April 22, 1996

The Rhino re-issue is definitely still in the works, my sources tell me. The Rhino people have met with Burt’s “people” and have moved forward with an agreement; they are now busy trying to license all of the different pieces of music necessary.

The Rhino compilation is going to be 3 CDs.

The theory behind the song selection is that it will have the “original” versions on it – meaning, the versions that Burt was in on the production of, and/or the first known versions of the song. So, for instance, the CD will have Tommy Hunt’s version of “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself”, and (probably) not Dusty Springfield’s version: Burt was there for the Tommy version, so it can be considered more definitive.

Then again, it will also feature a variety of performers, so compiler Patrick Milligan is trying to include as many non-Dionne versions as possible. He hopes to include Aretha’s version of “I Say a Little Prayer”, Herb Alpert’s “This Guy’s in Love With You” (not Dionne’s “This Girl…”) and Lou Johnson’s “Always Sonething There to Remind Me”. (Lou Johnson is the unsung hero of the Bacharach era – the “male Dionne Warwick”, who also recorded the original versions of “Message to Martha” and “Reach Out for Me”.

Here’s a piece of good news: PBS’s GREAT PERFORMANCES series has licensed that BBC Burt documentary, and is preparing it for a US airing later this year.”

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