30 April, 2011


THE BEATLES - 'Yellow Submarine'/'Eleanor Rigby' (Parlophone R 5493) August 1966

It's been several months since I wrote anything about The Beatles but thought it appropriate to post 'Eleanor Rigby' today. The song was recorded during two sessions on 28/04/66 and 29/04/66, exactly 45 years ago!

'Eleanor Rigby' deals with depression, loneliness and death, subjects that were not normally associated with a pop song but The Beatles were so unique and ahead of their competitors during 1966/67. Indeed, Paul McCartney is known to favour his work on Revolver above most other material.

A double string quartet was used to build the ambience of this lament for lonely people and producer George Martin utilized violins, violas and the cello to great effect. These instruments were recorded very close to the microphone to give that dense aural texture, something never before tried according to Beatles Engineer Geoff Emerick.

THE BEATLES - Eleanor Rigby

USA release

Germany release

French EP

Italian release

UK promo poster

29 April, 2011


THE SATANS - 'Makin' Deals'/'Lines And Squares' (Manhattan 801) May 1966

Absolute genuis record by a group that has so far avoided much recognition, I'm sure that would change if information was known about them. It appears that The Satans hailed from Fullerton, California and were produced by Sidewalk Records guy Bob Sommers who also produced records by The Sweets, The Unforscene and 18th Century Concepts (I'm sure there's more).

With a name like The Satans and a song about selling your soul to the Devil I'm not sure that 'Makin' Deals' would get much radio play. But it's such a strange world that 45 years later I'm posting it on my blog without such unneccesary censorship. When I checked the £ to the $ rate this morning (something I do everyday since I buy records from USA) it was 1.666. Now that was surely a sign to write about The Satans.

check out these lyrics from 'Makin' Deals'

"Like I said before
I'm the man that makes the deals.
I make them for your soul
Whatever you feel.
So sign your name
On the dotted line
Give you what you want
But your soul is mine."

The flip 'Lines And Squares' is less intimidating but it's still a cool folk rocker and well worth hearing.

THE SATANS - Makin' Deals

28 April, 2011


THE NIGHTCRAWLERS - 'A Basket Of Flowers'/'Washboard' (Kapp K-746) Feb 1966

The Nightcrawlers from Daytona Beach, Florida, had a sizeable hit with their first record 'The Little Black Egg'. Their second single was the Byrdsian 12 string folk rockin' tambourine bashin' 'A Basket Of Flowers', first on the local label Marlin, then released throughout USA on Kapp Records.

Here's what Nightcrawlers lead guitarist Sylvan Wells had to say about 'A Basket Of Flowers'. *

"The lyric idea for 'A Basket Of Flowers' was Rapunzel in the tower. It was really written around the chord progression which I came up with then vocalist Charlie Conlon and I finished it off. The chords are very complicated for a rock 'n' roll song.
I used a Mosrite 12 string guitar that we would borrow from the music store in Sanford. We did like The Byrds and all that stuff".

(* quote taken from the Big Beat liners of The Nightcrawlers CD)


The Nightcrawlers - Top 20 in Orlando

27 April, 2011


THE TROPICS - 'For A Long Time'/'Black Jacket Woman' (Thames Records T-103) 1966

The Tropics were one of the leading bands to emerge from the Tampa Bay scene that included The Rovin' Flames, The Roemans, Hoppi and the Beau Heems, The Savages and The Outsiders. This rather GREAT! double sider is my favourite 45 that they released mostly because it has an abundance of glorious jangle.
'For A Long Time' written by songwriter Travis Fairchild has all the elements I dig in a 60s garage record (ie) punky vocals, jangle guitar, cool musicianship and production as well as lyrics that are full of fucked off attitude.

For a long time you've been hangin' me 'round
I tell you girl I ain't your clown
I tell you girl I ain't gonna hang around....for a long time.

'Black Jacket Woman' is a slow tempo folk rocker, very Byrdsian in song structure and melody. I could listen to this type of coolsville all day and all of the night. The Yorkshire Puddin' and Zone V also recorded versions.
Both songs were produced by Jim Sessody and Vince Palmer.

