Monday, February 28, 2005

Because it's catchier than Lucius Tyson

Who knew that there really was a Doc Sausage? When I read Nick Tosches great "UNSUNG HEROS OF ROCK AND ROLL" there were a couple references to the guy. With a name like that, I figured that Tosches had made the guy up. Years later, I got great ROCKING 40's compilation that Hoy Hoy Records released and song #14 was by the man himself. There really was a guy that called himself Doc Sausage! Alan Freed played "Sausage Rock" on his Cleveland radio show.

Doc Sausage's was Lucius Tyson, a drummer and singer for the The Five Pork Chops and later The Mad Lads. "Sausage Rock" was released on Regal Records in 1950. They also recorded "She Don't Want Me" and a version of "Rag Mop" for the label.

HOY Hoy has released a new 2 disc collection called ROCK BEFORE ELVIS. You need a copy.

Now how about Esau Smith?

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The hits you didn't grow up with

I had been thinking about posting something about the Gladys Knight & The Pips and last Friday I heard the sad news that Edward Patten had died of a stroke at age 65. This CNN obituary doesn't say anything about the Pips already having a long career before they signed to Motown. You'd think a Top 10 record in 1961 would be worth mentioning.

Gladys Knight & The Pips started singing together way back in 1952. Gladys was only eight years old. The Pips were originally 3 Knight kids and two cousins. Sam Cooke opened show for the Pips in the Fifties. The group was recording for Fury records in 1961 and had several other big records. Don Covay produced the record which was a Johnny Otis song that was originally a hit for the Orioles.

The Pips arrived at the familiar lineup of Knight and Bubba Knight, William Guest, and Edward Patten in 1962. They also left Fury for Maxx Records which was associated with Vee-Jay records. while at Maxx Records the Pips worked with Van McCoy who also wrote some terrific songs for the group. Gladys Knight doesn't sound like she is only twenty years old. I don't know if this one is considered a northern soul classic or not. If it's not it should be. The Move covered "Stop And Get A Hold Of Myself" for a BBC session.

Motown Records signed the group in 1966 and they had a string of hits there including the original version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine". Gladys Knight & The Pips were superstars for a few years in the mid-seventies. You can still hear those songs (and some of them are still worth hearing) on any radio station that plays 'the hits you grew up with'. Gladys Knight & The Pips were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Wolfpack On the Loose

By the way, if you'll be in New Orleans, Louisiana this weekend (like I will) don't fail to go to the Circle Bar to catch one of the most obscure show bands ever, Jimmy And The Wolfpack. Only one recording is known to even exist of these oddballs, but what a track! The vocals are almost unintelligible, so syrupy is the echo laden over them. And yet, I kind of like this says something to me.

This weekend being Friday, March 5.

Jimmy and the Wolfpack, "Wolfpack On The Loose"
Maybe this isn't too obscure of an obscurity, but man do I love this song. The basic structure is simple but there's so much going on: a kind John Lee Hooker style boogie beat, another guitar laying back, playing that little two-note figure until its time for that eerie droning solo, marvelously understated drums (no damn high hat (I've begun to think those things are a curse, though I use one), and of course the crazy absurd lyrics that actually have nothing to do with woodpeckers.

I wish I could have been at this recording session.

The Braves, "Woodpecker Rock"

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Whatever became of?

To their credit, Epic records did put a bit of a push behind Big Dipper. There were a few promo-only releases with some interesting live songs.

Steve Michener was the first Dipper to leave the band in 1990. Drummer Jeff Oliphant was next to go. His replacement was Woody Geissman, who came from the Del Fuegos and had been in The Embarassment with Dipper singer Bill Goffrier years before.

This last lineup of Big Dipper recorded and released a 45 in 1992. I've never seen a copy. They also recorded a cover of Pete Shelley's "Homosapien" for a chartiy compilation called FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

Steve Michener is a registereed RN and lives in California. Bill Goffrier played with a reunited Embarrassment and now is a painter in Boston. Jeff Oliphant is now a day trader(!) in Connecticut. Gary Weleik produces radio shows for NPR and has a new band in Boston. Also, he said the reunion ain't gonna happen. Dang.

Ron Klaus was last seen in Phoenix.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


CRAPS, Big Dipper's second LP, came out on Homestead Records in 1988. There some really good songs. But there aren't enough of them. There's a few that are just kinda there - not real good but they don't stink either.

The one that everybody remembers is "Ron Klaus Wrecked His House" which is based on a true story. Bill Goffrier wrote the song about Ron Klaus, who had been in the Embarrassment. Somebody liked it enough to use to demonstrate speakers. This song sticks in my mind for days after I hear it and this one one is catchy too.

And then came SLAM. I don't know what went wrong. Three years before Big Dipper was full of energy and excitement. In 1990 they were just another band signed to CBS. There's only a few good songs and a lot of blandness. The horns weren't a good idea. The production is usually blamed but I just think the songs weren't there. And Big Dipper just doesn't sound like they're having very much fun.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The tallest band in Boston

Last week I said I was going to put something by Big Dipper up and today I hear rumors of a Big Dipper reunion. Maybe. I'm not holding my breath.

Big Dipper was formed in 1986 by ex-members of The Volcano Suns, The Embarrasment, and Dumptruck.

Joe Harvard compared Big Dipper to Madness: "I can't explain it but Big Dipper remind me of the band Madness. Like, if Madness hadn't been a ska band and had traded their horns for loud guitars, if they'd been from Americans from the Midwest who went to Boston instead of Brits from (probably) Coventry who (I assume) went to London, er...perhaps they could have been Dipper? Or not? Like I said, I can't explain it. Maybe it's because I can't really find reference points for the Dipper sound." Or maybe he didn't.

BOO-BOO was the first record and it's also the best one. Just six
songs but they were all winners. Shonen Knife covered a Big Dipper song which was the first time that I ever heard of the Japanese trio.

Then came HEAVENS which may have been some sort of concept LP. I just don't know what the concept is. There's the name of the record, a flying saucer on the cover and some of the songs make reference to spaceships and other strange things. A few of the songs didn't fit any concept at all.

Proving that Big Dipper were a band of the eighties, "All Going Out Together" was released on a 12" single.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

downloading files

By the way, if a file is posted by me, "theoldroadhog," download the usual way: by right-clicking.

a little bitterness is sometimes refreshing

I've been dealing with the crappy fact that my ex-wife's new band is going to be a big success, playing middle-of-the road indie pop. Go read the band bio--if it sounds like it was written by a professional copywriter, well, that's because it was. Christ, who hires a writer to write a band bio?) Anyway, enjoy downloading some of their "nice" music, then as a palate cleanser, have a listen to "Pop Song Factory" from the album The Coonass Strikes Back by Inbred Bipeds, a duo from Cut Off, Louisiana, featuring one "Buddy Luuv" and Ryan Dufrene, the latter formerly of sludge-rock stalwarts Blacula. (A 'coonass' is just another name for a Cajun.)

It wasn't a hit.

The first time I heard The Sheppards was in 1980. I walked into the Paradise Records on Hixson Pike in Chattanooga and somebody had just put the 1980 Solid Smoke compilation on. I liked it but I was sixteen years old and looking for Who albums not reissues of forgotten records by twenty-year-old vocal groups.

I never heard or saw another copy of The Sheppards until I found a copy of the Collectibles reissue in the used bins at Sunburst Records in 1999. It was $1.99 but even if it was ten times that I still would have bought it. The sound that I wasn't looking for had been stuck in my brain for almost twenty years. Specifically this song. Good thing they had a name that was easy for me to remember.

The Sheppards started in 1959 when two Chicago vocal groups (The Ballads and The Bel-Aires) merged into one band. They signed to Apex Records, a label run by Bill 'Bunky' Sheppard who must've gotten naming rights thrown in on the deal. In addition to being Gene Chandler's manager Sheppard had produced records, including one by the Bel-Aires in 1958.

The Sheppards first record was "Island Of Love". This song just missed the top 100 in 1959. The b-side was pretty good too.

There were records released over the next few years but it was the 1961 song "Tragic" that got The Sheppards on American Bandstand. It wasn't a hit.

And there were a few more records after "Tragic" but The Sheppards still didn't have any hits. Not even OKeh Records could get the group a popular record.

The Sheppards broke up in 1969. They were in between Doo-wop and Soul. More people should know who they were.

I found a website that says there was a group called the Cavaliers that had future Sheppards and someone named Andre Williams. This Andre Williams? Did they record anything? Anybody know for sure?

Friday, February 18, 2005

I thought you wanted to know

One last dB's post and then I'll leave 'em alone for a while:

The dB's reunion, Stamey says, is looking like it could be out by April 2006. They've recorded about a third of it so far, and everything is sounding really good.

"Peter [Holsapple] and I were about to make another duet record," Stamey says, "but he had a couple of songs that just sounded like they were dBs songs so we suggested cutting them with [drummer] Will Rigby and Gene for a duets record, but it seems like there are enough songs that fit the quartet."

Asked what the music sounds like, Stamey pauses.

"Well, I mean, Radiohead of course," he replies with a laugh, before confessing, "It sounds like the dB's to me."


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Nonsequiter of Silence

Several people wondered why I didn't inculde any Sneakers in last weeks Easter/Holsapple barrage. I dunno, I just figured that everybody had heard the Sneakers already but the 45s & Rittenhouse Square were a little more interesting. Shows what I know. Anyway...

The Sneakers were the band that Chris Stamey and Mitch Easter formed after Rittenhouse Square broke up. Easter was also an H-Bomb at the same time. Future dB (and great drummer Will Rigby was also a Sneaker. So were Rob Slater and Robert Keely. Keely was also in the H-Bombs and later went on to play in the Secret Service.

The first Sneakers record was a 6 song 7" EP released on Stamey's Carnivorous Records. It's great. The songs were recorded in a Chapel Hill N.c. nightclub called Cats's Cradle. The club asked the band to leave so they could mop the floors so the recording session had to be moved to a friend's living room. That's what the liner notes say...

Two years later, The Sneakers returned with the 9 more songs on a 12" record called IN THE RED. The label name had been shortened to Car records. Future Let's Active bass player Faye Hunter plays the flute. Has anyone ever done a dB's/Let's Active family tree? Or the musical alumni of Reynolds High?

The Sneakers stopped even before the IN THE RED was released. Stamey & Rigby had already moved to New York City and started The dB's. Mitch Easter was turning his parents garage into Drive-In studios so he could record a bunch of bands.

In 1992, East Side Digital released a Sneakers CD with both records, and some unreleased ones too. But where is "Roadrunner"?

Thanks to Mitch World U.S.A. for all the links I stole.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Hi-Boys Combo

I don't have a whole lot of information about this band. This is everything I do know and most of this it came from interviews with other Huntsville garage bands.

The Hi-Boys Combo were a trio (maybe) that had been playing since the early 60's and were probably Huntsville's first garage band. The band was Curtis Bolden on guitar and vocals, Bobby Glenn on bass, and Ray Sanderson on drums. Terry Barkley also drummed for the band.

This 45 in was released on Gold Master Records, probably in 1965 or early '66. Gold Master was owned by Sonny Limbaugh, a local dee-jay that could guarantee airplay and shows. Both songs were written by Curtis Bolden.

The Beatles-ish"Some Man (Other Than Me)" was probably the A-Side and played to get the kids at the teen clubs dancing. "Why (Must I Love You So)" is the song they played after the lights got turned down low.

This is the only copy that I've ever seen. I found it at a WLRH record sale last year. Somebody must have donated a collection of local records to the sale because the the box that I found this in also had records by two other local bands: The Shandells and The Rocks. None of then are available on any garage comps. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Speaking of The Tempos

The Tempos formed in Sylacauga, Alabama in 1965. After playing locally, they recorded one album called SPEAKING OF THE TEMPOS for the Justice Records label out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It's a pretty good record. I will admit that I was kinda let down when I first heard the record. Crypt Records released a slightly different version (10 songs from the original release & 6 live songs) of the record in the eighties and called it "an unknown killer." The current Crypt catalog calls it "the BEST of all the "rare" (but mostly weak!) full-lengthers by obscuros!!" I guess I can agree with that. The Tempos album is a lot better than the Sin-Say-Shuns IN PERSON AT PJ'S record. That one stinks.

Most of the songs on SPEAKING OF THE TEMPOS were originals covering the usual garage bands themes: girls & girls. There were a few covers and a couple of instrumentals.

Justice released a lot of garage band records in the mid-60's. There are about 20 full-length LPs that came out on Justice but the liner notes for the Collectables re-issue claims that the label recorded 150-200 bands. Most of the records that did come out are collections of cover songs. Patrick Lundborg says that there were 7 covers of "Wipeout" and "In The Midnight Hour" on the Justice label.

At least one member of the Tempos is still active in music.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Your daddy was a monkey and your mama was an ape

Here's what got me started with all of the "Hesitation Blues" yesterday. I was listening to "Cocaine Habit Blues" by the Memphis Jug Band and remembered that Charlie Poole did the same song except he called it "Take A Drink On Me". So I put that on and accidently played "If The River Was Whiskey" because it's the song right after "Take A Drink On Me" and then I remembered that Peter Laughner did a version too. Yesterday's post was the end result.

So anyway, from 1930 here's "Cocaine Habit Blues" by the Memphis Jug Band.

Cocaine habit mighty bad
It's the worst old habit that I ever had
Honey take a whiff on me

I went to Mr Beaman's in a lope
Saw a sign on the window said no more dope
Hey, hey, honey take a whiff on me

If you don't believe cocaine is good
Ask Alma Rose at Minglewood
Hey, hey, honey take a whiff on me

I love my whiskey, and I love my gin
But the way I love my coke is a doggone sin
Hey, hey, honey take a whiff on me

Since cocaine went out of style
You can catch them shooting needles all the while
Hey, hey, honey take a whiff on me

It takes a little coke to give me ease
Strut my stuff long as you please
Hey, hey, honey take a whiff on me

And from 1927 "Take A Drink On Me" by Charlie Poole and The North Carolina Ramblers.

Take A Drink On Me

What did you do with the dollar you had in your hand?
I give it to the rounder and he shot it to the bad
Oh, Lord, honey, take a drink on me

Take a drink on me, take a drink on me
All you rounders, take a drink on me
Oh, Lord, honey, take a drink on me

If you keep on talking you'll make me think
Your daddy was a monkey and your mama was an ape
Oh, Lord, honey, take a drink on me

You see that girl with the hobble on?
She's good-looking just as sure as you're born
Oh, Lord, honey, take a drink on me

Also, here's a couple different versions of "Sadie Green". One called "Everybody's Talking About Sadie Green", a 1930 recording by The Mamphis Jug Band. The other is "Sadie Green, the Vamp of New Orleans" by Roy Newman & His Boys recorded in 1935. Roy & His Boys recorded "Honey Don't" & "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" which were later recorded by Carl Perkins and some band from England.

Sadie Green, the Vamp of New Orleans
has more boys than the Navy has Marines
When she starts to dance, oh gee!
Mama mama pin a rose on me!

She makes the bald men tear their hair
Now hold her tight don't let her rear
Since this dancin' baby came to town
She's turned everything upside down

Oh boy what a catch
She got great big eyes and feet to match
What a queen, Sadie Green,
She's the vamp of New Orleans

I had a request for The Sneakers so I'll try to get to that next week. You can (or not) look forward to The Sheppards, Big Dipper and The Tempos too.

Now go to The House Of Drunk and get a bunch of great songs by Too Drunk.

How long must I have to wait?

W.C. Handy recorded "Hesitation Blues" in 1923 and he may have written the first version. More likely, he wrote down a song that was already in circulation. There was a popular song called "Hesitation Waltz" in 1914.

Bascom Lamar Lunsford (1882-1973) was a banjo player, fiddler and lawyer. His father fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. He recorded an solo version of "Hesitation Blues" in 1925.

By Bascom Lamar Lunsford

Now I’m no teacher nor no teacher’s son,
But I can teach you how ‘til my papa comes.
So say boys, how long must I have to wait?
Can I get her now or must I hesitate?

Talk about the boll weevil flyin’ up in the air,
Wherever he lights, he leaves his family there.
Oh say boys, how long must I have to wait?
Can I get her now or must I hesitate?

Workin’ on the railroad, sleepin’ on the ground,
Eatin’ Coolidge meat skin at fifty cents a pound.
Oh say boys, how much longer must I have to wait?
Can I get her now or must I hesitate?

Al Bernard (the Boy from Dixie) was a medicine show singer based in New York City. This early Western Swing version of "Hesitation" was recorded for OKeh Records. He would sometimes perform in blackface and may have been the first to record "St.Louis Blues". Also, Bernard recorded for Black Swan records as Slim White. You can hear some more of Al Bernard here.

Charlie Poole was a hell-raiser from North Carolina. Poole was also a very popular and influential banjo player. He recorded a version of "Hesitation Blues" called "If The River Was Whiskey"in 1930 with his string band, The North Carolina Ramblers.

If The River Was Whiskey
By Charlie Poole

If the river was whiskey and I was a duck
I'd dive to the bottom and I'd never come up

Oh, tell me how long have I got to wait
Oh, can I get you now, must I hesitate?

If the river was whiskey and the branch was wine
You would see me in bathing just any old time

I was born in England, raised in France
I ordered a suit of clothes and they wouldn't send the pants

I was born in Alabama, I was raised in Tennessee
If you don't like my peaches, don't shake on my tree

I looked down the road just as far as I could see
A man had my woman and the blues had me

I ain't no doctor but the doctor's son
I can do the doct'rin' till the doctor comes

Got the hesitation stockings, the hesitation shoes
Believe to my Lord I've got the hesitation blues

There's a 3-disc set of everything he recorded coming out sometime this year that looks like an essential purchase. The liner notes told me more than I knew about Poole and I've been a fan for years.

Finally, here's a cover of "Hesitation Blues" by
Peter Laughner. This was recorded live at Cleveland's WMMS radio in 1972.

the American Folklife Center
Go see what you can find there!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

My Baby Does Her Hairdo Long

To finish up the string of dB's/Mitch Easter posts, here's three songs that Kimberly Rew recorded right after he quit the Soft Boys in 1981.

The dB's had just finished up a European tour for STANDS FOR DECIBELS and Rew asked them to back hi up on his solo 45. So Peter Holsapple, Will Rigby and Mitch Easter (he did sound for the dB's tour) play on "My Baby Does Her Hairdo Long" & "Fishing" which were released on a 7" in England and an EP called THE BIBLE OF BOP (with "Walking In The Dew") in the U.S. Gene Holder produced the sessions. Holder & Easter flipped a coin to see who got to play bass and who would produce.

THE BIBLE OF BOP had the 3 Rew/dB's/Easter songs, 3 songs with The Soft Boys and two songs by Rew's next band, Katrina & The Waves. It hasn't been available since Press Records went out of business but fortunately Canada's BongoBeat Records is planning on reissuing the EP sometime this year. They already released Katrina & The Waves original Canadian LPs which are better/worse than the ones that came out on Capitol in 1985, depending on how much studio polish you can stand.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Unscheduled Hell

I wasn't planning on posting these but I figured that since I've already posted 1/3 of the SHAKE TO DATE album, I might as well go ahead and add the other good third of the record. So here's Richard Hell's 1980 Shake record. It was a 4 song EP with two songs recorded by The Neon Boys and two by The Voidoids.

The Neon Boys were a great band too late for garage and too early for punk. They were Richard Hell on vocals & bass, his high school friend Tom Verlaine on guitar, and Billy Ficca on drums. In 1973, they recorded a few songs as the Neon Boys and then added Richard Lloyd and became Television. "Love Comes In Spurts" is the only song that Hell has play with The Neon Boys, Television, The HeartbreakersThe Heartbreakers and The Voidoids.

The other two Hell songs on SHAKE TO DATE are "Don't Die"& "Time"by the Voidoids. They were recorded in 1980 by the third version of the Voidoids. In 1982, "Time" would get recorded again for the Voidoid's DESTINY STREET LP.

In 1992, Overground RecordsOverground Records released a remastered version of the Shake EP with a bonus Neon Boys song called "High Heeled Wheels". It's not included here because it wasn't on the Shake compilation. It looks like that's gone out of print too so keep your eyes open.

R.I.P. Jimmy Smith. I was just listening to this a couple days ago.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Big Star had a Big Black Car, Peter Holsapple had a Big Black Truck

OK, before we get to the Peter Holsapple songs from SHAKE TO DATE, I'm going to put up a couple more songs from the his first band, Rittenhouse Square.

"The Plant Song"

"Screamin' & Yellin'"

After that band broke up, Peter Holsapple had a band called the H-Bombs with Mitch Easter. I don't think there are any recordings of the H-Bombs available but I have seen the Big Black Truck credited to the band.

But not on SHAKE TO DATE. The notes for SHAKE TO DATE credit the songs to Peter Holsapple 'of The H-Bombs'. Mitch Easter is helping out anyway. Mitch was a member of the Sneakers with Chris Stamey at the same time these songs were recorded.

In 1978, Chris Stamey's Car Records released "Big Black Truck" with "Death Garage" as one of the B-sides. I'm not sure how the songs from a Car record qualify for a Shake Records compilation but I'm glad they made the cut. There is a third song on the B-side called "96 Second Blowout". It's not on SHAKE TO DATE, I think it is only available on the single.

Not long after releasing this record, Holsapple moved to New York and joined the dB's. Actually, that may have happened before the record came out.

Bonus track: here's a song from the Coyote Records compilation called LUXURY CONDOS COMING TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SOON. It's by Mr. Bonus. Can you guess who sings it?

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Imperturbable Teutonic Griffin never recorded anything.

Mitch Easter has a long history before Let's Active started recording in the early 80's.

Easter was in the ninth grade when he left the wonderfully named Imperturbable Teutonic Griffin to join a band with an even better (and shorter) name: Sacred Irony. Sacred Irony is described as a "bruisingly loud psychedelic outfit" and that seems to be an accurate description. Sacred Irony recorded an LPs worth of songs and you can hear (and buy!) a couple of those here. They covered the MC5 & King Crimson, backed up Bobby Sherman and got bumped out of a festival appearance by a new group called the Allman Brothers Band. "I See Love" was released on a very good compilation of North Carolina 60's garage bands called TOBACCO-AU-GO-GO.

Rittenhouse Square was Easter's third band with a great name. It's was also the first band that future dB's Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey would record with. Stamey had previously helped out with Sacred Irony recording sessions. The songs are ,errrruhhhh, interesting. It sure doesn't sound like anything that these guys would record later. Rittenhouse Square self-released one very rare ( only 100 copies, I think) LP on R-Squared Records. I've never seen a copy.

Easter & Stamey went on to form (and break the string of great band names) The Sneakers with another future dB, drummer Will Rigby. They released one 7" EP and a 12" EP called IN THE RED. I found a used copy of IN THE RED and when I was paying for it a copy of the 7" record slid out of the sleeve and onto the counter. The guy that owned the shop snatched it up and said "that's not for sale!" I offered to pay for the 7" and he said that he had been looking for a copy for years and didn't even know that he already had one in his store. Dang.

Both of these records and some unreleased tracks were reissued on one CD in 1992 by East Side Digital. It's out of print but can be found in the better used bins. It's worth looking for and you can hear what Stamey, Rigby and Easter would be doing later on.

And finally the two song that got me started on the whole Mitch Easter post. I don't know when "Prying Eyes" & "Law Of Averages" were recorded but they first showed up on a UK compilation called SHAKE TO DATE. It's a collection of singles released on Shake records, a label run by Alan Betrock. But it looks like these two songs never got released anywhere else.

Tomorrow, I'll post the Peter Holsapple songs from SHAKE TO DATE. And another one from Rittenhouse Square.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

He wears a red bandana...

theoldroadhog is on a mission. He'll be back in a week or so.

Friday, February 04, 2005


Another one that I found in the used bin at the local record shop is the one LP released by Autosalvage. It's pretty good especially when you compare it to some of the other records released around the same time. Autosalvage usually kept the songs short so they never got a chance to be boring. Bass player Skip Boone's brother was in the Lovin' Spoonful who would give Autosalvage fuzzboxes that no longer worked. They replaced the batteries and the fuzzboxes were good as new.

Back in the 80's, it seemed like I couldn't go to a used record store without seeing a copy of THE EYES OF THE BEACON STREET UNION in the dollar bin. It's a pretty good record but I think "Now I Taste The Tears" from the second LP was the band's best song. I didn't see as many copies of THE CLOWN DIED IN MARVIN GARDENS back then and I sure don't see any in the bins now.

Both Beacon Street Union records were re-released by Akarma records recently and I think the Autosalvage CD is still available from Acadia records.

Update: John Lincoln Wright, singer for The Beacon Street Union, is "the leading country act in Boston and New England." And Autosalvage's Rick Turner is a famous and well respected luthier. Here's an interesting interview with a short history of his career as a musician.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Holly Day

Buddy Holly killed in air crash
Three young rock 'n' roll stars have been killed in a plane crash in the United States.

Buddy Holly, 22, Jiles P Richardson - known as the Big Bopper - 28, and Ritchie Valens, 17, died in a crash shortly after take-off from Clear Lake, Iowa at 0100 local time.

The pilot of the single-engined Beechcraft Bonanza plane was also killed.

Early reports from the scene suggest the aircraft spun out of control during a light snowstorm.

Only the pilot's body was found inside the wreckage as the performers were thrown clear on impact.

Holly hired the plane after heating problems developed on his tourbus.

All three were travelling to Fargo, North Dakota, the next venue in their Winter Dance Party Tour.

Holly had set up the gruelling schedule of concerts - covering 24 cities in three weeks - to make money after the break-up of his band, The Crickets, last year.

Born Charles Hardin Holley - changed to Holly after a misspelling on a contract - he had several hit records, including a number one, in the US and UK with That'll be the Day in 1957.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog Day

Great. Six more weeks of winter (maybe) is six more than I want right now. Maybe I'll feel different if my cold ever goes away but for now...

Here are a couple songs by King Bennie Nawahi to warm things up.

Hawaiian Capers

Waikiki Blues

And something extra.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Premiers post

A couple days before Christmas, I went to Sunburst Records to pick up some Dusty Springfield CDs for my wife. Jay had a 3 huge stacks of 45's that he was giving away. Somebody brought them in to sell and Jay didn't offer them enough money so they left all of the records at the store cause they didn't feel like carrying the box back home. This was one of the first records I looked at and I knew it was gonna be a good stack of records. It was a nice clean 45 with a bright pink label. It just looked good.

I don't know anything about this record other than the information that's on the label. Big Top records was based in New York City but The Premiers don't sound like a New York band. I think the A-side was "Oogsy-Moo" which is a cover of a Jessie Hill song. Naturally enough, this sounds like a New Orleans R&B band. But the other side of the record is a rockabilly instrumental called "Locomotive".
This song was written by somebody named Dale Kahrr. I can't find any information about him either. What's going on? Does anybody know anything about this record?

Update: I just checked the Rockin' Country Style website and it looks like the Premiers record came out sometime between April of '62 and March of '63. Nothing about The Premiers or Dale Kahrr though.
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