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OL:
The smash Broadway Musical
"Jersey Boys"...
brilliantly highlights the timeless
legendary musical
arrangements and memories of which
Musical Legend,
...Charles James Calello...
who helped to create many of the
great original
"Jersey Boys'
classic hit recordings,
in the Pop/Rock Music World &
was once one of the Jersey Boys, himself!
OL
is honored to do a special feature
Interview this week of June 1-7, 2014!
Welcoming...
Celebrated Producer Arranger
Composer, Singer & Conductor...

as we get to visit with Mr. Calello,
covering many of great moments &
recording session
highlights of his legendary music
arrangements for the Stars!...
From Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons'
Top 100 Billboard Hit, "Walk Like A Man,"
to Glen Campbell's "Southern Nights,"
to Odyssey's smash hit,
"Native New Yorker,"
 to Barbra Streisand's,
"My Heart Belongs To Me,"
& so much more...!
It's happily a long list, folks!
The Pop/Rock Music World, calls him
'The Hit Man'!
Oceanlight Records is honored to
present this OL Interview, by welcoming
the Master behind the Music...
...Charles Calello...
conduit of some of the greatest
Pop/Rock Music
ever written & performed...
Through the musical vision of
Mr. Calello's
legendary
Grammy winning Arrangements
to the Stars, and more than
100 Billboard
Top Charting Hits!
As part of Frankie Valli &
 The Four Lovers,
historically known as
The Four Seasons
early years, and those magical
and timeless arrangements for...
Frank Sinatra, Juice Newton
Bruce Springsteen,
Engelbert Humperdinck,
The Toys, Neil Diamond,
Barry Manilow, Paul Anka
& more...
For those millions of radio listeners
out there, whether you're driving
in your car, or in your comfort zone
listening to all of the top 40
great songs, chances are that
you've heard one of
Mr. Calello's
great Pop/Rock
arrangements,
through a long line of one of these
great Stars.
Need we say more? We certainly will,
on this OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly
feature, with Mr. Charles Calello as our
Special Guest Artist!
  
OL:

Welcome Charles, and
thank you
for giving us and all of the OL Site Visitors,
for what will be a 7-part
Interview on the
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

for the entire week of June 1-7, 2014.
We're excited to spend this week with You.
Thank you
and welcome...
  
Charles Calello:

Thank you very much for inviting me.
I'm looking forward to doing this.
You're probably going to rattle
my memory in a lot of areas.
  
OL:
That's great, Charles!
Let's travel throughout your very
illustrious career.
It is legend that in 1958,
You and your Band where
performing 'live' at a New Jersey
Night Club
in Newark...
and Pop/Rock Singer sensation,
Frankie
Valli of The Four Seasons,
 
walked in that night,
and was blown away after
seeing your Band perform.
Charles, with your stellar success as 
Producer and Arranger,
it's always interesting to go
back to the very beginning,
when You first knew
that music would be your life.
Tell us about your early musical influences,
growing up as a youth, in your
native Newark, New Jersey?

Charles Calello:
Well, as a kid, my Mother listened to
Country music.
She was an avid Country music fan.
My Father was a Club Date Musician.
He played weddings,
bar mitzvahs, and also played for shows.
Well, between my Father
practicing the Trumpet,
and listening to him play exercises in
popular songs;
and my Mother listening to country music...
I grew up with a pretty wide base,
of musical tastes from my Family.
 

OL:
Wonderful, wonderful! 
What became your first instrument,
and who introduced it to You?
  
Charles Calello:

Well, my first instrument;
I don't really remember
what happened to it,
but my Father introduced me
to the accordion.
And the reason why he wanted me
to play the accordion, back then...
pianos, in most of the halls
 that they played, were not usually in
tune. They were in very bad shape.
And you couldn't really hear them,
after they got a couple of hundred
people in an auditorium.
The Accordion Players
always played an hour before
any weddings, or bar mitzvahs,
and always made more money.
So, my Father thought by introducing
the accordion that,
that would be a decent career for me;
If I ever wanted to just play music.
As a result of that, I don't
remember what happened
to my first instrument,
but my last instrument,
the last accordion that I had;
I remember I kept it in a closet
for a couple of years, and eventually
I brought it back to the
Company that I bought it from,
which was Sano at that point.
I donated it to someone who was in need.
I think that I donated it to a blind girl.
I don't really remember her name.

OL:
Wow, that's wonderful. Charles,
even before your travels into the
Pop/Rock Music scene,
You actually have a jazz and
classical background?

Charles Calello:
Well, sort of. As a kid,
I think the first record that I
actually listened to on my Father's
Victrola as they were referred to
back then;
was a record of Miles Davis,
playing the song "Move,"
which was arranged by
Gerry Mulligan
, and that fascinated me.
The first record I ever bought was,
"Day by Day," by The Four Freshmen.
So, my background as a youngster
around the age of 13...
well, I think at that point,
most of the kids were starting to work
the Pop Music and R&B.
I was starting to buy jazz records,
or records that were musically
a little more interesting than just
Pop Music.

OL:
Your Dad was a consummate
Trumpet Player,
who also recorded for
Frankie Valli / The Four Seasons

early recordings?

Charles Calello:
Yes, me being the Arranger,
I used my Father in the
beginning. He was the only
Trumpet Player that I
knew... well, outside of the
Trumpet Player who was 
in my Band.
My Father played the trumpet solo on,
"Big Girls Don't Cry." Then he played on,
"Let's Hang On,"
"Workin' My Way Back to You,"
and all of the other records,
up until I think around '66,
that we used horns on.
He also played on some of
the earlier records that I produced.

OL:
So, it's kind of a Family affair?

Charles Calello:
It was sort of a lot of fun to have
my Dad, there.
The other cool part about it,
is that every now and then I'd hear
one of these records on the radio,
and it reminds me of watching my Dad
in the Studio,
playing one of my arrangements.

OL:
Wow, that's wonderful!

Charles Calello:
If my Father was alive today,
he would be 104.

OL:
What is the most important element
of making music, and being in the
Music Business itself;
that You to took away on lessons
learned from your Dad?

Charles Calello:
My Father's influence,
was for me to learn as many
songs as I could,
which was beneficial while I was
trying to establish myself as an Arranger.
I wound up coming off the road with my
Band, and also ended up, doing Club Dates,
which were similar to my Father,
although it really wasn't
something that I was really interested in.
But my Father encouraged me to
learn songs. And the more songs
I would know; he felt that the more work
that I would get, because
that's what leaders back then
really wanted. They wanted people
who had tremendous libraries.

OL:
When did You join your first Band,
and where was your first gig
with the Band
?
  
Charles Calello:

When I went to Arts High School,
I was about 15 years old at the time.
There is a Band called
Johnny Mars & The Rhythm Stars
;
which was the hot Band in the
High School.
Johnny
was in my same neighborhood;
although most of the kids that went to
Arts High School
, came from Essex County,
or the surrounding counties.
But fortunately, Johnny lived 
about maybe four or five blocks from me,
and the Guitar Player in the Band,
also lived in that area.
But what was interesting about it,
was that he was already working,
playing Club Dates and doing
Concerts. The Accordion Player was
 Larry Yannuzzi.
He also went to Arts High School;
he got a scholarship to go to Harvard
and he became an Eye Doctor.
He became very famous.
So, when he left the Band,
I was the one that they asked to join the
Band. So, that was the first Band that
I actually joined, and we started to do
weddings. We were basically Italians,
working Italian Sandwich Weddings,
back then. Officially, we would do
Concerts for the Military,
and things like that.

OL:
It was a great experience?

Charles Calello:
Yes, it was!
  
OL:
Okay Charles, we're back in the 1950's
and you're out on a gig, performing
a few sets with your Band,
what's the song list on your sets?
  
Charles Calello:

We used to do, "Night Train,"
"Flying Home," and do
some Broadway standards. We also sang,
like The Four Freshmen.
So, we did a lot of their
songs. "It's A Blue World," Day by Day"...
And we also had the lead Singer,
who sang pretty
much like a Tony Bennett, type.
So we used to do
production numbers with him like,
"Ol' Man River."
We had a pretty decent show,
and we were sort of
like a highbrow Band,
not very commercial in the
area, but most of the Musicians thought
that we were like the best band in town,
because we had the
best musicians and the best arrangements.

OL:
Oh, okay, interesting...
You went to Newark Music & Arts
High School
,
in Newark, New Jersey?
What was your experience there?
  
Charles Calello:
When I went to school there,
Connie Francis
was attending the school.
Connie
was doing a daytime
Television Show.
Occasionally, she would sing
at some of our events,
so we started to accompany
Connie.
There were other people
that were also pretty influential
in getting me more interested
in music.

OL:
Connie Francis
is one of the great Singers.

Charles Calello:
She lives not too far from me.
I still see her, occasionally.
The other thing about
going to the Arts High School,
is that you have all of
the best Musicians from the area.
Although I wasn't
really knowledgeable about what would
happen to my Music Career.
When I went to Arts High,
I had to play an Orchestra instrument,
so I took up the Bass.
And that's what really got me started,
playing with Johnny's Band.
I originally started as a Bass player.

OL:

How did Family and Friends,
play a role in your love for music?...
You talked about that earlier.

Charles Calello:
Well, my Father was really a good
Trumpet Player.
He had a great sound.
But he was not a modern jazz
player. He played sort of like
Louis Armstrong
.
My father heard Clifford Brown
and he blocked Clifford's records. 
My Father asked me one day when I was
playing a song on the Accordion,
"If I bought the sheet music to it?"
I said no, I just heard it on the radio
and I played it. So he said,
"Where did you get the chords?"
So I said, well, these are the
chords that I think that should be there.
So he says, "I've got to buy the music,"
so I said no, I'll write it out
for you. So I wrote the lead sheet out.
He took it out on his Club Date,
and he came back and said,
"Where did you get these chords?"

I said, well, these are the
chords that I think is on the sheet music.
He says, "No, my Piano Player says
that these are better
chords than on the sheet music."
 So, my Father then
influenced me to write down the
Clifford Brown
solos.
I would come home from school each day
and write out the solos that
Clifford Brown
played on
records. So, my Father actually
started me learning
how to take down dictation.

OL:
Your arranging music,
basically and instinctively,
 started almost immediately,
at that point?

Charles Calello:
I must've been about 15 years old
when I started to do this.
While kids were outside playing baseball,
I was in sight listening to Frank Sinatra
records. I would try to write the
arrangements on paper.
I would first listen to the trumpet part,
and then the saxophone part,
the trombone part, the strings...
I'd try to write those parts out,
and because of my knowledge of
harmony, from playing the accordion,
I figured that if they were playing a
G minor chord,
and the lead trumpet player had an F,
that it would have to be harmonized
in that position; would be the
7th on the top, etc.
So, it was pretty easy to figure
out. Although I learned later on that
some of the voicings that Nelson Riddle
used were a lot different
than what I was hearing.
But that's basically what I did
when I was a kid. I really owed that
to my Parents, because they allowed me
the time to do it.

OL:
With Pop/Rock Music being a
formula-based approach,
did You fold your jazz and classical
background; with jazz being
improvisational as it is, and the more
disciplined-focused style
of classical music into your Pop/Rock ?
How did that all come together in the
Pop/Rock world?

