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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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It was 1961…and it was my first day on the job at New York’s Lowe’s State Theater, yelling, “Immediate Seating for Gone With The Wind!” The most appealing part of the job was the location…it was only five blocks away from 1650 Broadway…the new Tin Pan Alley…the “hipper” Brill building! This was also the day that my Mother met me up at Aldon Music, where Al Nevins and Don Kirshner convinced her that I shouldn’t go to college but hang out in their offices , learn how to write songs and prepare myself to become a Rock and Roll Star!!!

Like Chuck Berry said, ” I studied hard hopin’to pass”. I took advantage of the chance to be around some up and coming talent who soon would become the most sucessful writers in music buisness history!

now As a wide-eyed 18 year old, I sat everyday in Aldon Music’s 1650 B’way office and became freindly with most of the writers who were signed…Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield (who helped me develop as a lyric writer), Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (who taught me how to sing harmony), Gerry Goffin and Carole King (who showed me how to make demos), Jack Keller (who helped me with my chords), Larry Kolber (one of my first lyric partners), Russ Teitleman, Brooks Arthur, Billy Michelle, Al Gorgoni, Charles Koppleman, Don Rubin and a 14 year old Toni Wine.

I’d occasionally babysit for Carole King, while she was in the studio doing demos. In return she would play keyboards, arrange, and sing background when I had to put down my songs on tape. I remember one day she came in to play Don Kirshner her new song but he was still out to lunch. She asked me if I’d like to hear it while she was going over it.

She sat down at the old upright piano in the music room and started playing, “Tonight you’re mine completely…You give your love so sweetly…” I was spellbound, until the very last note of, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”. I sat there as she played it a few more times, knowing I wouldn’t be able to write anything of my own for weeks!

Then she was summoned to Don’s office. I think he liked it too…I kept hearing him yelling through the door, “It’s a Smash!…It’s a Fuckin’ Smash!”

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne- https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

CLICK HERE TO READ SALLY STEVENS EXCELLENT REVIEW OF “TROUBADOURS” featuring CAROLE KING AND JAMES TAYLOR ON PBS!  http://rockphiles.typepad.com/a_life_in_the_day/2011/03/troubadours-the-movie-review.html

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