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  1. #1

    Please Mr Postman vs Mashed Potato Time

    I think this may have come up a few years ago but Id like some new thoughts. It was decided that Mashed Potato Time was very similar to Postman and Jobete got copyright to it. I just dont hear it-maybe a similar rhythm but nothing like Hes So Fine vs My Sweet Lord. Does anyone know it it was an open and shut case?

  2. #2
    I never thought it was that much of a soundalike either. Apparently, however, Motown did and therefore by the time Dee Dee
    Sharp's lp for the hit came out, Jobete was listed as a co-publisher and "brianbert" were listed as co-writers. Motown would
    go after other companies that did similar sounding records, but Mary Wells told me that the writers and producers would
    sit around a little record player listening to the hit 45s of the day and pinching ideas from them--
    What's So Good About Goodbye by the Miracles sounds a lot like Raindrops by Dee Clark;
    You've Really Got A Hold On Me sounds similar to Sam Cooke's Bring It On Home To Me
    The Contours themselves said Do You Love Me? was copied off the Isley Bros. Twist & Shout.

  3. #3
    By the way, Kal Mann of Cameo-Parkway told me they (meaning other companies) would only come after you if you had
    a hit. They'd wait and see if the record was gonna sell big before they came with the copyright charge.

  4. #4
    Very interesting-thanks. Any word on the Mary book?

  5. #5
    The melody line to the songs sound very similar to me.

  6. #6
    Mary's book should be out in the fall.

  7. #7
    I agree with Reese...it instantly reminded me of Please Mr Postman when I heard it.

    Randy...is this Mary Wells you're speaking of? Make sure you post it here on SDF when it's available.

  8. #8
    Yes, the Mary Wells bio by Peter Benjaminson.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by randy_russi View Post
    Yes, the Mary Wells bio by Peter Benjaminson.

    Great writer.

  10. #10
    I think Jobete getting stung over "Tomorrow & Always" by the Satintones prompted them to go after soundalikes vigorously. I always thought the case over "Mashed Potatoes" rested on Mann/Appell actually quoting some of the "Postman" lyrics, but have no evidence for that. The "tune" - based on the old C-Am-F-G sequence - was used in zillions of songs, almost as many as the 12-bar blues chord sequence. I think "Monster Mash" bears a strong resemblance to both "Potatoes" and "Postman", but Jobete never sued for that!

  11. #11
    Funny how Jobete would think nothing of suing over potential sound alikes, but have no probelm rush releasing a record to beat out the "competition"; think "Come See About Me" by Nella Dodds or "Love Hangover" by the 5th Dimension.

  12. #12
    Why does it seem to me as if Dee Dee Sharp was the vocalist who introduced Please Mr. Postman to us young American and Canadian pop radio listeners and record collectors? Many times, in 1962, I used to play the Black and White Cameo record (45rpm) of that song in 1962 -- Proof, positive, that the collectors and so-called experts are wrong when they suggest I merely had a demo or pirate copy of the song. Dee Dee Sharp was the only name that was printed below the song title or anywhere on the record. Until the 1970's, the only Marvelettes songs that I was familiar with were PLAYBOY and BEECHWOOD 45789 (on the flip side of the 45rpm) -- I heard PLAYBOY on the radio quite a few months after Dee Dee Sharp's ...POSTMAN. In the 1970's I first heard the Marvelette's version of PLEASE MR POSTMAN. However, there are several reasons why I have always preferred Dee Dee Sharp's version and why I have always thought that she recorded the song long before the Marvelettes ever did. Firstly, Sharp's was the first I heard and, at least, a decade before I heard the Marvelettes do it. Secondly, It sounds a lot more like Sharp's style or certainly not like anything I have heard the Marvelettes do (e.g., other than PLEASE MR POSTMAN, I have never heard a Marvelettes song with "Wa Doo" or "Wa Ooo" in the lyrics -- "Wa Doo" in ...POSTMAN and "Wa Ooo" in MASHED..., not to mention the fact that those sounds seem to accompany more than one of Sharp's songs; and the ...POSTMAN style sounds unlike the Marvelettes style, judging by the songs of theirs that I am familiar with OR it sounds a lot more like Sharp's style, as is clear in her MASHED..., GRAVY, or RIDE hits than PLAYBOY, BEECHWOOD..., etc. ever did). Thirdly, "Wait a minute, wait a minute", part of the ...POSTMAN lyrics, comes much more naturally to Sharp's MASHED POTATO TIME hit, which followed her ...POSTMAN hit by quite a few months, judging by the fact that the only reason I bought her MASHED... song was not because I heard it first -- I never heard it until after I bought it -- but because I saw her name on it in the store and her name was recognized only because I had been playing her ...POSTMAN numerous times before -- Incidentally, before I bought it I had a hunch that it would sound like ...POSTMAN, so naturally I was elated when I discovered it sounded almost exactly the same and with exactly the same Sharp sound and style. Fifthly, the Marvelettes sing "Deliver the letter, the sooner, the better" when Sharp comes to that part she sounds like she is singing with different words, I could never make them out, and the words seem to flow much better with the rest of the song.

