Wow, I thought I’d never get this one out! I’ve had a rather busy month of March weekend-wise, so I haven't had a whole lotta time to do my thing so to speak, but I got up real early this past Sunday and spun records for a couple of hours to get this one going. Through all the time I spent doing the Upstate NY post, I’d been receiving a lot of records (including a wad of French Canadian 45s!!!), and this post has a good bit of them. What’s featured here is a real bunch of oddballs. A bit of garage, some psychedelic stuff, some very sunshiny pop stuff, and a couple that defy description. So if you're a hardcore garage punk fanatic, this post probably isn’t for you, but what the hell check it out anyway. You might like what you hear…..
Thirteenth Committee – Sha La La / You Really Got A Hold On Me (1966)
Another oddball that’s kind of garagey, I mean, it’s lo-fi and it’s got this fuzz guitar blasting underneath, but the vocals are a little sappy and it has a sort of teen thing going on. The flip’s a decent cover of Smokey Robinson’s hit.
Gary & The Hornets – Patty Girl (1967)
Here’s one that’s no mystery. Gary & The Hornets were three brothers, Steve, Gary, and Greg Calvert who were 7, 11, and 14 years old respectively.
This is the third of their three 45s on Smash. I haven’t heard the others but this one is half and half. Hi Hi Hazel is a goofy song with a kazoo blaring through it, but the flip here is a real decent folk rocker. They also made some TV appearances including this one where they do “Money”
Caesar & The Romans – Jailhouse Rock / Leaving My Past Behind (1969)
This one kind of slipped by me as I probably should have featured it in the Upstate series. Caesar and The Romans were from Buffalo and had two really good 45 on GJM records “Green Grass Makes It Better” and “Black Lantern”. This was one of two they had on Scepter and it’s a good one too and kind of shows them leaning towards a “retro” 50’s sound. They would later change their name to “Big Wheelie & The Hubcaps” and do just that, become a Sha Na Na type act. They were very popular around these parts and I did see them once.
Sounds Of Phase III – Special Citation / La Bomba (1967)
Oh boy, this one’s real weird. There’s so much going on I’m not sure how to accurately describe it, but I can say one thing….It’s original! “Special Citation” kind of starts out bluesy then picks up speed after the first verse and after that has about three more tempo changes with a B-3 blasting in the background and a flute solo just to keep things slightly off balance. This one really grew on me. I had to include the flip which is a frantic take on “La Bamba” with a lot of yelping, more chaos, tempo changes and a verse from “Like A Rolling Stone” for good measure!