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Author Topic: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!  (Read 2004 times)

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pc31

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POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« on: May 29, 2012, 05:12:42 PM »

ok chris while we got you in a corner...let us pick your ever loving musical mind....i would like to have your opinion on some things and the others might have a few queries as well.....before you get senile we'd like to know....who said that? ;sorry :o you know like that old series pop go the beatles....you gotta sign this waiver tho....i mr chris houston will answer truthfully to the best of my knowledge answer each question unjaded by pc31s natural good looks or superb humor...to share my lunch with him as well...sign here
--->>>______________________ thank you kind siryour lunch is all yours today... ha2ha
i wanna to know what you think of Scott Engle.....do u know him?maybe personally?
and can you tell us your thoughts of this tune?and what you were doing then maybe....i hope u aint too buzy....
Gene Pitney - (The Man Who Shot) Liiberty Valance (The video's owner prevents external embedding)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 02:21:45 AM by pc31 »
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scouser

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 06:01:03 PM »

Please, try and spell my name correctly H-u-s-t-o-n ... :)

I do not know Scott (Engel) Walker, never ever met him, so I cannot say much about him, except that he and the group had several decent pop hits on the British charts in the mid Sixties.  His voice suited the songs that he sang and that's half the battle  -  The other half is having a great song to begin with.

As to Gene Pitney singing "The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance"  - Forget it! Definitely not on any play list of mine ...  4ac
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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HOUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 08:23:24 PM »

That's a great website you got Chris.

Due to a new biography about Rory Storm, which was written by a Dutch journalist, I am once again fascinated by Rory's story. Any memories on him or The Hurricanes?
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scouser

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 09:28:39 PM »



The Undertakers At The Orrell Park Ballroom - 1961

I remember Rory Storm & the Hurricanes from all the times that we appeared on the same stages.  They were playing this gig with us, at the Orrell Park Ballroom.  Rory was a quiet and somewhat introverted person, except when he got up on the stage.  The same went for the pronounced stutter in his speech  -  it disappeared once he got up on the stage.  But, having said that, he could be funny when having a drink, in the pub, along with friends.

He wasn't a fantastic singer, but he was a great showman, fronting the Hurricanes, which a great band.  He and his band were well-liked on Merseyside and very popular with the club and dance-goers. Unfortunately, fame and fortune passed him by during those halcyonic Merseybeat years.  This was, I think, due to the fact that what he did on stage did not readily translate to record and he did not have the vocal chops to do anything any different, or make up the difference.  A shame, really, as he was one of the good guys.

 
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tkitna

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 11:44:46 PM »

Chris, this is a dumb question, but i'm a drummer and I have to ask you how it was to work with Dino Danelli. Any inside or silly stories maybe? He's always been a favorite of mine.

scouser

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 02:23:00 PM »

Chris, this is a dumb question, but i'm a drummer and I have to ask you how it was to work with Dino Danelli. Any inside or silly stories maybe? He's always been a favorite of mine.




Receiving my Gold Record for "Groovin'" from gene Cornish at Atlantic Records in 1967

Why would your question be dumb?  I'll be happy to fill you in on a little of my history with The Rascals and how I got to work with them in the studio.


I first became aware of the Young Rascals while I was in Hamburg, at the Star Club, in 1963. We, The Undertakers, were on the same bill as Joey Dee & the Starliters. This was a time when the Twist was all the rage and Joey Dee's "Peppermint Twist", with the great guitar solo by Teddy Randazzo, was a hit. We became fast friends with Joey and his two front-line singers, Davey Brigati and Larry Venari. Davey told us about his young brother, Eddie, who was in a group called the Young Rascals. When their two week engagement was over and they were heading back to the States, we all promised to stay in touch, which we did.

A few years later, in 1965, the Undertakers along with Pete Best and his Combo went to New York City to record. As soon as I found out that we were definitely going, I wrote to Davey and told him. No sooner had we arrived than both Davey and Larry showed up at our hotel and welcomed us. The whole New York episode proved to be a disaster for both groups, the Undertakers and Pete Best and his Combo, and the only saving graces for me were the great recordings which survived and my opportunity, and decision, to give up playing in favor of pursuing a career the 'other side of the glass', as a record producer.

Before I took that step, and immediately after our group broke up, I went out on the road with Joey Dee & the Starliters, playing guitar. I remember going into Manny's music shop, in Manhattan, and picking out a 1963 Fender Telecaster 'Custom'. It cost $274.00, a princely sum, back then. That gig lasted through the winter of 1965-66 and consisted almost exclusively of playing 'mobbed-up' lounges from Buffalo to Rhode Island. While on the road, Davey, knowing of my inroads into production and, out of necessity engineering, suggested that I work with his brother's band, who were signed with Atlantic.

