Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Dan’s Garage…#74

OH WOW!!!! WE’RE BACK!!!!! After a long two month hiatus I’ve finally gotten my act together to produce another post and ahead of my schedule as well! I must say the “man cave” is coming along quite nicely with a nice little “office space” for my blogging, a bar complete with the “dogs playing poker” portrait, and my “hi-fi” complete with Harman'/Kardon receiver, Sansui loudspeakers, Technics turntable and a sweet JVC cassette deck so I’m ready for all kinds of entertainment!! WOO HOO!!!! Bust most important of all is my new analog to digital setup which I’ve been grappling with for the past two months.  For those who don’t know I’ve been doing these transfers with an Ion portable turntable sitting on my desk plugged into my USB port. Not exactly a “hi-fi setup. But I think I had some decent results with a bit of tweaking and the help of some software. Now that I have lots of room to maneuver I can transfer my vinyl to digital using a full fledged hi-fi sound system comprising of a Technics SL-20 turntable with an Ortofon Omega cartridge going through a vintage Technics SA-211 receiver. This is all plugged into a “Behringer U-Control” gizmo that goes into my USB port and converts the analog signal into a digital one. Very nifty! You'll notice a fuller sound with lots more bottom and it sounds more natural. There’ll still be pops ‘n crackles, but I;’ve completely eliminated any restoration software because quite frankly, I don’t think it's necessary. What do you think??????
Do you realize how HARD it is to obtain a turntable that works 100%????? Yeah, my Ion was reliable and handy as well, but it really is a toy and I had no idea how delicate these “vintage” things were. When I was a vinyl FREAK back in the day I got away with one turntable for 20 some odd years  and it amazes me that the unit NEVER broke down. I still have that first turntable, but for some reason it spins at about 120 RPM and I can’t figure out why. I have at least 8 others now and only two work 100%. Same thing with these receivers. You stash one away for a while and after 10 years they are worthless pieces of junk, but I have been diligent in the restoration process and giving these things a bit of TLC is worth it.
The moving process has kind of jumbled up my boxes of records, so it was a chore to figure out where I left off. I still haven’t got myself totally organized, so I grabbed a fistful of records that I’ve recently acquired and went at it. As usual it's a cornucopia of garage, psych, pop, beat, bubblegum, and wee bit of the “hard rock” as well. I sincerely hop you all enjoy the fruits of my labor as it is with the utmost pleasure that t I bring you “In Dan’s Garage #74”!!!!!!!!!!!
Arkay IV – Surprise Love / Another Way (1966)arkayiv2
Great moody garage from Erie, PA. A fine group who had another great 45 on Marion (Down From No. 9) plus an LP. Apparently, the cool film “That Thing You Do” was loosely based on this group’s “success”.
Soul Agents – I Just Want To Make Love To You / Mean Woman Blues (1964)soul agents
A British band that reportedly had Rod Stewart as a member at one point. Excellent treatments of two standards especially the wild Bo Diddley beat of Mean Woman Blues.
Uniques - It Hurts Me To Remember / I Sure Feel More (Like I Do Than I Did When I Got Here) (1968)uniques4
A pretty good two sider from this prolific Louisiana band. Top side is a nice moody minor chord ballad and the flip is a great tough sounding psych number.
Boys Next Door – See The Way She’s Mine / Begone Girl (1967)boys next door
From Indianapolis, these guys specialized in nice pop harmonies (something we kind of like here at Dan’s Garage Central) and a nice clean cut image. Both sides of this were written and produced by super wimp Bobby Goldsboro and I was unaware that he’d done any work for Dunwich.
Torquays – Stolen Moments (1965)torquays
Let’s shift gears with this growling punk classic.This was actually a minor hit in the San Bernardino area where they were from.
Pepper & The Shakers – Semi Psychedelic / I’ll Always Love You (1967)pepper&shakers
Strange psych/punk from a real obscure outfit that I know very little about. I’ve read that they were from Detroit, New York, and possibly Kentucky where another “pepper & The Shakers” released a do-wop 45 on Chetwyd in 1959 but seriously doubt that they are the same group. But then again I might be wrong……….
Flying Giraffe – Let’s Get To Getting’ / Bring Back Howdy Doody (1969)flying giraffe
Here’s some bubblegum from the masters Kasenetz & Katz. An interesting story about this 45 was that they were actually a group called “Lt. Garcia's Magic Music Box” and were one of the  Super K house bands (naturally). Before that they recorded several 45s for ABC records as The Scoundrels. Check out a cool interview with member H.J. Boyle HERE.
Jimmy & Connie Jordan – Action Speaks Louder Than Words (1971)
More “nice” bubblegum from a duo that I’ve never heard of and can find no info on.
Marcia Strassman - The Flower People / Out Of The Picture (1967)marcia strassman
Boy was I amazed when I found this one. I had no idea that Marcia Strassman who appeared in several episodes of M*A*S*H, “Welcome Back Kotter”, and “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” began her career as a recording artist. She actually had two others but this one here was somewhat of a hit in the “Summer Of Love”.
Mark Wirtz – Mrs. Raven / Knickerbocker Glory (1968)mark wirtz
Mark Wirtz’ claim to fame was that he wrote “A Teenage Opera”, a project that was never fully completed. This 45 is a very nice piece of British pop/psyche.
Ones – You Haven’t Seen My Love / Happy Day (1967)ones
Possibly the first and only “white” act to be on the actual Motown label although The Underdogs and Rare Earth were on VIP and Rare Earth records respectively, both subsidiaries of the Motown enterprise. This is another great example of how soul, garage, and psych fused together in the late 60s with a prominent B-3 organ driving all of it.
Piccadilly Circus – New Orleans Ruth / Come Down To Earth (1970)piccadilly circus
Here's the tale of a young man who's father saves his money up and sends the young lad to “swingin’ New Orleans” so he can meet up with a hooker that he knew back in the day. Nice dad to be sure, but he may have been better off buying him a car instead, or maybe not who knows???? I’m pretty sure these guys were from Memphis just up the road from New Orleans on highway 61.
Them – Dark Are The Shadows / Corinna (1969)them4
One of the later “post Van Morrison” efforts by this legendary band. I really like a lot of this stuff as it’s some of the best psych from this era. This one’s kind of obscure and I’ve not seen it too often.
Jason Garfield – A Picture Of Lilli / Where Did I Lode My Way (1970)jasongarfield
I’m not sure if this is an actual group or another studio concoction. This was written and produced by Elliot Chiprut who was heavily involved with the Music Explosion, 1910 Fruitgum Factory, and a slew of other Kasenetz & Katz acts.
Illinois Speed Press – Get In The Wind (1969)illinois speed press
A Chicago based group that was formed by members of The Rovin’ Kind and H.P. Lovecraft, both very popular groups in the area. Great heavy fuzzed out psych here that was produced by James William Guercio the guy responsible for the group “Chicago”.