An excelent interview with Buddy Pendergrass (guitar/organ) from The Tropics can be found in Issues 1 & 2 of a fanzine called Kaleidoscope.

26 April, 2011



THE TEARS - 'Rat Race'/'People Through My Glasses' (Onyx 2201) January 1968

The Tears are probably best remembered (if at all) for their fuzz ravin' non hit swinger 'Weatherman'. I first heard it on the compilation LP 'Sixties Choice - Volume 2'. It took a long time for their follow up 'Rat Race' to get some comp action, then Big Beat put that situation right in 1994 with their CD 'The Scorpio Records Story'.

The Tears hailed from Sacramento and were a popular live draw in and around their home turf. Both sides of this disc were recorded in 1967 at Fantasy Records Studios in San Francisco. The record was slated to be released on Scorpio Records at the tail end of '67 but the release was shelved when the label was sold.

'Rat Race' and 'People Through My Glasses' are powerful fuzzadelic tunes heavy on the fuzz and organ in equal measure. Listen out for some mind bending studio trickery. File under COOL!

THE TEARS - Rat Race



UNITED TRAVEL SERVICE - 'Echo Of You'/'Gypsy Eyes' (Ridon 860) 1968

I've written about this Portland, Oregon, outfit before but since I'm writing about timelapse jangles 'Echo Of You' is next up for review. Both sides are excelent folkadelic interludes brimming with 12 string guitar and ideas. They were recorded at Ripcord Studios in Vancouver on March 16th, 1968.

Since I last wrote about The United Travel Service several members have been located who have provided much needed information, photographs and other ephemera. Break-A-Way Records even gathered together an albums worth of unreleased recordings including the four single sides. This follow up 45 on the Ridon label is not easy to find, you'll have better luck tracing a copy of 'Wind And Stone'.

A few years ago 12 string jangler John Reeves was interviewed over on 60sgaragebands.com Here's what he had to say about 'Echo Of You'.

"On the ‘Echo Of You’ we used a Leslie speaker for the 12-string, giving off a very unique sound.  We also used a metronome, and in the middle, I rushed into the room with stuffed animals playing Brahms, Bach and Tchaikovsky tunes.  We used a chain across a piano and used a cello bow over the 12-string toward the end to fill out the sound.  I loved the creativity of the recording studio."


25 April, 2011


SUNSHINE REIGNS - 'Acelia Dulfin'/'Laura (Is The Girl)' (MBM Productions 1946) 196?

This combo are a mystery to me, nothing is written about them in any of the sources I have and no one has written about them online. MBM Productions were a small label operating out of Crowley, Louisiana, so perhaps that's a clue as to where Sunshine Reigns came from.
MBM Productions also released a 45 by 49th Blue Streak - another unknown group.

'Acelia Dulfin' was the flip side and it's a mournful teen garage loner/outsider trip about a girl not worth bothering about. It starts off with a spoken intro over some mysterious bass and farfisa organ and it's quite clear that the singer has been burned by this chick before.
After the spoken intro the song bursts into folk rock jangle

"This is a story about a friend I once had
For he's mixed up with this girl
And I knew she was bad.
So I gave him some advice about her
And I think you ought to listen to it to,
It might help you some day"


ROBB LONDON and the ROGUES - 'Bitter Tears'/'Standing Under Big Ben' (Beckingham Records BJ-1083) 1965

Beckingham Records were a small label operating out of San Antonio, Texas that were obviously touched by the Brit Invasion influence. It's all there if you look for the clues on the label....the music though is pure American, in particular Los Angeles folk rock and those teen punk moody ballads.

'Bitter Tears' is a slow, moody and short (1:45) rant of folk rock greatness edged along by a clattering tambourine. I can't hear any drums so the tambourine has become the backbeat for the sullen and depressed Robb London.

The flip 'Standing Under Big Ben' (these guys just loved the English angle) is another moody gem.

Two more Robb London and the Rogues 45s were released on Beckingham which I don't have at this point in time but they're on my radar.   

