Bob Crewe. FORUM: Archive - Beginning April 17, 2003: Bob Crewe.
Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 11:11 am:

KevGo and Yan(and everyone)
Okeh guys,my p.c. is still in a mind of it's own regarding recieving mail,and I cant get it sorted for a few days yet,so instead of keeping you hanging on kev etc,I am going to attempt to edit various parts of this long article about Bob Crewe for you.
The item was published in 2 parts in a british mag from 1977 called SMG(For record Collectors).Which was edited by Mr.Barry Lazell.Despite attempts(unsuccessfully)of trying to contact Mr.Lazell,I hope he does not mind if I reproduce the article that was all brilliantly done by Mr.George A.Ingram.Who I also hope will not mind me taking various pieces from his superb piece on Bob Crewe.
If anyone is in contact with either Mr.Lazell or Mr.Ingram at present,I would appreciate it if you could let them know.And if there is anything they are not happy with would they let me know,and I will contact them.
with many thanks.

The Shortened Story of Bob Crewe(part one).
Bob Crewe was born in Belleville,New Jersey in 1936,one of 3 brothers.On leaving school his initial occupation was as an interior decorator,along with which he developed seriouscanvas painting as a profitable sideline.

He reached the stage as an artist where some of his best works were displayed in New York which brought him considerable financial(as well as critical)success.He was also famed as one of New York's best interior designers and he acted as adviser on certain periods and areas of decoration style.

Painting however was an isolated vocation,and the restless Crewe decided to widen his spheres and further augment his income by having a go at modelling.So for 5 years or so,during the 50's,he worked as a male photographic model in New York.
He became a familiar face on advertising hoardings and TV commercials.Even this,however,was not the most lucrative of professions,and so Bob branched out yet again-into Song writing and Singing.

This was the mid-fifties-the era of the rise to pre-eminence of rock'n'roll and doo-wop/R&b.Crewe established himself in a small way as a night club singer during 1956,and recorded his first single in the same year-'Pride'which came out on the BBSN record label.Which was not a success.
It was to be his songwriting,however,which was the first aspect of his musical career to really hit paydirt.

He teamed up with(in early 1957)with a musician named Frank Slay Jr.Whose orchestra was a fairly regular backing unit on pop discs.
The Crewe/Slay collaboration on music and lyrics produced hits (quickly and in rapid-fire succession)for:
The Rays-'Silhouettes'(1957).
Billie and Lillie-'La Dee Dah'.
Danny & The Juniors-'At The Hop'.
This trend of hits continued throughout 1958,and the following year,Crewe/Slay wrote,orchestrated and produced Freddy Cannon's first million seller and international hit-'Tallahassie Lassie',followed by 'Okfenokee' and another million seller-'Way Down Yonder In New Orleans'.

The almost symbiotic partnership of Crewe/Slay formed the backbone of the original 'Philadelphia Sound',with the Swan record label(in which both men had an interest)pumping out their hits up and down the East Coast of America.

End of Part One.
Next part tells of his involvement with more artists plus his time in Detroit.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 11:17 am:

Thanks, amigo! I'm gonna cut & print it now.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 11:25 am:

Anytime Kev,
by the way mate,I need to get something of my mind with you,its trivial but its these little things that really do my swede in.
On an earlier thread about Romantic Songs,I jokingly asked for an Adams apples White Demo from you in substitute of some flowers.
I Obviously meant a Yellow Demo,
yes,trivial perhaps,but I just wanted to put it right.
All these Labels etc in my head,I dont want you and everyone thinking I dont know my Demos mate.
Aaaaaagh thats better.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 11:28 am:

Don't sweat it, amigo. Brunswick issued demonstration records on white labels after the company split from MCA/Decca in 1970. Prior to that, they were yellow (and used the graphics from the 1950s).
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 11:30 am:

Hey Kev,
then I am not cracking up after all.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 02:35 pm:

Hi Mel,

I'm not sure what your source is - "SMG" ? - but
here's a few amendments.

Danny and the Juniors - Crewe and Slay had nothing to do with "At The Hop" - that was
Artie Singer and John Madara.

The Crewe - Slay partnership goes back further
than 1957 - they were writing together at least
as early as 1954. An early Billboard story on them
- from '54 - reported that in the space of three months they'd managed to place no less than 18
songs. Good going by anybody's standards.

Kev, you might not be aware that one of the labels
Crewe recorded for, in his would be "teen idol"
days was none other than Brunswick. He had a one-off single on Brunswick in '57.

To tell Crewe's full story would take a book -
I did a quick check of my own database to see how
many Bob Crewe productions I had listed and found
over 160 singles - there must be a lot more I
don't have listed.

