LEGENDARY MUSIC MAN MORRIS LEVY AND “SHADOW” MANN A LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND!

August 6, 2006

L to R- Shadow Mann, Ron Haffkine, Kelli Ross, and Morris Levy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Photo by Stephen Paley

“In 1968, I wrote a song, “Come And Live With Me,” and Ron Haffkine (who several years later produced a string of hits with Dr. Hook) helps me make a demo. Then my publishing partner Kelli Ross arranges for us to play it to the legendary owner of Roulette records, Morris Levy …who’s riding a wave of Tommy James hits (“Crimson & Clover,” “I Think We’re Alone Now”.)
Although I had met him before as Artie Wayne, I introduce myself to Morris under my new persona… Shadow Mann.

Ronnie puts the music on….turns the volume up…and I leap onto Morris’ desk!! in my black, floppy ‘Shadow Hat’ … custom made black suede jacket with a giant red eagle on the back… I lip-synch my little heart out!!

“Come and live with me…I’ll treat you nice…na na na na na na na”

Morris can hardly contain himself…he makes me perform it over and over for different members of his staff. Then he clears his office…leaving only the three of us. Morris slowly lights a cigar…and tries not to appear excited.

Then he says, “OK Shadow…I want to to do an album…I’ll even give you and Kelli your own label!! How much do you need to get started?” Haffkine chimes in “$25,000″…at which point Morris reaches under his desk…pulls out a brown paper bag and hands me $25,000 in cash!!

I look at Morris wide-eyed and say, “Don’t you want me to sign anything?”, he laughs and says, “Don’t worry, I know where you live!”

3 months later “Come And Live With Me” is released. I go on a promotion tour with one of my discoveries, Sissy Spacek. She’s promoting a song I found and Haffkine produced, “John You’ve Gone Too Far This Time,” a commentary on the Lennon/Ono nude album cover.

I change Sissy’s name to Rainbo, which I think is more commercial, and we travel the country promoting our records, until radio finds them too controversial, as “Shadow” and “Rainbo.” I go back to writing songs and producing, while Rainbo changes her name back to Sissy Spacek and decides to try her hand at acting.”


From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song” Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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

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16 Responses to “LEGENDARY MUSIC MAN MORRIS LEVY AND “SHADOW” MANN A LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND!”

  1. steveo Says:

    Artie, that is outrageous! You jumped on Morris Levy’s desk and started lip syncing..hahahaha Even more outrageous is Levy’s reaction! Thanks for the great story.
    Love the format of your new website!
    Best,
    Steveo

  2. Ron Says:

    Artie, What wonderful memories this stuff brings back. I’m still in close touch with Joel Diamond and Don Oriolo.Hope you’re doing fine.
    Ronnie

  3. barry oslander Says:

    Ron Says:
    October 23rd, 2006 at 7:56 pm
    Artie, What wonderful memories this stuff brings back. I’m still in close touch with Joel Diamond and Don Oriolo.Hope you’re doing fine.
    Ronnie

    No I am still in close touch with Joel D and Don O ron only thinks he is…..his just getting old and forgets the past and the next day. Artie, By the way that Showdow Man album you did broke up my partnership with Ronnie…..thanks and I really mean that.

  4. barry oslander Says:

    Ron Says:
    October 23rd, 2006 at 7:56 pm
    Artie, What wonderful memories this stuff brings back. I’m still in close touch with Joel Diamond and Don Oriolo.Hope you’re doing fine.
    Ronnie

    No I am still in close touch with Joel D and Don O RON only thinks he is…..his just getting old and forgets the past and the next day. Artie, By the way that Showdow Man album you did broke up my partnership with Ronnie…..thanks and I really mean that.


  5. […] the story of Shadow Mann with pictures https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/06/legendary-music-man-morris-levy-meets-shadow-mann-a-legen… Posted by Artie Wayne Filed in sunny monday, johnny cash “a boy named sue”, decca records, […]

  6. c.durborow Says:

    if you think you’ve heard it all about morris levy and roulette records, wait till you read tommy james’ autobiography………

  7. Jordan Levy Says:

    If anyone still reads this, I’d like to hear more about Morris Levy. He was my Grandpa’s cousin, which makes him my 3rd cousin, and my grandpa tells me stories about going out to Morris’ New Jersey Estate and staying weekends there etc, but I have yet to hear more information on Morris. Any extra would be great

  8. mike Says:

    I use to work for Morris up until the day he died.

  9. Lawrence S Grillo Says:

    My name is Larry. I used to work for Morris from the Roulette and Strawberries days. I knew Adam,Beckett and Zachary. Visited Sunnyview farms many times in Ghent,NY. That was where he let people like John Lennon and Tommy James hang out. I am currently recording a Quincy Jones documentary where Morris actually speaks about the Birdland club. Let me know what you want to know about him that maybe I could fill the holes.

    I miss him very much. I feel the music industry died when he did.

    LS Grillo

  10. Jordan Levy Says:

    Mr. Grillo and Mike, please email me at WRShowcase27@aim.com if you see this. I would love to hear stories about him. Thanks alot!


  11. Artie, it so great seeing this photo again, along with making contact with YOU again…Thank you Facebook!


  12. It is a I adore examples of the articles that have been written, and especially the comments posted! I am going to come back!


  13. I adore some of the articles which were written, and especially the comments posted! This is a

  14. Sunny Says:

    Shadow Mann, I remember it like it was yesterday ! Those were Great Times ! Why don’t you put “Come and Live with Me” on Youtube ?

  15. joe Says:

    ” DON’T WORRY, I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE”.
    HAHA GREAT!!

    • Peter Says:

      I spent many visits up at the horse farm in NY while in high school with my friends parents who knew Morris. We stayed there one night while Don Cornelius and his wife were there and remember us all eating dinner together. All of these posts are very interesting to hear so many years later. Morris was always very kind to his guests and obviously had many of them.


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