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From the Land of Band Box Records

Payton Reflects on Our Musical Past….

Contributor – Historian – DJ – Paul Payton far Right

(Paul Payton and I first came into contact back in 2014 when he responded to a Blog Post.  Since that time he has been in constant touch and made many contributions – based on his rich career in music as a musician, DJ, historian and more.  I love his antidotes – He knew many musicians or knew of their recording endeavors.  He actually entered the legendary Brill Building back in the day from time to time!

Paul did FM DJ’ing and worked for a time in Colorado on a couple of stations in the mid 1970’s including KBPI!

At any rate – I have gone back over his many contributions and collected them here for all to enjoy – perhaps for the first time.  His observations send you scrambling to YouTube or further to learn and enjoy more!

On Van Trevor – “The Girl From the Main Street Diner” – December, 2014:

I hadn’t realized that Van had died so long ago; my condolences. I have associations of him with Connecticut, both as a rocker and a country artist. When Our Side came out, he was kind enough to do a verse of it as a custom jingle for me when I was working on WHIM in Providence RI. He was a really nice guy.

I’m looking for one he did on Canadian American, “The Girl From The Main Street Diner,” which was always a personal favorite. You or one of your readers wouldn’t happen to have an mp3 you could send, would you?!? Google Presence Productions to get an e-mail link if you have it. Thanks!

On Van Trevor & the Saturday Knights – “Sea Mist” – January, 2015:

One of my favorite records is by The Saturday Knights: “Sea Mist” on Nocturne. Just gorgeous – it grabbed my ears when I first heard it and it still does. Thank you especially for that one.

On Nino Tempo & April Stevens – “Sweet & Lovely” – February, 2015:

Nino Tempo/April Stevens… Deep Purple.. (1963) | Singer, Music ...

“Deep Purple” was the third try at updating an oldie by this brother/sister team. “Sweet and Lovely” (Atco 6224, 1962, a minor masterpiece and the prototype of this particular sound) and “Indian Love Call”/”Paradise” (Atco 6248, 1963, which I’ve never heard) preceded it, as did the haunting “Together” (Atco 6263, 1963, an all-time favorite of mine and a total stiff in the marketplace, although it got airplay). “April & Nino” was actually a second incarnation for both Ms,. Stevens, who in the early 1950s was notorious as a very sexy singer, similar to Julie London but more blatant; and Mr. LoTempio (the family name), who was already one of Phil Spector’s on-call session men in New York.

Click on “Sweet & Lovely” to Listen

On Gogi Grant – February, 2015:

Gogi Grant - Autographed Inscribed Photograph | HistoryForSale ...

Gogi Grant, she was Era’s breakthrough artist. She had previously been on RCA Victor and was a known quantity in the middle-road market. Like Janet – and you – I loved that record, and remember hearing it on the air when it was new; it sounded as big as the entire west!

On Johnny Cash & “Ring of Fire” – February, 2015:

Johnny Cash June Carter Proposal - Pictures of Johnny Cash and ...

And Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” – what a radical crossover sound that was: his “patented” clip-clop, mariachi horns, and a powerful song written by his future sister-in-law, Anita Carter. For a much different reading of this exquisite song, listen to the author’s shimmering version: (Click the Image)

On Arthur Godfrey & The Chordettes, Julius LaRosa – May, 2015

People forget, because of their young sound, that The Chordettes had a significant career on The Arthur Godfrey Show overlapping with becoming the huge hitmakers of the late ’50s. (By this time, a lot of people forget The Arthur Godfrey Show, too, despite the fact that he was a major star of his time; (Godfrey, as I both read and recall, was not the most pleasant person!) They weren’t kids when they started out, either, and actually began as a barbershop-harmony group, which accounts in parts for their unusual arrangements and excellent blend.

The Julius La Rosa firing was a huge scandal at the time; Godfrey would “get a hair across his butt” and fire anyone at any time; that “hair” came out in full force and was the beginning of Godfrey’s public turning against him. Ultimately, he fired virtually everybody, including Bleyer and all his “little Godfreys”: The Chordettes (one of whom was married to Bleyer), Marion Marlowe and The Mariners (a mixed-race barbershop quartet, very unusual for the era) most prominent among them.

I was just a little kid when Godfrey was on, but I remember having an inherent distaste for him. Nothing I’ve seen on YouTube or read about him has warmed that up at all. On the other hand, The Chordettes were amazing; they could handle sweet and earnest music with a sense of honesty that was rare. Among my favorites: “”No Other Arms, No Other Lips,” “Born to Be with You” and the regrettably obscure (and later – 1960) “A Broken Vow.” And of course Bleyer gave the world some of the best pop and rock to come out of that era, including The Everly Brothers and to a lesser extent Johnny Tillotson as well as The Chordettes.

On Duane Eddy & The Rivingtons/Sharps – “Have Love, Will Travel” – “Gig-A-Lene” – June, 2015:

Indeed, the rebel yells on Duane Eddy’s Jamie tracks were by the group that became known as The Rivingtons, but they were still The Sharps who had a good run of sides on Jamie on their own, including “Have Love, Will Travel” and the bizarre “Gig-a-Leen,” the latter sounding like The Coasters on LSD. (Later they were The Untouchables on Madison who sang the poignant “Raisin’ Sugar Cane,” and they also became Africa on Ode on the album, “Music from Li’l Brown.”)

On Dickie Doo & The Don’ts – “Click-Clack” – “The Drums of Richard A. Do” – June, 2015

Gerry Granahan was Dickie Doo, since he couldn’t use his own name due to contractual conflicts. “Click Clack” (4001) was #28 pop nationally, but also hit #8 R&B. It was also much bigger in several local pop markets including New York. (Interestingly, drummer Dave Alldred, who you mention, assumed the role – and ultimately the legal name – of Dickie Doo after Granahan left the band; there was, in fact, a later track called “The Drums of Richard A. Doo.”)

On Billy & Lillie – “Happiness” – June, 2015

Billy & Lillie’s “La Dee Dah” (4002) made it to #9 nationally and, as you cite, they had several significant follow-ups including Swan 4005, “Happiness.”  (By the way, Billy Ford died young, in 1985, but Lillie Bryant still performs live in Newburgh, NY, where she lives.)

On Doc Starkes & the Nite Riders – “Apple Cider” – June, 2015

Doc Starkes & The Nite Riders were from Hartford, CT, and had a major local hit with “Apple Cider” there, certainly enough to make a profit for the label.