ROBB LONDON and the ROGUES - Bitter Tears

24 April, 2011


THE GANTS - 'Try Too Hard' (Liberty LRP-3455) July 1966

I first discovered The Gants via Pebbles Volume 8 ('I Wonder' was compiled) and so when Bam Caruso released a retrospective LP in 1988 full of Gants music it was a must have. One of these days I'll cover The Gants 45s on my blog in detail but for now I'll post 'Try Too Hard'.

'Try Too Hard', recorded in Los Angeles, is their version of the rockin' garage number written by Dave Clark & Mike Smith. Maybe The Gants were influenced enough by The Dave Clark Five to cover this fuzz ravin' gem. According to the liners of the Bam Caruso release The Gants toured with the English beat group during the early part of 1966.

'Try Too Hard' was a rare highlight on the LP 'Gants Galore' but sadly this smokin' tune was not released as a Gants 45 side.

THE GANTS - Try Too Hard


THE MOURNING REIGN  - 'Our Fate' (Sundazed SEP 115) June 1966

The Mourning Reign, from San Jose, left behind some fabulous recordings all of which were gathered together and released on Beatrocket back in 1998. One such piece of greatness was 'Our Fate' an uptempo garage folk rock gem, written by lead singer Beau Maggi.

The group enjoyed some success as a touring group even supporting Eric Burdon & The Animals during a week long stint in Northern California.
The Mourning Reign were dealt a body blow when frontman and songwriter Maggi was drafted to Vietnam and things were never quite the same.      


23 April, 2011


THE SHEFFIELDS - 'Nothing I Can Do'/'My Only Wish' (Fenton 980-C) August 1965

Hundreds of American groups (maybe thousands) were influenced by the Brit Invasion sound and none finer than The Sheffields from Holland, Michigan. They even called themselves after a City in England such was the need to embrace the rampant English 'disease' of rock and roll from 1964 onwards.

'Nothing I Can Do' is a perfect harmonious beat number that sounds like the best song The Searchers never wrote. This was always one of my favourite cuts on 'Scream Loud' The Fenton Story. It was also re-recorded and released on the Chicago based Destination label in 1966.

Dale Knoll (bass)
Ron Gibson (lead guitar)
John Dunn (rythmn guitar)
Rodney Mullett (drums)
Gary Teall (lead singer)


Suited and booted and just a little square - The Sheffields

22 April, 2011


THE KINGS RANSOM - 'Shadows Of Dawn'/'Streetcar' (Integra 102) 196?

The follow up Kings Ransom 45 was the charming pop psycher 'Shadows Of Dawn' which is clearly influenced by The Association, especially the background vocals.
The group had moved away from the folk jangle brashness on this release and were heading towards a more sophisticated sound, but this would be the final Kings Ransom record.

Previously unreleased Kings Ransom songs from 1966 were compiled on the recent Allentown Anglophile compilation.

Kings Ransom - Shadows Of Dawn - master by EXPO67


THE KINGS RANSOM - 'Shame'/'Here Today Gone Tomorrow' (Integra 101) July 1967

Another teenage group with the 'English' sound were The Kings Ransom from Allentown, Pennsylvania. They combined the energetic beat approach of The Rolling Stones with a 12 string Rickenbacker to produce an altogether satisfying folk punk jangler in 'Shame'..

'Shame' and the flip 'Here Today Gone Tomorrow' were group originals and recorded at Frank Virtue studio and found an interesting article in Billboard from March 1968 that I've uploaded below.

The Kings Ransom were one of those obscure mid 60s groups that had a big local following but were virtually unknown outside of their home State. The played regular at venues such as The Purple Owl, King Arthur's Court, The Mod Mill and The Mad Hatter.

Bob Dougherty (vocals)
Vince Homick (rhythm guitar)
Bob Werley (lead guitar)
Chuck Hoey (drums)
Glen Zoski (bass)


21 April, 2011


THE FIFTH ORDER 'Bonfire' (Break-A-Way 010) unreleased recording 1967

German re-issue label Break-A-Way Records release superior retrospectives of 60s garage bands and on most occasions find previously unused demos and studio recordings that for a mixture of reasons were never used at the time.

'Bonfire' would surely have become a sought after disc had it been released when The Fifth Order were one of the best groups in Ohio. This song written by Jack Sender is (in my opinion) as good if not better than the big hit 'Goin' Too Far'.... The group missed out by not releasing this killer but I've been collecting obscure 60s records long enough to know that bad moves and decisions hindered many teenbeat groups.

