Shana, it’s time for the January Quiz! It’s 2021 and we eagerly await another year of your timely announcements to start off our Quiz!
I don’t have any.
I don’t have any announcements!
Well this is just great! This is going to be the worst quiz ever! And the case this month is the shortest case I’ve ever done! And you have nothing to say?
Hold on, I might be able to come up with something. Hmm………..
Never mind! I’m just going to start the quiz! OK, so, this is the case of…
Florence Knight N. Gale.
What kind of name is that?
It’s a perfectly good name, I made it up myself!
Or maybe you just made an amalgamation of Florence Nightingale, the nurse!!!!!
Shh!!!!! Shana, isn’t there a Rock ‘n’ Roll tour you should be catching up on?
Mom, it’s COVID time and all the tours are canceled, which reminds me of an announcement I have to make….
On Monday, January 11, 2021 Florence K. N. Gale <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Nose is running like a facet.
[I think she means faucet]
I took Vitamin C, it didn’t work. I did an aggravation zapper with nose drippings and it didn’t work . I ate a banana and it didn’t work.
What can I do? Thank you for your reply.
Florence K. N. Gale
Mon, Jan 11, 2021
Florence K. N. Gale <email@example.com> wrote:
I took 30C __________________. It worked. Thank you.
Nose stopped running. No more needing a handkerchief.
YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER
OK, everybody, that’s it! Do you know what the remedy was? Write to me at LEWRA@aol.com and let me know. The answer will be in next month’s ezine. OK, Shana, what, pray tell, was the announcement you wanted to make?
Phil Spector died.
Phil Spector died.
Did you just say Phil Spector died?????
Mom! What is it about “Phil Spector died” that you don’t understand?
Shana, it’s not like Phil Spector had one record that we can play on our way out and be done with it! Phil Spector was the biggest record producer of the 20th century! He produced all my favorite songs! Hello!!!!!! The Ronettes? The Crystals? The Righteous Brothers? The Beach Boys imitated his production style and used his studio and his studio musicians. And then there was his unequaled Christmas album, featuring “Christmas: Baby Please Come Home” by Darlene Love, which David Letterman proclaimed as the only Christmas song that really mattered! In fact, every Christmas Eve, Dave unfailingly had Darlene Love on his show to perform it, and with each passing year, the production got grander and grander until finally there was a complete orchestra behind her!
Mom, first of all, 1. I know who Phil Spector is. 2. I had something I planned to say.
Well what is it?
“You’re gonna hear electric music, solid walls of sound.”
Did Phil write that?
No. Elton John did. Well, actually, Bernie Taupin….
Shana! You’re over-explaining again!
If you’re wondering why I’m quoting from “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John…
Yes, as a matter of fact, I was!
It’s because “Wall of Sound” producer, Phil Spector, just died.
I know that! And by now, everybody knows that!!!!!! And what does Elton John have to do with any of this, except, that you manage to work him into every quiz we do!
He was another victim of COVID-19.
Who, Elton John?
No! Phil Spector. If Elton John died, I would need years of therapy!
That sounds expensive….
While he was also a controversial figure–Phil; I knew you were going to say, “Who, Elton John?” (but we probably shouldn’t get into that–and don’t say, “Get into what?”) he should be remembered for his countless contributions to music. Honestly, if he had a tombstone, that’s what should be on it because…
What should be on it?
MOM! The part about the “wall of sound” from “Bennie and the Jets” that I just quoted! You know, “Wall of Sound” was the name awarded to Phil’s production style. He over-produced everything, he had more of everything than was needed or normally used on a song. I just read that he spent more money on “Every Breath I Take” than had ever been spent on a doo-wop record before then–$14,000, which was a lot for 1962.
As I was saying, Phil Spector’s legacy includes songs by the Ronettes, the Crystals, Darlene Love, etc. In fact, it blew my mind to learn he produced things I had no clue about; including:
Puddin N’ Tain- The Alley Cats
OMG! That’s one of my favorite songs!
Pretty Little Angel Eyes- Curtis Lee
OMG! That’s another one of my favorite songs!
Just Once In My Life–The Righteous Brothers
That’s a forgotten classic, I have to play it!
Instant Karma (We All Shine On)- John Lennon
He did that too?
Power to the People- John Lennon
That was Bernie Sanders’ walk-on song!
My Sweet Lord- George Harrison
He produced “My Sweet Lord”? OMG!
What is Life- George Harrison
He did that too?
Seriously, we could be here all night and possibly tomorrow as well if I named them all.
You’re not kidding! We haven’t even mentioned “Be My Baby”! Have we?
You didn’t let me get to the most interesting part! He even produced “Let It Be” by the Beatles, but apparently Paul McCartney was dissatisfied with the “Wall of Sound” production on the original album for some reason, especially on “The Long and Winding Road”.
He did that too? OMG! Shana, I don’t know what my favorite Phil Spector production is! There are too many!!!!!! We haven’t even mentioned the one written by Carole King and sung by my blue-eyed soul brother Gene Pitney: “Every Little Breath I Take”. Oh, well actually, I think we did.
Mom, it’s just “Every Breath I Take”! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but, just play something so Dr. B can put the ezine out!
Fine! One death! “One death,” she says! Ha! “I just have one death!” Grr!
Well, if you want to get technical, Little Walter, a DJ from the New England area, died of covid too. But I’m guessing no one cares.
No kidding, Shana! Gee, you must be psychic! OK, here we go with the greatest record of all time in my humble opinion. You know, with all these gargantuan hits, it’s hard to believe Phil actually found time to kill somebody! Anyway, it just goes to show, you can be completely insane, and not be all bad.
Mom! I thought we weren’t going to get into that! And PS, I think I heard a story about him brandishing a gun in the studio during a John Lennon album, and running off with the tapes, leaving John to do the whole thing by himself.
Well he died in prison, Shana! It’s hard to overlook that! Anyway, in happier times, here’s “Every Breath I Take” by my blue-eyed soul brother, the one and only, Gene Pitney (and you gotta love Hal Blaine’s drumming throughout but especially at the end!)
Phil Spector, record producer, 1940-2021, RIP
Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom
Elaine takes online cases. Write to her at LEWRA@aol.com
Visit her website: https://ElaineLewis.hpathy.com