"Groovin'" was the first record that I did with them. It was recorded not at Atlantic's modern studios but at Talentmasters, on 42nd Street, just off Times Square, in New York City. I was to get production credits on the record  -  that is until, one evening, when Murray the K came up to the studio and upon hearing "Groovin'", pronounced it the hit of the coming Summer, which it became!  Also, The Rascals biggest record. Instead, I was given a nice bonus and the promise that my name would appear on the record  -  as the recording engineer. This was unheard of at the time and I became the first 'recording engineer' to have my name on a single.

I went on to work with the Rascals on their following two fantastic albums, "Groovin'" and "Once Upon A Dream". The Rascals were an exceptionally talented group. What I think I liked about them most were their wonderful voices. They had those strong, clear Italian voices that seemed to be so wonderfully clear and natural. Felix was a master on the Hammond B-3 and onstage he would provide the big, fat bass lines with his foot pedals. In the studio, Gene Cornish, the guitarist usually played the bass lines although I brought in Chuck Rainey for "Groovin'" and after its success, he continued on to work on their other recordings. They were a pleasure to work with, in every way. Dino Danelli had permanent calluses’ on his right hand from the way he held his drum stick  -  overhand. Not given to theatrics or fancy playing, he was, never-the-less, as strong and tasteful as any drummer that I've ever worked with.

I've got lot of little stories of our times together, and the friendship which still lasts. Felix now lives in Nashville and we get together on occasion for dinner. Oh, and yes, and I was a 'whistling bird' on "Groovin'", along with Eddie Brigati. I started the Ampex Four Track and rushed out into the studio to lend a hand...or rather, a whistle.
 
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tkitna

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 01:21:13 AM »

Great stuff Chris and I thank you for sharing. I have to admit that i'm not as informed about the good old days as PC and Bobber, but it all still fascinates me. Since we're picking your brain a little, i'd love to hear more stories or if you could elaborate about your decision to switch over to the production side instead of the musical aspect. Have you ever had the occasion of working with the Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer or Gary Chester even since he was on the east coast? I promise i'll quit asking you drummer questions after this.  ha2ha

Sorry for the dribble.

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 02:02:44 AM »

Hi Chris!  Welcome to the Form and thanks for reminiscing with us.

If you were still with The Rascals in 1967, then I saw you perform with them on the United Cerebral Palsy Telethon in the WOR-TV Studios in NYC.  They were one of my favorite groups at the time.  It was nice to see them raising money for such a worthwhile cause.

Barry
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tkitna

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 02:55:42 AM »

Barry, I dont think Chris played with them (could be wrong). I think he only produced them.

scouser

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 01:42:35 PM »

Barry, I dont think Chris played with them (could be wrong). I think he only produced them.

Correct.  I did not play with them.  I was the recording engineer for many of their records, including "Groovin'".

To answer your other question:

I made the change from musician to producer/recording engineer in late 1965. In fact, seeing how records were made... recorded... back then, was part of my decision to necessarily understanding and becoming proficient at engineering as a key part to becoming a competent producer. You see, all the musicians played 'live' in the room and you were, in essence, documenting their performance. Remember, these were the days of 2 tracks and 4 Tracks.  If you didn't capture that initial performance, then you didn't have a record. Conversely, today, with and through the wonders of technology, we are creating a performance. While having the ability to replace parts and performance of each and every instrument until everything shines to a high technical and musical luster, nothing can replace the musical energy that comes about when a group of well-seasoned musicians get together and play, in the same room at the same time.

The simple secret of everyone being in the same room is that they have the opportunity to play off each other in such a musically intimate way that is just not possible when all the instruments and musicians are separated and isolated from each other. Even headphones can take some that musical intimacy away. All the musicians on those sessions were playing off each other, without headphones, moderating their individual volumes - whether a single guitar, drummer or string section et cetera - so that the whole performance, with all its peaks and dips, sounded right in the room. They were in tune with each other to such a creative degree that the performance recorded reflected the magic.

Documenting a performance, as we did in the old days, could have its drawbacks. Apart from having to get the mix right, first time, there were other potential setbacks? Replacing instruments could be a problem due to the proximity of the players and the limited, if any, acoustic isolation. To me, musicians need to be looking at each other and feeling the music in the room. Just having the bass going through an amplifier that the drummer can hear and feel can make a difference in his attitude and performance. Sure, there are session musicians that can play under any kind of duress and 'deliver the goods', but I think we are talking about regular musicians and bands here?
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pc31

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Re: POP GOES CHRIS HUSTON!!!!!
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2012, 02:26:43 AM »

no session players are important too...where would many be without albert lee????
 

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