  13. #13
    The marvelettes version came out first, recorded in August 61, hit number 1 on Dec. 11, 191 Dee Dee Sharps's version of mash Potatoe time hit in the Spring of 1962, and that was a great tune, it had a smoother sound than pmp, but the marvelettes had the style first and Sharp's version of mpt was a copy of pmp>>>.

  14. #14
    Bob,
    a then active member of the group wrote the song, Georgia Dobbins. Even still, if you listen to Mashed Potatoe Time
    Dee Dee even sings:
    Then they discovered it was the Most dance
    the day they did it to Please Mr Postman...

  15. #15
    Funnily enough, I heard "Mashed Potato Time" for the first time on my IPod and immediately thought it was a copy of "Please Mr Postman", even down to the background singing. I wondered who was copying who but now I know. How well did Dee Dee's song chart?

  16. #16
    #2; Isnt weird some people hear it and some dont. I dont hear it at all and I doubt if most did that it would get to number 2 again.

  17. #17
    listen to "Dancing Party" by Chubby Checker that hit #12 on the Pop Charts in 62/63, well Frank Guida & Co. sued that it was a direct lift of Gary US Bonds "Quarter to Three" part of the "settlement" was Cameo Parkway recorded a Guida,Anderson song "Not Me" that was only a minor hit for US Bonds but by the Orlons it sailed up the Hot 100 to.....#12!! Dee Dee Sharp only did Please Mr. Postman on one of the All The Hits LPs.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    I think this may have come up a few years ago but Id like some new thoughts. It was decided that Mashed Potato Time was very similar to Postman and Jobete got copyright to it. I just dont hear it-maybe a similar rhythm but nothing like Hes So Fine vs My Sweet Lord. Does anyone know it it was an open and shut case?
    Not quite open and shut , but the two records did sound similar. I took as just a popular sound that was around in the early sixties because Party Lights by Claudine Clark and Locomotion by Little Eva also have a similar groove in my opinion.

  19. #19
    Name:  av-5.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by splanky View Post
    Bob,
    a then active member of the group wrote the song, Georgia Dobbins. Even still, if you listen to Mashed Potatoe Time
    Dee Dee even sings:
    Then they discovered it was the Most dance
    the day they did it to Please Mr Postman...
    Wasn't that "they discovered it was the 'mostest' dance" ?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
    Name:  av-5.jpg
Views: 1911
Size:  21.1 KB


    Wasn't that "they discovered it was the 'mostest' dance" ?
    I thought she was singing "...they discovered it was the most, man."

  21. #21
    me too, reese

  22. #22
    Where can I get a copy of Sharp's recording? I need it. I have been waiting and searching all these years to own a copy of that song. The one I played was when I was 11 years old and it was borrowed only for a few weeks or months. I eventually had to give it back to the lender. The lender was at least in her twenties. I haven't the faintest clue as to her whereabouts now and she could be out of this world for all I know. I want that song to play on my mp3 player or my blackberry or on a CD or on the original Cameo 45rpm or on a vinyl album. I don't care. As long as I can have a copy. No one seems to have a copy. They say you can get any song on You Tube or online. Well, I can't get that one and I can't get a host of others, including the flip sides of 45's that never made it to the radio stations. Can you tell me where I can get a copy of Dee Dee Sharp's version of Please Mr. Postman? Please!

  23. #23
    Yea, robb, I should have typed, mostest...

  24. #24
    Dee Dee Sharp NEVER recorded Please Mr Postman.I mistakenly thought it was on one of the All The Hits LP's but it was NOT. She recorded PLAYBOY on one of the All The Hits Lps.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Not quite open and shut , but the two records did sound similar. I took as just a popular sound that was around in the early sixties because Party Lights by Claudine Clark and Locomotion by Little Eva also have a similar groove in my opinion.
    I agree, plus add "Monster Mash" to that list as well. I hear a similar chord progression, but I'm kind of surprised Jobete won that one. As for "Ask Any Girl", 1-2-3 now THAT was an obvious rip-off!

    BTW, when I was 12, I thought the lyrics to Mashed Potato, that Sharp was actually singing "Masturbator"!

  26. #26

    Writing Rip-offs

    I'm writing a book about the commercial aspects of Top 4o radio in the 1960s, and copycat songs is a big part of it. Kal Mann, Bernie Lowe and Dave Appell at Cameo-Parkway were the champs at this, but let's not forget Brain Wilson and "Surfin' USA" on which he had to eventually give a writer's credit to Chuck Berry. On the other hand, I think "Monster Mash" was more of a parody and should be considered in a different category.

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