From the Land of Band Box Records

They Gave Us Rock and Roll: Part 8

June 12, 2017


Here are the pioneering artists with names beginning with the letter “S”.  So many great memories and great songs by these founders.

So it is safe to say that the bulk of the earliest rockers and rock influencers were generally from the South – whether they were black or white.  If black, they had plenty of obstacles needless to say.  If white, they still faced serious barricades when moving toward rock ‘n’ roll.  But thank God they saw it through – Most were born in the 1930’s – a greatly ignored generation lost between the “greatest generation” and the “baby boomers”.  But they need not ever fail to hold their heads high – They gave us rock and roll……

1966 – Sam and Dave – Stax SD 708 – “Hold On, I’m Comin'”

Sam Moore and Dave Prater formed in 1961 in Memphis, Tennessee as the duo “Sam and Dave”.   Sam and Dave are 1992 Inductees into the Rock Hall of Fame.  Dave Prater died on April 9th, 1988.

1957 – Tommy Sands – Capitol T 848 – “Steady Date with Tommy Sands”

Tommy Sands was born in August of 1937 in Chicago, Illinois Thomas Adrian Sands – He was a Capitol Records effort to bring a young singer into the rock and roll genre.

1959 – Santo and Johnny – Canadian American CALP 1001 – “Santo & Johnny”

They were Santo Anthony and John Steven Farina out of Brooklyn, New York born In October, 1937 and April, 1941 respectively – The sibling duo were quintessential 1950’s all the way.

1963 – Freddie Scott – Colpix 461 – “Freddie Scott Sings”

Freddie Scott was born in April of 1933 in Providence, Rhode Island  – He died on June 4th, 2007

1958 – Jack Scott – Carlton STLP 12/107 – “Jack Scott

Jack Scott was born in January of 1936 in Windsor, Ontario Canada Giovanni Domenico Scafone, Jr. – As a teenager he fronted “The Southern Teenagers”.

1961 – Linda Scott – Canadian American SCALP 1005 – “Starlight, Starbright”

Linda Scott was born on June 1st, 1945 in New York City Linda Joy Sampson – She first came to the attention of record labels via her 1959 successful debut on the Arthur Godfrey show. She penned her hit “Don’t Bet Money Honey”.

1959 – Neil Sedaka – RCA Victor LSP 2035 – “Neil Sedaka”

Neil Sedaka was born in March of 1939 in Brooklyn, New York  – Neil was an original member of “The Tokens” before they enjoyed chart success.

1965 – The Shangri Las – Red Bird 101 – “Leader of the Pack”

The Shangri-Las formed in New York City in 1963 becoming the quintessential ‘girl group’ – Members were Mary Weis, Elizabeth Weis, Marquerite Ganser and Mary Ann Ganser. Mary Ann Ganser died of a drug overdose on March 15th, 1970.  Her twin sister Marge Ganser died from cancer on July 28th, 1996.

1961 – Del Shannon – Big Top 12-1303 – “Runaway with Del Shannon”

Del Shannon was born in December of 1934 in Grand Rapids, Michigan Charles Weedon Westover – He died on February 8th, 1990 – taking his own life.

1962 – Dee Sharp – Cameo 1018 – “It’s Mashed Potato Time”

Dee Dee Sharp was born in September of 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennyslvania

1960 – Ray Sharpe – Award – “Welcome Back/Linda Lou”

Ray Sharpe was born in February of 1938 in Fort Worth, Texas Edward Ray Sharpe – He started off with his own group “Ray Sharpe and the Blues Whalers” – “Linda Lou” was produced by Lee Hazelwood and featured Duane Eddy on guitar.

1961 – The Shirelles – Scepter SLP 5002 – “The Shirelles Sing To Trumpets and Strings”

The Shirelles formed in 1957 out of Passaic, New Jersey and were one of the earliest and most successful ‘girl groups’.  Members were Shirley Owens, Doris Coley, Addie Harris and Beverly Lee.  Coley died on February 4th, 2000.  The Shirelles are a 1996 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.