On The Coeds – “Big Chief/Juke Box” – June, 2015

The Versatones (1)

It would have been disappointing to be The Coeds (#4004), the only non-success in Swan’s first five releases. However, their record, ”Juke Box,” was later reissued as Cameo 129; I have no knowledge of how that did in the marketplace!

On the Dreamlovers – “When We Get Married” – June, 2015

he Dreamlovers (who latter hit with “When We Get Married”) never got the label credit or recognition they deserved for their backing vocals on “The Twist.”

On The Four Voices – “Sealed With A Kiss” – “Lovely One”  – & Mr. Peacock/Mr. Peeke “Lovely One” – August, 2015

The Four Voices’ “sealed with a Kiss” is the original version. They were an old-line close-harmony group (think the Four Lads/Aces/Coins/etc.) who were working hard at reinventing themselves. Their biggest hit, “Lovely One,” on Columbia, was re-cut later for Mr. Peacock/Mr. Peeke in a more modern (1963 or so) version. (Mr. Peacock had to change its name because Don Robey who owned Peacock complained. Or so I was told long ago.)

On Dion – “No One Is Waiting For Me” – “Knowing I Won’t Go Back There” – August, 2015

Dion was into his folk and blues (and heroin) stage on Columbia. Nonetheless, he wrote and sang some great songs, including the unexpected “{No One Is Waiting for Me” and a song that he did but Kenny Rankin did better, “Knowing I Won’t Go Back There,” still an all time favorite (from 1964).

On Mike Clifford – “What To Do With Laurie” – “Close To Cathy” – August, 2015

Thanks for the information on Buzz Clifford. I know that “Baby Sittin’ Boogie” pigeonholed him as a novelty act, but he had a lot more going on – I just didn’t know what. Also interesting that Mike Clifford was on the label at the same time; it must have been confusing for their promo men. I’ve never heard any of Mike’s Columbia output, but the follow-up to “Close to Cathy,” “What to Do with Laurie,” both on UA, is a gorgeous melody weighed down by terminally-cute lyrics!

On Mitch Miller & Later Columbia – August, 2015

Interesting assemblage of tracks; thanks Craig. On another pass-through, I could walk through their catalog – you could, too – and come up with a totally different and just as interesting list, which attests to the willingness they had post-Mitch Miller (and even during his later days) to try something unusual. (Look for Michael Wesley’s “Magic Lover,” Johnny Humbird’s “Ghost of Misery,” Jack Judge’s “Yea de a Hey,” The Inconceivables’ “Hamburger Patti” and a host of others. Cool stuff!

On Jody Reynolds (& Bobbie Gentry) – “Requiem For Love” – September, 2015

I never knew Jody Reynolds a Denverite. While I think “Endless Sleep” is a timeless, another track deserves attention that it never got. Reynolds partnered with Bobbie Gentry in 1963 for “Requiem For Love” (Titan 1736). Global Dog, which is usually correct, gives the release date as 1963, although in the YouTube posting someone says it didn’t come out until October 1967, when Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” hit. Perhaps it was reissued, as Global Dog shows a late Titan issue in 1967. I’ve never seen the label, but a commentator said the credit read “Jody & Bobbie,” and another commentator noted: “You can see where Nancy and Lee got their inspiration from.”

Click on Record to Listen

On Al Martino – “A Little Boy, A Little Girl” – November, 2015

The first time I heard Al Martino was on the incredibly tender and moving (some would say saccharine and cloying) “A Little Boy, A Little Girl” (20th Fox:237, January, 1961). I confess that even now I get tears in my eyes when I play it (yes, I still have the original 45). It is on YouTube, although not in the highest fidelity dub

Click on Record to Listen

On Rome  Paris – “Because of You” – November, 2015

20th (Century) Fox was a strange label; they also had a Flamingoes-like doo-wop version of the old chestnut “Because of You” by Rome & Paris (yeah, sure, those names are on their birth certificates!). It was a “double dip,” first tried on 20th Fox 423 in 1963, then reissued on Roulette 4681 in 1966 when it hit #109 on the “bubbling under” chart.

The “water” effect aged quickly, but it’s a pretty decent record overall, produced by Feldman Gottehrer Goldstein, a/k/a The Strangeloves (and also Rome & Paris; from Wikipedia: “Feldman and Goldstein (without Gottehrer) recorded charting hits as Rome & Paris in 1966” – somehow overlooking the original 1963 release).

Click on the Record to Listen

On Tony Orlando – “Bless You” and later – November, 2015

Tony Orlando (With images) | Tony orlando, Tony, Young old

That said, your historical facts are fascinating. Tony Orlando’s early songs, particularly “Bless You,” were quite nice, although his doo-wop group didn’t rise to the top for good reason (it and some other Five Gents group can be found on YouTube). His Wikipedia bio states that “he became a Christian in 1978, after life struggles.” Sadly, I saw him speak live at a record industry event before his “rebirth”; it wasn’t pretty – nor were his trite records with Dawn, in my opinion. (I spared myself their TV show.)

On Hale & The Hushabyes – “

The Honeycone, I hadn’t realized that Edna Wright was also in Hale & The Hushabyes. So were a lot of people – from a YouTube post: “Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Sonny & Cher, Jackie DeShannon, Darlene Love (Blossoms), Albert Stone and Edna Wright on Lead were Hale & The Hushabyes on Apogee Records, 1964.” It was also reissued in the same year on Reprise. There was also a third release on Bell in 1967 as “A Date with Soul.” The magic of this track came not just from the all-star vocalists but from Jack Nitzsche’s Spectorian arrangement. Sadly, no release hit nationally.

On Carson & Gaile – “Something Stupid” – December, 2015

I loved Nancy Sinatra’s cover for “Boots” – like you, I tired of the trite lyrics pretty early on. I dug her stuff with Lee Hazlewood, though. By the way, you might not know that “Something Stupid” originated not with the Sinatras but with Carson & Gaile. (Carson and Gaile Parks)

Click the Record to Listen

On Phil Spector – “A Christmas Gift For You” – December, 2015

File:Phil Spector.jpg - Wikipedia

PS – the Spector album is definitely defining; I remember being glown away by it the first year it came out; my top-40 college station was playing it – our first album on a station of 45s – preceding playing Beatles albums by a couple of months.

