Dave Dexter, Capitol and the Beatles

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bill, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Bill

    Bill Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    Several years ago, I posted a link to a memo, written by Capitol's Mr. Dexter, explaining to his superiors why he had passed on so many records that then became hits for other labels during the British Invasion. I just came upon a column that discusses, and provides a link to, this amazing CYA memo. If the column has already been posted, I apologize, but this is great stuff:

    Dave Dexter, The Beatles, and Capitol Records | Folkrocks

    (plus, a much needed new Beatles thread!)
     
  2. forthlin

    forthlin Forum Resident

    Dexter was just an old school record company exec to whom the sound of rock 'n roll didn't resonate. He likely thought it was a passing fad when it was, in fact, a cultural sea change. I imagine some folks in the record biz might have been similarly blind-sided by hip hop in the 80s/90. Great article Bill!
     
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  3. Christian Hill

    Christian Hill It's all in the mind

    Location:
    Boston
    Can't wait until Dave Dexter III remixes all the early Beatles American Capitol albums!!!!
     
  4. jtiner

    jtiner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maine
    I've read most of the memos in the special collection referenced. It's an interesting look into what was going on at Capitol. Regarding Dave Dexter Jr. and all the heat he gets, it's easy to criticize now. I think that at the time, DD Jr. basically made the right calls regarding Beatles product.
     
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  5. side3

    side3 Younger Than Yesterday

    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Great article!
     
  6. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Senior Member

    Location:
    New York
    He was instrumental in bringing Frank Sinatra to Capitol. At least he can be given credit for that.
     
  7. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    Location:
    malibu ca
    hey, dave dexter gave us "the beatles on VeeJay" :)
     
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  8. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I'd bet he'd do a better job than the few UK remixes...if possible...LOL.
     
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  9. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Thanks Bill! I enjoyed this...I like Dave!
     
  10. sgtpppr84

    sgtpppr84 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midland, TX
    That was an interesting read at lunch today. Thanks for sharing @Bill.
     
  11. WMTC

    WMTC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Very interesting read! I didn't realize that Dave Dexter was that involved with bringing the Beatles to Capitol, nor that he was the guy that turned them down - thought he was only notorious for re-recording "She Loves You" in an airplane hanger :D
     
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  12. ShockControl

    ShockControl Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    In the 1940s and 50s, Dexter signed many great artists to Capitol, all of whom are more important to me than the Beatles.
     
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  13. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery

    ...There was a book...
     
  14. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    Location:
    malibu ca
    signing a known and previously successful recording artist to your label is dubious in terms of prescience.
     
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  15. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Senior Member

    Location:
    New York
    The “previously successful artist’s”career was seriously on the wane before he signed the dotted line with Capitol. Sinatra was reduced to recording novelty songs, as he couldn’t buy a hit record and was eventually dropped by his label, Columbia. Dexter Jr. made a case for him. It’s not all about signing new talent nor is it the world according to the Beatles.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  16. mahanusafa02

    mahanusafa02 Forum Resident

    This. And I know @Tommyboy is a Beatles fan, too.
     
  17. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    Location:
    malibu ca
    Ok, Clive.
     
  18. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Senior Member

    Location:
    New York
    It’s hard to suffer fools gladly
     
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  19. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    Location:
    malibu ca
    you're not bothering me at all. i'm here for fools too.
     
  20. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    To me, the problem with Dexter's sequencing had more to do with the fact most US Beatles LPs up until Pepper had only 11 songs. 3 out of the 9 LPs released in that period had 12 songs! Capitol's cheapness about the royalty system showed a lack of class. The Stones' LPs always had 12 songs!
    "Help!" was one with 12 songs, but 5 were instrumental soundtrack pieces. And it cost a dollar more just because of the gatefold jacket! Total rip-off.

    The US cover art was pretty careless and ugly in retrospect. Most of these covers had hyperbolic text marring the usually out-of-date photos. "Beatles VI" being the most representative of that.

    But they were all we had for about 20 years, or until the more discernible fan started buying UK imports in the late 70s.
    Then US LPs are fun nostalgia, but the true 'canon' are the British versions. Good thing "Magical Mystery Tour" was added.
     
  21. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southeast
    Sue me, but I love the cover of The Beatles Second Album.

    I love the album, too. If my house were on fire, I'd grab that one first among my Beatle albums/CDs.

    And as far as Dave and Sinatra ... if him taking a chance on a washed-up crooner gave us Songs for Young Lovers, Swing Easy, In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin Lovers, Close to You and More, A Swingin' Affair, Where Are You, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely, Come Dance With Me, No One Cares, Nice 'n' Easy, Come Swing with Me and Point of No Return, then Dave deserves praise even if he was clueless when it came to rock.
     
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  22. Bill

    Bill Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    Ever notice that, in every picture on the cover of the Second Album, each Beatle's mouth is open (or cut off)? Kinda creepy.
     
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  23. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Senior Member

    Location:
    OH
    [​IMG]


     
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  24. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southeast
    Yeah you're right.

    I don't know why I like it, maybe just memories of '64. It does to the uninitiated probably look like a mess.

    The photo that makes it for me is Lennon playing the barre chord and really digging in on his Rick 325. I don't recall seeing that photo anywhere else. (Although I'm sure some OCD Beatles fan will produce it for me, LOL!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
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  25. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    A lot of great Peggy Lee records too.
     
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