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/




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“Sometimes a missed opportunity can make a deeper impact on the soul than an opportunity that’s been taken”. In the early 60’s while I was trying to become a Rock and Roll Star, Martin Luther King, Jr. was going to jail on a regular basis for leading peaceful Civil Rights demonstrations in the deep south against segregation.

I’ve never admitted it before, but I was one of those “Negroes” who thought that King’s actions would hurt those of us who were trying to assimilate into a “White Society”. I remember on one of his trips to the north, to raise money for the movement, he came to Thessalonia Baptist Church in the Bronx, where I was a member.

I was 19, and still living at home with my Mother and Grandmother, and “Gooma” insisted that I go to a special Sunday afernoon service where Dr. King was speaking. When I said, “What do I want to see that troublemaker for?”

Gooma snapped back, “Jesus was a troublemaker!…but wouldn’t you have liked to have seen him if you had the chance?” There was nothing I could say…so I agreed to go as long as I could leave before he spoke, so I could make it down to Greenwich Village to meet my Beatnik friends at the Cafe Figaro. Starting that afternoon, when my downtown pals couldn’t stop talking about Rev. King and how I missed a chance to not only hear him speak, but to possibly meet him, I started to look at him…and myself differently.

As the months passed, I learned more about the great man and started to develop a social conscience. Through the years I’ve seen his influence not only affect our people, but all people…all over the world! Even though I didn’t actually meet him, I’m grateful to have seen him and breathed the same air that he did…if only for a few moments!”

January 15, has always been a special day since it’s Gooma’s birthday as well as Martin Luther Kings. God bless You doctor King and thank you Gooma, without each of you I would’ve become a lesser person than I am today!

From my book,  “I Did It For A Song” Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne available for $9.99 through paypal which you may send directly to me at artiewayne@gmail.com 


Paul with that “other” Artie

Bobby Darin was one of the first professionals to recognize my talent and offer his help… you could say he discovered me. Although he was certainly a mentor, I never knew how committed he was to folk music until Capitol Records reluctantly released “Earthy” in 1963. The album came out unnoticed between a wave of top ten pop singles. It had some incredible material on it that reflected the spirit of the times and Bobby performed it brilliantly!I was so impressed with the album I learned 3 or 4 songs on my guitar and performed them live with some of my originals and some songs from my friend Paul Simon, who also occasionally backed me up on guitar.

One night, after my first set at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village, a stranger came backstage and asked if he could sit in and play guitar on the next set. Paul looked at me and I looked at the stranger like he was crazy….until he said he was Bobby Darin’s guitarist!

I knew I was “busted,” so I just smiled sheepishly and let Roger McGuinn ( A founding member of the Byrds) sit in with us.