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Long before, “Lady Marmalade”, “Devil With The Blue Dress On”, and “Cant Take My Eyes Off You”, Bob Crewe, was one of my favorite songwriter and producers. When I was starting out in the music business. “Silhouettes”, “Luck Ladybug”, “Walk Like A Man”, were the kind of songs I wanted to write and “Palisades Park” and “Tallahassee Lassie”, were the kind of records I wanted to produce.

I remember being introduced to Bob for the first time, by publicist/ manager Harriet Wasser in front of 1650 Broadway. We all talked for a few minutes, then he invited me down to Allegro studios, which was in the basement of the building. He was recording a few demos for the Four Seasons and as the afternoon progressed, Bob became more and more dissatisfied with the vocals.

Harriet suggested that he give me a try on vocals since she was familiar with the demos I was doing for publishers around town, that required using a lot of falsetto and singing all the background parts. Although he wasn’t a musician, he was a singer and was able to tell me exactly what he wanted, as well as instilling the confidence in me to execute it. He truly was able to bring out the best in everybody he worked with…like a great director!

He loved the results and a few days later, Bob asked Harriet if she would see if I’d be interested in “being” the Four Seasons for one record? It seems that Bob was having a dispute with the group, and owned the rights to the name and could put out whatever he wanted! Although I was flattered, and wanted a hit record…I wanted to be a solo Rock and Roll Star!

Over the next few years, I’d run into Bob at parties and industry functions, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I had a chance to sit down and talk to him at length. It was up at Motown records in Hollywood, where he had an exclusive production deal. He was up there to play a new mix on a record that Berry Gordy kept turning down, which he played for me,”My Eyes Adored You” by Frankie Valli. I sat there stunned by the incredible record I was listening to…then Bob started to pace back and forth, becoming more and more agitated, then he confessed that he was there to give Gordy an ultimatum!

( To Be Continued )

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne


l -r Bob Crewe, Bobby Darin and Ellie Greenwich

Photos at the top- Bob Crewe…Bob and singer/songwriter Eddie Rambeau

To reach Eddie Rambeau

Special thanks to Rosemarie Edwards




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

Special thanks to Laura Pinto

For the complete story behind, “I Honestly Love You”


Original Christmas of clips of Bing, Elvis, Band Aid, Darlene Love and Phil Spector! Christmas Video animations featuring Destiny’s child, Bobby Helms and the Drifters!

When Whoppy and Streaker were little more than kittens I sat down with them on their first Christmas Eve and sang Christmas songs on my guitar. Ten years later they’re playing Christmas songs for me that they found on the Internet! Sound outrageous? Not as outrageous as some of the the videos they found!

Here is the 50’s version of “White Christmas”, by Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters, one of my aunt Wan’s favorites, which my friend Publicist/ Writer Gary Stromberg, sent me as a Christmas card.

Growing up in the 50’s, Irving Berlin was one of my greatest influences. He wrote other classic songs like “Easter Parade’, “True Love”, “Always”, and “God Bless America”, but none ever touched as deeply as his perrenial “White Christmas”. When I started in the music business, I remember going from door to door in 1650 Broadway, trying to get my songs published. One day I walked into Irving Berlin Music, which occupied a suite of offices on the second floor. I asked the receptionist If I could see Mr. Berlin, and play him a few of my songs. Holding back a smile, she said, “I’m sorry, but Mr. Berlin, no longer comes into the office…besides this company Only publishes Irving Berlin songs!”

This “Brash Brotha” from the Bronx, smiles and asks, “In that case may I just take a look at his piano?” She smiles back and says she shouldn’t be doing this…and took me into the room where he did his writing.

This is the instrument, I read about in Life Magazine. Berlin, with no formal training, was only able to play in the key of C. So he had this upright piano made with a “gear shift”, to change keys or modulate with a flick of the wrist! Although I want to sit and play, I don’t want to overstep my bounds, so I just gently and respectfully touched it on my way out.

Here’s “White Christmas” performed by Bing Crosby, from the 1942 film, “Holiday Inn”.

The next video is from a 1977 ABC special with a duet by Bing Crosby and David Bowie on “Little Drummer Boy”.

Author and songwriter, Patti Dahlstrom sent this interactive video Christmas card, I thought you’d enjoy!

Patti sent this incredible “Silent Night” interactive card as well!

Along with my first phonograph, my mother gave me “Elvis’ Christmas Album”. Here’s a clip of Elvis Presley, from the Ed Sullivan Show, singing “Peace in the Valley”with the Jordanaires.

