From the Land of Band Box Records

Bomb Away!

November 27, 2018

KIMN’s Bomb of the Week

From May 4th of 1959 up into the Spring of 1960 KIMN jocks or somebody – selected a “stinker” to feature weekly.  A few of the stinkers went onto chart both on KIMN and nationally.

Especially successful on KIMN was Homer and Jethro’s “Battle of Kookamonga” going all the way to number 2 on KIMN and number 14 on Billboard’s Hot 100 – their only appearance on the national singles chart.

May 4th, 1959 – The Class – Chubby Checker (Peaked at Number 18)

Chubby doing his best musician imitations – His 1st recording for Parkway

May 11th, 1959 – Zimba Lula – The Rays

The “Silhouettes” Rays – That song was first released on this XYZ label – XYZ continued to release additional songs by the Rays after their 1957 smash for three more years!

May 18th, 1959 – Back, Shack, Track – Big Jay McNeely

West coast label “Swingin'” Records had an impressive stable – but few hits – with Marvin Philips of “Marvin and Johnny” fame, Little Johnny Taylor and Floyd Dixon, Rochelle and the Candles and Sonny Knight

May 25th, 1959 – Mope Itty Mope – The Boss Tones

June 1st, 1959 – The Enchanted Farm – The Forbidden Five

Composer Bobby Hammack also offered up the gems “Brazilian Hobo” and “Vienna Bongo”!  Hammack was Texas born and found his way to Los Angeles where he composed television scores for many programs including Red Skelton, Glen Campbell and Ed Sullivan.

June 8th, 1959 – Geronimo – The Renegades

Well, not surprisingly – The Renegades were yet another Hollywood studio musician assembly with future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, Nick Venet, Sandy Nelson and Richard Podolor.  Nick Venet was responsible for signing the Beach Boys to the Capitol Records label – Entire blog posts could be devoted to Venet.

Richard Podolor was the driving producing force behind Three Dog Night – a group which also had ties to the Beach Boys via member Danny Hutton working with Brian Wilson – The

June 22nd, 1959 – Gila Monster – Joe Johnson

June 29th, 1959 – Two Weeks With Pay – George Young and the Rockin’ Bocs

In later years Young was a sax player for the TV program “Saturday Night Live”

July 13th, 1959 – Fly Carpet Fly – Will Jordan

July 20th, 1959 – The Mummy – Bob McFadden and Dor (Peaks No. 1)

McFadden was the force behind TV cartoon shows such as “Milton the Monster” and “The Thundercats” and others – He was also a featured voice character on the hugely popular long play “The First Family” by Vaughn Meader in 1962.

My parents purchased that record and it drove me nuts after two or three plays.

July 29th, 1959 – Jamie Made a Monster – The Fabulous Five

August 10th, 1959 – I Fell Out Of Love With Love – Simon Crum

I’ve posted previously about this guy – none other than Ferlin Husky!

August 24th, 1959 – Not So Quiet Village – Orlando

A dig a Martin Denny’s hit

August 31st, 1959 – The Battle of Kookamonga – Homer & Jethro (Peaks No. 2)

Corn Pone duo Homer and Jethro made one appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 – and this was it – coming in at number 14 – They were Kenneth Bruns and Henry Haynes.

September 7th, 1959 – Coming ‘Round the Mountain – Johnny Two Voice

This was R&B singer Johnnie Morisette

September 20th, 1959 – The People Hater – Jerry & Brad

As though eating people were not enough….

September 27th, 1959 – Look Out For The Clothesline – Bob Calloway & The Chicks

October 11th, 1959 – Tennessee Waltz – Bobby Comstock (Peaks No. 27)

Rocker Bobby Comstock didn’t think this was a novelty or a “bomb” as it peaked at number 52 on the Hot 100 nationally

October 25th, 1959 – Psycho Serenade – Big Jay McNeeley

The KIMN jocks bestow Big Jay with his second KIMN Bomb of the week!

October 28th, 1959 – She’s A Housewife, That’s All – Jerry Woodard

Jerry wouldn’t get away with this one today –

November 4th, 1959 – Where Did I Goof? – Elroy “Shadow” Peace

November 11th, 1959 – I Was A Teenage Reindeer – Jim Backus

Magoo you’ve done it again!

