Here’s the tribute to my longtime friend, Allan Rinde, who passed away on friday. He was a former publicist, the west coast editor of Cashbox magazine, head of West Coast A&R at Columbia Records, (who was behind Billy Joel’s first hit “Piano Man”), the man who helped to break “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and owner of “Genghis Cohen”, one of Hollywood’s top restaurants, which I named and hosted for many years.

(i’m still not able to use my hands or even type with one finger so i’m reposting articles from my blog and chapters from my autobiography  in which allan appears. it is followed by comments, stories, and pictures from other friends of his.)

“In the fall of 1968 I wrote a special press release for my new album as “Shadow” Mann, on the label my partner Kelli Ross and I co – own with the nefarious Morris Levy! I walk up Broadway to 57thstreet  to Cashbox magazine. I give my three page release to the new guy who’s just started to work there, a former publicist, Allan Rinde.  ALLANHe glances at it as I hype him on all the excitement going on at my company and how Morris Levy is going to make me the new Tommy James! When he hands it back to me it has a C- at the top with a few grammatical errors circled, I realize this asshole has actually graded my paper! I hold my tongue and tell him I’ll bring it back “corrected” before his deadline.

The next morning I bring in the revised press release. Allan finds it acceptable and puts it in the magazine. Through gritted teeth I thank him for his suggestions and invite him to have dinner that night with my producer Ronnie Haffkine and me at the Roundtable, a hot night club that Morris Levy owns. On our way downstairs to be seated, a belligerent drunk sees me in my Black Suede Shadow outfit with a giant red eagle on the back, then pushes me out of the way! When he makes a nasty comment. Two tough guys suddenly appear, throw him down the stairs, and ask, “Are you all right, Mr. Shadow?” I brush myself off,  pick up my black floppy Shadow hat from the floor; compose myself as the tough guys ask what should they do with him? I benevolently say, “Let ‘em go…this time,”.  As soon as they eject him from the club, a somewhat impressed Allan and I join Ronnie at my usual table.”

copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne


top -L – R  “Shadow” Mann, Ron Haffkine, Kelli Ross, and Morris Levy  photo by Stephen Paley


middle photo of Allan Rinde by Pete Senoff


bottom  L – R  “Shadow” Mann in winter attire and Carol “Cookie” Tandy photo by “Popsie” WOOD

When my friend, the Father Of Woodstock, Artie Kornfeld invited me to the festival in 1969, I thought it was going to be a great picnic, I wasn’t expecting a life changing experience! Back in 1967 my wife Sheilah was working at Mercury records as a secretary to Artie Kornfield (“Pied Piper”, “Dead Man’s Curve”) We hung out a lot with Artie and his wife Linda. When we got divorced I got the dog and she got the Kornfelds!

Then one day Sheilah calls me up to tell me that she’s working with Artie again. It seems that he and his partner Michael Lang are putting on a music and art festival at the end of August in upstate NY at a place called Woodstock, and she’s his personal assistant. It sounds a bit disorganized, but I don’t say anything, if anyone can pull it together, they can. It’s 3 hours before Allan Rinde and Rick Bolsom, from Mercury Records,  Lita Eliscu a freelance writer (Rolling Stone), Cookie the groupie, and I are scheduled to go up to the Woodstock Music and Art festival. Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang, are having serious troubles getting permits and have to change locations to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, NY, at the last minute.

Unfortunately, I’m having serious problems of my own, I can’t score any grass to take to the event! As a last resort I call my friend Heather MacRae, who’s currently starring in the smash hit, “Hair” On Broadway. She must know someone in the “Hippie” cast who can help us out. She leaves our names at the backstage door with a note to go upstairs to see her friends, James Rado and Gerome Ragni, who co-wrote the musical.


When we walk into Rado and Ragni’s dressing room, they look at Allan and me suspiciously, with cameras hanging around our necks, and tape recorders dangling from our shoulders. I laugh and nervously explain that we’re not cops or from the press trying to get a story, and show them our Woodstock press pass. Fortunately they believe us and when we tell them our “predicament”, they sell us a “lid” from their personal stash (at cost) and hand us a couple of capsules of mescaline for free, in the spirit of “Peace and Love”. We thank them and go to the garage to pick up Allan’s Oldsmobile Cutlass, and our friends, then we head off for our weekend adventure.”


“Let The Sun Shine…Let The Sun Shine In…The Sun Shine In!”


The festival gets off to a great start with a set by Ritchie Havens, and then it starts to rain … and rain … and rain. There’s a buzz already that this is going to be a historic event. The press tent is alive with anticipation of seeing the artists and people behind the scenes. I’m skeptical when I hear that a lawyer is taking over as head of Columbia Records, until I meet Clive Davis awash in the rain, the mud, and the good vibrations. How cool it is for the head of a record company to be out here “roughing it” like this with his artists! Although my friends and I have warm, dry accommodations, food, water, and plenty of intoxicants, a half a million other people who are also here have to rough it in the mud and the rain!

We run into a completely soaked (and delightfully stoned) Artie Kornfeld, The Father Of Woodstock, who tells us that thousands of people are crashing the gates, and Woodstock has become a free concert! Starry eyed and drooling, he turns around and melts back into the crowd. Thousands of people are still pouring in after midnight and I warn my friends that we were probably going to be in the middle of a riot between the “haves” and the “have nots!” I knew that this whole “Peace and Love” thing could blowup in a minute … but no one is listening to me as they slowly pass the bong around. I don’t know if it’s my paranoia of “Drug Crazed Hippies” rushing the motel or my fear of getting my new Fry boots dirty … I just knew I had to get the hell outa’ there! After being at Woodstock less than 24 hours, I say goodbye to my friends and decide to hitchhike back to the city.

I’m 27 yeas old but, hitchhiking is something I never tried before. At the side of an on ramp, I see Vince Aletti, writer for the Village Voice, who I know from the press parties I crash. He has his thumb out and looks pretty discouraged. This is his first time hitchhiking, too … but I act like a veteran and convince him that if we put on great big smiles, and act sincere … we’re bound to get a ride! In less than 10 minutes we’re picked up by a guy in an old Chevy wagon, who happens to be going all the way into the city! Just like the guys who rode the rails and became “Boxcar Buddies”, Vince and I had a shared experience that went “without a hitch”, so to speak, “Hitchhiking pals” for the rest of our lives! Finally, I’m back in my apartment, thankful to be away from all of those people … I don’t believe all those people … Damn! It’s still early, so I pack my duffel bag and grab a subway out to Coney Island, stopping only long enough to swallow a little capsule Rado and Ragni, had given me.

I don’t know why, but the rest of the day is magical! I feel so much love for Everyone I run into. I don’t even notice that I’m surrounded by a million people on the beach … twice as many as there was at Woodstock … but now … somehow I don’t care!”

