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As a long time lover of pop music I’ve always been curious about the story behind the song. Knowing that many of you feel the same way, I’d like to share the story behind “I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”, A new song that I wrote with Toni Wine (”Groovy Kind of Love”, “Candida”) which is on the Tony Orlando and Dawn “Reunion” album.

In 1995, after 20 years of being in the music buisness as a singer, songwriter, producer, being an exec at April-Blackwood, Warner Brothers music, and running Irving/ Almo, I had become too weak to even hold a guitar. Finally, I could no longer work at Allan Rinde’s legendary Chinese restaurant in Hollywood, Genghis Cohen, (which I named and hosted off and on for ten years)

When I kept falling down in the street, I knew that something was seriously wrong with me! I was uninsured, and was facing this crisis all alone. My two closest friends, Allan Rinde, was spending more and more time in Nashville with his fiance, Toni Wine…and Patti Dahlstrom, had moved back to Houston, to teach music and critical thinking at the Art Institute of Houston. I had taken to wearing all black, as I stumbled around the back streets of Hollywood, hoping I wouldn’t see anybody that I knew. I felt, for the first time in my life, that I had reached the end of the road.

Fortunately, Patti was in town for a conference, and came over to visit. I didn’t want her to see me broke and broken…but now I’m glad I did. She convinced me to swallow my pride and seek help from social services…which saved my life! I went to the USC medical center for 2 days of tests, and 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 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 wereconfined 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 (whom I’ve known since she was 14), 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 started on Irving Berlin’s piano, which was given to Toni many years ago, we came up with….

“I LOSE IT WHEN THEY HEAR “WHITE CHRISTMAS”
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?

[instumental]

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 want to hear the Tony Orlando and Dawn recording click http://artiewayne.com/I_Lose_It.html

If you like it, please feel to share it with a friend…if you love it, however, feel free to share it with your entire address book!

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

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

If you’d like to see “Whoppy and Streaker Presents The Top Christmas Music Videos Of All Time!” Bing, Elvis, Band-Aid, Singing Reindeer, Bowie, Destiny’s Child, more! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/12/15/whoppy-and-streaker-present-the-top-christmas-videos-of-all-time/

For “Nookie’s Top Christmas And Hanukka Videos!” Adam Sandler, “Hanukkah Song”, Neil Diamond, Jingle Cats, Mariah Carey, Charlie Brown Christmas, more! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/nookies-top-holiday-video-picks/

If you’d like to see my custom pet paint sculptures called PETZROCK, created on quartz just click on http://artiewayne.com/petz1.html

For Toni Wine http://toniwine.com

For the Salvation Army http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn.nsf

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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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooc5eJc5SHA

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”.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4430902754197897751&q=christmas+music+videos&hl=en

The next video is from a 1977 ABC special with a duet by Bing Crosby and David Bowie on “Little Drummer Boy”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zMhSjDqvRs

Author and songwriter, Patti Dahlstrom sent this interactive video Christmas card, I thought you’d enjoy! http://badaboo.free.fr/merryxmas.swf

Patti sent this incredible “Silent Night” interactive card as well! http://ecard.ashland.edu/2004admission/index.html

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. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7879112400700265061&q=Elvis+peace+in+the+valley&hl=en

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.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jEnTSQStGE

Here are the Jingle Cats and their version of ,”Jingle Bells” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4713533704832803716&q=jingle+bells+jingle+cats&hl=en

Here’s Bobby Helms with Dancing Snowmen and “Jingle Bell Rock”
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2785975325131488663&q=jingle+bell+rock&hl=en

Elvis Presley from his 1968 “Comeback” NBC Special doin “Blue Christmas” in a medley.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5220054224932530118&q=Elvis+Presley+christmas&hl=en

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”
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6009882569248305300&q=rudolf+the+red+nosed+reindeer&hl=en

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….

“I LOSE IT WHEN I HEAR “WHITE CHRISTMAS”
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?

[instumental]

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 http://artiewayne.com/I_Lose_It.html

Where to buy Tony Orlando and Dawn”Reunion” CD http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Reunion-Tony-Orlando-Dawn/dp/B000ANVP7Y

FOR THE ORIGINAL TOP CHRISTMAS MUSIC VIDEOS featuring

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!
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/the-top-the-best-and-the-greatest-christmas-m

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! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/nookies-top-holiday-video-picks/

To reach Toni Wine http://toniwine.com

For Sebastian Prooth http://sebrt.com

To know more about Gary Stromberg’s book, “The Harder They Fall http://thehardertheyfall.blogharbor.com/

For the Salvation Army http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn.nsf

More Artie Wayne on the Web https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

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!

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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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Kristen Bell blows a bubble!

