In 1970, although I was a partner in a successful music publishing firm, Alouette productions, in New York I was ready to trade in New York Canyons for California fields.  When I went to work as professional Manager of VIVA music in Hollywood the first record session I went after was teen idol, Bobby Sherman (“Julie, Julie, Julie Do You Love Me”) produced by Jackie Mills.

As I was going through the VIVA catalog, I heard a song by new writer Alan O’Day called “The Drum”, which sounded to me like it could be made into a number one record for Bobby Sherman. The only problem was I didn’t know Jackie Mills or anyone else connected with Bobby.

I hadn’t learned how to drive yet, so I had our office boy drop me off at Metromedia Records and I waited for a few hours until I was able to corner CEO Artie Vallando.  Although we’d never met, I knew his reputation as a well respected music publisher, and fortunately he knew who I was.

Artie loved the song and a few weeks later got Jackie Mills, to cut it. Artie asked me to come over to the office to hear it. Halfway through the record I screamed, “It’s a smash!  It’s a F#@*in’ Smash!”

Artie looked disappointed as he said, “Everybody at the label thinks so too! But  the producer wants to put something else out.”

When I ask if he can give me a copy of our song I tell him maybe Ed Silvers (The President of the company) and Mel Bly (the VP) can do something, Artie says, He can’t officially give me a copy. Then he slides a copy of “The Drum” across the desk to me, excuses himself and leaves the room.I get back to the office as fast as I can, and play the record for Ed and Mel. They’re even more enthusiastic than I am about it. We all know that Bobby Sherman is due out for a new single, and we want it to be ours! Mel is a great record promotion man and on a Friday he has 50 acetates made of “The Drum”, and he sends it out to the top program directors in the country. The record is added to all of their playlists on Monday before anyone at Metromedia finds out what’s going on.

Songwriter Alan O’Day Adds, “1969 was an exciting time when I found out that Bobby Sherman recorded my song “The Drum”, produced by Jackie Mills!  The combination seemed to work, as “The Drum” became a hit, & Mills went on to produce two more of my songs with Sherman, “Caress Me Pretty Music”, and “Everybody Wants To Sing A Goodtime Song”, co-written with Artie Wayne.”

Although Jackie was mad at me initially, when “The Drum” went Top Ten all was forgiven. And from then on he kept a door for me to get material straight to him. Not only did he have a great ear for a song, he was an excellent producer, a consummate musician, and always a gentleman.


Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne

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