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From the Land of Band Box Records

Denver’s James Martin Cooper Makes Good in Hollywood!

March 4, 2015
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COOPER - 85 NETHERLANDSJames Martin (“Marty”) Cooper was born in Denver, Colorado – departed for a time as his father took military assignments in several states. Marty eventually returned to Colorado remaining into his teen years. Nothing more is known of his time in Colorado. He arrived in California near Hollywood in 1958 according to some sources. Wikipedia gives his birth year as 1946 but I am almost certain that this is not correct. Not long after arriving in California – Morty began to make contact with the music industry, and in short order wrote, recorded and produced songs in many styles – none really defining him as a music man.COOPER TRADE AD

His start was a pair of titles released on the Hollywood label Crest – record 45-1043 “You Bet Your Life” b/w Can’t Walk ‘Em Off” from the Spring of 1958. I doubt that he was 12 years old at the time.

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS PS GERMANY

Shacklefords – Super Group?

From there on his life in the music industry was intriguing and I would venture never boring. He worked with Lee Hazelwood, Jack Nitzsche, H.P. Barnum and many others, and put out an continuous stream of records – mostly as a composer but often participating as he did when a member of The Shacklefords, a folk-oriented group which was headed up by Lee Hazelwood and also included Gracia Nitzsche (one-time wife of “The Lonely Surfer” Jack Nitzsche, and Robert Stone. Hazelwood took the name from his first wife “Naomi Shackleford”. The group lasted for a couple of long plays and a few Mercury label 45’s. They would resurrect for a short time again in 1966 and 1967 on Capitol and LHI labels. I have not been able to locate a group photo.

As opposed to attempting to document his adventures in the vinyl world – I would suggest that you start by reading this interesting interview on “Spectropop” and then if still interested – do some additional search – Things do show up – but in the meantime here is a close-to-complete discography of Marty’s compositions combined with several of his production credits.

So many artists like Marty Cooper eked out a career doing whatever they could possibly could to remain in the music scene. Marty never really hit the “Big Time” but did enjoy a long and what must have been satisfying and fun career. As he told the interviewer on Spectropop “I just keep writing the songs.”

Marty Cooper – “You Bet Your Little Life” – 1958
(This was Marty’s debut effort in Hollywood – recorded shortly after migrating from Denver, Colorado)

COOPER - CREST 1958

The Palisades – “The Shrine” b/w Dear Joan” – Released July, 1960
(This is a pretty little song in the vein of The Teddy Bears – female and male group – singers unknown)

COOPER - SHRINE 7-60 B COOPER - SHRINE 7-60

The Marathons – “Peanut Butter” b/w “Talkin’ Trash” – Charted April, 24th, 1961 – #20 – 12 Weeks on Hot 100

(The Marathons are actually a group called The Vibrations – They took the place of The Olympics – who were slated to record this song – but were on a tour at the time – This didn’t set well with Chess Records who had The Vibrations under contract – Chess took action to stop the Arvee release and in turn released it on their own subsidiary label Argo – To counter – Arvee released a second Marathons release shown below – by yet another group of singers going by the name of The Marathons – but none of the members were Vibrations. If the Olympics had just remained home everything would have worked out fine.

Those Marathons - oops Vibrations

Those Marathons – oops Vibrations

COOPER - MARATHONS A COOPER - MARATHONS B

The Marathons – “Tight Sweater” b/w “C. Percy Mercy of Scotland Yard” – Released July, 1961
(Cooper co-produced both sides with H.P. Barnum)

COOPER - MARATHONS 7-61 A COOPER - MARATHONS 7-61 B

El Clod – “Tijuana Border” b/w Pedro’s Piano Roll Twist” – Released July, 1962
(El Clod is Marty Cooper and Friends – One of his many novelty numbers)

COOPER - EL CLOD 7-62 B COOPER - EL CLOD A

Bobby Day – “Another Country, Another World” b/w “Know It All” – Released – January, 1963
(Bobby Day and Cooper worked together often through Marty’s association with H.P. Barnum)