Charles Calello:
That's a very interesting question,
because I really paid no attention to
Pop Music, until I met Frankie Valli.
Again, we were this highbrow Band
and Frankie was really the one
that introduced me to Pop Music.
I used to look at Pop Music
as being extremely elementary.
Frankie
was the one that actually
showed me why Pop Music was
so important, and what was involved
with Pop Music. I started to
understand that some of the Singers
that he was into, really were a lot more
musical than some of
the people that I was listening to.
So, with my background, and also being
introduced to Pop Music,
the way I learned it from Frankie;
basically from a Rhythm & Blues kind of
standpoint. That's basically
how I formulated my approach to
making records.

OL:
What better example than the great
Frankie Valli
,
to be introduced to Pop Music.
That's the best way, wouldn't you say?

Charles Calello:
At that point,
I didn't really realize how talented
Frankie
really was because we were kids.
While I was a kid. He was a little older
than I am. I had no idea how much
he was in tuned with
what we needed to do,
in order for us to have a career in the
Music Business.
Pretty much everybody that's associated
with the four seasons, really owe their
careers to Frankie.
If it wasn't for Frankie, none of us would
have been successful.

OL:
Before Digital Downloads and CD's,
there were turntables, 45's and LP records.
Who were some of the Artists that were
on your turntable?
  
Charles Calello:

Like I mentioned before,
Miles Davis
was the first record that I ever
listened to. I listened to that
record about maybe 2000 times. [laughing]
I listen to it pretty much, you know,
2, 3, 4, 6 times
a day, for a long time. I bought an
Oscar Peterson
record,
when I was around that same age,
and I started to buy Jazz records.
I started to buy some of the classic Singers
at that time; Sinatra,
Nat "King"
Cole, not really understanding
that Nelson Riddle really wrote
all of those arrangements.
I also became interested in the
Vocal Groups; sort of like
The Four Freshmen and the Hi-Lo's.
I was also interested into listening to
Big Bands: Count Basie,
Duke Ellington
, even West coast music,
like Stan Kenton, Shorty Rogers,
Andre Previn
...
People that I really admired.
Plus, taking into consideration,
that I'm not too far from New Jersey,
was Birdland, and I got to see a lot of the
great Jazz Artists. I would buy records
that they made,
like Cannonball Adderley.
Those were the records that I really bought
as a kid.

OL:
Charles,
it seems like you've had a wide
listening variety of music, that's great.
No one could have a better take on it
than a Producer and Arranger of your
stature, as one who's Career
spans from all media formats of music
to date. What do You think about
Digital Downloads, and it's immediacy of
getting music to the
Consumer buying public?

Charles Calello:

Well, there's a lot of pro's and cons' about
digital downloads and what it has done to
the Music Business. When we first started to
make records, there were approximately
6,000 records a year,
that were released.
Now, there is about 80,000 records.
We're done talking about CD's.
The advantage today, is  kids don't
have to go to a Record Company
to get their records released,
because the equipment that they need
to record with, is accessible,
it's inexpensive today.
As a result of it, the digital
world has helped a lot of Artists.
The negative factor is, that the music
became something that the kids
could get for nothing. But as a result of
the digital downloads, being able to be
delivered to the kids
immediately; that's a tremendous asset.
The industry that I was associated with...
for 75 years, existed exactly as it was.
We wanted to record in the Studio,
we made a record, people wanted to buy
it, then they would go to the store.
Now, all of a sudden, sitting at home in
your living room, or digitally download it,
or view the Artist. It's another
mechanism, in what happened to
our Industry.

OL:
So there's pro's and con's?

Charles Calello:
There's positives and negatives about it.

 OL:
Thanks Charles, for that take on it.
Now, moving into your later education,
You went to the
Manhattan School of Music
in
New York City
.
What were your favorite courses?

Charles Calello:

Yes, I went to
Manhattan School of Music
...
basically, because after I got out of
High School,
I was still studying arranging.
When I was in high school,
there was a teacher that introduced us
to Schillinger, which was a method of
writing music through mathematics that
I became interested in.
George Gershwin
wrote parts of
Porgy
and Bess,
Using the Schillinger System.
Glenn Miller
also studied it and he used it
 as an Arranger, to create
music... So, I wanted to learn more
about the techniques of writing
arrangements. So, when I went
to Manhattan School of Music,
it was only really an extension of Music
and Arts High School. Because a
lot of things that they taught,
we basically learned like
theory and harmony and classical harmony.
All of those things I had already gone
through in High School, so I was
pretty much aware of that,
but what it gave me an opportunity to do
was to be exposed to a higher level of
Teachers that were able to
expose me to a lot of different music that
I'd never heard, or different Composers
that I didn't know about.
  
OL:
During this time, while attending
Manhattan School of Music
,
You met up with and started
working with
Songwriter Producer Bob Crewe
.
Tell us how this came about?

Charles Calello:
Yes, through Frankie Valli.
Frankie
was trying to get
one of the songs that we recorded out
on the market, and brought it into
New York,
and ran into
Bob Crewe.
Now you knew Bob Crewe
from the mid-50's, when he recorded for
RCA
and he had the hit record,
"You're The Apple of my Eye"...
As one of The Four Lovers. At that point,
I joined Frankie's Band as a Four Lover
around 1958
or 1959. We met Bob Crewe,
where Frankie rekindled a relationship,
and we became Bob Crewe's Studio Band.
  
OL:

Your very first music production
"The Name Game" recorded by
pop/rock-soul Singer Shirley Ellis,
a major hit in the 60's. Charles,
can You please share with the
OL Readers,
for those
who would like to know the difference
between Producing and Arranging?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, that came about three years later.
In the beginning,
I made 4 Four Seasons records.
 I also made a few records for
some other people.
But primarily I was an Arranger for
Bob Crewe
, and the records that we made,
were basically in-house.
It took a while for me to at least meet
a couple of people that would actually hire
me and give me an opportunity to make
records. In 1965, I met Al Gallico,
who published songs for Lincoln Chase,
and he was recording Shirley Ellis.
He and Shirley wrote together.
Al
hired me to make "The Name Game,"
and I recorded that record in 1965.
That year, I had two records in the
top 10 of the Billboard charts,
that were listed as the top 10 songs
of the year. One was "The Name Game,"
the other one was, "A Lover's Concerto."

OL:
Fantastic!
These are great recordings!
The incredible Pop Icon Frankie Valli
walks into a New Jersey Club one night.
Your Band was playing and Mr. Valli was
blown away by what he heard.
Do You remember what song that
your Band was playing,
at the moment he walked in?
  
Charles Calello:

No, I don't remember what we were
playing. Our Band was so good musically,
that it really didn't matter, what he heard,
when he walked in. What would've been
heard that he would never have heard
in any of the bands that were local...
First of all, most of the kids that were in
Bands were playing by ear.
We were Musicians; we could read,
we also knew harmony. Most of the kids
that were playing in bands, were playing
guitar and have Vocal Groups.
They would sing basically,
not really knowing the essence of what they
were really doing, because they weren't
schooled. So it was like a new world for
Frankie
, when he heard our Band.
  
OL:-
Tell us about your music arrangement
approach on "Walk Like A Man,"
and what it was like to
brainstorm with Mr. Valli /
The Four Seasons,
on their vocal approach,
to what is now without question,
one of the greatest classic hits
of the century?
  
Charles Calello:

When I started to make records with
Bob Crewe
, I realized that writing arrangements and making
records, were two different businesses,
and the musical brains that made the
records, were myself,
Bob Crewe
, and Bob Gaudio. Frankie,
was not very vocal in how to make the
records, at that particular time.
Although, his instincts were always there
about what to do, vocally. We worked;
it was Myself and Gaudio and Crewe,
that got together to lay out
what that tracks would actually do.
So, I started to work with Bob Gaudio.
Bob Gaudio
, I found out was
really, really brilliant. He didn't read
and write music, but yet, he was
really amazing.

OL:
He has a great ear...

Charles Calello:
Bob Crewe would also add his
musical ideas. So what I would do,
is that I would sit there
and write out the records,
and they would dictate what they wanted
the instruments to do.
And then I would write them out...
so that they would make musical sense.
When we first started to make the records,
I was being directed by
Bob Crewe
, who already had
half a dozen major hits.
So my education was; I started out by just
being a cog in the wheel.
It wasn't until "Dawn (Go Away)"
that I actually had an opportunity
to make what was the first of
many Charlie Calello records,
for The Four Seasons.

OL:

These are great recordings...
they are all just so classic
and we find ourselves listening
to these songs all of the time.
Charles,
one of the elements of your
great arrangements, overall, is that they
always capture and reflect the
sign of the times...
From your pop-styled shuffle
arrangement of Neil Diamond's 60's classic,
"Sweet Caroline,"
to the Pop Singer sensation
Ariana Grande,
who we see as the luckiest
young Artist on earth to be working with
the Calello's.
How much does social surroundings
play into the musical direction you
would take when arranging a song?
  
Charles Calello:

When it came time to do "Sweet Caroline;"
I was actually called by mistake.
Neil Diamond
...
I don't think he really knew who I was,
but Tommy Catalano, who was producing
the record, worked for
Bob Crewe
, at one point,
called me to make the
record. It was a strange experience,
because there was really not a whole lot of
feedback from Neil,
as to what he wanted. They just wanted
to add horns and strings to the record.
They had cut the track in Memphis,
and the track sounded okay, and the song
sounded okay, but it needed something to
bring it to life. I wrote the horns
and strings on the record.
When I would listen to a track
that was made, where I had to write
the ones in the strings;
basically, what I would do is that
I would take the information
from the track, and would try to
make that live. And try to capture the
essence of what they were trying to do
with making the track and make it live.
Little did I know that the,
"Sweet Caroline,"
bom, bom bommm!
would become so famous.

OL:
Yes, it's such an integral part of the song.
You can't sing it, without singing
bom, bom bommm!
That's the hook right there!

Charles Calello:
Well, that's basically what an
Arranger does.
He looks for ways to be able to put
musical ideas to enhance, or increase the
value of the song.
Like I said before, making a record,
and writing an arrangement,
are two different things.
In making a record, you have
to keep the listeners attention,
because you only have one aspect of
selling it... that's the person
listening to it. And a 'live' performance,
you get away with murder,
because you have
the visual which enhances the sound.
Making a record is a lot different.
There is one point you mentioned about
Ariana Grande
;
I first worked with her when she was
seven years old. I wrote an arrangement
for a pop song that she wrote.
When she got to be about 12, 
 I did a Pops Concert, with her doing seven,
or eight of the songs for the show.
She was amazing, singing with a
Symphonic Orchestra. I also wrote
some arrangements for her to perform.
My wife was instrumental in helping her
get her first agent.
That agent got her, her first gig,
on Broadway, at 13 years old.
She was brilliant as a kid.
You didn't have to be a rocket science to
know that she was the
goods. You meet somebody like that,
you know that if they work hard enough,
they can really do it.

OL:
She has an amazing voice,
an amazing talent.
Yes, we saw her on the
Billboard Music Awards
Show.
She's got some future ahead of her.
She's already breaking ground.
That's a special young talent, there.
  
OL:

Thank you Charles.
We look forward tomorrow
in Part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes
Weekly Series,
as we take a look back at Charles Calello's
collaborating arrangements with the famed
Songwriting Hitmakers
Bob Crewe
& Bob Gaudio,
& famed Recording Sessions for...
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons,
Juice Newton
Barbra Streisand
and Frank Sinatra.
Thank you very much Charles,
for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Charles,
is there
any music commentary
you'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview
1 of 7 segment?
  
