May. 30, 2015

My Special Music People #1 (Salt of the Earth Version)

  Jan-14-13

My Special Music People:

A Brief Raycap of my Career in a Nuthouse, Nutshell.

A Short List of some of the SPECIAL people and projects I worked with during my 38 Odd (and they WERE ODD!) years in the Music Bidness..

The material herein remains the property of Ray Ramsay and is not intended for Publication, Reproduction, or Broadcast without the Authors permission. Yeah.

A&R-

          Stands for ‘Artists and Repertoire’, but depending on the individual, can also stand for Head Up His Ass or HuHa. I was shocked to hear one of them tell me in smug confidence that the reason Rita McNeil (he referred to her as ‘Eat a big meal’, nice) wasn’t signed was because she was um…unbecoming, and that’ll do for what was really said. So an opportunity to have one of Canada’s biggest and best selling recording artists and concert draws was lost to the competition. I guess that answers the question: How stupid can you get?

ABBA-

I had their FIRST record on Playboy Records when they were called Bjorn & Benny and Svenda Flicka, NOBODY would play it, and now? They knew it all along!         

Bryan Adams-

A genuinely nice guy. From Sweeney Todd to being himself, hanging out in the clubs, and lusting after Tina @ The Cave. He (and Bruce) did it his way.

Christina Aguilera-

The Ice Queen. Brilliant vocalist. Caused a Media Shit storm by leaving an autograph session and a Radio Stations contest winners out in the cold to go shopping and had people in NY yelling for my head. Nice. Also the first time I had to look in my Promo Budget for candy….sigh. Kids with money.

Bruce Allen-

I grew up in the biz with him and Sam who was the Mel Torme phone voice to Bruce’s’ Joe Cocker. Some people fear him but he has always been a great guy to me, he respects hard work and honesty (If you haven’t got THAT, you got NOTHIN’). Even when he YELLED at me, I YELLED back, we laughed and we fine.

 Photo courtesy of Malcom Perry/Vancouver Sun.

My Favorite pic of Bruce as it shows his determination and drive; make no mistake!

Paul Alofs-A Good man, believed in me and gave me BMGs 1st and only ‘Inspiration’ Award.

Asian Media-

Once I got a full-time assistant and made it to Promotions/Media Relations Manager (and sometimes Branch Manager), I had a bit of time to look for new outlets to promote and expose our Music, and took aim at the Asian Media to try and tap that market some more. After all, they have money too and like to be entertained so why not include them and they can buy OUR stuff! This was not easily done however; after more than a Century of being marginalized & mistreated by white people, they tended to keep to themselves and were very insular and who could blame them?

So, it took a while to earn their trust and respect and show that my efforts weren’t designed to rip them off of what was theirs and finally got thru with a good deal of honesty & respect and even tried to learn some of the language as a show of that. I could say very small phrases but they liked that and let me in.

I never promised them something I couldn’t deliver and in return gave me ACRES of Press and Rivers if not an Ocean of ink, COLORED INK, and I could never read a word, had no clue what they were saying about the product, but it sure looked good, and it WORKED.  I kept these contacts up and still use them for my Charity Media work, again to good effect; it’s all about inclusion.

Julian Austin-A nice guy whoever he was. He took it to the border but cudn’t put it across. Sometimes, the real thing is just depressing.

Backstreet Boys-

A non-starter here at first but some unique promo jump started it. This act broke out of Montreal in North American, Stephane Drolet did that, and THEN they broke in the U.S. They were NEVER a BAND, they were a Vocal Group, The Beatles were a ‘Boy’ BAND.

Ken Bain-

A TRUE BMG Buddy. I loved to Lord over him the fact we have ‘White Spot’ and T.O. doesn’t.  Raypository for White Spot Coffee cups, paper bags, napkins and (empty) Burger containers. To him, it was Aromatherapy.

Carroll Baker-

Real nice lady. When I started at RCA I worked with her so much I thought I was going to look like her which would have been weird, me with a Platinum Blonde wig and Boobs. Her manager, Don Grashey got Loretta Lynn started and probably wore the same sports jacket to bed, all his life. Carroll was into exercising with Music way ahead of its time, could do deep knee bends like nobody’s business. People who want to genuflect with gusto could learn something from her.

Long John Baldry-

          LOVED his ‘It Ain’t Easy’ LP and was a bit in awe of him when I met him. This was TPC/Quality and he did two LPs for Casablanca. I first met him at his gig at The Old Roller Rink club in North Vancouver. Didn’t work with him too often which was good for my neck, looking way up at him all the time. His Management Company was called ‘Piranha’, and that was more than apt.

                                        Ray Ramsay: Wordsmith/Humoroid / Rayconteur

                                    Author of 'Things that go *POP* in my Head' (In Progress)
                                                         and 'I Hate My Life' (Deluxe Edition w Boardgame)
                                                               PLUS the elevating 'How Far Is 'UP?"

Latest comments

04.06 | 20:20

That's good Ray - spread it around

04.06 | 18:55

Hopefully history will finally teach us that we are all one. No better, no worse.Love one another as you would be loved - and the world and people will be in a better place.

04.06 | 18:46

Excellent musings my friend. What a twisted world and to look now and see it get worse instead of better.

04.06 | 18:16

Wow cuz that's great writing and truth

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