From the Land of Band Box Records

Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist



The Stingers were essentially a group of session musicians looking to step to the forefront – Members included wrecking crew members Earl Palmer (drums), Rene Hall and Plas Johnson.  The trio’s objective was to make a little more money without having to tour – all from the comfort of the recording studio.  The three had been involved in many hit recordings and were in fact the group behind the Ernie Field’s’ hit “In the Mood” in 1959 (number 4).

Further – the same group of musicians – with some others here and there – recorded hits by “The Pets”, “The Routers”, “The Marketts”, and “Billy Joe and the Checkmates” to name a few.  In every case, people had to scramble to put together a touring group of other performers to satisfy the public’s demands for performances,  Rene Hall would usually be the one tapped to train the touring musicians on arrangements and the like.

So when it was time to record “Bumble Boogie” Kim Fowley took on production chores – Ernie Fields sat in on the piano – who cut two tracks – one on Grand piano and the other a modified upright for the dueling sound of the track.  Red Callender came in on bass and Teddy Tedesco played guitar.  Notice the advertisement above features touring musicians with no mention of the true talent behind the scenes in the studio – and of course , the Wrecking Crew were used to that!

“Wrecking It with the Crew”

The group would cut more than a dozen singles and on their sixth try nearly equaled their debut – scoring a number 23 hit with “Nut Rocker” based on, yet, another classical piece.  The group learned that Freeman couldn’t make the “Nutrocker” session and so they rushed in keyboardist Al Hazan.  Al was doing his first practice take on the tune and little did he know the tape recorder was running.  The engineer liked what he heard and above Hazan’s protests stayed with the first version.

For “Nutrocker” a whole new group of touring musicians had to be assembled quickly because England was demanding an appearance.

B. Bumble & Stingers Selected Discography

45 – Rendezvous 140 – Bumble Boogie – Number 21 Hot 100 b/w School Day Blues – January, 1961

45 – Rendezvous 151 – Boogie Woogie – Number 89 Hot 100 b/w Near You – June, 1961

45 – Rendezvous 166 – Nut Rocker – Number 23 Hot 100 – b/w Nautilus – January, 1962

45 – Dymo 13 – Polly Wog b/w Slumber Party – 1964

45 – Wax 13 – Polly Wog b/w Slumber Party – 1964

45 – Mercury 72614 – The Green Hornet b/w Flight Of the Hornet – August, 1966

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