My interview with Spectropopper, Jean Emmanuel Dubois, for his forthcoming book “Le Bubblegum”, the history of American and French Bubblegum music, published by le cahiers du rock, continues…

JE- There were a lot of sexual overtones in the music? “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”, “Chewy, Chewy”

AW- Sexual overtones! Sexual Undertones! Shit! There was all kinds of sex…all kinds of tones! (laughs) Those guys tried to get away with as much as they could…under the guise of innocent teen pop music! I remember one day a staff writer came into the office with a song, ” 1, 2, 3 Lickety Split”…and was sent home because the title wasn’t suggestive enough!

JE- Weren’t Joey Levine and Artie Resnick the first to have “backwards” versions of their a-sides as the b-sides of their records?

AW- It made sense, kids who were buying Bubblegum records weren’t buying them for the artist…but for hit A-side! There were no production costs for the B-side, and since all of the royalties were divided in the same way as the A-side, it was a win…win situation!

JE- Besides Levine/Resnick you represented Bo Gentry? ( “I Think We’re Alone Now” )

AW- Joey started writing with Bo and started coming up with some excellent stuff! They wrote a song, “Make Believe” and put it out under the name, Wind. This time Joey wasn’t the anonymous singer on the track, it was Tony Orlando. Ironically, Tony was also having hits at the same time as the anonomous voice of Dawn, (“Candida”, “Knock Three Times”)

The record was a modest hit in the US, but the B-side…a “real” B-side “Groovin’ with Mister Blo”, was top ten all over Europe!

JE-How were you involved with Tommy James and Shondels?

AW- I recorded an album under the name Shadow Mann, for the legendary Morris Levy, and he sometimes put my label mates and me out on promotion together. I remember once we all did the Upbeat TV show in Cleavland, Neil Diamond was there, Jimmy Ruffin, Kenny Rodgers and The First Edition. Tommy sang his number one hit, “Crimson and Clover”and I performed,” Come Live With Me ” the title track of my album. I also introduced my protoge, Sissy Spacek, who I renamed “Rainbo”. She was promoting her single, “John, You Went Too Far This Time”, which was a Bubblegummers reaction to the naked John Lennon and Yoko Ono, “Two Virgins” album cover.

JE- It was around this time you started writing songs with Gary Zekely and Mitch Bottler, who wrote, “Sooner or Later”, “Wait A Million Years”, “Superman”, and other “Sunshine Pop Songs”?

AW- I fell in love with a beautiful, Playboy Playmate on my last trip to California…and couldn’t wait to get back to the West Coast! The night before I was scheduled to write with Gary And Mitch…I broke up with her! I was crushed and devestated, but when I heard the chorus that Mitch started banging out on the old stand up piano I started singing some of the happiest, most positive lyrics I ever wrote in my life!

I used to look at life through a shade of grey

‘Til I found some satisfaction in the things you’d say

You took me in your hands like a piece of clay

Made me a man now I gotta’ say

Hallelujah…Hallelujah…Hallelujah…Hallelujah!

Copyright 1969/ 2006- EMI music/ Artie Wayne music

JE- What about the beautiful Playmate?

AW- Never saw her again…anyway, Gary Zekely had a top ten hit as producer for the Clique with “Sugar On Sunday” ( written by Tommy James), and recorded “Hallelujah” for the album. It was covered about a year later by Sweathog, and went to the top 30 in the US!

JE-You also produced, Sal Tramalchi who wrote the smash,”1, 2, 3 Redlight”, for the 1910 Fruit Gum Company.

AW-Sal Tramalchi was a very complex person. He could go from writing bubblegum songs to psychedelic anthems in the time it takes a cube of sugar to dissolve in a cup of coffee! He wrote a great song, “Woodstock”, which Howard Bogess and I produced for Vanguard. Sal was magic when he played guitar and sang, so I got the “Brilliant” idea to cut him live with my studio band. Unfortunately, Sal arrived in the sudio, “inspired” but unable to perform.

After we redid the tracks and overdubbed the N.Y. Philharmonic string section, Sal came in and did an excellent vocal in one or two takes. The record came out and quietly sank into the sunset, as I packed up the last of my belongings and moved to Hollywood.

JE- What would you consider your greatest acheivement in bubblegum music?

AW- In 1973, I was at the Tokyo music festival for Warner Brothers music and picked up a song from a white South African writer, who the music people were avoiding because of his country’s stand on apartheid!

JE- You’re an African- American, why didn’t you ignore him also?

Aw-After talking to him, I felt he had the heart and soul of an artist that transcended the archaic practice of his country. It only took a few minutes to listen to the song that nobody wanted to hear…but I knew right away it was a hit!

Terry Dempsey gave me the sub-publishing rights for no advance, if I could get his song, “Daydreamer”, covered by a major US artist. Within days of my returning to Hollywood, Stephen Craig Aristei, one of my “Warner Raiders” gave it to David Cassidy. He was fresh from the Partridge Family, and it became his biggest solo hit, selling 5 million records!

