Thursday, May 26, 2011

In Dan’s Garage…#59

Ahhh, another rainy day in upstate New York! I love doing this on dismal days when I’m not mowing, or replacing windows, or when outdoor parties get cancelled. Yes, I just love to spin discs and pass them on to folks who truly dig them. I was going to feature a few of these in the “Upstate New York” posts, but I found out that they were all from Jersey, or Florida, or someplace other than New York. Good thing, because I look foolish enough when I don’t know what I’m talking about or “going out on a limb" like I did in the last post with The Bad Boys 45. I’ll try to be as accurate as possible with my info and when I can’t, I’ll let you put your two cents in! HIT IT!!!!
Paul Chaplain & His Emeralds – Shortnin’ Bread / Nicotine (1960)paul chaplain
Let’s throw out the first pitch and make it a curveball. A lot of people might consider this “rockabilly”, and it does have a hillbilly twinge to it, but I see it as a definitive bridge between rockabilly and garage. I guess Paul Chaplain was from somewhere in Massachusetts and from my knowledge had this one 45 which actually made the top 100. The flip is dedicated to my lovely wife who can’t seem to put down those smokes! This is true “proto-punk”.
Brass Tacks – Tell Me / What Is The Reason (1965)brass tacks
Hoo boy! I love “inept” stuff, but I don’t know what the hell these guys were thinking when they hired the dude to sing these tracks ‘cause he’s literally tone deaf. OK, maybe I’m being a bit too harsh, but he’s having a little bit of difficulty. I’ll give him an A+ for enthusiasm though! Originally thought to be from Syracuse, NY, and there was even a rumor that this was actually Felix Cavaliere while he was attending Syracuse University.
Counts IV – Listen To Me / Lost Love (1966)counts iv 2
I featured this group in IDG #44 and also featured bass player Al Peluso’s solo effort in IDG #52. This was also supposed to be included in the whole “Upstate NY” thing, but since they were primarily from North Carolina, I backed off. Al Peluso was a Utica native who ended up down south, but I guess this one particular record was popular here in upstate NY because of Al’s involvement. As you can see, the sticker on this record shows the previous owner to be from Littler Falls, a mere hop skip & jump from Utica.
Ray Columbus & The Invaders – She’s A Mod / The Cruel Sea (1965)ray columbus 2
New Zealander Ray Columbus had a fairly long career and led the Invaders for about three or four years until they split in ‘65, leaving us a few cool 45s including this one. Ray eventually moved to the US where he re-did the A side to this 45 with a San Francisco group called the Art Collection. The instrumental flip side of this sounds a cross between The Shadows and The Tornadoes.
James Richard – Just Before The Dawn Breaks / Baby Don’t You Know (196?)james richard
Here’s a very cryptic 45 from….well I don’t know where it’s from, when it was recorded, or who James Richard is (or was for that matter). The A side is great garage/psych and the B side has a soul flavor to it. Possibly from Florida???????
Sidekicks – Not Now (1966)sidekicks
The Sidekicks were a band of teenagers from New Jersey who originally started as The Redcoats, got a contract with RCA and released a few records, of which this one is the best, IMHO. If you want the WHOLE STORY, check it out HERE.
Razors Edge – Baby’s On His Way (1967)razors edge
Here’s one of those 45’s that were slated for the “Upsate” posts because it has BUFFALO, NY all over it. Well…I WAS WRONG! I guess this group is from Florida. They had several lightweight poppy 45s, but I think this one here is the coolest.
Szorenyi Levente - Meg Faj Menden Csok (1966)
Koncz Zsuzsa - Nincsen Olvan Ember (1966)
hungarian 2
hungarian 1
Every once in a while (well..more often really) I take a stab at something on Ebay beacause it looks cool, and it’s cheap. this 99¢ score is one one of the coolest things I’ve ever found scrounging around for records. What we have here is a 45 from Hungary, released  during the thick of the cold war, and what we hear are two “artists”, a group that sound a bit like the Animals, and a chick who sounds like she’s being backed up by the same group. I don’t know Hungarian, although I do dig Hungarian cuisine a lot, so I won’t make an attempt at what the titles mean, but as you can se by these examples, Rock & Roll influenced everyone, even those teens tucked away behind the iron curtain. Further research shows that both these “artists” were extremely popular in Hungary at the time. Check out these videos…