  1. Dan, this sounds like a great set up! And I know what you mean about the stereo equipment...I have been through the same seems like the more you use them the better they maintain..almost like a classic car - they sit - they die...
    The man cave sounds great and this is a great volume - looking forward to listening to it! Thanks for the hard work and offering such cool music!

  2. delighted to hear the new sound
    great to see your come back
    thank you / merci

  3. Great to have you back Dan. Looking forward to hearing your latest selection.
    Sid from London

  4. Looks and sounds like the two month break was well worth it. Glad to have you back.

  5. Darren took the words right out of my mouth re: vintage stereo equipment. I've got a Pioneer receiver that's been in continuous use since 1978 and has never had any problems, but I also have a ten-year-old Nakamchi that was in storage for a couple years and now the audio cuts in and out at random times! As Darren said: - they sit - they die...

  6. Hooray, and a warm welcome back!

  7. frrom Duncanmusic: I was gonna get an Ion or something like it but heard that it was pretty rinky dink. I'm sitting on a about 7 turntables myself and need to get busy on a couple and ditch the rest. New needles would be a start,,,from Music I'd suggest...What's the Behringer item you got? I'm interested... BTW, The Ones "You Haven't Seen My Love" was a TOP 40 hit here in Rochester on WBBF (and probably WSAY) in 1967. It was a hard one to find after its short run; took me well into the seventies to come up with a CLEAN copy. Looking forward to the results of your new system. I wonder if the MAGIX vinyl 'cleaning' software still might be helpful (I have another friend who swears by it and I've heard spectacular results on old 78s he's done). To be truthful I was a little disappointed with your transfer of the Showstoppers "Once More With Love" 45, but still happy to have it in ANY shape...perhaps a re-visit of the Best of your Rochester 45s on the new system is in order? (I'm not trying to be a dick, just sayin' and suggestin')

