26 January, 2015

RON DANTE - HOW DO YOU KNOW



RON DANTE - 'Let Me Bring You Up' /'How Do You Know' (RCA Victor 49.683) July 1970

This is a recent purchase of a two sided bubblegum blast by The Archies singer Ron Dante. I wrote about one of his earlier 45s a few months back, check out the archives.

These songs were part of his long player "Ron Dante Brings You Up" and they're here on a stereo single to promote his solo album. "Let Me Bring You Up" is a commercial pop song with the necessary bubblegum trimmings but the flip "How Do You Know" is something of a long lost delight.

Listen out for the organ bursts and hand-claps in combination with a bouncy rhythmic beat. It could almost be late 1967 again but it's not. Sadly, it's now 1970 and bubblegum is starting to sound like yesterday's news as the heavy rock style and progressive blues start to hold sway.

Both songs were written by the Jeff Barry and Andy Kim songwriting partnership. They wrote the hits for The Archies including "Sugar Sugar" but couldn't repeat the magic with Ron Dante, at least chart wise.



RON DANTE - How Do You Know

19 January, 2015

FRANK KINSEL - GAMER


FRANK KINSEL - 'At Home' (Epic BN 26492) 1969

Here's an interesting album of folk blues with a tinge of country all played superbly by Frank Kinsel and various other famed musicians including Bill Wolfe (6 string guitar) Kevin Kelley (drums) Red Rhodes (steel guitar) and Wolfgang Melz (bass guitar).

My taster for the album is the loner vibration blues of "Gamer." This long player rarely turns up and not a great deal of information about it has ever surfaced. An obscure release on Epic.

"There I was in the middle of the grey on beige fifties and my older brother was diggin' Etta James singing 'Roll With Me Henry' (Dance With Me Henry was the successful mass media cop out). There was some kind of a beginning for me in music as an expression, feeling, or movement at that time. It was the only way out.... or in. It was either tan shoes and a clean smile or a beer and a '50 Merc.

Rhythm and Blues groups were a way of life and every party had a basement group composed of four or five guys who could carry on the most.


Detroit, I remember you. Expressways turned to freeways and time went by. Michigan, you looked very pretty when it snowed or when the sun set on your lakes. I sang songs for a while there: some were about you and some were about me, then I moved west.

California and San Francisco were like a new energy force that I hadn't felt before, so I stayed and wrote and sang and experienced and experienced some more and came up with ideas to record. So I moved to the south into a somewhat populated city (plug for my new album) named Los Angeles.

This is a rather short summary of where I have been for awhile. If it seems incomplete, fill it in with your own life. Have a good day."
(Frank Kinsel) 



 

18 January, 2015

THE KINGPINS - DIAMOND GIRL


THE KINGPINS - 'For Sale' (Tenth Planet TP016)

Tenth Planet seemed to come up with the undiscovered goods on a regular basis during the 90s and it was one of those labels that gained respect from vinyl collectors with their handsome releases in gatefold sleeves with choice unseen photos and rare music (mostly from acetates) in sparkling sound quality.

The Kingpins "For Sale" was one of their earliest releases from 1995 and was limited to 600 copies. They're long gone now but the collection may show up on eBay now and again, but with a premium price of course.

I want to concentrate on The Kingpins 1965 recordings. There were two. The ravin' "Diamond Girl" and a potent version of "For Your Love." But the album also covers their unreleased songs from 1966 through to 1969 when they experienced line-up changes and group names to Those Fadin' Colours and The Orange Seaweed.

The Kingpins formed in 1964 in the small town of Adlington, part of the borough of Croydon. The ages of the members ranged from 14 to 17 years old. In other words they were a schoolboy combo.
The line-up consisted of:

Ray Neale (rhythm guitar / vocals)
Keith Neale (bass)
Tony Martin (lead vocals)
Glyn Stephens (lead guitar)
Jimmy Barnard (drums)

By mid 1965, The Kingpins had progressed enough to enter a local beat group competition. One of the contest's adjudicators was Ronald Jones, owner of R.G. Jones recording studio and Oak custom label in Morden. He agreed free recording time for the top three acts. The Kingpins finished third.

The entered R.G. Studio on 31/05/65 to cut "Diamond Girl" and "For Your Love" which were pressed up as an acetate. "Diamond Girl" was written by Tony Martin and is a hard driving beat number turning positively freak. In my opinion an absolute classic beat punk raver '65 style.

