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BOBBY DARIN  5/13/36 – 12/20/73

During the 50’s and early 60’s, racism divided radio just as it divided America. White people, for the most part, didn’t want to hear Black voices sing about a life style they couldn’t relate to and Black people didn’t want to hear White voices sing about a life style they were being denied.

I don’t believe there was a conspiracy to”steal’ songs and styles from black artists and give them to white artists to make pop hits. It often was the idea of many progressive, soulful white artists to sing songs they personally liked and wanted to record.

Such an artist was Bobby Darin, who who could sing and write like a Black man, (“Splish, Splash”, “Queen Of The Hop”). he could also sound like a country singer ( You’re The Reason I’m Living”, “Things”), a folk singer, (“If I Were A Carpenter”)…not to mention “Swing” like Sinatra (“Mack The Knife”, “Beyond The Sea”)

It was singing R&B flavored songs, however, that first captured the public’s attention, and brought him to the top of the charts. I met him for the first time, back stage at an Alan Freed Rock And Roll Show in 1959, when I was trying to break into the record business.

I was sitting in the rehearsal room of the Brooklyn Fox Theater, learning a few chords from my new pal, Bo Diddley who I met that morning after sneaking backstage. I remember Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Clanton and Bobby Darin coming in and asking if we would mind if they played a test pressing of Bobby’s next single. I sat there spellbound as we all listened to the record that would take his career to the next level…”Dream Lover”!

Over the next few days I sat with Bobby and played him a couple of my songs. When I told him I was going to sign a management contract with Alan Freed, he spoke to me privately and told me about a friend of his who just opened a publishing company at 1650 Broadway.

He wrote down his friend’s name in my autograph book…and the next day I went to audition for Don Kirshner.

For almost two years I was signed to Donnie and his partner Al Nevins’ company, Aldon music. Although I never got any of my songs covered or made a record while I was there, I did learn how to write songs from the best in the business, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Howard Greenfield, Larry Kolber and Barry Mann.

It wasn’t until 1963, until I saw Bobby Darin again. I left Aldon music and was writing songs with Ben Raleigh (“Wonderful, Wonderful”, “Tell Laura I Love Her”) When Bobby asked Ben If he had any songs, for his hot new artist , Wayne Newton. Ben and I wrote one and brought it back the next day. Bobby loved, “Better Now Than Later”and a few days later recorded it with Wayne and put it on the b-side of “Danke Schoen”.

After that I became a regular visitor to Bobby’s publishing company, TM Music, where my friends Kenny Young and Artie Resnick were signed as writers. I ran into Bobby, who asked If I had any folk songs for a new album he was working on. It must’ve been one of the hottest days of the year, when I started to play a new song I wrote with Ben, “Train To The Sky”. At the end the first chorus, Bobby smiled, reached up, whipped off his toupee and threw it on the couch!

I knew I’d start laughing if I stopped singing, so I sang it over and over until the moment passed. That night he went in and recorded the song with Walter Raim and Roger McGuinn playing all the instruments.

In 1965, after I was one of the first Americans to have open heart surgery, I remember I’d sit and talk to Bobby for hours about the procedure. He wanted to know if I was afraid? Did it hurt? Would I go through it again if I had to? Then he told me that he had a similar problem with his heart since he was a kid. He said his doctors talked about open heart surgery…but he was afraid to have it!

(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

Bobby Darin sings “Dream Lover” on the Ed Sullivan Show http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=1549762784

To see Bobbys remarkable live performance in 1959 of “Mack The Knife” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=582310482463733506&q=bobby+darin&total=396&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

“If I Were A Carpenter” in a live 1973 “Midnight Special” performance http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7940216871363353978&q=bobby+darin&total=397&start=40&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=5

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/

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One day in 1973, while driving down La Brea in Hollywood, I saw Jerry Moss waiting in line at Pinks hot dog stand. I leaped out of my car and introduced myself!

He was standing with Jack Daugherty (the Carpenters producer) They were both surprised and amused by my boldness…which led to both of them opening the doors of the A+M lot to me. As time went by, I became friendly with not only Jack, but with Richard Carpenter, John Bettis ( who co-wrote “Top Of The World”, “Yesterday Once More”and Paul Williams ( “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Old Fashioned Love Song”). We would sit around Paul’s office, discuss music and play songs for each other.

About a year later, when the top position at Irving/Almo music became vacant, Paul Williams suggested to Jerry Moss that they consider me for the job.

In 1974, I left Warner Brothers Music and was asked to join the Irving/Almo publishing arm of A&M Records. The company had been run by Chuck Kaye, but Chuck had decided to take some time off. I was in the right place at the right time.

The following is the actual press release that Rondor Music (the parent company) put out to announce my hiring:

MOSS NAMES WAYNE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IRVING/ALMO MUSIC

Jerry Moss, president of A&M Records, has announced that effective March 15, 1974 Artie Wayne has been named executive director of publishing for Irving/Almo Music. He was formerly general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music.