Here's a little puzzle for you all - there are
two singles on Dynovoice that have
links to a) Glasgow or b) Detroit
What are they and why are they significant ?

Another little snippet - when Crewe was recording
for Jubilee the sessions were done in Detroit.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 02:43 pm:


Sorry I should have read your intro more carefully
- Barry Lazell, a really nice guy who I met once
when I was living in London, died about ten years ago.

George Ingram was the founder of the UK fan club
for the Four Seasons - I haven't had time to check but I think there may be a web site for the
group that he has a hand in. Probably the only thing he'd mind about his article being revived
is that he'll know a lot more now than he did when
he wrote the SMG article back in, what, 1976 ?

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 03:00 pm:

Thanks Davie,
As I stated it is all taken from what I say above.Thanks,there is a lot more but if its going to be in-correct then I'll leave it and Kev,apologies mate,I will try to mail the rest to you in time and once more thanks Davie and apologies to one and all(and especially)to KevGoins.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 03:11 pm:

As I said before, don't sweat it! We all get to learn something as we go along here. Thank you for making the effort to bring this illustrious renaissance man's career to life.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Yan ( on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 06:52 pm:


...thanks so much for posting! Great stuff. I'm supposed to be doing nothing but packing/organising for the big move to Canada next week- instead I'm back here at soulfuldetroit- it's like a drug!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon ( on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 10:12 am:


You can always catch up when you get there.

Have a good trip and good luck !

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 02:28 pm:

Hey Yan,
Bon Voyage mate,
Remember me if you dig out a few stompers mate,not too fussy,anything with a 4 beats to the bar will do mate.(hee,hee).
I was in Canada once,Calgary and Medicine Hat in my Army days.
Anyway Yan,dont forget your buddies on the forum,and whatever your doing mate,All the best to ya'.

Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS ( on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 02:50 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 06:05 pm:

hows it going mate,
the stuff I have is in 2 articles and has various stuff regards his time at Dynovoice,with Frankie Valli and the 4 seasons,a lot of artists and Labels and also his work with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels etc.

Quite a bit actually,but as Davie has said,a lot of it is incorrect,plus it is dated at 1977.Davie has my full respect regards anything like this as I know how long he has been around and have some mags dated from 1969/70 with Davie reviewing or passing on info then.

Davie is a very knowledgable guy,as is a lot on here,but guys like Davie,Lars,David Meikle,and a few others that I had read about regards there input into various rare/northern soul mags back then but now only getting to know them,be it on a forum,are fromthe scene in its early but better years.

So as I have found out personally,these guys wouldnt blag anyone regards the various things that crop up.Which is a great thing,as nobody knows it all,as with you guys and chicks from the u.s. great things are being passed on to the likes of myself,still eager after 30 years on the rare soul scene to learn a hell of a lot more.

So regards what I have about Bob Crewe will remain off screen until a (maybe)better source can say any different.But if yourself Stu and Kev and Yan want to see the stuff I have then as soon as my pc is finally sorted and my scanner is here,then no problemo matey.

Then at least you can then asscertain yourself what is incorrect or not.But I wouldnt bet my mortgage against Davie and co.

Thats the end of my waffle and jesus,dont I go on.Once again Stu as soon as the bloody pc is up and running you know I will be bugging ya man with more of those dodgy jokes etc.
Later mate,
Mel(alias Clarence's double/Daktari).

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 01:52 am:

There is a good piece about Bob Crewes involvement with Kenny Nolan,as one would expect.
And your favourite group of all time is ,as you asked,mentioned,Disco Tex&Those good ol'Sex-o-Lettes.

The stuff mentioned is phenomenol,His time at Motown with the A&R Department in Los Angeles and obviously his Mowest involvement.

Kenny Nolan had a nice piece of success as you are probably well aware of mate.
But,I forgot all about the amount of Artists etc that Bob Crewe worked with.

But I will leave it there Stu,as I dont want to reproduce what looks a fine article if Its main information is flawed.A pity.But as I said above,Once my PC is on top again,and you want the article I will either scan it to you or whatever is best.

Once more thanks to Davie for stopping me and most of all letting me know about it.Jesus,typical Mel though,another bloody cock-up.
Later Stu.
Mel(moving to Crewe)

Top of pageBottom of page   By recordboyusa ( on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 02:34 pm:

Sorry if someone's answered Davie's puzzle yet, but...

Glasgow - The Poets
Detroit - Mitch Ryder

"First and last releases on Dynovox/Dynovoice".

The Sky was also on Dynovoice, but I'm not sure if that's Doug Fieger's group.

Jeff Lemlich

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle ( on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 05:31 pm:

The Poets were huge in Glasgow. Very popular.

Well done for cracking that Jeff!

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