The Spectropop Group Archives presented by Friends of Spectropop

[Prev by Date] [Next by Date] [Index] [Search]

Spectropop V#0237

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 03/04/99

  • __________________________________________________________
    __________                                      __________
    __________                                      __________
    __________     S  P  E  C  T  R  O  P  O  P     __________
    __________                                      __________
       Volume #0237                           March 6, 1999   
    Subject:     Who, Creation, Powder, Smoke
    Received:    03/04/99 7:23 am
    From:        Andrew Sandoval, APSXXXXXXXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    On the subject of the mighty Creation, I have always 
    prefered (in my own peverse way) the lesser known Smoke 
    (not the American band on Tower Records). The Smoke, a UK 
    band who's big hit was "My Friend Jack," had a fantastic 
    riff laden guitar pop album called "It's Smoke Time" which
    is widely available on CD via Repetoire in Germany. Songs 
    are great, lyrics are amusing, guitars are super chunky 
    and these guys could be the greatest of the B level 
    mid-period Who type groups. On the C-level of that bunch 
    is the Powder who are also very enjoyable, if a little bit
    derivative. If you love the Who and the Creation, Powder's 
    music can and should be found through Distortion Records. 
    P.S. My thanks to Alec for introducing the world to the 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Randy Newman
    Received:    03/04/99 7:23 am
    From:        Bob Hanes,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    ANY of Randy's lps are worth the effort, the two you 
    mentioned are even better than that. Pick up Sail Away at 
    all/any costs. Randy is a great songwriter and arranger 
    and his vocal delivery is a joy to listen to. His lyrics 
    are always inteligent and entertaining (if not a bit 
    cynical for humor's sake) Tobias, questions are always a 
    good thing, how else would anyone gain any info?
    The Right Reverend Bob, dumb angel chapel, The Church of 
    the Harmonic
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Randy Newman/Tandyn Almer
    Received:    03/05/99 7:51 am
    From:        harvey williams,
    To:          spectropop,
    You seem to have consummate taste. Randy Newman's debut LP
    is indeed one of the best records ever made. And quite 
    unique too; I can think of no other record by any artist 
    (least of all Newman himself) that has the same widescreen 
    feel as this. Only 'Song Cycle' comes close. Not that 
    Randy's other LPs aren't great too; although perhaps more 
    mainstream in feel and arrangement, you should certainly 
    get hold of 'Sail Away' and 'Good Old Boys' for starters. 
    Also highly recommended is 'Nilsson Sings Newman', which 
    is 20-ish minutes of Harry N. accompanied by Randy at the 
    piano (and occasional mumbling)... And that's it. The most
    effortlessly beautiful record ever made. 
    While I'm here; a question. What does anyone know about 
    Tandyn Almer? I guess he's best known for penning 'Along 
    Comes Mary' and cowriting 'Sail On Sailor', but I've 
    recently picked up a couple of 45s with his writing credit
    simply out of curiosity; 'Little Girl Lost & Found' by The 
    Garden Club, and 'Poor Old Organ Grinder' by Pleasure. 
    They're both great, ambitious-sounding singles; has he 
    written any more like them? 
    Bye for now,
    Harvey Williams.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     A Girl Called Dusty
    Received:    03/04/99 7:23 am
    To:          Spectropop List,
    I was very sad to hear of the passing of Dusty Springfiled. 
    At 59, she really died before her time. I first fell in 
    love with her voice on "Stay Awhile," and "I Only Want To 
    Be With You," but as I delved deeper into her songbook, I 
    found gems like "Can I Get A Witness," "Breakfast In Bed,"
    and "24 Hours From Tulsa." We've lost a great voice, a 
    great performer, and a great person. I hope Dusty's former
    labels can come to some sort of agreemet to release a 
    definitive and extensive box set for future fans to enjoy.
