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Features: John Rhys - Co-Writer Of Time Will Pass You By

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Thought it was common knowledge he was a limey - have seen him interviewed in TV.

The shed loads of other all-time classic detroit stuff he co-wrote re much more exciting than TWPB.

Dx

Edited by DaveNPete

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John's story and his association with Harry Balk, Impact, Duke Browner and the TL song were all told in There's That Beat! about 6 years ago. (Issue #2 I think). He's a great bloke and was joy to interview.

Coincidentally: Nick and Dino (the co writers of TWPYB), also had a release on Impact Records and if I remember correctly, were the writers of Gloria Gaynors Massive disco smash - I Will Survive".

Best,

Dave

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christ, hadn't thought about the minogue connection. that'll piss tobi lark off even more, if such a thing were possible... I'd never heard the piano demo before and thought it'd be nice to get the story on here. he wanted to post it on his website first though. :-)

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John's story and his association with Harry Balk, Impact, Duke Browner and the TL song were all told in There's That Beat! about 6 years ago. (Issue #2 I think). He's a great bloke and was joy to interview.

Coincidentally: Nick and Dino (the co writers of TWPYB), also had a release on Impact Records and if I remember correctly, were the writers of Gloria Gaynors Massive disco smash - I Will Survive".

Best,

Dave

Wasn't aware it was old hat dave. one never stops learning on here. :D

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Wasn't aware it was old hat dave. one never stops learning on here. :D

Not old hat Mate at all. First time I've heard the demo of the song too. Nice one. Any interaction with the artists is fantastic in my eyes. Great that people take the time and make an effort to let them know how much their work (much of it unpaid), means to us.

Regards,

Dave

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sounded like a beach boys type thing to my ears

sounded like a beach boys type thing to my ears

Hearing the demo has actually lead me to think about the song in another artist's hands, which would have been unthinkable before. Any other takers, apart from the Beach Boys?

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Hearing the demo has actually lead me to think about the song in another artist's hands, which would have been unthinkable before. Any other takers, apart from the Beach Boys?

Not a huge fan of her voice but Diana Ross would have turned in a million seller with it for sure. Think of her success with "Remember Me". She would have replicated it with TWPYB I reckon.

Regards,

Dave

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Hearing the demo has actually lead me to think about the song in another artist's hands, which would have been unthinkable before. Any other takers, apart from the Beach Boys?

My first thought on hearing the demo was that Simon & Garfunkel could have handled it very well indeed.

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Another message from John saying he needs to edit yesterday's post. Will post the revised version as soon as I get word.

Edited by macca

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Just to correct one thing in John's story, Bell didn't send the track to England at the time at all. It was discovered circa 1973 and wasn't released in the UK until 1976 by RK Records. Who knows where they got it from, but I doubt they licensed it from Bell.

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Dave Godin at Soul City had many many copies (just about all issues) of the US 45 within days of its US release.

No idea if Bell sent him them with a view to him releasing it on Soul City but he definitely had a few 20 x boxs of the 45.

On every ocassion that I & my mates travelled down from the north to visit the Soul City shop, he would try to sell us all a copy.

Just about all of us had bought a copy on our initial visit & so kept turning down the chance to buy a 2nd issue copy for around 12/- (60 p).

..... Obviously we made a sound financial decision at the time !!!!!

We all knew that a spare US issue copy would never really be of any use to us & we didn't bother to invest in one.

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Here's the revised version of John's TWPYB story. Hopefully he'll be on here in person soon.

The song began on a warm, spring evening in 1965. I was lounging in a window of my fifth floor apartment on 2nd Ave looking down at all the motion on the sidewalk. I started writing the first verse immediately. I ran to the piano and the changes just came. Within an hour, I had the the first verse and chorus to "Time Will Pass You By" One of the rare times in my life that was purely spontaneous.

At this time, I was waiting for Golden World Studios to become operational. Which was why I had left Atlanta, Georgia in the first place. When I arrived in Detroit, I found the studio incomplete and Ed Wingate, owner of Golden World, helped me obtain an interim position with Merit Music Distributors and for six months I continued the work I had done for several years in the South. Record promotion.