The Rickenbacker jangle is present along with those pounding bass notes ala 'Goin' Too Far'... Not only that but there's some subtle fuzz which is obviously killer kool but not loud enough in the mix for my tastes. The lyrics seem to describe a swingin' chick who's too hot to handle.

"She's a little bonfire leave her alone."

The following - take a bow:
Billy Carroll (vocals)
Jim Hilditch (lead guitar)
Jeff Fenholt (rhythm guitar)
Jeff Johnson (bass)
Mike Comfort (drums)
Gary Steger (rhythm guitar on 'Goin' Too Far)
Jack Sender (songwriter)


THE FIFTH ORDER - 'A Thousand Devils (Are Chasin' Me)'/'Today (I Got A Letter)' (Laurie LR 3404) Sept 1967

During mid '67 The Fifth Order returned to producer Ray Allen's studio in Louisville, Kentucky and recorded five Jack Sender songs. The best song and garage classic 'Bonfire' was for some insane reason not chosen as a side for the single that followed in September.

'A Thousand Devils (Are Chasin' Me)' was picked as the A Side. With it's jaunty commercial sound and soul influenced background vocals, the record did well locally once again when released on Counterpart. This time around Laurie Records signed the group and the 45 was picked up for national release but flopped.

According to the liners of the Break-A-Way release, The Fifth Order appeared on TV Show 'Upbeat' in Cleveland. Maybe one day the tapes of that performance will show up some place on the internet.

THE FIFTH ORDER - A Thousand Shadows (Are Chasin' Me)

this piece appeared in Billboard Sept 1967 - just look at some of those groups!

20 April, 2011


THE FIFTH ORDER - 'Goin' Too Far'/'Walkin' Away' (Diamond D-212) November 1966

Teenage group The Fifth Order hailed from Columbus, Ohio and their 1966 release 'Goin' Too Far' is considered a garage classic and quite rightly so. By late 1966, The Fifth Order had acquired a strong fan base due in most part to their wild gigs and lead singer Billy Carroll who had a stage presence that the girls went nuts for.

The group recorded the fruits of this 45 at a studio in Louisville, Kentucky. The chose two originals by songwriter Jack Sender (who was not in the group) and it was released on the small indie label Counterpart. Sales of the record went through the roof. According to the liners of the Break-A-Way retrospective from 2004, it sold upwards of 18,000 copies. It was a number 1 smash in Columbus and charted in Ohio and the Midwest.

Diamond Records then licensed it for national release but it didn't sell in the quantities hoped for. But good news for garage fans in 2011 because it's a fairly easy 45 to score. The flip 'Walkin' Away' has merseybeat moves and is another strong song with immediate appeal.


The Fifth Order - promo shot - mid 1966

pic from Buckeyebeat

Billboard article - October 1966

Fifth Order at number 28 on the Cincinnati WUBE radio chart

18 April, 2011


 THE HAZARDS - 'Tinted Green'/'Hey Little Girl (C'mon Let's Live)' (Unicorn 23793/4) 1969

Every now and again I become obsessed by a song and at the moment the song doing my mynd some pleasurable damage is 'Tinted Green' by The Hazards.
I've not got this rare 45 and have never seen it offered for sale via dealer lists etc. I checked popsike and a copy in 'worn' condition and full of noise sold for almost $1600. That kind of price is an indication that it's a sought after disc and beyond scarce.

'Tinted Green' has been compiled just the once on the vinyl only release 'Highs In The Mid Sixties - Volume 21, Ohio, Part Two'. The record used for that compilation sounds like it's in poor condition. There is loud snap, crackle and pop from start to finish. I've uploaded an MP3 from this disc in all it's crackling glory, I didn't bother to clean the wav file only boosting the volume to make it sound much louder. 

So why do I think 'Tinted Green' is killer? Well, just listen to that eerie farfisa organ high in the mix and loner garage psych vibe. Now that is just a fantastic sound. According to Barry Wickham's Reference Guide, the 45 was pressed in 1969. That may be so, but the sound is not the usual heavy rock sound of '69. What would you rather have, Led Zep or The Hazards? I know who'd win out in my EXPO67 world.