Charles Calello:

The only thing that I can really add to this
 is that I was really fortunate for the
opportunity to grow up in New Jersey
and be close to New York City,
and play a part in what I
considered to be one of the
most exciting times in music,
which was the development of Pop Music.
Real Pop Music
,
as what we know today,
from the 50's, 60's and 70's;
what a privilege to have had that
opportunity, I'm really grateful for
the people that bought the records
and made it possible for me to
continue working.

OL:

Wow... Well, we are also grateful for
your arrangements, because they are
such classic hits!
Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And
thank you all for visiting
OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome Back to Legendary Arranger,
Charles Calello.

It's great to be with You, Charles,
this being Part 2 of our 7 day Interview
for OL's
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
Thank you once again.
  
OL:
As we go through a string of your
Arranging Hits,
let's go to the 1960's production
recording session of 
of The Four Seasons' hit record,
"Dawn (Go Away),"
Your arrangements,
Charles,
not only created the
now infamous hook 'chimes' sound
on this song; how were the
vocal arrangements and harmonies
laid out for the Singing Group?

Charles Calello:
The song was written as a folk song.
It wasn't written like we ultimately did it.
I found Sandy Linzer,
who wrote the song with Bob Gaudio.
Sandy
was writing with the student of
my Father's. My Father said that
he had a student who was writing songs,
and would I like to hear the songs.
So, he brought him to my
house. The songs were awful,
but the lyrics were brilliant.
So, I called Frankie. I said Frankie,
I met this guy who I really think is great.
Sandy,
I think was about
19 or 20 years old, at that point;
and I brought him to Frankie's house.
We introduced him to Bob Gaudio.
The first group of songs that he wrote with
Gaudio,
was "Dawn (Go Away)."
Now, the night before the session that
we were going to record them,
I met with Gaudio, like I did regularly
to be able to go over the songs,
and write out the arrangements,
and he started to play me this song.
Prior to that meeting,
Frankie
and I were in the car,
and we heard the Kai Winding record
of "More,"
which is the theme for the movie
...Mondo Cane.

OL:
Oh yes ...Mondo Cane.

Charles Calello:
And Frankie said,
"We  need to make a record with that
gallop beat."
So when Gaudio played me, "Dawn,"
he played it as a ballad, like a folk song.
I heard the song and I said, give me about
20 minutes with this.
I worked on it,
and I wound up putting the whole
record together, on the piano.
Frankie
and Gaudio
were in the other room.
When Frankie heard what I was doing,
he jumped off the desk and he said,
"What's that you're playing?"
I said,
that's "Dawn."
He says, "Oh my God, that's great!"
I explained to Gaudio
 that I was going to use 'bells'
and 'chimes', and I was going to use this
figure from West Side Story
[dong... dong...], all of the ingredients.
I wrote this thing out, and Nick Massi
re-did the vocal arrangement.
They went in to do the vocal
arrangement. At that point,
Nicky
was pretty much doing all the
vocal arrangements. Nicky was really
brilliant at that.
He was great at doo-wop, but he was
also great at doing commercial parts.
And what I stuffed them with,
I stuffed them with a whole bunch
of different chords that they had never
thought about using, so it gave them
a lot to work with. Sandy had
never heard any of his songs recorded.
He didn't even know that we recorded
"Dawn..."
He came into New York one day,
and I brought him to the Studio,
the first time that he was in the Studio and
Tom Dowd
was the Engineer on the date
that we cut it at Atlantic Records.
It was the first record that we made on
8-track. So, Tom was about ready to close
the Studio;
I said, Tom, can you put up "Dawn..."
I think he had just finished the vocals.
I heard it, I knew that this would
blow Sandy, away.
So, Tom put up the tracks,
and rolled it back to the top and put up
the voices, and play the record.
Sandy
started to cry. It blew him away.

OL:
That's interesting, we never knew that,
"Dawn..." 
started out originally, as a folk song.

Charles Calello:
Well, that's one of the things that
Arrangers do.
What they do is they take the songs,
and they try to find direction for the song
that could fit into the marketplace.
That's why "Let's Hang On,"
was a little bit of
'Satisfaction'
with the fret guitar,
and a little bit of
Motown,
as a result of the rhythm section.
I would fit the songs so that they would fit
into the feel, so that they would be
radio-friendly.

OL:
The 'falsetto' signature singing style
is a huge part of the Jersey Boys' sound.
How much did that play into
your ongoing creative arranging direction
for The Four Seasons' celebrated hits
that you Co-Produced?
  
Charles Calello:
Well, the songs were basically written for
Frankie.
In my opinion,
Frankie
was one of the most original
Singers of that era,
because Frankie really had his own style.
And that was something that was unusual
in Pop singing because pretty much,
everybody sounded similar.
The Girl Singers...
You couldn't tell one from another,
although you could tell a little bit,
but it wasn't like they had their own
signature sound.
Frankie
had his own sound.
When you heard Frank Sinatra,
you knew it was Sinatra. You knew it was
Nat "King" Cole
. You knew those Singers,
right away. I turn on Country Radio,
as much as I like Country Music;
without listening every day,
I can't tell the difference between one,
Singer and another.
They are all pretty much starting to
sound alike to me, because the same
musicians make the records.
Back at that time,
if you recorded in New York,
well, the musicians made the
same records. So if the arrangements
were different, and the singer wasn't 
different. It's hard to tell the difference
 between the artists.
But the Four Seasons basically had their
own sound...
It was a throwback of doo-wop,
but they really had their own sound.

OL:
For sure.
Did Frankie always sing in falsetto?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, the first time that I ever heard him,
he sang in falsetto. He's not really a Tenor.
He's really a Baritone, strangely enough.
 He's got a very strange voice,
because he could like turn a little knob
in his throat, and sing in a Tenor range,
and go in and out of his falsetto,
without you ever hearing the difference.
So, we'd go to record a song,
and he'd say that it's in the wrong key.
And I would say, no Frankie,
that was the key that we rehearsed it in.
Until we found the slot where vocally he
would put it, he would have
to play around with it until he
found out where he was going to place
the song.

OL:

Ah, we see...
You yourself, Charles,
were once an actual performing
 member of The Four Seasons,
which were formerly known as
The Four Lovers.

How did this come about,
and what were the different
musical styles,  as the group evolved into
The Four Seasons
?
  
Charles Calello:

When the Four Seasons recorded up
until 1965, Nicky was with the group.
So, 62, 63, 64 and part of
65, Nicky was in the Band.
I got a call after I cut the track,
for "Lightnin' Strikes."
I cut it on a Friday and I was going
to do the background vocals that
Monday night...
We finished it on a Friday night.
That Monday I was going to go
and finish the record,
and I got home and I got a message
from Tommy DeVito.
He said, "Charlie, you've got to come to
Pennsylvania, and finish this Tour
with us."
So, I called Tommy back,
at the hotel. I said Tommy,
I can't do it. He said,
"What do you mean, you can't do it?
You better be here."
And if you saw
"Jersey Boys,"
you'd know that when Tommy said that,
you better be here, you better be here
[laughing].
They sent a car for me.
I didn't even have a Fender bass,
at that point. I didn't own an instrument.
But most of the songs that I did since they
made the records, I knew all of the
vocal parts, and all the parts.
Since I was a Four Lover member,
I knew the previous repertoire...
So, for me to perform the half of dozen
or so records, it's not really
that difficult. They knew that
I could just step in,
without even rehearsing.
The rehearsal took place in a car,
on the way to Ohio.
The first gig we played was the one in
"Jersey Boys,"
where you see they get arrested?

OL:
Oh, yes.

Charles Calello:
We were working a State Fair,
and we were at a
Race track. At the end of the show,
the paddy wagon
showed up. Frankie walked off the stage,
he says, "Are you Frankie Valli?"
They put handcuffs on him.
"Are you
Tom DeVito?"
They put handcuffs on him.
"Are you
Bob Gaudio?" Handcuffs.
"Are you
Nick Massi?"
I said no, I'm Charlie Calello.
He said, "Where is Nick Massi?"
I said, he's no longer with the Group.
So, they let me go, I never went to jail.
That was my first gig with the Seasons.
I actually stayed with them
for about a year,
and then I replaced myself with
Joe
Long. We finally got Joe back,
because I was running
back and forth to New York,
making records, and it was just
too big of a responsibility.

OL:
Okay, being on the road,
and making records, sure.

Charles Calello:
My real focus, I was a Record Maker.
I wanted to Arrange and Produce Records.

OL:
Right,
so you wanted to stay on that path...
but we're sure that the experience
must have been terrific for that year.

Charles Calello:
What was different about it,
was that we were doing
Concerts. Prior to that,
the only real jobs that I played were
weddings, bar mitzvahs, and nightclubs.
We were doing Concerts in Colleges,
and Performing Arts Centers.
So, as far as that was concerned
that was really a lot of fun.
 
OL:
Now, we come to the one and only
Barbra Streisand.

Your producing arrangement
on her classic, "My Heart Belongs To Me,"
is truly one of the most beautiful of her
recorded ballads.
It has melancholy feel to it.
In working with Barbra
and Songwriter Alan Gordon
on this recording,
can You walk us through that
production moment?
  
Charles Calello:
 I was in California, recording
Engelbert Humperdinck.
I got a call from
Michael Lang,
who was representing me
at the time; and he said that he just
spoke to Charlie Koppelman,
who was running the
Entertainment Company.
He called me to find out if
I wanted to co-produce some songs
from the movie that she had made,
"A Star Is Born..."
because she wasn't happy with some
of the records.
So, Michael put the deal together,
and I went back to New York,
and a week later we flew out to L.A.,
again, and we met with Barbra.
Alan Gordon
played this song for Barbra;
she loved it. So originally,
we were just going to do songs from
the movie, but then Alan came in with
this song, and I went to the piano
and I started to rehearse her.
I laid the whole record out on the piano.
It was really fun working with her.
She's an amazing talent.
There is not a note that goes by that
she doesn't hear.

OL:
She's incredible!

Charles Calello:
Her standards are as high as you can get.
I found her a piece of cake to work with,
because I realized that the only reason
why she had somewhat of a
bad reputation with people,
was that she worked with people that
really couldn't deliver
what she wanted...
but if she worked with people
that really could deliver
the quality that she was looking for,
she was a piece of cake.
She's very, very creative.
I laid out the whole record.
The intro that I played on her piano,
at her house, is the intro to the record.
I put a tape recorder up;
I taped her singing the song,
and I laid out the whole record.
I took it back to the hotel,
and wrote the arrangement.
But what was really funny about it,
while I was in the hotel writing the
arrangement, she called about every
half an hour.
She'd go, "Charlie, Charlie, Charlie,
you could've been a contender,
Charlie." [laughing]
"How are the strings.
Charlie?
I love strings. How are the strings coming?"
She was like motivating.
As I was writing the arrangement...
when you write for an Artist like that;
it's almost like you're not
pushing the pencil.
They're over your shoulder,
watching you write every note.

OL:
So, it is a give and take thing, right?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, and as a result of it,
I wrote the arrangement.
I went into the studio,
and I think it was the second take of the
rundown. I ran the arrangement down,
she pressed the talk back button,
and she said,
"That's gorgeous, let's record it..."

and when we recorded it, I think it was the
second take that we used. And then,
the insert where the girls come in
and sing, she wanted to use the Oreos,
who were in the movie.
She called the Singers in,
and at the session, I gave them the parts
to sing that one section, where the girls
come in. When I came up with the idea
in the studio, she said,
"How did you do that? How did you
come up with that?"

So I said, that's my background,
working with the
Four Seasons,
coming up with the background parts.
She was really a lot of fun.