"You're My Girl" is one of the great lost tracks of the 60s. Only ever released on an acetate, it features the vocals of a 17 year old Ray Neale. It's quite amazing, and when you think he's playing lead guitar and wrote it as well, it kinda blows you away. The flip side features Tony Martin on vocals and is also a great bit of song crafting. Ray's brother Keith was also in the band and played bass.

I knew Ray as a friend since 1977 when I happened upon his band 'Ramrod' one Sunday dinner time in a Croydon pub. A great guy who I spent many happy hours drinking and smoking to an almost Olympic standard. Alas the fags got him in the end, and he died in 2012. They say you're never dead as long as someone alive remembers you. I'm not being sentimental, but the stuff the Kingpins recorded on Oak will still be talked about when we're all dust. They're magnificent. (rollinrecords-shop)


      

17 January, 2015

THE BYRDS - THE WORLD TURNS ALL AROUND HER



THE BYRDS - Turn! Turn! Turn! (Columbia CL 2454) December 1965

Well, here it is. And about time, too.
Didn't our old grannies wag their wise and withered heads and tell us that good things are worth waiting for?

This album was as long in the making as a President. But, as Jim McGuinn trusted it would, everything's worked out all right. Personally, I think it's a beautiful piece of work, and maybe The Byrds were right to linger over it.After all, a great album is to the 1960s what a piece of sculpture was to the Middle Ages. Isn't it?

The Byrds think it should be, and I agree with them because I agree with them on most things. So do The Beatles, by the way. Two of the Fab Four came to the recording sessions at Columbia's Hollywood studios when they could have been sprawling beside their Bel Air pool gazing at Joan Baez. Some choice.

Anyway, down from the hills rode George and Paul because they'd liked The Byrds' "Mr Tambourine Man," and they know that a record like that doesn't happen by accident, ("Ho," John had said, "The Byrds have something." and the others nodded.) So there they were, At Columbia - bachelor Beatle two-some, denims and fringes and so much experience, heads bent up to pick up the sound-subtleties of the Los Angeles Byrds, whom The Beatles publicly named as their fave rave American group.

(notes by Derek Taylor, Press and Public Relations Officer for The Byrds)





THE BYRDS - The World Turns All Around Her

11 January, 2015

FLOWER BOMB SONGS #09




a mix of twelve songs currently dominating my turntable:
Remastered from my vinyl records uploaded as MONO MP3's in 320 kbit sound resolution.
Downloadable. As usual, all cuts taken from my 45s

MAGICIANS - An Invitation To Cry
SPIRIT - I Got A Line On You
PURPLE UNDERGROUND - Soon
SURFARIS - I'm A Hog For You
BERNIE SCHWARTZ - Something's Wrong
LORDS - Light Rain
VEJTABLES - Mansion Of Tears
OSHUN - Rattle Of Life
ORACLE - Don't Say No
VISITORS - Is It Them Or Me?
MONKEES - Forget That Girl
DAVID CLAYTON THOMAS - Walk That Walk

05 January, 2015

THE MONKEES - FORGET THAT GIRL



THE MONKEES - 'Alternate Title' / 'Forget That Girl' (RCA Victor 1604) June 1967

"Forget That Girl" is an overlooked Monkees song recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood on the 7th and 8th March 1967. The recording line-up consisted of Mike Nesmith (12 string guitar), Peter Tork (electric piano), Davy Jones (vocals and maracas) and Micky Dolenz (drums).

This beautiful jangling ballad was written by Chip Douglas who had become the Monkees producer at this point in time.
"Douglas Farthing Hatlelid" is his made up name. Although "Forget That Girl" never appeared on a 45 in America it was part of the "Headquarters" album.

Thankfully, "Forget That Girl" did get a single release in Britain during June 1967, it can be found on the B-Side of "Alternate Title." The song featured in the Monkees episode "One Man Shy" during August 1967. 
 

01 January, 2015

THE SERPENT POWER - OPEN HOUSE



THE SERPENT POWER - 'Serpent Power' (Vanguard 79252) July 1967

Here's an interesting West Coast album to track down, it won't be that difficult if you're not fussy about only owning originals as it's been repressed many times over the years. The Serpent Power hailed from the San Francisco hippie scene and centred around Tina & David Meltzer.

