The Fantabulous Jaguars – The Raves and the mighty Warblers….
I was recently checking the 45 Cat (Catalog) of 7-inch singles as posted by enthusiasts from around the globe. I was checking on a group called “The Jaguars” which I had posted there a couple of years ago and based on some discussions with local Colorado collectors, we seemed to think these guys were from somewhere in Colorado. Now, three years later, we can’t seem to recall the circumstances behind our reasoning.
But what caught my attention, was an additional handful of 45 singles had been added to the “45 Cat” for the group “The Jaguars (Colorado)”. The “Colorado” classification came from myself and none of the “45 Cat” moderators or posters questioned this. But several members did post comments relating to members of this group. There is disagreement among members as to the Jaguar line-up, but what it all boils down to is that for sure the Epic label Jaguars are made up of Country Hall of Fame member and premier fiddler Charlie Daniels.
And most like the other singles shown here are also the same band. Daniels’ Wiki entry and his own web site make no mention of the Jaguars. But the cataloging site “Discogs” does: (In about 155 “He (Daniels) formed a bluegrass band, ”The Misty Mountain Boys”, but the group changed its name to ”The Jaguars” following the single ”Jaguar”, which they recorded in 1959 (produced by Bob Johnston). Daniels said, “for nine years we played every honky-tonk dive and low-life joint between Raleigh and Texas”. This enabled him to master a variety of musical styles, but his only national success came in 1964 when he wrote an Elvis PresleyB-side “It Hurts Me”, a tender ballad that remains one of his best compositions.”
Ward Darby and the Raves
Further, according to Discogs, another member of The Jaguars was a musician named “Ward Darby” who head up a group in the late 1950’s called “Ward Darby and the Raves”. They had a 1959 release on Petite Records “Wham-O” b/w “Safari”. The record was released by the Nashville based Dot Record Label also in 1959. Another member of the Raves was Leo Watkowitz who co-authored “Safari” and possibly Ray Bolling was a member of that group as well.
Ward Darby was also known as “Willie Ward” and he fronted another rock-a-billy band called “Willie Ward and the Warblers”. His song “Madman” is very popular with rock-a-billy enthusiasts and Ward was still performing in Branson, Missouri up to at least 5 years ago.
They cut records for the Fee Bee, and Star (also spelled “Starr”) labels.
“Safari” was covered in 1996 by a group called “Robert Johnson and the Punchdrunks” and an album titled “Feels Like Buzz Aldrin”.on Strange Edge Records.
So back to the intent of this Post – to inform the world that poor old Charlie Daniels and the Jaguars will be rubbed from the pages of this Colorado musician site. Well, on second thought I guess I will leave them right where they are. What the heck.
Ski Maniac Bob Gibson
But to make up for all of this – I really need to find a “stretch” to add to the site based on a Colorado Connection. I found it. Right under my nose. How many times have I (you) seen this long play by Bob Gibson (folk singer) lurking in the cut-out bins or the boring bins of a vinyl store? But I started thinking “Ski Songs” hummmm… And Walla! There it is – “The Connection” in the liner notes – “A couple of years ago (this was in the late 1950’s), Bob journeyed to (yes) Aspen, Colorado, with the intention of working in one of the bistros there (not a pub, or a dive, or a joint – but a “bistro” – Remember this is Aspen we’re talking about here) It took two weeks before he found the time to strap on a pair of skis. He hasn’t taken them off yet.”
His track “Super Skier” was played quite often around Colorado but never charted in Billboards Hot 100. A novelty sort of rip off of the Kingston Trio’s “M.T.A.” (nearly the same tune delivered in the same style). In the Vancouver BC radio station survey the song charted in 9161 (entering the charts at number 26. His backing group were – oh boy – “The Snowmen”. Bob’s skiing song LP was recorded in 1959. To top off the tremendous success of “Super Skier” Bob followed it up with a tune called “Super Skier’s Last Race”.
That is all I needed – Goodbye Jaguars – Hello Mr. Gibson.
On a more somber note – Bob Gibson passed away in 1996 at the age of 65.