OL:
Wow, that's wonderful!

Charles Calello:
I'll tell you a little bit about the session.
We went to record the tracks at 7 o'clock
at night. At 4 o'clock in the morning,
we were still recording.
She was relentless. "Let's do one more,
let's do one more!"
 
Finally, the Drummer had a
9 o'clock date, crawled out of the Studio
on his hands and knees,
so that she wouldn't see him,
and he went home. She said,
"Come on; one more."

And then somebody said, well,
"Jeff
left."
Jeff Porcaro
was the Drummer.
He was the drummer in the Group
Toto,
also.

OL:
Oh yes, we certainly know of the great
 Jeff Porcaro...

Charles Calello:
Barbra was calm about it.
Then the next day,
I wrote the sweetening arrangement,
and we went in and recorded it.

OL:
That's a wonderful story, Charles.
 Thanks for sharing that with us.
We listened to that song all of the time,
it's just gorgeous,
what you did with it.
It really is.

OL:

Another great.
Frank Sinatra's,
his
warm and emotional take
on the Bob Gaudio / Jake Holmes
penned tune,
"Michael and Peter,"
from his acclaimed '69 "Watertown" CD,
is something to behold.
We love your legato-styled
strings arrangement,
on this track, Charles.
Was this session recorded 'live',
with Mr. Sinatra?
  
Charles Calello:

Yes, we did it at Columbia 30th St.
I'll tell you this interesting story about
that Studio. I was 18 years old,
and the Singer in my first Band,
was friend's with D. Anthony,
who managed Tony Bennett.
Tony
was doing an album with
Count Basie
, at
 Columbia 30th St.
I was invited to the session,
through this Singer.
What was really exciting about it;
I had never been to a real
recording session.
There was Count Basie's Band.
Tony Bennett's
singing in the middle
of the room, and Mitch Miller
was producing the record.
As I was watching this, sitting at
Columbia 30th St.,

I said to myself,
this is what I want to do.
The guy that was conducting the
Orchestra, was a guy by the
name of Ralph Sharon, who was
Tony's
Arranger at the time.
I said, this is what I want to do.
11 years later, I was in that same Studio,
recording Frank Sinatra.
I never expected him to show up.
I just figured that we would cut the
tracks and Gaudio would go out to
California,
and put his voice
on it. At 7 o'clock,
and I got on the podium,
and I brought my hands-down and
I started the session. I was halfway
through the first rundown,
when the air in the room changed.
He walked in, and I didn't see him.
The only thing that I could tell you,
is that the music went from
black and white to color.
That's what happened when he walked
into the room.
It was like something that you can't
explain that happened. All of the sudden,
the music came alive.
The Musicians saw him walk in the room,
and everything changed.
I was almost finished with
writing the arrangement down,
and I feel a tap on my
leg; I was at a podium,
maybe about 18 inches off of
the ground... I turned around,
and I looked, and there was
Frank Sinatra,
face-to-face.
I had never met him.
Gaudio
got the music keys,
and I never expected him to show up.
He looked at me, and he says,
"Are you
Calello?"
I turned around to say hello to
him, and nothing came out of my mouth.
I said, oh my God, this is Frank Sinatra,
what am I doing here? My idol.
The experience was overwhelming.
I actually became pretty good friends
with him, later on. He was really
a great guy to hang around with.

OL:
One of our favorites of all time...
We love him. That's great.
Terrific, terrific!
  
OL:

Okay... How spread apart in time,
was the recording date for the
"Watertown" session
for Mr. Sinatra?
  
Charles Calello:

He didn't sing the song.
He had to learn the song.
We cut the tracks,
and we cut them on three different days.
I think we cut them over a period of a
couple of weeks.
He came in for the sessions,
and then Gaudio went to California,
 and worked with him on the vocals.
When the record came out...
because they weren't from the
American Songbook, the public,
or the Record Company didn't support the
concept. But over the years,
it has become a lot of
his Fans' favorite record.

OL:
We love the poignancy that You 
brought out on Frank Sinatra's
 "Michael and Peter" track, Charles.
It has a very reflective thought about it,
and it brings out his intimate side...

Charles Calello:
There's nobody who could sing a song
like Sinatra.
Being in the Studio with him,
and watching what he
does to a song; it's hard to explain.
He was able to live every word he sang.
He put himself emotionally into the music.
And it was like, when he told a story,
he told it from the bottom of his heart,
and you believed him.
That was the secret of the way
that he put songs together.
He just spoke them in a musical fashion.
  
OL:

Of today's Crooners, and in terms of
sound and swagger,
who do You feel that would
best reflect the golden age of the
legendary Crooners
of yesterday... from Frank Sinatra,
to Dean Martin, Al Martino & so on?
 
Charles Calello:

About the only Singer that I heard,
was a Pop Singer, that actually
sings the music. well...
was Bobby Caldwell.
I made a couple of records with
Joe Bwarie,
whose actually the
lead Singer in Jersey Boys,
on Broadway right now.
Joe
really has a handle on this music.
Of course, there is a couple of people
that have high profiles,
that are doing the music right now,
that I'm not really a fan of the way
they sing the music.
But the only real one, that I felt
was able to stylize it,
and add his personality to it,
was Bobby Caldwell.

OL:
We saw Bobby Caldwell 'live',
years ago, at the time, it was called the
Westbury Music Fair
,
in Long Island.
It was great to see him 'live'.
He has such a clear, crisp sound.

Charles Calello:
I am not a fan of Michael Bublé,
or Harry Connick's
version of this music,
because it sounds like it's not
real to me; but Bobby's versions of them,
really sounded real to me.
I'm sure there are other people.
I don't really listen that much,
anymore... but he's really one that
comes to mind.
I just recently did a duet with
Deana Martin
, and her
Father. And what was really interesting,
I got a copy of the voice track, from
Capitol Records
with Dean's
voice on it, for us to do the duet.
The Engineer called it off, and it was
take 2... So the final vocal was the
second take.
They used to record them 'live' with the
band. Today, that doesn't happen anymore,
with the singers.
They spend days on getting the
performances. Someone like Dean Martin,
was magical. His performance was magical.
He just stood in the Studio and sang!

OL:
He's another one of our favorites.
We are a big Fan of Dean Martin!
Is the duet actually happening now?

Charles Calello:
It's out now on iTunes.

OL:
Okay great, will definitely look to get it.

Charles Calello:
It's called "True Love."

OL:
Okay, thanks for that.

OL:

Mr. Calello,
all of us here at OL,
join a long list of those,
congratulating You,
as having over 100 Top "Billboard" Hits,
spanning over a period of 50 years!
  To spotlight some of the
Top Billboard Hits,
that You Produced and Arranged
for none other than
one of the most successful
Pop Country Female Singers of
the 80's...Juice Newton.
To highlight a few of her hits
that You arranged...
"Angel Of The Morning,"
and
"Queen Of Hearts," these two hit songs,
having sold more than 1 million copies;
and let's not stop there...
more hits,
"Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me,"
and "Break It To Me Gently." 
Charles,
in the making
and arranging of a song,
at what point in a production,
do You often have that
"this is going to be a hit"
feeling begin,
and what are the essential ingredients
that are needed to come together
and make this happen?

Charles Calello:
Well, when we did "Angel In The Morning,"
the record really sounded good,
but the guitar player
that we hired, we cut the record at
Capitol Records
in California.
I like to work with three guitars.
I was one of the few arrangers that did
three guitars, and I used to write for
all three guitars. Most Arrangers
just gave guitar players chords sheets,
unless they had something specific
for them to play.
But growing up making
Four Seasons
records, working with
Bob Crewe;
working with three guitars,
gave us a lot of flexibility.
So the night before the session,
I requested a guitar player,
there was a new kid in town, in L.A.
His name was George Doering,
a very talented Guitar Player.
He wound up playing on all of
Juice's
records.
One of the things that I wrote in the
track was... I wrote this drum figure,
which was like [di di di dum...],
Which was almost like a march,
to make it a little more 'rock'.
George
was trying to get a sound
on his guitar, and used power chords
to go [ji-gi-ta dang!]...
and when he did that, I heard that
on the track. I said to myself,
this is going to be a huge record.
Every time I made a record;
if the record got to me,
if it blew me away,
I knew that somebody else would hear it
the same way...
Because we all have feelings;
if it invoked a feeling in my heart,
then I knew it could reach
somebody else.
That was one of the things that was
really exciting about that record.
"Queen Of Hearts,"
was very unique, because we used
four guitars on it, "playing with the
Queen of hearts..."
Those were four different guitar players
just overdubbing that [ji-gi-ta dang!]...
Just to get that sound,
we used the 12 string,
we used a tenor guitar,
a regular acoustic guitar,
and a gut string, like a Spanish guitar...
Four different guitars that were
mixed together.
And it played with those kinds of sounds.

OL:
All of the combinations of those guitars,
brought that one sound?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, you know it was fun to be able
to experiment,
and have the ability to be able to do that,
with those kinds of records.

OL:

You've arranged a total of
10 Top Billboard Hits
for Singer Juice Newton,
of which these were also successful
on the Country Music charts,
as well as the Pop Music Charts.
How much does the 'genre' type of
music play into your
thought arranging process?

Charles Calello:

When we did, "Break It To Me Gently,"
I heard Juice sing...
Juice,
to me, was a Saloon Singer.
What I mean by that is;
she would sing like the kind of person
who was in a saloon,
having couple of drinks,
pouring her heart out.
She really, really knew how to get down.
She had a soul about her,
that was different,
and although we made pretty
pop-styled records; when she did,
"Break It To Me Gently,"
she actually won a Grammy for the
performance. But when we were
making the track, for some reason,
the track wasn't sitting the way
I wanted it.
I figured that the only way
that I could get the sound that I wanted,
was that I had to bring in the guy
that played on "Native New Yorker,"
and some of the other hits that
I had in New York... Who played keyboards,
was Richard Tee.
Now Richard had his own style of
playing. But Richard,
he knew how to play music like
a gospel piano player.
He overdubbed the electric keyboard
part, which made all the difference
in the world. Then when we put the
record together,
I thought that was one of the
best records that we made together.

OL:
You gave her such a great sound,
and she had so many hits.
She was always on the Radio.

Charles Calello:
Juice
was fun to record,
because it was like a Studio
kind of record. We had the best players.
We had the ability to spend time
on the record, to make them good.
It was a lot of fun.
  
OL:
Thanks for that!
Lastly, in this segment, Charles...
In your days working with
Columbia Records,
as a Staff Arranger and Producer,
how did it compare to working with the
Capitol Records
Artists?
  
Charles Calello:
My experience with Columbia Records,
how can I phrase this?...
was sort of like bitter tears.
What I really went to
Columbia Records
to do;
I really wasn't able to do,
because of the politics.
It was the first time that I was
introduced to a big Company,
and at the time I went there...
There was a regime change
that was taking place.
I was hired by the wrong regime.
One of the first artists that I wanted to sign
was Valerie Simpson,
who I had worked with.
I loved Valerie as a writer.

OL:
She's great.

Charles Calello:
I brought her to Columbia,
and they told me I couldn't sign her,
because I was white. So I said,
what do you mean?
They said,
"Well, we only have Black Producers to
produce Black Artists."
 I said, well, that doesn't make any sense
to me, because some of the hit records
that I made, were with Black Artists.
I happen to think that talent is talent.

