trade-best.gif

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.

Advertisements

jeff-w-mustahe.jpg

Songwriter and Producer Jeff Barry, is always someone I’ve looked up to…and not just because he’s about a foot taller than me! Before I got into the music buisness, I remember first seeing Jeff’s name on one of my favorite records, “Tell Laura I Love Her” (Raleigh/ Barry) by Ray Peterson, and paying attention to his creative output ever since.

The first time I met him was in 1650 Broadway at the office of Paul Vance (“Itsy, Bitsy, Teenie Weenie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”) where I was putting the finishing touches on a song I had written with with Ellie Greenwich and Danny Jordan (the Detergents), “You Should’ve Told Me”, that the Angels were about to record. I was introduced to Jeff when he came in to pick up his Fiance Ellie, for lunch.

While Danny and I sat daydreaming of songwriting superstardom collaborating with this talented lady on dozens of future hits, Jeff had plans of his own. He and Ellie, had started writing with Phil Spector and created songs that not only would become instant classics but would define the 60’s as well, including “Be My Baby”, for the Ronettes, “Do Wah Diddy” for Manfred Mann and “River Deep, Mountain High” for Ike and Tina Turner. Jeff’s love of Doo-Wop, Ellie’s affinity towards girl groups and Phil’s ability to mold the songs they all had written into a “Wall Of Sound”, made for an unbeatable combonation!

Jeff and Ellie sang together as the Raindrops, and co-produced Neil Diamond’s first hits, “Solitary Man”, “Cherry, Cherry” and worked with Shadow Morton, on “Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand)”, and “Leader Of The Pack” by the Shangri-las and “Chapel Of Love”, by the Dixie Cups. When their marriage ended , so did their collaboration with Phil Spector and Jeff started producing on his own. After a successful string of hits with the Monkees, “I’m A Believer”, “A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me”, and the Archies, “Sugar, Sugar”, “Bang Shang -a-Lang”…his creativity took a new turn.

I didn’t see Jeff for a couple years, then while I was visiting my friend songwriter, Paul Williams (“We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Old Fashioned Love Song”) on the A&M Records lot. Jeff, who had just signed a co-publishing deal with Irving/ Almo Music, came in and played me a song he had written, “Walking In The Sun”

Walkin’ In The Sun

Words and music by Jeff Barry

Well, things have been goin’ wrong long enough to know when everything’s just right
I’ve been walking in the dark long enough to know when I’ve finally seen the light
I’ve been losing long enough to know when I finally have won
And even the blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun.

Well, I’ve cried enough tears to recognize this feeling of a smile
I’ve been bottom rung long enough to know when I’m doing it in style
I’ve been running long enough to know when there’s no more need to run
(O Lord) Even the blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun.

The wind is at my back and I’m sailing on a ship long overdue
I’ve blown so many chances, I ain’t gonna blow this one with you
And I’ve seen enough bad times to know when the good times have begun
O Lord – Even the blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun

(Oh yeah) Even the blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun.

Copyright 1973 Irving Music/Jeff Barry International, administered by BMI.

I sat there with my mouth dropped open, fighting back a tear. I always admired and respected Jeff for his ability to tap into the teen market and realistically express their emotions…but I realized his writing had reached a new level. Although I was working for Warner Brothers Music as general Professional Manager, and it was my job to plug my companies songs, I gave a demo of “Walking In The Sun” to my friend, Bob Monoco who recorded it the following week with Chaka Kahn and her group Rufus!

It was years later that I learned that the song was written for his father, who was blind and only this morning did I read the complete story behind the song, in Jeff’s own words on his official website.

The next time I placed one of Jeff’s songs, it was in a more of an “official” capacity. I was hired to run Irving/ Almo, and on my first day on the job, I gave Olivia Newton John, “I Honestly Love You”, that Jeff wrote with the late Peter Allan, which became the record of the year in 1974!

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

For Jeff Barry’s Official Website http://lpintop.tripod.com/jeffbarry/

Special thanks to Laura Pinto http://laurapinto.tripod.com/

For the complete story behind, “I Honestly Love You”

https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/09/13/olivia-newton-john-tries-to-squeeze-one-more-hit-out-of-jeff-barry-and-artie-wayne/