31 December 2009

Doo Wop Dialog[ue]: 38

(42/M/London, England)


I didn't intend to write so much - I suppose I'm still in the process of discovering how much I need to say, though I think that having disgorged such a gargantuan chunk the worst may be over ... I was also lucky enough to have a free, sunny (and silent) morning to get those impacted thoughts out uninterrupted rather than losing focus over some longer, more disjointed period.

So doing that was right for me but please don't feel there's any urgency about the speed (or length, come to that) of your reply as a result. Knowing that there is someone reading this, that I'm not flinging my words into a void (unless I press the wrong button) is the most important thing. You most of all, of course, as my fellow conspirator but also our invisible audience (whom I thank if they lasted the course with my three-parter. No skimming!)

What really extended it was I wasn't just rehashing stuff I'd written down at the time of the play but suddenly seeing more clearly why that play was the way it was through the enhanced sense of the music which has come from this happy struggle of trying to articulate my responses during our conversation. So not just our different backgrounds: two separate ways within me of coming to an understanding of the music (a four way conversation if you include our vocal audience!).

On the Gloria front, I can see that I haven't even gotten on to the fact that it appeared in a different guise some years earlier, sung by Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (presumably not the Drifters guy ... Brian, can you help?) and covered by the Mills Brothers.

I think there's a grey area about whether it's the same song - vaguely remember reading about about Esther Navarro's name being whipped on, or off, the credits for reissues of the Cadillacs' version, but I'll need to dig out my Doowop: Forgotten Third ... book to check. Think they've got lyrics too. (Has anyone reading, possibly a native Picksburgher, heard either of these Gloria Mark Ones? Is it the same tune?) When I've checked the lyrics, it'll be interesting to see if they have the same teen sensibility - suspect not, but can't remember. Anyway, need to rest from my labours awhile...

Re Golden Teardrops: The Movie - or 30 minute radio play, anyway. It wasn't produced in the end. A BBC producer asked for rewrites on spec, which I did and learnt a lot from - especially when pruning - but no development money changed hands. Still, it proved a good calling card, so no harm done, though I also learnt the wisdom of Doowop Collection Theft Victim Lou Reed's dictum: "First thing you learn is that you always got to wait." So no tape. But email me your address and I'll be happy to send you a copy of the script. You've helped me to understand it myself so it's the least I can do.

I then added a postscript which I'm too ashamed to reproduce here, in effect touting for doo wop tape compilations in return for my play. I say "ashamed" because I can't now remember which items I may have received as gifts around this time and which ones had been sent specifically in order to get a copy of the play. I certainly sent one to Clarke, who was very complimentary about it; I kept intending to send a copy to Alexandra, aka alex_lowlands, who features later, and was very helpful when I was researching the song Stand By Me, but I never did. To her, and other readers such as Pam, who sent me a wonderful CD compilation, I thank you very much and I regret my behaviour.

I hope to put a link to a copy of the script soon - subject to finding the relevant disc. The only recording which was made of the play is too rough (believe me) for any other ears, but now that I'm aware of the magic of compressed files, and inspired by a British comic who's been putting material directly online rather than wait for a yea or nay from the BBC, I hope to arrange a new recording very soon. Watch this space - if, at this late stage, you can awake your faith.

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