Finally the call came. When I arrived at Golden World, there were only two white men there. Irving Beigle (the comptroller) and myself. The first artist Uncle Ed (as he was affectionately called), had me record was a young man from Ohio named Edwin Starr.

We had just finished the master vocals on "Agent Double-O- Soul" and almost everyone had gone. After cleaning the studio and putting all the mics and cables back in their place, I sat down at the beautiful, 9 foot Steinway piano which was housed in the main studio. I don't know why but I just started playing "TWPYB". I never noticed there was someone standing behind me. It was Irving Beigle. He asked if the song was mine and told me he thought it a great song with some excellent hooks and that I should finish it up and submit it to Uncle Ed for one of the GW artists.

While I was at Golden World I never managed to finish the song. I just became too busy. Funny....I never realized there was big talk about Motown buying GW. When the deal finally went down, I resigned.

In the fall of 1966, I met a man named Harry Balk. The legendary producer from Detroit. It was he who picked "Oh How Happy" as a winner and he was correct.

It was while I was working at Impact Records that I was introduced to two, young singers from Detroit. Nick Zesses and Dino Fekaris. They came in to ask about a record deal and Harry brought them into the rehearsal studio to meet me. Guess what I was playing as they entered the room? You guessed it. They asked if the song was finished and I told them, "No." It was at this time Nick and Dino wrote the last verse. When it came down to divvying up the rights, I think I opted for an equal split.

Meanwhile I record Nick and Dino to no great shakes and they move on. Good records though.

Here's where it gets interesting....

Harry eventually sells Impact to Motown and I leave again. This time as an outside producer for Capitol Records. One day I receive a call from a disc-jockey friend who wants me to produce four sides on a friend of his. I agree and we select four songs for the session. I book Tera Shirma and my favorite Funk Brothers. Babbitt, Eddie Willis, Johnny Griffin and George McGregor. I hire Mike Theodore and Dennis Coffey to do the charts. A couple of weeks later we do the session. The singer was awful. I knew there was no chance anyone in his or her right mind would release any of those cuts. "Time Will Pass You By" was one of them.

Six months later I receive a phone call from my old Golden World friend Irv Beigle who is now working for Amy, Mala, Bell Records in New York. He said there was someone there claiming to have written four songs. One of which was "TWPYB". He told me he knew it was the same song he had heard that night in the studio at GW. He played several pieces from the session. Enough for me to know the session was mine.

To make a long story short. Bell Records bought the masters from the person who brought them in. Harry Balk retained the publishing on the song. From there, the masters were sent to England. And this is where I loose clarity. On the Tobi Legend record there are two people listed as producers. My name was not among them. Nick, Dino and I did all the background vocals on the track. Then one day, in 2002 I opened a substantial check from Bug Music. That check saved my family and I as times had become quite hard. One day I'll have to look into the finances of the song.

I still can't believe the long road that song has taken but I do believe in the power of music and always will.

Best regards to all my friends in the homeland. I do hope to see you soon.

John Rhys

BluePower.com

Edited by macca

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Rhys's story about the song is interesting but tantalisingly incomplete. Presumably the other people he mentions who bought the master to Amy Mala Bell were The Wildweeds or people connected to them via the Syncron Studio in Connecticut.

Rhys's version makes no real mention of how the song became the record or how Tobi Lark/Legend got involved.

The original germ of the song was obviously a good one, but it is the arrangement, production and the vocal which makes the finished record a masterpiece.

it's ironic that the cheque Rhys received was probably off the back of Kylie Minogue's execrable version which shows that without the beautiful Tobi Legend vocal and the majestic arrangement of the Mala 45 this is, let's face it, just another song.

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Maybe I was a bit harsh in saying it's just another song. Laura Barton wrote an interesting piece on it in The Guardian a couple of years back which gives it its due:

http://www.guardian....ail-rock-n-roll

I would guess someone could put together a few interesting words on the whole aspect of the 3/4 b4 8

would any of them be as well known or have the same status today if back then something else was played in its place ?

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I would guess someone could put together a few interesting words on the whole aspect of the 3/4 b4 8

would any of them be as well known or have the same status today if back then something else was played in its place ?

