Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thee Midniters - Greatest

Indisputably the greatest Latino rock band of the '60s, Thee Midniters took their inspiration from both the British Invasion sound of the Rolling Stones and the more traditional R&B that they were weaned on in their native Los Angeles. Hugely popular in East Los Angeles, the group, featuring both guitars and horns, had a local hit (and a small national one) with their storming version of "Land of a Thousand Dances" in 1965. Much of their repertoire featured driving, slightly punkish rock/R&B, yet lead singer Willie Garcia also had a heartbreaking delivery on slow and steamy ballads. In the manner of other local phenomenon's like the Rationals (from Detroit), they were equally talented at whipping up a storm with up-tempo numbers and offering smoldering romantic soul tunes. After a few albums and an interesting detour into social consciousness with the single "Chicano Power," the group split in the early '70s, though their legacy is felt in later popular L.A. Latino rock acts like Los Lobos.

Before the release of this 2003 compilation, the absence of a Thee Midniters CD collection was one of the most egregious omissions in the catalog of 1960s rock on compact disc. This 20-track anthology happily rectifies that situation, including everything from the fine 14-song 1983 Rhino LP Best of Thee Midniters, and adding half a dozen other worthy selections. All of the band's very best cuts are here, whether it's the soul covers ("Land of a Thousand Dances," "Sad Girl," "Giving Up on Love," "The Town I Live In," "It'll Never Be Over for Me"); raucous bluesy garage rock ("Whittier Blvd.," "Jump, Jive and Harmonize," "Love Special Delivery," "Empty Heart"); or tasty romantic soul-pop originals ("Dreaming Casually," "Making Ends Meet"). There are, too, a few songs that sample the unpredictable directions into which the group occasionally flew, like the ghostly cover of jazz singer Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Brother Where Are You?" and the Latin jazz-rock fusion of "Chicano Power." Audio purists might regret that some surface noise can be heard as the music was mastered from the best vinyl sources possible, rather than the original tapes, but really the vinyl noise is very faint and not a significant hindrance. It's also too bad that enjoyable oddities-rarities from the Thee Midniters discography like the psychedelic "Breakfast on the Grass," the Spanish ballad "Tu Despedida," and the searing instrumental "Thee Midnite Feeling" didn't make the cut. But given a 20-track cutoff point, it's hard to argue with the selection on this worthy summary of one of the finest 1960s American rock bands never to have a big national hit.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bob Kuban & The In-Men - Look Out For The Cheater (1966) +

This artist hit it big exactly once, with the Top Ten hit "The Cheater," released in 1966 under the name of Bob Kuban & the In-Men. His music was influenced by his sideman association with Ike and Tina Turner, including several stints with Ike's Kings of Rhythm band. In 1976, he opened his own booking agency and his venture payed off, even leading to public recognition such as the St. Louis Businessman of the Year award. One of his innovations was the so-called Singles Night Out series of singles dances. He also started his own publishing company, Q-Man Music. His success in these music business endeavors have left him in a different position than many other '60s hit artists who never recovered from getting "ripped off" for their royalties. He always left some time for music, continuing to book his own combo as well as fronting the Bob Kuban Brass Band. Thirty years after his one Top Ten hit, he was honored at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's tribute to "One Hit Wonders," because without him it could never have been complete.

Unfortunately, Kuban's singer on this hit single, Walter Scott, was not around to enjoy the award. He was the victim of a grisly murder in 1983, the details of which were apparently fascinating enough to inspire a book, The Cheaters: The Walter Scott Murder by Scottie Priesmeyer. Although he vanished in 1983, the singer's body was not found until 1987, floating in a cistern with a gunshot wound to the back. His widow and her new husband were charged with the murder, and that is quite ironic considering the words of the biggest hit Scott had ever sung: "Look out for the cheater..." Scott and Kuban's relationship went back to 1963, when the latter was a high school teacher who played drums on weekend wedding gigs, with Scott singing for a group called the Pacemakers. The two men formed a new band that almost immediately began cutting sides for the Norman label, but not with any great success, although the song "Jerkin' Time" would make a great theme song for a Jamaican jerked chicken chain. "The Cheater" was originally released by the Musicland label, for whom Kuban cut two further singles, "Harlem Shuffle" and "The Batman Theme." In 1970, Kuban cut a single for Reprise and re-did his one-hit for other labels in both 1974 and 1975. In 1975, the Bob Kuban Brass Band recorded Get Ready for Some Rock and Soul, once again for Norman. The same label was still around in the late '80s to issue two more singles with predictable partying themes, "Everybody's Gonna Have a Party" and "Triple Shot of Rhythm and Blues." In 2000, Kuban began playing drums in the band of another St. Louis rock & roll legend, but one with decidely more than one hit to his credit: guitarist Chuck Berry. Kuban has also worked in radio and was the musical director of KXOK from 1985 through 1987. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Bob Kuban & The In-Men - Look Out For The Cheater 
-A Golden Classics Edition (Collectables Records, 1996)

Look out for the Cheater album by Bob Kuban & the In-Men was released Feb 27, 1996 on the Collectables label. Includes original release liner notes by Harry Young. Look out for the Cheater songs Bob Kuban & The In Men: Bob Kuban (drums); "Sir" Walter Scott (vocals); Emi Ray Schulte (guitar); Patrick Hixon (tenor saxophone, trumpet); Harry Simon (saxophone); Paul "Skip" Weisser (trombone); Greg Roland (vox organ); Mike Evans (bass). Look out for the Cheater album Personnel: Bob Kuban (drums); Harry Simon (saxophone). Look out for the Cheater CD music Liner Note Author: Harry Young. Recording information: Technisonic Studios. Look out for the Cheater CD music contains a single disc with 25 songs

