Category Archives: Music

Blaine Wreck on the tracks

The Wrecking Crew was a rag-tag band of the top studio musicians in Los Angeles who weren’t a band. With Hal Blaine on drums, they played on an uncountable number of hit records in the Sixties.

From Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound to the Mama’s and Papas, to the first Monkees records, the Wrecking Crew was there. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass was actually Herb Alpert and the Wrecking Crew. Brian Wilson gave guitarist Glen Campbell his first public exposure by plucking him out of the crew and putting him on tour with the Beach Boys.

The Wrecking Crew ran from studio to studio, working gig upon gig, playing on track after track, and now “The Wrecking Crew” documentary, produced by the son of late guitarist Tommy Tedesco, is available streaming on Netflix.

Cilla fades to black

Cilla White with Ritchie Starkey

Cilla White with Ritchie Starkey

Cilla White was a coat room girl at the Cavern Club, and like other Liverpool natives she found her future in popular music. Switching her name from White to Black, Cilla joined Brian Epstein’s stable of performers, working with George Martin and Paul McCartney.

Cilla Black and Paul McCartney

Cilla Black and Paul McCartney, recording ‘Step Inside Love,’ 1968

Although Cilla never achieved the fame in America that was enjoyed by Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark, she was very popular in England, where she was a household name to generations of fans. Cilla passed away earlier today.

Sunny Afternoon

Over on the side you will see a link for Andrew Sandoval’s podcast, “Come to the Sunshine.” The podcasts first appear on the Internet radio station Luxuria Music. With the time difference between the coasts, I use TuneIn Pro on my Amazon HDX tablet to record the show when it airs, so I don’t miss the first hour before getting home from work.

In a Facebook post last night, Andrew explained what “Come to the Sunshine” is all about, and he previews today’s show.

Mojo Men

For decades I have been obsessed with the less traveled paths of popular music, both as a curator and consumer. Truthfully, I don’t like it because it is unpopular, rather it just so happens a lot of what I love has potential but is still waiting to find a secondary audience after fifty years.

That is the basis for my radio program, “Come To The Sunshine,” which pulls together music from my personal collection to create an alternative to the oldies specialty programming that is nearing extinction. For the past nine years it has gobbled up hundreds of intense hours and carried a silver lining: if I do them right, someday I may go back and listen to this strange encyclopedia of sounds.

One of my favorite artists that was featured on an early show, The Mojo Men a.k.a. The Mojo p.k.a. Mojo, made so many great recordings in the mid-to-late 1960’s, many of which have escaped reissue or any sort of release. I plan to play a solid set of these on Monday, along with 20 various ’60s singles that I have collected on my recent travels.

The details are as follows: Monday July 20, 2015 – a brand-new-edition of “Come To The Sunshine” on at 3pm (pacific)/6pm (eastern)/11pm (GMT). Featuring singles by: Basil/The Moody Blues/Carolyn Hester/Jerry Yester/Teddy and The Pandas/The Spencer Davis Group/John Walker/Eric Marshall And The Chymes/Abrahamm And Strauss/The Six Mile Chase/Thoughts And Words/Wichita Fall/Rainy Daze/The Nashville Teens/Tommy Roe/The Happenings/Stewpot And Save The Children Fund Choir/Duncan Browne/The Shannons/Last Friday’s Fire + a very full hour of San Francisco’s Mojo Men (pictured here with arranger, Van Dyke Parks).

I hope you join me this afternoon or some Monday soon!

Capitol-ism: from Bozo to the Beatles – 2

Click here to see a post from five years ago about Dave Dexter, Jr., who was responsible for much of the worst, and some of the best, about the Beatle records in America, on Capitol. I’m finally getting around to finishing the series.

The link between the Beatles and Bozo the Clown is Alan Livingston, as explained at this link by Bruce Spizer, the Beatles-in-America expert. Spizer can be heard in this 2010 edition of Bob Malik’s radio program, “The Beatle Years.”

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Spizer is the best source for understanding the convoluted story of how screwed up Capitol’s handling of the Beatles was, not only before “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” but long after, thanks to the confidence — considered by many to be misplaced — that Alan Livingston had in Dave Dexter, Jr. Some of the source material that Spizer presents shows, however, that once it was obvious the Beatles would be bigger than big, Livingston began to second guess Dexter’s judgment.

Livingston gives Dexter authority over selection both foreign singles and albums.

Livingston gives Dexter authority over selection of both foreign singles and albums — by coincidence on the very day that the Beatles auditioned at EMI!

Dexter's rejections must be reviews by others.

Records rejected by Dexter must be submitted for review — the day that the Beatles arrived in New York!

Dexter realizes his position and requests a review panel be formed.

Livingston realized Dexter’s compromised position and orders that a review panel be formed.

Next up you will hear Dexter himself talking about the Beatles, and I will explain how I made my peace with the Dexter-ization of the Beatles sounds and selections heard on Capitol Records.

The Quartet Practiced in the Park

“Just Four Guys with Ray Whitaker” is a podcast from WMVY — Martha’s Vineyard Radio. Ostensibly it’s about the Beatles, but the Fab Four are often a springboard for Whitaker to offer his take on various things musical and muse-ical. A month ago he did this exceptionally mind-expanding show about the grooviest, trippiest genre of music — the short-lived, psychedelic era of Acid Rock.