When I asked the readers of Artie Wayne On The Web, “Who is going to replace Simon Cowell, Ron Fair or Joel Diamond?, I got hundreds and hundreds of comments and e-mails from all over the world then I started to see why Joel Diamond really should be the next American Idol Judge. https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/whos-going-to-replace-simon-cowell-ron-fair-or-joel-diamond/

L-R Joel Diamond, Carol Conners, Englebert Humperdink, and Robert Culp

Over the years Grammy Award Winning Joel Diamond, as a producer/ songwriter has had 36 gold and platinum records with diverse artists like Englebert Humperdink, Gloria Gaynor, Ray J, and producing and managing The 5 Browns who have literally dominated Billboard Magazine’s Classical Charts for 3 years running with their 3 consecutive #1 CD’s, at one point holding down both the #1 & #2 positions in Billboard.

Joel Diamond chillin’ with Ray Jay                                                            

I spoke to Joel Diamond a couple days ago after Cindy Adams wrote about him in the New York Post, as being considered to replace Simon Cowell. I talked to him again this morning.

Joel – “Artie, before we get started, I just want to say, that I don’t believe anybody can replace anybody else. I would just be bringing to the show my own style and experience as well as new positive ideas in promoting music.

Artie – “and what would that be exactly?”

Joel –  “I want to present “Idol’ with the idea of having “American Idol” Song buses that will travel to schools and children’s hospitals and have kids interact with people who create the music. I remember when I was a kid I met Irving Caesar (“Tea For Two”, “I Want To Be Happy”) who sang and played his hits at my school in Passaic, New Jersey. That brief encounter inspired me early in my career and has stayed with me to this day”

“What if inner city kids could interact with an Alicia Keys or a Jay Z? There would be more sing offs and fewer shoot outs! What if the kids who want to be a musician or a songwriter could have a mentor for an afternoon like a Kenny Rogers or a “Smokey” Robinson.…What a boost that would be to their self-esteem. Those sessions could be taped and given free of charge to libraries and schools.”

Artie- “How do you think you’d fit in with the rest of the judges?”

Joel – “I think we’d work together well. I always enjoy being  in the company of stimulating creative people. I’ve always considered Randy Jackson the ultimate musician, who is able to make spot on musical judgments. He’ll always be “top dawg” on “American Idol” as far as I’m concerned!

Kara DioGuardi oozes with the heart and soul of an artist. She also knows a song inside and out, since she’s an accomplished singer/ songwriter herself.

Ellen DeGeneres, has been quite a surprise! She’s obviously a super music fan with excellent taste. The more confident she becomes the better her critiques are. She’s afraid of hurting anyone’s feelings…I say flunk ‘em if they can’t hit a note!”


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

To Reach “AMERICAN IDOL” http://www.americanidol.com/

For Joel Diamond http://www.joeldiamond.com/Bio/index.html

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Over the last few days we got hundreds and hundreds of e-mails about the possibility of independent music producer Joel Diamond replacing Simon Cowell on “American Idol”. Even Cindy Adams wrote about it in the New York Post this morning!

Over the years Grammy Award Winning Joel Diamond, as a producer/ songwriter has had 36 gold and platinum records with diverse artists like Englebert Humperdink, Gloria Gaynor, Ray J, and producing and managing The 5 Browns who have literally dominated Billboard Magazine’s Classical Charts for 3 years running with their 3 consecutive #1 CD’s, at one point holding down both the #1 & #2 positions in Billboard.

We caught up with the man himself as he was about to leave for the studio.  to put the final touches on a new recording that he is producing with Athene Noelle and breaking new ground by combining Opera & Dance.

Artie – “Joel…you must really be excited about all the attention you’re getting.”

Joel – “I’m beyond flattered by all the generous and warm responses from many of my friends in the business and somewhat in disbelief that my name is even mentioned in the ‘mix’.”

Artie – “So you’re a fan of the show?”

