January 21, 2009


Clint Ballard, Jr. is a name I used to pay attention to every time I’d see it in Hit Parader and Song Hits magazines. “I’m Alive” by the Hollies, “The Game Of Love” by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders”, and “Good Timin’” by Jimmy Jones, because he wrote some of the best crafted songs of our generation.

What amazed me was how simple most of his songs were, that not just invited you to sing along, but demanded it!

One such delicious treat is “You’re No Good”, first recorded by Dee Dee Warwick, made into an R&B hit by Betty Everett, then into a pop classic by Linda Ronstadt.

Although I knew Clint Ballard, Jr. to say hello to on an elevator in the Brill Building, when I was living in New York in the ‘60s, it wasn’t until I moved to Hollywood; in the’70s did I have a real conversation with him.

I had just left running A&M’s publishing company, and had started The Artie Wayne Organisation, when I got a call from my old friend Bob Reno, who now had his own record label, Midland International (“Fly, Robin, Fly”). He asked if I could meet with his friend Clint, and help him to make a few connections on the West Coast.

On the day Clint comes over to my house, his Linda Rondstat record hits #1 on the Billboard charts. Naturally I’m excited to share this moment with him. I’m surprised that he’s so apprehensive about the current state of the music business, where it’s harder and harder for an independent songwriter to get songs recorded. It seems that more and more singers are writing their own songs, all but shutting out the pros. He said I would hardly recognize the Brill Building or 1650 Broadway.

I told him about of all the possibilities out here in L.A., including accessibility to artists like Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, The Carpenters, all whom he could easily write for, but he preferred to live back east. I made a few calls on his behalf, but I don’t know of any of them ever paid off.

With Clint Ballard, Jr.’s passing, I hope current artists like Amy Winehouse, Jennifer Hudson, and Beyonce take a serious look at his body of work, and maybe even revive “You’re No Good”.

Clint Ballard, Jr. R.I.P. Rock In Perpetuity!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Here’s Linda Ronstadt and “You’re No Good” (feat. Sherlie Matthews)

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne



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