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne

.SUPERSTAR l to R – Allan Rinde, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Williams, Tim Rice, and Artie Wayne photo by Neil Preston

“Forty years ago, I was general professional manager of Warner Bros. Music, living in Hollywood, when my friend Don Williams, who held a similar position at MCA music, played me an acetate of “Jesus Christ Superstar”and I freaked out!!! My instinct told me …this was going to be a phenomenon!!! I asked Don to play it for Allan Rinde, the beloved head of Columbia records A+R dept….he was as excited as we were and proceded to hold listening parties…that included all of the underground tastemakers of the time. MCA credits us with breaking the album. I hope Tim and Andy have forgiven me for trying to talk them out of writing “Evita”…..Who would go to see a show about an ex-dictators wife anyway?”




“If it sounds like I’m dropping names…I am! Bruce Willis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Will Smith, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Depp, Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Sean Penn, Jodie Foster, and Forrest Whitaker were just a few of our customers. On any given night, I could walk into Genghis Cohen, the Hollywood hot spot I named and hosted, and feel like I was walking onto a movie set. While my friend Allan Rinde, who owned the restaurant, was making sure every customer was having a wonderful Chinese dining experience, I was paying a little extra attention to the stars. It was about this time that I had begun working with 3- dimensional acrylic fabric paint to create a new look for myself. I started enhancing old Hawaiian Shirts with 3-dimensional acrylic paint…which patrons bought right off my back! It wasn’t long before I had a profitable little sideline.

I remember while recording across the street at Cherokee studios, Bruce Willis and his producer, Robert Kraft would come in for egg rolls during breaks. This was during the end of the run of his hit TV show “Moonlighting” when Bruce was also performing around town with his blues band doing vocals and playing harmonica. From the conversations I had with him, I found out he liked blues and early Rock And Roll singers, so I made a special shirt for him of his  favorites who passed away. It was called the “Rock and Roll Heaven” Shirt, based on the classic song my friend Alan Day wrote with the late Johnny Stevenson. It was a black T-shirt, ripped a bit here and there, with with a stenciled “Heaven” on the front, with hand painted signatures of his favorite artists. I happened to give it to him on the same night he signed a 7 million dollar endorsement for Seagrams Whiskey. To be perfectly honest, later when he thanked me and said goodnight, I don’t think that the patented smirk he was wearing on his face was for the shirt!

Another actor/ musician who would drop in from time to time, was Johnny Depp. He owned a club up on the Sunset Strip, “The Viper Room”, and whenever he had yen for Chinese food he’d come down to Genghis. The first night I met him, we talked about music. Then I asked if he would mind if I asked him a personal question? “Can I see the tattoo?” The tattoo I was talking about was a hot topic in all the tabloids. When Johnny broke up with Wynonna Ryder, he altered a tattoo he had on his arm that said “Wynonna Forever” to say “Wino Forever”. When he rolled up his sleeve and showed me, I knew he was cool!

On another night when I came into work, I saw Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey, Jr. sitting at a tiny table for 2 in the middle of an empty restaurant! When they finished dinner, I sat with them and told them how much I enjoyed Sarah in “Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun” and Robert in “Weird Science”. They told me that they appreciated how they were treated at Genghis Cohen. Other restaurants, wanted them to get in and out because they weren’t of drinking age and could only spend so much. I told them whenever you or your friends wanted to come in just call me. I assured them that “At Genghis Cohen, your wish…Is your problem!” They laughed and not only became restaurant regulars, but became enthusiastic supporters of my wearable art. One night Sarah was trying on one of my creations in the wine room at Genghis Cohen. She dresses and flicks off the light switch but it’s NOT the switch for the closet it’s the switch for the ENTIRE restaurant! Allan throws open the door, turns the darkened restaurant lights back on and GLARES at me. Sarah confesses and Allan smiles…after all who can stay mad at Sarah Jessica Parker?


Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne


To read an article on Barbra Streisand and Richard Baskin at Genghis Cohen


for more Glowing Memories Of Genghis Cohen


Peaking In A Chinese Restaurant  


copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne

Mike Melvoin Mike Melvoin at the piano “When I first moved to California thirty years ago and worked for Warner Brothers Music, I wanted to give back to the music community, so I joined the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences, where an enthusiastic active member, Mike Melvoin took me under his wing. I never worked with him in the studio, but as a music fan, I knew that he was considered one of the best keyboardists in Los Angeles. In addition to being one of the best Jazz players in the business, he played on such Pop classics as Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable,” the Jackson 5′s “ABC,” and “Pet Sounds” and “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys as well as Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman,” John Lennon’s “Stand By Me,” Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen” and Quincy Jones’ all-star collective, “We Are the World.” Although I was a New Yorker and considered an outsider to the closely knit LA music scene, Mike helped me gain a foothold in the creative community.

At the time, NARAS, was criticized for having an aging membership, being out of touch with contemporary music and accused of giving out Grammys to the wrong people. Mike supported me in an effort to attract younger voters and helped me, producer Nik Venet (“The Beach Boys), Columbia Records A&R Man, Allan Rinde, and songwriter Van Dyke Parks (“Heroes and Villans”) form listening sessions around the country to play new recordings and artists for our members, so they could vote more knowledgably. It wasn’t long before NARAS was respected again as the premier music organization and rivaled the new kid on the block, THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS in the TV ratings!

Soon after Mike Melvoin and I were elected to the Board Of Governors, we traveled around the country, New York, Atlanta and Nashville on behalf of NARAS. It was right after the Civil Rights Movement and while traveling through the south there were times when Mike had to soothe my hurt feelings whenever I encountered the stinging barbs of racism…which I never forgot. Mike went on to become the first musician to become President of the Academy and through the years remained active in the organization. The LA TIMES reported. In 2011, when the Academy made changes in the Grammy awards structure. Melvoin was in the vanguard of the movement to rescind the category changes. As a pianist whose career had touched every stylistic era, he was especially bothered by the effect of the changes upon instrumentalists. “Everyone who has ever played an instrument,” he said in a public statement, “has had the possibility of receiving recognition from the Grammys gutted. That cannot and will not stand!” 

copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne.

