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Posted By: Jim Liddane on: 03/29/2009 08:16:18 EDT
Subject: RE: The Poni-Tails - Born Too Late - 1958

Message Detail:
Actually, they were signed for three labels altogether - the original Poni-Tails recorded for Point Records and Marc Records, both in Ohio and then a slightly different line-up, signed to ABC-Paramount. It was for ABC-Paramount that they had all their chart entries.

They were not a serious group. They formed to sing at High School concerts, and how they started out on Point was that they had written a song called "Que la Bozena" which Tom Ilius, an Ohio music publisher liked.

He co-owned both Point and Marc records, and gave them a second song from his catalogue called "Your Wild Heart".

However, he had earlier also given it to a fifteen year old singer, Joy Lane who had a contract with Mercury, and just as the Poni-Tails version came out, she released her version.

For a few weeks it was touch and go, but Point did not have the muscle that Mercury Records had, and so it was Joy Lane's version which made it to Number 20 on Billboard. Actually, if you listen to the two versions, you will agree that Joy Lane's version is far far better.

Anyway, for Marc, they recorded "Can I Be Sure", and that also failed to chart, but the fact that the song "Heart" had made it national, had given Tom Ilius recognition in the music business, and he managed to interest Don Costa in the trio.

Their first release on ABC flopped, but the second, "Born Too Late" got flipped by Chicago DJ Bill Randall, and charted.

Although they did not really chart again (they had a few entries in the low 80's and 90's), they got a lot of exposure on American Bandstand, and used to get a lot of airplay. They had a nice clean-cut image, and ABC-Paramount wanted them to sign again.

However, apart from pocket-money, ABC had paid them virtually nothing in royalties, due to a contract which discounted their recording costs, wardrobe costs etc., before payment, and anyway, these were not to kids of poor families whose only way up was music, so they quit to go to college.

One of the girls went into teaching, another became a real estate agent, and the third became a dentist.

Years later, Poni Records brought out a CD titled "Fun Fun Fun", but the three girls pictured on the CD are models, and one one of the 12 tracks was actually recorded by the Poni-Tails, the others by a New York session group.

Finally in 1979, with ABC Paramount going out of existence, most of its masters were transferred to MCA, who re-released some of best ABC stuff, but not the Poni-Tails.

Then in 1995, MCA started licensing some of their un-released masters to various oldies labels and so you can find lots of the more obscure ABC stuff on all sorts of labels.

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