Crayons To Perfume: An Interview with Glynis Ward

Girl group enthusiast, record collector, writer, and DJ Glynis Ward has been championing her favorite ‘60s (and modern) garage, girl group, + psych records for years via various fanzines, books, events, and—most recently—Crayons To Perfume, a weekly internet radio show on WFMU Ichiban dedicated to ’50s + ’60s girl-pop. I had actually interviewed her for Cha Cha Charming back in 1998 (when Cha Cha was a print fanzine), but somehow I never got around to publishing it. I reconnected with Glynis recently and got the scoop on Crayons To Perfume, her favorite records to DJ, and the most prized 45 in her collection.

Where do you think your love of the ’60s comes from?
I grew up at the very tail end of the ’60s, so I was exposed to the fashion, and much of the music. When we visited Swingin’ London in 1968, my mom made the three of us matching mod plaid pant suits! Being Canadian, our radio had (and still has) a Canadian content requirement so I got to hear a lot of local ’60s garage bands on the radio too.

If you look back at all the wonderful things you’ve done over the years—Feline Frenzy, Crayons To Perfume, Fringe Factory, all the various fanzines and books you’ve written for, etc. which musical venture are you most proud of and why?
I’m probably most proud of Crayons To Perfume! At least right now since that’s the most recent thing, but doing Feline Frenzy was quite an adventure!

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When and why did you first get involved in radio? Please can you describe your first show for us.
My first stabs at radio were in a neighborhood kid’s house. He had a 5 block radio station. I can remember spinning some girl group and doo wop records in it! But my first real radio show was at York University’s CHRY (a college station that we turned into a community station while I was there). I had The Fuzz That Wuzz – a two-hour show dedicated to ’60s, modern garage, and pretty much anything else I wanted to play or do.

What inspired you to start Crayons To Perfume—a strictly ’50s-’60s girl-pop radio show on WFMU Ichiban?
I wanted to try something that isn’t very often done. I’d been (and still do) host The Fringe Factory with my husband Richard Whig and its founder, Vikki Vaden—and we know there are tons of ’60s garage and psych radio and internet shows. So I wanted to explore the other side of my record collection, and I wanted to have a show that expands on the girl group theme to incorporate all the girls I love!

What is the most prized record in your collection and why?
Um, ohhh…perhaps Karo’s “Dans Le Ventre D’une Enorme Baleine.” Canadian freakbeat. My French Canadian pals gave me her albums many years ago and I think I was the first person regularly playing this song out. People were curious about what it was!

Karo

Are there any records/ artists that buy generic lorazepam people might be surprised to find in your collection?
If you look at the entirety of my collection, probably not. I like lounge, ethnic ’50s/’60s sounds, garage and psych from ’60s-now, soundtracks, exploitation, jazz. OK, maybe some of the jazz I have would surprise people!

You’re a big champion of the post-’60s garage scene. What do you love about modern garage records? And for someone new to the scene, what bands would you recommend?
I LOVE to see bands perform live, so often my recommendations are based on the fact I think you should also see the band play live as well as get their records. The Cynics are one of my favorite bands and have been since I first got their Blue Train Station record. I also really like the Neumans. Look for a new LP coming out this year!

What’s playing on your turntable right now?
Versions Originales 24 Succes (pretty much the title of any Quebecoise ’60s compilation record of which there are TONS). It has Jenny Rock’s “Mal” on it and was about $120 cheaper than you can get the 45 for!!!!

What’s the ’60s scene like in Atlanta?
There is no real ’60s scene here. People do like the music of course, go to shows, enjoy us spinning records for them…but there is no cohesive scene like there are in many other cities. Generally, people here enjoy ’60s stuff if they also like surf, old country, roots music, soul, etc.

What is something that very few people know about you?
That I like tequila! I just figured that out a few weeks ago!!

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What are some of your interests outside of music?
I like to make my own clothes—they are all ’60s styled designs, and I like being able to make way-out styles! I try to keep fit and love walking. I like to read schlocky books and also non-fiction. I enjoy collecting stuff—one of my most prized collections are china ’60s girl figures like go-go dancers, or girls with records and record players!

Your husband is also a big music fan and collector. Does your taste pretty much overlap or is he into stuff that you don’t particularly like and vice versa? Do you keep your collections together or separate? Do you ever go after the same records?
Our main record collection is melded together now. Richard likes almost everything I do, but I maintain a shelf space for my Canadian, girl records, soundtracks, jazz, and some other things he isn’t as much into. We don’t have to worry about going after the ‘same’ records because if he wants it, we don’t have it and will both play it. I sure lucked out!!

Please list your top five records to DJ at the moment.

1. Michele Richard: Les Boites A GoGo
MR

2. Golden Half: Movin’
GoldenHalf

3. Barbara Eden: Bend It!
BarbaraEden

4. The Mirettes: Midnight Hour
mirettes

5. Bonnie St. Clair: Tame Me, Tiger
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You can listen to Crayons to Perfume every Wednesday at 7pm on the WFMU Ichiban Blog: http://wfmuichiban.blogspot.ca/

Crayons to Perfume on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/djgirlgroupgirl?fref=ts

Thanks Glynis!

2 Responses to Crayons To Perfume: An Interview with Glynis Ward

  1. Mick Patrick says:

    Hi Sheila,

    Very interesting! After reading, I went straight to GEMM and bought a Karo CD. I can see me splashing out on some 45s. Maybe Glynis fancies helping me curate a Quebecoise Girls comp for Ace. If so, ask her to email me. Meanwhile, Raised By Wolves has started (reminds me of my Leicester upbringing).

    Hey la,

    Mick

  2. Mailman Tom says:

    I would love to hear Barbara Eden’s version of “Bend It” on a future Crayons to Perfume radio show!

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