Royal Guardsmen – Leaving Me (1966)image
royal guardsmen 2
We all know these guys from the “Snoopy songs that pollute the airwaves of “oldies” stations worldwide, but we never knew these guys could actually play anything. This is by far one of their coolest songs ever, and a lot of this LP isn’t half bad either…..
Ravin’ Blue – Colors / In My Sorrow (1967)ravin' blue
Somewhat of a studio group with ties to Mississippi. The great “Love” was their first 45, and this one is definitely on the pop/psyche side, though really good. I love the lyrics on the A side.
Ides Of Love – Hey Mister Wise Man / Something So Pretty (1967)ides of love
This would just be another totally unknown New Jersey 45 if E. Street Band drummer Max Weinberg hadn’t played on it. Very good.
Aladdin & The Genies – Please Wait For Me / You Won’t See Me Anymore (1968)aladdin & genies
An unknown group from the Cincinnati, OH area. This is a cool 45 with lots of fuzz guitar and a real “hip” go-go vibe to it with some cheesy chick backup vocals.
Big Brother & The Holding Company – The Last Time / Coo Coo (1967)big brother
I have a love / hate relationship with Janis Joplin. On the one hand, you’ve got Cheap Thrills, which is a terrific LP and I really like it because of it’s raw energy, even though they were a bunch of hippies. On the other hand, you’ve got “Me & Bobby McGee” which makes me reach for a barf bag every time it comes on the radio. This very early 45 is definitely in the first category. Joplin is right on with her vocals, and is that some surfy sounding guitar I hear on Coo Coo?????
Loners – Insight Out / Old Man Blues (196?)
An interesting 45 that's pretty crude yet has a “progressive” twinge to it. You can tell these guys are trying to be “with it”, but they sound really, well, like they're not with it. They're getting down with the “subculture” on the A side and digging some blues on the B. In any case, it's great stuff in my opinion. Thought to be from Albany, NY, I’ve also seen a reference to them being from Tennessee, but no one knows for sure……
Paper Cup – One Part Good (19??)paper cup2
Another one that totally escapes me. “She Needs Love” was featured in IDG #23 and I wasn't sure where they were from, but this 45 confirms that they were from Long Island, NY. This is a bit poppier than their other effort. I can’t pinpoint a date on this, but it might be from the early 70s.
Mercy – Fire Ball (1969)mercy
Sometimes you find the coolest things in the weirdest places. Like this fuzzed out instro that sounds a bit like “Penetration”. This was actually the flip side of soft rock lullaby, “Love (Can Make You Happy)”, a big hit in 1969 by these one hit wonders from Florida. I’m not sure if this is actually them performing, or a studio group.


  1. As usual, great post, Dan. I can give you a little more on the first one, Shortnin Bread by Paul Chaplain & The Emeralds. I had this one at one time and used to spin it at The Red Creek. Lo and behold, I spin it one night when Roomful of Blues is there and their original drummer, Paul Rossi, comes up to me and says 'That's me on drums on that one!". He was a very cool customer and he and Duke Robillard used to always come up to the booth and comment on the records I'd play and even gave me a couple of mix tapes here and there (wish I still had 'em....they were always full of old jump blues and rockabilly). They were also regular guests at my home where my girlfriend and I would feed them up from time to time when they were in town before a gig. Those were fun days and I recall the search for more rare 45s I could play that would enhance their gigs at the Red Creek.

  2. Thanks for another interesting addition to the series.

  3. Hi Dan, in case you (like me) wanna be taken away by the breathtakin beauty of Zsuzsa Koncz, go and see the movie Ezek a fiatalok in which she is accompanied by Illes, Omega and Metro. Even if it's in Hungarian, I'm sure you'll dig it. here's the d/l- links (pw is: tag)

  4. Thank you very much. Аlex. Balakovo

  5. Great Post, as always, my favorites: Ray Columbus & The Invaders, Razor's Edge and Ravin 'Blue.
    Scavenging psyche.
    Thank you for sharing so much music

  6. Never ceases to astound me! Thanks Man the Dan!

  7. Thanks for an mp3 of "Fireball."
    Most people ignored that side (I didn't).

  8. BTW, OfficeNaps had "The Saga" of Mercy:
    It's the second one down and it's pretty concise.
    (It took me a while to figure out where I'd read about it before.)