1. The Cheater
2. In The Midnight Hour
3. Batman Theme
4. You've Got Your Troubles (I've Got Mine)
5. All I Want
6. Harlem Shuffle
7. These Boots Were Made For Walking
8. Theme From Virginia Wolfe
9. Get Out
10. Try Me Baby
11. Stop Her On Sight (S.O.S.)
12. You Better Run
13. Drive My Car
14. Little Girl
15. Pretzel Party
16. Turn On Your Love Light
17. Jerkin' Time
18. Teaser
19. I Don't Want To Know
20. Dance With Me
21. Wait Until Tomorrow
22. My Shadow Is Gone
23. Watch Out
24. It's Been A Long Long Time
25. Proud

 Originals cover of 1966 album

This eight-piece rock ‘n’ roll band came from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The members were Bob Kuban (b. August 1940, St. Louis, Missouri, USA; drums), Walter Scott (b. Walter S. Notheis, Jnr., 7 February 1943; lead vocals), John Michael Krenski (bass), Greg Hoeltzel, (keyboards), Roy Schult (guitar), Skip Weisser (trombone), Harry Simon (saxophone), and Pat Hixon (trumpet). Bob Kuban And The In-Man were a classic one-hit-wonder Top 40 group, with ‘The Cheater’, which reached number 12 in the US pop charts in 1966. Also in 1966, the group scraped the bottom of the charts with two follow-ups, ‘The Teaser’ (number 70) and a cover of the Beatles’ ‘Drive My Car’ (number 93). ‘The Cheater’ had something of a blue-eyed soul flavour with the vibrant horn arrangements and Scott’s almost black vocal approach. The In-Men were formed in 1964 and made their first record in 1965. Scott left the group in 1967. He had planned to rejoin the In-Men in 1983, but he was murdered by his wife and her lover, which rendered ironical his success with ‘The Cheater’ and its hook-line ‘look out for the cheater’. Kuban continued to perform in St. Louis for weddings and other social affairs with his band, the Bob Kuban Brass.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Guise - Complete Singles (1966-1969)

The Guise were made up of members from Bob Kuban & The In-Men. 

After Bob Kuban (band leader and drummer for the In-Men) refused to lose the horns and go with a more "British" sound, Musicland USA producer Mel Friedman convinced lead singer Walter Scott, keyboardist Greg Hoeltzel, and base player John Krenski to leave Bob Kuban & The In-Men and form a new group called The Guise. "Long Haired Music" was their first and biggest local success, charting #5 on the KXOK sing-a-long survey. They had a few local hits altogether, but nothing charting nationally.

Walter Scott left the group and returned to Bob Kuban's group for a short time before beginning a solo career. 

This information can be found in Bob Kuban's book "My Side Of The Bandstand" by Nancy Wenger.

Greg Hoeltzel /Keys, Vocals
Mike Krenski /Bass, Vocals
Ray Schulte /Guitars, Vocals
John Goodwin /Drums
Walter Scott /Vocals RIP

The Guise  (And Their Mod Sound)
Complete Singles (1966-1969)
Ripped from 45's  unknows autor

Hailing from St. Louis, the Guise (originally the Guise & Their Mod Sound) were a successor band to Bob Kuban & the In-Men that highlighted not only the excellent songwriting of John Krenski and Greg Hoeltzel, but their solid chops. They recorded six singles between 1966 and 1969, most of them for Mel Friedman's Musicland U.S.A. label, and a couple for ATCO. For somewhat quixotic reasons, my gal and I took it upon ourselves to collect them all, finally tracking down the elusive "Looking Glass"/"Biographical Excerpt File 6319Q" a couple of months ago. (Yeah, that really is the name of the B-side.) 

Anyway, I think all these singles are pretty darn great, and quite underrated. As far as I know, the Guise has never been on an official comp, and until I saw a few of their tracks surface here at I.P. thanks to Buis and Levittownbob, I wasn't sure if anyone else gave a hoot about them. In terms of musical styles, these run the gamut, from Pac Northwest frat ("Chumpy McGee") to lush bah-bah Turtles harmonies ("Time") to a Kinks-style raver ("Bio Excerpt") to gumdy-chewy bubblegum ("Waitin Round the Corner"), it's all good, with the unifying component being Hoeltzel's perfectly shrill organ. Only band I can really compare them to is the Rascals, just in terms of chops (doo-wop harmony skills, tight drums, killer guitar, wild keys) who were also able to break out of the late-50s/early-60s milieu and as the decade progressed play some long hair music with the best of them. Ripped from 45's 

Source WEB
Thanks to autors
I'm looking for
BOB KUBAN and the In-Men - THE CHEATER 1966.

Anyone have it ?

Sandy Coast - And Their Name Is....Sandy Coast

Formed in 1961 in Voorburg as the Sandy Coast Skiffle Group, they had the following names: the Sandy Coast Five, Sandy Coast Rockers and, finally, Sandy Coast.  Thanks to the Hitwezen magazine-organised talent search, they were awarded a record contract with Negram in 1965.   Featured members: Hans Vermeulen (vocals, guitar, keyboards), his brother Jan (bass and guitar), Jos de Jager (bass, 1964-67), Henk Smitskamp (bass, ex-Livin' Blues, from 1970 till 1971, to Shocking Blue), Onno Bevoort (drums, in 1970 temporarily replaced by Will Morkus, in 1974 to Water), Ron Westerbeek (vocals, guitar, keyboards, ex-Daddy's Act, to Water), Charles Kersbergen (guitar, until 1965) and Marianne Nobles (vocals, ex-solo, 1972).   In 1974, Sandy Coast disbanded; Hans formed Rainbow Train together with his brother Jan.

John Fred & His Playboy Band - Love My Soul

John Fred & his Playboy Band - Love My Soul 
UNI 73077  1970
Another amazing gem from John Fred & the crew. It continues with the lasting rhythms and horn treatments.