I spent some time researching The Hazards but wasn't having much luck until I crashed onto the Buckeyebeat website. Here is that entry in full: 

Location: North Jackson, 1966-70
This group was formed by two sets of brothers who lived in the truck stop communities of North Jackson and Berlin Center. The oldest member had been playing since the early 60s in small combos using the name Peppermint Twisters but in 1966 the official Hazards formed, originally under the name Saints of Soul.

The band didn't have much opportunity to play live as there were very few places to play. In 1967, 23 year old Chuck Tomich from nearby Ellsworth joined the band as keyboard player (he had been Western Reserve High classmates of the drummer some years ago). Chuck took his military severance pay and bought the band new equipment and changed the name to The Hazards. Chuck wrote a couple songs, using the pen name Jason C. Lee, and the band went to United Audio and recorded the garage psych masterpiece "Tinted Green", which reflected Chuck's disillusionment about his Vietnam War experiences. The excellent "Hey Little Girl" was originally intended for the A-side.

The band got the tapes to Bryte Star in Newbury for release and distribution. The band was told that at least 2500 copies were sold, but due to the record's extreme rarity, that seems like a con job (about 2490 copies must be in a warehouse somewhere). Copies of the record were distibuted with a picture insert. The Hazards didn't last long, as three of the members were well into their 20s and a couple wanted a steadier gig. Chuck Tomich hooked up with a couple Youngstown area musicians in a short lived band called Group Therapy before forming Blue Amber.

The Hazards - this original 45 in 'worn' condition sold on Ebay in September 2010 for $1593

Hazards - Tinted Green by EXPO67

THE HAZARDS - Hey Little Girl (sent in by Ad Zwaga)

16 April, 2011


SOUND CARNIVAL - 'I Wish I Could Tell You'/'Dreams' (Afton Records 1703) Sept 1967

This is such a beautiful record by a group I know nothing about so hopefully if anyone reads this and knows more details be sure to get in touch.
According to Barry Wickham's Price Guide, Sound Carnival hailed from Morton Grove, Illinois and that is backed up when Gear Fab released the CD collection 'Psychedelic States - Illinois Volume 1. I don't have this CD, but maybe there are notes about the group provided here?

'I Wish I Could Tell You' is a delicate tambourine pop jangler with gorgeous melody and background vocals. The drummer offers a basic rhythm and the most drum rolls I've heard in a song. It's a pretty scarce record and virtually never shows up. This side has not been officially compiled before but I did place both on my Timelapse Jangle Revisited comp from 2010.

The flip 'Dreams' is another winner and appeared on that Psychedelic States release.

Afton Records also released two other necessary 45s.... The Gnomes 'The Sky Is Falling' and The Five Bucks 'No Use In Trying'.

SOUND CARNIVAL - I Wish I Could Tell You

I have recently been contacted by Mark Fisch who played rhythm guitar for The Sound Carnival. Mark has provided some invaluable information about his old 60s group who have remained largely unknown and forgotten since they disbanded in 1969.

(Mark Fisch - Sound Carnival band members )
"I was not a founding member of the band. They were:

Sam Siegel - Lead vocals
Dick Stock - Lead Guitar
Bob Opdyke
(later replaced by) Pat Burns - Rhythm Guitar
Jim Geinko - Bass
Dick Miles - Drums

I replaced Pat on rhythm guitar sometime in 1967.

We added a keyboardist, Jim Price after the record was released.

Right around spring of '68 or '69 Dick was replaced by Bill Schultz, Jim Price by Bill (?) Flossie, and Dick Stock left & I handled leads until we broke up sometime in 1969. Sorry I am hazy about dates & maybe spelling of some names.
Steve Phlam joined after Dick Stock left & took most of the leads on guitar. I stayed mostly on rhythm. The memories keep coming slowly back. I'm sorry to say I don't recall ever having any pictures of the band.

