Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tony's Tygers - Little By Little (1967)

- Tony Dancy -- vocals, guitar (1965-71)
- Dennis Dunchrow -- drums (1965-71)
- Fred Euler -- bass, backing vocals (1965-71)
- Craig Fairchild -- keyboards, backing vocals (1965-71)
- Dave Kuck -- guitar, backing vocals (1965-71)
- Joe Turano -- keyboards, backing vocals (1967-71)

Having added keyboard player Joe Turano to the line up, 1968 saw the group attract the attention of owner/producer Jon Hall, who promptly signed the band to a recording contract, cutting the single 'Little By Little' b/w '' for his Teen Town label (catalog number ).  A massive hit throughout the midwest, the single began attracting national attention via a marketing deal with A&M, ultimately going top-40.  As was standard marketing procedure, Hall rushed the band back in the studio to record a supporting album.  Released as the cleverly titled "Little By Little", offered up a mixture of original material and popular covers.  In spite of their happenin' image (long hair, sideburns, pendants and Nehru jackets), these guys were pretty lame.  Anyone expecting to hear cutting edge psych was bound to be disappointed by the group's overwhelmingly MOR attack.  Searching for a suitable comparison, material such as 'Twilight', 'I Still Love Her' and a mind-numbing cover of The Zombies 'She's Not There' (how do you make that song dull?), sounded like a cross between The Association and The Letterman with a couple of Four Seasons thrown into the mix (doubt the comparison, then check out the title track).  Without wanting to sound like a snot, the album was actually worth a spin if only for the cheap laughs which included some of the year's worst harmony vocals (a couple of the band members literally sounded like their voices were breaking) and for one of the lamest Beatles covers I've ever heard ('She Loves You').  Looking for hard rock?  This ain't the place ...

(side 1)
1.) Twilight   (Tony Dancy) - 2:25
2.) She's Not There   (Rod Argent) - 2:31
3.) I Still Love Her   (Tony Dancy) - 2:14
4.) Under My Skin/She Loves You    (Cole Porter/John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 5:30
5.) Little By Little   (Tony Dancy - Dennis Dunchrow) - 2:46

(side 2)
1.) Can't Believe  (Tony Dancy) - 2:30
2.) Genesee Depot   (Joe Turano) - 2:55
3.) Days and Nights   (Tony Dancy - Dennis Dunchrow) - 3:22
4.) I Seek the Night    (Craig Fairchild) - 2:27
5.) Who's Kidding Who   ( Joe Turano - Craig Fairchild) - 4:55

The group readily toured throughout Wisconsin and the local area, but given most of the members were still in high school and living with their parents, age posed a major problem in promoting the LP.  They continued working until 1971.  (Not that you care, but the album's listed in noted collector Hans Pokora's 2001 Record Collector Dreams.

After spending years in Southern California writing material for television shows and commercials, the early-1990s found Dancy and Fairchild back in Wisconsin where they reformed the band (with new supporting members), playing local clubs, festivals and parties.  Care about the other original members?  Kuck ranches in Wyoming, Duchrow operates an upholstery shop, Euler manages a Chicago Hyatt hotel and Turano remained in music, including a recent stint playing keyboards in Michael Bolton's road band.


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