The guitars are up loud in the mix and John’s vocals are playful and punchy. Their rewrite of “Sweet Soul Music” makes no sense, adding Pete Townsend, Harry Nilsson, and Johnny Winter to the list. What? They don’t make “soul” music!!!

Fred also turns The Beatles’ “Back In The USSR” into a raw blues song. Very weird. The originals are top-notch though except for the rather creepy track “The Big Show” which seems to start bad, get worse, and end with the feeling you’ve inhaled a mist of rust primer spray. Very psychedelic garbage.

Having left Paula to hang with the “big cats” at UNI (i. e. Neil Diamond, Andy Kim, and Big Black), John was on cloud nine, but ended up on cloud six instead. (Kupa99 RYM & redtelephone66)


JOHN FRED vocals
JOE MICELI percussion
HAL ELLIS guitar

Calling the late John Fred Gourier a "one hit wonder" is akin to saying gold is "some sort of rock". He scored his first hit in 1959 with "Shirley", a Fats Domino-inspired piece that is anything but a novelty record.

And over the next several years, Fred became a pioneer in R&B and garage rock, releasing a wealth of singles that included the his phenomenal, pile driving interpretation of "Boogie Children" on the Jewel label.

By the time he put the Beatles' silly "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" in its place with the brilliant "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)" for the Paula label in late 1967, Fred had already released two superb hard rocking albums for Paula. 

But Fred's third Paula album, "Agnes English" exceeded all expectations. It is to date one of the most perfect examples of the fusion of R&B and psychedelia ever recorded, highlighted by the garage standard "Off The Wall" and the frantic and ominous "AcHenall Riot". 

In February 1968, John Fred And The Playboy Band were again on the airwaves with the single, "Hey Hey Bunny" for Paula. In 1969, he switched to Uni Records and curiously tried the novelty single market again with the wonderful "Silly Sarah Carter", followed by a true to form album, "Love My Soul".

For the rest of his career, John Fred went back to his garage and R&B roots and recorded a number of critically accalimed LPs and CDs. Sadly, he died from kidney failure in 2005. 

John Fred was one of the giants of garage band rock. To dismiss him as a one hit wonder is a tremendous affront to his verifiable legacy. .~ Michael McDowell

John Fred & His Playboy Band - Judy In Disguise

John Fred & His Playboy Band - Judy In Disguise 
With Glasses 
(LSP 2197)

John Fred & His Playboy Band - Judy In Disguise 
Judy con disfraz 
(CEM 9302) 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Big Boy Pete - Return To Catatonia

Big Boy Pete - Return To Catatonia:
Return to Catatonia: The Further Adventures of Pete Miller

Although the name may not be familiar to many, Big Boy Pete (aka Pete Miller) has been flogging around the music scene for nearly five decades. He first played in a rock & roll band called the Offbeats, who recorded an EP in 1958, and in 1961, he joined the beat group Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers. With the Jaywalkers, he recorded a number of singles, which were produced by Joe Meek, from whom Pete learned many new and innovative recording techniques. In 1965, he quit the band to concentrate on recording solo projects, and turned to session work to support his recording career. During this period, he became a part-time member of the legendary underground freakbeat band the News, while continuing to write songs for Britain's major publishing houses. Many these songs would eventually end up being recorded by some of the U.K.'s most popular bands. In the mid-'60s, Miller, now sporting the solo name Big Boy Pete, returned to his native Norwich to continue working on his solo projects. His influences during this period came from a wide variety of sources, including the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's, the Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. He recorded a number of demo songs that were seeped in East Indian influences, psychedelic guitar, and experimental production, but they were all rejected by the record companies for being too far off the mainstream sound of the day. In 1969, Big Boy Pete relocated to the United States, where he opened his own recording studio and formed his own record label. Many of his songs that were recorded between 1966 and 1969 lay around in boxes at his studio until the mid-'90s, when suddenly, long-lost psychedelic recordings became sought after by collectors around the world. Tenth Planet Records, a European-based collectors label, contacted Miller and resurrected a number of these recordings, some of which were compiled on the 14-track Homage to Catatonia retrospective. Return to Catatonia contains 14 more long-lost tracks, all recorded between 1966 and 1969. While a bit self-indulgent in places, these songs contain all of the influences that make British psychedelic music what it is. For fans of such artists as early Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, or the Beatles, Return to Catatonia is a must.

Big Boy Pete - The Margetson Demos(1966-68 )

This mysterious British guitarist (real name Pete Miller) cut some oddball non-hits in the '60s that have amassed quite a reputation among psychedelic collectors. Starting out as a member of minor British group Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers, he went solo in late 1965 with "Baby I Got News for You," a Troggsish number with wads of fuzzy guitar. Billed simply as "Miller," Pete was backed on the recording by Peter Frampton and members of the Herd. For the next few years he concentrated on writing for British music publishers, and recording demos for himself. A second single, "Cold Turkey," this time billed to Big Boy Pete, was issued in early 1968. With its eerie blasts of spaceship-elevator psychedelic guitars and biting mod-psych vocals, "Cold Turkey" fully deserves its classic status, though few heard it at the time. In a further twist to the already odd Big Boy Pete story, Miller refused to tour; a different singer was sent out in his place, leading to a good deal of "who really was Big Boy Pete" speculation among serious '60s historians before the confusion was cleared up.
Miller/Big Boy Pete eventually relocated to San Francisco to work as a producer and engineer, occasionally releasing albums on tiny labels. "Cold Turkey" and (to a lesser extent) "Baby I Got News for You" were reissued on compilations of '60s British psych/mod rarities, and the Damned (under the guise of Naz Nomad & the Nightmares) covered "Cold Turkey." Several albums of unreleased late-'60s Big Boy Pete demos have been issued.