COOPER - DAY PHOTO

COOPER - DAY 1-63 A COOPER - DAY 1-63 B

The Marty Cooper Clan – “Tequila” b/w Raunchy – Released May, 1963

COOPER MARTY - RCA 5-63 A COOPER MARTY - RCA 5-63 B

The Shacklefords – “A Stranger in Your Town” b/w “Big River” (written by Johnny Cash and produced by Marty) – Charted May 11th, 1963 – #70 – 6 Weeks on Hot 100

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS - 4-63 COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS - 4-63 B

Jo Jo Wail & The Somethings – “Wailin’ Time” – Released May, 1963
(“Hey, Harmonica Man” was co-written by Marty)

COOPER - JO JO - 5-63COOPER - JO JO - 5-63 A

Bobby Day – “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz” b/w “Pretty Little Girl Next Door” – Released June, 1963

COOPER - DAY 6-63 A COOPER - DAY 6-63 B

The Shacklefords – “Our Little Boy” b/w “Golden Bells” – Released July, 1963

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 7-63 ACOOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 7-63 B

Jack Nitssche – “The Lonely Surfer” – Charted August 10th, 1963 – #39 – 8 Weeks on Hot 100

COOPER - NITZCHE - 7-63 A COOPER - NITZCHE - 7-63 SM

COOPER - NITZCHE - 7-63 B

Jimmy Dobro – “Everybody Listen To the Dobro” b/w “Swamp Surfer” – Released September, 1963

COOPER - DOBRO 9-63 A COOPER - DOBRO 9-63 B

Bobby Day – “Jole Blon (Little Darlin’) b/w “Down on My Knees” – Released September, 1963 (Jack Nitzsche producer)

COOPER - DAY 9-63 A COOPER - DAY 9-63 B

Vik E. Lee – “Those Wedding Bells” – Released September, 1963
(Vik E. Lee was Gloria Hargis who would also record as Gloria Melbourne and as lead singer for The Victorians. She would later become Gloria Jones and was a member of the versatile group – The Blossoms)

COOPER - VIK E LEE 9-63COOPER - BLOSSOM GLORIA JONES

Jimmy Dobro – “Swamp Surfer” b/w Everybody Listen to the Dobro” – Released September, 1963
(Dobro is in fact James Burton – composer – singer – who backed Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Dale Hawkins and many others)

COOPER - DOBRO 9-63 B COOPER - DOBRO 9-63 A

The Shacklefords – “(There Goes) The Big Boss Man” b/w “My Name is Jimmy Brown” – Released November, 1963

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 11-63

Bobby Day – “When I See My Baby Smile” b/w “On The Street Where You Live” – Released February, 1964

COOPER - DAY 2-64COOPER - DAY 2-64 B

Little Stevie Wonder – “Hey Harmonica Man” – Charted June, 1964 #5 R&B Charts & #29 on the Hot 100 Charts in The U.S.

COOPER - WONDER - 5-64 COOPER - WONDER - 5-64 B

Dudley Dogg, Jr. – “The Christmas Puppy” b/w “Theme for a Christmas Puddy” – Released July, 1964

COOPER - DUDLEY DOGG - 64 A COOPER - DUDLEY DOGG - 64 B

COOPER - DUDLEY DOGG - 64 C

Marty Cooper – “Little Play Soldiers” – Released July, 1964

COOPER - LITTLE PLAY SOLDIERS 7-64

Duane Eddy – “Guitar Star” – Released October, 1964
(Close association with Lee Hazelwood would only mean he would get involved with Duane Eddy)

COOPER - EDDY 10-64COOPER - EDDY 10-64 A

The Kingston Trio – “Little Play Soldiers” – Released in December, 1964
(This was the flip side of “I’m Going Home” a song that barely charted at number 104 – I played both sides of this record when I was attending college at Colorado State University in 1964)

COOPER - KINGSTONS - 12-64COOPER - KINGSTONS

The Clinger Sisters – “Golly Mom” – December, 1964

COOPER - CLINGERS - 12-64

El Clod – “Tijuana Watusi’ b/w “Gringo” – Released January, 1965
(Marty Cooper and Friends return as El Clod)

