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Norman Jopling

Wesley Laine is a pseudonym for Norman Jopling
Norman Jopling

Norman Jopling began writing for Record Mirror in 1961 at the age of 17, interviewing and profiling the era’s pop stars, and instigating a pioneering coverage of the hitherto-neglected area of American rhythm & blues. As the Sixties progressed, he also became the flag-waver for the UK R&B boom, the first music reporter to write – and rave – about the Rolling Stones, and the first London writer to profile the Beatles.

In 1968 he went freelance, regularly contributing pieces to NME, Cream, Billboard, Record Retailer, Jazz Journal, Let It Rock, Music Now and many more.

In 1973 he quit music journalism and joined CBS Records. He spent several years in New York in the late '70s working as a songwriter, and in the '80s co-authored a number of books including The Beatles Conquer America, Cliff Richard & The Shadows and John Lennon with Dezo Hoffmann, and Harrap’s Book Of 1000 Plays with Steve Fletcher.

In 1988 he rejoined the music industry, and has since originated a large number of reissue albums for many record companies. He lives in North London, and is currently completing a book about his early career as a music reporter.

List of articles in the library by artist

The 5th Dimension, The Byrds, Dion: Best Records of 1967: The Fifth Dimension, Dion & The Belmonts, The Byrds

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1968

UNLIKE DAVID Griffiths, I have no really clear-cut LP choices of last year. I've narrowed the field down to three records which I've written about ...

Albert King, Big Joe Turner, Booker T & The MGs, The Box Tops, The Dells, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Lou Rawls, Merrill Moore, Otis Redding: James Brown, Box Tops, Albert King, Otis Redding et al, Album Reviews

Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1968

Loads of R&B albums including Otis' great Dock Of The Bay LP ...

Andy Williams, Aretha Franklin, Joe Tex, Love, Mose Allison, The Shangri-Las: New Albums From Aretha Franklin, Mose Allison, Love et al

Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1967

NEW US SOUNDS INCLUDE Soul (Joe Tex & Aretha), Cool (Andy Williams) Beat (Shangri-Las, Love) Jazz (Mose Allison)   ...

The Animals: The Animals (Columbia)

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, November 1964

BLUESY NEW ANIMALS LPREVIEW IN DEPTH by NORMAN JOPLING ...

Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer: Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins: The Quiet Men from Nashville, Tennessee

Profile and Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, September 1962

THE TWO most dominant figures in the Nashville, Tennessee, music scene – a scene noted for loud noises – are QUIET men. Chet Atkins, we ...

Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield: Burt Bacharach: 'Time Is My Enemy'

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, September 1964

"I JUST DON'T get enough time to cram everything in," top U.S. songwriter, arranger and producer Burt Bacharach told me, during a two-day visit last ...

The Bachelors: 'Don't Call Us Paddy' Begged The Bachelors

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1963

"WHENEVER we talk to anyone they call us 'Paddy'," complained the three Bachelors. "We've got names you know." ...

The Band, Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, June 1966

With A Mixture Of Folk, Rock And Comedy, Dylan Shows He Can Take Every Insult But Not A Compliment ...

The Band, Bob Dylan: New Dylan

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, December 1967

Ten New Songs (RBP Editor's note: these songs would later be bootlegged, then released, as The Basement Tapes) ...

The Beach Boys, Helen Shapiro: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1967

Happy Beach Boys sing the single they don't like ...

The Beach Boys, Murry Wilson: Murry Wilson: 'If The Beach Boys Realize Their Dad Is On The Ball, They'll Work Harder!'

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, December 1967

ARRIVING at the Hilton Hotel to talk to Murry Wilson, I phoned his room to enquire as to whether I could go up and start ...

The Beatles: How The Beatles Spend An Evening

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1965

IT WAS A typical quiet evening at London's Savoy Hotel. Quiet that is until the Beatles turned up to see Bob Dylan. They all trooped ...

The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, December 1967

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR is another example of a subject in which the Beatles have been able to exercise their vivid imaginations. ...

The Beatles: New Album and Single

Report and Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1963

THERE'S been a lot of stuff written on the Beatles lately. Rightly, too, for they happen to be in the class of the rarest performers ...

Chuck Berry: Rock Lives!

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, March 1967

...especially it seems, at the Saville. Chuck Berry talks to RM's Norman Jopling for this in-depth interview ...

Chuck Berry: Saville Theatre, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, March 1967

Rockers Dominate Saville Again ...

Booker T & The MGs, The Mar-Keys, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Sam & Dave, The Vibrations: Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge et al: New Albums Reviewed by Norman Jopling and Peter Jones

Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1967

Rhythm & Blues galore! ...

