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Thread: The mysterious Betty Sperber case

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    The mysterious Betty Sperber case

    I've found a fair bit of evidence that looks like Hendrix may have signed a personal management contract with Betty Sperber's 'Action Talent' agency, and later 'forgotten about', around the same time as he signed the recording deal with Chalpin' s P.P.X..
    Knight, who got Hendrix to sign the recording deal with PPX also appears to have been signed to Betty Sperber's agency (publicity photo). Action Talent was based in 1650 Broadway as were Chalpin and others that Jimi had connections/contracts/recorded with.
    Also notabe that Sperber was the manager of the Wild Ones, who were the first to release a version of Wild Thing.
    This seems to me may be what was behind Noel's complaint of having to 'contribute' (against his will) $15,000 to Jimi's mysterious (to Noel) 'Betty Sperber case' (June 1968)? Cost $40,000 in total; $37,000 (~$260,000 today) of that was her 'settlement'.
    After being behind the making of a couple of rock TV series she retired to the Virgin islands and became a successful hotelier: San Antonio Express 1976 - "Her unlikely background as a promoter of rock stars like Jimmy Hendrix and such hits as Simon Says....."
    Unfortunately I can't post the stuff (several billboard/cashbox and other articles, sites etc.) as the CTT site is not working so I can't use my desk top.
    Last edited by stplsd; 10-02-17 at 08:12 PM.
    Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

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    Re: The mysterious Betty Sperber case

    Early Hendrix site: From a Curtis Knight publicity photo c. 1963:

    Personal Mgt.
    BETTY SPERBER
    (516) 536-7887
    [? unreadable*] NY

    *Action Talent?

    Billboard (27-08-66. p.50): “Betty Sperber, manager of The Wild Ones*, named her first
    baby Miles. . .

    *Noted as being the 1st to record a version of “Wild Thing”

    (Wiki) ‘JiveBop TV Dance Party’ : Action Talents agency at 1650 Broadway* in New
    York City. Action Talents was an agency that received financing and support from Neil
    Bogart of Buddah Records fame. [...]
    Alan became an integral at Betty Sperber's Action Talents agency, and is said to have
    coined the name for the act The Brooklyn Bridge; a supergroup merging Johnny Maestro
    (whom Sperber personally managed), The Crests and The Del Satins.

    *Address with several early Hendrix connections.

    Billboard (27-01-68. p.4.) : “NEW YORK — Buddah Records is backing a dance contest to
    promote the 1910 Fruitgum Co.'s new single, "Simon Says." Working with the label on the
    contest is Action Talent, exclusive booking agent for the Hullabaloo Clubs, a national dis-
    cotheque chain. Details were worked out by Neil Bogart, Kama Sutra and Buddah general
    manager, and Betty Sperber, head of Action Talent.”

    Noel Redding: (July 1968) “Jeffery tried to slip me a document saying I’d pay $15,000
    toward Jimi’s legal fees, I refused to sign. They included fees for the P.P.X. case - $35,000;
    legal fees for the Betty Sperber case - $2,500; and a $37,000 settlement to Betty Sperber.
    [...] who was Betty Sperber and why did I owe her money?”

    Billboard (28-09-68. p.6.) : “. . . . Betty Sperber, president of Action Talents, announced the
    appointment of John Lombardo to the executive staff of the agency, responsible for the
    development and booking of Action Talent artists in clubs, colleges, concerts and TV
    appearances. Previously, Lombardo was with Premier Talent.”

    Billboard (12-10-68. p.21.) : “. . . .Betty Sperber of Action Talents reads ‘Soul Sauce’ Do
    you?”

    Cashbox (09-11-68. p.21.) : “NEW YORK — Action Talents, the all- i rock booking agency,
    moves into new and larger quarters today (4) at 300 West 55th, this city. According to
    Betty Sperber, the firm’s president, Action Talents has experienced a 150% business growth
    rate in the past year, attributable to the “young, highly professional staff and to our firm
    concept of booking specialization, completely oriented to the ‘happening’ talent in today’s
    music scene.”
    Working closely with Mrs. Sperber are vice presidents Chris Bang and Jeff Franklin, along with
    eight full time agents.

