From the Land of Band Box Records

They Gave Us Rock and Roll – Part 3

June 2, 2017

The Roots of Rock and Roll on Long Play in the U.S.

A hat’s off to these pioneers who set the stage – Here are their earliest long plays – Artists E through G – Take a look at The Fireflies long play jacket below – Very unusual for 1960 I would say – and hard to find.

1963 – The Earls – Old Town 104 – “Remember Me Baby”

1958 – Duane Eddy – Jamie 3000 – “Have Twangy Guitar – Will Travel”

Duane Eddy was born in April of 1938 in Corning, New York – He was backed by a group of essentially studio musicians, “The Rebels”

1960 – The El Dorados – Vee Jay 1001 – “Crazy Little Mama”

The El Dorados formed in 1952 first as Pirkie Lee and the Five Stars” out of Chicago, Illinois – Original Members: Pirkie Lee Moses, Louis Bradley, Arthur Basset, Jewel Jones, James Maddox and Richard Nickens.

1960 – Preston Epps – Original Sound 8851 – Bongo Bongo Bongo”

Preston Epps was born in 1931 in Oakland, California best known for “Bongo Rock”.

1959 – Esquerita – Capitol 1186 – “Esquerita”

Esquerita was born in November of 1935 in Greenville, South Carolina Eskew Reeder, Jr. – He met Little Richard early on during Richard’s boyhood years and obviously exerted an influence – He died October 23rd, 1986.

Image result for esquerita capitol lp

1959 – Fabian – Chancellor CHLS-5003 – “Hold That Tiger”

Fabian was born in February, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Fabiano Anthony Forte

1960 – The Fendermen – Soma 1240 – “Mule Skinner Blues

The Fendermen formed in 1960 in Madison, Wisconsin – The Fendermen were Jim Sundquist and Phil Humphrey – Sundquist died June 4th, 2013 and Humphrey passed away on March 29th, 2016.

1960 – The Fireballs – Top Rank RM 324 – “The Fireballs”

The Fireballs formed in 1958 in Raton, New Mexico – Original Members: George Tomsco, Chuck Tharp, Stan Lark, Eric Budd and Dan Trammell – Singer Jimmy Gilmer joined the group  in the early 1960’s.

1960 – The Fire Flies – Taurus 1002 – “The Swingin’ Fire Flies”

The Fire Flies formed in the late 1950’s in Long Island, New York – Members who appeared on the hit single “You Were Mine”: Paul Giacalone, Ritchie Adams, Lee Reynolds, John Viscelli and Carl Girsoli.  Lead singer Adams passed away on March 6th, 2017.

1957 – The 5 Royales – King 580 – “Dedicated to You”

The 5 Royales formed in 1951 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina – Original Members:  Lowman Pauling, Jimmy Moore, Obadiah Carter Johnny Tanner and Otto Jeffries – They started out as a gospel group the “Royal Sons Quintet”.

1957 – The 5 Satins – Ember ELP-100 – “The 5 Satins Sing”

1960 – The Flairs/Flares – United 7800 – “Rock & Roll Hits of the 50’s”

The Flairs formed in 1952 in Los Angeles originally known as “The Debonaires” – Original Members: Arthur Lee Maye, Pete Fox, Obediah Jessie, Joe Winslow and A.V. Odom – Another later notable member was Richard Berry who was also a member of the “Robins” forerunner to “The Coasters”.

1959 – The Fleetwoods – Dolton 8001 – “Mr. Blue”

The Fleetwoods formed in 1958 out of Olympia, Washington – Members: Gary Troxel, Gretchen Christopher and Barbara Ellis

1959 – Frankie Ford – Ace 1005 – “Let’s Take A Sea Cruise”

Frankie Ford was born in August of 1939 in Gretna, Louisiana Vincent Francis Guzzo – Died September 28th, 2015 – Early on he was a member of a Louisiana group “The Syncopators”.

1955 – The Four Lovers – RCA Victor 1317 – “Joyride”

The Four Lovers formed in 1954 in Newark, New Jersey and of course would evolve into the immensely popular “Four Seasons” – Original Members: Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Henry Majewski, Frank Cattone and Billy Thompson. The group was initially known as “The Variatones”.

1962 – The Four Seasons – Vee Jay VJLP 1053 – “Sherry & 11 Others”

The Four Seasons evolved from “The Four Lovers” in 1960 – Original Members: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi – Gaudio was a successful hit writer and had been with “The Royal Teens” of “Short Shorts” fame.

1958 – Connie Francis – MGM E3686 – “Who’s Sorry Now”

Connie Francis was born on December 12th, 1938 in Newark, New Jersey Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero

1961 – Aretha Franklin – Columbia CL 1512 – “Aretha”

Aretha Franklin was born on March 25th, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee Aretha Louise Franklin – Franklin released many Columbia long plays before skyrocketing to fame on the Atlantic label.  Sisters Erma and Carolyn also enjoyed modest musical recording success.

1962 – Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford – Fire FLP 105 – “I Need Your Lovin'”

Don Gardner was born in May of 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – He teamed up with Dee Dee Ford in 1962 – birth name Wrecia Holloway from Minden, Louisiana born in 1936 – Ford passed away in 1972.

1961 – Barbara George – AFO LP 5001 – “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)”

Barbara George was born in August of 1942 in New Orleans, Louisiana Barbara Ann Smith – She died August 10th, 2006.

1963 – Leslie Gore – Mercury MG 20805 – “I’ll Cry If I Want To”

Leslie Gore was born in May of 1946 in New York City Lesley Sue Goldstein – She died on February 16th, 2015


  1. Another great collection….

    Pretty interesting Fireflies cover, but it’s not the original (which was on Ribbon). Cute description of “triple stereo” – instruments hard on one side, vocals hard on the other. Translation: we haven’t figured out how to mix this stuff yet!

    The Don Gardner/Dee Dee Ford album is original but I’m surprised that it doesn’t have the full-length two-part version of “I Need Your Lovin’,” which puts the song in a whole other context. Hear it here (I promise you won’t be disappointed): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8tZjnnEqGk.

    I could have lived without Connie Francis’ middle-road sound, but when she wanted to, the lady could rock. Check out this early track, “Eighteen” (and forgive the backing chorus – I do): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-fj3q35IuY. This is my favorite Connie Francis record ever – and like Brenda Lee, the sexuality of her voice is not backed up by how they looked….

    Looking forward to the next grouping!

    Country Paul

    • I have never heard of/or seen a “Ribbon” LP for the Fireflies only the single – the price guide lists the Taurus LP only – which obviously came out much later – It does command some dollars nonetheless.

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