    1. Duncan,
      Thanks for weighing in and you certainly are not a "dick". I used an Ion portable TT for all the stuff up to this post, where I basically used a standard hi-fi and plugged the "tape out" from the receiver into a Behringer "U Control". I think it's about $30 on Ebay, but I inherited this from a friend so the price is a guess. It's simply an interface with four RCA inputs. Two go in and two go out. Windows installs it automatically so it's no hassle. I use it because it was handy, and I got pretty good results. This is all very much in flux right now and I'm working with different TT's and cartridges etc. as we speak. As far as re-recording stuff, I'm tempted to do the whole thing over again. But that would take time and LOTS of it. I have three copies of The Ones 45. One is hammered and the other two are OK. I was not aware it was such a big regional hit. Stay tuned for the Brass Buttons 45 (you must have that one yes???) one of my favorites. I've recently got myself acquainted with a guy named Ted Paris who played bass in a local group from the early 70s called "Rain". I guess they had a live LP in 1971. I heard it and it's very cool if you're into hard rock from that era. Keep listening and watching for new posts. If you're up this way I play in two bands. The True Believers and The Imaginary Band. We're both heavily into rock and roll from the past. We're not very original, but I guarantee a good time will be had by all.
      Cheers, Dan

  8. Another nice set, Dan. Thanks. If you install a Creative audio card in your PC you can eliminate the analog-to-digital converter. You just run the phono cables from your receiver or mixing board to the phono inputs on the audio card console. Then set the Creative Media Source Player program to record "what u hear". Record the record as a wav file if you want to edit it, then convert to mp3. Very simple. You should look into the SoundForge wav editor software. Open your wav recording and enlarge it and you can see the ticks and pops in the wav and very quickly and easily cut them out of the wav with extreme precision. After that you can adjust the volume, balance, and decompress (boost the top and bottom) using the built in EQ. Ortofon also makes a cartridge/stylus just for 50's/60's mono singles that track the vinyl much better than a stereo setup which tends to slap around the groove and create a lot of crackle.

    1. Mike,
      Thanks for the suggestions. I used the sound card on my PC for a brief period but discovered a "crackling" noise in all my transfers. I spent hours trying to figure out the problem, but came to the conclusion that the integrated sound card on my motherboard was just a piece of shit. As far as software cleaning goes, I have Magix, but I'm really not that impressed. For some reason it makes the recordings sound "phony"???? I don't know, I might have to be patient and tinker with it some more. The Creative audio card does sound cool though, and I may invest in that. Hope you're enjoying the music. There's a bunch more coming....

    2. Oh, by the way...The Ortofon MONO cartridge is on my short list. I hear Grado makes a nice one too!

    3. Dan, I agree with you about the filtered sound of Magix and the like. That's the beauty of's not a filtering system. It's an editor. You have to manually use it. You'll see the ticks and pops in the wav on your monitor and you just enlarge it and cut it out. You can remove the hundredth of a second that the tick is without changing anything else. I used this same basic set up making digital remasters for several comp labels back 8-10 years ago. If you still have a PC running XP I could e-mail you SoundForge, but I don't have the version that runs on 7.

    4. Checked my external drive this morning and I do in fact have a copy of Sound Forge. I may have used it once and probably found it a bit overwhelming but I really don't remember for sure, I've tried so many. I'll give a go and see what happens. Thanks for the info.

  9. Hi Dan, Welcome back! Look forward to hearing your latest greatest comp.

  10. Glad to see you back, thanks for your efforts to give us better sound quality!

  11. I really dig your site.

  12. Guten tag. Danke for commpilation!

  13. Super! I am really satisfied with this new compilation, the sound is excellent here in France (Yo!), and in more there is Illinois Speed Press, in 1970, I had discovered them with the fabulous " Pay the price "...
    Thanks Dan.

  14. Hello Dan,

    Hello from SJ, CA! Have really enjoyed reading and seeing ALL that you've presented, especially the Jaguars cuts (The Gorilla/You'll Turn Away) way back when. If you ever run across copies of their Another Lonely Night/Night People Make It (Jaguar 102) and St. James Infirmary/Good Time (Jaguar 103) 45s, I'd love to hear them, as my KLIV radio memories have long since faded and I don't think any of their songs have ever been comped.

    On one site Dot 16723 - Dead Sea/Supersonic (1965) is also credited to them, but who knows?