Phil Spector

The Case of Phil Spector |dreading

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Born: December 26th 1939

Died: January 16th 2021 – Covid 19 related death

Phil Spector, studio producer, song writer, record label owner and convicted murderer has left an indelible mark on the entire music industry.

He has been allegedly, involved at the very start of his career with putting subliminal messages onto radio station give away copies of his 45 records, thus issuing a ‘like’ and ‘buy’ influence (mentioned in the strange book: The Music Of Time by Presto B Nicholls). This may have contributed to him becoming a hermit in his New York mansion as allegedly the CIA got sort of interested in this type of thing….

His own record label was called Philles:

A interesting ‘tribute track’ to the work of Phil Spector is: The Wall Of Sound a Soul hit on the Northern Scene in the UK. Its like a mixture of Spector’s ‘Wall Of Sound’ meet a mixture of the Righteous and Walker Brothers!

The list of those he has worked with is huge. They include:

The Beatles

The Righteous Brothers

The Crystals

Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans

The Ronettes

Darlene Love who should have been a star in her own right was used as a fake voiceover singer; hidden within other groups, and treated shabbily by Spector.

Phil's Christmas Album

His most famous album is his Christmas LP.

It really is a timeless masterpiece and now digitally remastered, but not by Spector as they don’t allow him out of the penitentiary!

Spector - The Movie

He was indeed a strange recluse, but did he do that murder or was it an accident/ this film investigates the case and leaves doubt in the maker’s mind at least.

A Wall Of Silence about his situation.

Song Writer and producer who invented The Wall Of Sound.

Ronettes
Crystals
Darlene Love
Righteous Brothers
Ike and Tina Turner
(River Deep Mountain High)

A Christmas Gift To You – the Spector Christmas Album 1963 – often played at the Twisted Wheel and the Blue Note at Christmas.

phil-spector1

How could it end like this?  September 2004 L.A. court accuses Spector of murder for the Feb. 3, 2003 shooting of actress and House of Blues VIP hostess Lana Clarkson at his hilltop Alhambra mansion, along with the allegation that he personally used a handgun. Spector’s defence was she committed suicide. This trial was abandoned when the jury failed to agree a verdict. He was found guilty at his retrial on 13th April 2009. The prosecution painted a picture of Spector as having a history of playing with guns and women and alcohol at the same time – probably not the most sensible of combinations. He did plan an appeal. In the meantime he was been on Twitter relating his experiences of life in jail, including the fact that his wig was taken away (a good thing too, I’d say).

1958 he was as songwriter and guitarist in the Teddy Bears who had the hit To Know Him Is to Love Him.

Later he went to New York (Brill Building) and started Philles records and had a string of hits with The Crystals The Ronettes and other mainly girl groups. He also produced albums for many of the big names such as John Lennon.

Weird stuff surrounds Phil Spector and his ‘Hit Factory’ – did he use subliminal messages to ensure certain of his records were hits? Well his sound engineer says so.

The BBC apologized for calling Spector ‘talented but flawed’. and said its news article didn’t meet its editorial standards after receiving complaints. Presumably his undoubted talent disappeared on his conviction.

Wikipedia: Phil Spector
Spector Prepares to face the music – The Guardian

Phil Spector found guilty of murder

Phil Spector – History Of Rock

Phil Spector – Teddy Bears

David Gest

Gwen Dickey singing Love Don't Live Here Anymore @ David Gest's Legends Of Soul

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david-gest

David Gest was a friend of Michael Jackson (not something to mention these days…) and fully immersed Soul fanatic; so that made him a real good guy in our opinion.

Lived in England and was a live Soul show promoter.

These shows were great, and David Gest certainly added to the entertainment with his informative and witty banter. He will be sadly missed by all soul fans.

Legends-Of-Soul

Manchester Evening News

Wikipedia: David Gest

Berry Gordy

Berry Gordy Family Tree | Jimmy Carter's Motown Cousins

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Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records. Love him or loathe him, this man had a dream and the drive to convert it into a reality – probably the most well known record label – ever.

Berry Gordy - Founder of Motown Records
Facts:

Started out writing and co-writing songs for Jackie Wilson
His first record company was JOBETE MUSIC Inc.
Started the first major USA Corporation wholly owned by a black person
Invented and produced the ‘Motown Sound’
Used to be a useful boxer

See Also The Dark Side of Motown

Wikipedia: Berry Gordy

Cholly Atkins

"Honi" Coles & "Cholly" Atkins: "Swing is Really The Thing" [HD]

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Cholly Atkins was the Motown Dance Master- a dancer and choreographer who worked extensively with Tamla Motown artists to produce many of the slick routines that were there trademark and influenced dancing styles in soul clubs around the world.

