PART 1: The Jingle, The Song, The Band, The Beatles…
What started out as a TV spot for Alka-Seltzer was later recorded as a full length single“No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” becoming a hit for THE T-BONES in1966. And just like we can find SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION aka the KEVIN BACON GAME,as this one song will take us on a musical journey of the late1960’s and onward.
The original jingle was written by ALEXANDER BURLAND (The Nutty Squirrels) Producer JOE SARACENO turned the jingle into a full length instrumental recording using studio musicians credited to THE T-BONES (Tommy Tedesco guitar, Hal Blaine, drums;Carol Kaye electric bass; Lyle Ritz, upright bass). This studio band was actually part of THE WRECKING CREW, all “first call musicians” known for their exceptional studio chops for the hits of THE MONKEES, SONNY and CHER,THE RONETTES, THE TIJUANA BRASS and so many more. To tour as THE T-BONES would have cost them money as the studio money was so much more profitable than touring money.
The WRECKING CREW started in 1962 working at GOLD STAR STUDIOS on hits produced by PHIL SPECTOR (The CRYSTALS/THE RONETTES/IKEand TINA TURNER/THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS). As “first call” LA musicians they worked with producers as diverse as BRIAN WILSON, TERRY MELCHER, LOU ADLER, BONES HOWE, JIMMY BOWEN and MIKE POST.
LOU ADLER often seen court side next to JACK NICHOLSON at LA LAKER games or seen in the crowd behind the catcher at DODGER games LOU ADLER (with the signature white beret) was the originator of The Monterey Pop Festival, owner of DUNHILL Records and later ODE Records. He produced JOHNNY RIVERS, THE GRASS ROOTS, JAN and DEAN, THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS and won a GRAMMY AWARD for producing CAROLE KING’S “Tapestry” in 1972. He was Executive Producer of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and films for CHEECH & CHONG. Early in his songwriting days with HERB ALBERT they wrote “Wonderful World” a huge hit in 1960 for SAM COOKE and in 1965 became a hit for HERMAN’S HERMITS. LOU ADLER was married in 1964 to SHELLY FABARES and produced a few hit records for his then wife, along with one son
JIMMY BOWEN produced FRANK SINATRA’S “Strangers In The Night” (1967’s Grammy for RECORD OF THE YEAR)among other hits. “Old Blue Eyes” hired BOWEN as a record producer (using THE WRRECKING CREW) for his newly established (1960) REPRISE RECORDS, thus giving a new meaning to “CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD”. SINATRA garnered the fellowship of the RAT PACK by signing DEAN MARTIN, SAMMY DAVIS ,Jr ,also NANCY SINATRA, DINO, DESI and BILLY to the label. In later years BOWEN worked with GLEN CAMPBELL, KENNY ROGERS, HANK WILLIAMS,Jr, THE OAK RIDGE BOYS, REBA McEntire, GEORGE STRAIT, SUZY BOGGUSS, KIM CARNES, CONWAY TWITTY and GARTH BROOKS.
BONES HOWE originally was an engineer under ADLER. He later produced hits with THE WRECKING CREW for THE ASSOCIATION and the 5th DIMENSION.
TERRY MELCHER, the son of DORIS DAY, was a singer, songwriter and as a producer he helped develop the “California Sound” and “folk rock”. He sang as TERRY DAY, later in BRUCE(Johnston) and TERRY, and was also in THE RIP CHORDS. MELCHER produced the first two BYRDS albums including the singles “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn,Turn,Turn” as well as hits by PAUL REVERE and THE RAIDERS.Years later he produced the BEACH BOYS’ hit “Kokomo”. TERRY MELCHER is also known as the original target of CHARLES MANSON’S family attack on 10050 Cielo Drive the rented home that MELCHER shared with girlfriend CANDACE BERGEN and his friend MARK LINDSAY. They had moved out prior to that fateful day.
MIKE POST produced the 1964 hit by THE MURMAIDS “Popsicles and Icicles”(written by DAVID GATES). Got his first GRAMMY (age 23) in 1968 for Best Instrumental Arrangement on MASON WILLIAMS (backed by THE WRECKING CREW) “Classical Gas”. At 24 he was Musical Director on THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW, then got his second GRAMMY for his theme song for THE ROCKFORD FILES, He was the “go-to guy” for many TV shows producers including The A-Team, Baa Baa black Sheep, The Commish, Doogie Howser, MD, Magnum, PI, and many others. To me he is best known for his “dun, dun” sound effect he created for the “Law and Order” franchises.
BRIAN WILSON:simply stated the genius of The Beach Boys.
PART 2: The Beatles???
What started out as a TV spot for Alka-Seltzer was later recorded as a full length single“No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” becoming a hit by THE T-BONES in1966. And just like we can find SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION aka the KEVIN BACON GAME, this one song will take us on a musical journey of the 1960’s and onward.
THE T-BONES as recorded was: Tommy Tedesco on guitar, Hal Blaine, drums;Carol Kaye electric bass; Lyle Ritz, upright bass. This studio band was actually the basis of THE WRECKING CREW, all “first call musicians” known for their exceptional studio chops for the hits of THE MONKEES, SONNY and CHER,THE RONETTES, THE TIJUANA BRASS. To tour as THE T-BONES would have cost them money as the studio work money was so much more profitable than tour money.
It was suggested that a “tour” band of THE T-BONES would be compiled to tour, photos etc…sorta like THE MONKEES (but not as famous). The T-Bones were now identified as JUDD HAMILTON, DAN HAMILTON, JOE FRANK CAROLLO and TOMMY REYNOLDS none who played on the original record, nor the (previous of course and) subsequent recording until the last album “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon”.
Years later (1971) HAMILTON. JOE FRANK and REYNOLDS have two huge hits with “Don’t Pull Your Love (Out)” and “Fallin’ In Love”.
THE BEATLES are connected to our KEVIN BACON GAME, so bear with me on this one. “Red Rubber Ball” a silly hit written by PAUL SIMON and BRUCE WOODLEY of THE SEEKERS was recorded by THE CYRKLE in 1966 climbing the BILLBOARD Chart to #2. Original called THE RHONDELLS, the band was managed by BRIAN EPSTEIN of BEATLES fame who changed their name to THE CIRCLE, JOHN LENNON re-christened the band THE CYRKLE. THE CYRKLE opened on numerous US dates for THE BEATLES and played THE BEATLES last live date ever in San Francisco.
Here’s the connection. In 1976, Alka Selter stops using “No Matter What Shape” and now rallies around a new jingle “plop, plop, fizz, fizz”. This jingle was written by musician TOM DAWES, a former member of THE CYRKLE…