For a guy who began his writing career at a rock 'n' roll radio station in 1959, it's probably a sin for me not to have known the name Stan Applebaum until 21 years later. The innovation he brought to pop music was a big hit that very summer that Boom Boom Brannigan was playing it on Albany's WPTR.
Not only did I learn Stan's name, I got to work with a true legend in the business, although to be fair to myself, Stan's contributions weren't common knowledge to anyone not intimately connected with the music business.
I like to say that my generation created rock 'n' roll, and while it was borrowed from a lot of cultures that stretch back long before us, we did what every generation does – add some of this and that, and make it our own. Stan added more than most.
I was working with another writer, Milt Schwartz, on musical commercials for Air France back in the early eighties, and Stan Applebaum was the right guy at the right time to write and arrange the music for our words.
Stan, whose career as an arranger and composer began in the big band era, is a New Yorker who was in the right place at the right time – he's the guy who first added strings to R&B, and began a sound that still, today, is an integral part of the musical genre.
Stan arranged the Drifters' hit, “There Goes My Baby,” by the immortal team of Lieber & Stoller. Here's a wonderful thing -- you can hear it anytime you like. Like right now.
You can read Stan's bio here. And here's another wonderful thing – you can still work with him like I did, as well as with his arrangements, and his commercial music.