When I sat down to write about The Troubadour Family Reunion last Monday night, I decided to let some of the people who were there tell about it in their own words.
Photographer/ artist, “Lezlie Sokol”, a former waitress at the club and one of the organizers of the event, had this to say, “The music and the love that was with us decades ago was with us again on Monday night. It wasn’t a re-creation…it was a continuation.  We all came together with the spirit that was The Troubadour, those times and we people who were there were re-animated and Doug Weston’s dream came alive within all of us for one more magical night!” Photographer/ musician Henry Diltz  Reminisced, “The Troubadour was my old stomping ground starting in 1962 when my folk group, The Modern Folk Quartet, played there 3 days after we arrived from Honolulu. We were signed to an agency and record company from that one performance. At the reunion the other night we were able to reconnect with many old and dear friends. We are all the same young age in our minds as we were those years ago, but now we look like our parents and grandparents. Many of us who were musicians went with the Troubadour waitresses back then, and I had a drink at the bar with my old girlfriend, Alexa, a former waitress. The live music at the reunion was epic stuff as Bob Lind, Van Dyke Parks, Jackson Browne, Rick Cuna, David Jackson, Michael McGuiness, Ruthann Friedman and others took the stage. I remember photographing Bob Lind in the room which is now the bar but was then McCabe’s guitar shop. It’s a rare thing these days to walk into a bar and find it full of people you know…just like the good old days.” Allan Rinde, former “underground tastemaker” and Chinese Restaurateur said, “Aside from seeing a few old friends I’d lost contact with and meeting some new ones, there was just this sense of energy at Doug Weston’s Troubadour (glad they kept his name on it) that made this evening a great success. Of course it all dissipated the next day when I realized that while I was having a good time at the good old Troub, Don Kirchner lay dying in a hospital in Boca Raton. Oh, the humanity! And one more thing: thank you Jackson for the tribute to Warren Zevon and for the love you put into your set that night. Publicist Bobbi Cowan commented, “It was an amazing evening, full of surprises and warm memories and feelings. One of the best was seeing you there, along with Allan, Kimble and Patti, Billy James, Ronnie Haffkine, Ochs and Sandee, and so many of our pals from way back when. 
The music was AWESOME, particularly Van Dyke Parks and Jackson, and it made me feel like those magical days and nights were not a distant dream, but TRULY real.  Somebody should put a documentary together with the stories from so many of the colorful and funny people who helped to create this business we once loved (and subsequently watched dissolve in the greed of the last 20-30 years.) Former KMET DJ Richard Kimble chimed in, “It looked like a meeting of the aarp, rock division”…….”It’s the only time I’ve gone to the Troub and remembered being there”…..Hey I’m here all week, try the veal!!!!!!!” Producer Ron Haffkine (Dr.Hook, Shel Silverstein) remarked, “What a blast!!! as I posted on fb before the event, I really believe that some of the success of the reunion had to do with Artie working hard letting people know about it….I think we all know that when Artie promotes something, things happen….I couldn’t have had a better time….Ran into someone from the very first act I ever produced..Long time ago…Also one of the members of DR HOOK that I hadn’t seen in a while…I flew in from Nashville just for this reunion and to see some of my dear friends that I don’t get to see often enough….Hope there’s another one sooner rather than later…I don’t want to be on that list just inside the door….” The list that Ron is referring to is one with names of people who are no longer with us who had a link to the Troubadour (This list will be posted on the official reunion website.) The evening’s host Larry Murray said “Amazing..Grace! Heartfelt thanx to all who made it a nite to be cherished..organizers..performers..audience..lounge lizards.. and the eternal spirit of the Troubadour… for making my nite an absolute ‘Holy Hoot’ !!!” Publicist/ cyclist Billy James, seen here with singer/ songwriter Penny Nichols’ … Photographer/guitar maker Loni Specter exclaimed, “Artie it was so good to see you and Allan Rinde there! So many faces I thought I’d never see again. A truly frightening experience! It was a great night indeed!” Songwriter/former member of the Association, Terry Kirkman reflected, “I had a good time but was somewhat disappointed at the low turn out of performers. I wish there had been some forum provided for shared stories. what surprised me most, though, was that after an hour of making the round and reading the nametags I found the number of familiar old time regulars to be enough to give me a true blue de ja vu….with my feelings for those there very much the same as I remember them being all those years ago…. like thumbing through an album of pictures….. nodding acquaintances mostly…. just a couple of real honest to goodness friends…but very, very glad I went…very glad I got to share it with my wife who was not around here in those days. i wish we’d had time to talk, artie…maybe next time around. god bless.” Music publisher Don Williams exclaimed, “It was a very special evening the Troubadour Reunion this past Monday.  Thank you for putting the story on your web page and giving the emphasis needed to ensure success.  I had a wonderful time” Naomi Riopelle, another one of the organizers of the Reunion remarked, “I think the idea was to gather together and perhaps to relive a memory of a time and place, with the music and the people that in a very significant way helped to shape our lives and make us who we are…whether or not we realized it back then . I believe we succeeded……” Bass player Colin Cameron smiled and said, “It seems an unbroken circle finally completed its rounds at the Reunion, as my music career and post-Vietnam service civilian life really began with the people I met at the Troubadour, and the many great acts I was able to listen to there.  It was a joy to see so many of them once again.” Finally here’s my pal from the past journalist/blogger Todd Everett with the wrap-up for the evening, “It was one of the most amazing nights of my life! I have heard so much love and joy expressed about the success of this event and how beautifully it brought back a time in a place that was so brilliant in it’s day. No place on earth ever rivaled what happened at Doug Weston’s Troubadour ever! How blessed we all have been to have been there then and then again last Monday night. Like most of us, I didn’t know what to expect from the Troubadour Family Reunion. But several people I knew would be coming — mostly people I saw fairly often, but an indication of quality. So at the very least it would be worthwhile on that level. As it turned out, of course, the thing had become a real event. I’ll name some of the people I knew; I’m sure others had the same experience with people they knew. Maureen Donaldson (shown with Sandee Lewis Ochs), bless her soul, had come in from England; she swears specifically for the event. Matt Kramer had no other reason I know of for having returned to West Hollywood from wherever it is he’s living these days (Texas, I think), and former hoot master Roger Perry arrived from Oregon. Artie Wayne, whom I sadly didn’t see this time, and Richard Kimball, whom I did, had come in from the desert. Michael Ochs took time from promoting the documentary about his late brother, and counting his own money. I knew it was the Troubadour bar, I told them, when the first faces I saw were Michael, and Alan Rinde. By the time I left – 11:30 or so – Alan, Artie and several others had already retreated to Genghis Cohen, the restaurant Alan had owned, and Artie named and hosted for however many years (has he ever mentioned that?). Though the layout of the main room has changed quite a bit — much larger stage; no tables; bar in the back — it was familiar enough that I might have been back in the ’70s, which was pretty much my era, though years earlier I’d driven 60 miles down the coast from Ventura to see acts including the Dillards (with Roger Miller opening), when the stage was still at what’s now the left-hand wall. I spent half an hour or so in the bar, meeting old pals and choking on a piece of cheese; when Lezlie asked for a glass of water for me, the guy behind our end of the bar said we’d have to go to the woman at the other end. If I’d died from asphyxiation, my survivors would stand to make a fortune! Oddly, when I recovered, he was able to sell me a drink without consulting the other bartender. Ah, the Troubadour! I’ll let others get into the acts – Van Dyke, Jackson, and so on; but will add that I was very impressed by two “second generation” groups, fronted by people whose parents had (in one case sort of) worked at the Troubadour. Paul Riopelle, whose mother Naomi was a long-time waitress at the club, was in a rock band called The Motion with Steven Wolfson and Dsvid Jenkins; the three members of Blackfire are all the progeny of Berta Benally, who was more of an Ash Grove person, really, but was right at home in this company. Native Americans of the Navajo nation, Blackfire is more “indian” than Redbone, and played a strong mix of contemporary, punk and traditional music. Had I a label (and everybody can be thankful I don’t), I’d sign them in a minute. As it stands, they already record; their more recent album produced by Ed Stasium, whose credits include the Ramones, Talking Heads and Smithereens. In other words, they need no help from me, even if I were in a position to give it to ‘em. One disappointment: three members of Hearts & Flowers were present: Larry Murray, Rick Cunha and David Jackson. But they didn’t see fit to reconvene, even though Jackson did back Cunha on a solo set, along with anybody else who needed a bass player. That, too, was just like the old days.”
                                                                              L -R…Tom Rush, Michael Ochs, Allan Rinde,and James Taylor
                                                                                              L-R…Bryan Turner, Joe Klein, and Marty Davitch
L-R…top…Al Stahaley, Julia Orange, Cameron Crowe.  bottom Artie Wayne, Allan Rinde, and David Rensin.
copyright 2011 byArtie Wayne
Finally. originally written for Jim Croce on the night of his plane crash now dedicated also  to Allan  Rinde.`Sending My Good Thoughts To You” performed by Patti Dahlstrom.
for the official TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION WEBSITE Thanks to Henry Diltz for the photo of Jackson

