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Mary J. Blige, leading the pack with 8 nominations is applauded by Justin Timberlake who has four nominations of his own!

When I was General Professional Manager and Director of Creative Services at Warner Brothers Music, I became acutely aware of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The organzation was looked upon as antiquated, whose membership was old with little understanding of the contemporary music They also had a tendency to vote for their peers and the same familiar names year after year. When the American Music Awards (with no industry credibility at the time) came on the scene, it trounced the Grammys in the ratings, NARAS took a long hard look at itself!

I had recently joined the organization to rub elbows with some of the greats in the industry including bandleader Billy May, critic Leonard Feather, Lawyer Jay Cooper, Composer Jim Helms, Producer Bones Howe, Keyboardist Mike Melvoin, and Producer Nik Venet. After a month or two of going to NARAS meetings at the Brown Derby in Hollywood, I came to a simple conclusion. I realized most of the membership was hip enough to recognize and reward quality recordings that they heard…they just never had the opportunity to hear the new stuff! At that point, I organized listening parties in every city that Naras had an office. After experts in each catagory narrowed the field down, the membership was able to listen again then make final choices.

I remember Nik Venet got us Capitol Studios in Hollywood, where he was producing the Beach Boys and Linda Rondstadt, to hold our listening parties. I brought my pal Allan Rinde, then head of West Coast Contemporary A&R for Columbia and “Underground Tastemaker”, to help with publicity. And finally I spearheaded a campaign to recruit new members among songwriters, artists and producers who were currently making hits! Although I’m no longer with the organization, I’m proud to have been on the Board Of Govenors for several years, and Vice-President for a few.

I’m looking forward, not only to see who gets the awards for 2006, but to the performances of the best that music has to offer. The following is a complete list of nominations from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

December 7, 2006

Nominations for the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced today by The Recording Academy, reflecting a year in which multiple genres were represented in top categories, new up-and-comers were nominated alongside established artists and a diverse array of producers and other creative professionals garnered multiple nominations. The 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on “GRAMMY Sunday,” Feb. 11, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

The press event was held at The Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood and was attended by national and international media, as well as key music industry executives. Artists reading nominations this morning included Mary J. Blige, James Blunt, Chris Brown, Evanescence’s Amy Lee, Ludacris, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rascal Flatts, Justin Timberlake and KT Tunstall.

Mary J. Blige tops the nominations with eight, while Red Hot Chili Peppers garner six, James Blunt, the Dixie Chicks, John Mayer, Danger Mouse, Prince, Rick Rubin, will.i.am and John Williams each earn five nods. Beyoncé, Bryan-Michael Cox, Gnarls Barkley, Israel Houghton, T.I and Justin Timberlake receive four each.

“These nominations truly reflect a diverse and vibrant community of music makers and creators who represent some of the most remarkable music of the year,” said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. “Once again, the GRAMMY Awards process has delivered a well-rounded group of excellent nominees, which promises music lovers a spectacular show filled with dynamic performances and ‘GRAMMY Moments’ that can only be seen on the GRAMMY Awards telecast.”

In the General Field, nominees for Album Of The Year are Taking The Long Way by the Dixie Chicks, St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley, Continuum by John Mayer, Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake. Nominees for Record Of The Year are “Be Without You” (Mary J. Blige), “You’re Beautiful” (James Blunt), “Not Ready To Make Nice” (Dixie Chicks), “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley) and “Put Your Records On” (Corinne Bailey Rae). The Best New Artist nominees are rock troubadour James Blunt, R&B singer Chris Brown, British singer/songwriter Imogen Heap, neo-soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae and country singer Carrie Underwood.

