Jump to content
Gold Band

Shalamar Cover Up

Recommended Posts

There was a 12" melody I believe that Mr Soussan had a hand in; "Shalamar - Uptown Festival" on Solar It is showing as a cover up on Daves, Anarorak's corner site. Was this ever really covered up as Festival Time by Sam & Kitty or is someone having a LAUGH :rofl:

Kirsty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a 12" melody I believe that Mr Soussan had a hand in; "Shalamar - Uptown Festival" on Solar It is showing as a cover up on Daves, Anarorak's corner site. Was this ever really covered up as Festival Time by Sam & Kitty or is someone having a LAUGH :rofl:

Kirsty

Yes. I still have the original acetate. I was co-producer with Neil Rushton on that track. Soussan originally wanted to do a 'disco-style' Northern Soul medley but I insisted that a Motown medley made more commercial sense for the Disco market. When the record was completed for some reason Soussan called it "Festival Time" by Sam & Kitty (which was on the original acetate) which I thought was ridiculous so we had another row before finally settling on "Uptown Festival" by Shalamar which was obviously borrowed from the Shalimars but made sense because of the perfume which was popular at the time. Worked out nicely for Don Cornelius, Dick Griffey and eventually Howard Hewitt, Jeffery Daniel and Jody Watley - a strange beginning to a career for those guys since none of them were on the original sessions and album. "Uptown Festival" was a U.S. Billboard Dance Chart No.1 for 6 weeks and sold a million before Soultrain was promptly shut-down and Solar was formed. Interesting times......

 

Ian D :D  

Edited by Ian Dewhirst

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I still have the original acetate. I was co-producer with Neil Rushton on that track. Soussan originally wanted to do a 'disco-style' Northern Soul medley but I insisted that a Motown medley made more commercial sense for the Disco market. When the record was completed for some reason Soussan called it "Festival Time" by Sam & Kitty (which was on the original acetate) which I thought was ridiculous so we had another row before finally settling on "Uptown Festival" by Shalamar which was obviously borrowed from the Shalimars but made sense because of the perfume which was popular at the time. Worked out nicely for Don Cornelius, Dick Griffey and eventually Howard Hewitt, Jeffery Daniel and Jody Watley - a strange beginning to a career for those guys since none of them were on the original sessions and album. "Uptown Festival" was a U.S. Billboard No.1 for 6 weeks and sold a million before Soultrain was promptly shut-down and Solar was formed. Interesting times......

 

Ian D :D  

What Year did all this take place Ian?

Kirsty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I still have the original acetate. I was co-producer with Neil Rushton on that track. Soussan originally wanted to do a 'disco-style' Northern Soul medley but I insisted that a Motown medley made more commercial sense for the Disco market. When the record was completed for some reason Soussan called it "Festival Time" by Sam & Kitty (which was on the original acetate) which I thought was ridiculous so we had another row before finally settling on "Uptown Festival" by Shalamar which was obviously borrowed from the Shalimars but made sense because of the perfume which was popular at the time. Worked out nicely for Don Cornelius, Dick Griffey and eventually Howard Hewitt, Jeffery Daniel and Jody Watley - a strange beginning to a career for those guys since none of them were on the original sessions and album. "Uptown Festival" was a U.S. Billboard No.1 for 6 weeks and sold a million before Soultrain was promptly shut-down and Solar was formed. Interesting times......

 

Ian D :D  

Not to be too picky, Ian, but the Billboard singles chart book says it went to # 10 pop and # 25 pop, not to # 1. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to be too picky, Ian, but the Billboard singles chart book says it went to # 10 pop and # 25 pop, not to # 1. 

 

Not to be too picky, Ian, but the Billboard singles chart book says it went to # 10 pop and # 25 pop, not to # 1. 

Sorry i meant # 10 soul....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to be too picky, Ian, but the Billboard singles chart book says it went to # 10 pop and # 25 pop, not to # 1. 

 

Whoops, forgot to insert "Dance Chart"! No.1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. Apologies. Might have sold 2 million if it had gone to No.1 on the Pop chart!  :lol:

 

Ian D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So who were the performers then Ian?

 

A who's who of Northern Soul were involved on the sessions. Jack Ashford and Eddie 'Bongo' Brown for a start. Pat Powdrill was one of the key vocalists. Mike Lewis and Laurin Rinder from El Coco were on drums and keyboards. I'll check the album credits when I get home.

