artie_bw_cropped.jpg

One day in 1973, while driving down La Brea in Hollywood, I saw Jerry Moss waiting in line at Pinks hot dog stand. I leaped out of my car and introduced myself!

He was standing with Jack Daugherty (the Carpenters producer) They were both surprised and amused by my boldness…which led to both of them opening the doors of the A+M lot to me. As time went by, I became friendly with not only Jack, but with Richard Carpenter, John Bettis ( who co-wrote “Top Of The World”, “Yesterday Once More”and Paul Williams ( “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Old Fashioned Love Song”). We would sit around Paul’s office, discuss music and play songs for each other.

About a year later, when the top position at Irving/Almo music became vacant, Paul Williams suggested to Jerry Moss that they consider me for the job.

In 1974, I left Warner Brothers Music and was asked to join the Irving/Almo publishing arm of A&M Records. The company had been run by Chuck Kaye, but Chuck had decided to take some time off. I was in the right place at the right time.

The following is the actual press release that Rondor Music (the parent company) put out to announce my hiring:

MOSS NAMES WAYNE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IRVING/ALMO MUSIC

Jerry Moss, president of A&M Records, has announced that effective March 15, 1974 Artie Wayne has been named executive director of publishing for Irving/Almo Music. He was formerly general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music.

Wayne was first discovered by Bobby Darin in 1959…who sent him to Donny Kirshner who had just formed Aldon Music with vet song man/producer Al Nevins. It was there that Wayne learned how to write songs from Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield.

He went on to collaborate with Paul Vance and in 1963 co-wrote his first hit “Meet Me at Midnight Mary” with Ben Raleigh and produced Bell Record’s first hit with Joey Powers.

In 1965, Wayne went to Scepter Records with Ed Silvers, where he produced the Shirelles, the Kingsmen and the Guess Who. When Silvers moved to the coast to join Viva Records, Wayne stayed in New York.

Unable to afford to sign Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, whom he worked with at Scepter, he took the duo to Eddie Holland, who signed them to Motown. In the next four and a half years, Wayne and partners Sandy and Kelli Ross build Alouette Productions into the top New York administration and exploitation firm of the late sixties. They represented Quincy Jones, (Joey) Levine and (Artie) Resnick, (Gary) Geld and (Peter) Udell, Bobby Scott, Janis Ian, Ron Haffkine, Leslie Gore, Bo Gentry and Jerry Jeff Walker.

After moving to the coast in 1970, he contributed pieces to Rock and Fusion magazines and reviewed acts for Cash Box before joining Viva Music as professional manager.

For the last three years, Wayne has been general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music. He directed the New York, Hollywood and Nashville professional staff, which has been dubbed “The Warner Raiders.” During those years, they represented the works of America, Badfinger, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, the Faces, the Fifth Dimension, the Kinks, Gordon Lightfoot, Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, Randy Newman, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimmy Webb, Neil Young and many others.

He spearheaded campaigns that resulted in multiple recordings by Three Dog Night, the Lettermen, Bobby Sherman, the Jackson Five, Johnny Winter and Art Garfunkle. His “Raiders” were also responsible for over 50 “cover” records of “Theme From Summer ’42” before the composition received a Grammy or Academy Award nomination. In 1973 the company boasted 55 chart singles and representation in the average of 33 chart albums every week.

More recently, Wayne acted as musical consultant on Warner Bros. Films’ “Cleopatra Jones” which resulted in two top 20 records by Joe Simon and Millie Jackson.

Although his time only allows him to be an occasional song writer, over the years he had nearly 200 of his own compositions recorded, including, among others, titles by Aretha Franklin, Bobby Darin, Jose Feliciano, Chi Coltrane, Rick Nelson, the Jackson Five, Miriam Makeba, Tiny Tim, Wayne Newton, and most recently, the much-covered “Flashback” (co-written with Alan O’Day) with chart records by the Fifth Dimension and Paul Anka.