November 18th, 1959 – Georgia Slop – Jimmy McCracklin

November 25th, 1959 – Blabber Mouth – The Rookies

Can’t even locate a copy of this one… a true “bomb”

December 9th, 1959 – Chubby Checker – Whole Lot of Laughin’

Chubby’s follow-up to “The Class” – this one flopped – Chubby would soon turn his attention to twisting

December 16th, 1959 – A Perfect Day – Smitty and the Afterbeats

December 23rd, 1959 – Bingo – Bob McFadden

Bobby Bombs again!

December 30th, 1959 – The Old Boat – Eden Ahbez

Real name George Alexander Aberle – An influencer in the early hippie movement in California  – He left his mark composing a smash hit for Nat King Cole “The Nature Boy” in 1948 hitting number 1 in the nation for eight consecutive weeks – truly ahead of his time

Related image

January 6th, 1960 – Dear Little Boy Of Mine – Steve Evans

Steve was from Great Britain and later worked with Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant  – He was in a group called Spacemen 3 in 1982

January 13th, 1960 – You Crack Me Up – Charlie Baker

January 20th,, 1960 – What A Dolly – Red Berry & The Bel Raves

January 27th, 1960 – A Pair of Dice – Blink Rotinjail

This one is a tuffy to find on the “Ditto” label

February 3rd, 1960 – The Countryside – Jim Henson

The Muppet Master’s early effort pre-muppets

February 10th, 1960 – Foo Man Choo – The Revels

The KIMN Jocks were out of bands on this one

February 17th, 1960 – Were Wolf – The Frantics

Same with this rocker by Seattle’s Frantics

February 24th, 1960 – Ooh Poo Pah Doo – Jessie Hill (Peaks No. 34)

I think Lee the Weather Girl at KIMN must have been selecting these – This one’s legit – number 22 Billboard

March 9th, 1960 – Baby Talk – Mike & Lulu

Not a Jan and Dean parody

March 16th, 1960 – Tia Juana Ball – Bob Markley

March 25th, 1960 – Down In The Alley – Nappy Brown and the Gibraltars

This was the final “KIMN Bomb Of The Week”

April 20th, 1960 – The South Shall Rise Again – Dor & The Confederates

Yikes – gentle poet Rod McKuen penned this one

KIMN’s Search for the Lost Chord

November 21, 2018

Boom! (Sh-Boom that is)….

The earliest weekly survey sheet from Denver’s KIMN radio  station I have run across is from June 26th, 1954 – The Top 10 from that week looked like this:

1 Kitty Kallen Little Things Mean A Lot
2 Four Aces Three Coins In The Fountain
3 Perry Como Wanted
4 Frank Weir The Happy Wanderer
5 Frank Sinatra Young-At-Heart
6 Patti Page Cross Over The Bridge
7 Archie Bleyer Hernando’s Hideaway
8 Four Knights I Get So Lonely
9 Kay Starr If You Love Me
10 Betty Madigan Joey

All was very well in the world – except for one little minor detail:  There was very little rock and roll in our little ‘cow town’ of Denver, Colorado and there wouldn’t be much for a few years more…

Kids who were born in the mid to late 1930’s were buying the records as well as their parents – for the most part – not to exclude those who came along just ahead of the ‘Baby Boom’ generation in 1946 – such as my sister who was hatched in 1942.  She and her friends were very content to pick up an Eddie Fisher disc or spend their allowance on a beginning-to-age significantly Frank Sinatra (he was nearly 40 in 1954 and his ‘bobby sock’er’ hoards were settling down to the realities of life) leaving my sister and her sort of nerdy friends to take up the slack.

Page – Fisher – Como

KIMN’s Top 10 remained relatively squeaky clean for a time – Yes, there were warning signs – For instance the Crew-Cuts topping the KIMN charts on September 4th, 1954 with a curious “Sh-Boom”.  In Denver we would only learn many, many years later to our astonishment that the song was released in May of ’54 by the R&B group “The Chords”.

Sh-Boomers Crew-Cuts & Chords

We were indeed sheltered as the Chords’ version didn’t make an appearance on mainstream A.M. in Denver but was still very successfully nationally going all the way to number 9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 (the Canadian Crew-Cuts held the top spot in the U.S. for a full nine weeks!).