On Ricky Nelson – “Ricky” – January, 2016

forgot Ricky Nelson had a #1 album; while teenage girls swooned, kids who were really into music could hear that the guy was a serious rockabilly with a great band. Seeing them play on TV once a week didn’t hurt his sales, either, but he did worry that it cost him some credibility, especially since the show he was on – his parents’ – was the embodiment of white-bread America.

On Johnny Mathis – “Greatest Hits” – January, 2016

Johnny Mathis’ Greatest Hits – at parties, it came on, lights went off. It was often the only album in a collection of 45s. (I remember someone once asking what people made out to before Johnny’s Greatest Hits; as I recall, the answer was Nat King Cole ballads.

On Henry Mancini – “Peter Gunn” – January, 2016

A nod to Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn, its follow-up and the Mr. Lucky album – three of the all-time best big-band jazz LPs. (Stan Kenton was cool, but somewhat more cerebral in his approach.)

On Blind Faith – “Blind Faith” – January, 2016

Thanks for posting the original Blind Faith cover. I thought it was great, as did most of my contemporaries, but I remember “the masses” freaking out ove it – probably the same kind of people freaking out over the 12-year-old dancer in the Sia videos!

Joe Egan- “Out Of Nowhere” & “Back On the Road Again” – January, 2016

Poor Gerry Rafferty – a great #1 album and then he drank himself to death (at least indirectly – he hung on for a fair while). His Stealer’s Wheel partner, Joe Egan, had a nice album, “Out of Nowhere,” with a great first single, “Back on the Road Again,” but sadly the LP went back to nowhere, Joe got out of the music biz one album later, but at least he’ll be turning 70 later this year.

On Leslie Gore – long play “Ever Since” – January, 2016

Lesley Gore’s passing really got to me. I wasn’t a huge fan of her hits, but she was the quintessential teenager, even though she had a strong “comeback” album as an adult in 2005, “Ever Since.” The title track is well worth hearing.

On The Liverpools – Long Play “The Liverpools” – January, 2016 (The Dovells)

One album sadly overlooked in this was on Wyncote 9001; it was the budget label for Cameo-Parkway. The Liverpools’ ‘Beatlemania! in the USA” actually relied on the contributions of at least two or more groups, according to WFMU’s Gaylord Fields, who has also made an extensive study of “would-Beatles.” The “Liverpools” on one of the album’s (and era’s) best songs, “Did You Ever Get My Letter,” was actually The Dovells (post-Len Barry), and Cameo-Parkway didn’t know what it had here. Actually, it’s the second time they didn’t know; the song was originally recorded by (and written by Roy Straigis of) The Tymes in 1963, and went unreleased until the CD “Remember Me Baby: Cameo-Parkway Vocal Groups, Vol. 1” (Razor & Tie) came out in 2010. Both versions are excellent. Here’s the Dovells/Liverpools.

Click the Record Image to Listen

On John Stewart and Paul’s Time In Denver – “Gold” and KBPI, Etc., – January, 2016

John Stewart dies - member of Kingston Trio - SFGate

Actually it is John Stewart, who went on to have a hit with “Gold.” I met him in the summer of 1974 during my seven-week stint at KBPI; it was one of a few brushes with fame in Denver. While working at KBPI and the KFML that summer, I got to meet and hang out with a few famous folks, including Fairport Convention (with Sandy Denny – I wish I hadn’t been quite so awestruck and remembered more about it) , Tom Waits (I remember being impressed by his very nice speaking voice, unlike the growl he used on records) and Ricki Lee Jones (whose enunciation, as I recall, was noticeably crisper than on her records). I recall all being very nice folks. Sadly, the KBPI thing didn’t work out, and I was a part-timer at KFML with a promise of going full-time when the station was sold to new owners; in the meanwhile, my former station in Connecticut (WHCN) was bought by people who appreciated what it had been and wanted it to be again, so I went back to New England.

On The Del-Vikings – History – January, 2016

Regarding my experiences and knowledge, while I was there for some of it, it was a while back. I also check out “scholarly resources” – some of the better writers on the internet, some of the first-person or family members who post, and a variety of good books that seem to be coming out now while many of the source people are still alive or memories are fresh.

That said, “Much has been written about the Del Vikings over the years. Some of it has probably even been accurate.” That quote comes from Marv Goldberg, one of the best historians of the ’50s available. While I didn’t re-read this before your post, it is a fascinating history of a group that seems to have had more lives than a cat: http://www.uncamarvy.com/DelVikings/delvikings.html. Were they the Del Vikings? Del-Vikings? Dell Vikings? All of the above? The answer is #4, and it gets weirder from there! Happy reading!

On Joe Brown – “Teardrops In The Rain” – January, 2016

Joe Brown (May 13, 1941) British singer and guitarist. | Joe brown ...

I can’t believe Joe Brown’s spiky hair and how his whole look changed when he grew it out. “Teardrops in the Rain” is an all-time favorite track (US release on Jamie). And what a treat to see Eclection and Family pictured – some all-time favorites that I used to play on progressive radio on WBRU in Providence and WHCN in Hartford.

Also fascinating: the variation in both quality and hipness of some of these UK LP cover designs. I think we Americans don’t realize the depths of depression and mailaise in the UK immediately postwar and how much the country needed rock & roll. This is a really nice page – keep ’em coming!!!

On American Bandstand History – February, 2016

There’s quite the write-up, thorough but hard to read because of the layout, here: http://www.history-of-rock.com/bob_horntwo.htm

The main source of the article seems to be Horn’s son, Peter. The various names that show up are interesting, too. Jerry Blavat (misspelled as Blavit) remains active in the Philadelphia oldies scene; Tony Mammarella was the founder and owner of Swan Records (along with, some say, a shadow interest in the company by Dick Clark).

Horn apparently was the real developer of the Bandstand concept, but of course Clark is the one who took it to outsized proportions.

On Jimmie Rodgers – “It’s Over” & “Wonderful You”- June, 2016

Brian (Historian/Author Brian McFadden), I agree about “It’s Over” – exquisite, but I’ll still put “Wonderful You” an iota ahead. He had such a great voice; it was so pure that sometimes his records could seem too “cute,” but the good ones are, to my ears, THAT good.

I don’t know if the beating was so much back royalties and Morris Levy’s resentment at Rodgers leaving his label. At least that’s what I had heard in a couple of off-the-record conversations with people I know in the industry, including one who worked for Roulette for a while. But Levy is dead, Jimmie isn’t talking, and so what’s left is built from circumstantial and second-hand evidence. Still, say what we will about Levy and company, but they did put some great music in many genres out on that label and its family of offshoots.