They were concerned,
at that particular time, about payola,
and things like this; because they were
a Public Company.
I wasn't used to the politics.
Ultimately, I did record the
Laura Nyro
"Eli..." album, which was
the first record...
that's actually my favorite record,
to date, that I made.
It was the first CD that I believe
David Geffen
was involved with.
That was his first client.
David
ultimately became the owner of
Asylum Records
.
He signed the Eagles, Jackson Browne,
and everybody knows David. Laura
was his first client,
and the thrill of making that record was
really, really great...
but I lost my job, over, making
the record.
The budget for making records,
back then, was about $20,000;
I spent over 40, and the record to this day,
in my opinion, is still a classic.
I lost my job over it.

OL:
Laura Nyro was on many turntables.

Charles Calello:
One of the other things that I
couldn't do; was I didn't have the flexibility
to do what I wanted to be able to do
in the studio, because the union with
the studio, made it impossible for us
to do some of the things
that we wanted to do.
After all Columbia Records was the audio
standard, at that particular time;
with Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra,
Barbra Streisand
and people like this.
Pop music was just starting to become
part of their repertoire.
They just signed Bob Dylan,
Simon
and Garfunkel...
The transition was taking place,
but it hadn't really fully taken place,
until after Clive Davis took over.
A lot of those artists were signed before
Clive
took over.
Like John Hammond brought in
Bob Dylan
, Simon and Garfunkel,
Blood Sweat & Tears
,
some of other the Artists...
But after that time, it started to loosen
up, where we could actually
record outside of Columbia,
but I wasn't a happy camper, there.

OL:
Okay, fair enough.

OL:

Thank you Charles,
for this wonderful time that we've
 spent with You in this segment!
We look forward tomorrow in
Part 3 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

doing one-take moments on your
extraordinary production work with these
icon Artists and their hits...
from Odyssey, to Barry Manilow,
to Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell,
the late great Laura Nyro & more...
Charles,
is there any music
commentary you'd like to share with the
OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview
2 of 7 segment?
  
Charles Calello:
I'll tell you one little story about
Columbia Records
.
The song, "When I Need You..."
The one that Leo Sayer had a hit with.
I cut that song with
Albert Hammond
, for Columbia records,
and without someone to push the record,
the record was not a hit with
Albert Hammond
. Leo Sayer
copied the record, note for note,
then had the hit.
I lost about four or five records,
with people copying the exact record
that I made, with other Artists,
because they promoted it.

OL:
On the same label?

Charles Calello:
No, they would hear the record.
Like,"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine,"
I originally cut it with Frankie.
It was written by Gaudio, and Crewe.
The Walker Brothers
heard the song,
because it was never a hit.
They cut it, and they copied the record,
and had the hit with it.
There were several other records
that I had that were like that,
but a lot of it had to do with
somebody really promoting the record.
I wasn't experienced enough,
at that point, to really know
how to use the Columbia machine.
I was too new in the business,
and was dealing with making records
as an Arranger, and not as a marketer,
or promotion person. Until I learned
that end of the business,
it wasn't a happy place for me.

OL:
Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome Back Charles!
We're so excited to pick your brain
on these sensational and timeless
Pop Hits of the Century!..
by some of the world's greatest Artists!
With so many hits from your
Discography of arrangements Charles,
we would like to visit
some of the world's and some of
OL's
favorites, in this segment...
covering a one-take moment of
some of your greatest
Hit Producing Arrangements...
This week,
being Part 3 of our 7 day Interview
for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
First Hit Song up!
  
OL:
The Disco music era basically
ruled in the 70's.
The new sound was everywhere...
especially in the New York City
Dance Club scene;
 sparking a whirlwind of
social and recreational partying style
with the Disco crowd.
The hit song, that You magnificently
arranged, Charles, none other than,
"Native New Yorker,"
by the famed group Odyssey.
Tapped right into, if not,
was a major player in the success of
Disco. Give us your one-take moment
on your Co-Producing this song,
with Songwriters,
Sandy Linzer
and Denny Randell?

Charles Calello:
"Native New Yorker"

came several years later.
What happened was...
I quit the business for almost
2 years... and in 1973, I came back,
and the first record that I made with
Frankie Valli,
was
"My Eyes Adored You."

Frankie
and I hadn't worked
together in about 6 of 7 years.
And while we were
making Frankie's
"My Eyes Adored You,"
Bob Crewe
came in on one of the
sessions that we did.
We did several different Artists
during the period that Bob
was in. I cut the record
"Voulez-vous Coucher"

with Disco-Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes.
Bob
had a hit record with
Monti Rock.
And he cut the song with
Monti Rock.
So, Bob was into Disco,
as early as '73.
After "My Eyes Adored You,"
we did "Swearin' To God."...
"Swearin' To God,"
was actually
the first Disco record that I made.
That was all Bob Crewe's
brainchild, he wanted to make a
Disco Record, and he wrote the song
with Denny Randell... and when
we made the record,
I sort of liked the fact that
these were like really musical records,
that you could really do a lot of things,
that you couldn't ordinarily do
with regular Pop Music. There was a lot
of flexibility with Disco,
because it was using Orchestras
and Bands. You could do a lot of things.
So, by the time we did
"Native New Yorker,"

I already had a couple of records
under my belt and I had a pretty good
handle on the direction.
I was working with Sandy Linzer
and Denny Randell.
I think Denny wasn't really visible
at that time, on the date,
that Sandy wrote the song with him.
They went in to make the record,
so they called me...
Sandy
called me to help him
make the record.
When I heard the song,
I played the record on the
piano, and Sandy said,
"What did you do?"

I said, well, that's the way the song
should go.
I played all
of the figures on the piano,
and I just wrote it out.
I said, this is where I hear this record.
Sandy said, "Don't go any further,
just write that down."

That was one of the fastest
arrangements that I wrote.
It took me about two hours to write
the arrangement on
"Native New Yorker."

OL:
We just love the strings on that track!
We just love the way it moves,
it's just incredible.

Charles Calello:
Well, it starts off with that
New York sound,
with the saxophone.
All of a sudden, it goes into that
disco feel of music. It was really very...,
in my opinion, cleverly written.
I liked all of the figures that I wrote
out. I liked the key, I like the way the
Band sounded.
I liked the way the Musicians played it.

OL:
Charles, in some of the experiences
that You've shared with us, thus far...
do You arrange music
right on the spot,
like You did with Barbra?...
Do You do that often,
or do You sit and think about it,
and map it out at the piano, beforehand?

Charles Calello:
It depends on the style.
When cutting a Pop record,
what I wanted to do,
is that I wanted to get a feel
for the song. I would play the song
on the piano,
until I felt comfortable,
and I would find a direction,
and a feel for the song.
Once I heard the Artists
singing it in my head,
then I could write it down.
But to just sit down and write notes on a piece of paper,
without having a direction...
Unless you have the
concept, you can't write it.
It's sort of like, what makes a
great painting? A painter looked at
something, he had a vision of what
he wanted to do,
and he painted it. Well,
without having a vision,
I wanted it to sound like New York.
When I did "After The Lovin' "...
I wrote the arrangement for
"After The Lovin',"
with David Rose's
"Stripper,"
and mind. I don't know
if you remember that song.
David Rose
had a hit in the '60's,
called "The Stripper"
[singing a little sample of it].
So, all of the horn riffs
that I wrote on "After The Lovin,"
came from that.
"After The Lovin' ,"
to me,
was Engelbert Humperdinck,
doing the male stripped tease.

OL:
Ah, okay [laughing]...

Charles Calello:
There wasn't a guy in the world
 who I knew who was
going to sing a girl to sleep,
after the lovin'.
I had to have an image in my mind,
in order to create the sound.

OL:
Ah, okay... interesting!
We've got to visit that
David Rose
song.
  
OL:
Next Hit Song Up!
"Daybreak..."
written by Barry Manilow
and Adrienne Anderson...
This shuffle good-feel
Pop masterpiece is so inspiring!
So many radio spins of the
Arista Records
recording;
we love your shining arrangement of
how the song builds into such a
 sunny frenzy,
with the orchestral and
background vocals, surrounding the
wonderful vocals
of the great Barry Manilow,
one of the great Pop Singers, ever.
We'd just like to say thank you,
 and we celebrate your awe-inspiring
arrangement on this recording,
Mr. Calello!
Tell us about this session?
  
Charles Calello:
That was the only record I think,
that I made for Barry. I got called to do,
I think... one or two arrangements
for him. Although Barry had worked for
me, doing jingles,
and I knew him really well.
Barry
was an Arranger.
He sort of put the concepts
together, himself.
There he rarely, would allow
someone else to come in and take control.
He basically made the tracks,
and I think I sweetened
that record.

OL:
It's such an inspiring sound.
Whatever you're going through in life,
it lifts you up, it really does.
It accomplishes that.

Charles Calello:
I thought that the record turned out well.
I didn't think he was pleased with it.
I left the session, not really
knowing if he was happy with it.
So, I never really got
a take on it. Similar, like the same,
I walked out of the Studio,
after doing "Sweet Caroline."
I didn't think that even Neil Diamond
liked the record.
  
OL:

This leads us to "Sweet Caroline..."
written and recorded by the one and only
Neil Diamond...
This mid-tempo pop radio favorite
in the 60's and 70's,
has an almost ballad-like quality
charm to it.
As Neil Diamond sings the chorus part
of the song,
it took just 3 famous notes of
your Arrangement that followed.
It was just that clear for You?

Charles Calello:
Yes, that little shuffle feel,
but after I recorded it,
Neil
was very, very expressionless.
So, I walked out of the studio,
not really knowing if I made
a great record,
or not. I always try to write the
best arrangement that I
could, and I knew musically,
that it would sound good...
And I always try to get it to feel good,
before I would put the notes on a paper,
I just wouldn't write it,
not less, I really wanted that.
So, I always thought the stuff
that I wrote, was really pleasing to me.
If it was pleasing to me, I knew that
somebody else would like
it. But when you don't get any feedback
from people in the Control Room,
it's hard for you to know,
if the direction you're taking,
is really acceptable.
So, on some of the records that I made,
I walked out of the studio,
thinking that I made a really good record,
but not really knowing if the people
liked it.

OL:
We think that when it's put out there
for all of the listeners out there...
the Consumer-buying public,
that's the real test.
There are some artists who are
quoted as saying that they didn't
like their performance,
and yet it turns out to be one of
their greatest performances, ever.
We guess it's all subjective,
but we love the feel of this song,
"Sweet Caroline."

Charles Calello:
That's one of the problems
that you get when you have Artists
that produce their own records.
It's hard for them to be objective.
Very few artists can be
objective when they're doing
the whole thing.

OL:
That's a very good point.

Charles Calello:
Billy Joel
is unique in it.
Paul Simon
was unique in it.
They make their own records.
McCartney
made his own record...
but usually, most of the people
that try to make their own records,
or tried to do everything;
are usually not successful.
Like Harry Connick really can use
a Producer, in my opinion.
He would be one person.
I think that his dimension of his music,
and his talent could be expanded,
if he just had all of the feedback.

OL:
When he first came out,
he was definitely doing the Sinatra path,
and in some respects, being compared
to Sinatra. But it seems that he also...
like Michael Bublé, they went off
into a more contemporary sound,
and tried to expand.
So yes, we see what you're saying
with that.

OL:
Glen Campbell is one of the most
beloved Country Singers in America...
a true Legend
What some may not know is that Glen
first started out as a session side-man
on the Guitar.
On your arrangement of his Pop-Country
crossover Hit Song, "Southern Nights," 
written by Allen Toussaint; did working on
Mr. Campbell's
track,
add a new dimension, knowing his
background as a session side-man?
  