Big Boy Pete - The Margetson Demos(1966-68 )

Margetson Demos album by Big Boy Pete was released Mar 09, 2004 on the Gear Fab label.

1. Nothingness Minus The Fun (02:52)
2. Baby, Get Some Of That (02:53)
3. Silhouette (03:17)
4. Cell Soliloguy (03:34)
5. My Love Is Like A Spaceship (04:11)
6. Little Men (02:13)
7. Penthouse (03:15)
8. If Flowers Please Your Hair (02:20)
9. Invalid Of Love (03:07)
10. Funny World (02:42)
11. Henry Nut (Part 3) (01:46)
12. Sitting In The Sun (03:14)
13. The Painter (02:57)
14. Boogaloo (02:45)
15. Watch Your Step (02:50)
16. Charactor Actors (02:51)
17. Flowers Cry Too (02:55)
18. Love Is Proud (03:21)
19. For Love Of Thee (02:52)
20. Who In The Heck Do You Think You Are (03:31)
21. It's Over (02:21)
22. The Sound Of Automation (03:46)
23. LSD (02:22)

Though he has not yet become a household name -- perhaps because he never spent time in an asylum, homeless shelter, or halfway house and because he actively continued to make and promote his music -- Pete Miller's body of work deserves the same sort of devoted coterie of enthusiasts as other great eccentric acid mavericks like Syd Barrett, Roky Erickson, and Skip Spence. The Margetson Demos is still more evidence of Big Boy Pete's incomparable, fascinatingly bizarre vision. And his was no cheeky "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" punnery but the real "L.S.D." deal. The compilation features just what the title says: 23 unpolished demo recordings made by Miller alone at his home studio on Margetson Avenue on the outskirts of Norwich between the Technicolor years of 1966 and 1968, and released here for the first time. Miller himself confesses that many of these songs, to say nothing of the rough-hewn recordings and performances, are unfinished. Still, some of them are raw, inspired pop-psych lunacy of the best sort, including an inspired one-two-three commencement: "Nothingness Minus the Fun," "Baby, Get Some of That," and "Silhouette," the last with the opening riff of the Turtles' "Happy Together" apparently dancing in its head. The awesomely creepy "My Love Is Like a Spaceship," which eventually found its way onto the flip side of the classic "Cold Turkey," is here in its primitive form, and "The Painter" and "Charactor Actors" are also magnificent, even as half doses. It's not surprising that the songs strongest on tune are the most successful in this stripped-down state, while the ones heavier on mood -- dirges, drones, and soundscapes that would undoubtedly blossom with fuller, more sympathetic productions -- are less so. Even the lesser demos, though, retain the distinctive, unmistakable Big Boy Pete stamp. In his liner notes, Miller suggests that an enterprising artist might be interested in taking a crack at completing one or more of these tunes. It would need to be a remarkable artist.

Annette Funicello & Connie Stevens (1959)

Annette Funicello

Annette Funicello was 13 years old when she was discovered by studio head Walt Disney dancing in an amateur production of Swan Lake in Fullerton, California. Much to the enmity of her Mickey Mouse Club co-stars, Funicello joined the cast late in the show's first season and was not required to audition. However, Disney's impulses proved correct, as she swiftly became the most popular performer on The Mickey Mouse Club and featured in her own storyline, Adventures in Dairyland. Soon it was obvious that Funicello needed to make records in order to exploit her potential as a teen star, and while Annette wasn't very enthusiastic about her ability to sing, Disney engaged established arranger Tutti Camerata to pilot her career as a recording artist. Funicello's first record, "Tall Paul," peaked at number seven on the Billboard pop charts and spent nine weeks there; it would prove the highest chart position she would enjoy. Nevertheless, Funicello's enormous audience base -- mostly teen girls -- was enough to support her through 12 albums released through 1965, all but the first appearing on the Buena Vista label, a record company begun by Walt Disney so that Funicello's records need not appear on the Disneyland imprint.
Funicello ultimately got accustomed to making records, and genuinely enjoyed working with Camerata, one of the few forty-something arrangers of the time who "got" the basic building blocks of early rock music. Her albums gradually improved starting with the third one, Annette Sings Anka, probably the first LP to treat the work of a rock songwriter as repertoire. In 1963, Funicello starred in Beach Party, the first of five immensely popular "beach party" films, usually co-starring Frankie Avalon; although produced by AIP, the scripts of every one of these films was personally read and approved by Walt Disney in order to protect Annette's squeaky-clean image. Funicello's film vehicles proved important grounds for breaking other artists; Stevie Wonder appeared in Muscle Beach Party (1964), James Brown in Ski Party (1965), and the Beach Boys backed her up in her final film for Disney, The Monkey's Uncle (1965). Funicello's own personal best in terms of LPs came with the soundtrack album to Muscle Beach Party.

In 1965, Funicello informed Disney about her intention to marry, and to retire from acting, and Disney gave his blessing. Although she did appear afterward in a few films, including the Monkees' Head (1968), made TV commercials, and appeared in Dick Clark specials in the 1970s, Funicello essentially remained a retired, full-time mom from 1965 forward. She made one more album in the 1970s, The Annette Funicello Country Album, and it proved the only record she made that reflects her personal interests in music. In 1993, Funicello disclosed that she was suffering from multiple sclerosis, and did not appear in public in the years that followed. Her work for Buena Vista remains an acquired taste, a little too saccharine for some listeners. However, some of Camerata's arrangements really did "rock" and Funicello's bright, straightforward, and always enthusiastic singing looked forward to female pop singers of a much later era, the new wave vocalists of the 1980s. In April 2013, Annette Funicello died from complications of the multiple sclerosis she had disclosed years earlier; she was 70 years old.