 

Oh, and the guy who did the arrangement and charts was Don Hockett who did the string arrangements for the Four Tops stuff on ABC. Not a bad resume and I see that Soussan used him for multiple projects after Shalamar. Hope he got paid!  :lol:

 

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/don-hockett-mn0001668133/credits

 

Ian D  :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry just can't help myself, any opportunity to have a dig at Simon Soussan…. :lol:

 

Don't blame ya Steve. I'm not exactly a fan of him myself which is why the only record I ever did with him was Shalamar which was my idea in the first place. Neither of us got paid properly when Soultrain crashed (thanks a bunch Don) but a million-seller is a million-seller.

 

Overall a great experience for a kid of 21 from Leeds. Hanging around with Ike and Tina in their room above the studio was an eye-opener too...... 

 

Ian  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget the flip, a proper soussan masterpiece"Simons theme" what a character , I'd love to interview him .

Regardless of his ways , he did discover some amazing records, and he got Ian layed too !! Ha ha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't blame ya Steve. I'm not exactly a fan of him myself which is why the only record I ever did with him was Shalamar which was my idea in the first place. Neither of us got paid properly when Soultrain crashed (thanks a bunch Don) but a million-seller is a million-seller.

 

Overall a great experience for a kid of 21 from Leeds. Hanging around with Ike and Tina in their room above the studio was an eye-opener too...... 

 

Ian  :D

 

What's the latest on Soussan , is he alive and well ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget the flip, a proper soussan masterpiece"Simons theme" what a character , I'd love to interview him .

Regardless of his ways , he did discover some amazing records, and he got Ian layed too !! Ha ha

 

His enthusiasm and ear for Northern Soul has never really been in question. He was a true enthusiast. It's all the other stuff that left a sour taste with everyone. But credit where credit's due, he got me laid within hours of arriving in L.A. He was good at that kind of stuff......... :lol:

 

Ian D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so you think so...?

 

Yeah. Plus, whenever he's come into conversation over here, no knows his whereabouts or has heard of him for probably the last 10 years - even people he was close to at one time.

 

He's always bounced around a lot though. Morocco, Leeds, Mexico City, L.A. and so on. Last I heard he'd become an Orthodox Jew which is entirely possible.

 

Do you know any different?

 

Ian D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure I read that Ian Levine had mentioned he was in America and up to something a little "shady" but had pretty much fallen on hard times....This is from memory and I may have got it all wrong....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure I read that Ian Levine had mentioned he was in America and up to something a little "shady" but had pretty much fallen on hard times....This is from memory and I may have got it all wrong....

 

Well, this is Simon Soussan. Anything's possible. He could be one of those guys who burnt bright but burnt out eventually. He may have opted for a less stressful life or found religion or solace or something. No one's heard of him for a long time so who knows....?

 

Ian D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With respect Ian, but it seems you basically invented the whole Stars on 45 phenomena, thanks for that! :-)

 

Not me Guv. I stole the Motown medley concept from the Richie Family who had just scored an international hit with the Disco medley "The Best Disco In Town".

 

 

So it's their fault OK????  :lol:

 

Ian D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to see if I can find and remember the link to the interview where Ian Levine mentions Simon Soussan... From memory I seem to remember he "suggests" Soussan was somehow involved in bit-torrent, computer piracy etc in a round about way....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to see if I can find and remember the link to the interview where Ian Levine mentions Simon Soussan... From memory I seem to remember he "suggests" Soussan was somehow involved in bit-torrent, computer piracy etc in a round about way....

 

That's a new one on me. I'll have to ask Levine.....

 

Ian D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ian I saw Shalamar live at batley Variety club, must have been the 80s, could have been the Frontier in the same town, were you anything to do with that tour?, and were you there on that night?

 

Well by then it was a completely different band Steve. It's fair to say that I never had any dealings with Shalamar, Simon Soussan, Soultrain or Solar Records after 1977.

 

I met Jeffery Daniels a couple of times in the 80s and mentioned that I formed the band but he didn't have any idea what I was talking about LOL...

 

I met Howard Hewitt in the late 90s when Ralph Tee brought him round and Howard was fascinated by how the group started.

 

But as far as Batley Frontier is concerned, nah, never saw 'em. The last group I saw there was the Stylistics in the 70s LOL...

 

Ian D :D  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a new one on me. I'll have to ask Levine.....