All the songs are originals written by David Meltzer and display a confident band who's music reminds me of a cross between The Jefferson Airplane and Country Joe & the Fish. Check out "Open House" which is a quite lovely laid back hippie gem with some really excellent acid guitar play.

Billboard December 1967


 

30 December, 2014

MARSHMALLOW WAY - C'MON KITTY KITTY (LET'S GO TO THE CITY)



MARSHMALLOW WAY - 'Marshmallow Way' (United Artists UAS 6708) 1969

Here's an album I've had for years and it's been filed away all that time just waiting until I get my act together to burn it to digital, make a YouTube upload and do some research. First off, the album is a bubblegum joy from start to finish, each and every song is a worthwhile sweet toothed bouncer with most of them having 'bubblegum hit' written all over them. Only, Marshmallow Way had no hits and after this album and a single they vanished without trace, never to be seen, spoken or heard of ever again.

It appears that Billy Carl and Reid Whitelaw were behind the outfit, they wrote, arranged and produced every song and the 'band' in the picture on the album cover were just 'cogs in the wheel'. The sound of the material is quite sophisticated for bubblegum with exotic instrumentation and percussion with heavy use of vibraphone, marimbas, congas and 12 string guitar.

Checking the credits on the back of the album sleeve reveals that Jim Calvert, Norman Marzano, Paul Naumann and Ken Laguna were musical coordinators. They all have a bubblegum history and worked with The Music Explosion, 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Lemon Pipers, Ohio Express, The Beeds plus many others.



THORINSHIELD - ONE GIRL



THORINSHIELD - "Thorinshield" (Philips PHS 600-251) September 1967

Thorinshield were from Los Angeles with a line-up of James Smith (guitar), Bobby Ray (bass) and Terry Hand (drums). I don't know if Thorinshield ever ventured out of the studio to perform gigs and I've never seen their name mentioned on the numerous gig posters and adverts that I've seen over the years.

What I do know is that Bob Ray worked on Donovan's recordings from 1966 and released a 45 as Bob & Kit on HBR Records. Then in 1969 came a solo album on Soul City titled "Initiation Of A Mystic". Read about that release on my blog here.

Terry Hand was a member of The Everpresent Fullness.

Back to the Thorinshield album on Philips. If you dig sunshine pop with a heavy Beatles influence and orchestration then you're gonna dig the album a whole lot. It's all quite mellow with a late night drift away vibe throughout. The songs are not particularly commercial or pop chart friendly with instant hooks and such like. They're all slow burners and not unlike the work being carried out at the same time by Curt Boettcher on albums by Sagittarius and the Millennium.

A couple of singles were released from the long-player. I'll probably get around to reviewing those at some point in time. I'll end this write-up with my favourite "One Girl" which sounds Byrds like with stinging guitar and backwards tapes.




THE CYCLE MATES - THEME FROM CYCLE SAVAGES



THE CYCLE SAVAGES - Original Soundtrack (AIR ST-A-1033) 1970

They're the ungrateful, the uninhibited, the undisciplined and the never-challenged! Their power - the grinding roar of their cycles and the stench of burning rubber in their wake as this breed of savages journeys from area to area searching for trouble.

Their cry is "Rev up and ride" - in short, it's their warning to beware! This wild group of the 70s is known around the country as the CYCLE SAVAGES. They steal women, initiate them into their pack, and then sell them on the black market of crime.

What does "the chopper", as it is often referred to, represent to this segment of today's youth? Is it merely an inexpensive mode of transportation, or is it a means to some sort of common identity?
The motorcycle is a symbol of individuality, independence and freedom. Jerry Styner's original musical score, composed specially for "Cycle Savages", genuinely expresses the feeling behind the story - the uncertainty of today's youth in their search for identity, power and an unknown future. (album liners)




26 December, 2014

THE FAMILY - SAN FRANCISCO WAITS



THE FAMILY - 'San Francisco Waits' / 'Without You' (U.S.A. Records 894) January 1968

It's believed that The Family were from Chicago and if this is accurate they have certainly got the West Coast flower psych sound down to perfection with "San Francisco Waits". This was actually their second and last single release, an earlier 45 on U.S.A. Records came out during September 1967, "Face The Autumn" / "So Much To Remember".

"San Francisco Waits" was written, produced and arranged by Bobby Whiteside. I've research him but have drawn a complete blank. Hopefully, someone knows more information that can be shared here.

"San Francisco Waits" has been compiled a couple of times over the years, first on Mindrocker #02 then again on Soft Sounds #02.