to Pete Senoff for the photo of Maureen Donaldson and Sandee Lewis Ochs. Richard Kimball, Michael Ochs, Allan Rinde, Pete Senoff and Bobbi Cowan

to George Steele for the photo of billy James and Penny Nichols


to Sean McKenna from X-SITE MEDIA for the photo of Me, Ron Haffkine and Van Dyke Parks to photographer/ guitar maker Loni Specter for the Photo of

to Coleen M. Pumfrey for the photo of the Troubadour sign Special thanks to “Lezlie Sokol” and Sally Stevens for helping me with this article. . Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne- for those might not have recognized me at the reunion with my beard…I shaved

copyright 2011 by artie wayne


The first time I met songwriter Toni Wine (“Candida”, “Tonight You’re Gonna’ Fall In Love With Me”) she was only 14 years old and we were both staff writers for Don Kirshner at ALDON MUSIC. Over the years we remained friends and occasionally worked together.

Back in 1966, when I was writing songs and producing for Scepter Records, my friend Stanley Greenberg who was head of A+R asked me to rehearse a new act he was producing, Diane and Anita. Although we went into the studio with my song, “One By One” as the A-Side, the song that Toni Wine brought Stanley, “A Groovy Kind of Love”, which she co-wrote with Carol Bayer Sager came out of the studio clearly the winner!  I’m proud to say that ours was the first recording of the classic, which was followed by two number one records, one by the Mindbenders the other by Phil Collins

To reach Toni Wine

Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne ALLAN TONI        



Jim McKeon Alan was a wonderful interesting guy on all levels. One of the first people I met in LA thanks to my man Richard Kimball. Bless you Alan. Sunday at 1:39pm · Like


Bob Levinson Allan. : ( Sad news about a terrific guy. Sunday at 7:30pm · Like · 1


Larry LeBlanc I knew Allan through CBS from working at Record World and then with Blood sweat and tears. Classy guy 18 hours ago via mobile · Like
Jack Gold Allan and I spent many an hour talking about our hobby, collecting movie posters. He was an all class guy, RIP Allen. I just learned of his passing by my friend Chris Crist who now lives in Palm Springs.


When a human passes away it takes three days for the spirit to leave the earth and make a transition to the other side. When a pet passes away the process takes the same amount of time. The pet is more confused at first, but becomes more accepting of what’s going on when they are reunited with their animal friends on the other side, who are there to help with the crossover.

The pet is happy to go back “home”, unless they’ve formed an exceptionally strong bond with their earthly caretaker, which makes them want to stay on earth a little longer to make sure their “human” is going to be all right without them.

We can be assured, that these little spirits will be watching out for us for the rest of our lives. I can attest that many long gone animal friends have come back to me in dreams, meditations, and semi-darkened rooms, during times of stress or loneliness and helped me get through the agony of it all.

As I’m sitting on the patio by the hummingbird feeder my little pal, Larry, flies by and I can almost feel his wings sympathetically touch my knee as I weep for my little pal Streaker, who had to be put down a few days ago or face a long painful illness. When my friend, Allan Rinde moved to Nashville to get married  to singer/songwriter Toni Wine, he asked me to take care of his little calico cat, Streaker and her boyfriend, a 23 lb. white tom called Whoppy, because his future wife was allergic.

For the past 14 years Allan has paid for their food, toys, and thousands of dollars in medical expenses. When Whoppy passed two and a half years ago, “Streak” and I became closer sharing my pillow, as well as a place at the dinner table. About a year ago, after Allan got a divorce he offered to rent me a couple of rooms in his house in Palm Springs, where we’ve lived ever since.

Although he hadn’t spent much with her over the last decade, Streaker loved Allan and when we all lived together “Streak” would sit in front of his computer, all night long acting as his assistant. While Allan spoiled her with gourmet cat food, exotic toys, and even a recirculating water fountain, I kept her paws on the ground by yelling, “ARE YOU CRAZY?”, and sentences ending in “ucker”, whenever she got out of line.

I close my eyes, visualize her and tell her that it’s time for her to go and I’m going to be alright. Whoppy, who’s come back to escort her “home”, looks contented, but Streaker give me one last look goodbye…then sadly walks away. I want to call out, “Don’t go!”, but the three day window of transition is closing fast and if they don’t leave now they could become trapped between here and the other side for eternity!

As I sit weeping, my little friends disappear into the morning…and a few minutes later Larry the hummingbird reappears to introduce me to his new girlfriend. He senses that this isn’t a good time, and they both bolt off into a sky full of fluffy white clouds. As I watch them leave, I gaze up, and for a few minutes watch the clouds change forms, as clouds are known to do.

I smile as I see likenesses of all the animal friends I’ve had in my life, Waldo, my parakeet in grade school, my aunt Wan’s dogs Fluffy and Queenie, who protected me from bullies, Chipper, the little spitz, who turned nasty and had his name changed to Al for Al Capone, then when he became nice again, changed it back to Chipper! There was Walter, who led my grandmother to safety through a fire, Duke, Harold, Pete, Tippy, and of course, my little Cairn Terrier Nookie, my companion for 12 years.

Even though I know Streaker’s in good company…it doesn’t  mean I’m going to miss her any less….but seeing Whoppy and Streaker playing together again in the clouds, and in my medical marajuana tinted memories is inspiring and proof positive that true love lives forever.