COOPER - EL CLOD 1-65 COOPER - EL CLOD 1-65 B

The Younger Bros. – “The Harmonica Lesson” – Released March, 1965
(Marty must have had some fascination with Harmonicas – having earlier co-composed Stevie Wonder’s hit record)

COOPER - YOUNGER BROS - 3-65

Jack Nitzsche – “Senorita from Detroit” b/w “Puero Vallarta” – Released May, 1965

COOPER - NITZCHE - 5-65 A COOPER - NITZCHE - 5-65 B

Charity Shayne – “Ain’t It? Babe” b/w “Then You Try” – Released October, 1965
(Charity was Catherine “Gypsy” Share – who for some time (after this recording) actually became a member of the Manson Family and was herself arrested for burglary)

COOPER - SHAYNE

Another Manson Girl – Charity Shayne

COOPER - SHAYNE - 10-65 A COOPER - SHAYNE - 10-65 B

The Vejtables – “Mansion of Tears” – Released November, 1965
(This was Marty’s shot at Psychedelic composing and producing – The group would also record as “The Book of Changes” recording on Tower – where Cooper worked often)

COOPER - VEJTABLES - 11-65 COOPER - VEJTABLES  PHOTO

The Shacklefords – “One” b/w “Five Foot High & Rising” – Released September, 1965

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 9-65COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 9-65 b

The Vanguard Voyagers – “Country Squire” b/w Dixie Blue” – Released December, 1965
(This is Cooper working with singer/composer David Gates of Bread – David sang on these tracks with what was most likely a studio assembly probably including Marty)

COOPER - VANGUARD VOYAGERS - 12-65 B COOPER - VANGUARD VOYAGERS - 12-65

The Shacklefords – “First Street Blues” b/w The Bi-PlaneReleased April, 1966

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 4-66

The Yokohama Ramblers – “Yokohama Nights of Happiness” b/w Yokohama Nights of Sadness” – Released June, 1966
(The Ramblers were an actual group from Japan)

COOPER - YOKOHAMA 6-66 B COOPER - YOKOHAMA 6-66 A

The Visitors – “Is Is Them or Me” – Released August, 1966
(Don’t know anything about this group)

COOPER - VISITORS - 8-66

The Shacklefords – “Muddy Muddy River” b/w Everything I Touch Turns to Tears” – Released August, 1966

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 8-66 A COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 8-66 B

Bryan Hyland – “Run, Run, Look & See” – October, 1966 – Charted #25

COOPER - HYLAND - 10-66AA COOPER - HYLAND - 10-66 SM

Marty Cooper featuring The Big Town Kazoos – “Mr. Kazoo Man” b/w Dearborn, Michigan” – Released February, 1967

COOPER MARTY -CAPITOL 2-67 ACOOPER MARTY -CAPITOL 2-67 B

Hearts and Flowers – “The View From Ward 3” – Released April, 1967
(The picture sleeve is 1967 from The Netherlands – Hearts and Flowers were L.A. based and the lineup included future Eagle Bernie Leadon)

COOPER - HEARTS & FLOWERS - 4-67 ACOOPER - HEARTS & FLOWERS - NETHER

The Shacklefords – “California Sunshine Girl” b/w Instrumental Version “California Sunshine Girl” – Charted June 3rd, 1967 – #115 – 1 Week on Hot 100

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 4-67

The United Fruit Company – “Ain’t It Babe?” – Released May, 1967

COOPER - UNITED FRUIT 5-67

The Rubber Maze – “Mrs. Griffith” b/w “Won’t See Me Down” – Released July, 1967

COOPER - RUBBER MAZE 7-67COOPER - RUBBER MAZE 7-67 B

Jennifer – “Sunny Day Blue” – Released August, 1967
(Jennifer is Jennifer Warren and later Jennifer Warnes of “Up Where We Belong” fame duo with Joe Cocker and “Right Time of the Night” as a solo)