And later down the road – while the Crew-Cuts’ rendition was used in the TV smash hit sit-com “Happy Days” and was included in the motion pictures “Road House” – 1989; “Clue” from 1985 – savvy Hollywood types would display their hipness placing the Chords’ song in the motion pictures “Cry Baby” – 1990; “The Super” – 1991; “Lipstick on Your Collar” – 1993;  “The Sum of Us” – 1994; “Liberty Heights- 1999; “Two Of Us” – 2000; and “Hearts in Atlantis” – 2001.

What we don’t know is whether or not the Chords realized any financial gain – We know that three of the original five members passed away before any of these films or programs took place – and now all five are no longer with us.

Rockin’ Forerunners

Just a note:  Elvis entered the national charts in March of 1956 with “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1) – But Bill Haley and His Comets broke through clear back in May of 1953 when “Crazy Man Crazy” went all the way to number 12.  Haley would place two more big hits on the national charts before “Rock Around the Clock” came around – those being “Shake, Rattle and Roll” (number 7 in 1954) followed by “Dim Dim The Lights” (number 11 also in 1954).

Fats Domino charted 11 times on the R&B charts with his first one being “The Fat Man” clear back in early 1950 – He would have to wait until May of 1955 for his first Hot 100 charting song “Ain’t It A Shame” which hit number 10.

The Major Leagues

Brenston & Carter

Then there is the age-old discussion – first rock and roll record – Most cited is Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88” from May of 1951 – a song which topped the R&B charts for five weeks.  Others say it is Goree Carter’s “Rock-Awhile” from way back in 1949 – Others say this and others say that….

Surveying the Teen Scene in Denver

It is difficult to locate weekly radio surveys from 1954 – ’55 or even 1956 in Denver – Quite likely KIMN didn’t yet  print surveys for placement in the retail music stores.  Until rock and roll took hold, stations weren’t yet marketing hard to the newly arrived very young teen audience – eager to part with their allowance – and for the most part didn’t expand the weekly listings to more-than-10 chart positions.

I located a Denver AM radio station June 4th, 1956 – again only Top Ten featured and the closest thing we have to a rocker would be the Fontaine Sisters singing “Rollin’ Stone” holding the number 7 position.  That song was an R&B hit for the Marigolds in 1955.

The earliest KIMN survey sheet I have located in paper form is my own copy of the November 18th, 1957 sheet.  Even KIMN’s tribute web site lists nothing earlier.

KIMN 1957

Early KIMN Now Rockin’

I do have a copy of KIMN’s “All-Time Top 300” from 1955 through 1966.  Here is how – up to that point in time – things worked out:

Number 1 at that point in time (1966) was – naturally “I Want to Hold Your Hand” – You have to scroll down quite a ways to find a 1955 entry – but there is “The Great Pretender” from November of that year at number 37 just one notch below Colorado’s Astronauts and their big local hit “Baja”.

The KIMN All Time Top 10

  1. I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
  2. Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
  3. Louie, Louie – The Kingsmen
  4. Gloria – Them
  5. You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’ The Righteous Brothers
  6. Yesterday – The Beatles
  7. Downtown – Petula Clark
  8. Mrs. Brown (You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter) – Herman’s Hermits
  9. Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
  10. Wooly Bully – Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs

Those Crazy Kim Comer’s – Part 1

November 17, 2018

KIMN 1959 – March 2nd, 1959

Pogp Poge

Just taking a look back at some early Denver radio station KIMN weekly survey sheets – picked out a March 2nd, 1959.

Now I have to say, something strange was going on at “950” (I think).  First thing I noticed was the invitation at the bottom of the survey inviting listeners to mail in their ballots with “10 favorites” directly to the KIMN studio in Edgewater.  The incentive to do so was being entered into a drawing to received KIMN’s  “Five Star Pick of the Week”.

So I am trying to imagine that the teenager’s who responded could have possibly have been as diverse an audience to come up with some of the records and artists appearing on the survey.

Now positions 1 through 13 are solid – boss (well, maybe not “Nola” by Billy Williams – his name is spelled incorrectly).