Goodbye my monkey friends…until we meet again. Love Artie

SHEILAH l to r Sheilah Kent, Artie Wayne, and Allan Rinde


Thank you Allan, you’ve done so much for so many…especially me…may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Sadly. Artie


RON HAFFKINE, SUNNY MONDAY, ALAN RINDE l-r -Joel Diamond, Allan Rinde, Sunny (Monday) Smith, and Ron Haffkine

It’s so hard to believe that Alan is gone.  How lucky Ronnie, Sunny, and I were to have shared a fun loving recent dinner with Allan in my home.
 Joel Diamond
From comments on FACEBOOK…

  •  Thank you Artie, this trip across Memory Lane was very enjoyable. Too bad that it had to be prompted by the passing of one of the Nicest, Finest, Gentleman who ever graced the Halls that Hunter Thomson spoke so disparagingly of. Goodbye OUR friend you were simply “THA BEST” R.I.P. 
    jerry heller
    Ron Haffkine Very hard to get through reading this and realizing again that Allan is gone…Every time one of us passes away a piece of our history goes with him or her…Knowing the realities of life sure doesnt make it any easier to accept….
  • KENNY  4Ken Schaffer Director of West Coast A&R for Columbia, Allan got subsumed, perhaps too deeply, into the spirit of an office Christmas party and gently – lovingly, without a bone the balance – lobbed a cream pie in his secretary’s face. Apparently, she was less in the spirit… the creampuff got Allan got fired.

    I flew into LA a couple of years after Allan got the ole’ CBS boot … happy to be going the next day to a big party at Don Williams’ fabulous but forever unfurnished estate in Encino. 

    “And Rinde is doing the cooking!” – people said that to me with all the pride that might befit a promise of Racquel Welch giving blow jobs. “Rinde?!!!” “Rinde cooking?!” I was incredulous.

    As my roommate in New York for a couple of years before the creampuff incident, Allan had, like so many of our other music business friends [no names], defected to the West Coast; I even used to describe Los Angeles as the Badlands “… where everybody who blew it in New York moved to to start over again.”

    The point though: when Allan lived with me, he couldn’t boil a freaking kettle of water without somehow melting the bottom of the kettle. we went through a lot of teapots.

    They say if you are dealt lemons – make lemonade. To his credit, instead of grieving over the loss of his corner office, Allan had gone on – unbelievably – to take, of all things, WTF!, Chinese cooking lessons. By the time I arrived arrived for the party, his epicurean skills had become legendary in Hollywood and West LA. He’d even gone so far as to open a restaurant… the restaurant he opened became The spot in LA. 

    I’m broken up about Allan’s death. But lemons into lemonade: I’ll forever crack up reliving the look on Allan’s face (exasperated) every time (this went on for years) I referred to Genghis’ as “GENGHIS COHEN’S KOSHER CHINESE” — as only best friends can. 

    Pow, Allan! Love ya, man!

copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne

IN MEMORY OF ALLAN RINDE I’D LIKE TO GIVE A  FREE COPY OF MY BOOK, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” TO ANYONE WHO KNEW HIM OR WOULD’VE LIKED TO HAVE KNOWN HIM. JUST E-MAIL ME AT  Above photo by Pamela Kath Soloman GREENBERG“i want to let you know about my friend allan rinde, who died this weekend. allan rinde was a wonderful, wonderful man who was way ahead of his time when it came to knowing his music, and knowing his food. when i first moved to los angeles for newsweek, we played volleyball together on the venice beach.but he really loved music. when i reported the cover story for newsweek on bruce springsteen, allan was a close advisor. (he also worked for columbia records) he and i both hung with billy joel before billy was on anyone’s radar. he fancied himself a chinese food expert, and then proved it by going to china, finding a chef and opening his restaurant — with a great name — ghengis cohen, on fairfax avenue in los angeles. i was one of the first ones in the door. and everyone in the music business was right there with me. artie wayne, who i knew from his days in music publishing (and volleyball) came in as the host. and every top musician and record company executive in town came there for dinner of crackerjack shrimp, mabu beef, and other specialties — and in one corner of the restaurant, if you listened closely, you were entertained. on one night you’d hear the familiar guitar riffs of taj mahal, or the distinct tone of joni mitchell. no, it wasn’t someone’s playlist. it WAS taj mahal or joni mitchell! so many solo artists and groups played there before anyone knew who they were. it was part of allan’s magic that the artists would come to the restaurant, and music executives would somehow discover them over a dinner of cold sesame noodles….last night, when i heard that allan had died, i went back to genghis cohen for dinner. many familiar faces were at the bar to toast his memory. it’s been thirty years since allan opened the restaurant, and last night, in the corner, there was another music group playing. i didn’t get their name, but if history is any indication, we’ll all know them soon. but i consider myself lucky…i knew allan rinde and he will be missed. Peter Greenberg Travel editor cbs news


“Back in 1968, I was recording an album under the name Shadow Mann for the legendary Morris Levy. During the recording of one of my tracks, a cute little girl with a giant guitar case, walked into the control room. Ron Haffkine ( Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show), who was producing my album, jumped up, introduced himself…and then he introduced me as Shadow Mann. He got our engineer, Brooks Arthur, to play the track back as I danced around the studio.

Sissy and I hung out over the next few months. She played me and Ronnie quite a few songs she had written, on a guitar that was almost as big as she was…but we didn’t hear that special song that could make her a star. Just before I left on a trip to California, a couple of free-lance writers Ron Dulka and John Marshall, brought a song to me that was a comment on the controversial John Lennon and Yoko naked LP album cover of “Two Virgins”. I suggested A few lyric changes and flew off to California for 10 days.



When I returned I was surprised that my partner, Kelli Ross, had signed Sissy to our record label and Ronnie Haffkine had started making plans to record her on the song, “John, You Went Too Far This Time!”, by the two writers who finished the song in my absence! After I heard her sing it, I knew why everyone was so excited!

When my album and Sissy’s single was finished, Morris Levy decided to send both of us out to promote our records at the same time…but not before one little thing. I convinced her to change her name to something more suitable for the times…a name that was opposite of “Shadow”. Sissy, bit her lip and agreed to let herself be known as, “Rainbo”.






The first time I met Ron Anton was in 1966 when I was living in NYC. He was a lawyer  at BMI, who was young enough to relate to the songwriters who were making the popular music of the day. My partner, Kelli Ross, and I administered the publishing for some of those popular music makers, who included Joey Levine, Artie Resnick (“Chewy, Chewy”), Leslie Gore (“She’s A Fool”, “California Nights”), Janis Ian (“Society’s Child”), Jazz greats Bobby Scott, and Quincy Jones!

It was always a pleasure to deal with Ron on behalf of our clients, he treated Kelli Ross and me with the upmost respect, during a time when there were no black song pluggers at any major publishing company, and few women owned their own businesses. I never thought of Ron as being part of the establishment because of his sensitivity to the needs of songwriters, composers, and publishers.

In the early ‘70s, when I moved to LA and went to work as General Professional manager for Warner Brothers Music I’d run into Ron, who was running BMI’s west coast office, at industry functions, concerts, openings, etc. and occasionally share a lunch, but I never imagined I had such a strong ally.   

In 1975, I remember Ron coming to my aid, when I went into business for myself after running Irving-Almo Music and BMI wouldn’t give me a $5000 advance against my future songwriter and publishing company royalties. It was standard procedure, when I was at Warner Brothers music, that every new artist David Geffen would sign to his record company would get a $5000 advance from BMI, so I thought I should at least get the same consideration.

When BMI turned me down I was livid, but Ron calmed me down and not only got me the advance I was asking for, but he named my new publishing company, WayneArt Music.