Charles Calello:
Glen Campbell was an interesting session
to do. Glen was filled with a lot of energy.
We cut "Southern Nights" at
Capitol, Studio A.
He wanted to rehearse
his rhythm section. So, we flew out to
meet with him, and I put the
rhythm section together, 'live'
with his Band, in the afternoon.
I gave the Bass Player the bass lick.
I said, I want you to play
[bom bom boy-u bom bom Bom].
So, when I gave him the lick,
he started to play it. Glen said,
"How come the bass isn't playing on the
beat?"
I said, because I want to try
this figure, to see how it fits with the
feel that I'm going to create.
So, I gave the Piano Player the licks to
"Put Another Nickel In."

I don't know if you remember
this song [singing it].

OL:
Oh yeah, we know that song!
Got it!

Charles Calello:
So then, when the bass part
played against that
melody, and he heard it;
he was very, very impressed,
because they were parts that
they were playing. They just weren't
playing the chords.
And Glen came up with the intro lick.
That was his lick. When we put the
record together, and then,
to try to keep that flavor,
when I sweetened the record,
I used like trumpet clarinet.
I didn't use like regular horns,
I used almost like a Dixie Band,
so it sounded like New Orleans.

OL:
It certainly does have that feel.

Charles Calello:
I will tell you something very
interesting about that.
"Southern Nights"
was written by
Allen Toussaint.
I had the hit record
with "Southern Nights,"
when he had the hit record with
Patti Labelle,
with "Voulez-vous Coucher..."
At the same time, he copied
my arrangement on
"Voulez-vous Coucher..." 
with Patti,
and I was making another hit record;
I saw that he made.
I thought that was pretty funny.
Glen
is a great Singer,
a really good Musician.

OL:
Yes, we are sorry that
Mr. Campbell
is suffering from
Alzheimer's. He is without a doubt,
one of the greats & one of OL's
most loved, celebrated, and respected
Artists, ever...
we wish him well...

OL:
With equal measure, Mr. Calello,
there's no way that we could
leave this segment,
without asking You about the amazing
60's Girl Group, The Toys...
A Denny Randell / Sandy Linzer
adaptation of the great
classical Composer John Sebastian Bach's
"Minuet in G,"... 
produced their Pop/Rock, R&B styled
hit song, "A Lover's Concerto."
Charles,
your great arrangement
opens nicely with great
horn arrangements,
while at the same time,
the tambourine claps compliment the
solid vocal performance of each
member of the singing group:
Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt
& 
June Montiero...
who were signed to the
Dyno Voice
Record Label,
during the famous Brill Building era,
where many legendary Artists
flourished in NYC. 
At the height of popularity of the
60's Girl Groups; where, in the song,
did You place the emphasis on the hook?
  
Charles Calello:
Ah...
This was an interesting session,
because Sandy Linzer
and Denny Randell actually paid for the
session, themselves. And
"A Lover's Concerto"
was the fourth
song on the session.
We didn't have time to really
record it. It was 9:55.
We usually booked the Studio
for the Musicians, from 7 to 10.
So, I ran half of the arrangement down.
As soon as I played it, and they got
the idea of the feel; I said to the
Engineer, take it!

OL:
Right then and there?

Charles Calello:
It was the first take.
It was the rundown, that was
the record. We wrote the arrangement
at my house, the night before,
and recorded it... and it was not
the preferred song on the session date.
Yet, when the record was finished,
it was obvious that this was
the hit record.
There were a lot of very successful
people that heard the record,
and thought that the record was not good.
Some very, very high profile people
that were in the record business,
I won't mention the names. Finally,
Bob Crewe
heard it,
and he said, "This is a hit!" So,
Bob
bought the record from them.
Even though they were signed to his
Company, they had the ability to go
and make records for other people.
Bob
bought the record,
and put the record out on his own label.

OL:
We see...
Was it just that one, out of the
4 or 5 songs that
were recorded at that session...
he bought just that one?

Charles Calello:
There were several songs that were
written at that time. Sandy and Denny
were really writing great,
at that point. A lot of songs that they
wrote... pretty much anyone of them could
of been hits. I don't know why there wasn't
 a decent follow-up. Why that thing didn't
hold together, but I think a lot of it had
to do with the time period,
and what was happening
with Bob's Company.
But they were fun records to
make. It was always fun,
working with. Sandy and Denny.
  
OL:

Tell us about working with some of the
up and coming Artists,
who would come in and out of
the historical music haven
The Brill Building located in the creative
Tin Pan Alley neighborhood of
New York City?

Charles Calello:
It reminds me of the music business,
of where a person went to try to get songs,
or where a person went to try and
sell songs.

OL:
So, that was the spot?

Charles Calello:
It was the tin pan alley of the 60's.
That was the spot!
  
OL:

Thank you Charles,
we're having a ball, learning
about some of the behind the scenes
Production stories!
We look forward tomorrow
in Part 4 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

where  Producer Arranger Great
Charles Calello
shares with us, a one-word playback on
OL's weekly one-word commentary
segment of this Interview...
more is on the way!
  
OL:
Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome back, Charles...
this being Part 4 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
We're at the segment Interview feature,
where we introduce a 'one word' Interview
question to You, Charles, and if You can
please playback a One-word Commentary
Note for the OL Visitors,
that would be super!
  
OL:

Earphones?
Charles Calello:

Love them!
  
OL:

Conductor's baton?
Charles Calello:

Can't live without it!
  
OL:

New Jersey?
Charles Calello:
Terrible place to live. 
[just kidding...]
  
OL:

Concept?
Charles Calello:

Very important in making a record.
  
OL:

Melody?
Charles Calello:

My favorite part of music.
  
OL:

Produce?
Charles Calello:

Make it happen.
  
OL:

Arrangement?
Charles Calello:

Be creative.
  
OL:

Hook?
Charles Calello:

Most important in a record.
  
OL:

Flourish?
Charles Calello:

It has to have a good story. 
  
OL:

Movie?
Charles Calello:

Play is the thing, again, the story!
 
OL:

Thank you very much Charles,
for coming on as our
Special Guest Artist.

OL:

Thank you, Charles.
We look forward tomorrow in
Part 5 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview,
as delve into
Producer Arranger Charles Calello's
Orchestral Projects,
Stage Show Productions & more!
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!...


OL:
We'd like to welcome Back the
Award Winning
Producer Arranger, Mr. Charles Calello!
This being Part 5 of our 7 day
Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.

These are the Musical Performance gems
that golden Careers such as
Mr. Calello's
are made of!

OL:
Charles Calello...
15 Grammy-Nominated
Grammy Recordings!
More Top Ten Hits than any other
Arranger!
Inducted into the
Vocal Group Hall of Fame,
as one of The Four Seasons!
Served as Assistant Conductor for the
Florida Symphonic Pops Orchestra!
In tribute... The Charles Calello Show,
"The Master Behind the Music,"

at the Maltz Theater in Jupiter, Florida!
Guest appearances with
The Sunshine Pop Orchestra!
'Live' Concerts with
The Charles Calello Orchestra!
"The Hit Man," including Tours with
Country Star Ronnie Milsap
& still going!
All we can say is 'Wow', Mr. Calello!
What is that magical element that
You can share with all of the Artists who
would like to follow in your foot-steps?
 
Charles Calello:
The preparation is a lot different.
When you do a show, there's a lot that
you have to do, other than music.
A Show needs to entertain the Audience.
You just can't get up there, and play music.
So, throughout the years, and going to
Concerts, and critiquing the Artists that
I worked with, and giving them feedback;
as to how to improved their shows...
when it came down to putting my own
Show together, I knew that the only way
to make it successful, was to be
prepared. You need to have the proper
dialogue. You need to be able to have a
good concept for the performance;
and you need it to be entertaining.
You really have to wow people,
 and let them walk away, saying,
'I really enjoyed this. This was unusual.
I can come back, and see this, again.'

OL
So it all comes down to the big picture?

Charles Calello:
It's a much different animal, than making
records, because with records, you only
have the one selling point, people
listen to it. Visually, with a 'live'
performance, they're listening and they
are seeing your reaction to the music.
All of that, plays a major part on how the
Audience reacts. Especially, if you're
Conducting; like I would always be there,
Conducting. And they would know if I
was feeling it, or not

OL:
Right... that's part of doing a
'live' performance, for sure?

Charles Calello:
 Right.

OL:

What production preparation goes into,
when performing 'live' with an Orchestra?
  
Charles Calello:
Well, everyone of these Shows are
different. I have fun when I go out with
Ronnie Milsap,
because we do Symphony
dates, and we do Ronnie's 'Standards
Record'. It's always fun to get in front of
an Orchestra... a Symphony Orchestra,
and play your own arrangements.
When you get in front of an Orchestra,
and you put the arrangements up, usually
Musicians will tell, in 30 seconds,
if you know what you're doing.
Usually what will happen, is when I put
the arrangements up, the Musicians will
react. And because of the way that they
react, it's invigorating, because you see
that they're actually enjoying playing the notes that are on the paper.

OL:
Well, we certainly saw that on your Site,
on one of your 'live' recorded
Stage Performances. It's just fantastic,
we have to tell You that.

Charles Calello:
Thank you.
There's an interchange of encouragement,
back and forth with the Band.
What a Conductor is
really supposed to do, is to motivate.
So, if you motivate the Band, and if the
Band is really, really cooking,
it's a tremendous amount of fun.
Plus, you get instant gratification.
I make a record, I don't know if the
people like it, until six months later.

OL:
Yes, it's a whole different feel.
  Tell us about the Singers
on your 'live' Shows,
including your very talented Son
that You feature,
Charles Calello, Jr.?
  
Charles Calello:
My Son really is a good Singer.
He's also a good writer,
and a good Performer...
when he does his own music.
The first Concert that I did,
I used him, because I know that he's a
good Entertainer, and he could sing the
songs, but also Frankie Valli is his
Godfather. So, I thought that it would be
great for him to sing, and also when I first
bring him out on stage, I have him do,
"My Eyes Adored You."
And I said,
you know, that it's really great to have
my Son sing that song. The way I
introduce him, is I sort of set it up,
because the record that I made with
Frankie was very important, in both of
our lives, because we haven't had a hit
together, in about seven years,
when we cut that record.

OL:
Yes, well Charles, Jr. did a terrific job,
he's a great Singer.

Charles Calello:
My Son sings those songs, probably better
than anybody else that I've ever used on
the Show. He really nails it.

OL:
He really does. He has his own style.
  
OL:
Now, in 2006... Along with Frankie Valli,
Bob Gaudio,
and Artie Schroeck;
You all had a long overdue and celebrated
reunion,  happily for many Fans
around the world,
returning back into the Studio to
record again.
What did that feel like to work as one of
the original Jersey Boys,
including many of the
Musicians who worked on the original
Four Seasons
recordings?

  
Charles Calello:
 We actually made a record for Universal,
"Romancing the 60's."
It was fun to get
together. Actually, we hadn't worked
together, in a long, long time.
We did it in New York, which we hadn't
recorded in New York, in 30 years.
It was fun to go back there. And it was
also fun to collaborate, with Frankie,
Gaudio, Myself
and Artie... although
Artie
and I were never in the same room,
working together, when I was working
with the Seasons, and when he worked
with the Seasons, because I went to
High School with Artie. I got him started,
writing arrangements.
I used him as a percussionist,
playing on my records. I had the
opportunity to bring him into the record
business. So, when I went to work for
Columbia
, I got Artie to write the
arrangements for Frankie. But they knew
who Artie was, because we all grew up
together. It was fun to work together. It
was really enjoyable. We were a lot
older. It was a lot different, and it was
videoed. I never saw any of the
footage, but it was videoed, and we took
a bunch of pictures. We did some of the
things from Jersey Boys. It was a lot of
fun. Of course, I have about 500 pictures
from that session.