This year’s Song Of The Year nominees represent multiple genres from pop to R&B to country. Nominated songwriters include Johnta Austin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox and Jason Perry for “Be Without You” (performed by Blige); Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson for “Jesus, Take The Wheel” (performed by Carrie Underwood); Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Dan Wilson for “Not Ready To Make Nice” (performed by the Dixie Chicks); John Beck, Steve Chrisanthou and Corinne Bailey Rae for “Put Your Records On” (performed by Rae); and James Blunt, Amanda Ghost and Sacha Skarbek for “You’re Beautiful” (performed by Blunt).

Earning five of her eight nominations in the R&B Field, Mary J. Blige dominates the Field. Among her nods, in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category she earned a nomination for “Be Without You,” along with Beyoncé (“Ring The Alarm”), Mariah Carey (“Don’t Forget About Us”), Natalie Cole (“Day Dreaming”) and India.Arie (“I Am Not My Hair”). In the Best R&B Album category, her Breakthrough album vies with Jamie Foxx’s Unpredictable; India.Arie’s Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship; Prince’s 3121; and Lionel Richie’s Coming Home. Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals nods go to George Benson & Al Jarreau for “Breezin'”; Jamie Foxx featuring Mary J. Blige for “Love Changes”; Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams & Carl Thomas for “Everyday (Family Reunion)”; John Legend & Joss Stone with Van Hunt for “Family Affair” (Sly & The Family Stone); and Prince & Támar for “Beautiful, Loved And Blessed.”

In the Pop Field, nominations for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal went to the Black Eyed Peas for “My Humps”; Death Cab For Cutie for “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”; the Fray for “Over My Head (Cable Car)”; Keane for “Is It Any Wonder?”; and the Pussycat Dolls for “Stickwitu.” Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals nods go to Tony Bennett & Stevie Wonder for “For Once In My Life”; Mary J. Blige & U2 for “One”; Sheryl Crow & Sting for “Always On Your Side”; Nelly Furtado & Timbaland for “Promiscuous”; and Shakira & Wyclef Jean for “Hips Don’t Lie.” And the nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album include Back To Basics by Christina Aguilera, Back To Bedlam by James Blunt, The River In Reverse by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, Continuum by John Mayer, and FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Raconteurs, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Neil Young earned nominations in the Rock Field. Vying for Best Rock Album are the John Mayer Trio’s Try!; Tom Petty’s Highway Companion; the Raconteurs’ Broken Boy Soldiers; Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Stadium Arcadium; and Neil Young’s Living With War. Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal nominees are Coldplay with “Talk,” the Fray for “How To Save A Life,” the Raconteurs for “Steady, As She Goes,” Red Hot Chili Peppers for “Dani California” and U2 & Green Day for “The Saints Are Coming.” And Best Rock Solo Vocal Performance nominees are Beck (“Nausea”), Bob Dylan (“Someday Baby”), John Mayer (“Route 66”), Tom Petty (“Saving Grace”) and Neil Young (“Lookin’ For A Leader”).

In the Rap Field, Missy Elliott competes with male rappers in the Best Rap Solo Performance category with “We Run This.” Other nominations in this category are “Touch It” by Busta Rhymes, “Kick, Push” by Lupe Fiasco, “Undeniable” by Mos Def and “What You Know” by T.I. In the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, nominations go to Akon featuring Eminem (“Smack That”), Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z (“Deja Vu”), Eminem featuring Nate Dogg (“Shake That”), Jamie Foxx featuring Ludacris (“Unpredictable”) and Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. (“My Love”).

The Dixie Chicks earn two of their five nominations in the Country Field. In the Best Country Album category, their Taking The Long Way is nominated along with Like Red On A Rose by Alan Jackson, The Road To Here by Little Big Town, You Don’t Know Me: The Songs Of Cindy Walker by Willie Nelson and Your Man by Josh Turner. For Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready To Make Nice” is up against the Duhks’ “Heaven’s My Home,” Little Big Town’s “Boondocks,” Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts The Most” and the Wreckers’ “Leave The Pieces.” Nods for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals go to Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” Solomon Burke & Dolly Parton for “Tomorrow Is Forever,” Kenny Rogers & Don Henley for “Calling Me,” Rhonda Vincent & Bobby Osborne for “Midnight Angel” and Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks for “Love Will Always Win.”

