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Long before Clive Davis, was known as the genius behind the recording careers of all the “American Idols”, he was already a legend!

I was skeptical when I heard a lawyer was taking over as head of Columbia records, until I met Clive Davis at Woodstock in 1969. Awash in the rain, the mud, and the good vibrations, I remember sharing a bottle of water with him and thinking how cool it was for the head of a record company to be out here “roughing it” with his artists!

The next time I saw him, it was at a Columbia record convention in Los Angeles, soon after Janis Joplin passed away. I knew that he and Janis had been close and mentioned that Allan Rinde, Michael Ochs and I had been with her at the Whiskey, a few nights before she died. Reverently, Clive asked me to join him in one of the conference rooms, where he played me an acetate, which he was going to introduce at the convention later that afternoon, “Me And Bobby McGee”by Janis…it was a moment I’ll always remember.

His personal taste in pop music of the sixties, and his signings at the label, put Columbia at the head of the pack. Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, Laura Nyro, Electric Flag, Santana, Chicago, Billy Joel, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Pink Floyd were all top moneymakers.

I was a bit worried, however, when he took over as president of Bell records just before he changed it’s name to Arista. I was with Warner Brothers Music, and had a record recently released on Bell, that was starting to make a little noise. It was the first cover of a song I picked up at the Tokyo Music Festival, “Daydreamer” by David Cassidy. Clive, however, set my mind at ease when he didn’t let the record get lost during the companies transition. It ultimately went on to become David’s biggest hit selling over 5 million units world wide!As he went on to create an Empire at Arista, his formula was simple…it all starts with the song. I remember my old friend Scott English telling me that it was Clive Davis who suggested that he change the title of his song, “Brandy” ( which had been the title of a recent US hit), to “Mandy”, which became Barry Manilow’s and Arista’s first multi million seller!

Soon the label’s artist roster included, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Monica, Exposé, Sarah McLachlan, Annie Lennox, saxophonist Kenny G, rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Sean “Diddy” Combs, Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Air Supply, Ace of Base, TLC, Bay City Rollers, Nona Hendryx, and Patti Smith among others. It wasn’t long before he became CEO of the BMG music group in the U.S.

Clive Davis’ secret for finding winners is simple, “You look for stars. You look for the makeup of artists who can have long lasting careers and who could be headliners.”

He forgets to mention that it doesn’t hurt to have an incredible song sense and the power to promote the kind of music that you believe in…the kind of music that makes a difference all over the world!

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne


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SHEL SILVERSTEIN  9/25/30 – 5/12/99

“In the late 50’s, I was familiar with Shel Silverstein as a regular contributor to Playboy magazine as an artist, photographer, travel journalist and writer of children’s books. It wasn’t until 1969 when Johnny Cash took Shel’s song, “A Boy Named Sue” to the top of the charts, did I realize what a great songwriter he was as well!

Producer, Ron Haffkine was staying at my apartment in New York, while we were recording my “Shadow Mann” album for the legendary Morris Levy. At the same time he was producing his girlfriend, Sunny Monday for Decca on one of Shel’s song, “You’re Always Welcome At Our House” and cutting a few singles for Columbia Records with Shel Silverstein Himself.

The first time Shel came over was with Ronnie and Sunny, after midnight on one night during a quiet week. We played each other a few of our songs, as songwriters are known to do, and started a friendship that would last for years. Then I played him my latest song on a Telecaster electric guitar. When I had finished, he asked if he could try it. This was the first time he had ever played an electric guitar and he was as excited as a little kid with a brand new toy!

When Shel turned the amplifier all the way up, the neighbors started to stir…then curse…then started pounding on the walls! We agreed that he should come over to the house the next day, when we could play and sing as loudly as we wanted!

Before we started playing again, Shel and I talked about songwriting in general and our own shortcomings in particular, that’s when we made a deal with each other. I wanted to be able to write better lyrics and he wanted to learn some more interesting chords. Every time we got together after that, he would critique my lyrics and I would show him a new chord or a new way of playing the one he already knew.

He once told me something that I still think about today, ” Your first verse of a song is usually the best, but don’t follow it with a 2nd verse and a bridge that’s just a variation of it. Take each section, add new information and ideas, then end up in a place where no one expected you to go.”

Through the years I heard little nuances in the chords of songs that he wrote for Doctor Hook and the Medicine Show like, “Sylvia’s Mother” and “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan”, that he started developing in my apartment all those years ago.

When I stopped writing and singing and moved to Hollywood, I went to work for a publishing company. I remember running into my old pal, outside of the Troubadour. When he asked what I’d been up to, I lowered my head, and almost apologetically said that I was showing other people’s songs at Warner Brothers Music.

Shel didn’t bat an eye, and said, “You don’t have to be ashamed of that…you could be just as creative as you’ve always been, just in another area!”

I never forgot that.

(To Be Continued)

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

Special thanks to Ann Munday for locating the clip of Shel on the Johnny Cash Show

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

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

For the story of Shadow Mann with pictures https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/06/legendary-music-man-morris-levy-meets-shadow-mann-a-legend-in-his-own-mind/

 

 

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In 1963, I was writing songs and producing records under my real name, Wayne Kent, and my friend Jerry Landis, who was about to change his name to Paul Simon, was a song plugger for E.B. Marks music. I was thrilled when he asked me if I’d like to meet his producer at Columbia records, Tom Wilson, who had started producing the “Wednesday Morning 3:00 AM” acoustic album.

