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ASSOCIATED SOUND, 723 7th Avenue

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In 1963 producer and songwriter Bob Feldman was looking for the next hit record for The Shirelles. One evening on the way to have dinner with his parents in Brooklyn he stopped at a candy store near his old High School for an Egg Cream.

 

“In the back, where I used to hang out, there was a girl screaming at a guy who looked like Fonzie in a black leather jacket. 'My boyfriend’s back. You’re gonna be in trouble. You’ve been saying stuff about me all over and when he gets back, he’s gonna beat the crap out of you,’ I called my writing partners and said “Don't leave the office tonight. I heard a number one record.” 

 

Feldman and his co-writers wrote “My Boyfriend’s Back” that evening, and soon after recorded a demo at Associated Studios with The Angels, a hard-working trio of backing singers for artists such as Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra. 

 

Executives at Smash Records loved the fusion of tough East Coast Doo-Wop, sassy vocals, and catchy pop production. The decision was made to release the demo as a single, and in August 1962 it was number one for 3 weeks, selling over a million copies.

 

Engineer Brooks Arthur credits the song with starting the girl-group studio sound. “‘My Boyfriends Back’ really crystallized the whole genre - it had the handclaps, the dialogue, it was a springboard to group like the Shangri-Las.”


“One of the big ingredients was doubling and tripling the backing vocals. Moving the girls to a different position around the mic for each overdub track - the new placement would really make it sound fuller.”

Today the 12-story building is dwarfed by the new construction around Times Square, illuminated at night by the colorful digital advertising signs.

 

While the ground floor is filled with tourist gift shops selling baseball caps and tee shirts, the upper floors have continued to be home to world-class recording studios.  

 

On November 30th, 1994 Tupac and his crew were in the lobby waiting for the elevator to go up to record at Quad Studios, when they were approached by three gunmen. Tupac was shot five times and robbed of $40k of jewelry.

 

An iconic photograph shows Tupac being carried out of the lobby on a stretcher while flipping off Biggie Smalls, whom he later publicly blamed for the attack, igniting an East Coast vs. West Coast rap rivalry that lasted until the death of both men.

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