Joel – “How can you not be? It’s the first time the public really has an opportunity to see what it takes and how much work, time, and effort goes into becoming a real star!  I’m impressed with the way “American Idol” promotes their artists and how they act as a conduit for getting their music to the public; in fact, American Idol could become the new business model for the entire (and ailing) music industry.  They make the contestant’s TV performances available the day after the show on I-Tunes as digital downloads.  Artie, do you remember on MOTOWN night when Berry Gordy gave permission for each of the contestants to record their voices on the original Motown hit track?  The only cost was the re-record of the lead vocal and mix…for me, it’s not unlike the music industry’s ‘green’ contribution of recycling hit records which will in turn provide a new  revenue stream for the product that record company already owns.”

Artie – “Who do you think should win “American Idol” this season?”

Joel – I think it’ll come down to whoever picks the best song and has the best performance from now until the finale.

Artie – “Which of the contestants would you personally like to produce?

Joel – “All of them”

Artie – “What do you mean?

Joel – “I thought of a great idea and the perfect song for “all of them” to perform together with each finalist taking a line or two in the verses, and all of them singing the chorus. It’s a remake of the Righteous Brothers “Rock and Roll Heaven” (coupled with a heart warming and memorable video) with a brilliant updated lyric by one of the writers, Alan O’Day. Imagine Casey starting off …”I just heard the news today…another rocker passed away followed by Crystal, and so on and so forth. Talking about impact and out of the box!”

Artie – “What is the most exciting thing about even being considered as an “American Idol Judge?

Joel –  “In addition to changing the lives of some very talented kids, it is also the unselfish ingredient that ‘American Idol Gives Back”, the show’s charitable arm, utilizing their gargantuan presence to raise money to save over a million lives already in Africa!  Who would have ever thought that a mosquito net, which costs only ten dollars, can protect one or more children from getting malaria?”

Joel continues, “Artie, you’re gonna’ have to excuse me- I need to run off to the studio.”

Artie – “Thank you for taking a few minutes with us. This is Artie Wayne on The Web, and that was Joel Diamond on “American Idol”.

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

To Reach “AMERICAN IDOL GIVES BACK” http://www.americanidol.com/idolgivesback/

For Joel Diamond http://www.joeldiamond.com/Bio/index.html

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When my longtime friend, songwriter/ producer/ cartoonist, Don Oriolo said I could interview his superstar client FELIX the CAT you can imagine how excited I was! We all know that Felix is about to launch his comeback with his 36 titles movie catalog being updated in 3 – D, which can be shown in theaters along with big 3 – D blockbusters like “AVATAR”, “ALICE IN WONDERLAND”, and “CLASH OF THE TITANS”.

Now with the new 3 – D TVs from Samsung and LG, and only a handful of 3 – D titles available, the 36 FELIX the CAT 3 –D DVD collection is poised to make history. The fabulous feline’s latest album, “Catzapoppin’”, including Hip – Hop and rock versions of “Alley Cat”, “Stray Cat Blues”, and “I Cat Get No Satisfaction” (featuring The Pussycat Dolls) is about to be released.

FELIX has just been signed as opening act on the Justin Beiber puberty tour…and is said to be secretly dating Taylor Swift. The Hollywood rumor mill is also purring that he’ll be starring in a new movie, dancing around with either Will Smith or Eddie Murphy like Jerry the Mouse did with Gene Kelly in “Anchors Away”.

Artie– “It’s good to see you, Felix”

FELIX – “Thanks, Artie….it’s good to be seen.”

Artie – “Throughout the years there have been six different dogs who portrayed Lassie in the movies. How many different cats have portrayed FELIX?

FELIX – “Hmmmm dogs…..you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all….down boy, sit boy, fetch boy…..geeeesshh.  Try to get a cat to do that….NOT!  I assure you, Artie, when it comes to “cats” there is only one FELIX the CAT! Mickey’s the mouse, Donald’s the Duck…but FELIX IS THE CAT!!!  Ya  know Artie, they say cats have 9 nine lives…..and I’m only on my first one….can’t wait to see what’s in store for me in the next 8…which by the way is my lucky number!

Artie – “I hear that your latest video “Catzapoppin’”, featuring Katy Purry getting a tattoo of your face inked on her ample er, uh….”attributes” has been banned by MTV…why was that?

FELIX – “Hmmm…MTV…how do you spell that?  I have not been kept abreast of that situation, and I’ve pretty much been PG most of my “professional” life anyway as you know….What are you giggling about???.”

Artie – “Well…what’s the most exciting thing in your life right now?