We adjusted our ties and sport jackets, as we waited on the couch in the A&R dept. at Columbia records then…Tom Wilson’s door opened. I was surprised to see a nattily dressed, 6’3″ black man emerge ( Paul never mentioned his ethnicity) followed by a scrawny pale white guy in a gray suit and a pink dress shirt, unbuttoned at the collar. I recognized him from the album cover I’d been playing for about a year, “Bob Dylan”, which John Hammond produced. Jerry ( I mean Paul ) introduced me to them as Wayne Kent and we had a casual conversation which I honestly don’t remember. I do, however, remember the feeling that I had being in the presence of greatness that was yet to be realized. Three men who would eventually change the course of popular music, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Tom Wilson!

The next time I was introduced to Dylan was about a year later, when I was recording and writing under the name, Artie Wayne. I just had a hit as a writer and producer with Joey Powers and, “Meet Me At Midnight Mary”( Raleigh/ Wayne) , but royalties were slow coming in. Paul Simon, convinced me to start playing showcases at the Bitter End and Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich village, so I could get some work and even offered to play back-up guitar. During a break after one of our sets, I was standing by the rail of the Tin Angel, all decked out in neatly creased denim, when an old pal from 1650 Broadway, Al Kooper walked over. The last time I saw him was when he was riding high on the charts with a song that he wrote, “This Diamond Ring”, by Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

I hardly recognized him, with his hair down to his shoulders, black boots and a cape that almost touched the ground. I also couldn’t stop raving about his organ playing on “Like A Rolling Stone”. As we were catching up on old times, Bob Dylan, looking “Positively 4th Street” walks over and reminds Al that they have to be somewhere. Al introduces me to Bob as Artie Wayne, who stares at me with a slight look of recognition in his eyes. I didn’t say anything, cause I figured he’d never remember our first encounter anyway!

In 1969, I was recording under the name Shadow Mann, and was going around the country promoting my album, “Come and Live With Me!” On my trip back to New York, I saw that a concert promoter friend of mine, Ron Delsoner was putting on a show with Laura Nyro. I asked if I could get a couple of tickets, but they were sold out. Then he invited me to stand with some of his friends backstage and watch the show from the wings. One of those friends turned out to be Bob Dylan.

I was a bit embarrassed to meet him this time dressed in my evening Shadow outfit, which included a custom made black suede jacket with a Giant Red Eagle on the back, black suede bell bottoms, and a big black floppy hat. Ron proudly introduced me to Bob, as his old friend Shadow Mann. I noticed Bob glancing at me from time all during Laura’s concert…then halfway through the show, he looked at me, smiled enigmatically, and said,

“Are you holding? (slang for do you have any drugs?)

Shit if I had, I’d have a more exciting end to this story!

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

For Brief Encounters With Paul Simon https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/10/23/a-brief-encounter-with-paul-simon/

For Story of Shadow Mann https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/06/legendary-music-man-morris-levy-meets-shadow-mann-a-legend-in-his-own-mind/

EXTRA! EXTRA! NOW YOU CAN BUY MY NEW BOOK ,“I DID IT FOR A SONG” AT AMAZON or Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

TO READ A CHAPTER OR TWO FOR FREE CLICK  HERE

TO READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS  CLICK  HERE

Back to Artie Wayne On The Web https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

 

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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

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Richard Perry
I was in the music buisness as a songwriter, artist, producer, publisher and promoter from 1960 to 1996 and met many people who have become legends. One CD and record producer who particularly stands out is Richard Perry. His track record is astonishing! From Tiny Tim, Harry Niilson, Barbra Streisand, Ringo Starr, The Pointer sisters, to the last four Rod Stewart “American Songbook” albums…he’s been consistantly on the charts for the last four decades!

I talked to him a few months ago after not being in touch with him for ten years ( I was quietly recovering from a spinal operation ) and have begun to submit songs to him again. I’d like to share a couple of stories with you from my forthcoming book about some of my experiences with him.

Richard Perry and I became friends in the mid-sixties when we were neighbors at 1650 Broadway. He was producing the “God Bless Tiny Tim” album and recorded one of my songs, “Daddy, Daddy What Is Heaven Like?” His first Gold Album, and mine. Since Richard isn’t a songwriter and depends totally on outside material, he became the number one producer that songwriters and publishers would persue. When I ran the professional department at Warner Bros. Music in the early ’70’s, Richard was always the first to hear our best songs. My boss, Ed Silvers, suggested that I update the old Johnny Burnette hit, “You’re 16,” with a New Orleans feel for Richard’s upcoming Fats Domino session. Richard loved it, but didn’t cut it with Fats. Over the next two and a half years it was turned down by 122 artists and producers. My little piano voice demo became an ongoing joke at Warner’s….until Richard Perry finally cut it with Ringo Starr and sold five million records!

The next story…

In 1971, the single “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand was in the top ten, but her album wasn’t finished yet. Richard Perry, who was the producer, called me up on a Sunday afternoon and asked if I wanted to listen to the final mixes on Barbra’s album.

Needless to say I was thrilled, but as I sat in the studio listening to the playback something was bothering me. I couldn’t hear the lyrics loud enough over the track!! As I sheepishly told Richard what I thought, his engineer, Bill Schnee, jumped up and said, “I told you Richard……You can’t hear the lyrics !!” Richard looking a little stunned, smiled, thanked me for coming down and started re-mixing again.

The already overdue album was finally released a month later. My friend Allan Rinde, who was the Columbia Records’ West Coast Contemporary A+R director, told me that I’d be banned from the company forever if I ever interfered with any of their producers again!