From the Land of Band Box Records

It’s a KIMN “COMER”!! – Part 1

May 7, 2016

The”5 Star Pick Hit of the Week”

One of the things I really loved about the Denver Tiger was their earlier play lists/Top 50 selections.  The Boss Jocks had a lot say in the weekly selections – It was not just a matter of local sales and requests.  And so some rather novel and obscure ditties would find their way onto the Denver air waves.

This first batch is from 1959 and I’m thinking/hoping that Country Paul can provided some additional DJ insight!

“I Can’t Sit Down” from April, 1959 on KIMN by Marie Knight and Rex Garvin

1959 04-02 #30

Marie without Rex

Marie without Rex

This R&B duo had earlier spent many years recording with Sister Rosetta Tharpe – The song reached number 94 on the Hot 100 – It was their only Hot 100 appearance

“Blah, Blah, Blah” from April, 1959 on KIMN by Nicola Paone

1959 04-02 #35



Born in Italy and raised in Pennsylvania – Nicola was primarily a song writer (no songs of much note) but this was his only Hot 100 appearance – topping out at #57  – He penned and recorded the A side of Decca’s very first 45 rpm record in 1950 “Show Me How (You Milk The Cow)”.

“Comic Book Crazy” from April, 1959 on KIMN by Little Sammy Yates

1959 04-02 #39

This novelty song didn’t chart anywhere at all.  Little Sammy also recorded as “Count Yates”

Little Sammy

Little Sammy

“Promise” from April, 1959 on KIMN by Johnny October

1959 04-02 #49

From “Mickey Rat” on the 45 Cat:

“He (Johnny  October) was initially part of Bob Marcucci’s stable at Chancellor (he backed Fabian and others with the Four Dates). Anyway Rambed (BMI) was Marcucci’s publishing firm. Lowell (BMI) was Wally Moody and George Levy’s company (the Clock and Vim labels were subsidiaries). First was owned by a Dick Lawrence – possibly the radio personality? Label’s address was c/o Gone Records (George Goldner) at 1650 Broadway. Anyone know about Dimas (BMI)? I suspect it was Dick Lawrence’s? As far as I know this record was never a hit so I suppose everybody was disappointed.”

NOTE:  Johnny did have a minor hit in October of 1959 with “Growin’ Prettier” #106 – a “Bubbling Under” (The Hot 100).  Johnny was from Philadelphia.  The Dates charted once with “I’m Happy” in 1958 (#87) recording on Avalon and Fabian’s label Chancellor.

Johnny passed away at the age of 62 in 1999.

Mr. October

Mr. October

“I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin'” from April, 1959 on KIMN by Fred Darian

1959 04-06 #29



Fred did have a couple of charting singles – but this wasn’t one of them (“Battle of Gettysburg” #100 – 1961, and “Johnny Willow” #99 also 1961).  Fred was a co-writer for the hit record by Larry Verne “Mr. Custer” (#1 1960) and the not-so-successful follow up “Mr. Livingston” (#75 also 1960). Darin was born in Detroit, Michigan.  He later produced records by Dobie Gray.


“Boom-A-Dip-Dip” from April, 1959 on KIMN by Stan Robinson

1959 04-06 #30

This was Stan’s only chart appearance topping off at number #83 in the Spring of 1959.  Stan was a member of a pop/rock group The Appalachians who recorded on ABC Records, and was the father of Chris and Rich Robinson from The Black Crowes”.

The Robinson Family

The Robinson Family


“I Kneel at Your Throne” from April, 1959 on KIMN by Joe Medlin

1959 04-06 #35

Joe Medlin

Joe Medlin

Medlin was a black singer who had started off in the late 1930’s with the Buddy Johnson Band.  His “I Kneel at His Throne” would be his only appearance on the Hot 100, reaching number 85 with a four week stint in the Spring of 1959.

After his stint with Johnson, he joined the R&B group “The Ravens” in September of 1948, replacing original member Warren Suttles.   This was a short lived gig, with Medlin departing the same year in November to return to solo work.


Joe Medlin with the Three Riffs

“I Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothin’ from April, 1959 on KIMN by Ben Hewitt

1959 04-06 #44

“I Ain’t  Givin’ Up Nothin’ was an Elvis sound alike track (think “Don’t Be Cruel”) which failed to dent the national charts.  Ben was born in the State of New York in 1936.  Ben disappeared from the music scene after recording 8 tracks for Mercury but eventually reemerged in the 80’s performing once again.  Ben passed away in 1996.

Ben Hewitt

Ben Hewitt



  1. I can help with additional information on a couple of these. Rex Garvin and the Mighty Cravers (there’s a group name for you) were regulars at The Three Roses, a black nightclub on North Avenue in New Rochelle, NY, in the late ’50s and early ’60s, about the time of this record, Being from New Rochelle, I passed this club going to and from my high school every day, but never saw the group because (1) I was underage and (2) I was a skinny white kid and the club had, shall we say, a big of a rough reputation.

    I remember the Nicola Paone side as being what WFMU calls “irritainment”; I’m amazed anyone got behind it. I’ve heard of Little Sammy Yates and Johnny October, but that’s it. Great info on the latter; The Four Dates had a great blend and were behind Frankie Avalon’s “Gingerbread”; as the write-up noted, they were the Chancellor “house group” and gave a unifying sound to the label’s early releases.

    Fred Foster, who owned Mercury, was a promo man for Mercury (I think. He started Monument to release Stan Robinson’s “Boom a Dip Dip” and basically bet the farm on it. It’s success, if I recall the story correctly, led him to leave mercury and take the label seriously. Soon after, he released Billy Grammer’s “Been on the Job Too Long,” which was a major hit.I also played The Appalachians on WBRU in Providence when it was new and ‘BRU wa still a closed-circuit college station. The flip, “It Takes a Man,” is a good bluegrass-style track, but “Bony Moronie” (the original is by Larry Williams on Specialty) was a stylistic ripoff of The |Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In,” a massive hit which propelled the early ’60s hootenanny craze, I didn’t know of the relationship between Robinson and The Black Crows; I wonder if they ever asked Stan to sit in!

    Joe Medlin released a fair number of records; nothing hit but what you cite. I remember that this side was a bit of a hit, but not what it sounded like. (Hiowever, the label scan of the Atlantic 78 is pretty cool!)

    I know nothing about Ben Hewitt (but should look him up); I hope he had “the sound,” because he certainly didn’t have “the look”!

    Please keep these coming – this is lots of fun! I just wish the “reply” field had larger font as its default – I can barely see it. Is this something you can adjust?

    Country Paul

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