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I’ve been a member of Spectropop, the 60’s music forum for about four years, and have reunited on line with many of my old friends in the music business. Ron Dante, producer and former lead singer of the Archies, Al Kooper writer and producer, and Artie Butler, Arranger. I’ve also become friendly online with dozens of other songwriters, producers musicians, and disc jockeys I didn’t know before.

For almost a year I’ve been corresponding with Eddie Hodges, former child actor (“The Music Man”, “Come Blow Your Horn”) and recording artist (“I’m Gonna’ Knock On Your Door”, “Girls, Girls, Girls, Were Made To Love”. He sent me an E-mail last week about an honor he received, which I’d like to share with you.

Artissimo,

It was a great evening. I was honored as the first Mississippian to ever receive a Grammy, but the actual Grammy went to the orig. cast album of The Music Man. I just happened to sing a couple of songs on the album, but according to John Hornyak of the Memphis chapter of The Recording Academy, that qualified me for a Grammy commendation.
The performances were fantastic. Jerry Lee Lewis looked a bit frail backstage, but told me he was fine – he did three songs and played and sang well. Marty Stuart was the emcee and performed alone and with the North Mississippi Allstars. It was fun reminiscing backstage with Marty about mutual friends – his performances were absolutely electric – what a talent! The North Mississippi Allstars were incredible, and I got to see them jam at a club later in the evening when they sat in with a local blues group. The legendary James Burton also performed and was great. When the Williams Brothers got up and did an accapella version of”Amazing Grace” with impeccable harmony, there was not a dry eye in the house. The Governor called me up onto the stage to recognize me individually and I was moved to tears. He also recognized the son of the legendary blues man Robert Johnson, who also was there. What a thrill it was to meet him. If they have a DVD of the show, I’ll get a copy for you.

There were people from NARAS, BMI, Malaco Records, AT&T, etc. Hartley Peavey, of Peavey Electronics who co-sponsored the event, gave away two of their guitars to members of the audience. NARAS put together a video of highlights form past Grammy Awards shows in which Mississippians won Grammys. I was glad I decided to go.

Attached are a couple of pics. One is from the The Clarion Ledger newspaper in Jackson and shows the North MS Allstars and me in pics with the Governor. The other is just one I wanted to share with you that is a favorite from my personal collection and shows me sitting on W.C. Handy’s lap when I was a little kid.

I wish you could have been there. It was a humbling experience for me and my shyness was kickin’ my butt the entire time. But it was an honor and a privilege I will never forget.

God bless,
Eddie

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Considering all of the talented people who are from from Mississippi, including Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Faith Hill, and dozens of other artists, for you to have been the first mississippian to receive a Grammy is quite an honor! First I want to congratulate you as an artist, then as a humanitarian for earning your B.A. in psychology and becoming a mental health counselor!

You could have taken the dark road, as many former child stars have, but you chose a path of light. May you continue to inspire everyone you meet.

Thanks for sharing your joy with me and that picture of you and the father of the blues, W.C.Handy ( “St.Louis Blues”). I was about the same age as you were in that picture when I met Mr. Handy. His son was my music teacher.

Regards, Artissimo

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

Pictured at top Frank Sinatra and Eddie Hodges in “A Hole In The Head “, featuring the song that won the academy award, “High Hopes”

For more about Eddie Hodges http://www.meekermuseum.com/ehodges.html

For Spectropop http://spectropop.com


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“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

– Yogi Berra

“Vote early and vote often.”
– Al Capone

After convincing me to start writing a blog, I asked Sebastian Prooth, non-fiction writer and blogger, what do I write about? He replied, “A blogger is what a blogger does”

“Play nice, even with yourself”
-Confucious…..submitted by John X

“It’s easier to be forgiven than it is to get permission.”
-A. Nonomous

I asked Patti Dahlstrom if she had any favorite quotes from her friend, the late director Robert Altman?

“Bob always took ideas from anyone who wanted to comment. Most were not very good. One day I asked him, “Why do you encourage everyone to tell you what they think when there are so many unusable ideas?” He looked at me and smiled and said, “Because you might hear 99 bad ideas and then comes one that is wonderful!”