1956 – Shirley & Lee – Aladdin LP-807 – “Let The Good Times Roll”

Shirley and Lee were Shirley Lee Goodman who was born in June of 1936 in New Orleans, and Lee Goodman (Leonard Lee) who was born in June of 1935 also in New Orleans.  Shirley died on July 5th, 2005 and Lee died on October 23rd, 1975.

1962 – Troy Shondell – Everest – “The Many Sides of Troy Shondell” & 1967 – Sunset – “This Time”

Troy Shondell was born in May of 1939 in Fort Wayne, Indiana Gary Wayne Schelton and died on January 7th, 2016.

1968 – The Silhouettes – Goodway GLP 100 “Get a Job”

The Silhouettes formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1956 – Original Members were Richard Lewis, Bill Horton, Earl Beal, Raymond Edwards and John Wilson – All but Beal have passed away.  The group started as “The Thunderbirds”.

1964 – Jumpin’ Gene Simmons – Hi – “Haunted House”

Jumpin’ Gene Simmons was born in August of 1949 in Tirat Camel Israel

1959 – The Skyliners – Calico – “The Skyliners”

The Skyliners formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1958.  Original members were Janet Vogel, Wally Lester, Jackie Taylor, Joe Verscharen and lead singer Jimmy Beaumont.  The group started off while in high school and co-composed the classic hits “Since I Don’t Have You”, “This I Swear” and “It Happened Today”.  Janet Vogel took her life in 1980.

1966 – Percy Sledge – Atlantic 8125 – “When A Man Loves A Woman”

Percy Sledge was born in November of 1940 in Leighton, Arkansas Percy Tyrone Sledge.  He died on April 14th, 2015.  Percy Sledge is a 2005 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.

1960 – Ray Smith – Judd 75-002 – “Travelin’ with Ray”

Ray Smith was born in October of 1934 in Melber, Kentucky – Smith took his own life on November 29th, 1979 – Ray Smith was yet another rockabilly artist who recorded for the Sun Record label.

1960 – Warren Smith – Liberty LRP 3199 – “The First Country Collection of Warren Smith”

Warren Smith was born in February of 1932 in Humprheys County, Mississippi – He died on January 30th, 1980.  His popular rocker “Rock and Roll Ruby” was recorded at the famed Sun Records studios.  That session was backed by “The Snearly Ranch Boys”.

1963 – Jimmy Soul – SPQR E 16001 – “If You Wanna Be Happy”

Jimmy Soul was born in August of 1942 in Weldon, North Carolina James Louis McCleese – He died on June 25th, 1988. – He recorded two charting records “If You Wanna Be Happy” and “Twistin’ Matilda” both which originally were intended for singer Gary U.S. Bonds.

1958 – The Spaniels – Vee Jay 1002 – “Goodnite, It’s Time to Go”

1961 – The Spiders – Imperial LP 9140 – “I Didn’t Wanna Do It”

The Spiders formed in New Orleans, Louisiana originally as a gospel group “The Zion City Harmonizers” and then “The Southernaires” before becoming “The Spiders” in 1953.  Original members were Joe Maxon, Matthew West, Howard Carbo and Chuck Carbo.

1964 – Terry Stafford – Crusader CLP 1001 – “Suspicion”

Terry Stafford was born in November of 1941 in Hollis, Oklahoma Terry LaVerne Stafford – He died on March 17th, 1996.

1962 – The Staple Singers – Vee Jay VJLP 5019 – “The Best of The Staple Singers”

The Staple singers morphed into a soul group gradually from a gospel format – They first formed in 1948 with Roebuck Staples, Cleotha Staples, Pervis Staples and Mavis Staples out of Chicago, Illinois.  Roebuck and Cleotha have both since died.  The Staples Singers are a 1999 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.

1959 – Dodie Stevens – Dot DLP 25212 – “Dodie Stevens”

Dodie Stevens was born in February of 1947 in Chicago, Illinois Geraldine Ann Paquale – She was a mere 13 years old when she recorded her smash hit “Pink Shoe Laces”.  Dodie married at 16 years of age – a marriage which failed – and then returned to performing into the 1990’s with various oldies concerts.