Connie Stevens 

Actor/singer Connie Stevens was born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingolia on August 8, 1938, in Brooklyn, NY. Coming from a highly musical family (both her parents were jazz musicians and her brother was a drummer), the up-and-coming singer changed her last name to Stevens after her father's stage name (Teddy Stevens). At the age of 16, she was singing in her first group, the Three Debs. By the late '50s, Stevens had co-launched a singing and acting career, signing with Warner Bros. and issuing her debut album, Conchetta, in 1958 and acting in several movies and TV series (Young and Dangerous, Rock-a-Bye Baby, etc.). Stevens continued on with her musical career throughout the '60s, landing two big hit singles -- a duet with actor Ed "Kookie" Burns on "Kookie Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)" and the number one 1961 hit "Sixteen Reasons"; but it was her role as Cricket Blake in the popular TV series Hawaiian Eye that made Stevens famous. It was also during the '60s that Stevens married singer Eddie Fisher, and although the marriage would only last two years (from 1967 through 1969), Stevens and Fisher would have two daughters together, future actress Joely Fisher and future actress/singer Tricia Leigh Fisher.

Stevens stopped issuing recordings in the mid-'60s (after issuing such further albums as From Me to You, The Hank Williams Song Book, and As Cricket), and focused primarily on acting, starring in such movies as Grease 2, Back to the Beach, and Tapeheads, among countless others. In addition, Stevens has developed her own cosmetic skin care product line, Forever Spring, and in the late '90s, she opened the Connie Stevens Garden Sanctuary Executive Day Spa in Los Angeles, CA. Stevens has also founded the Windfeather project, which awards scholarships to Native American Indians. In 1991, she was awarded the Lady of Humanities Award from the Shriners Hospital and Humanitarian of the Year by the Sons of Italy in Washington. In 1994, Stevens issued her first recording in quite a few years, Tradition: A Family at Christmas, along with both her daughters.

Connie Stevens - Sixteen Reasons (1959)

Joanie Sommers - Johnny Get Angry (1962)

Joanie Sommers scored her biggest chart success with "Johnny Get Angry" in 1962. The single, her second solo release, peaked at the number seven spot and charted for more than two months. Her first solo record, "One Boy," was a number from the musical Bye Bye Birdie and only hit number 54 in 1960. She continued to record through the decade, but never had another winner that rose as high on the charts as "Johnny Get Angry." She later achieved a different kind of success in commercials with several different jingles that she sang for Pepsi during the '60s and again two decades later. (The title of one of her later albums, Come Alive, was even derived from one of the Pepsi ad campaigns.)
Sommers, whose real name is Joan Drost, was born in New York but grew up in California. During her high school and college years, she sang in school bands. She was 18 years old when Warner Bros. signed her to a contract in 1959 and paired her with Edd Byrnes on one of his singles. She also had a small role in 77 Sunset Strip, the television series that featured Byrnes in the role of Kookie. In addition, she sang on Byrnes' "I Don't Dig You" and "Hot Rock," which appeared on one of his albums. Sommers released an album of her own, the jazz-oriented Positively the Most, and it helped establish her presence in easy listening and adult circles. Fans and critics often cite her 1965 album, Softly the Brazilian Sound, as one of her best efforts.
In 1966, the singer signed with Columbia Records. One of her following recordings was a version of "Alfie," which both Cher and Dionne Warwick also covered it. While Sommers' version didn't get the notice that the other two did, she had the satisfaction of placing in the Top Ten in the easy listening category. She also appeared in On the Flip Side, a television special that starred Rick Nelson. The show's soundtrack contains two versions of "Try to See It My Way," one of which is a duet with Nelson while the other is a Sommers solo. The singer, married with three children, stepped out of the spotlight as the '70s approached. Before retiring, she made numerous television appearances on the shows of Johnny Carson, Dinah Shore, Dean Martin, Mike Douglas, Bobby Darin, and others. Sommers started singing and making appearances again during the '80s.

Joanie Sommers - Johnny Get Angry (1962) +
From The Original Master Tapes
Japan Remastering

JOANIE SOMMERS Johnny Get Angry (1990 Japanese issue 20-track CD of the 1962 collection and her best selling album, includes nine songs from the original album plus 11 other career hits all from the original master tapes

"Johnny Get Angry" was one of the great teen pop hits and the biggest for Joannie Sommers, but most of her recordings were in more of a mature vein -- pop in the old-fashioned sense. This straight CD reissue of her 1962 album has a mixture of both styles. The title track and "Since Randy Moved Away" sit alongside "(Theme From) A Summer Place" and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," giving listeners a look at both sides of Sommers. Her minor hit version of "One Boy" from Bye Bye Birdie is also included among the dozen tracks here. With a playing time just under a half-hour, Johnny Get Angry could have been presented as a two-fer or with bonus tracks, but fans will be glad to finally have a legitimate reissue of her original album.

Jesse Davis - Jesse Davis (1971)

A full-blooded Kiowa Indian, Jesse Ed Davis was perhaps the most versatile session guitarist of the late '60s and early '70s. Whether it was blues, country or rock, Davis' tasteful guitar playing was featured on albums by such giants as Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, John Lennon and John Lee Hooker, among others. It is Davis' weeping slide heard on Clapton's "Hello Old Friend" (from No Reason to Cry), and on both Rock n' Roll and Walls & Bridges, it is Davis who supplied the bulk of the guitar work for ex-Beatle Lennon.
Born in Oklahoma, Davis first earned a degree in literature from the University of Oklahoma before beginning his musical career touring with Conway Twitty in the early '60s. Eventually the guitarist moved to California, joining bluesman Taj Mahal and playing guitar and piano on his first three albums. It was with Mahal where Davis was able to showcase his skill and range, playing slide, lead and rhythm, country and even jazz guitar during his three-year stint.
The period backing Mahal was the closest Davis came to being in a band full-time, and after Taj's 1969 album Giant Step, Davis began doing session work for such diverse acts as David Cassidy, Albert King and Willie Nelson. In addition, he also released three solo albums featuring industry friends such as Leon Russell and Eric Clapton.
In and out of clinics, Davis disappeared from the music industry for a time, spending much of the '80s dealing with alcohol and drug addiction. Just before his death of a suspected drug overdose in 1988, Davis resurfaced playing in the Graffiti Band, which coupled his music with the poetry of American Indian activist John Trudell. The kind of expert, tasteful playing that Davis always brought to an album is sorely missed among the acts he worked with.