Cholly Atkins

Strange World Of Northern Soul

The Strange World of Northern Soul - Part 1

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The Strange World Of Northern Soul

Sad to see all these artists so old but that’s what time is doing to us all. Although lengthy and sometimes repetitive this box set is really great. Full of all sorts of information and performances the only goes to prove how crazy we all are about this music and how doggedly Ian Levine was to trace and research and record it all for posterity.

For those of us old enough to have gone to Twisted Wheel in its golden era, some of the statements made about the club by those who didn’t, does stick in the craw somewhat.

The DJ Saxe is correct about the Jewish lads they were better off than most of the others. Being the DJ at the Wheel helped if you were Jewish, the Wheel and Blue Note were Jewish owned. But when he says that Roger Eagle did not kick start of Northern Soul then he is sadly mistaken. It sounds just a little bit to me like jealousy.

As for the Wheel owning a massive record collection, much of this is a fiction. Yes they did have a big collection of UK released LP’s and singles but the real collections and really rare stuff and imports were the private property of the DJ’s.

Paul Davis had a great record collection and worked mostly on the early shift on Saturday nights and did the weeknights too. He loaned records to the Allnighter DJ’s. We would often see him in Piccadilly bus station with his hold-all full of his 45’s and we talked and swapped information, waiting for the all-night bus. Often I had just finished at the Blue Note and I had a similar bag full of records.

The Wheel and the Blue Note owners had an account at Ralph’s Records (keeping it in the Jewish family so to speak) and DJ’s from the Wheel and Blue Note could buy records using this account. I know for certain that the club owners used to ask Ralph to buy the same records for the club that the DJ’s often bought for their own collections! However, most of our record collections had been built up from other  places and unlike some old record shops Ralph’s did not keep a back catalogue of non returns. (A shop could return records for a rebate against new releases). We had been collecting records since 1962 and Roger Eagle from much further back.

Brian Raye was an Allnighter DJ after Roger left He was there fromn 1966 till 1968’and there were a few others  who also did stints. But it was not the DJ’s that made the scene at the Wheel, as Ivor Abadi says (on the DVD) it was more the atmosphere in the club, the people, and the records a unique mixture. The DJ’s just played the sounds and didn’t have a great deal of kudos, in fact, the way the club was constructed with a series of rooms and the DJ in a ‘Wheel’ cage along a back wall, you hardly ever heard them and it was easy never to see them at all!

Roger Eagle without doubt was the Godfather of the soul scene in Manchester and that ‘scene’ in the sixties gave birth to Northern Soul. Without his influence may be Northern Soul would never have reached its status of today.

Northern Soul has changed from its root to a kind of cult which seems to be based around rarity and obscure USA imports.

The people who on the DVD reminisce about the Wheel are (mostly) not those that attended in the golden age of 1964 – 1968.  The records that Roger discovered and the mainstream soul artists of the day were well covered by him. He constantly imported USA singles. As an example he obtained all Stax releases as they came out in the USA even opening his own club in Manchester, inspired by the label but spelt STAXX.

He was the one who introduced the Motown sound to the Manchester soul crowd in 1964/65 (the sound that Northern Soul derives from today) and many, many records that are classics of Northern Soul were well known, and played by him, long before the self appointed experts on the DVD had been ‘probably’ allowed to by their parents to go to the Wheel as  their experience seems to mainly come after 1968/69 when imports came in much greater numbers and had to fill in the gaps in record collections due to DJ’s leaving, and to the club’s own library being stolen.

They started again but with imports whereas the old DJ’s and the clubs collection were mainly UK releases, and mostly very rare today.

Maybe it is the fate of old timers to become cynical about the next generation thinking they have reinvented areas of human knowledge. On the DVDs they say appear to believe that these tracks were discovered by themselves when they well known in the past.  Do they believe that we had never heard of Leon Haywood? For example just because

One particular guy (Dick Watts) on DVD one, said that the Wheel played NO IMPORTS and only had one Bobby Bland LP. This is plainly not the case. Roger had brought Bobby Bland to us in 1965 with Good Time Charlie. Roger and many of the guys who frequented the Wheel were obtaining imports from the USA, but not on the scale as described in the film at the end of the sixties and the early part of the seventies.