 

Ian D  :D

It's a case of " I'm sure I read it", but I now can't locate where I read the comment.... I'm sure I wasn't dreaming.... Something about Soussan falling on hard times in the USA and being involved in some kind of shady dealings with computers....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Worked out nicely for Don Cornelius, Dick Griffey and eventually Howard Hewitt, Jeffery Daniel and Jody Watley - a strange beginning to a career for those guys since none of them were on the original sessions and album.

 

Ian D :D  

 

Looking (& listening) to the LP, isn't it just side 1 that's part of those Soussan sessions? 3 very dodgy disco oriented tracks including an abysmal version of "Inky dinky wand dang doo".

Whereas it says side B was produced by Cornelius & Dick Griffey and arranged by Gene Page, & it's a completely different beast (including the excellent "High on life"), much more soulful, so were Hewitt/Daniel/Watley brought in to complete the album & their stuff is on the B side?

Edited by phillyDaveG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one seems to know. He seems to have completely disappeared.

 

Ian D  :D

 

Maybe propping up a freeway extension somewhere - wouldn't surprise me the amount of people he ripped off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking (& listening) to the LP, isn't it just side 1 that's part of those Soussan sessions? 3 very dodgy disco oriented tracks including an abysmal version of "Inky dinky wand dang doo".

Whereas it says side B was produced by Cornelius & Dick Griffey and arranged by Gene Page, & it's a completely different beast (including the excellent "High on life"), much more soulful, so were Hewitt/Daniel/Watley brought in to complete the album & their stuff is on the B side?

 

Well, by the point that the album was approved I was long gone. I was only there on a 6 month visitors visa so they kicked me out by December 1976. In fact, because the whole thing happened so quickly, I never applied for a business visa so technically I couldn't do any work there. This was then used against me when the contracts were drawn up and that created some problems which Neil Rushton and I had to resolve in other ways. So, by the time the album was agreed, Neil and I had fallen out with Soussan big time.

 

Truth be told, "Uptown Festival" was an uneasy alliance between myself and Soussan anyway. The record was always designed to be a Disco hit but sadly not one that I would ever play. Too commercial for my tastes by far, so I always distanced myself from it.

 

There's little doubt that Soussan and I would have fallen out on any further productions anyway. The rest on side one is pretty much un-listenable and I suspect that Don Cornelius and Dick Griffey felt the same, hence the change in producers between side one and two. So Soussan was booted out and the next I heard was in litigation with Soultrain which made me smile. Sharks devouring sharks lol. I'm glad I was out of it by then.

 

One year later and "Take That To The Bank" emerged which was EXACTLY the direction for the group to go. It was a bit surreal being back in Leeds and seeing a group I had created suddenly going on to better things but that's life. I don't believe the "Take That To The Bank" group necessarily included Howard Hewitt yet - I think line-up had solidified by the the "Big Fun" album was recorded.

 

Ian D :D  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe propping up a freeway extension somewhere - wouldn't surprise me the amount of people he ripped off.

 

Including myself and Neil Rushton. The only consolation for us, was that Soussan then got ripped by Soultrain Records when the company crashed within 6 months of Shalamar selling a million. As I said above, I was glad to be out of it by then because all I could see was years of litigation. In fact, litigation would become a key reality in the life of Solar records. They were always in court, right into the 90s and 00s even. The last litigation I read about was between them and Death Row records. As I said, sharks devouring sharks....

 

Ian D :D  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weren't you also responsible for the signing of 'Shannon' to the 'Warehouse' label Ian?

 

Well, yes technically. Mike Wiand RIP (owner of the Warehouse club in Leeds) on one of his trips to New York became friendly with Chris Barbosa - producer and co-writer of "Let The Music Play". When he came back from New York he had an acetate of "Let The Music Play" which we thwacked on over the club system and both decided it sounded like a club hit at least. He told me he'd got an option to release it in the UK but the option was only good for another 2 weeks, so we were deliberating whether to do it independently. I then went to London and bumped into Jeff Young in Groove Records, Soho. Jeff was running A&R for Mercury UK at the time and I happened to mention that we had the rights for the Shannon record. Jeff said he wanted to sign it so we did a deal which included having our own Warehouse Records label identity on the Mercury/Club label. The rest as they say is history with "Let The Music Play" becoming a Top 20 UK hit in January 1994 plus the two follow-ups which both hit the Top 30 too.

 

Ian D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comment now!

Comments are members only

Sign Up

Join Soul Source - Free & easy!

Sign up now!

Sign in

Sign in here.

Sign in now!


Related Soul Music Links

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.