* Vocals, Guitar - Jesse Ed Davis
* Bass – Billy Rich*, Steve Thompson (2)
* Drums – Alan White, Bruce Rowland, Chuck "Brother" Blackwell*, Steve Mitchell
* Guitar – Eric Clapton, Joel Scott Hill
* Keyboards – Ben Sidran, John Simon, Larry Knechtel, Larry Pierce, Leon Russell
* Percussion – Alan Yoshida, Jackie Lomax, Johnnie Ware*, Pat Daley, Pete "Big Boy" Waddington*, Sandy Konikoff
* Baritone Saxophone, Clarinet – James Gordon*
* Tenor Saxophone – Frank Mayes, Jerry Jumonville
* Trombone, Trumpet – Darrell Leonard

This first solo release from session-guitarist extraordinaire Jesse Ed Davis celebrates the ethos of early-'70s album making; namely, renting a studio for a weekend, supplying lots of drugs and alcohol, and then inviting a few dozen of your closest friends over to record. The album itself is filled with cameos by Davis' musician pals: Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, and Gram Parsons among them. However, it does neither the all-star backing musicians, nor Davis, much credit. With the exception of Van Morrison's "Crazy Love," most of the album was penned by Davis, and in spite of some strong rockers ("Every Night Is Saturday Night for Me,") the downplaying of Davis' exemplary soloing ability does the guitarist a disservice.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

John Fred & His Playboy Band - Permanently Stated (1968)

John Fred Gourrier was born in Baton Rouge, LA, on May, 8, 1941. Although he excelled in sports like basketball and baseball at Catholic High School, his first love, much to the constant chagrin of his parents, was R&B music, especially that which was broadcast from New Orleans just 60 miles down proverbial Highway 61. At the tender age of 16, he was already heading his own band (a collection of his classmates) and was trying his hand at composing.

About this same time frame a local wholesale grocer (now real estate speculator), Sam Montalbano, himself just 21, and the road manager of native teen idol, Jimmy Clanton, of Johnny Vincent’s (Imbragulio) Ace label of Jackson, MS (“Just A Dream” and “Go Jimmy Go”), had a record shop at 3958 Florida St, M&S (along with partner Joe Messina), and was looking to record area talent. In fact, with his first release on his fledgling label, Lester Robertson & the Upsetters’ “My Girl Across Town,” which became Montel #1001, he scored quite a resounding success, an unlikely feat which encouraged him further. “At that point, I didn’t have a studio yet, so I usually had to go to Cosimo’s [Matassa of New Orleans] for tapings. My first office for Montel [his last name shortened] records was actually in the Fruit Exchange produce company at 100 Government St. Later I named three subsidiary labels for my three girls - Michelle [pop], Debbie [R&B], and Stephanie [C&W],”said Sam, commenting recently on his association with John Fred. In the 10-year span that Sam ran the logo, he had some parochial hits like Buck Rogers’s “Crazy Baby (Montel  #2002)” and Joe Tex’s (Arrington) “I’ve Got A Song (Montel  #934),” but garnered his greatest triumph with the reworking of Don (Harris) & Dewey’s (Terry) “Leavin’ It All Up To You (Specialty #610),” by the duo of Dale (Houston) & Grace (Broussard) on Michelle #921 in 1963, a phenomenally popular disk which soared to # 1 on all the national polls. Their next two efforts, “Stop and Think It Over (#922)” and “The Loneliest Night (#928),” charted as well. Other renowned South Louisiana artists that were recorded by Sam Montalbano were pianist James “Sugarboy” Crawford of “Jock-A-Mo” fame, Van Broussard (Grace’s brother), Jay Chevalier, Mack White, Larry Brasso (Brasseaux), and the aforementioned Boogie Kings. 

John Fred & His Playboy Band - Permanently Stated (1968)

Permanently Stated is an interesting and successful period piece of pop psychedelia. The album seems to be a logical progression of the satire of "Judy in Disguise," the band's number one parody of the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." Though it doesn't totally shun the group's R&B base (e.g., "Hey Hey Bunny" and especially "Little Dum Dum"), most of the album explores late-'60s psychedelia. "We Played Games," the great opening cut, seems almost innocent in its lyrical and musical content. By the third number, however, optimistic lyrics give way to the spoken ending, "Send my message to the sky as I begin to die." Musically, "Permanently Stated" is quite adventurous, with various complex horn and string arrangements and vocal choruses. The record is at its most Beatles-esque with "Before the Change," which features string arrangements and distortions that sound straight out of the "I Am the Walrus" sessions. It's difficult to ascertain if the band is trying to be serious in all its musical and lyrical diversity, or is just having fun exploring the music of its day. Either way, the album is enjoyable from start to finish.