Having said all that, we are of course fully supportive and knowledge the great sounds and the energy of the soul scene due to these people who kept the faith, discovered thousands of great tracks that we did miss, whilst we at that time had moved on, got married and had families and jobs to keep.

Jerry Wexler

Jerry Wexler Part 1 GRAMMY Foundation® Living Histories Interview

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Atlantic Record Producer

Produced the Drifters from 1953 as well as Ray Charles and many others on the Atlantic label.

Brought Aretha Franklin to Atlantic and produced many of her greatest tracks: I Never Loved A Man, RESPECT etc. He was also responsible for Atlantics takeover of STAX.

Ian Levine

Ian Levine Presents Northern Soul 1976 [Compilation]

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Record producer, Soul DJ, life long Doctor Who fan and songwriter.

Much of what he plays on the Mixcloud is  definitely rare – that essential ingredient of Northern that often obscures quality especially if its more readily available; but that’s what Northern revolves around. On his Mixcloud site he goes exclusive, rare and approaches the obscure close to the quintessence of esoteric! And too many boy blue eyed soulers for me. But his credentials are solid enough as a DJ and Soul song writer: I do prefer his TOP FORTY.

Ian as a kid collected Motown records, all of the UK releases, sequentially. His inspiration was a Film that that had a Motown soundtrack and dealt with black oppression and poverty in America in the early sixties. A coincidence – when 14 he met Kim Weston on a family trip to the states; on the plane!

He collected lots of rare USA soul 45’s from warehouses that held deletions, and brought them to the Twisted Wheel in Manchester, where the DJ played them. This was around 1970/71,  many years after the original soul fans had moved on to pastures new.
His reputation grew and he became the DJ at Blackpool Mecca (his father also had a disco club in Blackpool). Ian started off the Northern soul scene at the Mecca. Later he became a record producer having a couple of major hits in the 80′.s This financed his dream of starting his own label: ‘Nightmare’ which according to some commentators it turned out to be.This was followed by Motorcity – fulfilling his ambition to record as many living ex-Motown artists as possible. This is documented in the six CD box set: The Strange World Of Northern Soul. What an  excellent idea.

Every genuine soul fan should get these DVD’s. It shows Ian’s commitment and his real love for the music and the artists. It resulted in bankruptcy as most obsessions tend to. Soul fans should buy these DVD’s and all the Motorcity back catalogue simply to support this great man’s dream.

Ian is a shining light on the soul scene and an eclectic appreciator of the entire spectrum of soul music, not just the narrow band of what has become known as Northern Soul. Ian and friends re-recorded lots of Soul artists and their performances are brilliant, although the addition of drum and bass has to be a matter of contention for purists.

L.J. Johnson 

Ian’s Introduction to his life’s work

MotorCity Records

Wikipedia: Ian Levine

Guy Stevens

Guy Stevens Blues

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Guy Stevens was Sue Records UK

Chris Blackwell hired Guy Stevens to run Sue in April 1964. Guy Stevens first came to the fore when he got a gig as a DJ at The Scene, a small basement club in Ham Yard, a cobble-stoned cul-de-sac off Great Windmill Street directly opposite the famed Windmill Theatre.

His Monday evening hops soon began to attract interest and by early 1964, The Scene was a prime Mod hangout…Too read more by Rob Finnis get this fine CD. Issued on Ace CDCHD 1001

Wikipedia: Sue Records

Harvey Fuqua

*Harvey Fuqua* - Don't Be Afraid To Love

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Don’t Be Afraid To Love

Harvey was an original member of the Moonglows with Marvin Gaye in the late 1950’s.

Harvey wrote many songs for Motown, e.g. 25 Miles (Edwin Starr) Yester Me Yester You (Stevie Wonder)

The Harvey Label was started by him in the late 1950’s he signed lots of artists later to become famous as Motown stars i.e. – Junior Walker.

The Harvey label was owned by Harvey Fuqua and Gwen Gordy Fuqua. It operated from 1961 too early 1963, when it was purchased by Berry Gordy. However, Harvey kept -HARVEY/TRI-PHI.