I remember, it was a cloudy afternoon the Wednesday before thanksgiving I was waiting up in Ron’s office up at BMI, for a my check to arrive overnight from NY…but it never came. As the office workers started to leave early for the long weekend, Ron saw me sitting dejected in the outer office, sat down with me and asked, “What’s wrong?”

I told him that I needed that certified check in order to buy a classic 1965 Mustang hardtop at half it’s value by tomorrow or lose the opportunity. He smiled, wrote me a personal check for $5000 and took me to his bank downstairs to cash it, wished me “Happy Thanksgiving” and walked out to his car!

I thought to myself as I returned the money to him on Monday, when my check came in up at BMI, how lucky I was to have a friend like Ron.

Over the years as I drifted away from the music business I lost touch with Ron and his lovely wife Dene, who was my occasional songwriting partner. Then I ran into them unexpectedly at Rick Bolsom’s Cakewalk restaurant in Nashville in the mid-nineties, where I was guest hosting for the evening. We were all so happy to see each other, even though Ron introduced me to the rest of the dinner party as Artie Shaw in the excitement of the moment, Dene hit him on the arm and corrected him. We all had a good laugh and proceeded to have a great evening!

In October of 2000, I was stunned to hear that Ron lost his life in a fire at his home. I’ve stayed in touch with Dene over the years, who has done a remarkable job of keeping Ron’s memory alive.

As we get older, we look back and appreciate the people who made a difference in our lives and Ron certainly made a big difference in mine!

Thank you my friend and may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne

NOW YOU CAN BUY MY NEW BOOK ,“I DID IT FOR A SONG” AT AMAZON or Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords




In 1963, when the first hit I produced, “Meet Me At Midnight Mary” was going up the charts, every songplugger I knew was pitching me Tunes to get on the next date.  When it was Bob Reno’s turn, who was working at George Paxton music, he came in to see me empty handed and admitted that he didn’t have any songs that he felt was right, which immediately impressed me.

After that incident I was eager to hear anything he wanted to play me. He turned out to be one of the good guys in the “neighborhood” (The Brill Building). He was always looking out for me and all of his friends. When the Duprees (“You Belong To Me”) broke up, Bob Reno brought Ron Dante (“The Archies), Jerry Keller (“Here Comes Summer”), and me to his boss, George Paxton to do a record under their name.

Nothing happened with the track, but it gave me a chance to see how Coed records worked and how Adam Wade and the Crests were made. Bob loved a master I produced and brought it in to his boss, who bought it and put it out under the name Terry Boyd. Even though Bob knew it was me singing with a fake English accent, he never busted me.

Producer/ songwriter, and Felix the Cat cartoonist, Don Oriolo fondly remembers, “I was 16 years old and writing songs for my band in NJ and everyone seemed to like them….so I figured how hard could it be to get them published.  Ahh, the naiveté of youth.  I banged on door after door, publisher after publisher waiting at the Chock full of Nuts on Broadway between appointments.  Just when I was about to give up I entered the offices of Coed records… “Hi, my name’s Don Oriolo, I’m a song writer and I have some great songs I’d like to get published.”  Within a few minutes, the receptionist said, “go in, Mr. Reno will see you.”  Wow….I couldn’t believe it…. Bob told me to play my best five songs.  10 songs later he stopped me, and said.  “Not bad…you have a lot of talent.”  I was bolstered by these words of confidence coming from an obvious professional.  We talked for a while and Bob gave me lots of good advice.  He asked me if I was sure that music was the profession I wanted to follow for my whole life, or was it nothing more than a hobby.  Of course I said it was what I wanted to do, and to this day it still is what defines my life.” The next time I did some business with Bob was when he and my pal Neil Bogart were at Cameo Parkway, Neil running the record company, and Bob the publishing. They bought a master Mark Barkan (“She’s A Fool”, “Pretty Flamingo”) and I wrote, sang, and produced, “The Subway Train That Came To Life” and released it under the name The Third Rail”.

Once again the record wasn’t a hit but it allowed me to see how Neil Bogart operated up close. Although Cameo was having #1 hits like “96Tears” by Question Mark and the Mysterians, the company was in deep financial trouble. Every day Reno would tell me another horror story about how Cameo was imploding…driving down it’s stock every day.

As soon as I got any information about the company, I’d pass it along to my partner Kelli Ross’ father Irving Green, who owned Mercury and Smash Records. He quickly bought and sold shares in Cameo before the company was forced to stop publicly trading and made a killing! He was so grateful; he made a substantial (silent) investment in our company, which allowed Kelli and me to move from a two room office in the Brill Building, to a six room suite at 1650 Broadway, which once housed Aldon Music and later Koppleman and Rubin.

I arranged a meeting with Mr. Green, Neil Bogart, Bob Reno in hopes they’d make a deal, unfortunately Kama Sutra moved a little faster and brought the dynamic duo into their fold. It wasn’t long before Bob was dissatisfied with the treatment and compensation he was getting for bringing producer Paul Leka and The Lemon Pipers “Green Tambourine” in, and discovering “Melanie”(“Brand New Key”), so I set up another meeting with Irving Green. This time they worked out a deal and Bob was brought in to run Mercury’s publishing company MRC, which had just been a holding company up until then.

Producer, manager Joel Diamond who’s being considered to replace Simon Cowell on “American Idol”, recalls, “Bob Reno was by far the pivotal factor in my life for any success I am enjoying and have enjoyed for the past 30 years in the music business.  When I was still selling insurance in Passaic, NJ and singing at the Holiday Inn in Wayne, NJ on the weekends at weddings and bar mitzvahs, it was Bob Reno who solely believed in me and allowed me to head up a music publishing company which by all rights had no business doing.  I had met Bob through a chain of events and it was Bob who called me one day to meet with him and said, “Joel, you are the least qualified to succeed me as the head of MRC Music (Mercury Record Corporation) but I truly believe that you have the most potential of anybody I have met, including all the experienced and well seasoned music publishers.”

“Bob gave me the opportunity and there was no way I would let him down.  I assembled a group of writers and artists who went on to extremely successful careers not to mention my #2 person in charge and my assistant, Tommy Motolla, who later became CEO of Columbia Records.”

Don Oriolo continues, “I signed as a writer for Bob at MRC music, his was one of the brightest people I’ve ever met.  His letter writing skills where second to none, and I feel during those days at MRC and Mercury listening to him negotiate and dictate letters helped hone my business skills that help carry me through to this day.  Bob was a great judge of talent, songs and people.”


Producer/manager Barry Oslander remembers, “Bob was good to many record biz pros of today giving them their first start and knowing from his talent of knowing talent they would all make it in the Record and entertainment biz. He did this with me, by taking me from being a recording engineer at Mercury Records to what I always wanted to do, become a producer. In addition to having an incredible ear for a finished record, it always amazes me how well Bob Reno is able to match up artists with producers and the right piece of material.”

Oslander continues, “One of Bob’s great creative talents is the ability to hear a hit song no matter how it’s presented to him, guitar/voice, piano voice or a full band playing the song.” Then Bob suggests to Barry to record Black Comedienne “Moms” Mabley, on a cover of Dion’s, “Abraham, Martin, And John”, which goes straight up the charts!”