On Van Trevor – “Our Side” – September, 2017

Frances, would you have been listening to WHIM in Providence when Our Side was new? We played it a lot! I never met Van although we spoke on the phone. He also recorded a custom version of the song for the station. Somewhere in my stuff I still have the original tape cartridge we used on the air but it’s trapped in that format and I have no way to play it.

On Swampwater – Long Play – October, 2017

I don’t know how you find the content and have the time to put it all together, but I appreciate that you do. As you note, Syd Nathan certainly was a character, but he also had a deep well of talent to draw from. And then there are all the country artists who I guess didn’t rate albums!

Swampwater, the then-contemporary rock band, seems like an outlier. I have vague memories of seeing it when new. Have you ever heard it?

On The Shirelles – “I Met Him On a Sunday” & The Schoolboys – “Everyday of the Week” – November, 2017

Interesting collection, Craig. And two suggestions to cover all bases: The Shirelles, I Met Him on a Sunday: and The Schoolboys, Everyday of the Week.

Thanks for putting a positive spin on the day!

On Ronnie Jones & The Classmates – “Teenage Rock” – January, 2018

Relating musically but not thematically to the above, I always loved the huge beat behind Big Joe Turner’s Shake Rattle and Roll. One of the few records that to my ears equals the size of that beat is Teenage Rock by Ronnie Jones and the Classmates, End 1001. It’s on YouTube, and is especially interesting in that all the instruments are acoustic. It’s got that deep George Goldner production like the early Teenagers, Cleftones, and others of that era on End, Gone and Roulette; it just starts rockin’ and won’t let go! Kind of like Big Joe….

On Janet Vogel as Janet Deane (Skyliners) – “Another Night Alone” – July, 2018

Nice post, Craig. They had a very deep catalogue, but to me the best and lest known is Janet Vogel’s 45 , recorded as Janet Deane, “Another Night Alone”.  I still get chills when I listen to this long-time favorite, both on the strength of her heartbreaking performance and the chilling back story of the last years of her life. The lyrics don’t specifically address her life story, but they surely do point to it.

Click on Record to Listen

On Phil Gary & The Catalina’s – “Bobby Layne” – & James MacArthur – “The In-Between Years” – August, 2018

Just a shoutout to a B&G flip side that was genuinely ingenious:: The Mystery (In Slow Motion), which was almost all sound effects and about half a dozen words of dialogue (or less), get it told a full film-noir story in two minutes.

Triodex was an interesting label. Phil Gary’s pedal-to-the-metal rocker Bobby Layne is a track I looked for for decades – finally found it a few years ago. And James MacArthur’s “The In-Between Years” was a spoken-word weepie with an absolutely great doo-wop chorus that should have been part of another record. Interestingly, it was a small hit.

On Ron Landry (The Incognitos) – “Dee Jay’s Dilemma” – August, 2018

A note re: Ron Landry: he had a great career in Hartford, CT, then New York. While in Hartford, he recorded a Buchanan-and-Goodman-type cut-in track called “Dee Jay’s Dilemma” under the name “The Incognitos” on the Zee label (#Z-100) based in a one-stop distributor in East Hartford. It apparently sold a few copies in various places. The tightness of the edits and cleverness of the script underscores what an incredible talent Landry was, including his facility in a production studio.

On Bobby Day – “Gotta New Girl” – August, 2018

Bobby Day’s “Gotta New Girl” still befuddles me – just where does the four-bar phrase begin? Fun track that should have been a bigger hit.

On Larry Hall – “Sandy” – August, 2018

Larry Hall’s “Sandy” – a “medley of Strand Records’ greatest hit.” Good record, in my opinion, but not one of the greats. I often wondered if he did anything else worth listening to….

On Joe Davis & Nancy Steele – on Celebrity Records –

THE VOCAL GROUP HARMONY WEB SITE

Digging deeper, Celebrity Records (the delightful-looking Nancy Steele) was a Joe Davis company. It shared the design of its label with Beacon, Jay-Dee and Joe Davis Records. He was known in the ’50s for r&b and especially for what were then known as “party records.” His influence was much wider than his little record labels, however, and he had quite the life – if not always an honest one business-wise – before the ’50s

On War – “Low Rider” – August, 2018

My appreciation of War was as a good band to play on the radio; I was never a huge horn band fan, although Tower of Power was monumental to me and War came in not far behind. While they weren’t really my personal style there were still several tracks of theirs that I think were quite good, and being on a free-form station that still needed to be a commercial success (to at least a profitable degree) one learned how to find tracks by almost every artist in the library that one could like enough to work with. The fun “Low Rider” comes quickly to mind; they had that “chooglin’” groove that was nice. Interestingly, the band is still going

On Betty Johnson – “The Little Blue Man” – August, 2018

I remember it well – another act of physical dexterity at which I sucked! (I think my record sas about a dozen spins….). The record I remember, aside from The Chipmunks, was Betty Johnson’s. She was a heck of a singer, but seemed to cut an inordinate number of novelties, i.e., The Little Blue Man. If I recall, though, she had a nice little middle-road rocker with I Dreamed and a nice ballad with Dream. She always seemed to be just below the level of “household name.” According to Wikipedia, she’s still living in North Carolina and is now 89 years old. Go get ’em, Betty!

NOTE: Betty Johnson made three appearances on on the budget label “Bell Record” in 1954)

On The Larks – “It’s Unbelievable” – January, 2019

(NOTE: Not the Larks of “The Jerk” fame)

A couple of neat memory jogs here, including “It’s Unbelievable” by The Larks on Sheryl – very haunting record that did well in NYC and Philly, I believe. I didn’t know Scepter distributed it.

On Wonderobo – “Voice Of The Wind” – January, 2019

I wish I heard what whoever sunk a large amount of money into “Wanderobo” heard. In looking for the tracks, someone opined that it was Jeff Barry, but I don’t think it is. Whoever he is/was, he was awfully bland!

On Dore Alpert (Herb Alpert) – “Dina” – January, 2019

HOWEVER: one of my all-time favorite records ever is by “Dore Alpert,” a/k/a Herb: “Dina” (A&M 714, 1962), an exquisite composition, slightly lyrically deprived, but in my opinion one of the most beautiful melodies written in pop. There are several posts with listens spread across them, but this is a nice clean copy

Click on the Record to Listen

On Ginny Arnell – “I’m Crying To” – “Tell Me What He Said” – January, 2019

So much good stuff here – but I want to underscore the brilliance of “I’m Cryng Too,” a gorgeous ballad and great performance. It’s almost enough to make me forgive and forget “Dumb Head”! (Others will no doubt differ.)  Also, a special shout out to “Tell Me What He Said,” a song that almost presages a Merseybeat song structure. The Playmates did a very nice version of it, too.

