L to R- Irv Lichtman, Nat “King” Cole, Marty Ostrow, and Ira Howard

Although I never had a long conversation with Marty Ostrow, who was the editor of Cashbox magazine in the early ‘60s, he did something for me I’ll never forget.

I went up to their offices one day to get a new record I produced reviewed and was directed to see Dick Zimmerman who was a dick in every sense! First he stared at the record, put it up to his ear, then shook it nonchalantly and sailed it across the room into the wastebasket!

When he turned his back on me and started to type, I quietly walked into Marty Ostrow’s office and told him what happened. He stormed into the “Bull Pen” where all of the writer’s had their desks and retrieved my record from the trash. I didn’t hear what Marty was saying, but on the following Monday, my record was one of the top picks of the week!

Ed Silvers (Former CEO of Warner Brothers Music) remembers,“Marty was a close friend and valued contact during my many years as a promotion man for Liberty Records and beyond. We met when he was editor of Cashbox–early 1960’s. He later became an editor of Billboard,
and I lost track of Marty after he joined Rolling Stone.
He will be missed!!”

Producer Jerry Ross (“Sunny”, “98.6”, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same”) adds, “I am  saddened by the the passing of one of the  truly fine gentlemen of our Music Industry as we used to know it. His door was always open. Marty Ostrow, the editor, the friend, #1 with a Bullet!.”

Ira Howard, former Cashbox editor recalls, “I worked with Marty from 1952 to 1965 (he started 2 years ahead of me and stayed a while after me. When Sid Parnes, the then Ed-in-Chief left, I reported to Marty directly.. He was bright and charming and seemed to get along with everybody in the business.”

Irv Lichtman, former Cashbox editor-in-chief, fondly remembers, “Marty was my boss at Cash Box for 19 years. Besides teaching me the ropes of trade reporting, we also had time to have fun, tell jokes (Marty was a master of Yiddish-dialect humor) and listen with great delight to the music of the day. We attended untold numbers of press parties in those days, sometimes two or three in an evening. We rightly regarded them as a way to keep up with label executives. I believe it was Marty who looked me after a  night of making the rounds of these gathering and uttered these fabulous words, “We’ll, we met and we gret!” (“gret” is, of course, meant to be “greet” but he deliberately wanted the word to rhyme with “met”). A past of great delight was also with us when met several times a year at Kennedy’s in  Manhattan along with other Cash Box colleagues such as Mike Martucci, Ira Howard, Ted Williams, Marv Goodman and industry friends such as Herb Rosen and Stanley Mills. After today’s funeral, Rosen had the grand idea of meeting at Kennedy’s for lunch in memory of Marty. And so me, Herb and Ira did!  Like ourselves, Marty loved the music and folks who shaped it, sold it and exposed it.”


Respectfully, Your friend Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

Special thanks to Rose Gross-Marino and Ira Howard for helping me put this tribute together.

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L to R: Artie Ripp, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector, Paul Case, Ellie Greenwich, Jerry Leiber, and Ed Silvers at BMI award dinner in 1964

Yesterday I was talking to a pal from the past, Ira Howard, the former editor of Cashbox Magazine, who ran the music division of Readers Digest for 28 years. He was telling me about a new super website he’s about to launch especially for our generation, who never lost our love for the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. As we talked about old times, the conversation turned to the headlines and Phil Spector, and our encounters over the years with him.

I told Ira, “After I left Aldon music, I started hanging out at Paul Vance’s (“Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny Weeny, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”) office at 1650 Broadway. Ellie Greenwich (“Hanky Panky”) dropped in one day to see Paul who wasn’t there, and wound up writing a song with me and Danny Jordan (The Detergents), “You Should’ve Told Me”, which the Angels recorded. As Danny and I were dreaming of further collaborations with this talented young lady, Ellie, her fiance Jeff Barry (“Tell Laura I Love Her”) had other plans.

The two of them had started writing songs with 21 year-old producer, Phil Spector (“To Know Him Is To Love Him”). ..songs that defined a generation. “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes, “Da Doo Run Run” by the Crystals, and “River Deep Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner.”

Ira Howard recalls, “I was at Cashbox in the early ’60s when Phil came in and immediately blurted out “I got a hit record and I need a name for this new group I’m producing.” (the group, by the way, included Bobby Sheen, Darlene Love and Fanita James, who recorded under many group names back them.) We began throwing around some ideas, when, out of left field, I mentioned that we could possibly name them after the clothes the kids were wearing. I then said “how about dungarees…or blue jeans?’ Phil’s eyes lit up and said “bingo…it’s The Blue Jeans.” He followed it by saying, “now how about a lead singer?” I then followed with “how about bobby sox?” Phil had a grin from ear to ear and said “great…it’s Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans.” The recording was “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and it went Top Ten in November of ’62. Ira went on to mention that Phil had an amazing memory. The two didn’t meet until 40 years later at a songwriters awards dinner in New York. Ira got past Phil’s bodyguards and went up to him and just smiled. Phil then said “Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans as his hello.”

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

For more personal encounters with Phil Spector click onto



To see and hear Phil’s brilliant recordings with the Beatles as well as EVERY BEATLE VIDEO EVER MADE! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/every-beatle-video-ever-made-for-free/