Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Sandpebbles - Forget It (Calla 134)

Forget It

By request, here's some way cool New York Soul.

The Sandpebbles were apparently named after the hit movie that was sweeping the nation back in 1967. That film starred Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough and had something to do with China. I remember that much. I don't quite get the connection here but, hey, no problem.

The Sandpebbles we have here today were made up of Calvin White, Andrea Bolden and Lonzine Wright. Their sassy vocal interplay puts me in mind of The Soul Children, who wouldn't show up on the scene until the following year. Today's selection was their first release, and also their biggest hit, cracking the R&B top ten during the 'Summer of Love' (just to kind of put things in context, the flip of this 45 was called Psychedelic Tecnicolor Dream).

Great stuff.

The brainchild of New York producer Teddy Vann, they would go on to bring two more Vann compositions to the charts for Calla (including the great Love Power which, as David pointed out, was just featured over at DJ Prestige's smokin' Flea Market Funk) over the next year. Teddy had come up as a producer and A&R man for the interestingly named Triple X records in New York working with 'girl group' The Bobettes. A well known figure on the New York music scene in the sixties, he would go on to write for Broadway and Hollywood later on. As Jamison pointed out, he shared a Grammy with Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller in 1991. Vann was also the man behind the cult classic, Santa Claus Is A Black Man. Word.

The Sandpebbles, meanwhile, changed their name to "C and the Shells" and moved to Atlantic with Calla label mate Little Jerry Williams (soon to become known as the inimitable Swamp Dogg) in 1969. With Williams now producing them, they would chart twice more on Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary. When a third release, a cover of William Bell and Judy Clay's Private Number failed to make it, they were apparently dropped by the label in 1970. I found this Zanzee 45 on eBay, anyone know anything about it?


Blogger Todd Lucas said...

Love this record. Wish I could find a clean copy.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Todd Lucas said...

Oh, by the way, I have the Zanzee 45, which is pretty good. I had no idea the Sandpebbles and "C" and the Shells were related.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my request. I've gotten tired over the years of seeing it among my boxes of 45's and no turntable.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, teddy vann aka theodore williams. was Not married to Estelle bennett. he was married to rita dong, aka won ling. he never got anything produced for broadway or hollywood. "the sandpebbles" name connection is to his chinese american wife.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Phil X. Milstein as The Silent DJ said...

Estelle Bennett was married to songwriter Joe Dong, an occasional collaborator of Teddy Vann's. Perhaps Rita Dong was the sister of Joe Dong?

4:58 PM  
Blogger Red Kelly said...

Thanks for the info, guys. Not sure where i got the Estelle Bennett reference in the first place. I've removed it.

5:33 AM  

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