From the Land of Band Box Records

Paul Payton Memories:

January 30, 2015

DJ Paul Payton On The Saturday Knights – And Nocturne Records

(We have been having a discussion which was prompted by the group The Saturday Knights release on a Nocturne label.  Here are Paul’s thoughts about several that we located.

NOCTURNE 01 1956

“This one above may not be related, since it is out of the Nocturne numbering system. Of course, as a spoken word record, the divergent number may be intentional. From the looks of it (I haven’t heard it), my guess would be that it might be a cut-in record about a political campaign; there was an epidemic of those after Buchanan & Goodman became successful.”

NOCTURNE 02 1962

“This is definitely the same company. Karl Hammel, Jr. was friends and/or partners with Jimmy Krondes, producer of “Sea Mist.” Hammel’s “big” hit (at least, it was in some markets), “Summer Souvenirs” (Arliss, 1961), shares production and arranging credits with this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUYzFby-mJk . Check the comments for more info about Hammel – a lot of stuff I hadn’t realized. A side note: Hammel mentions Playland in the lyric, a regionally-famous amusement park in Rye, NY, close to New Rochelle, where both Hammel and I grew up. Also, the numbering system is consistent with “Sea Mist.””

“Here’s more about Hammel and Krondes from “Last FM””

Karl Hammel, Jr. was born and raised in New Rochelle, NY and was a contestant winner on Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour. He was then part of a trio called Karl and the K-Men, which was absorbed into a group out of Yonkers, NY called Kevin and the Rocking Saints. They split from that group in 1960 and were joined by a four member who played sax.

The group was then approached by Jim Krondes, a successful song writer, who wanted to write and record an instrumental for the group, which was done in 1961. The song Bounty Hunter was released in the spring of 1961 and was a moderate hit.  The group then went on college fraternity circuit because of the exposure it received from the record. Hammel left the group later in 1961 to pursue a solo career.  The group played into the late 60’s before it disbanded.


“This might be the same company; the label layout is the same, and if Nocturne indeed released 155 records (or re-booted its numbering upward along the way) this would be consistent.”

NOCTURNE 04 - 1957

“Despite the numbering out of sequence, this has to be the same company – produced by Krondes and based in New Rochelle. Strange and interesting story: my father was always trying to broaden my horizons, sometimes in unexpected way. I don’t remember the circumstances, but one day he showed up at home bringing with him five African-American guys who he said were The Sonics, who had a record out called “Triangle Love” on RKO Unique that was being played on NYC radio (and became a small local hit). Turns out they were from New Rochelle. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time, so I don’t remember the details, but it would make sense for them to have had a release on Nocturne.”

NOCTURNE 05 - 1957

“Again, the New Rochelle address ties this in to being the same company.  I wonder what their discography looked/sounded like – Krondes did have a couple of serious hits of his own as a writer: “The End” for Earl Grant and “Warm” for Johnny Mathis, and he co-wrote “Summer Souvenirs” with Paul Evans (“Seven Little Girls Sitting in the Back Seat” and many others). He apparently was churning out material in the disco era as well: http://www.discogs.com/Julie-La-Rosa-Do-Re-Mi/release/2907337.”

And finally the Nocturne Saturday Knights release of “Sea Mist” and Queen of the Nile – Van Trevor’s group.