COOPER - JENNIFER 8-67 COOPER - JENNIFER 4-68 B

The Four Blazers – “Peanut Butter” – Released 1967

COOPER - FOUR BLAZERS = 67 A

Fargo – “Sunny Day Blue” b/w – “Robins, Robins” – Released April, 1968
(Cooper produced both sides)

COOPER - FARGO 4-68COOPER - FARGO 4-68 A

The Shacklefords – “It’s My Time” b/w “One More Time Billy Brown” – Released May, 1968

COOPER - SHACKLEFORDS 5-68 A

Jennifer Warren – “I Am Waiting” b/w “The Leaves” – Released October, 1968
(Both sides produced by Marty Cooper)

COOPER - JENNIFER 10-68 A COOPER - JENNIFER 10-68 B

The Royal Guardsmen – “Biplane Evermore” – Released 1968

COOPER - ROYAL GUARDSMEN - 68

Trevor Chance – “Cowboy’s and Daddies” – Released February, 1969

COOPER - CHANCE - 2-79

Jennifer – “Let the Sunshine In” b/w “Easy To Be Hard” – Released November, 1969
(Both sides produced by Marty Cooper)

COOPER - JENNIFER 11-69 A COOPER - JENNIFER 11-69 B

Brooks Anderson – “Tribes” – Released March, 1971

COOPER - ANDERSON - 71 A

The Kimberlys – “Sunny Day Blue” – Released May, 1971

COOPER - KIMBERLYS - 5-71

Marty Cooper – “I Wrote a Song” b/w Another Day, Another Year” – Released September, 1972
(Barnaby Records was an Andy Williams endeavor)

COOPER MARTY - BARNABY 9-72 A COOPER MARTY - BARNABY 9-72 B

Marty Cooper – “The Indiana Girl” b/w Mama Was a Cowgirl” – Released March, 1973

COOPER MARTY - BARNABY 3-73 A COOPER MARTY - BARNABY 3-73 B

Marty Cooper – “Cowboys and Daddies” – Released July, 1973

COOPER MARTY - BARNABY 7-73 A

Donna Fargo – “You Can’t Be A Beacon If Your Light Don’t Shine” – Charted June 8th, 1974 – #1 Country Charts – #57 Hot 100

COOPER - FARGO 74COOPER - FARGO PHOTO

Sammy Davis, Jr. – “I Heard a Song” – Released April, 1976

COOPER - DAVIS JR - 4-76

COOPER - DAVIS JR - NORWAY COOPER - DAVIS JR - NETHERLANDS

Marty Cooper – “Like a Gypsy” – Released 1977
(Cooper worked closely with Mike Curb for a time and recorded /produced for his label)

COOPER MARTY - MC MIKE CURB 77

Andy Williams – “If You Were a Singer” – Released in November, 1979

COOPER - WILLIAMS - 11-79 A

Marty Cooper – “A Little Big Country – A Little Bit Rock N’ Roll” – Released 1980
(Became a theme song for Donny and Marie on their Television Show)

COOPER MARTY - UN GOLD 80

The Kaisers – “Peanut Butter” – Released in 1996
(Extended play is 1996 from the U.K.)

COOPER - KAISERS 96COOPER - KAISERS

Marty Cooper LP’s

COOPER - BIG BEAT LABEL 70's COOPER - BIG BEAT LABEL 70'S 2 COOPER - BARNABY LP 72

 

2 Comments

  1. I juat came across this amazing list of things with which I was (am) associated while setting up a google alert.
    How ever did you find all those 45s?
    All best,
    Marty Cooper

    • Marty! You are one of my Colorado heroes! What an interesting and exciting career in music you have had. I have marveled at the diversity of what you achieved. I purchased the first Shackleford single the minute I heard it back in the 1960’s. The other 45’s just take patience and perseverance but worth the search.

      Do you have any updates to add regarding your musical journey? Did you guys ever appear live at The Shacklefords? And finally, what is happening with you today? Thanks for getting In touch.

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