    P.S. Dusty is the most requested artist on my show, 
    beating out the Supremes and the Ronettes. I think I'll do
    a tribute show. Would anyone like to make a request? Please
    email me if so, I don't want to clutter up the list.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Dave Mirich, redux...
    Received:    03/04/99 7:23 am
    From:        Robert Charles-Dunne,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    At the risk of overwhelming poor Dave Mirich, and boring 
    the bejeezus out of other members who aren't into this 
    stuff, a couple more pop acts came to mind that you might 
    consider, Dave:
    DWIGHT TWILLEY - With his partner, the late Phil Seymour, 
    Dwight managed to mix up a bit of Elvis, a lot of Beatles,
    some Beach Boy harmonies and a dash of something distinctly
    Twilley. Well written tunes, usually produced with lots of 
    wobbly reverb, performed with passion. Personal standouts 
    for me are the first two albums, though there's no such 
    thing as a 'bad' Dwight Twilley album. I understand the 
    Right Stuff label has reissued a bunch of stuff, but I'm 
    still wearing out my vinyl originals for now. I'm sure 
    Dave and other members already know about Twilley but he 
    shouldn't be forgotten on our growing lists.
    TOM PETTY - The first album on Shelter found him mining 
    largely the same vein as his label-mate Twilley [on whose 
    records Tom has made sporadic appearances. Seems to me I 
    also recall tuning into some Saturday morning kids show 25
    years ago specifically to see Twilley and Petty was 
    pretending to be his bass player, though my memory is not 
    to be trusted.] Sure Tom went on to have a bunch of hits 
    that everybody knows, but they've all been paler variants 
    of this first seminal album. In Canada, his label's promo 
    people referred to him as 'punk,' because he was on the 
    jacket wearing a leather jacket. Just more anecdotal 
    evidence that promo types need not actually listen to the 
    music when a photograph tells them all they need to know.
    MICHEL PAGILARO - Canada's version of Twilley, though 'Pag' 
    actually came first. Again, Elvis, Beatles and Beach 
    Boys all merge in one insanely talented Montreal guy, 
    particularly on an album from the very early '70s released
    in Canada that contains "Lovin' You Ain't Easy" and "Some 
    Sing, Some Dance." [I think it was released Stateside on a
    smaller indie of the day, but I cannot recall.] Strings, 
    maracas, jangly 12-string, the whole nine yards. Pag also 
    has a great double live album from the mid-70s, and a 
    French-language album with his band Les Rockers from 
    around the same time. All phenomenal stuff. Like Twilley, 
    Pag has taken a few stabs since the mid-80s, but without 
    much notice or acclaim. The Quebecois Elvis/Beatles rolled
    into one, Pag suffered from the ongoing language problems 
    in Canada. Considered too Franco for Anglo Canada, too 
    much an Uncle Tom sellout to the Anglos by some Quebecois.
    This was compounded by the fact that the brilliant debut 
    album referred to above was released on a label owned by 
    Toronto's CHUM radio chain. The CHUM chain perhaps 
    underplayed the Pag 'product' for fear of creating the 
    appearance of a conflict of interest, while other radio 
    stations virtually boycotted Pag lest they help put more 
    money into the pockets of their CHUM competitor. Warren 
    Cosford, a Spectropop member and illustrious alumnus of 
    CHUM [several times over], might be able to add comments 
    on that aspect. Some Pag stuff is better than others, but 
    rest assured that anything with the name PAGLIARO on it is
    worth having.
    Apologies for the verbosity...
    	Robert Charles-Dunne
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Leo Kulka
    Received:    03/05/99 7:51 am
    From:        Carol Kaye,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Thanks for your description of this man, but to tell you 
    the truth, I met 1,000's of people around that time period, 
    and if I didn't work for them in their studio much, then
    I wouldn't be able to tell you if I knew them or not, based
    on printed descriptions. 