Wayne was first discovered by Bobby Darin in 1959…who sent him to Donny Kirshner who had just formed Aldon Music with vet song man/producer Al Nevins. It was there that Wayne learned how to write songs from Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield.

He went on to collaborate with Paul Vance and in 1963 co-wrote his first hit “Meet Me at Midnight Mary” with Ben Raleigh and produced Bell Record’s first hit with Joey Powers.

In 1965, Wayne went to Scepter Records with Ed Silvers, where he produced the Shirelles, the Kingsmen and the Guess Who. When Silvers moved to the coast to join Viva Records, Wayne stayed in New York.

Unable to afford to sign Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, whom he worked with at Scepter, he took the duo to Eddie Holland, who signed them to Motown. In the next four and a half years, Wayne and partners Sandy and Kelli Ross build Alouette Productions into the top New York administration and exploitation firm of the late sixties. They represented Quincy Jones, (Joey) Levine and (Artie) Resnick, (Gary) Geld and (Peter) Udell, Bobby Scott, Janis Ian, Ron Haffkine, Leslie Gore, Bo Gentry and Jerry Jeff Walker.

After moving to the coast in 1970, he contributed pieces to Rock and Fusion magazines and reviewed acts for Cash Box before joining Viva Music as professional manager.

For the last three years, Wayne has been general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music. He directed the New York, Hollywood and Nashville professional staff, which has been dubbed “The Warner Raiders.” During those years, they represented the works of America, Badfinger, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, the Faces, the Fifth Dimension, the Kinks, Gordon Lightfoot, Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, Randy Newman, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimmy Webb, Neil Young and many others.

He spearheaded campaigns that resulted in multiple recordings by Three Dog Night, the Lettermen, Bobby Sherman, the Jackson Five, Johnny Winter and Art Garfunkle. His “Raiders” were also responsible for over 50 “cover” records of “Theme From Summer ’42” before the composition received a Grammy or Academy Award nomination. In 1973 the company boasted 55 chart singles and representation in the average of 33 chart albums every week.

More recently, Wayne acted as musical consultant on Warner Bros. Films’ “Cleopatra Jones” which resulted in two top 20 records by Joe Simon and Millie Jackson.

Although his time only allows him to be an occasional song writer, over the years he had nearly 200 of his own compositions recorded, including, among others, titles by Aretha Franklin, Bobby Darin, Jose Feliciano, Chi Coltrane, Rick Nelson, the Jackson Five, Miriam Makeba, Tiny Tim, Wayne Newton, and most recently, the much-covered “Flashback” (co-written with Alan O’Day) with chart records by the Fifth Dimension and Paul Anka.

My first day at the office I found “I Honestly Love You” and sent it to Olivia Newton John https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/09/13/olivia-newton-john-tries-to-squeeze-one-more-hit-out-of-jeff-barry-and-artie-wayne/

The following week I discovered and signed Rick James
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/26/rock-and-roll-heaven-soars-on-internet-tribute-to-croce-perren-and-james/

I had a chance to work with Brian Wilson https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/brief-encounters-with-brian-wilson/

I didn’t have a chance to work with Billy Preston https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/25/rock-and-roll-heaven-rocks-internet-special-tribute-to-cash-pitney-preston/

Got to work with my old pal Jeff Barry https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/02/10/jeff-barry-i-honestly-like-him/

Became friends with Barry White  https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/a-very-special-tribute-to-barry-white-mickey-most-and-jimi-hendrix/

During a time when women were treated unequally in the music business, I did everything I could to give talented, qualified women a break. I promoted my Secretary, Margo Matthews, to the Head of the Copyright Department where she remained for over 30 years.

Brenda Andrews, had been a secretary for seven years before I arrived. Not only did she have a good song sense, but she was showing songs in the catalog and getting more covers than anyone on the professional staff! I doubled her salary and made her an official songplugger. I’m happy to say that she retired a few years ago after becoming senior Vice-President of the company!

Lance Freed, the son of disc jockey Alan Freed, was fairly new to publishing at the time, but had potential. He ultimately became president of the company, a position which he still holds today.

I was told by Jerry Moss when I was hired that I was in charge of the World Wide Publishing operation, only to find out from one of A+M’s lawyers on the eve of my departure to Europe, that I was only in charge of the operation in the US!

Jerry was out of the country, so I couldn’t get this “mistake” straightened out. Besides, I had a meeting in London the next day with Richard Branson to make him an offer to buy his company…Virgin Records.

(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

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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 http://spectropop.com/HankMedress/index.htm

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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- https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

CLICK HERE TO READ SALLY STEVENS EXCELLENT REVIEW OF “TROUBADOURS” featuring CAROLE KING AND JAMES TAYLOR ON PBS!  http://rockphiles.typepad.com/a_life_in_the_day/2011/03/troubadours-the-movie-review.html

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