In 1974, one of the first calls I receive after taking over as head of IRVING/ALMO music is from my friend, Olivia Newton-John who is looking for material. Except for their hits, I know very little about the catalog, so I hold my first casting meeting to take suggestions from everyone in publishing. The professional staff, secretaries and mailroom boys all pitch ideas to me.

After listening to quite a few songs, one catches my attention, “I HONESTLY LOVE YOU” by Jeff Barry (“TELL LAURA I LOVE HER”, “DA DOO-RUN-RUN”) and Peter Allen (“I GO TO RIO”). I’m late for an appointment so I only have a chance to hear one verse and barely scan the lyric. We ship it to London as quickly as we can along with an idea I have, Brian Wilsons “GOD ONLY KNOWS”, from our Beach Boys catalog.

When Olivia comes over to my office with her producer, John Farrar, and plays a dub for me, I‟m almost in tears. The first thing I say to them is, “This should be the Record of the Year!” You can imagine my surprise when MCA records doesn‟t even want to put it out as a single because, “It‟s too slow!” That‟s when Jerry Moss let me use Harold Childs, and his top A&M record promotion staff to break it out of the album.

Not only does “I HONESTLY LOVE YOU” become a multi-million platinum seller, it becomes the record of the year in 1974! 

 OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN TRIES TO SQUEEZE ANOTHER HIT OUT OF JEFF BARRY AND ARTIE.

EPILOGUE..I FLEW BACK TO NY FROM LONDON WITH A LETTER FROM OLIVIA AND JOHN FARRAR TELLING THE GRAMMY PRODUCERS THAT I WAS TO ACCEPT THE GRAMMY ON THEIR BEHALF IF THEY SHOULD WIN RECORD OF THE YEAR. JUST BEFORE THE TELECAST THE GRAMMY PEOPLE ASKED ME TO LET PAUL SIMON, ART GARFUNKLE, AND JOHN LENNON ACCEPT THE AWARD “BECAUSE IT WOULD HELP THE RATINGS.” I DID , OF COURSE, AND WAS LATER REWARDED AND MADE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF RECORDING ARTS AND SCIENTISTS.

I LEFT THE STUDIO T HAT NIGHT WITHOUT SEEING THE PRESENTATION AND HIDING THE TEARS IN MY EYES. TONIGHT I FOUND THE VIDEO OF ANDY WILLIAMS AND THE STAR PRESENTERS AND I STILL HAD A LUMP IN MY THROAT.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUlR8jWUKd8&feature=share

Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne

WHILE FIGHTING LARGE CORPORATIONS WHO ARE TRYING TO KEEP ROYALTIES AWAY ME AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER ARTISTS, SONGWRITERS AND PUBLISHERSMY ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME IS FROM THE SALE OF MY BOOK. ” I DID IT FOR A SONG”, WITH OVER 100 STORIES FROM THE MUSIC BUSINESS OF THE ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. I HOPE YOU’LL CONSIDER BUYING ONE DIRECTLY FROM ME THROUGH PAYPAL FOR ONLY $9.99 AT  artiewayne@gmail.com OR BY CHECK TO…ARTIE WAYNE  P.O. BOX 1105, DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA 92240

THANKS AND REGARDS, ARTIE WAYNE https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/celebrating-two-million-views-today-on-artie-wayne-on-the-web/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

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fat 2

I was raised by a single mother. Never knew or even saw a picture of my father. Yesterday I didn’t feel sad, just a bit empty as I thought of some of my friends and the relationships they had with their fathers.

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 business, I remember first seeing Jeff’s name on one of my favorite records, “Tell Laura I Love Her” (Raleigh/ Barry) by Ray Peterson. I loved his music (“Da Doo Run Run”, “Doo Wah Diddy”).

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”

WALKING 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 company’s 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.

chokeThe 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 Allen, which became the record of the year in 1974!

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

For Jeff Barry http://lpintop.tripod.com/jeffbarry/id22.html

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

Photo at top l-r: Lauren Chapin, Jane Wyatt, Robrt Young, Elinor Donohue, and Billy Gray

Photo at bottom: Olivia Newton-John tries to squeeze another hit out of Jeff Barry, and Artie Wayne