How did Whoppy And Streaker know I loved “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” It’s the Band Aid Video That Bob Geldof put together in 1984 to raise money for starving people in Africa.

Here are the Jingle Cats and their version of ,”Jingle Bells”

Here’s Bobby Helms with Dancing Snowmen and “Jingle Bell Rock”

Elvis Presley from his 1968 “Comeback” NBC Special doin “Blue Christmas” in a medley.

The next song, “Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer”, is one of the best known songs in the world. It was originally the B-side of a Gene Autry record, “If It Doesn’t Snow On Christmas” It was the first 78 I ever owned, a gift from my uncle Mick and aunt Polly…to be played on the new phonograph my mother gave me!

Johnny Marks, the composer of “Rudolf”, as well as “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, was definitely the King of Christmas? The song became so popular, that everytime a reindeer was drawn or painted with a red nose, he would get a royalty! Johnny was a character out of a Damon Runyan story, hair slicked back 40’s style, always nattily dressed, the kind of a guy you’d see at the race track waiting in line at the $100 window. He was quiet and assuming most of the year, but at Christmastime, he’d be in his glory! I remember once in the mid-sixties, during the holiday season , Johnny took my wife and I to lunch at Jack Dempseys’. The restaurant was located right next to the Brill Building and the poor man couldn’t take a bite without one his songwriter or publishing pals coming over to interrupt. Without question he was definitely one of my songwriting heroes!

Now Destiny’s Child’s 2001 video of “Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer”

About ten years ago after inexplicable weakness and episodes of falling down in the street. I checked into UCLA Medical Center for 3 days of test. They kept me for 3 weeks! It was a few days before Christmas, I was in a ward with many who were far worse off than me…and we did our best to keep each others’ spirits up. Somehow, I lost my phone book, and the only numbers that I could remember was my Mothers’, who had moved to West Virginia, and that of my long time friend Alan O’Day, who was on his way out of town.

It’s a policy of most hospitals to send as many patients home for the holidays to be with their family and friends. Soon, I was the only one left in the ward, since I had nowhere else to go. One lonely night, as I sat feeling sorry for myself, I heard a group down the hall, singing Christmas carols. I followed the voices to the the children’s ward…where I heard the joyous sounds of “Jingle Bells”. It was the Salvation Army, passing out toys and candy, and singing to the kids, who were confined to their beds. I joined in on “Silent Night”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”, but when they started singing “White Christmas”. Tears started running down my face, and I had to sit in another room to compose myself. This song, written by Irving Berlin, always brings back memories of family and friends in a snow covered New York City…flooding me with emotions.

10 years later, I told Toni Wine (“Candida”,”Groovy Kind Of Love”) I told her the story…and showed her some lyrics I had written that fateful night, “I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”. She loved it, but wanted to make the story more universal. Over two writing sessions, which we actually started on Irving Berlin’s piano that Toni bought many years ago, we came up with….

words and music by Toni Wine and Artie Wayne

They can play “Jingle Bells” all day
talk about Santa’s Sleigh
I’m alright on a very “Silent Night”
But then my tears begin
when they sing I can’t join in
‘Cause I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”

Bein’ without you just ain’t no fun
What kind of thrill is cookin’ for one?
Can’t deny I wanna’ cry myself out
Here’s to Holiday spirit
don’t wanna’ be anywhere near it
‘Cause I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”

And Baby I know…You needed to go
But why did you have to leave me now?


Don’t feel like spreading good cheer
Just wanna’ sleep in the New Year
‘Cause I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”
‘Cause I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”

Copyright 2005-CasmoTwine

If you’d like to hear the Tony Orlando and Dawn recording click

Where to buy Tony Orlando and Dawn”Reunion” CD


Elvis Presley “Blue Christmas”, Neil Diamond “Holly Holy”, Celine Dion “Oh Holy Night”, Bing Crosby and David Bowie “Little Drummer Boy” plus THIRTY MORE! JUST ADDED…JOSH GROBAN FROM HIS #1 “NOEL”…OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN FROM HER NEW CHRISTMAS ALBUM, John Denver, the Muppets, MORE!

For “Nookie’s Top Christmas And Hanukka Videos!” Adam Sandler, “Hanukkah Song”, Neil Diamond, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, ‘n Sync, Toby Keith, complete version of Charlie Brown Christmas, more!

