Greetings music lovers! I hope summer was great for all (winter down under), and the upcoming fall brings much happiness and joy to you. I love the fall (or autumn whichever you prefer) because the air gets a little crisper outside and I don’t sweat quite as much. Things are settling down nicely here at Dan’s Garage central and I’m confident I’ve nailed down a winning formula for getting the records digitally transferred.
This post is a sort of eclectic in that it includes a variety of styles from the early 60s to an early 70s bubblegum treat, and perhaps a little emphasis on “vocal group” sounds. I hope everyone enjoys this one!
Tico & The Triumphs – Motorcycle (1961)
Last edition featured The Crestones “She’s A Bad Motorcycle”, a wild, frantic garage number. Here we find Jerry Landis, better known as Paul Simon winging his way through a super cool doo-wopish bopper. He later became a writer of “meaningful folk songs”, teamed up with Art Garfunkel (again), and the rest is history.
Andy & The Live Wires – You’ve Done It Again / Maggie (1960)
Robert (aka Andy) Anderson was a guy from Omaha, Nebraska who fronted several groups including The Manhattans, who’s “Double Mirror Wraparound Shades” has been on my want list for a while. This one released in 1960 has a great Bo Diddley style beat to it, and the flip is a good instrumental.
Jack Eely & The Courrtmen – Louie Louie ‘66 / David’s Mood (1966)
Wow. Where do I start with this one???? Well…as we all know, Jack Eely was the vocalist on what is arguably thee definitive “garage band” tune, Louie Louie. I recommend you all try to read Don Gallucci’s story of that song in Ugly Things Vol. 25. It’s a hoot. Here’s the “Readers Digest” version… Since the Kingsmen were really not a vocal group at the time, Jack got elected to “sing” Louie Louie which was one of the most popular songs in the Pacific NW at the time, and was pretty much in every band’s repertiore. Apparently the engineer thought he was lousy so he kept raising the mike above Jack’s head, and Jack compensated by stretching his neck up, hence the tortured vocal sound on the final recording. The record initially was a flop because it was considered inferior compared to versions by Paul Revere, The Wailers, et. al. Enter a Boston DJ who locks himself in the studio and plays the song for three hours straight and it goes gangbusters. The rest is history. Jack left The Kingsmen sometime between the initial release and the time it became a hit, but by then Lynn Easton had taken over as front man and poor ol’ Jack was on the outside looking in. He formed a group called the Squires and also had a cool Louie Louie rip-off on RCA Victor as “Jack E. Lee” titled “Love That Louie”. I’ll get to that one in a future post. In the meantime, dig this remake which features organ in place of the electric piano, and groove on the instrumental flip as well.
Kent & The Candidates – Trouble / Take Me By The Hand (1967)
Here’s a real interesting 45 from a soul/R&B group out of Kansas who were rumored to be Brenton Wood’s backing band. I almost never do the “Northern Soul” thing but this 45 deserves inclusion because of it’s sparse “garage” like instrumentation and delivery. Yeah, it’s got soul, but it’s also got a different, garagey feel to it. I think both sides are great.
Charaydes – Lonely Mixed Up Girl / I’ll Cry (1966)
Not sure where these guys are from, but somewhere near Nashville would probably be a decent guess given the fact they were produced by wacky novelty song guy Ray Stevens. A side is a cover of a Vogues song, but the B side is a dark, moody garage number.
Laughing Wind – John Works Hard / The Bells (1967)
Michael Lloyd is a prolific songwriter and producer who’s output ranges from The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band to the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack, to stuff like The Cattanooga Cats. Obviously a pretty talented guy. But before he got famous, he was Kim Fowley’s protégé (of sorts) and released this 45 in collaboration with him.
Boston Tea Party – Don’t Leave Me Alone / Is It Love (1967)
Supposedly the same West Coast outfit that recorded “Words” on Challenge Records, and had an album on Flick Disk. I’m not so sure. This 45 doesn’t sound like either 45, In fact I’m pretty sure this 45 originates somewhere in the Midwest. In any case, both sides are pretty good despite the horns. Some decent guitar work too.