This year’s Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical, nominations reflect established professionals across multiple genres with nods going to Howard Benson, T Bone Burnett, Danger Mouse, Rick Rubin and will.i.am.

In the newly re-named Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album category, the nominations are Solo Acoustic Vol. 1 by Jackson Browne; Black Cadillac by Rosanne Cash; Workbench Songs by Guy Clark; Modern Times by Bob Dylan; and All The Roadrunning by Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris.

Best Jazz Vocal Album nominees are Footprints by Karrin Allyson, Easy To Love by Roberta Gambarini, Live At Jazz Standard With Fred Hersch by Nancy King, From This Moment On by Diana Krall and Turned To Blue by Nancy Wilson.

The Best Gospel Performance category features nominees Yolanda Adams (“Victory”), Israel & New Breed (“Not Forgotten”), Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers (“The Blessing Of Abraham”), Chris Tomlin (“Made To Worship”) and Tye Tribbett & G.A. (“Victory”). Vying for Best Traditional Gospel Album are An Invitation To Worship by Byron Cage, Paved The Way by the Caravans, Still Keeping It Real by the Dixie Hummingbirds, Alive In South Africa by Israel & New Breed and Finalé Act One by Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers.

GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed to the voting members of The Recording Academy on Dec. 13. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 10, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the telecast.

The 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by John Cossette Productions in association with Ken Ehrlich Productions for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich and John Cossette are executive producers, Walter C. Miller is producer/director, Tisha Fein is the coordinating producer, David Wild is the writer, and Tzvi Small is supervising producer.

For a full list of 49th GRAMMY Awards nominees, please click here. And for information on the official 49th GRAMMY Awards art and artist, please click here.

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Streaker reconsiders trying to sneak out.

While you’re relaxing this weekend you might want to check out these exclusive interviews from Artie Wayne on the Web and Spectropop of “Unsung Heroes – the powerful men behind the scenes in the music business who helped shape the Pop culture!

SHEL TALMY- THE MAN WHO DISCOVERED, INSPIRED AND PRODUCED, THE WHO, THE KINKS, THE EASBEATS, CHAD AND JEREMY!

When I first went to London in 1965, Bess Coleman – one of the Beatles’ press officers and one of my co-writers – introduced me to Shel Talmy, a five star general in the British invasion of the pop culture. I was anxious to meet the legend who discovered, inspired and produced the Who, the Kinks, Chad & Jeremy and the Easybeats. About an hour before I met him, I was shocked to find out that he was a fellow American! When I knocked on his apartment door, in fashionable Knightsbridge, his beautiful assistant led me down a long hallway that was filled on both sides with more gold singles and albums than I’d ever seen in one place! As I sat sipping tea in his office, I heard someone playing a guitar and singing in the other room. The door opened, Shel introduced himself, as well as the singer I heard through the walls, Cat Stevens, who was there to play a couple of his new songs. Over the years Shel and I became good friends. He was one of the few people I could play a song for and get some good constructive criticism. Here he shares some stories and insights with me in this revealing Spectropop interview. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/ShelTalmy/index.htm

RUSS REGAN – OVER ONE BILLION RECORDS SOLD! THE MAN WHO SIGNED ELTON JOHN, NEIL DIAMOND, OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN AND BARRY WHITE!

When I decided to do a series of articles, on “Unsung Heroes”, the powerful men and women behind the scenes in the music business, Russ Regan, was one of the first people I wanted to interview. The general public may not know his name, but the former head of UNI Records and 20th Century Fox Records has been responsible for selling over one billion records and CDs in his career! Russ Regan is “the man”, because Russ Regan “was the man” who signed Elton John, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, and Barry White, as well as the one who was responsible for green lighting, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” In his spare time, he also named the Beach Boys! Just click onto http://spectropop.com/RussRegan/index.htm

JERRY ROSS – THE MAN BEHIND SPANKY AND OUR GANG, BOBBY HEBB, KEITH, JAY AND THE TECHNIQUES, NOT TO MENTION SHOCKING BLUE!