James Brown, Solomon Burke: Solomon Burke: The Burke v. Brown Feud

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, July 1965

"TELL ME," I said, "all about you and James Brown. There was a two-second hush, and then Solomon Burke, king of rock & soul, launched ...

Tim Buckley

Profile and Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, April 1968

TIM BUCKLEY is a vague, interesting folksinger who doesn't know how many copies his records have sold or which of his songs have been put ...

Jerry Butler: The Iceman Talking: The Life And Times Of Jerry Butler

Interview by Norman Jopling, Cream, June 1973

BUTLER'S MUSIC Workshop is upstairs in a tatty warehouse building in Chicago's South Side, very near Chinatown and uncomfortably near Lake Michigan so it gets ...

The Byrds, Marvin Gaye, Gerry & The Pacemakers, John Lee Hooker, Mantovani, The Modern Jazz Quartet, The Olympics, Roy Orbison, Prince Buster, Jimmy Ruffin, The Supremes, Jackie Trent: Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston, John Lee Hooker, Byrds, Prince Buster et al Album Reviews

Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1967

Some sophisticated new Motown albums ...

The Byrds, Gram Parsons: The Byrds: Middle Earth, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1968

HIGH FLYING BYRDS TRIUMPH WITH A BRITISH AUDIENCE... ...

Glen Campbell, Hank Williams, The Righteous Brothers, Sandy Posey, The Small Faces, Velvet Underground: Small Faces, Velvet Underground etc.: New Albums Reviewed

Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, June 1968

Cockney Rock LP puts Small Faces in West Coast bracket ...

Captain Beefheart: Love Over Gold: Captain Beefheart Talks To RM Readers

Report and Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, April 1972

FIVE YEARS ago, the magic name of Captain Beefheart was no more than an imported LP in the window-display of clique-ey One-Stop Records. There ...

Arthur Conley, Linda Carr, Percy Sledge, Sam & Dave: Sam & Dave, Arthur Conley, Percy Sledge et al: Finsbury Park Astoria, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, October 1967

ALL SOUL CAN sometimes be a little too much for one whole show. But the Soul Explosion package tour going around at the moment manages ...

Freddie King, Jimmy Cliff, Junior Walker & The Allstars: Junior Walker & the Allstars, Freddie King, Jimmy Cliff: Saville Theatre, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, October 1967

IT WAS A 'soul show' at the Saville last Sunday, in the very widest sense of the term. Jimmy Cliff started off, and when he ...

Cream, Edwin Starr: Saville Theatre, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1967

AFTER LAST week's unfortunate non-happening at the Saville, almost everything that happened this Sunday seemed to be in contrast. ...

The Crystals' Story: Their Sound, Their Career And Their X-Certificate Disc

Profile and Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1964

Norman Jopling talks to the group with the hottest U.S. hit sound ...

The Crystals, Darlene Love, Phil Spector, The Ronettes: Phil Spector: The Man Behind America's Big Hits Comes to Britain

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1964

ONE OF the mystery men of the U.S. recording scene is currently here in Britain following the interests of his artistes. His name is Phil ...

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, Simon & Garfunkel: Simon & Garfunkel: Bookends (Columbia); Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick & Tich: If No One Sang (Fontana)

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, June 1968

FOCUS ON 2 GIANT LPs ...

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, The Troggs, The Walker Brothers: The Walker Brothers, The Troggs, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich: Granada, East Ham, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, October 1966

Scott Was The Hit On Walker Tour First Night ...

Fats Domino: The Man Who Sang Rock Before Haley

Report by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1963

HIS first million-seller was named after himself. Until last year he had more million-sellers than Elvis, who finally caught up with him after a hard ...

The Doors, James Brown, Joe Tex, Lonnie Mack, McKinley "Soul" Mitchell, Petula Clark, Roy Orbison, Sonny & Cher: New Albums From The Doors, Roy Orbison, Sonny & Cher et al

Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, April 1967

Orbison Gibson album — a fine LP but could be depressing... ...

Bob Dylan: Blonde On Blonde (CBS)

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, August 1966

"GUILTY UNDERTAKERS sighed..." sings Bob Dylan, somewhat prophetically on his latest folk-rock-rhythm-blues-smash-top-twenty hit. And now, as Bob is lying in hospital with a broken neck, ...

Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (American Columbia)

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, September 1965

THOUGHT I'D jump the gun and tell you all about this LP, just issued in the States but not here. Side one starts off with ...

Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding (U.S. Columbia)

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1968

BOB DYLAN'S LATEST LP JOHN WESLEY HARDING – A REVIEW IN DEPTH BY NORMAN JOPLING ...