OL:
Wow, that's great!
Your noted work in Film is yet
another dimension to
your versatility as an Artist, Charles.
 You were a musical technical advisor
on the film:
The Transformers: The Movie (1986).
You also composed the music for the film:
The Lonely Lady (1983),
starring...
Pia Zadora, Lloyd Bochner, & Bibi Besch.
Also, a John Depp vehicle film:
Cry-Baby (1990),
features the trendy ballad,
"A Teenage Prayer."
Do You look at arranging music
differently, in comparison to
producing music for Film?

Charles Calello:

Well, I scored a couple of films, and I
made a lot of records that were used in
films. For example, when we did the
Transformers
in 86, that was a cartoon. I
didn't compose the music, I orchestrated
it for the movie. In the film,
"Lonely Lady," I actually composed... It was one
of the earlier movies, starring
Pia Zadora
.
I found out that that was a very difficult
business to break into, because it was
sort of like the record business. Unless
you worked with a group of people, that
were comfortable with what you were
going to be able to do; it was hard to
break into it. Because I was always so
busy in the record business, it wasn't
something that I pursued. One of the
things that I liked about scoring for film,
was the fact that you really get a chance
to use your composition ability. One of
the other things that's really strange
about it; is that you can go and write an
entire score for a motion picture, and
they could change the film. And
sometimes the films that they put out, are
not the films that you want your music
in. So I tried to view it; that if I couldn't
tell my kids to go see the movie, then I
wasn't going to get involved with it. So
you can draw your own conclusion from
it. Although, I probably could have broken
in, if I plugged away. It wasn't
something that I felt comfortable in,
because you had no control over it.

OL:
Once it was released to the Film
Producer?

Charles Calello:
I didn't want to write music to where
there were sex scenes, or violence, and
things like that. It just wasn't something
that I wanted to get involved with.

OL:
Oh yes, we can respect that.
What do You think of the Pop Songs,
moving forward?
  
Charles Calello:

Well, I'm going to quote Weird Al
Yankovic. "
In the 40s, they wrote songs
that said I love you in the 50s is was I
love you the 60s. It was I love you, the
80s. I love you." And it got louder and
louder and louder.
So, the thing that
happened to pop music; it became I guess
a lot more aggressive. When you listen to
songs. Songs are songs. In the future,
when they start to re-record songs; I don't
know how many rap songs that you're
going to be able to cover, and say hey
let's do a new version of this rap song.
But I do know that people never get tired
of the standards; the great songs that
have been written like... Going back to
even the music from the 60s, 70s, and
even the 80s; there are some really, really
great, great songs.
One of my favorite songs,
which was recorded by Barry Manilow;
was, "Trying To Get The Feeling."

OL:
Oh, we love that song.

Charles Calello:
Musically, it's brilliantly written. The pop
songs that are being written today, every
now and then you'll catch one that really,
really is cool. And I think that writing
songs, really hasn't changed a whole lot.
You listen to Adele's music; she wrote
great songs.

OL:
She's one of the exeptions, that we think
is the real deal.

Charles Calello:
Also, the kid that just one. This Grammy,
who plays the piano and sings...

OL:
John Legend?

Charles Calello:
John legend. The song that he's got the
hit out with right now, I really, really
love it.

OL:
"All Of Me" Yes, that's the one that's on
the charts right now.

Charles Calello:
I once saw Steve Allen do this, where he
was talking about writing pop songs, and
this was many many years ago. But he
says, "Imagine going to a record company
and tell them that you want to record a
song, and they say let me take a look at
the lyrics... And you gave them the lyric,
and then the executive agreed I can't get
no satisfaction, I can't get no
satisfaction, no, no, no satisfaction, but I
tried, but I tried, but I tried, but I can't get
no satisfaction. They probably would
have thrown you out of the office, but
when you put the music together, and
you make the record, it has great
significance
."

OL:
It takes on a different concept or a
different direction.

Charles Calello:
So, pop songs are either great, great
songs, or they could also be great
records. There's also a lot of things that
are written today that I think are really,
really wonderful. There's a lot of good
music that's written today.

OL:
Okay, speaking of favorite songs; what
would be one of your favorite four
seasons songs?

Charles Calello:
I think of all the records that we made,
I would say there were three that
stand out in my mind...
"Dawn (Go Away),"
"Workin' My Way Back To You
," and "Let's
Hang On
," I'm sure that other people have
other favorites, but those were the most
fun to make.
  
OL:

Thanks so much Charles,
and that was fun to know! We're all
enjoying traveling
with You this week, highlighting some of
the special musical times of your life
and Career!.
We truly look forward
tomorrow in Part 6 of this 7
part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
as we cover more of Charles Calello's
hit-making chart toppers,
with even more Stars...
from Englebert Humperdinck,
to Dr. Buzarrd's
Original Savannah Band,
Bruce Springsteen,
Roberto Carlos
& more!
  
OL:

Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Thank you and welcome once again, to
Producer Arranger, Mr. Charles Calello!
This being Part 6 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.

We're going to go right into more of the
Top Charting Hit Pop/Rock Songs
Produced and Arranged by Mr. Calello;
finding out about his favorite
recording moment
for each of these great Songs,
 and the featured Artists! 
Here we go!

OL:

(1976-RCA) "Cherchez La Femme"
Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
?
  
Charles Calello:
What I did when I wrote the arrangement,
I wrote the song "Whispering," and the
melody, as one of the counter lines in the
song; which was [da, da da di da, da da
da, da....] , Sandy Linzer, who produce
the record loved that melody so much
that he took it from the middle of the
record, and put it at the introduction.
One of the things that took place with
that record, what was really, really
great; when I met with Stony Browder,
to go over the songs,
Stony
said to me... He said,
"This record has to be
Esther Williams
in the swimming pool. It has to be the
MGM Musicals." It had that character.
What he did was he painted the pictures
for me.

OL:
Visually.

Charles Calello:
And he also wanted it to be like Duke
Ellington. So, I hired a big band; it was
very similar to what we used on "Swearin' To God."
But this was a real big band.
It was for trumpets,
four trombones, five saxes.
And I hadn't heard a disco record
made with that band.
When I wrote the
arrangements. I wrote the arrangements
to the songs, with that instrumentation,
and with that kind of flair in mind. And I
think that
"Cherchez La Femme," was
one of the coolest records, of the time. It
just sounded so great on the radio.

OL:
Ditto on that; because there so many
wonderful things that you have going on...
on this record. It's just fabulous to listen
to. Even if one doesn't dance, you can
just listen to it. There is no sound that's
getting in each other's way. One thing
enhances the other, on this recording.

Charles Calello:
Well, that's part of arranging.

OL:
That was so masterfully done.
We must say... well done.

Charles Calello:
Thank you.
  
OL:
Next song..
(1975-Columbia)
"Jungleland" Bruce Springsteen?
  
Charles Calello:
That was an interesting session. I got
called by Mickey Eichner, who was head
of Columbia Records, at that point; and
said that they signed Bruce Springsteen.
He was a new Artist, he had one record
that was out. He was putting out a new
record, and he wanted to put strings on it.
I went to the studio, and met with him.
Jimmy Iovine
,
was the second Engineer on
the date. He was sort of an apprentice at
that time. He also wound up engineering
that part of the session, at that point.
Bruce
was very, very interesting, because
I met with him, and he said he wanted to
sit with me and tell me what he wanted
the strings to do. So, I made an
appointment to meet with him at
11 o'clock at my office, and I met with him.
I played the cassette that he gave me,
and I said what do you want the strings
to do?
So, he stared out into space, and he,
and I could see him humming; although
he sort of heard something in his head, he
couldn't explain it. So, after about
10 minutes, he says, "You do it, man,
I'll see you tomorrow night. [laughing].
So, I didn't pay too much attention to
the song, because I was real busy
that day. I went home and I figured there
were only two sweetening arrangements,
so, I start them at 11 o'clock at night,
I finished them by 2 in the morning,
so that I would be ready to
send them to the copyist. I listened to
"Jungleland," and it took me from
11 o'clock to 6 AM,
to write the arrangement.
That's how much the song
mesmerized me.
And just not to interfere with the song,
it took me seven hours to write the parts,
so that they would sound like they would
fit in the record.

OL:
So, space is very important to you,
as an Arranger?

Charles Calello:
Oh yeah...

OL:
And you can hear it on this track.
Bruce Springsteen
and strings,
it really works on this track.

OL:
(1983-RCA) "Baby I Lied"
Deborah Allen?
  
Charles Calello:
Well, that record. We made for
Capitol Records.
Capitol didn't like it.
And we sold the record to RCA. I brought
the song to Juice Newton, and they
wrote the Juice Newton song. This would
have been great for Juice, because it was
right with the type of records that we
were making. Because they passed on the
song, I cut the song with Deborah.
All though Deborah didn't sound like
Juice,
I made it like I would make a
Juice Newton
record. The song itself,
was great. The interesting part about
that; it took me about 17 hours to get the
vocal on that, because if you just listen
to, and read the lyrics. The song was,
"if you tell me that you're going to leave
me ... tell me that you're just going to go
away, it's not going to matter. But now
that you're really telling me this is true,
for real, and you're going to leave;
I'm going to tell you, I really lied,
because that's not really the way I felt."

To get that message across, Deborah had
to believe that she was having this
conversation, and this was going to be
her last shot to try to keep this guy.
Although she wrote the song, and she
sang really well, her depths of emotion
were not there, and it took me 17 hours
to really put the vocal together, to get it
to be real. One of the things that was
really unique about it, after I made the
record... I thought it was a hit, and I was
surprised at Capitol Records passed on it.
But, you know, Motown passed on
"My Eyes Adored You."
And 33 other
Companies passed on
"My Eyes Adored You."


OL:
Honestly, we find it hard to believe that
anybody would pass on
"My Eyes Adored You."

OL:
(2004-Sony Discos) "Pa Sempre"
Roberto Carlos,
we understand he is one
of your favorites to work with?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, Roberto was great. I recorded with
Roberto
for almost 30 years. That was
last time I recorded with him, in 2004;
10 years ago, it's hard to believe.
Roberto
is probably one of the most
sensitive Artists that I've ever worked
with. He's just a beautiful, beautiful
man. His music is always inspiring.
His emotional connection with the music,
was always great. When I started to
record him, I became aware of him
through my Brother, who brought
me a song that he had written.
My Brother did an English translation of
it, and I was trying to contact the
Brazilian people, to see if I can get the
rights to the song, to write an English
lyric to it. And as I was trying to contact
him, he was trying to contact me, to hire
me to write the arrangements for his
records. So, we became really good
friends, and to this day I still regard him
as a friend. That record was written for
his wife, that died.

OL:
We understand.
His emotion comes through on the track,
right from the onset.

Charles Calello:
It's the kind of music that an Arranger
likes to make, because it's real.
You've got to capture it in the emotion.
But Roberto is really the best; I loved
working with him. Every time he comes to
Florida
now; I always make it a point to
go see him.

OL:
That's great.

OL:
(1975-Arista) "All By Myself"
Eric Carmen?
  