“Even A Blind Man Can Tell When He’s Walkin The Sun”
-Jeff Barry from a song he wrote for his late father

In a conversation about Spectropop, the 60’s music forum, Songwriter/Producer, Mark Wirtz told music enthusiast Joe Nelson that he sees Spectropop as, “A meeting of minds between those on the creative end who made the music happen and those on the recieving end who refuse to let it die!”

finally, Sharon Link, passes this one along about an old Cherokee who tells his grandson about the constant battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

For more memorable quotes https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/02/03/some-quotes-are-worth-remembering/

To Reach Sebastian Prooth http://sebrt.com

For Spectropop http://spectropop.com

To reach Mark Wirtz http://markwirtz.com

Special Thanks to Laura Pinto http://lpintop.tripod.com/oldiesconnection/

Laura Pinto’s collection of quotes http://www.geocities.com/lpintop/sayings1.html

Jeff Barry http://lpintop.tripod.com/jeffbarry/

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Although I’ve known Trade Martin since he was one of most in demand session guitarists in New York, I didn’t work with him very often because he was always booked up! In addition to being an excellent musician, part of why he became so popular among producers in the 60’s and 70’s was the fact that he was constantly singing and playing in Rock and Roll Bands in the tri-state area and he not only knew how the everchanging hits on top 40 radio sounded…he knew how they were constructed.

The first time I worked with Trade, was in 1964, just before I took my first trip to London. I had become bored with the American Music scene and became enamoured of what I heard coming out of the UK. I had written a song with Ben Raleigh (“Tell Laura I Love Her”, “Wonderful, Wonderful”) and Danny Jordan (The Detergents) called, “When She Was What She Was”, which was more of a Gerry and the Pacemakers song than a song for Dion.

When I heard Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni’s production of a song Trade wrote for Evie Sands, “Take Me For A Little While”, I was overwhelmed by his songwriting abilities which equaled his musical skills!. When we sat down to plan out my session and I played him my song and he added chords and changes I was only hearing on English hits. The tracks turned out great but I was disappointed in my own vocal. When I came back from England I put my vocal on again, this time with a pronounced English accent and sold the master to Coed records where it was released under the pseudonym Terry Boyd. This was the same label where Trade was signed, that released his classic “That Stranger Used To Be My Girl”.

Although he’s written and scored films, has been nominated for “Clios” for his work in commercials, and received praise for his productions of B.B.King, including the Grammy winning, “Live at San Quentin Album”, his passion for self-expression remains at an all time high as he continues to perform regularly and write and record on a daily basis.

When we reconnected a couple of weeks ago, I became more accutely aware of the part he and his guitar played in the hit making process of some of greatest record producers of our time including Phil Spector, Leiber and Stoller, Bert Berns, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jerry Ross, Jerry Wexler and Burt Bacharach. I didn’t know Trade played on, “Cherry, Cherry”, By Neil Diamond, “Chapel Of Love” by the Dixie Cups, “Twist and Shout” by the Isley Brothers, as well dozens of others he casually rattled off.

As I scrambled to turn my tape recorder on, I started to ask him questions about what I thought every member of Spectropop might want to know.

AW- How did you first get together with Phil Spector?

TM- I was working at the time with Jeff and Ellie, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector’s contractor heard about me and called me up. He said Phil wanted to meet me, so I made an appointment to see him up at Liberty records. You recorded for Liberty didn’t you?

AW- (Laughs) Yeah, briefly. That’s where I met Phil too…he was on the A+R staff.

TM- The contractor told me to bring my guitar to the meeting, so I brought my white fender guitar.

AW- Did you bring an amplifier…or did he have one?

TM- No…no ( laughs) You could hardly hear the sound, but if you listened close enough you could hear it. I didn’t know it at the time, but Phil was a guitar player himself and he studied with Barney Kessel.

AW- Phil played the guitar solo on the Drifters record, “On Broadway”

TM- Right! I caught him playin’ in the studio one day…you know a lot of jazzy stuff. I was a Jazz oriented guitar player myself.

AW- Tell me more about your meeting.

TM- I remember him sitting behind a big desk, and I was on a couch across from him. Our whole meeting wasn’t longer than 6 or 7 minutes. As I pulled out my guitar, he asked what kind of stuff I liked to play? I told him that I played in a night club, and I knew all the solos by Scotty Moore, Carl Perkins…guys like that. At that point he asked, If I knew the intro to “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry? I smiled, and started playing it. He said I’d be hearing from his contractor.