Then we start off with “Midnight Oil” by Charlie Blackwell.  Not a bad tune but number 14?  And then The Mark IV’s “I Got a Wife” at number 19.  Now I owned a copy of that novelty song.  Have to admit after about three plays I was done with it.

England’s Cyril Stapleton and his orchestra come in at number 25 with “The Children’s Marching Song”.  I suppose it was very possible that Denver’s elementary grade level kids were casting ballots.  Where did they get the money for stamps?  But it was from a very popular motion picture.

Then there is a very encouraging number 27 entry by the Flamingos “Lovers Never Say Goodbye”.  This would be their moderate hit coming just ahead of their big one “I Only Have Eyes For You” which followed in June.  Very intuitive of Denver’s teens and placing this one on KIMN’s “Top 50”!  A few weeks later – it was gone!

There is a very obscure “Catch a Moon Beam” by the Rinky Dinks on Capitol coming in at number 38.  This is not Bobby Darin’s Atco group and I can’t really find any information on them other than this single bombed everywhere except the Mile High City.

We have “Comic Book Crazy” by “Little Sammy Yates” who is actually Sammy Hagan or “Count Hagan” who had been a member of the West Coast R&B group “The Premiers”.

But all of these pale to the number 47 entry – a true “KIMN Comer”!  It is the Matsys Brothers rocking out on their accordions and laying down a Led Zeppelin like rendition of the “Rummy Polka”!

Perhaps I have just become a cynic over the years – but noticing that two singles appear on the KIMN’s Top 50 from the First record label – Johnny October’s “Promise” and “The Ballad of a Girl & Boy” leads me to believe that the First record’s local distributor must have paid the KIMN Boss Jocks a visit.  Is that possible?  First Records had a very short life – releasing a handful of singles – one was by The Five Satins.

I believe that only Paul Payton can clear up what was going on back then…..  I bet anything that he can….  I bet he played lots of records on the First label…

950 A.M. KIMN Radio Selected Discography – March 2nd, 1959

Charlie Blackwell – Warner Brothers 5031 – “Midnight Oil” – Number 14 KIMN’s Top 50 – Charted Number 56 Billboard Hot 100

Buchanan and Goodman (with Count Dracula – Novelty 301 – “Frankenstein of ’59 (Part 1) – Number 46 KIMN Top 50 – Did not chart nationally

The Flamingos – End 1035 – Lovers Never Say Goodbye – Number 28 KIMN Top 50 – Charted Number 52 Billboard Hot 100 – Number 25 R&B

Marie and Rex – Carlton 502 – “I Can’t Sit Down” – Number 30 KIMN Top 50 – Charted Number 94 Billboard Hot 100

Rex Garvin backed up the female R&B group “The Hearts” singing bass in the 1950’s – He also composed Johnnie and Joe’s “Over The Mountain, Across the Sea” in 1957 – He later formed “The Cravers”.

The Matys Bros. – Sunnyside 3102 – “Rummy Polka” – Number 47 KIMN Top 50 – Did Not Chart Nationally

Nicola Paone – ABC-Paramount 45-9993 – “Blah, Blah, Blah” – Number 35 KIMN Top 50 – Charted Number 57 Billboard Hot 100

Johnny October – First 103 – “Promise” – Number 49 KIMN Top 50 – Did Not Chart Nationally

Real name Johnny B. Ottobre – He was the lead vocalist for the “Four Dates” shown below – They were from Philadelphia and often backed Frankie Avalon and Fabian

The Four Dates

The Question Marks – First 102 – “Ballad of a Girl & Boy” – Number 36 KIMN Top 50

The Question Marks also released this single on the Shan-Todd record label in 1959 as “The Graduates” and it charted on Billboard reaching number 74.

Rinky Dinks – Capitol F4146 – “Catch a Little Moonbeam” – Number 38 KIMN Top 50 – Did Not Chart Nationally

Cyril Stapleton – London 45-1851 – “The Children’s Marching Song” – Number 25 KIMN Top 50 – Charted Number 13 Billboard Hot 100

From the motion picture “Inn of the Sixth Happiness”

Little Sammy Yates – Genie 45-103 – Comic Book Crazy – Number 39 KIMN Top 50 – Did Not Chart Nationally

Yates with “The Premiers” below