Joel Diamond smiles and adds, “I was working late in my office at MRC Music when one of the engineers from the recording studio upstairs came in and said that Paul Leka wanted to see me in the studio immediately.  Paul was not only a great songwriter, he also had an illustrious career as a producer that included The Lemon Pipers, Harry Chapin, and REO Speedwagon.

Upon entering the studio it looked like a gathering of everybody who had been left in the building that night including the janitors plus stragglers just walking by the building who were recruited to sing.  Paul put me in front of the mike along with probably 40 other people, he taught us his new song, and we all just started singing the chorus to “Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye” Bob sure did know a hit song no matter what bag it was in. He went from Moms Mabley to Na, Na just weeks apart.”

Artie jumps back in the conversation, “One day while I’m visiting Bob in his new office, my friend Lou Reizner, who runs the Mercury office in London gives him a call. Bob puts me on the speaker as Lou tells us about a two album deal that Mercury can get for only $30,000 if they act fast and guarantee a US Release. The artist is David Bowie, and the first album is called “Space Oddity”.

Bob isn’t familiar with Bowie, but I am. I loved “Love You ‘Til Tuesday”” from his Deram album. As Lou continues to talk I put my thumbs up and without blinking an eye Bob says, “OK, You got a deal!” Maybe it’s just a sidebar to Rock and Roll History, but a negotiation I’m proud to have had a hand, or should I say a thumb in!

Bob Reno comes over frequently  for dinner, and my wife Sheilah loves to cook for such an appreciative guest. He’s is also one of first people to encourage us to use our psychic abilities. It isn’t long before we’re answering all sorts of seemingly unrelated questions that Bob says helps him understand his complex life as well as make business decisions.

About six months later Sheilah and I get divorced and I move to Hollywood. I lose touch with Bob, while I’m on the West Coast running Irving – Almo music, and he’s back in New York, starting up Midland International Records. The last time I see Bob is at the airport in Nice, after the MIDEM convention in the south of France. I’ve never seen Bob this excited before! He slips a cassette into his player and plays formy partner Lou Reizner and I, a record he just leased for the U.S. “Fly, Robin, Fly”, by the Silver Convention. It’s one of those times when you know you’ve heard a #1 record!  We wish Bob luck, and then we run to catch our plane.”

*From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song” Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne

Special thanks to Lauren Reno for the pictures, Joel Diamond, Don Oriolo helping to put this article together.

To reach Joel Diamond

For Don Oriolo


“In 1966, my partners Sandy and Kelli Ross, my wife Sheilah, and I were guests of one of our clients, Quincy Jones at an NAACP dinner for Lena Horne. The singer/ actress was being honored for the break through she made in music and film. She was the first “colored” actress who became a sex symbol around the world, featured in “Cabin In The Sky”, “Panama Hattie”, “Til The Clouds Roll By”, and “Stormy Weather.”

Her musical segments in mainstream (white) films were shot so they could be easily removed when they were shown in the “segregated south”. They also could use these clips to play among selected “shorts” to accompany feature films in the more “liberal north”.

Although I was honored to meet Lena Horne, I wasn’t as excited I as let’s say meeting Diana Ross, or a Dusty Springfield, since I considered her more of my mother’s generation than mine. As the lights dimmed a short film ran that had me mesmerized, not only was she beautiful and talented, she was a tireless champion of Civil Rights.

According to Wikipedia, “During World War II, when entertaining the troops for the USO, she refused to perform “for segregated audiences or for groups in which German POWs were seated in front of African American servicemen”, [7] according to her Kennedy Center biography. Since the US Army refused to allow integrated audiences, she wound up putting on a show for a mixed audience of black US soldiers and white German POWs. She was at an NAACP rally with Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi the weekend before Evers was assassinated. She also met President John F. Kennedy at the White House two days before he was assassinated. She was at the March on Washington with Martin Luther King.”

After the film, Ms. Horne walked to the podium through thunderous applause and a standing ovation! Talk about humility, she said a few thank yous and sat back down. You could almost hear a unanimous whisper saying how good she looked at 50 years old!

I smiled and thought how fortunate I was to be here at this special occasion and witness  something I’d remember for the rest of my life!


Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne



May 1, 2010

“In 1966, Sandy and Kelli Ross had just moved to New York from Chicago. Sandy was the in-house lawyer for Mercury/ Smash/ Phillips Records and Kelli was the daughter of Irving Green who owned those labels, .

At the time Sandy and Kelli administered the publishing companies of Quincy Jones, Lesley Gore, The Cowsills, Janis Ian, and Bobby Scott, and I was working for Scepter Records.

When the owner of Scepter, Florence Greenberg, sold her publishing company, without warning or severance pay,  Ed Silvers, Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Joshie Armstead, and I were unceremoniously let go.

My wife Sheilah, who worked as a secretary at Mercury, and I had become good friends with Sandy and Kelli, who offered me a partnership in their company which I happily took.

Songwriter/ producer Artie Kornfeld, “The Father of Woodstock”, remembers. “My wife Linda and I were also friends with Sandy and Kelli, as well as being close to one of the groups Alouette represented, the Cowsills.”

When Artie made a deal to produce the Cowsills for M-G-M, the group asked for their publishing back, which Kelli gave them without batting an eye. I freaked out and tried to explain that you can’t just give the publishing back to someone when you’ve been working with them all these years, hoping their copyrights would become valuable…but Kelli always put friendship above business.

When Artie and the group hit #1 with their first single “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things”, they recorded one of our copyrights, “Ask The Children” (Wonderling, Budnik, Goldfluss), which helped to ease my pain…a little.

Lesley Gore (“It’s My Party”, “You Don’t Own Me”) recalls, “Mercury Records at the time seemed more like a mom and pop business than a flourishing record company.  I came to know Irving Green, the president of Mercury.  What a wonderful man.  His daughter, Kelli, and son-in-law, Sandy, were also in the music business and ran my publishing company.

Irving and his family became part of the extended Gore family.  We all celebrated the progress of a new single as well as birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.”

Everyone loved Kelli and anytime you’d walk into our offices you find Janis Ian or Michael Gore playing a new song, or Quincy Jones and Bobby Scott just hanging out.

When the urge hit me to become a recording artist again, Kelli supported me 100% and got us a label deal with the legendary Morris Levy, with Ron Haffkine (Dr. Hook, Shel Silverstein) producing me under the name
”Shadow” Mann, and my protégé Sissy Spacek, whose name I changed to Rainbo.

Producer Ron Haffkine adds, “I recall Kelli as a warm, sweet, smiling young woman who was helpful to me at the beginning of my career. Kelli’s office, at Alouette, would overflow with writers, singers, producers, and a lot of noise. I and my friend Shel Silverstein (lucky for me) would drift from time to time between the offices of my friend Joel Diamond (also lucky for me ) who ran MRC Music and Kelli. Some wonderful stories are waiting to be told about events that transpired in both the offices by the many talented and often broke hopefuls who were allowed to spend many days and often nights in those offices thanks to the indulgence of Kelli Ross and Joel Diamond which I’m sure was not always easy.”