AW- Which you obviously did.

TM- I played on almost every session he did in New York. He found out that I had this D28 Martin Herringbone Dreadnaught acoustic guitar and after he heard it, he always wanted me to play it on his sessions. I specifically remember one session I played it on it, it was at Mirasound with Brooks Arthur engineering. Phil usually used 2 or 3 pianos on his dates. on this one, Carole King was on an upright piano, as I remember, Paul Griffin was on a grand piano and Jerry, Phil’s contractor, was on another.

AW- And what song was this?

TM- “He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss” by the Crystals

AW-Wow!

TM- Phil wanted me to play 16th notes all the way through the track, fortunately I play the drums, so I was able keep that rythym up! I used to sit right in front of Gary Chester who played drums on most of Phil’s dates.

AW- Gary’s one of the most innovative drummers I ever worked with…you could recognize him on every record he played on!

TM- He’s the best…and what a nice guy!

AW- I’ve been to a couple of overdubbing sessions of Phils but never a tracking session. Tell me more…who were the other musicians?

TM- There was Carl Lynch on Electric Guitar, Billy Butler on another electric and percussionist, George Devins.

AW- And on bass?

TM- Bob Bushnell on electric and Russ Savakus or Dick Romoff on stand up. Phil always liked to use two basses on his tracks.

AW- I worked with all those guys, but I never knew that they were the foundation of the “Wall of Sound”…Great musicians and incredible positive vibes! I heard that once a track was done, Phil would have the musicians double it…to give it his signature sound.

TM- No…not on any sessions I’ve been on. I’ll tell you what he did though…

(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

The complete interview with Trade Martin will appear exclusively on Artie Wayne On The Web and Spectropop in about a month. I honestly didn’t plan to do any more interviews for a while, but after reconnecting with Trade, I realized how much of Pop history he’s been part of…and it would be a shame not to document it.

I’m going to be talking with him again on Tuesday at noon, If you have any questions you want me to ask him, about Phil Spector or any of the legends he’s worked with, you can e-mail me at artie_wayne@yahoo.com

To reach Trade Martin http://trademartinmusic.co

Thanks to Dave Monroe for sending Evie Sands performing ,”Take Me For A Little While” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZTG-5brNII

For More On Phil Spector https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/16/the-scoop-on-richard-baskin-and-phil-spector-with-a-cherry-on-top/

For Spectropop http://spectropop.com

To get back to Artie Wayne On The Web https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

Special thanks to Jeff Rubin for reconnecting me with Trade.

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Elvis on his 1968 NBC Comeback Special

I can’t think of person in Modern History who has had a greater influence on music and the pop culture than Elvis Presley! I was 14 when I first heard one of his records…and I haven’t been the same ever since!

As an African-American, I was laughed at in my neighborhood for liking and trying to emulate him. It angered the Black community that he allegedly said,”All “Colored” people can do for me is shine my shoes and buy my records.” I never believed that someone who loved the Blues, R+B and Gospel music as much as he did would ever say such a horrible thing. Although he never confirmed or denied the statement, when he recorded, “In the Ghetto” in 1969, that was enough to convince me where his heart was really at!

Although I never met him, I got as close to him as I could, I became friendly with some of the writers who created some of his biggest hits; Otis Blackwell, ( “Don’t Be Cruel”, ” All Shook Up”, “Return To Sender”), Doc Pomus and Morty Shuman ( “Viva Las Vegas”, “Surrender”, ” HIs Latest Flame” ) Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold ( “It’s Now Or Never”), Sid Wyche ( ” Big Hunk O’ Love” ) and Spectropopper Paul Evans ( “I Gotta’ Know”.)

When my songwriting partner at the time, Ben Raleigh (“Tell Laura I Love Her”, ” Love is a Hurtin’ Thing” ) got us a shot at writing for some his movies, “It Happened At The World’s Fair”, “Kid Galahad”, “Fun In Acapulco”, Kissin’ Cousins”…I was in Heaven! Unfortunately, none of our songs were used but I treasured the advance checks we would receive from Gladys music with Elvis’ picture on them!

