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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

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You’re In A Coma With MTV!

November 29, 2006

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No, it’s not ex-Congressman Mark Foley about to turn a new Page.. it’s Howdy Doody and “Buffalo” Bob Smith!

I’ve known about the power of television since I was seven years old, and charged other kids five cents to watch “Howdy Doody” at my uncle’s, who had the only set in the neighborhood! I also remember performing in grade school every wednesday at “Show and Tell”, with jokes I learned the previous night from my other uncle, “Uncle Miltie”. In 1956, however, my whole world changed when I saw Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan show! Up until then I wanted to become either a nuclear physicist or a clown…now I wanted to ROCK!

Unfortunately, I was a “Rebel Without Applause”, until I performed Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe”, at a High School talent show. Now the girls started paying attention to me. I don’t know if it was my Ed “Kookie” Byrnes cool way of talking or my red Elvis jacket, but even the neighborhood gangs started to respect me and would give me a head start before they’d chase me home from school! My role models were high school bon vivant, “Dobie Gillis” and “Love That Bob”Cummings, who portayed a photographer/ playboy. I even sucessfully used many of their characters outrageous “pick-up lines” that me got me close to some of the most beautiful girls in the world!

I was in for a big shock though when I got married and realized that real life wasn’t, “I Love Lucy”, and problems weren’t always solved in a half hour. Unfortunately, we wound up in “Divorce Court”…but fortunately for me, I lost the TV in the settlement! For the next 2 years, my creative abilities and productivity increased significantly. I no longer sat in the front of a tv set and watch negative stories on the news, or look at a sitcom, where the laugh track would tell me where to respond! I read, I bowled, I had actual conversations, and then I moved to Hollywood!

I was General Professional Manager at Viva music for two months before I learned how to drive. I guess I had too much time on my hands, and against my better judgement I bought my first color tv set. I was just like a recovering alcoholic, testing ing himself with just one drink…then craving a half dozen more! All I needed was one more game show, one more made for TV movie or one more talk show then, I’d be able to go to bed.

When it became no longer enough to watch TV…I had to Live TV! I started flirting with sitcom stars I’d run into at the Hollywood market, Anne ( “Honey West”) Francis, Denise ( “Room 222”) Nicholas, have dinner with Yvonne ( “Batgirl”) Craig, go dancing with Linda ( “Happy Days”) Purl or just hang out with Sissy ( “Love American Style”) Spacek. In case there would be trouble at some of the wild parties I went to, I made sure to be around TV tough guys like Michael ( “Streets Of San Francisco” ) Douglas, Bill ( “I Spy”) Cosby, Max ( “Beverly Hillbillies”) Baer and David ( “Kung Fu”) Carradine. It was during this time that I also became friendly with a couple of TV comedy writers who “appropriated” some of my real life stories and used them on “The Bobby Sherman Show”…the adventures of a songwriter! Instead of suing, I settled for a few of my songs to be used on the program.

Then I got bored with TV and all the bullshit that goes along with it, even relegated my set to a little used room in the house. That’s when my career started to flourish at Warner Brothers Music, which had recently bought Viva music. I didn’t pay much attention to television for the next ten years.

Then one day in 1982 I was invited to the launch of a new 24 hour cable music network, called MTV…and that’s when I saw the future! I’d been a fan of Scopitone, a european jukebox that played musical film clips, but I knew it could never succeed in the US because of the “stronghold” American jukebox operators had on the market. I looked at “this” MTV, not just as another place to promote music but as having the potential to become the primary means of delivering music to the masses!

In less than 25 years, MTV not only fufilled the prophecy, but actually helped to change the music itself. In the first few years the network played the ubiquitous videos of English artists, Duran Duran, David Bowie and Phil Collins, Austrailian artists Men At Work and whet the appetite of the American public for more of the same! In addition to music, fashion and slang started to travel around the world at a record pace, but it took Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album and a near boycott by CBS Records to break the color barrier at the network! Soon Lionel Ritchie and Billy Ocean were being played as much as Blondie and became regular staples of MTV.

