L to R- Shadow Mann, Ron Haffkine, Kelli Ross, and Morris Levy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Photo by Stephen Paley

“In 1968, I wrote a song, “Come And Live With Me,” and Ron Haffkine (who several years later produced a string of hits with Dr. Hook) helps me make a demo. Then my publishing partner Kelli Ross arranges for us to play it to the legendary owner of Roulette records, Morris Levy …who’s riding a wave of Tommy James hits (“Crimson & Clover,” “I Think We’re Alone Now”.)
Although I had met him before as Artie Wayne, I introduce myself to Morris under my new persona… Shadow Mann.

Ronnie puts the music on….turns the volume up…and I leap onto Morris’ desk!! in my black, floppy ‘Shadow Hat’ … custom made black suede jacket with a giant red eagle on the back… I lip-synch my little heart out!!

“Come and live with me…I’ll treat you nice…na na na na na na na”

Morris can hardly contain himself…he makes me perform it over and over for different members of his staff. Then he clears his office…leaving only the three of us. Morris slowly lights a cigar…and tries not to appear excited.

Then he says, “OK Shadow…I want to to do an album…I’ll even give you and Kelli your own label!! How much do you need to get started?” Haffkine chimes in “$25,000″…at which point Morris reaches under his desk…pulls out a brown paper bag and hands me $25,000 in cash!!

I look at Morris wide-eyed and say, “Don’t you want me to sign anything?”, he laughs and says, “Don’t worry, I know where you live!”

3 months later “Come And Live With Me” is released. I go on a promotion tour with one of my discoveries, Sissy Spacek. She’s promoting a song I found and Haffkine produced, “John You’ve Gone Too Far This Time,” a commentary on the Lennon/Ono nude album cover.

I change Sissy’s name to Rainbo, which I think is more commercial, and we travel the country promoting our records, until radio finds them too controversial, as “Shadow” and “Rainbo.” I go back to writing songs and producing, while Rainbo changes her name back to Sissy Spacek and decides to try her hand at acting.”


From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song” Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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