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In the early 60’s, I went out with a few Iranian girls who actually told me that they were brought up to tell people what they wanted to hear, then go out and do the exact opposite. One of these girls, Jamela, was the beautiful daughter of a deposed general, who was exiled to the United States along with the Shah of Iran. I admit it was exciting to wonder who was following us on our dates, her father’s bodyguards…or the Secret Service! All of this danger, brought us closer together, and she revealed many aspects of her culture I never knew about. She told me that Iranian men showed no quarter to their enemy and were fierce warriors because they weren’t afraid of dying! It was only when she told me that she feared for my safety, did I take our cultural differences seriously! We continued to see each other secretly, however, which led me to co-write my first hit song, ” ( Meet Me At) Midnight Mary” (Raleigh/ Wayne).

Ben Raleigh (“Wonderful, Wonderful”, “Tell Laura I Love Her”) came up with the title, and we wrote it in a couple of hours. The next day we took it up to Larry Taylor at Bourne music, who gave us an advance and gave us money for a demo. For the next year, the publishers weren’t able to get the song recorded, then we were told that a new artist on Capitol records, Jerry Cole, had just cut it.

Although his record was good, I thought I could produce a better one. I had become good friends with one of my co-writers, Joey Powers, who had just been released from an RCA recording contract. We decided to go into the studio to do another demo good enough to become a master. We scrapped up $500.00, booked Associated recording studios, hired arranger Al Gorgoni and Charlie Macey to play guitars, Buddy Saltzman on drums and Jeannie Thomas who sang all the background parts.

The following week, “Midnight Mary”was turned down by every major record label in New York City! I remember playing it for my friends song plugger, Jerry Landis (Soon to become better known as Paul Simon) up at E.B.Marks music and Tony Dee, who was a promotion man for the company. They both suggested that I take my master up to Larry Uttal who had started running AMY Records. Larry, who was my former neighbor at 1650 Broadway, loved the record gave us our production costs back as well as a shitty percentage!

I remember as we signed contracts he asked me if I could make the bass on the master a little bit louder? I just looked at him and said, “What bass?” Larry smiled and handed me an extra $15 out of his pocket to add a bass and do a new mix.

$15 ? for a bass player And a new mix? Fortunately I had a few friends who did me some favors, including bass player, Russ Savakis. After the session I took the $15 and bought everyone hot dogs and some coconut champagne at a store around the corner from the Brill building.

A few months later, I remember taking publicity pictures and being handed a gold record by Larry Uttal, who whispered, “Now this doesn’t necessarily mean it sold a million records!”

It was November 22, 1963 and I had been preparing to record the entire “Midnight Mary” album during the four day weekend. I’d been flying to Columbus, Ohio every week to rehearse Joey Powers, who was going for his Masters Degree at Ohio State.

That night, as Al Gorgoni put some finishing touches on the arrangements, and Jeannie Thomas polished the background parts for her and Lettie Hamblet. Our usual crew of musicians, augmented with Paul Simon and Roger McGuinn on 12 string guitars, was going over the charts for the first session, due to start in a half-hour.

Joey Powers and I were riding into the city from the airport, when we heard the horrible, unconfirmed reports on the news. By the time we walked into the studio and saw the tears in most everybody’s eyes, we knew it was true, “President Kennedy had been shot!”

(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

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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

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BEN RALEIGH  – 1997

One of my first songwriting heroes was Ben Raleigh, who was the lyric writer of hits like “Dungaree Doll”, “Wonderful, Wonderful”, “She’s a Fool”, “Love is a Hurting Thing” and one of my all-time favorites, “Tell Laura I Love Her” in 1962. I was introduced to him by one of my early mentors Paul Vance, who co-wrote “Catch a Falling Star”, “Itsy, Bitsy, Teenie Weenie Yellow polka dot bikini”. Paul wanted me and his nephew, Danny Jordan (who later became one of the Detergents) to write with Ben for a session we were recording as a duo for Diamond records.

Soon Ben and I just started writing together and started getting some good covers…Wayne Newton, Jack Scott, Leroy Van Dyke, Aretha Franklyn, Jose Feliciano, and Bobby Darin. Ben introduced me to Freddie Bienstock at Hill and Range, who asked us to write for several Elvis movies, to Arnold Shaw at E.B. Marks music who got us a hit with Helen Shapiro in the U.K. and to Al Gallico at Shapiro Bernstein, who offered me a chance to become the first Black country artist signed to major label.