I never gave up on Elvis covering one of my songs, however, and in 1977 a song I co-wrote with Deanie Hofheinz, Nancy Barry ( Jeff’s ex-wife ) and Brad Berg called “Perfect Strangers”, made it to his last recording session but was never finished due to his untimely death.

About 10 years ago, I ran into Deanie in Nashville with her husband Ron Anton, a Senior VP with BMI. She said that she was trying to get a copy of the track and hinted that there might’ve been a scratch vocal by Elvis that went along with it. I’m still waiting to hear it!

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

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All in one place…Top 10 You Tube vids, Top Viral Videos Of All Time, Justin, Mary J., Rihanna, U2, Best Rock Archives, Viral vids, Top art museums, best websites What do a couple of cats know about videos and websites? Let’s find out!

BEST MUSIC ARCHIVES

I wanted to locate a video I’d seen on MTV of the group OK GO performing, “Here It Goes Again”. They do imaginative, synchronized moves on four moving treadmills, filmed by a single camera in one continuous shot! You can imagine how I felt when I discovered the FatAdam.Com’s collection of ” The Top Ten Viewed You Tube Videos Of All TIme”. Not only did I find the video I wanted, I found the Token’s “Lion Sleeps Tonight”, performed by a CGI Hippo and dog, Plus eight other internet smashes I’d never seen before!
http://www.fatadam.com/2006/12/03/top-10-viewed-youtube-videos-of-all-time/

IFILM.Com never ceases to amaze me with it’s constantly updated coming attractions, previews and Viral Videos! http://www.ifilm.com/

Top Viral Videos Of All Time!…The title says it all! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15958470/

Then I found some incredible videos on my Spectropop pal, Laura Pinto’s website!
“In 2001, A&E’s Biography presented a fantastic documentary called ‘Hitmakers: The Teens Who Stole Pop Music.’ This documentary, which is available on home video under the name ‘Songmakers,’ covers the work of the gifted composers and producers from the Brill Building era, early 50’s to late 60’s. Biography launched the weeklong series with a 90-minute special featuring a wealth of historical information, archival photos and footage, and interviews with dozens of singers, songwriters, producers and insiders – among them, Carole King/Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller, Neil Sedaka, Jack Keller, Don Kirshner, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, George “Shadow” Morton, Mary Weiss, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Steve Lawrence, Shirley Alston Reeves, and so many more including a 1991 interview with the late Doc Pomus. Recently, the Hitmakers special was added to the popular video site YouTube in nine parts, approximately 10 minutes in length each. Being a huge fan of the Brill Building music in general and Jeff Barry in particular, I wasted no time in posting all nine videos to my Oldies Connection MySpace blog. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!” http://blog.myspace.com/oldiesconnection

Spectropop… One of the main reasons I joined Spectropop, was the appreciation, by its members, of the well-crafted Pop song, the kind that dominated the Top 40 charts in the 1960s. The site is full of information and entertainment that has brought me back dozens of times this year! I personally want to thank “Spectrotopper”Mick Patrick for helping to create and maintain one of the best music sites on the web.
http://spectropop.com

Wolfgangs Vault…Bill Graham, the unequaled concert promoter and humanitarian, who died in a helicopter crash in 1991, has left quite a legacy. Not only did he loom larger than life in the careers of the Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Janis Joplin, ad pop infinitum, he was astute enough to extensively document most of the acts that performed concerts along the way.

Bill was always nice to me and let me and my pals in backstage to watch his shows from the wings…even though he knew I was there to probably pitch a song or impress some girl. I can’t tell you how surprised…and happy I was to see a segment about him on the CBS Network show “Sunday Morning”, that spotlighted his vast collection of memorabalia that includes millions of posters, unused concert tickets, photos, high quality audio and videos from concerts at the Filmore West and Filmore East.
http://wolfgangsvault.com/

Coverville…Creator and host, Brian Ibbott, is one of the most consistant podcasters around. His twice weekly show spotlights new covers of older songs, that never cease to amaze me! This week is his 277 th show (all of which are downloadable), which features the official 2006 Coverville Countdown!
http://coverville.com

BEST INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

The Smoking Gun…One of my faves! “The Smoking Gun brings you exclusive documents–cool, confidential, quirky–that can’t be found elsewhere on the Web. Using material obtained from government and law enforcement sources, via Freedom of Information requests, and court files nationwide, everything here is 100% authentic.” http://www.thesmokinggun.com/about.html

TMZ…Harvey Levin and pals seem to get the scoop on celebrity mis-behavior, and is quoted often as a source on news and entertainment shows.
http://tmz.com

BEST MUSIC VIDEOS

I grew up with top 40 music listening to Pop, R&B and Country side by side. Today to get that kind of diversity is impossible, so now I must get my music from 4 different sources.

