Greetings music lovers! You know I always run off at the mouth here when it comes to the weather, and I'm sure most of you are bored to death by my whining about the fact that I live in Upstate New York where the climate can be somewhat challenging. I'm not trying to diminish the situations some other people and friends of this blog have, I mean, some of you have to deal with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, mudslides, and other tragic events so when I complain, some of you may say, "big deal Dan, you should live here". But it's April 29th today, and I'm looking out my window and it's SNOWING! There's a big fat robin on my back lawn who's probably been looking around for food the last couple of weeks and he has this WTF? look on his face. Enough already, I need some warm weather dammit! So I'm holed up here at Dan's Garage Central spinning 45's and writing this because I can't do much else right now, even though I'm getting way behind in my outdoor chores due to the persistent inclement weather. My loss is your gain I suppose.
Many thanks once again to all who have left me kind comments and vital information on some of the groups featured here. I'm eternally grateful to all. I'm starting to upload archived Dan's Garage Radio pod-casts to Mixcloud so If you haven't checked them out yet please do. It's as easy as pointing and clicking or better yet, if you're totally connected with an iPhone or Android and you've got a sound system with bluetooth etc. it's even easier yet! Tune in, you wont be disappointed, except for the fact that I'm a horrible broadcaster with zero skills and a glaring Upstate New York accent.
As usual this post runs the gamut from British Beat, to garage, to pop, to psychedelia, so please sit back and enjoy!
Earl Royce & The Olympics - Que Sera Sera / I Really Do (1965)
Earl Royce & The Olympics were from Liverpool and their main claim to fame was that they appeared in "Ferry Cross The Mersey" with Gerry & The Pacemakers doing a decent version of "Shake A Tail Feather". Aside from that they only released two 45's, in the U.K. and one in the U.S., this one here, which is pretty typical British Beat. "Que Sera Sera" is actually a good version and I say that begrudgingly because every time I hear that song it reminds me of Doris Day.
Illusions - Little Girl / Big Beat "65"(Baker's Dozen) (1965)
The Illusions were a popular act from Cleveland, OH that released this one 45, a cover of a song previously released by another local act, "The Scruffy Group", with a way cool instrumental flip side which is a cover of Mickey Baker's "Bakers Dozen" retitled "Big Beat'65'"
Chantays - Beyond / I'll Be Back Someday (1964)
The Chantays were perhaps the most prolific act on Downey records. Not only did they release 45's under their own name but also as "The Leaping Ferns". Here's a re-do of "Pipeline" on the A side, and a cool, moody folk-rock flip with vocals.
Sons Of Bach - Stubborn Kind Of Fellow / I Knew I'd Want You (1966)
Here's a 45 that I can't find a whole lot of info on but I know this for sure. Jim Youmans was in a group called "The Swingin' Apolloes" who were from Atlanta and had a few 45's most notably a two sider with covers of "Slow Down" and "Summertime Blues" released on Look and White Cliffs and produced by Youmans who did the production honors on this one as well. I can't say for sure if it's the same group, but I don't think so, they sound a bit different, but I may be wrong. Both sides are excellent covers of Marvin Gaye's classic "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow", and the Byrds' "I Knew I'd Want You".
Tuck and Jack With Mama, Sons & Mouse - All I Ever Do Is Cry / It Takes Two To Tango (1966)
Wow, this one's a bit of a stumper except for the fact that it's on a label out of Scottsdale, AZ. Tuck & Jack and the gang were most likely a family affair, I mean, why would they include "Mama" and "sons"???? This one's a bit of a surprise because although it's far from "killer" garage, it's fairly decent with some nice organ work.
Clock-Work Orange - Image Of You / What Am I Without You (1968)
This one's a really good psychedelic two-sider but alas, I can't find any concrete info on the group except that they may be from New York City. They did release another good two-sider on Rust, but outside of that, I know nothing else. I did discover that producer Irwin Levine was most famous for co-writing "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around The Old Oak Tree" and "Candida" with L. Russell Brown for Tony Orlando & Dawn as well as "I Woke Up In Love This Morning" for The Partridge Family.
Patriots - What A Drag It Is / Blankets And Candles (1968)
A moody folk-rock inspired 45 from a group out of Baltimore, MD. Murbo was a rather obscure label out of New York City that had some very cool records in it's catalog.
Noel Odom & The Group - I Can't See Nobody / Pardon My Complete Objection (1969)
Well here's one that I got some good info on courtesy of the awesome website "Garage Hangover". Noel Odom And The Group were from Shreveport , LA and released three 45's, two on Tower and this one on Uptown. Apparently the songs were recorded at Sam Phillips' studio in Memphis. Noel Odom eventually left the group and they continued on as The Bad Habits. Both sided of this are real good and I wish I could hear the other two 45's. Check out the in depth story on them HERE.
Butterscotch Caboose - High Places / Can I Borrow Some Time (1969)
A studio group presumably made up of staff musicians from American Studios in Memphis. Both sides of this 45 are excellent examples of finely crafted psychedelic pop.
Sixpentz - Don't Say You're Sorry / Tinkle Talk (1967)
The Sixpentz came out of Houston, TX and were originally known as The Six Pents who's "She Lied" on Kidd records is one of my all time favorite garage punkers. This on the other hand is a total shift in style and sounds a lot like The Association especially "Tinkle Talk". I hate to be critical, but what the hell were these guys thinking when they came up with that title? They changed their name to The Fun And Games and had a minor hit in '68 with "The Grooviest Girl In The World".
Neal Ford Factory - You Made Me A Man / I've Got To Find Me A Woman (1969)
Neal Ford was a big act also from Houston, TX and had a bunch of 45's and an L.P. on Hickory records that ranged in style from Bubblegum to the awesome, creepy, garage of "Shame On You", their finest moment. They re-named themselves "The Neal Ford Factory", switched labels to ABC, and hooked up with hit songwriters Jeff Barry and Andy Kim for this surprisingly good two sider. I half expected a real lightweight effort on this when I got it but it's got some good guitar/organ work and tuff vocals as well.
Brother Makes Two - Silly Ol' Me / Don't Abuse Me (1968)
Here's a 45 that is neither garage, nor psychedelic, but it is a catchy pop two sider with some country flavor to it, perhaps it has a singer/songwriter vibe to it as well. I took a stab at this one and was pleasantly surprised because it has some decent hooks to it. In any case, the two brothers were Mark and Kent McNeel who from the flimsy information I got were based out of Memphis and Kent co-wrote a book on other hit-making songwriters titled "Songwriters With A Touch Of Gold".
Tymepiece - Become Like You / Give A Little More (1969)
I don't have many 45's from Australia (only a handful), but when I score one, I get really excited because every one of them is at worst, great. Does that make sense????? Anyway, The Tymepiece were originally known as The Black Diamonds who were most famous for what could probably be considered one of thee greatest garage/punk songs ever to come out of Australia, "I Want, Need, Love You", a song that my old band The Riviera Playboys attempted to cover, but with mostly disastrous results. But I digress. The Tymepiece had this one 45 which was a very cool cover of The Small Faces "Become Like You" on The A side and a soul inspired, yet heavy, original on the B side. They supposedly released a cover of The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", but I've never heard it.
Pookah - Blue And Peaceful / Merlin's Party (1969)
Here's another 45 where good info is elusive. Although Pookah did have one 45 and an L.P. on a major label, they seemed to have gone completely under the radar, except for music aficionados such as you and myself. Pookah was definitely on the "progressive" side of the "rock" spectrum at the time, and left us with this one 45 which sort of reminds me of Procol Harum at times.