24 December, 2014

FLOWER BOMB SONGS #08




a mix of eleven 45s currently adding colours to my mynd:

CHRISTOPHER & the CHAPS - They Just Don't Care
DAYBREAKERS - Psychedelic Siren
DANNY & the COUNTS - Ode To The Wind
RAVES - Mother Nature
RAVES - Think Of Your Love
SUNSHINE TROLLEY - Cover Me Babe
JIMMY CURTISS - Psychedelic Situation Dee Jay & the Runn
EVIL I - Love Conquers All
ESKO AFFAIR - Morning Dull Fires
FABULOUS PACK - Wide Trackin'
FAMILY - San Francisco Waits
DEE JAY & the RUNNAWAYS - He's Not Your Friend

22 December, 2014

THE CRYSTAL BALL - TRANS-LOVE AIRWAYS (FAT ANGEL)



THE CRYSTAL BALL - 'Trans-Love Airways (Fat Angel)' / 'You're A Big Girl Now' (Smash S-2092) May 1967

I've had this single by The Crystal Ball for many years and I've noticed that the sales price has nudged up to the $30 - $50 bracket recently. Maybe it's become one of those trendy European mod spins or something?

I somehow doubt very much that The Crystal Ball were an active group. They were probably a studio creation of producers Roger Karshner, Richard Troops and Joel Cory. Whatever they were I'm pleased that they recorded a wonderful version of "Fat Angel" by Donovan. It's such a tripped out take, well produced with a pounding sound. I love the drums on this and the deep throbbing bass.

The other side "You're A Big Girl Now" (credited to Troops & Cory) is a bouncy pop song and perhaps a little more commercial than "Fat Angel" that no doubt sank without trace.

Roger Karshner also produced the weird and wonderful psychedelic album by The National Gallery.

Billboard - May 1967

21 December, 2014

DAVE & THE CUSTOMS - I ASK YOU WHY



DAVE & THE CUSTOMS - 'I Ask You Why' / 'He Was A Friend Of Mine' (DAC Records 503) 1966

According to 'Teenbeat Mayhem', Dave & the Customs hailed from Pomona, CA. The group were surf based initially and their earlier single on DAC Records "Shortnin' Bread" / "Ali Baba" is considered an underground surf classic. As far as I know, this earlier 45 was released sometime during 1964. It's quite rare and has sold a couple of times recently for over $250.

Step forward a couple of years and Dave & the Customs have resurfaced as a folk-rock group with longer hair, 12 string guitars and Jim McGuinn style glasses. The Byrds were obviously a huge influence on them and a version on "He Was A Friend Of Mine" was recorded and can be found on the flip of this record.

A local TV Show performance from 1966 has survived and can be found on YouTube showing Dave & the Customs performing "He Was A Friend Of Mine", an amazing find and well worth watching.

"I Ask You Why" is a loner folk-rock jangler written by the Zdunich brothers. This song surfaced on the early 90s compilation "From The New World". As you can see the label of my copy has been defaced with "Marko + David" which I've worked out is Mark & David Zdunich, so perhaps one of them did this to the label. More importantly is the scribble "recorded June 1966" which accurately dates the disc. Several websites have this single recorded as a 1965 release.  

Dave & the Customs circa 1964 - from 'Surfguitar101.com'





20 December, 2014

THE DAYBREAKERS - PSYCHEDELIC SIREN


THE DAYBREAKERS - 'Psychedelic Siren' / 'Afterthoughts' (Dial 45-4066) December 1967

Over the years "Psychedelic Siren" has become something of a cult classic and has appeared on numerous compilations but sadly this single on Dial is the only record The Daybreakers released during their short existence.

I have an album's worth of Daybreakers recordings including demo cuts from 1967/68 but none of the match the pounding punkadelic attack of "Psychedelic Siren" or the majestic 12 string folk punk of the flip "Afterthoughts"

Here's what was written about both songs within the liners of the "History Of Eastern Iowa Rock - Volume One" released on Unlimited Productions back in 1985.

"Psychedelic Siren" was released by Atlantic on their subsidiary label Dial and was produced by Buddy Killen. In the Summer of '67, The Daybreakers from Muscatine, Iowa managed to arrange a recording session at Columbia Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Country Western singer Jack Barlow, a Muscatine native, asked his producer Buddy Killen to produce our session as a favour.