At that time Ben was also writing with Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Sherman Edwards and Mark Barkan. I was lucky to have him on Wednesday and Saturday.

Then in 1963 we wrote and I produced “Midnight Mary” for Joey Powers. I still can remember taking publicity pictures and being handed a gold record by Larry Uttal (head of Amy/ Bell records), who whispered, “Now this doesn’t necessarily mean it sold a million records!”

We continued to write for several years and have covers by Dion, the Hues Corporation, Gene Pitney, Freddie and the Dreamers, etc. and when I was at WB Music I got the company to buy the renewal rights to his classic song, “Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside”.

Two weeks before he passed away in 1997, we got together and updated “Midnight Mary”. Originally, our Hero worked on the railroad…( and with apologies to Joe Nelson, who wrote recently that it was his favorite part of the song] we changed the line to ‘Just got a job at the Airport. Also in the new version, Mary gets pregnant, which you couldn’t say in 1962.

In one of my last conversations with Ben, I asked him, which of all of his hit songs has earned the most money? He laughed and said, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”, which he co-wrote in 20 minutes. He was offered a few thousand by Hanna-Barbera as a buyout…but opted for a royalty instead.

This was before the release of the Multi-million dollar making “Scooby-Doo Movie”…and it’s equally successful sequel!

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


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Growing up in the turbulent 60’s in the Shadow of the Cold War, wasn’t easy! Growing up in New York of the 60’s, with all the drugs and violence, had an even harder edge. I was tired of writing formula pop songs about made-up experiences in a location that no longer held any fascination for me. My recording career had fizzled out and my marriage was winding down. Although my partner, Kelli Ross and I were running the publishing companies of Quincy Jones, Leslie Gore, Bobby Scott, Janis Ian, Joey Levine and Artie Resnick, my own creativity was suffering from a lack of positive stimulation.

I knew the next musical trend would be coming from the west coast, when I first heard, “Cherish” by the Association” and “California Dreaming”, by the Mamas and Papas…but when I heard “Macarthur Park” by Richard Harris I knew it had arrived!

Before I go on with my story, I’d like you listen to hear the song that kicked me into high gear. It’s Richard Harris singing his classic record, which Jimmy Webb, wrote and produced…”Macarthur Park”. This video is distracting, so personally I prefer to listen to the music and let my imagination create my own pictures. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0D-boeOCG0

Although “Macarthur Park” was seven minutes long, twice the length of any song on the radio at the time, it quickly became number one! The poetry of the lyric and beautiful, psychedelic labyrinth of music gave a shot in the arm to Pop music in general, and to me particular. I took my first trip to Hollywood in the summer of 1968 to get a better understanding of the new emerging music scene …and to get a quickie Mexican divorce.

Jackie DeShannon, took me on a tour of Hollywood and introduced me to the wonders of Malibu Beach. I hung out at the Troubadour and the Whiskey with Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys and Terry Kirkman of the Association. I went to parties up at Mike Love’s, down at Richard Baskin’s and over at Football Hall Of Famer, Jim Brown’s house. I reunited with my long time songwriting partner, Ben Raleigh ( “Love Is A Hurting Thing”, “Tell Laura I Love Her”) who had recently relocated to California. I also hooked up with my friend Bob Stone, who was once signed to me, as he celebrated his number one record with Cher, “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves ” I also started writing with Gary Zekely and Mitch Bottler ( “Wait A Million Years”, “Sooner Or Later”), found time to go to a Phil Spector recording session…as well as fall in-and-out of love a couple of times!

It was quite an eventful two weeks, but I still hadn’t met Jimmy Webb, whose music brought me out here in the first place. As my plane took off for New York, “Up, Up and Away” kept running through my mind…I was disappointed, but I knew I’d be coming back.

Jimmy’s songs like, “Didn’t We?”,”The Worst That Can Happen”, “Wichita Lineman”, and “Galveston”, continued to inspire me as I spent my last dreary year in New York. It was two years after moving to the West Coast, however, before I finally met my inspiration!