During the next few years Alouette represented Artie Resnick and Joey Levine (“Chewy, Chewy”, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”), Motherlode (“When I Die”), as well as producers Ron Haffkine, and Bo Gentry.

Sunny Monday remembers when she was cutting her first single with Ron Haffkine for Decca. “I was still a teenager when I met Kelli. She made me feel comfortable, a little bit groovy, and right at home. I came from the Mid-West and all of a sudden I was a New Yorker hangin’ with the people who were “making it happen”.

Although she wasn’t a singer/ songwriter, or producer Kelli Ross had a musical sense second to none. I remember I was backstage at the bitter end one night and I heard this guy named Jerry Jeff Walker play a song he wrote, “Mr. Bojangles”. It was one of those times that I knew it was a smash halfway through and told him I’d like to publish his song. My heart sank when he told me his producer Dan Elliot made a deal for his whole songwriting catalog that afternoon…then I was elated when I found out he had made the deal with my partner Kelli!

A few months later Dan Elliot came to his friend Kelli and asked for the publishing back, so he could make a recording deal for Jerry Jeff Walker with Atlantic Records, which demanded half of the publishing. I went f#@kin’ ballistic when Kelli gave it to him…I tried to reason with her, but she always put friendship above business.

Producer/ engineer Brooks Arthur fondly remembers,“My wife Marilyn, our children, Jill and Jacqueline, were invited to Sandy and Kelli’s Amaganset summer home. We swam, BBQ’d and purchased and boiled fresh lobsters on the beach. We talked music but the emphasis was on family! Then Kelli, Marilyn and Carol Geld created a BIG & LITTLE DAY in Central Park. All our musician friends, their wives and kids … The women & the men prepared and brought food and blankets, stretched out on the sheep meadow for the time of our lives. Talked music, shared studio & songwriting stories but put the emphasis on friendships and families. Wonderful days!”

A year later I got divorced and also said goodbye to Sandy, Kelli and New York, When I moved to California to join Warner Brothers Music. Sandy made me give up my interest in Alouette productions and our co-owned company Tattersall music which published all of my songs.

The next time I saw Kelli was after she divorced Sandy and was running the international division RCA publishing. She gave me a $10,000 advance for the sub-publishing of my new catalog in Australia, where I was enjoying a top ten record, “From The Inside”, by Marcia Hines. I didn’t see Kelli again until bout seven years ago when she was selling real estate in Palm Springs California.

I figured I had nothing to lose so I asked her for my publishing back, which she gave me without blinking an eye… because Kelli always put friendship above business.

I wish everyone a friend like Kelli Ross.

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne

picture at top of Kelli Ross and Artie Wayne by Popsie

Special thanks to Lesley Gore, Artie Kornfeld, Ron Haffkine, Sunny Monday, and Brooks Arthur for helping to put this article together.


Back in the ‘60s, a songwriter and a publisher were supposed to split two cents for every record sold. When the infamous but charming, Morris Levy (Roulette records) asked  for a “special rate” of one-half cent per song on my Shadow Mann album, I laughed and said, “Sure, why not? You’re not going to pay us anyway!”

Today writers and publishers divide upwards of eight cents for every unit sold and sometimes share hundreds of thousands of dollars that come for licensing fees from films, TV, and commercials.

Since I resumed writing and as well as pushing other people’s songs using the Internet, dozens of people I know from back in the day have been in touch with me to breath new life into their catalog and get new recordings on their songs. Unfortunately, many of these people are nefarious characters and are notorious for screwing anyone they can, and I’d be stupid to do any business with any of them. Needless to say I’m also wary of anyone I’ve never dealt with before, so I make sure I get a fee up front against a percentage of whatever income I’m able to generate, but even so I get taken in at times.

A top writer from the ‘60s, I knew casually, asked me to get a former number one song of his to Miley Cyrus, which I did foolishly, before I had an agreement with him. I stopped trying to deal with him when he became evasive. I never told him that I had played it already for one of Miley’s producers who flipped out over his song. I also never told him that I lied to the producer and told him Carrie Underwood had just cut the song, which of course stopped Miley from recording it!

A few days ago, I got a call from one of the owners (whom I’ve never met) of a publishing company I once was signed to. He wanted me to share my intimate knowledge of his catalog, and asked if I wanted to show some of his copyrights. He said was willing to give me a percentage, but not pay me a fee which…of course I wasn’t interested in.

When he mentioned, however, that he was considering selling his publishing company for $300,000 (10 times recent earnings) my eyes lit up and off the top of my head I came up with a unique idea to sell his company for a million dollars instead, in a way that’s never been done before…an innovation sure to make the front page of Billboard Magazine!

He thought it was a great idea and asked me to draw him up a proposal. He only had two songs that were bringing any income in the catalog, and I knew I could get hit covers on them as well as about 15 other “undiscovered” gems, but I played it cool as he was trying to pick my brain. In my head I was casting his songs with artists I could get to…Beyonce…Adam Lambert…Alicia Keyes…etc. knowing that I could significantly increase the value of his underexploited catalog. Before I talked with him initially, I checked his two biggest titles on “Google”, and found a John Mayer performance video of one of his songs…which he didn’t know about. He didn’t even know who John Mayer was…but that’s why you hire someone like me.

I wonder why this guy hasn’t responded to my phone calls or e-mail, but if he’s thinking of “appropriating” my idea, he should be aware that he needs someone like me with the expertise to pull it off, as well as means to publicize the sale (like my blog with over 1,450,000 hits).  He probably doesn’t know I’ll get a “Google Alert” the minute my idea goes up on the Internet, and I’ll jump in 30 minutes later offering one of my clients catalogs, and crush him in the marketplace..

Last week was my birthday, I was 39 for the 29th time, and I’m working harder than ever before. I’m still recovering from contacting every Michael Jackson fan club in the world to alert their members to my song “Little Christmas Tree”, which led to 110,000 views on YouTube during Christmas week. I’m also developing a few ideas for Tommy James (“I Think We’re Alone Now”, “Crimson and Clover”) who has a book coming out Feb.16 called “Me, The Mob, and The Music”. I hope he doesn’t go into some witness protection program before I have a chance to interview him!

Alan O’Day (Undercover Angel”, “Angie Baby”), DJ Paul Payton, and I are finishing up some demos to pitch to classic hits stations which could liven up their formats and attract new listeners. Finally I’m in the editing stages of my book, “I Did It For A Song”.

Of all the things I’m doing, however, I’ m most excited about reconnecting with hundreds of old friends on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, Forgotten Hits, and Spectropop, and helping them reconnect with each other. I just wish those who try to con me into doing one thing or another for free would stop…but I suppose a#@holes never take a day off!

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne

Photo at top by Stephen Paley left to right- Artie Wayne as Shadow Mann, Producer Ron Haffkine, Kelli Ross, and Morris Levy