Charles Calello:
"All By Myself" was an interesting record
to make. Eric was signed to
Arista Records,
and I got a call from his
Manager. They said that Eric wanted to
put strings on a record. He cut the track,
and I added strings to the record. I found
out later on, that Eric wanted to take
credit for writing the arrangement.
So, I wrote the arrangement, and gave
him the baton to conduct. He couldn't get
through the first four bars, because it was
all ad lib. So, I made the record,
and I was really, sort of a little
disappointed that I never got credit on
the record, but I thought that the
ingredients that I added to the record,
really made the record have a lot more
importance.

OL:
It was the difference maker?

Charles Calello:
I thought so. Those things happen.
It's not a whole lot that you can do about
it, and I think that was the last time that
I ever worked with Eric.
We did that song, and this song
"Never Gonna Fall In Love Again,"

which I really liked.

OL:
Oh yeah, that song too, another great
arrangement, that You did, Charles!
  
OL:

(1976-Epic) "After The Lovin"
Engelbert Humperdinck?

  
Charles Calello:
 "After The Lovin'..." When I met
Engelbert,
he walked into the room.
He was 6'2". A really gorgeous looking
guy, well-built.
We're rehearsing the song...

OL:
Is he from England?

Charles Calello:
Yes, he's from England. Actually,
he was born in India. His Father was in
the Military. He was born in India,
but he's an English citizen. When I made
the record, I made the record, like a strip
tease; an old vaudeville kind of feel.
I wanted to paint that picture.
I always got a kick out of listening to it
on the radio. It was Engelbert's biggest
record. I recorded him about four years
ago. He still sings great. He still sings
really, really well.

OL:
As as Singer, he's always delivered
a solid performance.

Charles Calello:
Although he's had a good 'live' career,
his career seemed to be limited. He didn't
do a lot of media, and a lot of visible
things, like in movies, and stuff like
Tom Jones.
I think it would've helped his
career a lot, but I guess that's not what
he pursued, but he was always a
great Singer!

OL:

Charles,
a big thank you!
You're the tops!
Tomorrow in Part 7 of this 7
part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
as we come to the end of this weekly
OL
Interview, we'll check out more
records that Mr. Calello has arranged,
from Peter Allen, to Lou Christie,
Lorrie Morgan
and of course more
Frankie Valli...
!
it has been a blast to cover more than
5 decades of
Mr. Charles Calello
"The Man Behind The Music!"
  
OL:

Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting OL's
Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
 



OL:
Welcome Back, Charles!
It's great to have You back on again,
this being Part 7 of our 7 day
Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
Behind every great song, is a great story...
When a Songwriter's words and music
come together with a great Performance,
it magically takes flight through great
Producing and Arranging.
"This Master Behind The Music,"
Producer Arranger
Composer, Singer & Conductor

...Charles James Calello...
gave us the "bom, bom bommm!" in
Neil Diamond's
"Sweet Caroline"...
And as a member of and providing
the classic string arrangements
and orchestration on many of
Frankie Valli &The Four Seasons'
Hit Songs, "Walk Like A Man,"
"Candy," "Dawn,"
"Let's Hang On,"
"Working My Way Back To You,"
"Ronnie...
"
the soaring sounds for Barbra Streisand,
Frank Sinatra, Bobby Vinton,

& endless other Stars!...
We would need more than
7 Days in this OL Interview,
but are gladly grateful for the time spent
this week with Mr. Calello...

OL:
In this final segment of this OL Interview,
we'd like to ask You about some more of
your stellar Recording Arrangments!

OL:
(1975-Private Stock)
Charles,
Just to footnote on The
Frankie Valli
recording of
"Swearin' To God"... that You talk about
this song in the earlier OL interview
segment, and your lifetime association in
working with Mr. Valli and your
friendship... What we didn't know is that
this was the first disco song that You
recorded...?

Charles Calello:
Right... yes it was.

OL:
Well, Mr. Calello, we happily open with
this knock-out disco arranged song on the
OL Interview Playlist
, because it is our
favorite of your Arrangements,
recorded by the super cool and crazy
talented original 'Jersey Boy',
himself... legend Francis Castelluccio...
Mr
. Frankie Valli!
For this record and many others,
we are so glad that You returned
back into the Recording Industry,
after your 2 year hiatus.
But actually, You never left...
because all of your legendary
Arrangements on so many classic
Pop Songs are pretty much
timeless and revered as some of
greatest recordings in music,
period.
As we are sure that all music lovers
around the world, celebrate your Arrangements, too!.

Charles Calello:
Thank you!
 
OL:
Now, let's go to:
(1983-Arista)
"Not The Boy Next Door"
Peter Allen
?
  
Charles Calello:

That was the last record that we made
together. Peter was the first person that
I knew, that died of aids. Very early on,
it wasn't long after we made that record,
that he died. The first time I met him, he
was married to Liza Minnelli, when I was
recording Liza Minnelli in the 60's. I also
made a record with him and his writing
partner. He made some really, really
good records, and I always respected him
as a writer. This one record;
"Once Before I Go..."
He really, really wrote great songs.

OL:
Didn't Peter write "Fly Away" with
David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager?

Charles Calello:
Yeah.

OL:
That's a popular favorite.
  
OL:

(1991-RCA) "Something In Red"
Lorrie Morgan?

Charles Calello:
I never made a country record with the
Symphony Orchestra. But that's what we
did. We use like a pop orchestra,
to record "Something In Red."
It was actually her career song.

OL:
That was a big song for her?

Charles Calello:
That was a big song. It wasn't as high a
chart record, as it was a career song for
her. On the same session that we did,
she had another number one record,
with a traditional country song.
But this is the one, that people
remembered about Lorrie Morgan.
Also, I regard that as one of my
favorite records.

OL:
It's a beautifully recorded song.

OL:
(1966-MGM) "Lightnin' Strikes"
Lou Christie?

Charles Calello:

Lou Christie…
I started to record him
when he was on Colpix Records.
I recorded him two times before we did
"Lightnin' Strikes."...
"Lightnin' Strikes" was the third session.
He played me the song, on the second
session that we were going to do.
The song wasn't completed. I had to
rewrite the song, two other times,
and the third session that we did, which
was one on the MGM Record, we finally
put the pieces together. We rehearsed it;
the Angels were the background singers.
When we cut the record, I thought that it
was going to be a #1 record. I brought it
to Lenny Shear, who was head of MGM,
at the time. He listened to the record,
and threw it in the garbage. In front of
me, he threw it right in the garbage.
He said, "I paid $3000 for this piece of
crap."
I went home. I was totally, totally,
totally destroyed. I was driving back on
Jersey Turnpike, going home. That day,
 I said to myself, my career was over
[laughing]

OL:
Wow, that's such a great song.

Charles Calello:
The song was released six months later,
and Alan Gallico called me, and he says,
"Hey
Charlie, do you remember that
record that you rehearsed with that kid?"

He said, "I see it's #1 in Pittsburgh."
[laughing].
It became a #1 record!

OL:
Go figure!

Charles Calello:
I still talk to Lou, every now and then.
Lou's
a great guy.

OL:
So is he still singing?

Charles Calello:
Yes, he still goes out and does dates.
We actually did a concert together,
where we did "Lightnin' Strikes" a couple
of years ago. It was really a lot of fun

OL:
That's great.

OL:

And saving the best for last...
(1978-Unidisc)
"Sing, Sing, Sing"
Charles Calello Orchestra?

Charles Calello:
I got an opportunity to do a record,
a disco record, after I had those couple of
hits. The record company president was
Bob Reno
. I forget the name of the label.
He had "Fly Robin Fly" and he had a
couple of other disco records.
He wanted to do a big band disco record.
That's what this wound up being.
A big band disco record. I had the
greatest time making this record.
I still think that had it been on another
label, the record could have been a lot
bigger. But I know that "Sing, Sing, Sing"
made the disco charts, which was really,
really cool. For about 15 years, it was like
on everybody's exercising tape. It had a
good life. When I perform in person,
I very rarely do it, because it wasn't that
big of a hit; but some people still
request it.

OL:
It's a great recording.
We really love it!

Charles Calello:
Thank you.

OL:
Charles, all of us here at OL
would like to very much
extend our utmost of thanks,
You gave us your
precious time and shared your
Professional wisdom
and experiences with so many!
We are sure that all of our OL Viewers,
came away with a wealth of
knowledge about the inside workings of
how music Productions are put together.
Your genius sounds are all around this
world, and we wish You continued
legacies to build in your future
and upcoming Projects!

Charles Calello:
Thank you. This was great.
It was fun to do!

OL:
Thank you, to
Producer Arranger Conductor great
Charles Calello!
And thank you All for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


Playlist samples:
Producer Arranger Conductor Legend
CHARLES CALELLO

1. Swearin' To God - Frankie Valli ("Close Up" CD)
2. Walk Like A Man - The 4 Seasons ("Big Girls Don't Cry" CD)
3. Native New Yorker - Odyssey ("Native New Yorker" CD)
4. Stone Soul Picnic - Laura Nyro ("Eli And The Thirteenth Confession" CD)
5. My Eyes Adored You - Frankie Valli ("Close Up" CD)
6. My Heart Belongs To Me - Barbra Streisand ("Superman" CD)
7. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond ("Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" CD)
8. Lightnin' Strikes - Lou Christie ("Lightnin' Strikes" CD)
9. A Lover's Concerto - The Toys ("A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack" CD)
10. After The Lovin' - Engelbert Humperdinck ("After The Lovin' " CD)
11. Break It To Me Gently - Juice Newton ("Juice" CD)
12. Dawn (Go Away) - The 4 Seasons ("Dawn (Go Away) And 11 Other Great Songs" CD)
13. Southern Nights - Glen Campbell ("Southern Nights" CD)
14. Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen ("Born To Run" CD)
15. All By Myself - Eric Carmen ("All By Myself" CD)
16. Let's Hang On - The 4 Seasons ("Let's Hang On And More Great New Hits" CD)
17. The Name Game - Shirley Ellis ("The Name Game" CD)
18. Not The Boy Next Door - Peter Allen ("Not The Boy Next Door" CD)
19. Pra Sempre - Roberto Carlos ("Pa Sempre" CD)
20. Michael & Peter - Frank Sinatra ("Watertown" CD)
21. Something In Red - Lorrie Morgan ("Something In Red" CD)
22. Daybreak - Barry Manilow ("This One's For You" CD)
23. Cherchez La Femme (Se Si Bon) - "Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band" CD
24. Sing, Sing, Sing - The Charles Calello Orchestra ("Calello Serenade" CD)

*photo/album credits: see www.charlescalello.com
Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
CHARLES CALELLO
PRODUCER ARRANGER CONDUCTOR LEGEND
www.charlescalello.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 6/1/14 - 6/7/14


OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

"I happen to think that talent is talent..."

...Charles Calello

CHARLES ALELLO
COLUMBIA RECORDS
   THE 4 SEASONS THE ORIGINAL JERSEY BOYS
 FRANKIE VALLI & CHARLES CALELLO
        CALELLO & STREISAND
      ORCHESTRA
SINATRA/CALELLO
Charles Calello, Larry Yannuzzi,
Artie Schroeck, Guy Vinopal,
Louis Tobie NJ Arts High School mid 50's
Bob Crewe,Diane Renay, Charles Calello
Charles Calello &
     Engelbert Humperdinck
Charlie with Sandy Linzer
Frankie Valli
Charlie & Bob Gaudio
Laura Nyro
& Charlie
Charlie's Father
Pasquale Calello