Before there was a Rogers & Hammerstein, there was Rogers & Hart. Before there was a Gamble & Huff, there was Gamble & Ross! Working out of Philadelphia, Jerry Ross had an impressive array of hits that he produced with Candy and the Kisses, The Sapphires and the Dreamlovers, that he co-wrote with Kenny Gamble. Then he moved to New York and had an amazing run of hits with Bobby Hebb, Keith, Jay and the Techniques, Spanky and Our Gang, and Shocking Blue. When you read my in depth talk with my old friend and sometime songwriting collaborater, you’ll discover a new connection to songs that you’ve loved all your life. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/JerryRoss/index.htm

HANK MEDRESS – UNSUNG HERO BEHIND “THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT”, ” HE’S SO FINE’, AND “TIE A YELLOW RIBBON (‘ROUND THE OLD OAK TREE) “

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. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/HankMedress/index.htm

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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

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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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Elisha Cuthbert blows a bubble!

In the the middle to the end of the 1960s, a new kind of Pop music emerged in America called Bubblegum Music and I was fortunate to be smack dab and sticky in the middle of it all! My partner Kelli Ross and I were representing the publishing catalogs of some of the hottest artists and producers in the Music buisness, that included Quincy Jones, Leslie Gore, Bobby Scott, and Janis Ian when we picked up a new catalog, Peanut Butter Music.

The catalog was owned by Joey Levine, a newcomer, whose first song I published in 1965 and my old friend , Artie Resnick ( “Under The Boardwalk”, “Good Lovin'”.) It mostly consisted of material that Joey, Artie and Kris (Arties wife wrote) and Joey and Artie produced. Their first million seller was “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”, a demo sung by Joey by the Ohio Express in 1968. This was the idea of Jeff Kaznetz and Jerry Katz who executive produced the dates to have Joey start singing lead on most of their records. They loved Joey’s commercial, young sounding voice with a Rock and Roll edge and those great tracks he and Artie produced, so they released single after single using different names of actual groups they had under contract. When a record became a hit the real group went on the road to promote it. Neil Bogart, head of Buddah records, encouraged the concept and put out a string of hit singles “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”, “Chewy, Chewy” by the Ohio Express, “Shake ” by the Shadows of Kniight”, “Gimme, Gimme Good Lovin”, By Crazy Elephant”, Run , Joey Run” by the Kaznetz-Katz singing orhestral circus, and dozens of other singles for Buddah.

The records were geared for the “Tweenies”, the nine to 15 year olds and suffered a fatal backlash from radio in 1969…bursting the bubble of the Bubblegum market! Joey, Artie and Kris ( Artie’s wife who co-wrote many of the songs ) started to write more adult themes and formed the group “The Third Rail”. When the group disbanded, the Resnicks continued to write songs while Levine wrote, sang and produced jingles for commercials that include several top Coca- Cola campaigns.

When my Spectropop pal, Jean-Emmanuel Dubois, asked me for an interview for his forthcoming book on Bubble Gum Music in France, some of the information went beyond the genre so I decided to include some of it here.

JE- When did you meet Joey Levine?

AW-In 1964 when I went into business with Dave Kapralik ( Sly and the Family Stone, Van McCoy, Peaches and Herb) Joey Levine stopped me and introduced himself, as I was walking through the Brill building. He asked if he could play a song for me, he did and I signed it on the spot. Although I hardly remember the incident, Joey said that act was a big consideration when he and Artie Resnick were looking for someone to administer their publishing companies.

JE- How did you discover Tony Romeo ( The Partridge Family) ?

