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From the Land of Band Box Records

Spotlight: The Jarmels

April 2, 2020
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Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist

The Jarmels (“A Little Bit of Soap”)

Peaked at Number 12 Hot 100 & Number 10 R&B Charts

The Jarmels, all high school chums – formed in 1957 first as the Cherokees and then changed their name to the Jarmels in 1959.  It would be Drifter Ben E. King who ‘discovered’ the group and encouraged them to travel to New York City.  It was from the Big Apple where they took their name – based on a Harlem street of that name.  A member of the white doo wop group. the Mystics, Jim Gribble became their manager via his association with Laurie Records.

Many members passed through their ranks, but only one original member, Ray Smith, is alive today.  One notable added member would be Major Harris in 1963.

The group released seven singles on the Laurie label – “Soap” was their only appearance on the nation’s charts.  One of their singles on Laurie was released under a different group name – “The Actors”.

Jarmels’ Debut Single March, 1961

Spotlight: The Chimes

April 1, 2020
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The Chimes (“I’m In The Mood For Love”)

Charted Number 38 Hot 100 – March, 1961

I pretty much covered the Chimes as far as is warranted – I’m In the Mood For Love” was a natural follow up to “Once In A While” even though it was designated as a “B” side by Tag Records – telling about their journey from first being called “The Capris” and later the “Videls”.  (Their site says the group was friendly with the Capris of “There’s a Moon Out Tonight” fame.) The Chimes hit streak would come to a halt at these two.

Read my earlier Post on the Chimes here

Spotlight: Little Joey & The Flips

April 1, 2020
craigr244

Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist

Little Joey & The Flips (“Bongo Stomp”)

(Peaked at number 33 Hot 100)

The group started off in 1959 – all teenagers when they signed on with Joy Records – They were a vocal group but Joy elected to release their instrumental “Bongo Stomp” – Not sure who was on the bongos for this song but assume that it was Jeff Leonard who did play drums.

Joy Records didn’t have a lot of chart success but had an interesting roster over time including Mindy Carson, Jamie Horton, Guy Mitchell and even one release by the Five Blobs.  Ronnie and the Hi-Lites were one of the labels’ highlights – a group out of New Jersey who took “I Wish That We Were Married” to number 16 in the spring of 1962.

One more Joy single would follow in 1962 and then there would not be another recording until the summer of 1964 when they released “Beachcomber” b/w “Fool, Fool, Fool” on Cameo.  They released a rather obscure single on Monogram records – probably released in 1975 long after the group had disbanded.  Monogram was most likely a reissue label.

Spotlight: B. Bumble & The Stingers

March 30, 2020
craigr244

Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist

B. Bumble & The Stingers (“Bumble Boogie)

Peaked at number 21 Hot 100 – March, 1961

The Stingers were essentially a group of session musicians looking to step to the forefront – Members included wrecking crew members Earl Palmer (drums), Rene Hall and Plas Johnson.  The trio’s objective was to make a little more money without having to tour – all from the comfort of the recording studio.  The three had been involved in many hit recordings and were in fact the group behind the Ernie Freenam’s’ hit “In the Mood” in 1959 (number 4).

Further – the same group of musicians – with some others here and there – recorded hits by “The Pets”, “The Routers”, “The Marketts”, and “Billy Joe and the Checkmates” to name a few.  In every case, people had to scramble to put together a touring group of other performers to satisfy the public’s demands for performances,  Rene Hall would usually be the one tapped to train the touring musicians on arrangements and the like.

So when it was time to record “Bumble Boogie” Kim Fowley took on production chores – Ernie Freeman sat in on the piano – who cut two tracks – one on Grand piano and the other a modified upright for the dueling sound of the track.  Red Callender came in on bass and Teddy Tedesco played guitar.  Notice the advertisement above features touring musicians with no mention of the true talent behind the scenes in the studio – and of course , the Wrecking Crew were used to that!

“Wrecking It with the Crew”

The group would cut more than a dozen singles and on their sixth try nearly equaled their debut – scoring a number 23 hit with “Nut Rocker” based on, yet, another classical piece.  The group learned that Freeman couldn’t make the “Nutrocker” session and so they rushed in keyboardist Al Hazan.  Al was doing his first practice take on the tune and little did he know the tape recorder was running.  The engineer liked what he heard and above Hazan’s protests stayed with the first version.

For “Nutrocker” a whole new group of touring musicians had to be assembled quickly because England was demanding an appearance.

Spotlight: Tobin Matthews

March 30, 2020
craigr244

Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist

Tobin Matthews (“Ruby Duby Du”)

The song failed to reach the charts

Tobin Matthew was born Willy Henson. “Ruby Duby Do” was Tobin’s debut single released in October of 1960 on the Chief Label.  He started his musical career in Chicago, Illinois in 1957.  His first musical adventure was heading up a group called the “Rhythm Rockers”.  From there he formed “Jimmy and the Jeepers” another Chicago group. He is/was (his blog seems to have gone inactive) the author of his own blog titled “Early Rock and Roll From Chicago to New York”.

Tobin released nine singles from 1960 into 1964.  The Chief label was interesting – diverse and at one time released tracks by Earl Hooker, Junior Wells and Elmore James to name a few.

Spotlight: Vince Edwards

March 29, 2020
craigr244

Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist

Vincent Edwards (“Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me”)

(Peaked at number 72 Hot 100 – 1962 – This was Edwards’ second and final charting single

Vincent was the star of “Ben Casey” which ran on TV from 1961 until 1966 – Vincent struggle with a gambling addiction – He passed away from cancer in March of 1996 at the age of 67) He released seven singles during his short recording career.  He placed “No Not Much” on the Bubbling Under charts (no. 108) in the summer of 1965.  Vince passed away in March of 1996 at the age of 67.

Decca 31460 was released in January, 1963

Spotlight: The Five Blobs

March 29, 2020
craigr244

Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist

The Five Blobs (“The Blob”)

Peaked at number 33 in the fall of 1958

There were doubt contributing session musicians on “The Blob” but the voices were all Bernie Nee – Note that this was a very earlier Bacharach working with Mack David – the  brother of Hal David, the brother who would become Burt’s regular co-writer. Bernie Nee didn’t get a lot of publicity for this little ditty and so he took out an advertisement to promote his participation.  For that he was dismissed by Columbia!  In 1959 Nee would release two additional singles – both rather goofy on the Joy Record Label.

Bernie Nee was born Bernie Knee in New York City – He died in November of 1994 at the age of 70.