177 – All I’ve Got To Do – The Mar-Tays
Original recording: 24–29 July 1969
Ukulele Version #177: April 2012
Martee Lebow – lead vocal
Irwin Fisch – keyboards
Larry Saltzman – ukelele & electric guitar
Ira Siegel – ukelele, electric guitar & background vocals
John Siegler – bass & background vocals
Frank Vilardi – drums
Dana Calitri – background vocals
Produced by The Mar-Tays & David Barratt all over the NYC area
Written by John Lennon
Credited to Lennon and McCartney
ABOUT THE SONG
One of the strengths of British popular music is it’s ability to copy American music ineptly and thereby creating something new.
John was, in his words "trying to do Smokey Robinson again”. The influence is definitely there but I get the feeling that this record would not have made the cut with Berry Gordy at Hitsville USA.
It does however make the cut on it’s own terms, which is a British Pop Record. Unbelievably from the perspective of 2012 where 8 year old children expect to get an iPhone for their birthday, the Britain of 1963 only 20% of homes had a telephone.
Given that statistic the bridge of the song sounds quite exotic:
And the same goes for me
Whenever you want me at all
I’ll be here yes I will
Whenever you call
You just gotta call on me, yeah
You just gotta call on me
This was John aping "The American Experience" as surely as The Stones mis-copied Chuck Berry or early British hip-hop was not able to copy it’s American brethren and therefore created “Grime”.
Lennon’s voice is somewhat strained and mournful, tinged with regret. He seems to be addressing an ex-lover who he can’t let go of. He might even be a bit arrogant, knowing that he still knows how to push her buttons, to get her to come running to him. But he also knows that he can’t refuse her call. They still care for each other, even if they live apart. However, they both know that if either gets lonely, the other is there.
They remain each other’s "booty call."
Ringo is tasteful and minimal in his execution and there is not horrible loud tambourine to mess up the rhythm. Paul experiments and plays chords on the bass. I’d have preferred to hear him play a more traditional R&B part in the style of James Jamerson.
Also recorded on that session was “I Wanna Be Your Man”, “Little Child” and George’s first song “Don’t Bother Me”.
Not a bad days work really.
The stereo mix is pretty absurd. The band all appear in the left speaker while the vocals are panned hard right. The mono mix is the definitive one.
The Ukulele version of “All I Got To Do” is performed by “The Mar-Tays”. They take the song back to it’s soul roots.
Anyone who doubts the funky qualities of the ukulele will have their mind changed by the subtle interplay between Larry Saltzman and Ira Seigel.
If you you have bought a record in the last 25 years you probably have heard one or more of The Mar-Tays play or sing. Their absurdly eclectic resume covers every style of music that has been popular over the last quarter of a century.
When they get together they re-interpret the songs that made them musicians in the first place.
All they give is love.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
After playing together for decades in mix-and-match combinations with countless prominent artists, we began gigging as The Mar-Tays to put a spin on some of our formative music.
MARTEE LeBOW (vocals) was a singer at birth, pianist at 3, songwriter at 10 and recording artist at 19. Her critically acclaimed debut album, The Lady Wants to be a Star, was produced by the legendary Charlie Calello and featured such New York session royalty as Will Lee, The Brecker Brothers, and John Tropea. She was eventually signed to Atlantic Records, where she wrote songs with the likes of Will Jennings, Keith Reid and Jim Messina, releasing the albums Crimes of the Heart and Love’s a Liar. Along the way, Martee has graced and greased the Garden singing the national anthem for the Knicks and Rangers, enjoyed a successful studio-singing career, performed extensively as a backup vocalist with other artists, and sung her way around the globe with the world music band Alabina and Ishtar.
She is proud to be the lead singer of The Mar-Tays, who recklessly adapted her name to pay homage to their roots in soul, rock, rhythm-and-blues and a scintillating stew of regional styles.
IRWIN FISCH (piano) has played keyboards or written arrangements for Bette Midler, Celine Dion, Beyonce, Darlene Love, Shawn Colvin, Tom Scott, Tom Rush, Woody Allen, Peter Allen, Peter Paul & Mary, Bernadette Peters, Chuck Berry, Harry Connick Jr., Jimmy Webb, Elmo, Run-DMC, Harry Belafonte, Kathy Lee Gifford, Marvin Hamlisch, Joe Piscopo, Daniel Rodriguez, Aztec Two-Step, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (career peak) and others.