AW- Tony came in off the street and played me 6 or 7 songs and we signed him to an exclusive songwriting contract. Tony was more into the Beach Boy kind of music, at the time, and the two of us did a single for Columbia called, “Californie” (Romeo) under the name Tomorrow’s People. He was incredible at stacking background vocals and we were disappointed that it wasn’t a hit.

It was a couple of years before Tony hooked up with Wes Farrell and wrote,” I Think I Love You” (Romeo), and all those other hits for the Partridge Family.

JE- You seem to have a strong connection with French recording artists.

AW- Yes, my first hit in France was, “Excuse Me Lady” (Wayne) by Joe Dassin. The song had gotten to #3 in the UK by the Magic Lanterns…Joe covered it and took it to top ten in France. American by birth, I remember hanging out with Joe a few times in New York, when I was known as Shadow Mann. He, his entourage, Sissy Spacek ( who I had renamed “Rainbo” for recording purposes) and I, made the rounds of all the clubs and hot spots…and had an incredible time!

JE- Did you know Sylvie and Johnny Hallyday?

AW-I met Sylvie Vartan once backstage at one of her incredible shows, after she recorded one of songs, “Ma Decadance” (Leikon/ Munson/ Wayne)…I met Johnny Hallyday a few days later in the middle of a media blitz. The Headlines shouted, “Sylvie Divorces Johnny” and all during our lunch, he was understandably preoccupied!

JE- As a publisher you had quite a few American hits…with French songs?

AW- Oui’, in 1968, my partner Kelli Ross and I found “J’Taime” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, at MIDEM the international music conference held every year in Cannes, France. Eight years, later my partner, Lou Reizner and I were sitting in a little café in Cannes, when we heard the pianist playing a catchy little tune. The pianist was Claude Morgan, and he was the composer of the song, “El Bimbo” which was becoming a number one hit by Bimbo Jet all over the world! Lou and I looked at each other and lit up like light bulbs knowing the song could be a smash in the US as well!

It was midnight, but before the sun came up Lou and I had a meeting with the French Producer and the original publisher. We secured the American sub-publishing rights, before MIDEM opened it’s doors the next morning, even before our competitors started their continental breakfast!

Jean…I remember when I was at Warner Brothers music, I heard, “Amorouse” by Veronique Sanson and asked Patti Dahlstrom to write an English lyric. She recorded it herself as “ Emotion” (Dahlstrom/ Sanson) on her 20th Century Fox album, it was covered and became a hit by Helen Reddy. That song is as timely today, as it was when it was written…and should be a hit again!

For Part II of the interview https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/11/12/it-was-women-and-children-firstthe-day-the-bubblegum-bubble-burst/

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

 

To Hear Patti Dahlstrom sing “Emotion” click onto http://artiewayne.com/emotion.html

To find out about Spectropop http://spectropop.com

You can reach Jean-Emmanuel Dubois at http://martyrsofpop.com
also at http://myspace.com/jeanemmanueldeluxe

When I first went to London in 1965, Bess Coleman – one of the Beatles’ press officers and one of my co-writers – introduced me to Shel Talmy, a five star general in the British invasion of the pop culture. I was anxious to meet the legend who discovered, inspired and produced the Who, the Kinks, Chad & Jeremy and the Easybeats. About an hour before I met him, I was shocked to find out that he was a fellow American! When I knocked on his apartment door, in fashionable Knightsbridge, his beautiful assistant led me down a long hallway that was filled on both sides with more gold singles and albums than I’d ever seen in one place! As I sat sipping tea in his office, I heard someone playing a guitar and singing in the other room. The door opened, Shel introduced himself, as well as the singer I heard through the walls, Cat Stevens, who was there to play a couple of his new songs. Over the years Shel and I became good friends. He was one of the few people I could play a song for and get some good constructive criticism. Here he shares some stories and insights with me in this revealing Spectropop interview. Just click onto http://spectropop.com/sheltalmy/index.htm