JE- I never realized how involved you were with Le Bubblegum!

AW- Now that you mention it…neither did I!

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

If you missed the first half of the interview…and Elisha Cuthbert blows! click on https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/10/29/play-me-something-bubblegummy-chewy-chewy-yummy-yummy-yummy/

EXTRA! Lindsay Lohan And Paris Hilton On Top Of Britney Spears. PHOTOS! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/12/04/exclusive-photos-lindsay-lohan-and-paris-hilton-on-top-of-britney-spears/

To see the naked John Lennon and Yoko Ono Naked album cover and hear Sissy Spacek (“Rainbo”) sing, “John, You Went Too Far This Time” Just click onto https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/18/the-naked-truth-about-john-lennon-and-yoko-ono-and-an-outraged-sissy-spacek/

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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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Whoppy and Streaker in a reflective mood.

It’s been ten years since Alex, the lovely hostess at Genghis Cohen, gave her boss Allan Rinde, a little calico cat by the name of Streaker. I watched Allan, who had little experience with pets, proceed to spoil her over the next 6 months. I remember going to visit him once and he answered the door with Streaker dangling by her claws, casually, from the bottom of his shirt. That little booger would always manage to do something that would keep me in stiches. She knew how to use the remote control on the TV and would change channels just as a program was starting to get good. Allan thought he had the problem solved when he started using two remotes. Then I remember one night, we were all watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, just as Sarah Michelle Geller was about to drive her point across…Streaker changes the channel! I quickly change it back…and Streaker changes it again! This “duel” goes on for a while until I chase her into the other room where she ducks under the bed. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I could heard her laughing.

This was about the time that Allan and songwriter Toni Wine ( “Groovy Kind Of Love”, “Candida”), who I introduced, were starting to get serious about each other. Allan was spending more and more time in Nashville where Toni lived, so Alex suggested that he should consider getting another cat to keep Streaker company. That’s when she brought a chubby, but dashing little white tomcat over, recently rescued from a crack house fire, whose name was Whoppy.

Allan let me stay in his apartment, after my spinal operation, where I fed and looked after my two little friends. Whoppy, who was now tipping the scales at 25 pounds, would lie on my right hand which, was partially paralyzed until it opened up! Streaker remained aloof with me, but fell in love with “Whop”. When I moved into my own place in Silver Lake, Allan gave me Whoppy as a present. A few weeks later, when he and Toni decided to marry, he asked me if I would take Streaker as well, because Toni was allergic to cats!

It’s been almost four years since the three of us moved here to the desert. Although I hate air conditioning, I turn it on for my little pals when it hits a hundred degrees or when they start sweating…whichever comes first!

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This morning I was in a reflective mood myself and I took a look at the guest book on my website. I was amazed at many of the old and new friends who signed and some of the incredible stories they tell! If you’d like to see it just click onto http://www.artiewayne.com/Guestbook/

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“As a long time lover of pop music I’ve always been curious about the story behind the song. Knowing that many of you feel the same way, I’d like to share the story behind “I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”, A new song that I wrote with Toni Wine (“Groovy Kind of Love”, “Candida”) which is on the Tony Orlando and Dawn “Reunion” album.

In 1995, after 20 years of being in the music business as a singer, songwriter, producer, being an exec at April-Blackwood, Warner Brothers music, and running Irving/ Almo, I had become too weak to even hold a guitar. Finally, I could no longer work at Allan Rinde’s legendary Chinese restaurant in Hollywood, Genghis Cohen, [which I named and hosted off and on for ten years].

When I kept falling down in the street, I knew that something was seriously wrong with me! I was uninsured, and was facing this crisis all alone. My two closest friends, Allan Rinde, was spending more and more time in Nashville with his fiance, Toni Wine…and Patti Dahlstrom, had moved back to Houston, to teach music and critical thinking at the Art Institute of Houston. I had taken to wearing all black, as I stumbled around the back streets of Hollywood, hoping I wouldn’t see anybody that I knew. I felt, for the first time in my life, that I had reached the end of the road.

Fortunately, Patti was in town for a conference, and came over to visit. I didn’t want her to see me broke and broken…but now I’m glad I did. She convinced me to swallow my pride, and seek help from social services, which saved my life! I went to the USC medical center for 2 days of tests, and 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 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 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 blanketing me with emotions.

10 years later, I told Toni Wine (whom I’ve known since she was 14…and showed her some lyrics I had written that 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 started on Irving Berlin’s piano Toni bought many years ago, we came up with….”

“I LOSE IT WHEN THEY HEAR “WHITE CHRISTMAS”
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”

Being’ 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?

[Instrumental]

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

 

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