I was working as General Professional Manager for Warner Brothers Music, when CEO, Ed Silvers, informed me that we now represented Jimmy Webb. I can’t tell you how excited I was to go out to his house in Encino with Warner Brothers Records President, Mo Ostin to hear the final mixes of his latest WB album, and finally meet my hero!

As we waited for Jimmy in his game room, I saw a Las Vegas slot machine in the corner. I put a quarter in and hit the jackpot. Mo smiled…as I hit the jackpot again…again and again! Mo, started glaring at me as I tried to push my winnings back into the machine. Now fully embarrassed, I started kicking hundreds of quarters underneath the living room rug, just as Jimmy walked in laughing…that’s when I realized I was the victim of a practical joke!

I knew I was gonna’ like working with this guy!

( To Be Continued )

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

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Trade Martin and Al Gorgoni listen to a playback.

After the impromptu interview I had with Songwriter/ Producer/ Artist Trade Martin who was a guitarist on many of Phil Spector’s legendary sessions, I realized there was much more to the story…

Although I’ve known Trade since he was one of most in demand session guitarists in New York, I didn’t work with him very often because he was always booked up! In addition to being an excellent musician, part of why he became so popular among producers in the 60’s and 70’s was the fact that he was constantly singing and playing in Rock and Roll Bands in the tri-state area and he not only knew how the ever changing hits on top 40 radio sounded…he knew how they were constructed.

The first time I worked with Trade, was in 1964, just before I took my first trip to London. I had become bored with the American Music scene and became enamored of what I heard coming out of the UK. I had written a song with Ben Raleigh (”Tell Laura I Love Her”, “Wonderful, Wonderful”) and Danny Jordan (The Detergents) called, “When She Was What She Was”, which was more of a Gerry and the Pacemakers song than a song for Dion.

When I heard Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni’s production of a song Trade wrote for Evie Sands, “Take Me For A Little While”, I was overwhelmed by his songwriting abilities which equaled his musical skills!. When we sat down to plan out my session and I played him my song and he added chords and changes I was only hearing on English hits. The tracks turned out great but I was disappointed in my own vocal. When I came back from England I put my vocal on again, this time with a pronounced English accent and sold the master to Coed records where it was released under the pseudonym Terry Boyd. This was the same label where Trade was signed, that released his classic “That Stranger Used To Be My Girl”.

Although he’s written and scored films, has been nominated for “Clios” for his work in commercials, and received praise for his productions of B.B.King, including the Grammy winning, “Live at San Quentin Album”, his passion for self-expression remains at an all time high as he continues to perform regularly and write and record on a daily basis.

When we reconnected a couple of weeks ago, I became more accutely aware of the part he and his guitar played in the hit making process of some of greatest record producers of our time including Phil Spector, Leiber and Stoller, Bert Berns, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jerry Ross, Jerry Wexler and Burt Bacharach. I didn’t know Trade played on, “Cherry, Cherry”, By Neil Diamond, “Chapel Of Love” by the Dixie Cups, “Twist and Shout” by the Isley Brothers, as well dozens of others he casually rattled off.

As I scrambled to turn my tape recorder on, I started to ask him questions about what I thought every member of Spectropop might want to know.

AW- The stories about Phil Spector working at Gold Star on Hollywood are legendary, but very little is known about his sessions in New York. How did you first get together with Phil?

TM- I was working at the time with Jeff and Ellie, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector’s contractor heard about me and called me up. He said Phil wanted to meet me, so I made an appointment to see him up at Liberty records. You recorded for Liberty didn’t you?

AW- (Laughs) Yeah, briefly. That’s where I met Phil too…he was on the A+R staff.

TM- The contractor told me to bring my guitar to the meeting, so I brought my white fender guitar.

AW- Did you bring an amplifier…or did he have one?

TM- No…no ( laughs) You could hardly hear the sound, but if you listened close enough you could hear it. I didn’t know it at the time, but Phil was a guitar player himself and he studied with Barney Kessel.

AW- Phil played the guitar solo on the Drifters record, “On Broadway”

TM- Right! I caught him playin’ in the studio one day…you know a lot of jazzy stuff. I was a Jazz oriented guitar player myself.

AW- Tell me more about your meeting.