1. 01 - We played Games (03:02)
2. 02 - Surprise, surprise (02:43)
3. 03 - What is Happiness (03:16)
4. 04 - Lonely are the Lonely (02:38)
5. 05 - Mary Jane (02:56)
6. 06 - Tissue Paper (03:57)
7. 07 - Hey, hey Bunny (02:33)
8. 08 - Who could Love you (more than I) (02:37)
9. 09 - Little dum dum (02:46)
10. 10 - Before the Change (04:25)
11. 11 - Permanently Stated (02:33)
12. 12 - No Letter Today (bonus) (02:59)
13. 13 - Sun City (bonus) (02:26)

John Fred & His Playboys - John Fred & His Playboys (1966)

John Fred (b. John Fred Gourrier, 8 May 1941, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, d. 15 April 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) was a 6 foot 5 inch, blue-eyed soul singer who originally formed John Fred And The Playboys in 1956. This unit made their first record (‘Shirley’) two years later with Fats Domino’s backing group. During the early 60s various versions of the Playboys recorded for small independent record labels such as Jewel and N-Joy, and eventually became known as John Fred And His Playboy Band. It was not until the end of 1967 that success finally came with the international hit, ‘Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)’. An amusing satire on the Beatles’ ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’, the single beat off a rival version by Amboy Dukes. Unfortunately this meant the Playboy Band were unfairly perceived as a novelty group, when in fact they were a tight, well organized and long-serving unit. Fred’s blue-eyed soul vocals were most evident on Agnes English, which included a rasping version of ‘She Shot A Hole In My Soul’. By the end of the 60s the band had split-up, with Fred going on to record with a new group and work as a producer for RCS in Baton Rouge.
Blue-eyed soul outfit John Fred & His Playboy Band were among the biggest one-hit wonders of the 1960s, topping the Billboard charts with their tongue-in-cheek Beatles homage "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)." Born John Fred Gourrier on May 8, 1941, in Baton Rouge, LA, the singer was the son of professional baseball player Fred Gourrier and juggled music with his own sports pursuits, forming the first incarnation of the Playboys at the age of 15. A favorite at local sock hops and dances, the group's earliest live appearances often found them on the same bill as Fred's schoolmate John Ramistella, who would later enjoy significant chart success under the name Johnny Rivers. The Playboys cut their 1958 Montel label debut, "Shirley," at producer Cosimo Matassa's New Orleans studio with the aid of Fats Domino's backing band; the single soon entered the pop charts, ascending to the number 82 spot, and might have gone higher had Fred not turned down an opportunity to appear on American Bandstand in favor of playing for his high-school basketball team during its state championship drive. "Mirror Mirror" followed in the spring of 1959, and despite featuring the Jordanaires on backing vocals, was not a hit. The Playboys' next single, "Good Lovin'," also failed to chart, and when the subsequent "Down in New Orleans" met the same fate, Montel terminated the group's contract, and Fred went off to Southeastern Louisiana University to study and play basketball.

After graduating in 1963, Fred contacted original Playboys tenor saxophonist Mickey Coerver to re-form the band, adding Andrew Bernard on baritone sax, Jimmy O'Rourke and Hal Ellis on guitar, Howard Cowart on bass, Tommy DeGeneres on organ, Ronald Goodson and Charlie Spinosa on trumpet, Lester Dodge on drums, and Joe Miceli on percussion. After signing to the tiny N-Joy label, the revived John Fred & His Playboy Band issued their cover of John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillun" in early 1965 -- the single missed the charts, but was a favorite of Elvis Presley. A move to the Jewel label preceded "Dial 101 (Because I Love You)," another chart miss. After "You're Mad at Me" also disappeared, Fred & the Playboys cut 1966's "How Can I Prove" with one of the singer's boyhood idols, Dale Hawkins, assuming production duties, but when this also tanked, Jewel dropped the group, necessitating a switch to the Paula label for the band's next effort, "Making Love to You." After the 1967 flops "Sun City" and "Leave Her Never," Fred & the Playboys regained their footing with "Up and Down," which topped the charts in several Louisiana markets but did not catch on nationally. For the follow-up, "Agnes English," the group shed the harder-edged R&B approach of its past efforts in favor of a sound inspired by the British beat boom, again scoring a massive regional hit but falling shy of the national charts.

The irresistible bassline that would become the cornerstone of "Judy in Disguise" lurked in Fred's head for months before he and saxophonist Bernard finally wrote a full-fledged song to complete it -- satirizing the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and inspired by the enormous sunglasses then in vogue among the beach bunnies in Fort Lauderdale, the single appeared on Paula in late 1967 and in early January supplanted the Beatles' own "Hello Goodbye" atop the U.S. pop charts. After appearing on The Tonight Show and American Bandstand, Fred & His Playboy Band issued the follow-up, "Hey Hey Bunny," which went as high as number 57. There were four more singles in 1958 alone ("Lonely Are the Lonely," "Little Dum Dum," "Sometimes You Can't Win," and "Harlem Shuffle," respectively) but none of them charted, and by year's end Paula dropped the group altogether. Fred & the Playboys then signed to MCA to issue 1969's "Silly Sarah Carter (Eating on a Moonpie)," followed by a cover of the Beatles' "Back in the U.S.S.R." From there, they recorded a pair of 1970 singles for Uni, "Three Deep in a Feeling" and "Julia Julia," before dissolving in the wake of a European tour.