Irwin was nominated for an Emmy as musical director of ABC’s "Bye Bye Birdie" telefilm, and a Grammy as producer of Marlo Thomas’s “Thanks and Giving All Year Long.” He composed the scores for 14 television movies and orchestrated several high-profile Broadway shows. His broadcast appearances include Letterman, Leno, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, Regis, The View, Rosie, Sajak, Martha, The Presidential Inauguration, the Daytime Emmy Awards, Christmas in Washington, Clash of the Choirs. He has also composed and performed on countless TV and radio commercials
LARRY SALTZMAN (guitar) has put the sigh in Simon and the funk in Garfunkle since joining S&G’s band in 2003. Larry has also played live or on record with Garth Brooks, Bette Midler, David Johansen, The Brecker Brothers, , Michael Stipe, Jewel, The Blue Nile, Shawn Colvin, Bernadette Peters, Peter Allen, Chris Botti, Julia Fordham and droves more. He has been seen on TV as an occasional member of the Saturday Night Live house band, and on Letterman, Leno, The Today Show, Martha Stewart, Pat Sajak and elsewhere.
Larry has also played on hundreds of recording sessions for movies and TV and radio commercials. He has played for the Broadway shows Hairspray, Good Vibrations, Jersey Boys and The Wedding Singer and Hair. He’s been heard playing anything with frets on scores of movie scores, including Doubt, The Departed, Two Weeks Notice, The Pink Panther, Mona Lisa Smile, Hairspray and Spanking the Monkey, and on many hundreds of commercials.
IRA SIEGEL (guitar ) has brought his impassioned virtuosity to recordings by Whitney Houston, Madonna, Bette Midler, Cher, Celine Dion, Stevie Winwood, Freddie Jackson, Anita Baker, Carly Simon, Chaka Kahn, Donna Summer, Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, The System, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Luther Vandross, George Benson, Billy Ocean, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, Nona Hendryx, Sinead O’Connor, James Taylor, the Bee Gees, Laura Nyro, Jewel, Eartha Kitt, Vanessa Willliams, Debbie Gibson, Jennifer Holliday, Michael Bolton, Nancy Wilson, Gloria Estefan, Kashif, Kenny G, Scritti Politi, Melba Moore, Stephanie Mills, America, the Bacon Brothers.
Ira has performed live behind many of the same artists, plus Crosby Stills & Nash, Eagles, Bon Jovi, kd lang, Kathy Lee Gifford, Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow, Laura Pausini and more. He has been seen as well as heard on Letterman, Leno, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, Caron Daly, Craig Ferguson, Christmas in Washington and Clash of the Choirs. He has played on many movies scores and commercials for every product there ever was.
JOHN SIEGLER (bass) was a founding member of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and a stalwart studio and touring freelancer. Working with Hall & Oates in their heyday, he created the iconic bass parts that propelled such hit records as Kiss On My List, You Make My Dreams, You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling, Everytime You Go Away, Private Eyes, I Can’t Go for That, and Did it in a Minute. John has also laid down the bottom line with Roger Daltry, Cher, Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger, Bette Midler, Jeff Beck, Meat Loaf, Yoko Ono, Paul Butterfield, the Edgar Winter Group, Desmond Child & Rouge, Tim Curry, Herbie Mann, Clarence Clemons, Joe Piscopo, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Carole King.
With nothing left to prove on the bottom, John embraced the higher frequencies, composing arranging, performing and producing prodigous amounts of music for television and feature tilm animation and advertising.
FRANK VILARDI (drums) has played drums in the studio or on tour for Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Phoebe Snow, Bobby McFerrin, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Gloria Gaynor, Darlene Love, They Might Be Giants, Judy Collins, Rosanne Cash, Jewel, Curtis Stigers, The Roches, Willie Nile, Southside Johnny, Donny Osmond, David Broza, Freedy Johnston, The Bacon Brothers, Tom Rush, Lucy Kaplansky, Jim Carroll, Rosie O’Donnell, Martin Briley, Laura Pausini, Aztec Two-Step and more
Frank’s TV appearances include Letterman, Leno, the Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, Conan, The View, Regis, Arsenio and Top of the Pops. He has also played on dozens of film soundtracks and hundreds of commercials.