To reach Toni Wine

For Sebastian Prooth

To know more about Gary Stromberg’s book, “The Harder They Fall

For the Salvation Army

More Artie Wayne on the Web

If you liked “Whoppy and Streaker Present The Top Christmas Videos of all time”, feel free to share it with a friend…I you loved it, please feel free to send it to your entire address book!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukka and the the best of the holiday from Artie Wayne On The Web…and Whoppy and Streaker on the couch!


l to r Hank Medress, Mitch Margo, Phil Margo, and Jay Siegal
The Tokens are inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame 2005

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.

Artie Wayne On The Web and Spectropop proudly present The Hank Medress interview


It was 1961…and it was my first day on the job at New York’s Lowe’s State Theater, yelling, “Immediate Seating for Gone With The Wind!” The most appealing part of the job was the location…it was only five blocks away from 1650 Broadway…the new Tin Pan Alley…the “hipper” Brill building! This was also the day that my Mother met me up at Aldon Music, where Al Nevins and Don Kirshner convinced her that I shouldn’t go to college but hang out in their offices , learn how to write songs and prepare myself to become a Rock and Roll Star!!!

Like Chuck Berry said, ” I studied hard hopin’to pass”. I took advantage of the chance to be around some up and coming talent who soon would become the most sucessful writers in music buisness history!

now As a wide-eyed 18 year old, I sat everyday in Aldon Music’s 1650 B’way office and became freindly with most of the writers who were signed…Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield (who helped me develop as a lyric writer), Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (who taught me how to sing harmony), Gerry Goffin and Carole King (who showed me how to make demos), Jack Keller (who helped me with my chords), Larry Kolber (one of my first lyric partners), Russ Teitleman, Brooks Arthur, Billy Michelle, Al Gorgoni, Charles Koppleman, Don Rubin and a 14 year old Toni Wine.

I’d occasionally babysit for Carole King, while she was in the studio doing demos. In return she would play keyboards, arrange, and sing background when I had to put down my songs on tape. I remember one day she came in to play Don Kirshner her new song but he was still out to lunch. She asked me if I’d like to hear it while she was going over it.

She sat down at the old upright piano in the music room and started playing, “Tonight you’re mine completely…You give your love so sweetly…” I was spellbound, until the very last note of, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”. I sat there as she played it a few more times, knowing I wouldn’t be able to write anything of my own for weeks!

Then she was summoned to Don’s office. I think he liked it too…I kept hearing him yelling through the door, “It’s a Smash!…It’s a Fuckin’ Smash!”

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne-




Richard Perry
I was in the music buisness as a songwriter, artist, producer, publisher and promoter from 1960 to 1996 and met many people who have become legends. One CD and record producer who particularly stands out is Richard Perry. His track record is astonishing! From Tiny Tim, Harry Niilson, Barbra Streisand, Ringo Starr, The Pointer sisters, to the last four Rod Stewart “American Songbook” albums…he’s been consistantly on the charts for the last four decades!

I talked to him a few months ago after not being in touch with him for ten years ( I was quietly recovering from a spinal operation ) and have begun to submit songs to him again. I’d like to share a couple of stories with you from my forthcoming book about some of my experiences with him.

Richard Perry and I became friends in the mid-sixties when we were neighbors at 1650 Broadway. He was producing the “God Bless Tiny Tim” album and recorded one of my songs, “Daddy, Daddy What Is Heaven Like?” His first Gold Album, and mine. Since Richard isn’t a songwriter and depends totally on outside material, he became the number one producer that songwriters and publishers would persue. When I ran the professional department at Warner Bros. Music in the early ’70’s, Richard was always the first to hear our best songs. My boss, Ed Silvers, suggested that I update the old Johnny Burnette hit, “You’re 16,” with a New Orleans feel for Richard’s upcoming Fats Domino session. Richard loved it, but didn’t cut it with Fats. Over the next two and a half years it was turned down by 122 artists and producers. My little piano voice demo became an ongoing joke at Warner’s….until Richard Perry finally cut it with Ringo Starr and sold five million records!

The next story…

In 1971, the single “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand was in the top ten, but her album wasn’t finished yet. Richard Perry, who was the producer, called me up on a Sunday afternoon and asked if I wanted to listen to the final mixes on Barbra’s album.

Needless to say I was thrilled, but as I sat in the studio listening to the playback something was bothering me. I couldn’t hear the lyrics loud enough over the track!! As I sheepishly told Richard what I thought, his engineer, Bill Schnee, jumped up and said, “I told you Richard……You can’t hear the lyrics !!” Richard looking a little stunned, smiled, thanked me for coming down and started re-mixing again.

The already overdue album was finally released a month later. My friend Allan Rinde, who was the Columbia Records’ West Coast Contemporary A+R director, told me that I’d be banned from the company forever if I ever interfered with any of their producers again!