He was an originator of ANNA Records and after its closure Harvey then set up his own labels, Harvey and Tri-Phi, plus two almost forgotten others, Message and HPC. Marvin Gaye played drums on most of the sessions but never recorded as a solo artist for any of Harvey’s labels. Notable names who did are Junior Walker and the All Stars, The Spinners, Shorty Long, and others. Most switched to Motown in 1963 when Harvey’s labels began to struggle financially, and Berry Gordy offered to pay off the debts. Harvey had married Berry Gordy’s sister so it was a family thing.

Harvey Fuqua’s US releases
singles

TRI-PHI RECORDS
1001
SPINNERS THAT’S WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE FOR
5/61 – HEEBIE JEEBIES – 1002
JOHNNIE & JACKIE – CARRY YOUR OWN LOAD
SO DISAPPOINTING

1003
LORRI RUDOLPH
DON’T LET them TELL ME (TELL ME YOURSELF)
GRIEVING ABOUT A LOVE

1004
SPINNERS
I’M SO GLAD (LOVE I FOUND YOU)
SUD DUSTER
PLAYMATES

1005
JOHNNY & JACKIE
SOMEDAY WE’LL BE TOGETHER
SHO – DON’T PLAY

1006
SHORTY LONG
I’LL BE HERE 1/62
BAD WILLIE

1007
SPINNERS
WHAT DID SHE USE
ITCHIN’ FOR MY BABY (BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SCRATCH

1008
DAVENPORT SISTERS
YOU’VE GOT ME CRYING AGAIN
HOY HOY

1009
JORDAN HARMONISERS
DO YOU KNOW HIM
I WON’T MIND’

1010
HARVEY
WHISTLING ABOUT YOU
SHE LOVES ME SO

1011
MERCED BLUE NOTES
MIDNITE SESSION (PART 1)
MIDNITE SESSION (PART 2)

1012
CHALLENGERS
HONEY, HONEY, HONEY
STAY WITH ME

1013
SPINNERS
I’VE BEEN HURT
I GOT YOUR WATER BOILING BABY

1014
ERVIN SISTERS
CHANGING BABY
DO IT RIGHT

1015
SHORTY LONG
I’LL BE HERE
TOO SMART

1016
JOHNNY & JACKEY
DO YOU SEE MY LOVE FOR YOU GROWING
CARRY YOUR OWN LOAD

1017
HARVEY
SHE LOVES ME SO
ANY WAY YOU WANTA

1018
BOBBY SMITH & THE SPINNERS
SHE DON’T LOVE ME 12/62
TOO YOUNG, TOO MUCH, TOO SOON

1019
JOHNNY & JACKIE
BABY DON’T CHA WORRY
STOP WHAT YOU’RE SAYING

1020
CHALLENGERS 3 FEATURING ANN BOGAN & HARVEY FUQUA
EVERDAY
I HEAR AN ECHO

1021
SHORTY LONG
WHAT’S THE MATTER
GOING AWAY

1022
ERVIN SISTERS
WHY I LOVE HIM
EVERY DAY’S A HOLIDAY

1023
MERCED BLUE NOTES
WHOLE LOTTA NOTHING
FRAGILE

1024
HARVEY
COME ON AND ANSWER ME 5/63
MEMORIES OF YOU

HARVEY RECORDS

111
EDDIE BURNS
ORANGE DRIVER 11/61
HARD HEARTED WOMAN

112
LOE & JOE
LITTLE OLE BOY, LITTLE OLE GIRL
THAT’S HOW I AM WITHOUT YOU

113 10/62
JR WALKER & THE ALL STARS
TWIST LACKAWANNA
WILLIE’S BLUES

114
FIVE QUAILS
GET TO SCHOOL ON TIME 9/62
BEEN A LONG TIME

115
EDDIE BURNS
THE THING TO DO
MEAN AND EVIL (BABY)

116
QUAILS
NEVER FELT LIKE THIS BEFORE 9/62
MY LOVE

117
JR WALKER &
CLEO’S MOOD 9/62
BRAIN WASHER

118 EDDIE BURNS
(DON’T BE) MESSING WITH MY BREAD 11/62
ORANGE DRIVER

119
JR WALKER &
GOOD ROCKIN’ 1/63
BRAIN WASHER Part 2

120
QUAILS
OVER THE HUMP 4/63
I THOUGHT

121
HARVEY & ANN
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW 5/63
WILL I DO

Harvey wrote, contributed to the writing and produced many many Motown tracks.

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