On David Hill – “All Shook Up” – January, 2019

And I had to look up David Hess’/Hill’s “All Shook Up.” It’s just too poppy and bubblegummy, but Elvis of course nailed it. Somewhere in the middle is composer Otis Blackwell’s version from 1958 on an MGM album – still pop, but “knowing.” It should be available somewhere on line; you’ll hear what I mean.

On Bernadette Castro – “His Lips Get In the Way” – January, 2019

Thanks for the Bernadette Castro bio. “His Lips Get In The Way” was a bit of a New York hit when new; I’d never heard “A Girl In Love Forgives” but it fits right in with its time and is quite good.

On the Robins – “White Cliffs Of Dover” – January, 2019

Great to see The Robins’ “White Cliffs of Dover” here; I always thought it was a great group harmony record and have wondered if it had been on a bigger label if it wouldn’t have been a hit beyond a few local breakout areas.

On the Four Coquettes/Four Cal-Quettes – “Starbright” – January, 2019

Great to see The Robbins’ “White Cliffs of Dover” here; I always thought it was a great group harmony record and have wondered if it had been on a bigger label if it wouldn’t have been a hit beyond a few local breakout areas.

The Four Coquettes “Starbright” was a #1 hit in LA, but their follow-ups had a change of name to the Four Cal-Quettes. Interesting 2016 article here: http://www.unihi61.com/FourCalquettes.htm . The photo you have is a Capitol promo photo, but they were much prettier, as the pictures in the article reveal.

On Mary Wells – 20th Century Records – June, 2019

Certain artists on certain labels were a magic combination, and when they left the magic disappeared or at least changed. Mary Wells seemed to do no wrong on Motown, but I know where were personal issues, and she didn’t have the same verve on 20th Century Fox. Similarly, my personal opinion is that after a gem or two on Philips, the Four Seasons lost the mojo they had on Vee Jay, although I’m sure they made more money on their Philips deal.

On Jimmy Nicol & the Shudubs – “Humpty Dumpty” – July, 2019

I actually played this on the radio when new – hey, it was a big deal that the guy was the new Beatles drummer, if only temporarily. The “proto-bluebeat” is a nice rhythm (riddim?), but the fake Jamaican accent is a bit much. Still, I rather like it; As I commented on the web page, “Give the guy credit for getting his shot and taking it.” According to some research I found on line, The Shubdubs were a real group despite the awful name.

A few years earlier, in 1961, Jamaican Eric “Humpty Dumpty” Morris and the Drumbago All Stars did a song called “Humpty Dumpty” on Jamaican label Blue Beat 53 that sounds suspiciously like Nicol’s, yet Morris’ name is nowhere on Nicol’s record although he is listed as the sole composer on the Blue Beat version.

On Documentary “Echo In the Valley” The Laurel Canyon Scene by Jakob Dylan – July, 2019

Jakob Dylan - IMDb

Also recommended: “Echo in the Valley,” the documentary about the Laurel Canyon scene in the mid-’60s that still positively affects our music. Jakob Dylan did a major mitzvah in gathering all the survivors he did; it’s also probably Tom Petty’s last interview before his passing – it made me even happier that I’m a fan of his.

Amazon.com: Echo in the Canyon [Blu-ray]: Lou Adler, Fiona Apple ...

On Hank Ballard – “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go” – July, 2019

Poetic justice: Hank Ballard lived longer than CashBox did.  On a personal note, “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go” is one of the great rock & roll songs of all times, in my opinion – what a beat!

On Bill Haley & The Comets & Big Joe Turner – “Shake, Rattle & Roll” – July, 2019

Bill Haley’s “Shake Rattle & Roll” is a nice country/jazz/swing thing – they could cook – but Joe Turner had the beat and the meat! (It’s time for that huge back beat to make a comeback – does anyone still know how to play it?)

On “The Last Convertible” by Anton Myrer – August, 2019

I just finished at 1978 novel called “The Last Convertible” by the late Anton Myrer, about the coming of age of, very likely, our parents’ generation. Like Myrer, the characters would have been born in or around 1922; “we,” the early baby boom generation, would likely have been their kids. A wide variety of music from the big band era is generously laced throughout the book. An interesting part is the understanding I got of the passion for the various big bands, akin to the passion our generation experienced in the various rock concerts and records that shaped the soundtrack of our own lives. (I have since learned that the book was made into a TV mini-series, but a glance at the headshots of its stars did not even remotely look like the way I envisioned these people from the page, so I’ll pass on watching it.)

The-Last-Convertible-by-Myrer-Anton-Mass-Market-Paperback

On Terry & the Mellos – “The Bells of St. Mary” – The Demensions – “Ave Maria” – & Sammy Turner – “Lavender Blue” – August, 2019

Sammy Turner | Way Back Attack

I hadn’t realized that The Quotations didn’t chart nationally; it was top ten in New York and a huge hit in the Northeast in general. Also, Terry and the Mellos had a Demensions-like version of The Bells of Saint Mary that was a minor local hit. The Demensions themselves followed up Over The Rainbow with a Christmas release of Ave Maria – exquisite church choir harmony over a 6/8 beat; it got a fair amount of airplay in New York.

One more remake shout out to Sammy Turner, first for the great Always and then for his monster hit Lavender Blue. What a sweet voice he had….

On The Paris Sisters (& Phil Spector, The Teddy Bears, etc) – August, 2019

The Paris Sisters - What Am I to Do (1962) / I love how you love ...

Filtzer?!? Obviously, a name change was in order! That said, the Paris Sisters were and remain one of the greatest influences on my pop music taste, continuing what the Teddy Bears started. That group’s Imperial singles are some of the most beautiful pop compositions ever recorded, in my opinion, with Phil Spector’s sensitive side on full and beautiful display despite the very sparse production. It is hard to square the gorgeous melodies of “Oh Why,” “He Doesn’t Need Me Anymore” and “You Said Goodbye” with the monster that Spector later became. On the other hand, discussing the Teddy Bears sessions with Carol Connors, she commented that there never was a sane Phil Spector despite his musical genius. But I digress….

