Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


On Don Barrett’s Los Angeles Radio People website (LARP), I read an email sent in by a fan who couldn’t get out of his head what he considered a major performance sham perpetrated by Dick and Dee Dee at a small town teen-age nightclub in the middle 60s.

It seems somehow sad that his only remembrance of their performance, was as fakers who were booed by their Clarkston, Washington fans for lip-syncing their records.

As you all are well aware, I myself have NEVER lip-synced records (my performances of the top records of the 60s, including Diana Ross, the other two Supremes and, lest we forget, Cher, were performed using my own beautifully modulated voice).

However, it was common knowledge that the largest majority of my guest artists lip-synced their hits. This was also a usual practice in small performance venues as well. In the 60s most stages didn't have the hi-tech facilities to duplicate the over-dubbed affect of what helped make records hits in the first place. In the recording studio artists many times performed to pre-recorded over-dubbed tracks. So Dick and Dee Dee singing along with their own records in the 60s was not a “sham.” When you think about it, their performance was actually just one more over-dub.

Dick and Dee Dee were always great Lloyd Thaxton show guests. They sang along with their records and the kids cheered.

My mother’s great lessen to me as a kid, “If you can’t say anything nice about a person, don’t say anything at all” should be a reality rule for everyone.


Blogger Chuck Hinson said...

Dick St. John (Gosting) and Dee Dee (Sperling, now Phelps) were amazing for three reasons: Dee's fabulous falsetto, the emotion within their songs, and the slight recorded echo. Okay, so they "overdubbed" their vocals ... sang to their prerecorded tracks (ummm, isn't that sort what's called "karaoke" these days? Heck ... even The Beatles did that on occasion!).
Although Dick's left us (as a result of a fall a few years ago) and Dee's married and, I believe, in real estate of some type, their songs (and personalities ... they were a genuinely nice couple, I understand) will always be fresh and alive.
Incidentally, did anyone get to read Dee's book, "Vinyl Highway"?

9:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just remembering the mid-60s, mainly because I am working on my Class of 1966 40th reunion. I always enjoyed your show -- will you ever be back on TV?

John Pitcock

11:57 AM

Blogger Chuck Hinson said...

Boss, I just found a clip of the Turtles on your show! Totally cool (already seen it twice!) and while it's downloading to my PC, thought I'd share it.
If the link doesn't work from here, just copy and paste into a separate browser.

11:33 AM

Blogger Gary said...

Yes, that clip is from the Turtles home video release of HAPPY TOGETHER put out by Rhino a few years back. I know the clip survived in color but I always wondered why they put it on the home video in b&w. GREAT clip, though, isn't it?

2:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking to the lip sync posting.

In many cases I much preferred the lip sync performances. Some of the artiest do use a lot of embellishments to their songs... especially today... to try and reproduce that on a stage is a major task. And for performers appearing at small venues... the cost would be so prohibitive that... the performance may not even happen for some small towns.

Some of the performers that appear on the Tonight show SHOULD use lip sync over trying to sing live. It usually comes of so flat that they sound like an American Idol early reject. Plus is saves wear and tare on the vocals cords. Less cancellation of performances due to no voice.

This fellow that Lloyd was speaking of... sounds like the type that needs to expound on his under inflated ego. But in the world of free speech ... which we are losing at an alarming rate... Let the person pound his chest. We all have the right to ignore him.

I had not heard of Dick's passing. Thanks for that info.

I do not listen to real radio much anymore. The short play lists ... plus the loud annoying DJ's that must say something all the time, to make the radio station they're working for seem like they are getting their moneies worth. Have made it impossible to listen to anymore... KRTH here in the Los Angeles, Ca. area is number one on my list of radio station I refuse to listen to.

I have over 15000 songs in my record collection ... most of which are on mp3 disks and I rotate them in the car. So there's no getting tired of anything. Each disk contains approx. 200 songs. Which is larger than KRTH's play list right there. I get to hear every wonderful song that hit the charts from mid 1955 thru 1975 ... where during the disco era I lost interest in the music on the radio real fast.

Hope everybody had a fun April 1st. This fool did. Thanks for the space.

Robert V

2:34 PM

Blogger jtbwriter said...

I'm sorry all some moron can remember about Dick and Dee Dee is one of their "overdub" (great term!) performances....

Does anyone even think that the Supremes at Big Bear (American Bandstand) or Diana Ross in the
Netherlands (Academy Awards), to name a few, were live performances?

I'd rather see a good overdub then an out-of-tune or less memorable performance any day!

As for LT's inventive "performances"-I can't forget the "Blowin'In The Wind" on a bicycle bit-one of the funniest things I've ever seen!

Thanks for the memories!

7:49 PM


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