TM- I remember him sitting behind a big desk, and I was on a couch across from him. Our whole meeting wasn’t longer than 6 or 7 minutes. As I pulled out my guitar, he asked what kind of stuff I liked to play? I told him that I played in a night club, and I knew all the solos by Scotty Moore, Carl Perkins…guys like that. At that point he asked, If I knew the intro to “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry? I smiled, and started playing it. He said I’d be hearing from his contractor.

AW- Which you obviously did.

TM- I played on almost every session he did in New York. He found out that I had this D28 Martin Herringbone Dreadnaught acoustic guitar and after he heard it, he always wanted me to play it on his sessions. I specifically remember one session I played it on it, it was at Mirasound with Brooks Arthur engineering. Phil usually used 2 or 3 pianos on his dates. on this one, Carole King was on an upright piano, as I remember, Paul Griffin was on a grand piano and Jerry, Phil’s contractor, was on another.

AW- And what song was this?

TM- “He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss” by the Crystals

AW-Wow!

TM- Phil wanted me to play 16th notes all the way through the track, fortunately I play the drums, so I was able keep that rhythm up! I used to sit right in front of Gary Chester who played drums on most of Phil’s dates.

AW- Gary’s one of the most innovative drummers I ever worked with…you could recognize him on every record he played on!

TM- He’s the best…and what a nice guy!

AW- I’ve been to a couple of overdubbing sessions of Phils but never a tracking session. Tell me more…who were the other musicians?

TM- There was Carl Lynch on Electric Guitar, Billy Butler on another electric and percussionist, George Devins.

AW- And on bass?

TM- Bob Bushnell was on electric and Russ Savakus or Dick Romoff was on stand up. Phil always liked to use two basses on his tracks.

AW- I worked with all those guys, but I never knew that they were the foundation of the “Wall of Sound”…Great musicians and incredible positive vibes! I heard that once a track was done, Phil would have the musicians double it…to give it his signature sound.

TM- I’ve heard he did things like that…but never on any session I’ve been on.

AW – Did you notice any unusual recording techniques?

TM- One day I walked into the studio and Phil, who could be a little off the wall, as you know (laughs), was listening to a playback the control room at full volume. Outside of the glass, Brooks had placed two Neuman mikes which he was recording on two of the master tracks, as it was playing back. They were trying to get as much sound through the glass as they could…which would later be mixed in with the basic tracks! It sounded like a “Live” digital delay. He was a very innovative guy! Sometimes he’d try something that didn’t work…but that would never stop him from always trying something new!

AW- And Brooks was there to capture it…encouraging Phil to go farther.

TM- Exactly!

AW- After the basic tracks were done were you called back to do any overdubbing?

TM- No, Phil got everything he wanted from the musicians on the basics and probably only overdubbed strings and horns…maybe some little percussion things like maracas or castanets, at a later time.

AW- Yeah…They all sound so isolated…adding another dimension to his records! Another brick in the “Wall Of Sound” Did you ever do any work with him at Olmstead studios?

TM- The only place I ever worked in with Phil was Mirasound.

AW- And the engineer was always Brooks?

TM- Yes.

AW- What other of Phil’s hits did you play on?

TM- I remember playing on a lot of Crystals records…but I didn’t play on “Uptown”. Whenever he’d do a session in New York, I was on the date. Most of his biggest hits, like “Be My Baby” with the Ronnettes, were cut in California.

AW- Yes, at Gold Star. Since he was recording on both coasts at the same time, my guess is he chose the place that could best capture the mood of the songs. “He Hit Me And It Felt Like a Kiss” sounds like it needed the edginess of New York musicians.

TM- Not to mention that he could get one of the composers (Carole King) to play piano on the date! I remember there was a lot of controversy when that song came out. Most of the time I didn’t even know what song we were doing…we were handed chord sheets and just concentrated on making the tracks.

AW- That’s wild!

TM – I never even heard the finished record until it had become a hit!

AW- Trade…Thanks for this impromptu interview. I know you’ve got to run off to a session.

TM- My pleasure…anytime!

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com

Although I had some more questions I gathered from Spectropop to ask him on various aspects of his career I decided to wait for another time. I just wanted Trade to finish up the story he started telling me about Phil Spector.

Trade is currently putting the finishing touches on a four disc CD that features new material, as well as compilation of his early American Hits and Northern Soul Favorites! As soon as it becomes available, I’ll announce it on Spectropop.