"Afterthoughts" received more play than the A-Side from KSTT Radio, Devonport, where the two sided hit clung to the Top 40 chart for over three months. Denny Maxwell and Mike Bridges are playing twelve string electric guitars which at times gives the illusion of an orchestra. The instrumental breaks are highlighted by Buddy Busch's characteristically forceful yet precise drumming. 

At the close of the session Killen signed them to recording and songwriting contracts and picked up the tab.   


19 December, 2014

CHRISTOPHER & THE CHAPS - THEY JUST DON'T CARE



CHRISTOPHER & THE CHAPS - 'They Just Don't Care' / 'It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding' (Fontana F-1530) November 1965

Here's a collectable 45 for folk-rock lovers and Left Banke fans. Christopher & the Chaps hailed from Long Island, NY and included in their ranks Michael Lookofsky a.k.a. Michael Brown who later became a member of The Left Banke.

"They Just Don't Care" is a gritty protest song in the folk-rock tradition of '65. It was compiled on "From The New World" on the short lived 'Strange Things' label. I wrote about this compilation some time ago as it's one of my favourites.

The other side has a vibrant rendition of the Bob Dylan tune "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding" 

   

17 December, 2014

THE RAVES - EVERYTHING'S FIRE



THE RAVES - 'Everything's Fire' / 'Sing Children Sing' (Smash S-2162) April 1968

This was the third and last single by The Raves after which they disappeared. Hopefully someone who knows the details about this combo will get in touch with information as they really were a hot band and unjustly ignored by probably everyone outside New York.

I've read elsewhere that they were regulars at the famous Cafe Wha? and Keith's backing group. He had a big hit with "98.6". David Jimenez from The Raves was definitely involved and played guitar and co-wrote several songs on the album "The Adventures Of Keith"

Getting back to this disc then! "Everything's Fire" is a terrific blast of heavy mod beat and has a very English sound. It's perhaps the rarest Raves 45 to find and may prove difficult to locate. The white label promo had 'Everything's Fire' on both sides (mono / stereo) but my stock copy has the soulish 'Sing Children Sing' on the flip.

16 December, 2014

THE RAVES - THINK OF YOUR LOVE



THE RAVES - 'Don't Chop Down My Tree' / 'Think Of Your Love' (Smash S-2105) July 1967

By their second release The Raves were if anything even more commercial sounding. Can't believe these two records were not big hits. I'd call this punk bubblegum. Way better than that watered down poppy stuff that followed in 1968/69....
'Think Of Your Love' is genius.

14 December, 2014

THE RAVES - MOTHER NATURE



THE RAVES - 'Mother Nature' / 'Mister Man' (Smash S-2088) April 1967

The Raves hailed from Brooklyn, New York and released three 45s on Smash. All are great garage pop classics with a slight bubblegum sound. Their debut 45 'Mother Nature' is a pounding fast paced fuzzy popper with eastern promise. The flip 'Mister Man' treads similar ground. Both sides are insanely catchy and would have obviously sounded cool coming out of those small 60s radios because they are very well produced and mastered loud.

The producer for The Raves was Ron Haffkine. He was also producer for another New York band The Gurus. He also produced and managed Dr Hook & the Medicine Show. They of course became simply Dr Hook by the start of the 70s.





The Raves photos downloaded from "Cafe Wha" Facebook page


DICK DODD - TWENTY FOUR HOURS OF LONELINESS



DICK DODD - "First Evolution Of" (Sparton Records ST 5142) October 1968

I bought this album by Dick Dodd back in March 2002 for $40 played it a couple of times then more or less ignored it as it wasn't the kind of sound I wanted to hear. Things change of course and I've now got a less blinkered view of most things, especially music.

So, I decided to get the album off the shelf and digitize it to CDR. As far as I know Dick Dodd's solo work has never been released on CD. There is scope for such a retrospective as the ex Standells lead singer and drummer released three singles as well as this studio album.

Most of the material is late 60s rock tinged with soul. It has a polished commercial sound and would have been chart friendly but it seems that no one was listening as none of the singles or this album sold in any quantity.

The songs were co-written by Buddy Bowie (Buie)  & Ed Cobb but there are covers of "Lonely Weekends" by Charlie Rich and "Tell The Truth" by Ray Charles. My pick from the album is the driving soul rock of "Twenty Four Hours Of Loneliness."

