Monday, June 21, 2010

Women of Nuggets: Nancie Mantz and Annette Tucker

I had intended to write a post about women as bandmates in 60s garage rock, but after a search through Nuggets, the bible box set of psychedelica, proved fruitless, I noticed Nancie Mantz and Annette Tucker turned up a couple times in the credits as songwriters:

"Nancie Mantz was a songwriter whose 1960s work in collaboration with Annette Tucker helped jump-start the psychedelic punk boom and, 15 years later, became one of many flash points for the paisley underground. Mantz was principally a lyricist, trained on piano, guitar, and violin but proficient on none of them. Her focus was words, and she was good enough as a song-poet to get signed to Four Star Publishers in the early '60s -- her collaborators there included the company's head, Dave Burgess, and 1960s Crickets member Glen D. Hardin, as well as a young composer with bigger aspirations named Harry Nilsson. She collaborated with Hardin and Nilsson, among others, and had some successes with Keith Colley ("Human Kindness," "Ladder of Success") and with Burgess ("He's a Big Deal"), but it was when she was teamed with Tucker that some very interesting lightning seemed to strike. Tucker had gotten a band called the Electric Prunes signed to a company owned by engineer turned producer Dave Hassinger, who had gotten them a contract with Reprise Records and now needed some songs that could be potential hits. In the interim, Tucker had presented her with the proposed title "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)," which the pair knocked off as a finished composition in less than an hour." (

What makes this kind of unusual, especially in light of Rolling Stone's recent update to their 500 Greatest Songs where women feature prominently, if at all, singing songs penned (overwhelmingly) by men. This flips the script, and produced probably one of the most well-known songs to come out of that era.

And for good measure, "I Had Too Much To Dream" covered by Wayne/Jayne County:

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