MTV…The pioneer in pop videos where you can see videos on line! The best artists to watch, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, JoJo, The Killers, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, All American Rejects, Cold Play, Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z http://www.mtv.com/ Here’s Justin Timberlake and, “Sexy Back” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgtmETjMT7Y

VH1…Check out…James Blunt, John Mayer, John Legend, Nelly Furtado, Pussycat Dolls, Shakira, Ne-yo, Riianna, Mary J. Blige, Green Day, Danity Kane, and the Fray http://www.vh1.com/ Here’s one of my personal favorites…Rihanna, “Unfaithful” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1154844957034870481&q=rianna+unfaithful+video&hl=en

BET…The Black Entertainment network A bit rap heavy, but diverse within the Genre. This is the place where artists break out! Chris Brown, Timbaland, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, Emenem, 50 Cents, TI, R.Kelly, Fat Joe, Jaimie Fox and Kanye West.
http://www.bet.com/ Here’s the Artist of the Year, Mary J. Blige and “One” featuring U2 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3297419603290460058&q=Mary+J.+Blige+videos&hl=en

CMT…Country Music Television plays the best country videos. Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Allison Krauss, Sugarland, and Shania Twain. http://www.cmt.com/ My favorite of the year, Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbvZlfTulYc

BEST ART MUSEUM WEBSITES

The Louvre in Paris…Still one of my favorite museums in the world, even though I was once thrown out for trying to photograph my hand puppet Kah-Kah on the shoulder of the Venus De Milo! Take A virtual tour. http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home_flash.jsp?bmLocale=en

New York’s Museum of Modern Art…Where many of my romances began and ended in front of Monet’s “Water Lillies”. View permanent collection http://www.moma.org/

Los Angeles County Museum…finally has become a world class destination!
http://www.lacma.org/

BEST DIFFICULT TO CLASSIFY VIDEOS

My longtime friend, Ken Schaffer, inventor of the “Wireless Microphone and Wireless Electric Guitar”, put a video up on that he and his son , shot at the launch of the Columbia Space Shuttle. I asked Kenny to describe what you’re about to see.

” I’d done some work with NASA, so we (Kenny’s then-wife and then 8 year old son) got front row seats in the VIP bleachers – a mile and a half just west off launch complex 39A. anyone closer was a bird. It was an hour before dawn, so the view to the east was amazing – and you can see the dawn-coming glow framed around the pad. All NASA guys were ecstatic in their agreement that this was the most beautiful launch in shuttle history.

It was the first day of March 2003. The mission was to fix the Hubble Telescope (which you can actually see near the moon at the start of the video!). It was beautiful – brighter than the sun, louder than ay train Woody Guthrie rode – bone rattling – awesome in the same way as St. Basil’s Cathedral in St.Petersburg “How can human bubbleheads create something so beautiful!?” It was the last successful mission of the Columbia. You know the rest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdjID2osZ0A

To see what Kenny Schaffer up to these days http://tv2me.com/

The next video, my friend and journalist Ellen Sander created about Amsterdam. An unpretentious look at one of my favorite cities in the world. In her words,

“The Van Gogh Museum was one of my most coveted destinations and it did not disappoint. In the lobby a quartet was playing a Dutch version of Hank Williams’ Cold Cold Heart as we walked in, and they continued with a gentle repertoire of country and folk music. The exhibit upstairs was small, the Van Gogh family’s collection of around 70 of Vincent’s paintings. I was thinking of the consonances between the works of Bob Dylan and Vincent Van Gogh as I walked around. They both broke the mold, they both crafted their work out of inference and references that embodied their images. The portrait of Vincent by Gauguin was there as was Van Gogh’s canvas of Gauguin’s Chair, the emptiness of which almost echoed with sobs.