(Mark Fisch - gigs and other information)
The record was number 1 in Springfield, Illinois for 2 weeks, and 1 week apiece in Lincoln IL and Muncie IN! Were were offered gigs after the release, but because we were all under student draft deferments, we could not neglect our full time student status unless we wanted to be playing the clubs in Viet Nam.

We played only about 3 or 4 dates a month, most at NIU. Our management contract with the three Chicago businessmen gave them half of what we made, providing that they got a minimum of $600 for a date. $50 each group member was good money back then. They had to pay our transportation costs or provide transportation for most of the gigs they arranged, mostly in Chicago.

On a number of occasions, they picked us up at school and drove us in their 3 Cadillacs to wherever. They drove us up to Alpine Valley Resort in Wisconsin to play live on WIND AM radio out of Chicago  because the station was sponsoring the resorts winter carnival, and they were the only Chicago station which gave the song air play. I believe we recorded at Chess in Chicago, but the studio may have changed hands by then. One of the things I am fuzzy about after 44 years.

We were allowed by contract to book our own jobs and keep all the money providing our dates didn't conflict with anything they arranged, and that we charged under $300. These were not professional people and didn't book all that many jobs, probably less than 6 or so. We ended our relationship with them before the band broke up, but again, this is fuzzy. Most of our gigs were dances at NIU, fraternity parties, etc that we booked ourselves for $299.99.

I have not kept up with the other band members. I had a chance meeting with Jim Geinko about 5 years ago, and until today, nobody I know had a copy of the record.

I became a middle school science teacher in Evanston, Illinois, retired June 2008, moved to a retirement community near Orlando, and play in an Oldies cover band for the seniors here on Sundays, and work part time at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort. We do not play I Wish... or Dreams".

Sound Carnival - Dreams by EXPO67


THE NIGHT CRAWLERS - 'You Say'/'Night Crawlin' (Maad Records IMP-51166) May 1966

During their brief existence The Night Crawlers from Owatonna, Minnesota, released one 45 on the small Maad Records label. Approximately 1000 copies were made over two pressings. The original release is the green and white label with 'Joel Recordings of Mankato, Minnesota' on the label. My copy is the second, black label Columbia pressing.   

'You Say' is a commercial folk rocker with 12 string jangle and flashes of tambourine. It's no surprise that Night Crawler Marc Reigel confirmed that they were Byrds fans in a recent interview over on garagebands.com

The flip 'Night Crawlin' is an instrumental composed in the studio on the spot and taped as a live jam.

Despite a huge following and regular gigs The Night Crawlers disbanded in late 1967 when some members graduated from Carleton College and moved on. The Night Crawlers have set up their own Facebook page with in depth details of their history and many cool gig photographs from 1966/67. Go here

Marc Reigel (piano and organ)
Mark Headington (bass)
Mike Jines (guitar)
Bill Redeker (drums)
Barry Gillespie (vocals)


15 April, 2011


THE NIGHT CRAWLERS - 'Want Me'/'Feel So Fine' (Feathered Apple FA-6510) issue from 1966 acetate

When American teenagers went into the recording studio during 1966 armed with their guitars, drums, a fuzzbox, a farfisa organ and enough swagger & attitude to make Mick Jagger look like a choirboy, the results were invariably 60s punk classics...

The Night Crawlers cut some songs at CBS Studios in Chicago that sadly never saw the light of day until someone unearthed an acetate of 'Want Me'. It then ended up on garage comp 'Back From The Grave - Volume 8... I never really took much attention to the song on that release and it wasn't until Mark Taylor sent me a copy of his homemade CD collection G45 Unwaxed that 'Want Me' hit me like a sledgehammer.

The fuzz and farfisa overload packs a powerful punch and thanks to Switzerland re-issue label Feathered Apple, vinyl lovers can have 'Want Me' on a 45 where it surely belongs.
My copy is one of the few that came with a pic sleeve.

The other songs recorded at CBS Studios but ignored and never released were the flip on the acetate 'Feel So Fine', 'Dandelions', 'Chimes Of Freedom', Just Like Romeo & Juliet' and 'Shoulder Of A Giant'. Maybe in the future these 'lost' recordings will see the light of day.

I recently made contact with Night Crawlers organist Marc Reigel who has granted my wish to use pictures of his group on my site.