You have also opened up the world of pre-Spector Paris Sisters recordings, most of which I never heard or even knew of. As you indicated with the reference to The Andrews Sisters, those I have heard reflect the influence of their close harmony style. I have heard quite a few of the post-Gregmark recordings, and while some are good (“You” being one of the best in my opinion), many have a quirk that causes them to miss the mark. None of the sisters’ later producers ever matched Spector’s style and attention to the right details.

One other comment that I read somewhere is that Priscilla Paris wound up doing the lead vocals because she could not instinctively grasp vocal harmonies the way her sisters did. I don’t know if that is actually true, but I do know that the sound of her lead vocals, and those of Carol Connors, have been a tremendous influence throughout the pop music of the last 50+ years. April Stevens may have launched that whispering sexy sound with “Teach Me Tiger,” but those two perfected it.

On Tim Gilbert & The Rainy Daze – “If We Stick Together” & “Fee Fi Fo Fum” – September, 2019

Well, you did it again, Craig, “sentenced” me to hours of checking out all the Tim Gilbert connections. I have always loved “If We Stick Together” and wonder if it was ever released in stereo.

Is The Rainy Daze’s “Fee Fi Fo Fum” the same recording as “Blood of Oblivion”? That’s another great Tim Gilbert song what’s lyrics that defy linear interpretation!

 

On The Four Lads – “The Bus Stop Song (A Paper of Pins)”  – September, 2019

I’ll also confess a weakness for The Four Lads – “Paper of Pins” was fun because in the chorus, that tenor voice would soar. In fact, that was the highlight of that group for me in all their recordings (he saves the saccharine “A House With Love in It,” for example). I didn’t know Darby wrote it and so many others.

On Art Laboe and Original Sound Records – September, 2019

Art Laboe

I didn’t know that Art Laboe produced a separate El Monte album before the OBG series. You don’t include it in your excellent listing (it’s certainly hard to cover everything about him and the label over his long career!); do you happen to know the catalog number? I also had no idea of the extent of his back story, growing up in the east; to us, he emerged fully formed with the OBG series and then the Epps and Nelson hits.

It’s interesting to note what a hybrid the Original Sound label was, mixing in classic oldies reissue 45s with new material in the same numbering system, for example. I remember the early label and its hits, and then later he made a bid for the progressive big time with The Music Machine and, in my opinion, had their best music on Original Sound.

I believe Art Laboe is still alive and now living in Salt Lake City (source: Wikipedia) at the tender young age of 94. I wonder if the record label is still in business and how it’s being run.

On Frank Zappa – “How Could I Be Such a Fool” & “Go Cry On Somebody Else’s Shoulder” (on the Ruben & the Jets LP)  – September, 2019

Wow – so much history. I knew about Zappa’s involvement with Memories of El Monte and have seen the clip with him and Steve Allen on YouTube (awkward at best, as well as unintentionally as well as intentionally funny). Zappa also produced a lot of chicano rock and doo-wop pre-Mothers, some quite good, although the titles are escaping me for the moment. “How Could I Be Such a Fool” and the somewhat related “Go Cry On Somebody Else’s Shoulder” could have been great straight-ahead doo-wop songs; on first hearing the album, I was impressed that he included that style, but on later learing of his extensive involvement with the LA doo-wop scene, it all made sense.

A sidebar: I was the first DJ in Rhode Island and southeast Massachusetts to play Zappa’s Freak Out album on the air, on WBRU in Providence – our signal pounded into there and also nibbled at the southern suburbs of Boston. The initial promotion, by the way, was a six- or seven-piece jigsaw puzzle version of the cover, mailed on that many successive days by MGM to “tease” the LP. I wish I had that stuff now!

On Molly Bee – “I Was Only Kidding” – November, 2019

I need to check her out again. I remember her as someone who was always around, but aside from being good looking, that’s about it. Interesting how one of her Liberty releases was written by Goffin and King on one side and Bbby Vee (R. Velline) on the other. Was she being “re-toled” for the teen market?

On Tommy Roe – “It’s Now Winter’s Day” – November, 2019

It was just a couple of years ago that I discovered Tommy Roe’s original version of Sheila, and while I love the hit version, the original has supplanted it as my favorite. Its raw energy, and even its honest mistakes by the band in the bridge, are absolutely endearing, and the early arrangement does have those wonderful backing vocals. And even with the slick production, his version of Chuck Berry’s Carol kicks rock and roll tail, too.

But a special mention must go to It’s Now Winter’s Day, one of the most gorgeous and timeless songs to ever emerge from the ’60s, in my opinion, and sadly under-heard – almost too progressive for pop and too pop for progressive. Curt Boettcher’s rich caressing production puts Roe’s song in a deep warm island against the cold outside, and one can hear echoes of this song in a lot of today’s haunting “shoegaze” production – but a major difference being that here there’s a vocal one can hear and a fully developed song, not just a repetitive mumbled phrase. (Not true of everything in the genre, of course, but true enough to make a generalization.) I play this record at least half a dozen times every winter, and it never goes out of style.

So, yes, thank you for the takeout on Tommy Roe. I think that despite some of his bubblegum ditties, before, during, and after he is a rock-and-roller through and through in the best and most varied ways.

On Bonnie Guitar (Don Robertson – Fabor Robison, etc) fa- November, 2019

What a great hour flashing back to the music and productions of Bonnie Guitar. I played her Dot hits when I was Music Director and DJ at WHIM in Providence, RI, in 1966 and 1967. However, as a longtime music fan in many genres, I was aware of her early on, although not to the depth of knowledge I have now. Your article is a wonderful and far-reaching piece of research into someone whose influence far exceeded her personal fame, even with her many hits. Thank you!

An interesting note: she developed The Fleetwoods into the hit-makers they were only to see them leave her for Liberty Records. As a response to their departure, she either found or created (I forget which) Darwin and the Cupids – same sound and configuration but, sadly, not the same success.

I just recently re-discovered The Echoes’ fun uptempo version of Born to Be With You, which her singing partner Don Robertson wrote and was a hit for The Chordettes. His biggest song, though, was probably the instrumental The Happy Whistler, which is displayed over his shoulder in the photo of him. As a leading country songwriter whose music also crossed over to pop, he would make a fascinating subject for an article, too.

Various - That'll Flat Git It! CD: Vol.8 Rockabilly From The ...