For years , the network thrived on it’s legitimate pop content, then something odd happened. There were fewer and fewer music shows aired in favor of reality shows. After the success of “The Real World” ten years ago, the “Reality” floodgates opened. Today when we watch MTV and it’s sister network VHI, we see endless episodes of “Laguna Beach”, where horny teens fuck with each others heads, and “Punk’ed”, where Ashton Kutcher plays practical jokes that would get him an ass kicking in real life! Then we have “Next”, “Breaking Bonaduce”, ” Road Rules”, “Made”, “The Fabulous life of…”, “Flava’ Flav”, “Best Week Ever”, and “Celebrity Deathmatch”. The most obnoxious, though, is “Sweet Sixteen”, which feature rich little bitches-in-training conning their parents out of expensive sweet sixteen parties and lavish presents. It’s a series that’s an argument for an official sanction of corporal punishment!

As far as the music goes, when you can find it, most of the groups have a sameness about them. if you don’t look at the lower left hand corner of the screen you might mistake Panic at the Disco for the Killers, or All American Rejects. It’s just about impossible to tell what rap video you’re watching, since Kanye West, “Diddy”, Lil’ Jon and “Snoop” Dogg appear in almost all of them, as either a guest or a featured artist!.

It seems like most of the artists today are conciously making music to please corporations and music directors who have narrow taste and program for an audience who prefers not to think too far outside their electronic boxes. I’ve read studies on how too much TV eventually overwhelms the viewer and diminishes productivity. I don’t want to be lulled into complacency, so I’ve decided never to watch MTV again…after I see the finale of “Laguna Beach!”

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

If you want to hear a recording that Terry Mace and I wrote and perform called   “You’re in a coma with EMPTY -V” click onto http://artiewayne.com/music/coma.wma

Special thanks to Alan O’Day http://alanoday.com for helping with the re-mix

 

I just got an e-mail from my old friend Ron Dante (lead singer for the Archies, Cufflinks, and Detergents.) about my early mentor Paul Vance (“Itsy Bitsy, Teenie Weenie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”, “Catch A Falling Star”) Ron assured me that the announcement of Pauls demise was definitley premature! A man falsely claiming for 50 years to be the writer of “Bikini”, passed away and when his widow printed the outrageous songwriting credit in his obituary, the Associated Press picked it up (without checking the facts, obviously) and spread the story throughout the media! I hope Paul takes action against this irresponsible act of journalism that disrupted his life and takes advantage of the media attention to promote himself and his incredible body of work!
This episode really got me worked up and I started thinking of how many imposters I’ve met in the music buisness. I once exposed a guy claiming to be Napoleon the Fourteenth who wrote and performed, “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha”, which I might’ve believed If I hadn’t been at some of my late friend, Jerry Samuels sessions as he was recording this classic. I kicked this guy out of my office, as fast as I could! Then there was this woman who wanted me to sign her to Warner Brothers Music. She claimed to be the writer of Jean Knights, “Mr. Big Stuff.” You should’ve seen how fast she backtracked when I brought her into a meeting and introduced her to a couple of big Stax producers she claimed to know!

My most interesting experience, however, came when I first moved to Hollywood and started working at Viva Music. I got a call from one of the A&R men at United Artists Records, which was right down the street. He was about to sign contracts and give a rather large check to Artie Resnick (co-writer and co-producer, with Joey Levine of (“Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”, “Chewy, Chewy”) but he felt in his gut…that something was wrong. He knew I had represented Artie back in New York and asked to me join his meeting in progress. I sat quietly and waited for Artie to come in. After a few minutes I realized that the stranger, who had been dominating the conversation, was the one who had been claiming to be my friend! I kept my mouth from hanging open and quietly left the room, informing security that the man inside was indeed an imposter! They gave me five minutes to safely leave the premises before they threw him out of the office. I left quickly, keeping in mind the old Bronx Philosophy,”The Ass You Save May Be Your own!”

You can reach Ron Dante at http://rondante.com/

Artie Wayne at http://artiewayne.com