Special mention too for the bizarre album illustration showing Dick Dodd standing between what looks like two fetuses, with the Earth far off in background space..... perhaps showing his "First Evolution"

singles:
"Fanny" / "Don't Be Ashamed To Call My Name"
"Little Sister" / "Lonely Weekends"
"Guilty" / Requiem 820"



 

13 December, 2014

THE SUNSHINE TROLLEY - COVER ME BABE


THE SUNSHINE TROLLEY - 'Cover Me Babe' / 'It's Gotta Be Real' (Trump 2890) August 1970

Here's a recent addition to my collection and it's a record that I've needed for some time after hearing "Cover Me Babe" on one of those 'Fading Yellow' compilations. I'm not sure who The Sunshine Trolley were, they may have been a studio creation, if they were a proper group I'd guess at California State location but the Trump label indicates that the music was recorded in Memphis, so who knows!

"Cover Me Babe" was written by Fred Karlin & Randy Newman and performed by Bread.
Their version can be found on the "Cover Me Babe" film soundtrack released October 1970.

The Sunshine Trolley version got a 'special merit spotlight' in Billboard during August 1970 and why not.... because it's simply superb sunshine pop with mind melting harmonies and a melody that suggests late 60s but had a release of mid 1970.




Billboard August 1970




02 December, 2014

FLOWER BOMB SONGS #07




a short mix of twelve songs currently dominating my turntable:

GLASS FAMILY - House Of Glass
KINGS VERSES - Lights
NEW SOUND SPECTRUM - Summer Girl
RONNIE DANTE - Janie Janie
RENAISSANCE - Mary Jane
ROCKIT - Amblin
ROONEY BROTHERS - Geordie
SCANDAL - There's Reasons Why
SEARCH - Climate
SEEDS - Satisfy You
7th COURT - One Eyed Witch
SHADOWS OF KNIGHT - From Way Out To Way Under

22 November, 2014

VAL STOECKLEIN - POSSIBILITY I WAS WRONG



VAL STOECKLEIN - 'Grey Life' (Dot DLP 25904) December 1968

Gene Clark has been mentioned several times on my Facebook wall recently and it got me thinking about the album "Grey Life" by Val Stoecklein from 1968.

Val was the 'leader' and singer, songwriter and guitarist in the brilliant Kansas folk-rock group, The Blue Things. When they broke up in 1967 Val signed a solo deal with Dot Records and "Grey Life" was the fruits of his labour.

It's full of loner type introspection, with eleven sorrowful acoustic songs accompanied by orchestral arrangements, and very much like Gene's solo music. "Possibility I Was Wrong" is a stand out and a huge fave of mine....

*** Produced by Ray Ruff and recorded at Gold Star studios in Hollywood. ***

"Look around your room where it's so dark and cold, you won't find me..." The grey mists were beginning to clear away from Val Stoecklein's life again as the new year came in. He phoned from Kansas to his Texas friend who was now putting together records in Los Angeles.

He was ready to write songs again. Just like he had in 1964 when he left Kansas State University to record and travel with his group, The Blue Things. The group broke up then there was a love that broke up very badly so Val drifted out of Kansas to work the Oklahoma oil fields and ride cowboy in Wyoming.

"Passing through the Oklahoma, Summertime, harvest crew, Dollar hotel rooms and smokin' roll-your owns..."

Too much time had been lost in the greyness for Val to wait out his tapes in the mail. He came west of Utah for the first time, hitchhiking with his 12 string guitar. The Texas friend was jammed up in the recording studio for four days and Val's songs sat there in a tape on his desk while Val examined the walls of his motel room and very slowly watched his money go down to forty cents.

"No hard words were said the time we parted friends. We should have thought a little more about the baby then. I'd like to see him now....before the train pulls out of town."

This record was made less than two weeks later. Do yourself a favour and find a quiet room the first time that you listen to the beauty of this music Val Stoecklein  made from real pieces of his life before it went grey - till these songs brought back his rainbow.

(back cover sleeve notes - Nat Freedland)




21 November, 2014

THE BLOX - SAY THOSE MAGIC WORDS



THE BLOX - 'Say Those Magic Words' / The Way I'm Gonna Be' (Solar Records 235) June 1967

This 45 has been overlooked since the sixties and as far as I know "Say Those Magic Words" has never been compiled. So who were The Blox? Very little has ever been written about them and it's doubtful that any members have ever been located. All I know is that they hailed from Houston, Texas and released two singles on Solar Records.