One more footnote: Fabor Robison also released Jim Reeves’ first hit, Bimbo, very different from his later countrypolitan lushness, as well as early tracks by The Browns. I never realized until your article the extent of Ms. Buckingham/Tutmarc/Guitar’s involvement with him. Robison was a great discoverer of talent but by most accounts not the most scrupulous business person!

On Don Robertson – “What A Day” – The Chordettes – “Born to Be With You” – November, 2019

This hidden gem was the sign-off song on my first college radio show. Never a hit, but I always loved it and still do.  As a transitional group from barbershop through Arthur Godfrey, a hint of country flavor and early girl-group rock, the Chordettes are a fascinating study in themselves. But that’s a whole other volume!

Click on Record to Listen

That’s Don Robertson whistling a chorus of his own composition.

Click on Record to Listen

 

On Skeeter Davis & Bobby Bare – “A Dear John Letter” & “Too Used To Being With You” – December, 2019

Skeeter Davis & Bobby Bare - Let It Be Me - YouTube

Gotta give a shout out to “Optimistic” (gorgeous) and the very pretty “What Am I Gonna Do With You,” even though I prefer The Chiffons’ version. But I can’t let this go by without citing the B side of “A Dear John Letter,” “Too Used to Being With You,” in my opinion one of country’s best duet records ever. Skeeter and Bobby Bare should have made album after album; their blend was great.

Biographical note: Skeeter was married to Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. I forget if that happened before or because of their album together. Yes, she was a lot older than him.

Joey Spampinato - Wikipedia

Spampinato

On Bobby Vee (& others) & the Arrival of the Beatles – “I’ll Make You Mine” – January, 2020

Beatles: top 5 on 4 different labels! And I guess I’m out of the mainstream these days, since the post-Beatles artists you mention are completely unfamiliar to me. (I do keep up with contemporary alternative music,. but not what passes for mainstream, I guess.)

On another note, of all the American artists from the pre-Beatles era who tried to cross over into the British invasion era, I give Bobby Vee great credit for great credibility. “I’ll Make You Mine” fit right in, in my opinion. Vee was an old rockabilly for whom the new rock and roll always seemed like a more natural fit than his “teen idol” music did. Of course, he was most successful as a teen idol, but I think that songs like this one and “Look at Me, Girl” deserve a place in the British invasion pantheon, and I’ve long felt that the marketplace didn’t give him the chance to grow and evolve as it did for Dion DiMucci..

The refreshing Beatles sound and the related beat groups definitely helped to pull us out of a time of great sadness and anxiety with their fresh sounds. I wonder if any musical entity will – or even could, given the media landscape and its broad diffusion – have the same effect either during or after our current political malaise..

On Earl Sinks – “Little Susie Parker” – January, 2020

Find Earl Sink’s “Little Susie Parker” on Warner Brothers from 1962; great little pop record. (They dropped Sinks’ second “s” for that release.)

On David Box – “Little Lonely Summer Girl” – January, 2020

Also worth finding:David Box’s “Little Lonely Summer Girl” on Jo-Ed from 1964, a hit in a few markets. Box was heavily influenced by Holly and also Roy Orbison and could credibly sound like either. Sadly, he too was killed in a small plane crash in his early 20s. There was a CD of all his available recorded work privately released by his sister several years ago; he was another super talent and I think would have been a major star had his plane not crashed.

On Dave Berry – “The Crying Game” – January, 2020

Interesting list, including a lot of consistent hitmakers, which wasn’t what I expected. But you’re right, those “phantoms” are indeed phantoms!  By the way, Dave Berry did the original of “The Crying Game.” In my opinion, if for no other reason, he deserves to be immortalized.

On Louise Murray & Her 2020 Supergroup – January, 2020

Super Girls Group:Louise Murray (Jaynetes) "At Last" - YouTube

Louise Murray is still alive, well and singing with a “supergroup” of girl group members (January 2020). She belts out “Lonely Nights” with the same sound and enthusiasm as on the record, too. The group also includes Margaret Ross of The Cookies, Nanette Licari of Reparata & The Delrons, Barbara Harris of The Toys and Beverly Warren of The Raindrops, The Tercels and others. They’re great people as well as astonishingly talented singers.

On Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers – January, 2020

Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers used to play The Three Roses in New Rochelle, NY, where I lived as a kid. I’d heard they wre a great live band. I always wanted to go see them, but it was a bar and I was seriously underage, plus I probably needed one or two African-American friends to “certify” that I was an alright guy!

On Nino Tempo & April Stevens (Carol and Anthony) – February, 2020

April Stevens - Wikipedia

Two people in a fascinating and multi-layered story; thanks for the post!

Worth checking: the Carol & Anthony side; it’s on YouTube and it’s a treat – very Fleetwoods-like. Also her early risque stuff is fun, and “Do It Again” sounds midway betweeen Patti Page and The Chordettes!

I first got into them with Sweet & Lovely, which should have been a large hit. Also, We’ll Always Be Together is an eternal favorite – I just found it on line in stereo!!! Special note about “Wingsd of Love,” which could have been an A side – I think the mono is better, the stereo being a gimmicky cross-field sweep that distracts from the very cool song.

On Larry Bright – “I Saw Her Standing There” – March, 2020

I didn’t know of Mojo Workout until very recently, but this 1971 version of “I Saw Her Standing There” was my introduction to Larry Bright:

The page also has a more extensive biography. If you believe what’s here, the dude was borderline nuts, but New Orleans funk with a vocal somewhere between Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and Leon Redbone from a good looking (if weird) white guy?!? It was either going to be a smash hit or a cosmic flop. My radio station played it; glad we did, even though the latter was the record’s fate.

Click on the Record to Listen

On Vincent Edwards – “The Wonder of You” – March, 2020

rom Wikipedia: “During his acting career he ventured occasionally into the recording studios and there were a number of singles released in his name. Sadly, the most important one was never issued and in 1959 Ray Peterson was credited with the first version of ‘The Wonder of You’ which became an International Hit for him and Elvis Presley – however, the very first recording was made by Vince Edwards.” I’d love to hear this; the Ray Peterson version has always been a favorite, and the Elvis version is rushed and emotionless yet overblown in my opinion. I’d guess Edwards’ version must be somewhere in between, but a cursory look of the net doesn’t show it posted anywhere. Perhaps it’s lost to the ages?

On Tobin Matthews – March, 2020

Some sad news: Willy Henson passed away January 17th, 2020. His obituary says he was “also known as Tobin Matthews.” The Last FM site has a brief autobiography by him.