Duane Eddy, Little Richard, The Shirelles: Little Richard, Duane Eddy, The Shirelles: The Regal, Edmonton, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, November 1963

THE OPENING night of the Duane Eddy/Little Richard/Shirelles tour was a lot better than most people expected at the Regal Edmonton, 2nd performance on Saturday. ...

Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall: Fleetwood Mac: Peter Green – The Guitarist Who Won't Forsake The Blues

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, August 1967

ANYONE WHO in a year has built up the reputation of being Britain's best blues guitarist, must have some interesting things to say, and therefore ...

Aretha Franklin: Lady Soul

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1968

SOME PEOPLE are going around saying that Aretha Franklin is the Queen Of Soul, many people are buying her records, and one person (show compère ...

Heinz's Hat, Some Surfing, & The Sharks!

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, October 1964

THE FACT that Heinz has just visited Australia stuck out the proverbial mile when I met him last week, after an exhausting two week tour ...

Jimi Hendrix: Man, Myth Or Magic? Jimi Hendrix is Back, and Happy, and Talking…

Interview by Norman Jopling, Music Now, September 1970

JIMI HENDRIX is staying at a West End hotel prior to his appearance at the Isle Of Wight Festival and his forthcoming European tour. ...

Jimi Hendrix, The Who: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who: Saville Theatre, London

Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1967

GLOOMY SAVILLE ...

Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones: Aftermath: Mick Jagger Answers Some Questions

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, August 1967

WHEN I SPOKE to Mick Jagger everything was "nice" and "groovy" with him, so don't believe everything you read in the papers. And he's happy ...

Johnny Burnette: 'No Dance Discs From Me'

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, November 1963

THE MAN who has had many U.S. and British top 20 hits is over here again in Britain — and no-one seems to know anything ...

The Joy Strings: Invasion By The Unexpected Army

Profile and Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, March 1964

EVERY NOW and then, something happens which astounds and astonishes everybody in the disc biz. ...

Johnny Kidd & The Pirates: Johnny Kidd: It's The Song, Not My Name Which Sells

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, December 1963

Johnny Kidd's Latest Success Was Quite A 'Sleeper' ...

The Kinks: Kinks

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, October 1964

HOT NEW KINKS L.P.! ...

Brenda Lee: A Brenda Bargain – Re-Issue Collection on Ace of Hearts

Report by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, August 1963

LITTLE MISS NEWLY-MARRIED has had, believe it or not, no less than SEVEN years in the music business. And that's seven years making discs too. ...

Lonnie Mack: The Instrumental Influence and Hit Star

Profile by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, August 1963

BEAT instrumentals are probably at a higher degree of popularity in the States than ever before. Discs like 'Wipeout', 'Tips Of My Fingers', 'Pipeline', 'Hot ...

Manfred Mann: Meet The Manfreds

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1964

PART ONE OF A NEW SERIES — MIKE HUGG AND TOM McGUINESS ...

Manfred Mann: The Paul Jones Mann

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1964

"UH-HU, IT'S THE Manfreds" yells Paul Jones, who is, to use the most overworked cliché in the book, last but not least in our series ...

The Mindbenders Tell Of U.S. Race Rioting, The Girl Who Writes Their Songs, And What Happens When You Hire A 'Plane

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, August 1966

RACE RIOTS and pop music don't mix. If you buy records by a coloured artiste and you happen to be white, it's difficult to be ...

The Monkees: More Of The Monkees (RCA)

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, April 1967

IT'S A STRANGE thing to review an LP which you know will go to the top of the LP charts and sell a load of ...

Chris Montez: Give Me The Flamenco

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1963

"I REALLY like Spanish dancing best." Chris Montez told me over the transatlantic phone, "And 'though I jive and twist a lot I guess it's ...

Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore: Scotty Moore: The Man Who Launched A Thousand Licks

Interview by Norman Jopling, New Musical Express, January 1973

PEOPLE AROUND at the time Elvis first made it claim that guitarist Scotty Moore was the musician most responsible for "The Elvis Presley Sound". Moore ...

Mickie Most: Do-It-Yourself Mick!

Profile and Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, October 1963

AFTER A MINOR record success with his 'Mr. Porter', Mickey Most looks all set for a far bigger success with the follow-up 'The Feminine Look', ...

Roy Orbison: An Unexpected U.S. Hit For Roy

Profile by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, September 1963

But although he's clicking with a rocker, he's recording with 'Those Great British Strings' ...

Gene Pitney, The Rolling Stones: Gene Pitney: Why 'Tulsa' Made The Charts

Profile by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1964

NORMAN JOPLING SUPPLIES THE ANSWER TO A CURRENT CHART SURPRISE ...