    There was SO MUCH going on, so many people. Please see my 
    website soon for just "some" select names of producers, 
    arrangers, contractors I worked for and "some" studio and 
    engineers names I worked with (on my Biography page, some 
    still on the Message Board) That will give you an idea of 
    the enormous number of people involved in our business in 
    the 60s on a constant every-day basis.
    No, never saw anyone like Leo at Gold Star at all! That I 
    do know.
    People were always coming up with new ideas every day in 
    the studios in the late 50s and early 60s, it was very 
    common. With the rock and r&b records selling like 
    hotcakes, everyone was in a feverish pitch to come up with
    "new sounds", and mostly it was completely accidental....
    no-one was trying to experiment with some off-beat sound 
    to make it something of a standard at was 
    literally for 1-2 recordings and then off to some other 
    new sounds.
    I remember when they put my guitar through the Leslie 
    organ speaker cabinet at Gold Star (they tried with 
    another guitar player at first but he couldn't trigger it 
    very well, it didn't work good with his way of picking, 
    and so they gave it to me to try as my way of picking is 
    strong and even -- I was well-known for the strong playing
    I did on guitar). How different that sound was. 
    And it was good for 2 hot recordings for Jewel Akens - 
    "Birds And The Bees" etc. which I played guitar through the
    Leslie. BTW, I spoke with Jewel on the phone a short while 
    ago, he's well, appearing in Las Vegas and on the road 
    here and there.
    People were wise enough to know that tricks like that were
    only good for 1-2 recordings and they were off to do 
    something else. It was usually the song that would supply 
    a hint of something different to use, whether it be a 
    hook-line of music in the arrangement (jazz musicians in 
    the rhythm sections were quick to use their experience and
    great ears to create good lines) or an effect of some kind. 
    I was there in the studios when the fuzz-tone was first 
    used, it was a Gibson pedal (at first we'd simply take a 
    tube out of our amp to get a "fuzz" sound late 50s, then a
    pedal was built for that effect). No I wasn't the "first" 
    at that, but was one who quickly used it for an "effect". 
    I saw the potential in it. 
    But I was the "first" to use the Echoplex on bass, and the
    first to use all kinds of effects on bass for movie scores 
    - inc. fuzz-tones (listen to "Heat Of The Night" movie), 
    and a few record dates (one with Brian even w/sound 
    Listen to the theme of "Airport" cut out at Universal 
    Studios. I had my Gibson Maestro box on with the "steam" 
    and "claves" and octave-divider buttons on (could play 2 
    octaves at once, and I could also trigger that just fine, 
    again, with the strong way I pick with a hard pick). 
    And "True Grit", same thing, others like that. But effects
    sort of ran their course very quickly (as they all knew in 
    the 60s).
    The 12-string guitar hit big in the early 60s on a couple 
    of big records; "Walk Right In" (no not on that one) etc.,
    and I'm one of the first ever to put a pickup (had my 
    trusty jazz pickup, the D'Armand) on the 12-string guitar 
    (about 1960-61) and start recording with it..... (later 
    the Dano bass guitar 6-string hit good too - I was doing a
    ton of dates on the Dano for awhile).
    The 12-string was HOT, according to everyone, and Barney 
    had a similar idea for his Gibson acoustic 12-string -- 
    the two of us worked a lot of record dates immediately 
    with that innovation before other studio guitar players 
    caught on.
    Pretty soon we were taking normal elec. 6-string guitars 
    and making them into elec. 12-string guitars thanks to the
    help of our local luthier repairman, Milt Owens, a techie 
    genius. This was long before the manufacturers got wise 
    and started making regular elec. 12-string guitars. 
    I got a ton of work in the studios then, playing my "drum 
    paradiddle licks" (the same rhythmic phrases I played 
    later as 16th fills on the bass and 16-note patterns too) 
    on the elec. 12-string guitar. It became a HUGE staple 
    sound of the Sonny And Cher recordings which I played the 
    elec. 12-string on a lot, Sonny loved the way I played 
    those fills (Phil Spector used me on elec. 12-string a lot
    It was more common for different instruments like that to 
    become popular (and some stayed popular too, in adjunct to
    the regular guitars, both acoustic and electric) for awhile, 
    a few years, but not odd things like the flangers altho'
    once in a while you still hear some recordings with odd 
    uses like that of early uses of electronic stuff.