My first day at the office I found “I Honestly Love You” and sent it to Olivia Newton John https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/09/13/olivia-newton-john-tries-to-squeeze-one-more-hit-out-of-jeff-barry-and-artie-wayne/

The following week I discovered and signed Rick James
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/26/rock-and-roll-heaven-soars-on-internet-tribute-to-croce-perren-and-james/

I had a chance to work with Brian Wilson https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/brief-encounters-with-brian-wilson/

I didn’t have a chance to work with Billy Preston https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/25/rock-and-roll-heaven-rocks-internet-special-tribute-to-cash-pitney-preston/

Got to work with my old pal Jeff Barry https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/02/10/jeff-barry-i-honestly-like-him/

Became friends with Barry White  https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/a-very-special-tribute-to-barry-white-mickey-most-and-jimi-hendrix/

During a time when women were treated unequally in the music business, I did everything I could to give talented, qualified women a break. I promoted my Secretary, Margo Matthews, to the Head of the Copyright Department where she remained for over 30 years.

Brenda Andrews, had been a secretary for seven years before I arrived. Not only did she have a good song sense, but she was showing songs in the catalog and getting more covers than anyone on the professional staff! I doubled her salary and made her an official songplugger. I’m happy to say that she retired a few years ago after becoming senior Vice-President of the company!

Lance Freed, the son of disc jockey Alan Freed, was fairly new to publishing at the time, but had potential. He ultimately became president of the company, a position which he still holds today.

I was told by Jerry Moss when I was hired that I was in charge of the World Wide Publishing operation, only to find out from one of A+M’s lawyers on the eve of my departure to Europe, that I was only in charge of the operation in the US!

Jerry was out of the country, so I couldn’t get this “mistake” straightened out. Besides, I had a meeting in London the next day with Richard Branson to make him an offer to buy his company…Virgin Records.

(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

Advertisements

lovinspoonful.jpg

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

 

whoppy


One of the main reasons I joined Spectropop http://spectropop.com was the appreciation, by its members, of the well-crafted Pop song, the kind that dominated
the Top 40 charts in the 1960s. I’m formerly a “Colored”, “Black”,
“Negro”, and currently a “Bi-Racial”, African-American songwriter/
producer/publisher, who started in that era, who is still interested
and active in all kinds of music today. Every weekend I religiously
listen to the Top Ten on MTV, VH1, Country Music Television, and the
Black Entertainment Network, to stay aware of the market. I’ll admit,
the last few years have been very discouraging.

The only genre in which the Pop song, as we knew it, has consistently
evolved is country music. The song is still well-crafted, cleverly
written, and heartfelt. It is also universally considered the most
important ingredient in the recording process. The field is currently
dominated by some of the best singer/songwiters, coming from all
around the world, including Gretchen Wilson (USA), Keith Urban
(Australia), and Shania Twain (Canada).

As far as music that might have evolved from ’60s bubblegum hits
Levine/ Resnick produced, Fountains of Wayne and Bowling for Soup
are really satisfying. Over the last year or so, I’ve watched bands
like Coldplay emerge who might be considered the grandsons of The
Left Banke. As I’m writing this I can hear Coldplay singing “Walk
Away Renee” in my head.

As far as the current state of rap goes, Its glorification of
inappropriate behavior and pursuit of things I care little about
overshadows everything else. How many times can you, “Raise your
hands in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care”? Then, about
a year ago, I heard what Kanye West was doing and I knew from that
point on the genre had been elevated!

As far as R&B goes, the listening and viewing public is starting to
demand more from today’s artists. Check out by R. Kelly’s brilliant
“Trapped In A Closet”, which rivals anything Marvin Gaye ever
released. I can’t wait to hear what Usher, the Michael Jackson of his
generation, is going to come up with next.

Personally, I’d like to hear some more ’60s and ’70s songs covered by
today’s artists. Can you imagine “Happy Together” being done by Tim
McGraw and Faith Hill? or “Rock And Roll Heaven” being revived by The
Foo Fighters or American Idol Taylor Hicks? Alan Gordon, Alan O’Day …
are you listening?

One thing that I’m certain of for the rest of my life I will love songs — past, present and future. That’s why I want to thank Mick Patrick for helping to create and maintain one of the best music sites on the web… Spectropop!

Regards,
Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com

special thanks to Whoppy (pictured) for helping to make this announcement.