To reach Trade Martin http://trademartinmusic.co

Thanks to Dave Monroe for Evie Sands performing ,”Take Me For A Little While” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZTG-5brNII

For More On Phil Spector https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/16/the-scoop-on-richard-baskin-and-phil-spector-with-a-cherry-on-top/

Spectropop http://spectropop.com

Special thanks to Jeff Rubin for reconnecting me with Trade.

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Although I’ve known Trade Martin since he was one of most in demand session guitarists in New York, I didn’t work with him very often because he was always booked up! In addition to being an excellent musician, part of why he became so popular among producers in the 60’s and 70’s was the fact that he was constantly singing and playing in Rock and Roll Bands in the tri-state area and he not only knew how the everchanging hits on top 40 radio sounded…he knew how they were constructed.

The first time I worked with Trade, was in 1964, just before I took my first trip to London. I had become bored with the American Music scene and became enamoured of what I heard coming out of the UK. I had written a song with Ben Raleigh (“Tell Laura I Love Her”, “Wonderful, Wonderful”) and Danny Jordan (The Detergents) called, “When She Was What She Was”, which was more of a Gerry and the Pacemakers song than a song for Dion.

When I heard Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni’s production of a song Trade wrote for Evie Sands, “Take Me For A Little While”, I was overwhelmed by his songwriting abilities which equaled his musical skills!. When we sat down to plan out my session and I played him my song and he added chords and changes I was only hearing on English hits. The tracks turned out great but I was disappointed in my own vocal. When I came back from England I put my vocal on again, this time with a pronounced English accent and sold the master to Coed records where it was released under the pseudonym Terry Boyd. This was the same label where Trade was signed, that released his classic “That Stranger Used To Be My Girl”.

Although he’s written and scored films, has been nominated for “Clios” for his work in commercials, and received praise for his productions of B.B.King, including the Grammy winning, “Live at San Quentin Album”, his passion for self-expression remains at an all time high as he continues to perform regularly and write and record on a daily basis.

When we reconnected a couple of weeks ago, I became more accutely aware of the part he and his guitar played in the hit making process of some of greatest record producers of our time including Phil Spector, Leiber and Stoller, Bert Berns, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jerry Ross, Jerry Wexler and Burt Bacharach. I didn’t know Trade played on, “Cherry, Cherry”, By Neil Diamond, “Chapel Of Love” by the Dixie Cups, “Twist and Shout” by the Isley Brothers, as well dozens of others he casually rattled off.

As I scrambled to turn my tape recorder on, I started to ask him questions about what I thought every member of Spectropop might want to know.

AW- How did you first get together with Phil Spector?

TM- I was working at the time with Jeff and Ellie, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector’s contractor heard about me and called me up. He said Phil wanted to meet me, so I made an appointment to see him up at Liberty records. You recorded for Liberty didn’t you?

AW- (Laughs) Yeah, briefly. That’s where I met Phil too…he was on the A+R staff.

TM- The contractor told me to bring my guitar to the meeting, so I brought my white fender guitar.

AW- Did you bring an amplifier…or did he have one?

TM- No…no ( laughs) You could hardly hear the sound, but if you listened close enough you could hear it. I didn’t know it at the time, but Phil was a guitar player himself and he studied with Barney Kessel.

AW- Phil played the guitar solo on the Drifters record, “On Broadway”

TM- Right! I caught him playin’ in the studio one day…you know a lot of jazzy stuff. I was a Jazz oriented guitar player myself.

AW- Tell me more about your meeting.

TM- I remember him sitting behind a big desk, and I was on a couch across from him. Our whole meeting wasn’t longer than 6 or 7 minutes. As I pulled out my guitar, he asked what kind of stuff I liked to play? I told him that I played in a night club, and I knew all the solos by Scotty Moore, Carl Perkins…guys like that. At that point he asked, If I knew the intro to “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry? I smiled, and started playing it. He said I’d be hearing from his contractor.

AW- Which you obviously did.

TM- I played on almost every session he did in New York. He found out that I had this D28 Martin Herringbone Dreadnaught acoustic guitar and after he heard it, he always wanted me to play it on his sessions. I specifically remember one session I played it on it, it was at Mirasound with Brooks Arthur engineering. Phil usually used 2 or 3 pianos on his dates. on this one, Carole King was on an upright piano, as I remember, Paul Griffin was on a grand piano and Jerry, Phil’s contractor, was on another.