FELIX – “Mmm, we’ve got millions of new orders on our new Fall fashion line…mmm a new book coming out “Conversations with FELIX”…a new TV show in production…but the most exciting thing in my life right now is my New FELIX the CAT electric guitar.  If you got to you can see my pal, Don Oriolo playing a song that I taught him years ago when I was living in NYC… it’s called Harlem Nocturne.

Artie – “WOW”

FELIX – “if you want to know more about it go http://felixthecat.com and if you send me your address I’ll send you a guitar pick and temporary tattoo with my face on it…ABSOLUTELY FREE! Righty-O!  Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…..

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

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“In the ‘50s I grew up in the Bronx and worked in my aunt’s candy store after school. I was somewhat of a nerd, but I got hipper listening to what the kids were playing on the jukebox, especially “Met Him On A Sunday” and “Tonight’s The Night”. I never dreamed that one day I’d be working for the woman behind those records, Florence Greenberg, who describes herself as “a white woman in a black business who couldn’t carry a tune.”

Artie Kornfeld, “The Father Of Woodstock”, who co – wrote “Tonight You’re Gonna’ Fall In Love With Me”, for the Shirelles remembers, “Florence Greenberg was quite a gal! She was as strong as Morris Levy in business, but always kind to me. I do think that Marv Schlacter ran a lot of the company. I had no problem with Scepter Records…but I never checked my royalty statements back then either.”


Russ Regan, former CEO of UNI Records and 20th Century Records adds, “I loved Florence Greenberg!! I worked for her for 3 happy years. She loved the music business; she had great Instincts for hit songs!! She loved her artists!! She was passionate about her employees!! She was truly a great human being!! They don’t make them like her anymore!!”

Ed Silvers, former president of Warner Brothers Music, fondly remembers, “Florence gave me a great opportunity, when she and Marv Schlacter offered me a job to run the publishing arm of Scepter Records, and co-own all new copyrights I could bring to the company. During my time at Scepter, I signed Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, along with their pal Joshie Armstead. Florence was a source of information on how record companies functioned in the 60’s. She had a great feel for talent–Luther Dixon, the hot producer, Hal and Burt doing Dionne, and signing The Kingsmen from a deal she had engineered with a Seattle producer.

Florencealso knew how to deal with promotion of her releases–DJ’s came to Scepter often to receive encouragement!!! I miss her to this day.”

After being unceremoniously fired from a song plugging job four days after I got married, my old friend Ed Silvers hired me to write and produce for Scepter. I got a chance to work with some of the most talented people in the world. I did demos with Nick, Valerie and Joshie, and even co-wrote a couple of songs with Nick.

Florence was very sensitive to her employees. When Ed went on a 2 week business trip to the UK, I’ll never forget that Florence gave me a chance to write and produce some sides on the Shirelles, the Kingsmen, and the Guess Who, as well as gave me unlimited time to experiment in her new 8-track state of the art studio. If only Ed had stayed away another week, I’m sure would’ve gotten Florence to let me cut Dionne Warwick and B.J.Thomas!”


photo at top l-r Luther Dixon, Florence Greenberg, Chuck Jackson, and Marv Schlacter

photo in the middle l to r Joshie Armstead, Nick Ashford, Artie Wayne, Valerie Simpson, bottom- Ed Silvers

thanks to Brian Gari for the middle picture from his collection

Regards, Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

EXTRA! EXTRA! YOU CAN BUY MY BOOK ,“I DID IT FOR A SONG” AT AMAZON or Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

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There has been much discussion about who should replace Simon Cowell on “American Idol” when his contract expires. The two names that keep coming up are Ron Fair (CEO of  Geffen Records ) and indie producer Joel Diamond. My pals from the past have sold millions of units, have an excellent ear for a song, and aren’t afraid to express their opinions.

