17 May, 2012

THE FUGITIVES - MEAN WOMAN


THE FUGITIVES - 'Mean Woman'/'I'll Be A Man' (Columbia 4-43261) April 1965

There were many groups in the 60s calling themselves The Fugitives so researching this particular combo with such a common name proved a little tricky. It turns out that they were based in New York, some reference guides even suggest that group members came from Manhattan.

'Mean Woman' has certainly got the 'new sound' of the teenage beat group mixing Brit Invasion with some surf styled guitar leads. It's a shame that this particular aural brew wasn't produced more often as I think it's very exciting, but as you know folk-rock was just around the corner ('Mr Tambourine Man' by The Byrds was released during the same month/year) and the jangle/tambourine/harmony sound would be everywhere throughout 1965 and into '66.

The flip 'I'll Be A Man' is straight ahead beat ballad that lacks the energy and punch of the fabulous 'Mean Woman.' I found a small article in Billboard  from March 1965 indicating that The Fugitives had been signed to Columbia Records but as it turned out only one 45 was ever released on this label by the band.

 
The Fugitives then had a small hit record with 'Your Girl's A Woman' on Mala, with their new label even taking out a full page advert in Billboard. Both sides of this disc is pleasant pop and I can hear how the tune would be such a radio friendly sound during mid '66.

Billboard June 1966



The Fugitives at number 38 on the NYC chart

Footnote: Brothers Evan and Ray Charmatz were members of The Fugitives. I'm fairly certain (after extensive research) that they changed their surname to Chandler at some point in time. Evan Chandler left the music business, probably before the 60s were out, and became a successful dentist to 'the stars' in Hollywood during the 80s and early 90s. He even found time to screenwrite and co-wrote the hit comedy film 'Robin Hood: Men In Tights.'

In 1993 Evan Chandler became embroiled with Michael Jackson after he accused him of sexual misconduct with his 13 year old son Jordan. There is mountains of information about this on the internet so I won't go into it on my blog. After all, it's Evan's 60s group The Fugitives that interests me.

Sadly Evan committed suicide in 2009 in his luxery apartment in New Jersey.

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