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VAN MCCOY 1/6/40 – 7/6/79

Back in 1966, having been traumatized by my run in with the Rolling Stones in the U.K., I returned to the United States. My friend, Ed Silvers, who produced me as an artist for Liberty records, was now a vice-president of April-Blackwood music [Columbia Records publishing arm], and gave me my first job as a songplugger. Of all the staff writers who were signed to the company, Van McCoy, who was starting to make a name for himself, impressed me the most.

This was the first of many times in my career that I worked with him. I wasn’t at the company very long, but I managed to get Van a top 20 Billboard hit when I gave Chad and Jeremy, “Before And After”.

The next time I worked with him was when I went into business with David Kapralik, who was formerly the head of April-Blackwood. Van McCoy was producing for David and recorded a song from one of the writers I discovered and signed to an exclusive contract, Tony Romeo, who later went on to super-success writing for the Partridge family. Needless to say I was thrilled when Van put “I Will Watch Over You”, on the B-side of “Close Your Eyes”, the first hit by Peaches and Herb!

The last time I saw him was in the mid 70’s, just before his rise as the ‘King of Disco’, with “The Hustle”. He was in the Billboard top ten with “Walk Away From Love”, by David Ruffin, and Ed Silvers, head of Warner Brothers music sent me to New York to hang out with him and hear his new material. Van sat down at the piano and played me a half a dozen new songs that were sensational!! Then he invited me to the studio where he was putting down 16 tracks of live drums, a Linn drum machine and percussion for a 25 minute dance track.

It’s been almost 30 years since he passed away, but I still hear his vocal influence today in artists like Usher, Justin Timberlake and Ne-Yo, who may or may not know who their “Musical Grandfather” was. Van’s singing was largely unknown by the general public, but his unique phrasing became popularized by artists who heard his demos and recorded his songs.

My faves in Van’s catalog include, “Baby, I’m Yours” by Barbara Lewis, “Giving Up” by Gladys Knight and the Pips, and “When You’re Young and in Love” by Ruby and the Romantics.

I wish someone would put together a CD of Van’s incredible demos, so people outside of the industry would know what a great talent he really was.

VAN McCoy R.I.P.Rock In Perpetuity!

Your Friend, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne

WHILE FIGHTING LARGE CORPORATIONS WHO ARE TRYING TO KEEP ROYALTIES AWAY ME AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER ARTISTS, SONGWRITERS AND PUBLISHERSMY ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME IS FROM THE SALE OF MY BOOK. ” I DID IT FOR A SONG”, WITH OVER 100 STORIES FROM THE MUSIC BUSINESS OF THE ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. I HOPE YOU’LL CONSIDER BUYING ONE DIRECTLY FROM ME THROUGH PAYPAL FOR ONLY $9.99 AT  artiewayne@gmail.com OR BY CHECK TO…ARTIE WAYNE  P.O. BOX 1105, DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA 92240

THANKS AND REGARDS, ARTIE WAYNE https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/celebrating-two-million-views-today-on-artie-wayne-on-the-web/

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

 

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After returning to New York from my first trip to the UK in 1965, where I was pushing my songs and traveling on a promotion tour with the Beatles, I went to work for April-Blackwood music as a song plugger. Unfortunately, the people who hired me were fired two weeks after I started, leaving me to fend for myself. The new regime wanted to give me a chance and rushed me through all the red tape at CBS (which owned April-Blackwood).

After a routine insurance examination, the doctors asked me how long I had known about my heart condition? I had no idea what the hell they were talking about, but after getting a second opinion, I was told that I had an extra vein pumping impure blood back into my heart and possibly two years to live! That’s when I became one of the first Americans to have open heart surgery, which CBS paid for. I was grateful for their generosity…but I hated the corporate bullshit I was expected to deal with…so I never went back!

After that I formed my own publishing companies, had a few hundred of my own songs recorded and produced records for dozens of companies. Although I had little success with my own creative output, I went to work as a writer/ producer for Scepter records. When they sold their publishing company, I went into buisness with Kelli Ross and ran the publishing companies of Quincy Jones, Janis Ian, Bobby Scott, Leslie Gore, Joey Levine and Artie Resnick.

After I failing to become another JImi Hendrix, under the name Shadow Mann, I moved to Hollywood and had success after success when I headed up “The Warner Raiders”, my crack team of songpluggers for Warner Brothers music, and when I ran A&M’s publishing companies. When I started dealing more with politics than I was with music I went into buisness for myself, producing and selling dance records around the world. I was also an agent for a radio spot producer, winning a “Clio” myself for co-writing a Kenny Rogers spot. I also named and hosted my friend, Allan Rinde’s restaurant, Genghis Cohen, where I also established myself as a “Wearable Artist to the Stars”

After surviving open heart surgery, eleven engagements, two marriages, several attempts on my life and all of these careers…I thought it all was coming to an end 10 years ago when I inexplicably started falling down in the street! I had a spinal operation, which left me partially paralyzed, and only able to control one finger with which I type.

When Allan sold Geghis Cohen, he gave me a computer and an introduction to Spectropop, a 60’s music forum which stroked my ego and helped develop my writing and typing skills. 6 months ago I started my own blog, Artie Wayne On The Web, and I’m proud to say that I’ve had over 200,000 hits! Now every morning I wake up excited to express myself in ways I never could before, while finding new and creative ways to promote my music!

I want to thank everyone who’s come along on this crazy ride and hope you’ll continue to stop by whenever you can! I promise to keep giving you the best of “The Truth, Entertainment and Bullshit!” I wish I had a guest book that each of you can sign, but you can leave a comment or two at the end of this article which will be on display forever!

Thanks and regards, Artie Wayne

Website  https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

For Spectropop http://spectropop.com

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Back in 1965, after I left April-Blackwood music I went into my own publishing buisness with David Kapralik, who was the former head of Columbia Records A&R department. Although I had signed Tony Romeo (who later went on to write “I Think I Love You” and all the Partridge family hits) and Bob Stone (who later went on to write, “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves”), and took the first song Joey Levine ( who later wrote,”Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”, “Chewy, Chewy”, ever had published, we needed to find a band who could generate immediate income!

I went on an intense search of New York’s Greenwich Village to find girls…I mean acts and found a group that just blew me away! They called themselves The Lovin’ Spoonful and they were the ambassadors of good time music. In their first set at the Night Owl they played, “Do You Believe In Magic?”, “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice”, “Younger Girl”, and “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?” Four songs, written or co-written by a young John Sebastian, which later became their first four hit singles.

I had never heard such obvious hit songs as I did that night or saw more entertaining performers. You could tell by the crowds enthusiastic response that this group was going to be huge! The next night I brought down Dave Kapralik, to see the Spoonful and he became even more excited than I was!

We brought some execs from Columbia records down to see them the following night and watched a spectacular show, as the the crowd went crazy! After the show, the stone faced execs admitted that the group was good, “But they already had two long haired groups on the label, Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Byrds…and that was enough.” David and I just looked at each other in amazement!

A few years went by and I happily watched the Spoonful grew into one of the biggest groups in America. At this time I was in business with Kelli Ross and ran the publishing companies of Quincy Jones, Leslie Gore, Janis Ian, Levine and Resnick. Kelli’s father, Irving Green, the owner of Mercury and Smash Records, as well as a silent partner in our firm, was aware that I had a relationship with the Lovin Spoonful.

When the group was about to re-sign with Kama-Sutra, Mr.Green sent me to Wilkes-Barre to meet up with my old pals and offer them a check for a million dollars to defect to Mercury! When I mentioned to him that he hadn’t signed it, he said, “When they sign a contract…I’ll sign the check!”

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne