"Slim Becomes A Music Publisher....
The Story Of Clarose Music

The name Clarose was created from a combination of "Clarence" & "Rose", resulting in the name Clarose, for Clarose Music. (Clarence Johnson & Irving Rose were the two people).  It ended up a few years later being totally owned by "Slim", and I now own a few of those songs.

Clarence Johnson was a part owner in Holiday Records, and produced records with The Bop Chords, and others. With Everlast Records he recorded The Charts, and co-wrote many vocal group songs, including the classic "Deserie". (Clarence was also known as "Jack Rags").

Clarence showed up at Times to see what was going on there, as  "Slim" and Donn & I were trying to get him to re-press his early records.  (Clarence ended up making a deal with "Slim" on the re-pressings). Clarence was a great "basic" producer, and he produced "In My Heart" by a group that "Slim" would call The Timetones, when he & "Slim" went partners on the session. Clarence also produced a few records that I own, including among others, "Go Back Where You Came From" by The Summits.

"Slim" was surprised and disgusted with the headaches caused by new recordings, because of tremendous problems with the distribution of "In My Heart", which had gotten action in several cities.  (The record hadn't actually sold in quantities equal to its' inaccurate chart status, because charts were rigged at that time, with a major chart fixing story involving Gone Records about to be exposed only a half year after The Timetones release.) Given the problems and headaches, the follow-up, "Pretty Pretty Girl", found "Slim" glad to be able to sell it to Atco Records. Clarence died of a heart attack in about 1962, (just before we were going to do a session together on a very hard core group sound that I had arranged with a group from East Orange, New Jersey).

Clarence was very interesting to talk to, but he didn't see a lot of magic in the music. He had produced "Deserie", but he called the song "God awful" and "totally unfinished". I used to tell him that if that were true, then that was the real charm of it, but he just shook his head, saying that when The Charts had first sung it on amateur night at The Apollo, they were booed off the stage because the song didn't seem to end, or make sense. (Interestingly enough this was before Clarence worked with The Charts, so his own writing credits are suspect, but that didn't stop him from telling the story anyway, and it is possible he changed some of the original words later on before the recording session.). The Charts were not his favorite group, as they gave him a major headache on the recording session following the success of "Deserie". As Clarence told me, "....these guys came into the studio and acted like such stars that they wouldn't talk to each other....It wasn't a good situation at all. They had their mics far enough apart so they wouldn't accidentally touch each other. It was really bad. I hated it....". 

Clarence and "Slim" got along well, but "In My Heart" was a pain for everyone involved in it. The song was originally  titled "Here In My Heart", with the opening line and a quarter being, "Well, Here In My Heart There's A Story Untold, Of A Girl...", which is the exact opening line and a quarter of The Nutmegs classic, "Story Untold". (A big pop hit for The Crew-Cuts annoying cover version). "Slim" was threatened very strongly by the publisher of "Story Untold", who wanted a title change, but really expected a fast financial settlement, or part of the publishing rights. "Slim" opted to change the title, and destroy the remaining labels, and a few thousand copies of the record, with the pressing plant providing the requested proof of destruction documentation.  There was no real legal reason to change the title, but the publisher was aggressive and nasty, and was ready to go to the radio stations and have his lawyer point out that the song was the subject of a copyright case. This would have been enough damage to bring the record to a grinding halt, as radio stations fold up like cheap cameras if they think they are in the middle of a legal situation.  The fact is that the publisher of "Story Untold" could never have won a case against "Slim" over one line of lyrics, or over a title, but radio stations were still very nervous from the payola scandals, as well as Alan Freed being driven off two New York radio stations in the recent past, to name only two reasons of the many reasons that radio stations were so jumpy at that time.

  The explosion over this record would have been less severe if the lines were from inside the song, but the 12 words copied, were indeed the opening lines of the original song.  Hearing it for the first time, you would think it was a modern up-tempo recording of The Nutmegs ballad. To understand fully the impact of taking the opening 12 words of a famous song, and using it as your own, consider adding words to the opening of a song that you wrote, as follows: How about taking these eleven words for your song, "You ain't nothin' but a Hound Dog, cryin' all the time", or what about these nine words, "Heavenly shades of night are falling, it's Twilight Time"? Maybe you'd like to use these 8 words, "Little Darlin', Little Darlin', oh where are you.....", or these 8 words, "Earth Angel, Earth Angel, will you be mine ...". The lesson is that there is enough trouble out there, without looking for it.

Although "Slim" dabbled in a few more new releases, he did it in the context of the store, and pulled away from regular distributors, and other thieves. "In My Heart" was a tough but clear lesson.    

Wayne Stierle

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 "Here In My Heart"  Courtesy
Wayne Steirle©
All Scripts Courtesy Dynamic Drive

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