In the exhibit you’re so aware of light and shadow and brushstroke, how a drip of multiple colors from the same paintbrush defined the grain in the trunk of the Small Pear Tree in Blossom. Vincent. You were here, you are here.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh2FnQRDIqU

Here’s an inspiring video, that author and composer, Patti Dahlstrom sent me. She writes, “Having a nephew who is #1 in his class as a Marine Lt. flying Harrier jets and another nephew who is an Honors junior at West Point, has enlightened and educated me about military service. This is more than a choice, it is a calling, as many who are reading this were called to music.

We would not have what we have today, any of us, without people who were willing to fight and die to protect our loved ones, our families, and our freedoms. Unfortunately, negotiating has never solved anything with a tyrant; we tried it with Hitler and Hussein. The only temporary peace we receive is a grace from those who are willing to defend us from those who wish to dominate and/or destroy us.

Today’s military is voluntary, which means they are there because they want to be. They don’t want to kill or be killed, they want to defend freedom. If they pay the ultimate sacrifice, so be it. It is their calling, and they understand the consequences of such a path. I once read that spiritually the souls who come to fight our battles are the same throughout history. This is the job they come to do. Please take a moment to view this wonderful video and to hear this wonderful song in tribute to those who allow us our reality.” http://www.managedmusic.com/php/BYGIndex.php?page=Listen_To_BYG_Introduction#

The last video is produced and directed by Sebastian Prooth. It’s the updated demo version of Alan O’Day and the Late Johnny Stevenson’s number one hit, “Rock And Roll Heaven”, featuring singer Ronnie Kimball. Prooth humbly says,

“I’m very pleased it affects so many people on such an emotional level. We all remember at least one of the people featured in Alan O’Day’s song. This video serves to remind us of not only the artists remembered in pictures, but also the ones that we remember personally. I hope it will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.”
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Artie Wayne on the Web and Whoppy and Streaker on the couch!

Website http://artiewayne.com Blog https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

To reach Alan O’Day http://alanoday.com

Sebastian Prooth http://sebrt.com

Ellen Sander http://ellensander.com/crackpot.html

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

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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

After the “English Invasion” of the U.S. in 1964, at the urging of my friends, Paul Simon and Jackie DeShannon, I decided to go to London to promote my songs and productions. Bess Coleman, one of the Beatles press officers, with whom I was writing songs , brought me into the groups inner circle and I traveled with them on several stops of their, “Beatles For Sale” promotional tour.

Backstage at a venue in White City, George and Paul were playing guitar and singing to relax in with a handful of their old mates and confidantes. Bess introduced me to them, and just as Paul smiled and handed me the guitar for me to take a turn…John majestically strode into the room. Bess introduced me to him as the American who wrote the recent top ten UK hit by Helen Shapiro, “Queen For Tonight” (Raleigh/ Wayne) John, with a wide grin, shook my hand and in a deep voice sang a parody of my song, ” I am a Queen For Tonight…but will I be a King tomorrow?”…which had the room in hysterics! Unfortunately, I didn’t know they were laughing at John, who was poking fun at the husky voiced 16 year old Shapiro’s sexuality, which had recently been questioned by the press…I thought they were laughing at me! I was embarrassed, but managed a smile as I passed on playing one of my songs and handed the guitar over to John, who sat down and sang, ” I’m A Loser”.

Although that was my only personal encounter with John Lennon, it wasn’t the only connection I had. The first was in 1968, when I found a song, “John You Went Too Far This Time”, a reaction to the John and Yoko naked “Two Virgins” album cover, recorded by Sissy Spacek, whom I discovered and renamed “Rainbo”.
The second was concerning the original artwork of “Clouds” used on the “Imagine” album cover, which I was given as security from a friend who needed a fast $100.00 loan! I never asked my friend how he got it, but I knew I had to enjoy the painting in “secrecy” for as long as it was in my possession! Then one day, about three years after John’s assasination, my now well-heeled friend who gave me this treasure in trust, offered to buy it back. Although I knew it must be worth upwards of a $100,000 dollars, I just asked him to return the hundred dollar loan I made him originally. To this day I wonder was that the right choice?

Anyway, here’s a glimpse of this beautiful piece of art that hung for years in my office at Warner Brothers music. You can see it in the upper right half of the photo.

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Artie Wayne with Singer and Songwriter Patti Dahlstrom

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

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