by Ellie Greenwich


It's been nearly three weeks since I said my final goodbyes to Steve Tudanger - "Tudie" as those who loved him called him - and I am truly at a loss for words to say all I want to say about our relationship. We met in the late '60s, both of us hired to sing background vocals on either an Andy Kim or Archies record, if my memory serves me right. We smiled and laughed immediately and knew we'd be connected somehow from that moment on. I'm blessed to have been involved with Tudie, both professionally and as a GREAT friend.

Initially, he wrote songs for one of my companies, Pineywood Music, and I co-produced a few records with him … especially with high hopes for one of my favorites on Big Tree Records, "We Really Got The Rhythm Now". Stevie's talent crossed a broad spectrum - he was rhythmically superb, with an exceptional bent towards the complicated. Boy, did he ever love Latin rhythms. His melodies were original and straightforward (commercial, as we say!) and you could see many influences running through all of his songs and yet, they were so his.

And, let's not forget his most favorite thing in the whole world - VOICES!!!! He was wonderful in creating from the most basic and simple to the most intricate of parts. As a matter of fact, one of our most favorite things was spending time listening to our favorite records, pretending to be part of the group. Oftentimes, we'd pick an instrument - and you know, Tudie was always part of the percussion. We'd compare the size of the goose bumps we'd get from the music and they were always the same size and came up at the same time, and in the same place. Now THAT'S being connected!! I loved his sensitivity and sense of humor, which crossed over into everything he did in his life.

With our friend, Steve Feldman ("Feldie" as those who loved him called him) we began writing and singing jingles in the early '70s - had a little company called Jingle Habitat. We actually started getting our feet wet on Madison Avenue. The first meeting of the three of us was truly a fluke. I had written a Cheerios spot for Arnold Brown at Dancer, Fitzgerald and Sample and the producer was Steve Feldman. Tudie was at my office and I convinced him to come to the studio and just watch the session. After much convincing, he did - thank God. As fate would have it, the lead singer never showed for the date and Feldie ended up singing lead and, although not usually done, he, Tudie and myself sang back-up vocals. In short, we had a great sound, and started getting hired to do some other sessions. I must add, that the best thing that came out of this meeting was the life-long, brotherly friendship that developed between Tudie and Feldie ... and it went on until the very end and will continue to "BE FOREVER".

There are volumes of books to write about Tudie, and I just want to tell a few things that were a signature of our relationship. Stevie was short in stature and I am not - and when we would go to a company or into the studio we often got referred to as "Mae West and Toulouse Lautrec", to which Tudie would respond, "Hi, I'm her oil changer". Tudie's faces should be packaged and made into a book. I've never seen so many equally as funny and strange. And his quickness - my God, he had the quickest comeback of anyone I've ever known and he was the best joke-teller in the world.

At one point in our careers, Tudie and I wrote a few songs with Bob Crewe, and lots of writing was taking place around Christmas time. My doorman buzzed up and asked when the music might let up and Crewe and Tudie said it was just the music of angels and a harpsichord ... the doorman never called again.

I know I'm rambling on and on, but the stories and the feelings never end ... Mostly, aside from the laughter, the talent, the sensitivity, the caring and on and on, Tudie was very, very protective of me. He always wanted to make sure I was alright and would go crazy if he felt anyone was treating me unfairly or hurting me. He really did love me as I did him ... and he showed me all the time.

We wrote a few songs near the end of his writing days and they're wonderful. I know how much Tudie wanted us to enjoy writing success together. Some of the more recent songs are always being considered for something. Who knows, maybe now's the time!!

Tudie, "a-za-ga-dilla" to you and we're soul-mates for FOR ALWAYS. See you in R 'n' R Heaven someday. Keep those instruments tuned and the AC working in the studio.


I miss you so much.
I love you so much.





Steve Tudanger, Steve Feldman and Steve Dworkin


Spectropop Remembers Steve Tudanger: http://www.spectropop.com/remembers/SteveTudanger.htm