While he did record extensively, I remember reading that he was not involved with his only hit. Ruby Duby Du was is an instrumental used as a movie theme that needed a name to go on it. Being a good-looking young guy with a cool stage name, Tobin Matthews became the face of the record.

I believe this information was posted in Spectropop, but their archive is down and probably lost with the transition away from Yahoo groups, so I can’t verify it at this time. What irony for someone’s only hit not to have his involvement in it, especially since he was a frequently recorded musician! I hope he at least got royalties for the use of his name.

On The Five Blobs & Bernie Nee – “The Blob” – March, 2020

I’ve also more frequently seen Bernie’s last name as Knee, which was on his birth certificate. From Wikipedia: “Bernie Knee (Feb. 14, 1924, New York City – Nov. 20, 1994, Fort Lauderdale) was an actor and singer/musician. While his birth name was Bernard Knee, most music industry magazines spelled his name Bernie Nee, which is how his name was spelled on all the recordings he made during the 1950s.”

And later in Wikipedia: “[H]e became known as an accomplished demo singer who made more than 5,000 demo recordings for songwriters in many genres.” I wonder how many became hits and if there is an archive of his demos. New York demos of the era were often close to full-studio final versions, and many were actually released, for example, “What a Guy” by The Raindrops.

On Luke Halpin – “Sunshine Girl” – March, 2020

Some of these folks could pull it off, some couldn’t, and some tries should have been more widely rewarded, in my opinion. Case in point for the latter: Luke Halpin, whose record was a Penn-Oldham composition arranged by Rick Hall and apparently done at the Fame Studios. This very credible track should-could.

Click the Record to Listen

On Steve Rossi – “Where’s The Girl” – March, 2020

Steve Rossi Dead: Comedian Paired With Marty Allen | Hollywood ...

teve Rossi did a gorgeous middle-road sounding song, “Where’s the Girl,” on Red Bird, an unlikely label for that sound, although the song was written by Lieber & Stoller and (I just learned) originally recorded by Jerry Butler in a very different arrangement. Rossi’s version isn’t on line, but Butler’s is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qg73z2TRDc

On Claire Lane – “Ghost Riders” – March, 2020

(NOTE: Claire Lane was an original member/drummer of The Ramrods)

It’s amazing how interesting the stories of these one-hit wonders are. Claire Lane is obviously a multi-talented lady; I went looking for possible other posts of her songs, but instead found this 2012 solo of her doing “Ghost Riders” on guitar and vocal, interesting in that the hit was an instrumental. That may be her brother on drums (he was the sax player on the record). Thanks again for shedding a light into some of the more forgotten corners of our music!

On Little Joey & The Flips – “Hot Rod” & “The Beachcomber” – April, 2020

lead vocalist Joey Hall (Little Joey) died in 1974. Jimmy Meagher died July 25, 1991, according to a post by his sister. Hot Rod is on YouTube with this note: “Probably recorded at the Bongo Stomp sessions in Philly. One of the producers had a dub of it and Val Shively pressed it on his Monogram label by permission.” It definitely sounds like Bongo Stop rewritten sideways

Interesting: “The boys usually write their own material” and the Bilboard piece notes that they wrote “Bongo Stomp” – but the writer credits are the managers’ names! Pretty typical of the time.

The Cameo single is really good, too; we gave it some airplay when it was new. I don’t know anything about this Monogram label except that it’s not the same as the LA Monogram label of the early ’60s which featured Chris Montez and Kathy Young as its lead artists.

Click on the Picture to Listen

On the Chimes – “Once In Awhile” – April, 2020

Original lead Lenny Coco was still singing with a Chimes group in metro New York until his passing at age 78 in 2015. The original group broke up in 1964, but Coco kept playing revival gigs around New York on the strength of “Once In a While” (#11 in Billboard, 1961) and “I’m In the Mood For Love” (#38, also 1961).

On The Corsairs – “I’ll Take You Home” – April, 2020

The Corsairs’ gorgeous “I’ll Take You Home” was the last song we played at our wedding reception. Timeless.

On “Tiny Bubbles” – Part 6 – April, 2020

(Songs that barely dented the ‘bubbling under’ like charts – None and Done)

Another fascinating collection. Interesting that a country act like The Fairlanes was on Argo (later Cadet). It was a country hit by Doug Warren and the Rays on the little Image label, also in 1960, in a somewhat peppier version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq_ZqOuwt_4 . Arguably, Carl Smith had the most driving version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUHBAcXDYgk George Jones also had a different take on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqBCBYYU0ko. Good songs are timeless, no matter where they chart!

If you were in New York, The Five Discs’ “Never Let You Go” was a definite top 40 record. Included in its other doo-wop outrageousness is one of the best group harmony bass singers ever.

I’m surprised Sam Fletcher’s “Tall Hope” (RCA) didn’t chart; it got significant airplay and sales in New York.

The sales for “Song of the Nairobi Trio” had to have been from New York; it got heavy airplay there. A little additional info: the Music Makers label was an offshoot of a major jingle-making company of the same name in New York (mostly commercials). The label also had two New York doo-wop classics: “Hey You” by The Imaginations and “I Want You” by The Celebrities. Lead singer Frank Mancuso of The Imaginations (much) later joined The Legends of Doo Wop; at my 60th birthday party, my wife surprised me with a surprise appearance by them! They did “Hey You” in the original key, after which Frank commented,”If I knew I’d still be singing this at this age, I’d have written it in a lower key!” (And by the way, they were great!)

The Front Porch! I had a correspondence with them and wrote them up for Spectropop (it should still be at http://www.spectropopcom). “Wonderful Summer” was an aberration for them, being mainly a rock band known earlier as The Livin’ End. The did mostly original music, including the amazing “Song to Saint Agnes,” which combines religious and psychedelic imagery and sophisticated chord progressions with a doo-wop beat. Composer and lead singer Charles Purpura wrote the screenplay to “Heaven Help Us” and was an English professor at NYU before his early passing. This haunting track is an all-time favorite of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkGnNE8k7lw. The flip side imagines what would have happened if Bob Dylan had sung “Shake Rattle & Roll” and taken it seriously: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6r3rGwRLdPU

“Freeway” by The Fugitives, illustrated on Sims, was also on Arvee and was, I think, a bigger record there. A lot of New York DJs deadrolled up to the news at the top of the hour with it, as I recall.

I know the charts dictate the content to a large degree, but you’ve really outdone yourself again, Craig. Thanks for an afternoon full of musical flashbacks and turn-ons.

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