog, I heard a song by new writer Alan O’Day called “The Drum”, which sounded to me like it could be made into a number one record for Bobby Sherman. The only problem was I didn’t know Jackie Mills or anyone else connected with Bobby.

I hadn’t learned how to drive yet, so I had our office boy drop me off at Metromedia Records and I waited for a few hours until I was able to corner CEO Artie Vallando.  Although we’d never met, I knew his reputation as a well respected music publisher, and fortunately he knew who I was.

Artie loved the song and a few weeks later got Jackie Mills, to cut it. Artie asked me to come over to the office to hear it. Halfway through the record I screamed, “It’s a smash!  It’s a F#@*in’ Smash!”

Artie looked disappointed as he said, “Everybody at the label thinks so too! But  the producer wants to put something else out.”

When I ask if he can give me a copy of our song I tell him maybe Ed Silvers (The President of the company) and Mel Bly (the VP) can do something, Artie says, He can’t officially give me a copy. Then he slides a copy of “The Drum” across the desk to me, excuses himself and leaves the room.I get back to the office as fast as I can, and play the record for Ed and Mel. They’re even more enthusiastic than I am about it. We all know that Bobby Sherman is due out for a new single, and we want it to be ours! Mel is a great record promotion man and on a Friday he has 50 acetates made of “The Drum”, and he sends it out to the top program directors in the country. The record is added to all of their playlists on Monday before anyone at Metromedia finds out what’s going on.

Songwriter Alan O’Day Adds, “1969 was an exciting time when I found out that Bobby Sherman recorded my song “The Drum”, produced by Jackie Mills!  The combination seemed to work, as “The Drum” became a hit, & Mills went on to produce two more of my songs with Sherman, “Caress Me Pretty Music”, and “Everybody Wants To Sing A Goodtime Song”, co-written with Artie Wayne.”

Although Jackie was mad at me initially, when “The Drum” went Top Ten all was forgiven. And from then on he kept a door for me to get material straight to him. Not only did he have a great ear for a song, he was an excellent producer, a consummate musician, and always a gentleman.

Jackie Mills R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

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

To reach Alan O’Day  http://alanoday.com

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

RAIDERS

top l-r Ed Silvers, Tony Byrne, Mel Bly… bottom l-r Artie Wayne and Stephen – Craig Aristei

Back in 1972, I moved to Hollywood, became General Professional Manager and Director of Creative Services at Warner Brothers Music. I headed up a group of seven relentless songpluggers, I named “The Warner Raiders”, who would go to any lengths to get one of our companies songs recorded.

There was a kid in the mailroom that had the same fire in his eye as David Geffen had, when he was in a similar position at the William Morris agency. Stephen Craig Aristei would work hard, ask questions of everybody and stay late in the office listening to songs in the vast catalog. Ed Silvers, president of the company, and I welcomed him to our staff meetings where he would make astute casting suggestions and be treated like one of the “Warner Raiders”.

We all knew that he had the potential, but I didn’t have the budget, to hire another “Raider”. One day, Ed called me into his office and told me that we had to get cover records from the show that was just revived on Broadway, “No, No Nanette”. I looked at him like he was crazy … and asked if that meant I should try to get Michael Jackson to cut “Tea For Two”? He glare and said, “You’re the Director of Creative Services … be creative!”
Craig and I listened to the score over and over, and we decided that I should update the song “I Want To Be Happy” and submit it to Motown. I gave my piano voice demo to the late Hal Davis at Motown, who cut the track for Michael Jackson.

A week later, when I went to Mowest studios, found him putting an unknown Lionel Ritchie on the track!! Hal, an imposing bear of a man, saw that I was freaking out over the “switch”, grabbed me and threw me across the recording console, warned me that if I got anyone else to record the song, I would have to answer to him!!

I quietly got up, brushed myself off and went back and locked myself in my office. That night, Craig and I sent out dozens of copies of “I Want To Be Happy” to everyone I could possibly think of!! Nobody Fucks with the Warner Raiders!!

NANA

A few days later, I hired a dancer, the actress Teri Garr, to join Tony, Craig (who would carry a boombox, playing “Tea For Two” and “Happy”), a limo and a camera-bearing limo driver, who would capture us promoting “No, No Nanette” in the offices of Mo Ostin, Joe Smith, Jerry Moss, Artie Vallando, Mike Curb and Jimmy Bowen. 

On the morning of the promotion, Teri Garr, the dancer, is a no-show, at which point Stephen Craig Aristei jumps in and says, “I can dance!!”. I got down from the window ledge and said, “If you dance today …you’ll be a “Warner Raider” tomorrow!!

Well, Craig became a “Warner Raider”…and “I Want To Be Happy” was cut by Sammy Davis, Jr. and wound up on the b-side of his million selling, “Candy Man”! Over the years Craig has become one of “Unsung Heroes” of our business, and one of the best song men I’ve ever known! 

CRAIG

Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne

To reach  Stephen -Craig  Aristei https://www.facebook.com/stephencraig.aristei?fref=ts#

ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/celebrating-two-million-views-today-on-artie-wayne-on-the-web/

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