1962 – Ray Stevens – Mercury MG 20732 – “1,837 Seconds of Humor”

Ray Stevens was born in January of 1939 in Clarkdale, Georgia Harold Ray Ragsdale – Ray is one of the few novelty artists featured in this set of pages on my site but his longevity warrants acknowledgement – He moved comfortably into country as well as song writing and so on.

1965 – Billy Stewart – Chess LP-1499 – “Unbelievable”

Billy Stewart was born in March of 1937 in Washington, D.C. William Larry Stewart – He died on January 17th, 1970 in an automobile accident.  He was a member of a D.C. group “The Rainbows” along with Marvin Gaye.  He was reportedly discovered by Bo Diddley and signed to Chess Records.

1962 – The Supremes – Motown MT 606 – “Meet the Supremes”

The Supremes formed in 1959 in Detroit, Michigan as the Primettes before taking the name The Supremes – Original Members were Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson. The Supremes are a1988 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.  Florence Ballard died on February 22nd, 1976.

1964 – The Temptations – Gordy GLP S 911 – “Meet the Temptations”

The Temptations formed in 1960 in Detroit, Michigan with original members Otis Williams, Elbridge Bryant and Melvin Franklin all coming from the group “Otis Williams and the Distants”.  They were joined by Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams of “The Primes”.  All original members other than founder Otis Williams have passed.  The Temptations are a 1989 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.

1959 – Ritchie Valens – Del-Fi DFLP 1206 – “Ritchie”

Ritchie Valens was born in May of 1941 in Pacoima, California Richard Steven Valenzuela – He died in THE plane crash on February 3rd, 1959.  Ritchie Valens is a 2001 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.

1960 – The Ventures – Dolton BST 8003 – “Walk Don’t Run”

The Ventures formed out of Tacoma, Washington in 1958 starting off as “The Versatones” with Don Wilson and Bob Bogle as a duo. They soon added Nokie Edwards and Skip Moore on Drums.  The Ventures are a 1990 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.


1962 – Stevie Wonder – Tamla TM-232 – “Tribute to Uncle Ray”

Stevie Wonder was born in May of 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan Stevland Hardaway Morris – He is one of the latest born artists to be found on these “Founder” pages if not the earliest.  Stevie Wonder is a 1989 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.

1966 – The Young Rascals – Atlantic SD 8123 – “The Young Rascals”

The Young Rascals formed in Garfield, New Jersey first as members of “Joey Dee and the Starliters”.  Members were Eddie Brigati, Felix Cavaliere, Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli.  The Young Rascals are a 1997 Inductee into the Rock Hall of Fame.

One Comment

  1. Another great collection, Craig.

    I also have the Jack Scott album in stereo. Maybe it isn’t as rare as I thought it was!

    It was only recently that I learned that Ray Sharpe was African-American; his hit, “Linda Lu,” was marketed as rockabilly when new, and of course, there’s Duane Eddy’s guitar..

    The life of Janet Vogl Rapp of The Skyliners was told in the 2012 film “Since I Don’t Have You,” produced by her son Gavin Rapp. I haven’t seen the movie, but Gavin sent me an early draft of the screenplay and it blew me away. The debut is noted here: http://triblive.com/aande/2693222-74/rapp-film-beaumont-vogel-skyliners-plays-rock-says-south-added. Also of note: Janet’s solo 45 on Gateway, “Another Night Alone, ‘ one of the most heartbreaking and exquisite vocal performances imaginable. Even though the song is not autobiographical, one can hear her story informing her singing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FikEa0lPPuo

    Thanks for posting The Spaniels; I confess I should have paid them much more attention in their prime. Pookie Hudson’s voice was magic as was Gerald Gregory’s bass singing. Luckily I saw them both – the two “essential” Spaniels – with a reconstituted backup group at UGHA in NJ shortly before Pookie died. Oh, what a night….(Yes, I know that was a Dells song, but they were label-mates!)

    And Ritchie Valens – hard to believe he was only 17 when he died. Where his music could have gone – and that velvet sound of his voice led the way for The Innocents, Chris Montez, and Los Lobos. I seem to remember first editions of this album having hand-drawn cartoon-balloon lettering on the back cover.

    Another sterling collection, Craig; thank you for a wonderfully diverting hour!

    Country Paul

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