1. Boogie Children (02:58)
2. When I Meet My Girl (02:08)
3. How Can I Prove (02:05)
4. Can't I Get (A Word In) (03:00)
5. Out Of Sight (02:40)
6. My Babe (02:43)
7. Don't Fight It (03:15)
8. Wrong To Me (02:31)
9. Making Love To You (02:21)
10. Play With Fire (02:18)
11. Night Owl (02:05)
12. Harlem Shuffle (03:08)

Though John Fred had been recording since the late 1950s, it wasn't until the mid-'60s that he was able to issue an LP. That album, John Fred & His Playboys, is a somewhat odd and uneasy affair in that it doesn't always highlight the swampy blue-eyed soul that was Fred's true strength. Much of it, in fact, is devoted to rather tame if basically pleasing hybrids of early British Invasion pop and American frat rock, coming off in retrospect as relics of how difficult the U.S. record industry found the changing times and incorporating new trends into U.S. rock music. More satisfyingly, "Boogie Children" is an absolutely terrific John Lee Hooker cover that rates as one of the finest Rolling Stones-like mid-'60s recordings by an American group. While nothing else here is nearly as good, at least the covers of "Harlem Shuffle," "Don't Fight It," and "My Babe" are more in line with Fred's R&B-oriented talents, though his most original blends of soul and pop would not truly assert themselves on record until after this LP's release.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Lions - Many Sides Of Lions +

Danish rock band founded 1962 as a The Shadows inspired quartet, later roughened the sound and was nicknamed "The danish Rolling Stones". Disbanded late 60's.

Jan Due (lead guitar), Børge Christiansen (drums, 1962-66), Erik Sonne (bass, 1962-63), Henning Andersen (vocals, 1962-63), Henning Gartner (rhythm guitar, 1962-63), Ole Kirketerp (bass, 1962-63), Tonny Summers [Mogens Andersen] (vocals, 1963-?), Anker Klenz (bass, 1963-?), Erling Bethnass (rhythm guitar, 1963-64), Peter Monrad (organ, 1964-66), Niels Kjær Mortensen (drums, 1966-?), Kjær Jørgen "Træfod" Christensen (rhythm guitar, 1966-67), Per "Fessor" Christensen (bass, 1966-67), Finn Tony Rasmussen (drums, 1967), Ib Nielsen (bass, vocals, 1967), Ragnar "Mersey" Gudmundson (rhythm guitar, vocals, 1967)

Many Sides of The Lions (1965)
14 Bonus Tracks

The Rocking Vickers - Lifelines The Complete Rocking Vickers Collection

A very competent group with mod, Merseybeat, and R&B leanings, the Rockin' Vickers never came close to carving a sound of their own. Combined with their lack of original material, that condemned them to trivia-question status in the very competitive days of the British Invasion. Complete: Its Alright! has both sides of all four of their 1964-1966 singles, plus six previously unreleased tracks; the crazed primitive guitar solo on "I Go Ape" is the undoubted highlight.

1. The Rocking Vickers - Go Ape (2:04)
2. The Rocking Vickers - Someone Like You (2:09)
3. The Rocking Vickers - Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart (2:10)
4. The Rocking Vickers - Stella (2:18)
5. The Rocking Vickers - It's Alright (2:14)
6. The Rocking Vickers - Stay By Me (2:30)
7. The Rocking Vickers - Dandy (2:08)
8. The Rocking Vickers - I Don't Need Your Kind (2:33)
9. The Rocking Vickers - Baby Never Say Goodbye (2:14)
10. The Rocking Vickers - I Just Stand There (2:24)
11. The Rocking Vickers - Say Mama (2:06)
12. The Rocking Vickers - Shake, Rattle And Roll (2:02)
13. The Rocking Vickers - What's The Matter Jane (2:37)
14. The Rocking Vickers - Little Rosy (2:53)

A competently energetic but relatively faceless British mid-'60s band, the Rockin' Vickers are mostly remembered today because the guitarist for the bulk of their recording career was Ian Willis, who would eventually gain international fame as Lemmy with Hawkwind and Motörhead. The Blackpool band were still Lemmy-less when they made their debut in 1964 with a supremely raunchy version of Neil Sedaka's "I Go Ape," which was anthologized in the '70s on Hard-Up Heroes, the British equivalent of Nuggets. They'd only record three other singles, all of which had Lemmy aboard on guitar. Although capable of generating respectably raunchy, modish heat, they had nothing in the way of original material. Their third single, interestingly, was a version of a Pete Townshend song called "It's Alright," which sounds like a prototype for the much superior "The Kids Are Alright" (although, puzzlingly, the Who had already released "The Kids Are Alright" by the time the Rockin' Vickers' "It's Alright" appeared in March 1966). Who producer Shel Talmy liked the band and produced their final 45, a cover of the Kinks' "Dandy," which actually made number 93 in the States (where it was far outpaced by Herman's Hermits' version) before the Vickers split in 1967.

The Rocking Stars - The Rocking Star

In 1960 the Rocking Stars from the small town of Rastatt were probably the only  teenage amateur Rock`n`Roll group that got a chance to make records in Germany at the time. They recorded two flexi discs for the budget label Hallo and then later developed into a Beat group.

01 - Jailhouse Rock
02 - Flames Of Love
03 - Sealed With A Kiss
04 - Tell The Truth
05 - Walking The Dog
06 - In My Room
07 - Shake Dance
08 - Peter Gunn
09 - I Got A Woman
10 - Don't Ask Me To Be Friends
11 - Blues Stay Away From Me
12 - Temptation
13 - Tina Darling
14 - Lonely Girl
15 - It's The End

45' flexi
16 - Lonely Blue Boy 1031a
17 - Kiss Me 1026a
18 - Hey Baby 1020a
19 - Violetta 1031b
20 - Poem 1026b
21 - Czardas Blues 1020b

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Steve Douglas and The Rebel Rousers - Popeye Twist Stomp (1962)

During the sixties Steve Douglas recorded a couple of dance albums for Crown Records as "Steve Douglas and the Rebel Rousers." One was called "Twist" and another was "Twist, Popeye, Stomp."


01 They Did The Popeye
02 If You're Ever In Doubt About Me
03 I Never Felt Like This
04 Surfer's Twist
05 I Can't Believe It's True
06 Twistin' Round The Mountain
07 Popeye The Twistin' Man
08 Mashed Potatoes
09 Clap Your Hands
10 Baby You Just Wait And See