AW- And what song was this?

TM- “He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss” by the Crystals

AW-Wow!

TM- Phil wanted me to play 16th notes all the way through the track, fortunately I play the drums, so I was able keep that rythym up! I used to sit right in front of Gary Chester who played drums on most of Phil’s dates.

AW- Gary’s one of the most innovative drummers I ever worked with…you could recognize him on every record he played on!

TM- He’s the best…and what a nice guy!

AW- I’ve been to a couple of overdubbing sessions of Phils but never a tracking session. Tell me more…who were the other musicians?

TM- There was Carl Lynch on Electric Guitar, Billy Butler on another electric and percussionist, George Devins.

AW- And on bass?

TM- Bob Bushnell on electric and Russ Savakus or Dick Romoff on stand up. Phil always liked to use two basses on his tracks.

AW- I worked with all those guys, but I never knew that they were the foundation of the “Wall of Sound”…Great musicians and incredible positive vibes! I heard that once a track was done, Phil would have the musicians double it…to give it his signature sound.

TM- No…not on any sessions I’ve been on. I’ll tell you what he did though…

(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

The complete interview with Trade Martin will appear exclusively on Artie Wayne On The Web and Spectropop in about a month. I honestly didn’t plan to do any more interviews for a while, but after reconnecting with Trade, I realized how much of Pop history he’s been part of…and it would be a shame not to document it.

I’m going to be talking with him again on Tuesday at noon, If you have any questions you want me to ask him, about Phil Spector or any of the legends he’s worked with, you can e-mail me at artie_wayne@yahoo.com

To reach Trade Martin http://trademartinmusic.co

Thanks to Dave Monroe for sending Evie Sands performing ,”Take Me For A Little While” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZTG-5brNII

For More On Phil Spector https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/16/the-scoop-on-richard-baskin-and-phil-spector-with-a-cherry-on-top/

For Spectropop http://spectropop.com

To get back to Artie Wayne On The Web https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

Special thanks to Jeff Rubin for reconnecting me with Trade.

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Elvis on his 1968 NBC Comeback Special

I can’t think of person in Modern History who has had a greater influence on music and the pop culture than Elvis Presley! I was 14 when I first heard one of his records…and I haven’t been the same ever since!

As an African-American, I was laughed at in my neighborhood for liking and trying to emulate him. It angered the Black community that he allegedly said,”All “Colored” people can do for me is shine my shoes and buy my records.” I never believed that someone who loved the Blues, R+B and Gospel music as much as he did would ever say such a horrible thing. Although he never confirmed or denied the statement, when he recorded, “In the Ghetto” in 1969, that was enough to convince me where his heart was really at!

Although I never met him, I got as close to him as I could, I became friendly with some of the writers who created some of his biggest hits; Otis Blackwell, ( “Don’t Be Cruel”, ” All Shook Up”, “Return To Sender”), Doc Pomus and Morty Shuman ( “Viva Las Vegas”, “Surrender”, ” HIs Latest Flame” ) Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold ( “It’s Now Or Never”), Sid Wyche ( ” Big Hunk O’ Love” ) and Spectropopper Paul Evans ( “I Gotta’ Know”.)

When my songwriting partner at the time, Ben Raleigh (“Tell Laura I Love Her”, ” Love is a Hurtin’ Thing” ) got us a shot at writing for some his movies, “It Happened At The World’s Fair”, “Kid Galahad”, “Fun In Acapulco”, Kissin’ Cousins”…I was in Heaven! Unfortunately, none of our songs were used but I treasured the advance checks we would receive from Gladys music with Elvis’ picture on them!

I never gave up on Elvis covering one of my songs, however, and in 1977 a song I co-wrote with Deanie Hofheinz, Nancy Barry ( Jeff’s ex-wife ) and Brad Berg called “Perfect Strangers”, made it to his last recording session but was never finished due to his untimely death.

About 10 years ago, I ran into Deanie in Nashville with her husband Ron Anton, a Senior VP with BMI. She said that she was trying to get a copy of the track and hinted that there might’ve been a scratch vocal by Elvis that went along with it. I’m still waiting to hear it!

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne