Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In Dan’s Garage… #107

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Greetings once again music lovers. As I reflect on the quiet snow falling outside while I write this, I dream of flowers blooming in the spring breeze and even gentle rain showers in the summer that bring comfort to one’s frozen winter soul. Oh well….right now I have to settle for the sweet sounds scratchy 45s on my turntable deep within the bowels of my man cave. It seems that most of my posts lately have been heavy on “major labels”, something that I’m sure the G45 muckity mucks would pooh pooh (I jest) but as we all know, beauty is in the ear of the beholder, and today, lo and behold, I offer fresh fruit for hungry ears. Seriously though, there’s some cool sounds here that many of you will be familiar with, and if you’re not I’m sure you’ll like them anyway. So let’s get with it already……#107.

Swinging Blue Jeans – Hippy Hippy Shake / Now I Must Go (1964)
I had to do it. One of my all time favorites even though it’s been played to death, but it was in the stack and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick start this edition. The flip is seldom heard by the way…….

Nightcrawlers – Little Black Egg / You’re Running Wild (1966)
Another familiar cut and one of the most often covered songs by garage bands in the sixties.

Roy Junior – Victim Of Circumstances / Looks Like The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (1966)
roy jr
One of the great snarling garage/punk songs of the 60s. This 45 is kinda weird in that It’s one of those Rock & Roll-Country crossovers. Don Gant was a bigwig at Hickory Records and worked as a song writer for Acuff/Rose as well as being an artist himself. The song here was written by Don Turnbow who was probably an in house writer like Gant and has the distinction of writing the classic “Hipsville 29 B.C.” which brings me to wonder if this is The Sparkles backing ol’ Roy on this track. Hmmmm???

Pretty Things – Cry To Me (1966)
The Pretty Things released “I Can Never Say” twice. Once with “Honey I Need” on the flip, and the other with this bluesy R&B classic.

McCoys – Say Those Magic Words / I Wonder If She Remembers Me (1967)
The McCoys certainly need no elaborate introduction. Hang On Sloopy” is practically the anthem of the state of Ohio, and IS the anthem of Ohio State University. The McCoys had a nice run back in the mid to late 60s recording and releasing a slew of singles on Bang Records and later some real good psychedelic stuff on Mercury. This one, from ‘67, is a standout and was also a well known song by Britain's The Birds which featured a young Ron Wood on guitar at the time. There's some debate as to which is the better version. Many prefer The Birds’ rendition but I like this one.

Plunkers – Hippy Lippy Goosey / Night Time Love (1966)
Not sure where this one’s from. I think L.A. maybe????? In any case, it’s sort of a novelty song, but it has a real good band providing backup to a goofy sounding vocalist.

Johnny Fever – Zombie (1967)
johhnny fever
Here’s a real mystery. To this day I’ve speculated on what , or who the hell “Johnny Fever” was. I know he was a character in the mid-seventies sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati”, but this isn't the same guy. “Zombie” is a novelty song…..I guess, but it’s so freakin’ cool that it goes beyond that, with it's fuzzy guitars, spatial production, and the guttural “ZOMBIE” at the end of the chorus. Some out there have asked to hear the flip. Take my advice….you don’t want to even bother. It’s total pop crap and sounds kind of like Johnny Mathis. Wait……do you think?????? Nah.

Lost Souls – Artificial Rose / Sad Little Girl (1967)
A popular group from Dickenson, North Dakota they had two releases and this was one of them. This 45 was originally issued on the local Dawn label and was then picked up by Liberty for national distribution. Read more about them HERE. 

New Hudson Exit – Come With Me / Waiting For Her (1967)
new hudson exit
The New Hudson Exit have the distinction of being guitar virtuoso Phil Keaggy’s group before he joined Glass Harp and then went on to fame making Christian music. Both sides of this showcase his talents, but they’re so different. The A side is blue eyed soul with some intense riffing and the flip is a rather lightweight psyche/pop number.

Standells – Try It / Poor Shell Of A Man (1966)
Can the Standells make a crappy record????? They may have, but I’ve yet to hear it.

Unchained Mynds – Going Back To Miami / We Can’t Go On This Way (1968)
unchained mynds
A group from LaCrosse, WI that tackles Wayne Cochran’s classic song. They do a stand up job too! The flip is kind-of well…good but pales compared to the A side.

Paupers – Think I Care / White Song (1967)
One of the most popular of all Canadian bands in the late 60’s. Unfortunately, they had relatively little output consisting of a handful of 45s and a couple of LPs.  This 45 version is distinctly different than the LP version.

Hangmen – Dream Baby / Let It Be Me (1968)
Washington D.C.’s Hangmen are most famous for their song “What A Girl Can’t Do” a garage/punk classic. On this 45 they cover two early sixties classics by Roy Orbison and the great Everly Bros. giving both the late sixties psychedelic treatment.

Orange Colored Sky – Sweet Potato (1969)
orange colored sky
An L.A. pop group that had several LPs and 45s in a mixture of styles. This ones a hard hitting blue eyed soul tune.

New Survivors – The Pickle Protest / But I Know (1968)
new survivors
An unknown group from Kansas led by Tony Teebo who I assume wrote and sang lead vocals on this interesting  novelty two sider. I love this one because even though it’s a late 60s effort, it still retains that ultra-cheezy Farfisa organ driving the whole thing.

Koobas – The First Cut Is The Deepest / Walking Out (1969)
This band from Liverpool were contemporaries of The Beatles but unfortunately didn’t have nearly as much luck as their “paisans”. Hell, they didn’t even have as much luck as The Swinging Blue Jeans!!! That being said, they did leave us with some more than worthy beat music, and in their latter stages took on a more psychedelic feel as evidenced in this fantastic two sided slice of freakbeat.


Monday, January 12, 2015

In Dan’s Garage…#106

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   Greetings music lovers and Happy New Year to all! Thanks to all of you out there that sent best wishes for the holidays, I certainly hope all of yours were happy. Since the cold weather keeps me indoors much of the time, and since I don’t have any major home improvement projects on the near horizon, I suspect I’ll have a more time to churn out these posts and do them a little more frequently. When I initially began this blog I started with the “Obscure 60’s Garage” posts that were made up entirely of music ripped from cassette tapes that I had swapped with another collector back in the mid 80s. Since I posted those, many of the links have gone dead and I never did get a a chance to re-up those files. I never really did like the way those turned out as I was using an inferior PC at the time which was rather slow (for doing this type of work anyway) and you can tell by the frequent “skips” on some of the tracks, besides I really didn’t format them to fit onto a CD-R which I’m sure some of you like to do. Personally I just load my mp3 player up with as much as I can fit on there, set it on shuffle and I let ‘er rip, but I digress. I’m considering a whole new rip of those tapes and formatting the posts properly to around 28 or 29 songs apiece and re-upping the whole shebang with what I hope will be some better sound quality as well. This will be a time consuming affair so be patient! Also, as I have mentioned many times ad nauseum, I figured I’d get maybe 50 or so posts from my initial stock of records which amounted to about 8 or 9 of those 45 RPM boxes that you see at record shows. Well, since I began this blog I’ve been back into record collecting whole hog if you will and my collection is blossoming, so we should be at it for quite a while. I essentially was on a 15 year hiatus dealing with vinyl before I started the blog and concentrated mainly on amassing a huge digital library, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of buying records anymore and much of that desire is fueled by this blog and my attempt to procure fresh sides to share with you. It’s a ton of fun and I hope to keep it up for a few more years. I’m closing in on cleaning up the last of the “original” collection and will be getting into some real interesting stuff in the near future.
   Apologies for the rant in the last post. I just got a little frustrated with some of the comments I received (very, very few by the way) in regards to “passwords”. I hope everyone out there has got it by now. I could do a re-up, but I’d have to archive the stuff again, upload it, edit the post, blah, blah, blah. I’ll let you hash that one out while I keep trying to churn out new stuff OK? Love you all, enjoy.

Swinging Blue Jeans – Good Golly Miss Molly / Shaking Feeling (1964)
swingin bleu jeans
One of my all time favorite bands ever. The Swinging Blue Jeans were from Liverpool, and like The Beatles did time at The Cavern Club and similar venues. They specialized in doing great upbeat covers of Rock & Roll standards like the A side here, but they also had several excellent originals like “ Shaking Feeling”, the B side of this great 45.

Drafi Deutscher & His Magics – Come On Lets Go / Shake Hands (1964)
draficome on
I never realized how many Drafi 45s I really had until I started pawing through my collection in order to get this blog going! This was one of his first releases although I can’t say for certain, but It definitely came out before “Marble Breaks and Iron Bends” his most popular song from the 60s. I like this one with it’s half German, half English delivery which is probably why London saw fit to release it in the States. Interesting.

Wild Ones – Never Givin’ Up / For Your Love (1966)
A pretty good effort by this New York City band whose other releases are featured in IDG #39 and #93.

Link Wray – Turnpike USA / Weekend (1963)
Here's a little instrumental interlude from the great Link Wray who churned out a ton of this stuff on Swan records well into the 60s. Link had a real knack for making his tunes sound exactly like the title suggested. We love you Link!!!!

Michael & Henry & The Sentrymen – Tag-A-Long / Another Chance (1965)
Tough to pin down a date or any concrete info on this moody lightweight garagey obscurity. I couldn’t even get any info on “Carlson International Pictures” which I’m certain had some real blockbusters in it’s heyday.

String & The Beans – Come Back To Me / When I Get That Feeling (1966)
string and the beans
A great two sider from Birmingham, AL. The A side is a moody ballad with a KILLER guitar solo and the B side is up-tempo and just as good. Check out some real in depth info HERE.

Druids – It’s A Day / A Man Should Never Cry (1966)
The first of two 45s by this group from Scranton, PA. Both are decent folk-rock.

B.J. Thomas & The Triumphs – Candy Baby (1966)
B.J. Thomas’ band before he hit it big doing Bacharach/David songs like “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”. This one, originally released on Huey Meaux’s Texas based Pacemaker label is the flip of a Hank Williams cover of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” which apparently was somewhat of a hit and propelled Thomas’ career. Obviously I would have preferred he did more stuff like this, but what the hell do I know?????

Distant Cousins – Stop Running Around Baby (1966)
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A duo from New York City that had several 45s that mixed pop with some garage as we can hear on this 45.

Jamie & The Blackhawks – Candy Man / What You’re Doing To Me (1966)
jamie and the blackhawks
A group from the Memphis area led by Jamie Isonhood who was a session musician before he started up The Blackhawks that as far as I know released this sole 45, a rendition of “Candy Man” backed by an original. Read up on Jamie’s history HERE.

Richard & The Young Lions – Open Up Your Door / Once Upon Your Smile (1966)
One of the all time great, classic garage 45’s from the 60’s. Richard & The Young Lions were from Newark, NJ and had a somewhat intricate and complicated history as they developed from several local acts. It’s rather interesting that the guys who wrote “Open Up Your Door” were the same guys who wrote the Distant Cousins 45 that we hear earlier in this set. Both were Bob Crewe productions and have very similar production values. If you want the whole story of this band check out their website HERE.

Standells – Riot On Sunset Strip / Black Hearted Woman (1966)
The Standells are what many consider the “benchmark” fro garage bands. Although they had great production and had their records released on a major label, the snottiness and bad attitude in their songs cannot be denied.This 45 is perhaps their best two sider in my opinion

Stained Glass – If I Needed Someone / How Do You Expect Me (1966)
staine dglass
The first 45 released by this underappreciated group from San Jose. On the A side they do a decent rendition of George Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone” with a bit of folk-rock styled harmonica thrown in. The B side is a terrific brooding ballad that laments how lousy girls and relationships can be. Genius.

Last Word – Can’t Stop Loving You (1967)
last word
A pretty good group based in Florida that recorded several 45s in a few different styles from psych to soul. This one leans heavy on the psych side with some cool guitar riffs.

Syn – Grounded / Created By Clive (1967)
Here’s the group that included guitarist Peter Banks and bassist Chris Squire who would eventually become Yes, perhaps one of the most revered and vilified of all the “progressive” rock groups depending on which side of the fence you sit. I went to a Yes concert once and actually fell asleep. That’s the extent of my comments on them, but The Syn were a fantastic Mod/Psych group and “Grounded” is a classic as well as “14 Hour Technicolour Dream”, a true masterpiece.

Whether Bureau – Why Can’t You And I / White And Frosty (1968)
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A 45 that I cannot for the life of me find any info on probably because every time I Google this I end up with endless pages from the National Weather Service or some other related website. I do know that it was arranged by Al Gorgoni a “Brill Building” session guitarist, and this could just be a NYC studio group. Both sides are nice dreamy psychedelic numbers with great vocal harmonies and cool organ.