Monday, February 02, 2015

The Arondies - Introducing The Arondies

Born in Clairton, PA., The Arondies formed in late 1962/early 1963. With a hand from local DJ Terry Lee, they struck a hit in 1965 with the perfect instrumental "69". An endless cycle of shows, personal appearances, and shrieking girls followed. Beautiful vocal ballads like "All My Love" became favorites on the many dances they appeared at. This was, briefly, Pittsburgh’s version of Beatlemania.

Get Hip, in collaboration with band member Bill Scully, located and remastered most of the mastertapes for the tracks on this album.

Where mastertapes were impossible to locate, original acetates and mint copies of the singles replaced them. The result is a deluxe bonafide collection with amazing sound and a 12-page booklet packed with photos and momentos of their history along with an extensive detailed story of the band, original labels info, etc.

If you dug the recent reissues of the Sonics and Wailers you will surely love this album! From the revved-up opening track "Step Move Jump Slide", the latin-inspired "Mexico Tex" to teen garage nuggets with a distinctive guitar twang and genuine teenager spirit!

The Arondies never charted a single nationally and seldom played far outside of their western Pennsylvania base. But during the summer of 1965, they burned up the Pittsburgh airwaves with a single, "69," that seemed to portend great possibilities for the group. The latter never came to fruition, but the Arondies left behind a legacy of a baker's dozen garage rock tracks that are nearly as fresh to the ear in 2002 as they were in 1963-1967; and "69" is regarded as a garage rock instrumental classic. Guitarist Jim Pavlack and drummer Bill Scully starting playing and singing together in the early '60s. Gary Pittman came aboard as a singer and took up bass; by the end of 1962, they had a rock & roll trio heavily steeped in R&B -- their major influences included Maurice Williams, Bo Diddley, and local R&B star Herb Marshall. They chose the name the Arondies and began playing gigs during late 1963, distinguishing themselves with their serious devotion to authentic R&B, their hard and intense approach to their playing, and good harmonizing. The results were close in spirit to early Paul Revere & the Raiders, except that the guitar -- rather than sax or organ -- was their lead instrument, even on "Louie Louie." By late 1964, they'd begun recording demos and early the following year, they released a debut single of "69" b/w "All My Love," both group originals. The group hit locally with help from Pittsburgh DJ Terry Lee, who heard the group and liked how they sounded. The Arondies began playing at his dances and record hops, he began plugging them on the radio, and "69" sold as fast as it could be pressed until it was moving over 10,000 copies in a month. The band got lots of bookings but saw very little money, and their relationship with Lee ended in less than a year. The original lineup had ceased to function by late 1965, though Pittman and Pavlack kept the Arondies going as a quartet with Chuck Taska and Ralph Falk, and the two later assembled a quintet called the Soul Congress, who got some work behind the O'Jays and later lofted a single ("Do It") low onto the R&B charts. Meanwhile, Scully hooked up with Herb Marshall in a jazz-rock quartet and by the '70s, all of the members were out of the music business. That might've been the last anyone heard of the Arondies, except for Get Hip Records, which issued a CD in 1999 made from the group's 13 extant sides. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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