    In fact, one of the reasons why I started to play the elec. 
    bass, as I reasoned "hey, this is more fun than playing 
    rock guitars, and I only have to carry in ONE instrument, 
    not 5 or 6 guitars". 
    Producers told you to bring "everything" as they weren't 
    sure themselves what they would use on their dates....and 
    part of my popularity as a studio guitar player was that I
    was good on many different guitar instruments, played 
    cleanly, as well as good, knew all the licks, could solo 
    and play rhythm but was noted for my ability to create 
    background licks right there on the spot according to the 
    tune, singer, style etc.), funky rhythms as well as my 
    Dano bass guitar work and most solo-types of background 
    Not bragging here and excuse me if I am patting myself on 
    the back, but I knew what I could and couldn't do.....I 
    wasn't like Glen Campbell or Billy Strange who could knock
    you down with some fantastic bluesy rock solos on guitar, 
    but I sure had plenty of work and had to turn down work as
    my 2nd husband did NOT like me playing in the studios at 
    all (I eventually threw him out - bad marriage, then I 
    really worked hard, and never turned down anything again 
    as I had kids to work for).
    So just to give you a little history was not 
    unusual to try a little of this and that here and there on
    recordings. I don't think "flanging" was an "art-form" that
    was developed at was hit and miss accidental 
    That's why I firmly believe in what Stan Ross says about 
    this (and Russ Wapensky quotes about Stan and Larry 
    Levine's statements about all this) as being totally 
    ringing true according to that time and space in studio 
    Carol Kaye
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject: 12-string guitars
    Received: 03/05/99 7:51 am
    From: Carol Kaye,
    To: Spectropop List,
    BTW, I forgot to mention in that other post that it was 
    the Gibson acoustic 12-string guitar and both Barney 
    Kessel and myself used at the start of the 60s and to 
    which we both (about the same time) put the D'Armand 
    pickup on (in the roundhole). 
    It was about 1962-63 when I started to put a pickup on 
    that, and in fact, I remember that I was still working 
    quite a bit for H.B. Barnum and put it on first on a Rams 
    party dance he hired me for. We were doing a little 
    recording with Rosie Grier at that time and I remembered 
    it being that Rams dance I tried to do that for as we were
    playing some funky stuff along with the jazz and I wanted 
    to try the pickup on my acoustic 12-string Gibson to see 
    what that would sound like for that dance. H.B. liked the 
    sound, he was very interested, so I started using it for 
    record dates.
    As for who played the acoustic 12-string guitar on the hit
    "Walk Right In", I really have no idea. Don't think that 
    was a West Coast hit, probably cut back east and Russ 
    Wapensky's book will have that credit listed for sure, no 
    matter where it was cut. 
    Tommy Tedesco, Dennis Budimer, Glen Campbell, Billy 
    Strange, etc. all got 12-string guitars too and it was a 
    very short time before manufacturers got wise and then 
    they bought regular elec. 12-string guitars for their 
    studio date arsenals of guitars -- 
    They didn't dabble into putting on portable pickups on 
    their acoustic 12-string guitars like Barney and I did - 
    or change over a regular 6-string elec. guitar to 12-
    string elec. either. The one I changed over was a pretty 
    good Gretsch elec. 6-string but I do remember having Milt 
    Owens install better pickups. 
    Carol Kaye
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

    Click here to go to The Spectropop Group

    Spectropop text contents Spectropop unless stated otherwise. All rights in and to the contents of these documents, including each element embodied therein, is subject to copyright protection under international copyright law. Any use, reuse, reproduction and/or adaptation without written permission of the owners is a violation of copyright law and is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.