Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Sundae Times - Us Coloured Kids (1969)

Wendell Richardson – guitar/vocals

Calvin “Fuzzy” Samuels – bass

Conrad Isidore – drums

" A noted yet relatively obscure late 1960s rock/soul outfit formed by three former members of Joe E Young & The Toniks around late 1967/early 1968, who cut a great lone LP, Us Coloured Kids, and a handful of singles for President Records.

Born in Antigua, guitarist Wendell Richardson had moved to London at the age of 11 and grown up in Tottenham. During 1965, he befriended fellow Antiguan-born musician Calvin “Fuzzy” Samuels and later Dominica-born Conrad Isidore. In 1967, Samuels and Isidore both played with The Toniks fronted by singer Colin Young aka Joe E Young). Through the local West Indian population, the trio got to know Eddy Grant and his band The Equals and became firm friends.

Having lost interest in The Toniks, Samuels jumped ship in April 1968 shortly after the band’s debut single on Toast, “Lifetime of Lovin’” c/w “Flower In My Hand” had been released and started planning The Sundae Times with Richardson. Isidore, however, remained with The Toniks but agreed to help out on the pair’s next project, The Sundae Times, who landed a deal with President Records thanks to their connection with The Equals (Ed: Samuels  played bass on many of their recordings).

With Eddy Grant producing and penning the trio’s first release, “Baby Don’t Cry” c/w “Aba-Aba”, The Sundae Times’ debut was issued by President on 7 June 1968 but failed to chart in the UK. In the US, the single appeared on the small Seville imprint the following month. German and Spanish releases also followed but somewhat bizarrely it was in Israel where The Sundae Times made the biggest impact. Released as the A-side, “Aba-Aba” broke into the top 10.

With The Sundae Times starting to pick up gigs and with further hits potentially in the pipeline, Conrad Isidore left The Toniks around September 1968 to commit to the project full-time. In retrospect, it was a sensible move as singer Colin Young quit The Toniks soon after to join British hit-makers, The Foundations.

With Isidore fully committed, The Sundae Times began work on an LP for President Records’ subsidiary Joy during the autumn of 1968 with Eddy Grant producing. Richardson dominated the song-writing, penning the tracks, “Angels In The Sky”, “Adam and Eve”, “Electric Tree” and “Jack Boy”, which graced the A-side of The Sundae Times’ second single, issued on President on 22 November 1968. Coupled with “I Don’t Want Nobody”, a Richardson co-write with Isidore and Samuels, the single failed to chart.

The three musicians also collaborated on three other tracks on the LP, “Take Me Back Again”, “Psychedelic Dream” and “Do You Know What Love Is”. Samuels meanwhile penned two tracks, “On The Run” and “Live Today”, which belatedly headed up The Sundae Times’ final single outing (issued on 13 March 1970), and was coupled with Eddy Grant’s “Take Me Higher Baby”.

By then, Samuels and Isidore had been snapped up by Stephen Stills for sessions for his debut solo LP. Samuel was working with PP Arnold at the time and Isidore was working with Alan Marshall’s band One, who’d cut a lone LP for Fontana during 1969.

While Samuels subsequently landed a gig with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (replacing Greg Reeves), Richardson formed Osibisa and Isidore joined Manfred Mann Chapter 3.

The Sundae Times’ own LP, Us Coloured Kids, had slipped out on Joy Records during 1969 and has since become an extremely rare, yet highly collectable item thanks in part to the Eddy Grant connection."


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