Probably not. Wigan was a lot of Wigan, and its instigator has been living off the legend that it was ever since. As regards other records, Keith Minshull played Walter Jackson 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone?' to close the sessions at The Torch, right? Bobby Bland 'Call On Me' at the early Wheel, according to Brian Rae. Walter Jackson always struck me as naff, but I guess you had to be there, as they say. I love Bobby Bland, the man can't put a foot wrong for me. Were there any other attempts at playing different enders at other all-nighters? Cleethorpes and Charles Mann spring to mind. Good tune, but not as iconic as the 3b48. Wigan is a lot of Wigan...

Edited by macca

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Probably not. Wigan was a lot of Wigan, and its instigator has been living off the legend that it was ever since. As regards other records, Keith Minshull played Walter Jackson 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone?' the close the session at The Torch, right? Bobby Bland 'Call On Me' at the early Wheel, according to Brian Rae. Walter Jackson always struck me as naff, but I guess you had to be there, as they say. I love Bobby Bland, the man can't put a foot wrong for me. Were there any other attempts at playing different enders at other all-nighters? Cleethorpes and Charles Mann spring to mind. Good tune, but not as iconic as the 3b48. Wigan is a lot of Wigan...

Walter Jackson was last record at the Catacombs.

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Been discussed on another thread recently ... BUT the Mojo ender (back in 66 / 67) was split between ....

Artistics "I'm Gonna Miss You" (also said to have been last ever record played at Mojo b4 it closed)

..... OR ...... Billy Stewart "Exodus".

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During the Wheel's allniter years of 67 / 68 / 69 / 70, the 'management' wanted punters out of place quite quickly at the end of the session

..... when the double doors were flung open, they wanted people to file out asap .....

I was there at the end on many such a night but can't recall what track/s were played but I'm sure it wasn't usually a dancer (otherwise those still with energy wouldn't have left the dancefloors).

BB's "Call On Me" was a big Wheel (& personal) favorite but I can't recall if it was played at the end of the session on most / many ocassions.

Someone here must recall what the last track played at many of the Wheel niters was.

Edited by Roburt

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During the Wheel's allniter years of 67 / 68 / 69 / 70, the 'management' wanted punters out of place quite quickly at the end of the session

..... when the double doors were flung open, they wanted people to file out asap .....

I was there at the end on many such a night but can't recall what track/s were played but I'm sure it wasn't usually a dancer (otherwise those still with energy wouldn't have left the dancefloors).

BB's "Call On Me" was a big Wheel (& personal) favorite but I can't recall if it was played at the end of the session on most / many ocassions.

Someone here must recall what the last track played at many of the Wheel niters was.

always thought the last tune played at the end of the wheel niters at whitworth st was ...the mood mosaics...a touch of velvet a sting of brass.....that from various wheel goers.

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always thought the last tune played at the end of the wheel niters at whitworth st was ...the mood mosaics...a touch of velvet a sting of brass.....that from various wheel goers.

Mood Mosaic was always the last 'get 'em out of the place' record at Fingers nightclub in Bridlington in the late 70's.

Jordi

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Used to go to nights at the Jungle Club (on harbor slip road) in Brid with the Hull crowd in 1967.

.... then lived in Brid from 76 to 79 but wasn't 'on the scene' during those years (more into 70's soul & never took to Wigan stompers). So never went to Fingers (in fact -- unless it was near to the Woolies store in town, can't even remember the place).

Used to attend the odd NS nite at Eggboro (or Drax) Power Stn Club though; dragged along by Paul Temple who used to visit us in Brid to plunder my 45 & LP collections.

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Think im right in saying John was Colin and Shirley Woods from Yorkshires best man on their wedding day?

Almost right Gilly, myself and Shirley got married three years ago in Las Vegas and were honoured to have Jobn and his lovely wife Lori as witnesses to our wedding, they truly are wonderful people and we are lucky to be able to call them friends.

On the day, we were in awe listening to John talking about his time in Detroit working with artists and musicians that we know and love. He told us that he had found the original demo of TWPYB and I was very fortunate when John sent me an MP3 of it a couple of months later. As has already been said John is a very talented musician and has written some great tunes, one of my faves is the Volumes - That Same Old Feeling.

A true gentleman and I'm proud to know him :thumbsup:

Colin.

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