The Pretty Things: The Things Hit Back!

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1965

ONE ACCUSATION that can't be levelled against the Pretty Things is that they're dull. In fact this wild-sounding, and equally wild-looking group are one of ...

The Pretty Things: Viv — "It's All Lies"

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, September 1965

'I could sue them' says Viv Prince, about newspaper articles which appeared about him in New Zealand. Norman Jopling reports...' ...

John Prine: An Interview with John Prine

Interview by Norman Jopling, unpublished, September 1972

JOHN PRINE IS THE GUY that sang the song about the hole in Daddy's arm where all the money goes, and a whole bunch of ...

Phil Spector, The Righteous Brothers: 'Sorry Cilla,' Said The Righteous Brothers To RM's Norman Jopling, But 'We Don't Like Your Record!'

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1965

"WHAT do we think of Cilla's version of 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling'?" said America's Righteous Brothers when I posed them the question. "Well, we ...

The Rolling Stones: Between The Buttons (Decca)

Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1967

'Yesterday's Papers'; 'My Obsession'; 'Back Street Girl'; 'Connection'; 'Cool, Calm and Collected'; 'All Sold Out'; 'Please Go Home'; 'Who's Been Sleeping Here?'; 'Complicated'; 'Miss Amanda ...

The Rolling Stones: The Rollin' Stones: Genuine R&B!

Profile by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1963

AS THE TRAD scene gradually subsides, promoters of all kinds of teen-beat entertainment heave a long sigh of relief that they have found something to ...

The Rolling Stones: The Rolling Stones No. 2

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1965

"WE THINK IT'S a lot better than our first one... there's a more varied selection of songs... no instrumentals... we cut it at three different ...

The Rolling Stones: The Rolling Stones (Decca)

Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, April 1964

GREAT NEW L-P FROM STONES ...

The Rolling Stones: We Want The Stones (Decca EP)

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, June 1965

STONES EP – EXCITING & DIFFERENT ...

Del Shannon: 'My Success Changed My Friends'

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1965

ONE OF THE chief attractions about Del Shannon is his own individual style of singing and guitar playing. So it'll come as a shock to ...

The Shirelles: The Neglected Shirelles

Profile by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1963

"I MET HIM on a Sunday" sang Addie, Doris, Shirley, and Beverly. They were heard by a class-mate at Passiac high school during a rehearsal ...

Mort Shuman: The Man Who Writes Hits For The U.S. Stars

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, January 1964

IF ANYONE bothers to look just under the titles of their records, they'll see a name or names in brackets. Those names are the songwriters. ...

Dusty Springfield, The Springfields: The Springfields: The White Negress

Report and Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, April 1963

"THAT'S WHAT THEY CALL ME" – DUSTY SPRINGFIELD ...

Cat Stevens, The Walker Brothers: The Walker Brothers: Images; Cat Stevens: Matthew & Son

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, March 1967

Moody Walkers L.P. and a great debut L.P. from Cat Stevens ...

The Tremeloes: The Tired Tremeloes..!

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, September 1963

In the charts with 'Twist And Shout' and with 'Do You Love Me' crashing in at No. 33, Brian and the boys begin to feel ...

Vanilla Fudge: Vanilla Fudge

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, September 1967

Vanilla Fudge LP – even more dramatic than the hit single ...

Scott Walker: Scott 2 (Philips)

Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, April 1968

Scott's LP in depth ...

The Walker Brothers: The Reluctant American: Some Interesting Opinions from Scott Walker

Interview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, December 1966

"I DIDN'T like it in America, and I'm not going back to live there. When I did live there it was terrible – once I ...

The Yardbirds: The Blueswailers With The Mod Appeal

Profile by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1964

ALTHOUGH THE Sunday Telegraph insisted that the Yardbirds were called the Yardsticks, and also claimed they were public school boys it doesn't seem to have ...

List of genre pieces

1963: Rhythm And Blues Made The News

Overview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, December 1963

THIS HAS been THE year for rhythm and blues fans. There is no doubt about it. At the beginning of the year the R & ...

1963: Year Of Rhythm & Blues #2

Overview by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, December 1963

Part two of a series spotlighting all the important events in the R & B world this year. ...

Beat Group Names from America and Liverpool

Report by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, August 1962

IS THE Liverpool area the rockingest part of the great British Isles? A publication, Mersey Beat, just arrived, makes me think this is the ...

Shakespeare in the 70s: Jack Good's Catch My Soul

Interview by Norman Jopling, Music Now, January 1971

CATCH MY SOUL, as you've doubtless read, is a rock musical based on Shakespeare's Othello. It was conceived by Jack Good who plays the title ...

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