    Current talent roster includes the Lemon Pipers, Gene & Debbie, the Cherry People*, the
    Beacon Street Union, the Five Stairsteps & Cubie and the Brooklyn Bridge.

    *Note Jimi used their drummer for the initial sessions with Billy Cox.

    Billboard (01-08-70. p.8.): “'Scene 70' Gives Artist 'Power'
    NEW YORK—The music industry has been in need of a television show in which everyone
    involved has a feeling for music, according to Betty Sperber, producer of "Scene 70," a music
    show which is syndicated in 84 markets. "The difference between this show and the other
    bandstand-type shows is that here, the artist has complete control, we are live on tape, we do
    not edit, there is no lip-sync, and we always center on the guest star or stars and their
    personality," said Mrs. Sperber, ex-head of Action Talent.
    Each week the show features a guest host who sits in on the production meetings and voices
    his opinion as to which artists should appear. "This means that each show reflects the
    personality of the guest host,' said Mrs. Sperber. 'This also means thai each show will beifferent and spontaneous." On recent shows the guest hosts included Kenny Rogers and the
    First Edition, and James Brown, who did a 20 minute set after his taping. The artists really
    appreciate the freedom we give them." Mrs. Sperber said. "They do not have to sing their
    recent hit if they choose not to. They can just sit and talk and not perform at all."
    The idea of the show is to make the artist comfortable and show another side of the artist to
    the audience. "There is no situation like ours," Mrs. Sperber explained, "in which an artist or
    group can get something besides their hit records across to the audience. It has been my
    experience as a viewer that TV specials on a group or artist seem terribly contrived. The other
    side of an artist usually involves acting on this type of show. On ours we depict the artist as a
    human being.”
    With upcoming hosts such as Genya Ravan* and Ten Wheel Drive, the Chambers Brothers,
    and Richie Havens. Mrs. Sperber feels confident that her program will attain much success.”

    *Formerly of ‘Goldie & the Gingerbreads’ fame; managed by Mike Jeffery

    San Antonio Express (22-08-76) p.113
    Virgin Islands [...] A national monument is the King Christian Hotel, owner Betty Sperber is a
    slim, suntanned dynamo recently turned hotelier. She was a major force in a community effort
    called Project St. Croix, which brought the island abloom with tourism after several years of
    civil unrest. Her unlikely background as a promoter of rock stars like Jimmy Hendrix and
    such hits as ‘Simple Simon.’ [...]
    Last edited by stplsd; 10-03-17 at 03:28 PM.
    Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

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  5. #3
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    Re: The mysterious Betty Sperber case

    Note Sperber's connection with Buddah whose parent company, Kama Sutra, was also located at 1650 Broadway.

    Lubbock Avalanche Journal 22-12-66 p. 73 has a profile/interview article with Sperber.
    Last edited by stplsd; 10-05-17 at 10:34 AM.
    Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

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    Re: The mysterious Betty Sperber case

    Betty Sperber aka Betty Jo Bialosky, aka Melanie Haber, Audrey Farber, and Susan Underhill?

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    Re: The mysterious Betty Sperber case

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Stone View Post
    Betty Sperber aka Betty Jo Bialosky, aka Melanie Haber, Audrey Farber, and Susan Underhill?
    Nice one But No, it' just Betty Sperber.
    Last edited by stplsd; 10-08-17 at 09:01 AM.
    Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

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    Re: The mysterious Betty Sperber case

    Fond Du Lac Commonwealth Reporter - Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin 1968-11-22



    Fond Du Lac Commonwealth Reporter - Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin 1968-11-29


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  12. #7
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    Re: The mysterious Betty Sperber case

    Nice one. So, another costly contract buy out for JH and 'settled' around the same time as the PPX case.
    Last edited by stplsd; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:00 PM.
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