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Lori Burton

Together with Pam Sawyer, Lori Burton formed one of the better New York pop/rock songwriting teams of the 1960s, although not too many of their songs were widely known hits. Their "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" gave the Rascals their first chart entry; "Baby Let's Wait," also done by the Rascals, gave the Royal Guardsmen a hit; Patti LaBelle & the Blue Bells did "All or Nothing"; and Prince Harold did "Forget About Me." Burton and Sawyer were briefly signed to Motown as songwriters and were one of the few (if not the only) female production teams on the New York rock scene in the mid-'60s.

Burton was also a recording artist and is most known as the lead voice on the Whyte Boots' "Nightmare," one of the most accurate approximations of the Shangri-Las ever recorded. She was also a very credible blue-eyed pop-soul singer, though, with a low and sometimes raunchy voice. She began recording as a solo act for Roulette in the mid-'60s and in 1967, issued a hard-to-find album, Breakout, on Mercury. That LP was impressive, well-produced pop-soul with New York's sophisticated brand of pop-rock production, and it is unfortunate that Burton did not have the chance to develop further as a recording act in her own right.

Burton and her husband, recording engineer Roy Cicala, began writing and producing together in the late '60s. Cicala became a top engineer in the industry and owner of the Record Plant (East) Studios in New York City, working on several John Lennon albums. Burton sang backup vocals on Lennon's "#9 Dream" in the mid-'70s, and recorded some tracks around that time that Lennon helped produce with Cicala. A couple of these numbers, which are poor disco-style tunes, appear on the CD packaged with Kristofer Engelhardt's book Beatles Undercover, which documents the Beatles' appearances on records by other artists. ~ Richie Unterberger
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