"Say Those Magic Words" is a fast paced jangle beat number, the tempo on the version by The Blox is sharper than the first version by English R&B group The Birds, from September 1966 and by The McCoys released August 1967. In my opinion The Blox version is the superior take.

The flip "The Way I'm Gonna Be" is surf pop with a very catchy and commercial beat. This turned up on the CD comp "Wyld Sydes #1"

Solar Records also released The Blox second single "Hangin' Out" during September 1966. This is much more famous and has been on numerous compilations, the first of which was probably "Texas Flashbacks #3" The label also released notable 45s by The Penthouse Five and Sounds Unlimited.

 

14 November, 2014

THE SEARCH - CLIMATE


THE SEARCH - 'Climate' / 'Mr Custer' (In-Sound 404) 1967

I've been meaning to write about The Search for years but somehow kept getting side tracked but today is the day for some Search action. According to several sources they hailed from San Diego, California but apart from that, information is at a premium.

"Climate" is an organ dominated garage swinger with a tempo shifting beat, quite fascinating and ultimately rewarding after several plays. It was written by Jim and Paul Mannino who were likely brothers. It was compiled on "Highs In The Mid Sixties - Volume 3" back in the early 80s

The other side is a reworking of the novelty tune "Mr Custer" originally released by Larry Verne in 1960. Find it on "Fuzz, Flaykes & Shakes - Volume 2"

The Search also released another single in June 1967 on Era Records but this record is not as interesting to me but still worth seeking out. "Too Young" / "Everybody's Searchin" have not troubled the compilers.



 
THE SEARCH - CLIMATE

13 November, 2014

MARK IV - HOLLOW WOMAN


MARK IV - 'Hollow Woman' / 'Better Than That' (Columbia 4-43911) November 1966

Columbia Records seemingly released hundreds of beautiful one off 45s by teen garage groups who had their shot at fame only to find that no one cared and their brief moment in the sun had burned away to embers.

Mark IV are one such group. According to "Teenbeat Mayhem" they hailed from New Canaan, Connecticut and this was their only release. "Hollow Woman" is one of my favourite garage rockers and let's be honest here, it's basically a clever rewrite of The Zombies 1964 single "Woman" I'm not sure how J. Johannessen got away with it but then again who would have heard the record anyway?
"Hollow Woman" can be found on 'Mindrocker Volume 7'

The other side "Better Than That" is a charming British Invasion influenced beat number with jangle and as far as I know remains uncompiled.


12 November, 2014

GENE PITNEY - ANIMAL CRACKERS (IN CELLOPHANE BOXES)



GENE PITNEY - 'Animal Crackers' / 'Don't Mean To Be A Preacher' (Musicor MU-1235) February 1967

A few weeks ago I posted an entry on my blog focusing on the songs of Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon. They were both in NYC group The Magicians, then when their teenage group disbanded found themselves hot property by writing hit records for The Turtles.

A record I mentioned, but didn't have at the time was "Animal Crackers" by Gene Pitney. I've since obtained a copy of the record and I'm giving it some publicity today. I don't have any other Gene Pitney record in my collection but I am aware of his hit records, none of which sounded as far-out as this one under my spotlight.

I'd say this was 'psych-tinged' and most definitely not a commercial sound. Gene perhaps took a risk with this recording to release it as a single. It didn't feature on any studio album at the time and wasn't released in Britain.

It didn't fare very well at all and did not break into the Billboard top 100 in America. What a shame, as this tune is wonderful.

vintage promotional advert February 1967


 

11 November, 2014

JERRY & JEFF - VOODOO MEDICINE MAN



JERRY & JEFF - 'Voodoo Medicine Man' / 'Sweet Charity' (Super K SK-7) 1969

This garage bubblegum pounder by Jerry & Jeff a.k.a. Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffrey Katz has become a very sought after disc and regularly sells in the $150 - $200 range and is perhaps the best 45 on the short lived Super K label.

"Voodoo Medicine Man" has got a wonderful Seeds like sound throughout and I'd imagine Sky Saxon would have enjoyed singing this one if he'd had ever heard it, which is doubtful. The compact organ dominates, add into the mix macabre vocals, some primitive drum action and a raunchy guitar.... what a sound they create.... this is an ALL action, hard driving bubblegum assault.

The other side "Sweet Charity" is a calming pop psych nugget which has never troubled the compilers.