I first met Ron Fair when he was a second engineer at radio spot maker Joe Klein’s LA recording studio in the mid-seventies. He knew the board and he was fast. I was doing some piano voice demos In between takes he showed me he was a musician and a writer, who was relentless in learning how to become a producer. We were always talking about records and music that we’d hear on the radio…and figure out how they did this or how they did that. But most of all we’d talk about the importance of the song

I’m not surprised that he rose to the top of the business with his discovery and development of some of the biggest stars in the business, which include Christina Aguilera, The Black Eyed Peas, and Keisha Cole, pioneering as well as financing a larger than life video presence for each of these iconic artists

I asked my friend Producer/ manager Barry Oslander who’s worked with both Ron Fair and Joel Diamond which one should replace Simon Cowell , and he responded, When I was heading up RCA West Coast A&R as VP I was looking to expand the A&R Department by two. I called a number of people to come into my office for a chance at the job. All had to have some experience in music publishing since I felt songs make act, acts do not make songs… One of the 8 was Ron Fair, whom I knew from working with him a year before when I was at a music publishing company. I asked each of the 8 to please go find 10 songs which he or she thought could be a charted records/singles. Giving them all a week to ten days. Ron came back to the second meeting with the best and the most songs which won him the job. “

Oslander ponders for a moment then continues, “When Joel Diamond and I worked together at April-Blackwood music, (Columbia Records publishing Company). Our very first week there, we spent hours going over thousands of songs which the company owned to find the songs which we both thought could be hits. It turned out that Joel and I agreed, 99 per cent of the time, and found many under exploited songs in the catalog that eventually charted all over the world!”

I told Barry that I worked with Joel briefly when I was General Professional Manager of Warner Brothers Music and Joel was in our New York office. I was impressed when he went over to April-Blackwood and signed Laura Nyro to a million dollar songwriting contract, and was a bit jealous when he took my former producer, Ron Haffkine and his new group, Dr. Hook to Columbia Records, where they had an incredible run of #1 hits including “Sylvia’s Mother”, and “Cover Of The Rolling Stone”.

Over the years Grammy Award Winning Joel Diamond, as a producer/ songwriter has had 36 gold and platinum records with diverse artists like Englebert Humperdink, Gloria Gaynor, Ray J, and producing and managing The 5 Browns who have literally dominated Billboard Magazine’s Classical Charts for 3 years running with their 3 consecutive #1 CD’s, at one point holding down both the #1 & #2 positions in Billboard.

Both Ron Fair and Joel Diamond have the qualifications to judge on “American Idol”, but which one has “The It Factor” (ironically the title of Cowell’s new show) that will propel them to reality TV stardom?


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

Special thanks to Barry Oslander for his help on this article.

To reach Joel Diamond http://joeldiamond.com

For Ron Fair  http://geffenrecords.com

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Although we hear complaints everyday that there isn’t enough great music on television, that just isn’t true anymore. We’re in the middle of the best season of “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” (although I still can’t figure out which ones are the stars) and this Tuesday night on FOX, following “American Idol”,  starts the second season of “GLEE”, by far the best music show on television!

Last year when I was creating a video jukebox for my friend, songwriter Dean Pitchford (“Fame”, “Footloose”), he asked me if I had seen “GLEE” yet.  He told me that twelve years ago he cast the show’s teacher, Matt Morrison, in the first national tour of the “Footloose” stage musical. It was apparent even then that he was a star in the making,” Dean remembers.  “Now everyone sees what I saw then.”

He also said that, as a music man, I would love this show because “it flips the traditional formula on its head:  instead of the ‘cool’ kids playing in rock ‘n’ roll bands, “Glee” is about the misfits who, despite the judgment of their classmates, come together (like a dysfunctional  family) to do really terrific choral arrangements of classics.  And they do them with amazing flair!”

Dean was right, “GLEE”, more hope opera than soap opera, is the weekly story of the trials and tribulations of a modern high school Glee club. They use  songs of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s as well as recent hits to move the stories along much like a Broadway musical. Most of their songs are not only the kind you want to sing along with, but also the kind the want to buy, as demonstrated by the two number one albums they’ve had in the past year!

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

TO WATCH PREVIOUS FULL EPISODES OF “GLEE” http://www.fox.com/glee/

My friend Alan O’Day updated his classic, “ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN” (Stevenson/ O’Day), which includes many recent Rock and Roll Star passings, and I think The Cast of GLEE could have a number one hit with it. Since the demo was put up on YouTube it’s received almost 600,000 views! What do you think?

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

To reach Dean Pitchford http://deanpitchford.com/

For The DEAN PITCHFORD VIDEO JUKEBOX https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/the-dean-pitchford-video-jukebox/

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Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne