NB: (1) reissued on CD by Repertoire. (2) is a split album with The Lemon Pipers. There is also a Golden Classics CD compilation on Collectables.
This 'bubblegum' outfit came from Linden, New Jersey. Their records were produced by Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz, who masterminded the 'bubblegum' movement and were behind other key acts like The Music Explosion and Ohio Express. Essentially a 'singles' band they made an immediate impact with Simon Says, which has become a classic party song and, in addition to being a Top Ten hit in America, it also made No. 2 in the U.K. (although it was their only major hit here). They enjoyed other success in the US, particularly with 1-2-3 Red Light and Indian Giver. Their Hard Rode album was by an entirely different line-up. There may come a time when collectors take an interest in their first four albums.
Mark Gutkowski sang the lead vocal on the first two 45's and plays organ, whilst his brother played rhythm guitar. One interesting thing about this group is that the following 45s, Goody Goody Gumdrops and 1-2-3 Red Light, were entirely sung by members of the Philly-based doo-wop group, Billy and The Essentials, who had a few 45s out in the early and mid '60s.
Compilation appearances have included: Reflections on Of Hopes And Dreams & Tombstones (Dble LP) and Psychedelic Unknowns, Vol. 7 (LP & CD); Goody Goody Gumdrops on Pop Explosion (Buddah 643312) 1968. Simon Says, 1, 2, 3, Red Light, May I Take A Giant Step and Goody Goody Gumdrops on Bubble Gum Music Is... The Naked Truth (LP).
(Vernon Joynson/Mike Markesich)
NB: (3) as Storm.
This Houston outfit recorded on collectable labels. Their final effort, a rock'n'roller, was issued as by simply Storm.
From Manchester, New Hampshire and previously known as Skid Mark and The Victims, both sides of the sole 45 appear on Collectables' You Ain't Gonna Bring Me Down To My Knees (CD), with an unreleased You Make Me Shake Off The Blues.
Bobby Herne was previously with The Outside In.
The 'A' side, of this Houston band's 45 Wild Illusions is a catchy garage song with some good guitar work. It's been heavily compiled, making appearances on Texas Flashbacks, Vol. 3 (LP & CD), Flashback, Vol. 3 (LP), Glimpses, Vol's 1 & 2 (CD) and Glimpses, Vol. 1 (LP). The flip, has also resurfaced on Relics Vol's 1 & 2 (CD) and Relics, Vol. 1 (LP).
In addition, Houston Hallucinations (LP) includes two hitherto unreleased efforts of theirs:- an appalling bluesy version of Heartbreak Hotel and one of 2120 South Mitchigan with lyrics added.
From Michigan, the flip of the above 45 cuts is speculative. I'm A Baby is passable garage, whilst You're Gone is the better track, with a repetitive guitar refrain bubbling throughout the song.
Lovin' Man is thumpin' good raucous pop - beat with that infectious choppy rhythm from the Beatles' She's A Woman and updated to a Monkees-styled belter. The flip is solid pop with gravelly vocals. The 'A' side was penned by 'Matt Moore - Dan Moore' - whether Matt is our man from Matthew Moore Plus Four and Moon is not known. Produced by Dan Moore and Jeff Thomas.
Came out of South Illinois University, where they formed in 1965. Just 500 copies of the 45 were pressed making it the rarest Rembrandt 45 but on the 'A' side, the band simply substituted 'Talking' for 'Walking' on the old Nancy Sinatra hit. However, its lack of originality did not prevent it getting some airplay. Rembrandt's owner, Ronnie Weiss, later changed their name to Nickel Bag - not the band who recorded on Kama Sutra - but they remained in oblivion.
Compilation appearances have included: The Hassle and Boots Are Made For Talking on Chicago Garage Band Greats (CD); Boots Are Made For Talking and The Hassle (two versions) on Chicago Garage Band Greats (LP); and four unreleased cuts from 1966 - Something You Got, Ooh Poo Pa Doo, The Woods and The Hassle on The Cicadelic 60's Vol. 6 (CD).
Another raw punk outfit judging by High Class. They came from Downey, California.
(Vernon Joynson / Max Waller)
NB: (5) and (6) also released in England (Liberty 83122 and 83286 respectively).
NB: There's also a French EP with picture sleeve: Buy Me For The Rain/Euphoria/Melissa/Candy Man (Liberty LEP 2279) 1968.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band deserve to be included here for their first few albums, when they were "a sort of jug band without jug", a throwback to the mad music of Spike Jones, of the English Skiffle bands: zany, homemade music with the sort of comedy that popped up occasionally in the New Vaudeville Band, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Dr. West Medicine Show or the British Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.
Originating from the Californian Long Beach coffee houses, the first version of the group was formed by Jeff Hanna and Bruce Kunkel with John McEuen, Jackson Browne and various other local musicians. They began playing in Orange County and later moved to Hollywood's Troubadour and The Ash Grove. William McEuen, John's brother, became their mentor and manager and managed to get a recording deal with Liberty Records.
The first album brought them thir first hit, Buy Me For The Rain, written by Steve Noonan and Greg Copeland. Produced by Dallas Smith, a pre Beatles school producer, the album offers a pleasant mix of good time music, bluesy tunes (Rev Gary Davis' Candy Man) and two Jackson Browne songs: Melissa and Holding. Bruce Kunkel was the only member to write a track Song To Jutta. Ricochet in 1967 offered the same kind of music.
For the next album Rare Junk, Bruce Kunkel had left and was replaced by the former Kaleidoscope member, Chris Darrow. Two members of Hourglass, Sandlin and Hornsby, plus Bernie Leadon (then with Heart and Flowers) and Rodney Dillard (of the Dillards) guested and the sound was fuller and more "modern" than on their first album. The material was once again a combination of old tunes, plus some excellent songs composed by young songwriters: Jackson Browne (These Days), Tim Hardin (Reason To Believe) and Steve Gillette (A Number And A Name).
In 1968 they had a starring role in 'Paint Your Wagon' and became the first pop group to get a major role in a high budget Hollywood musical. Shortly afterwards several members decided to go into a different sound and the group split up. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band would reform in 1970 and became a respected country rock group, recording the million-selling version of Jerry Jeff Walker's Mr. Bojangles.
In the late '70s, after several personal changes, their changed their name to The Dirt Band. Various versions of this group still record and tour from time to time.
Compilation appearances include: Buy For Me The Rain on Nuggets, Vol. 10 (LP).
NB: (2) also released in the UK (Elektra K42096).(3) also released in France (Elektra 62010).
NB: (1) as Donnie Nix.(2) is a French single with PS.
Originating from Memphis, Don Nix is an important figure of this local scene, comparable to two other Memphis musicians, Steve Cropper and Jim Dickinson, as the three men produced, arranged and played on hundreds of records.
His presence here is justified by his participation on several rock albums.
Nix began his career in the late '50s with Cropper in the Mar-Keys, responsible for the instrumental hit Last Night. Nix was originally a sax player with this group but he soon developed an interest in songwriting, arrangements and production, and that lead him to produce several groups and singers: Paris Pilot, Delaney and Bonnie, Charlie Musselwhite, as well as some blues artists (Albert King, Furry Lewis...). Most of these albums were cowritten by Nix.
After some months spent in Tyler, Texas with Dale Hawkins and Robin Hood Brians (the producers of Mouse and The Traps) and several Texan groups), Nix moved to Los Angeles where he became friend with Leon Russell and the "Oklahama Mafia" musicians. His first contract as a solo artist (he was also able to sing, with a good warm voice) was naturally with Shelter, the new label created by Russell but the sales of In God We Trust were extremely limited and the album is now hard to find.
Don Nix then moved to Elektra releasing three albums combining rock, country, blues and gospel influences, always with good musicians. After the success of Leon Russell's "Mad Dogs And Englishmen" troup, he formed The Alabama State Troupers Road Show with Furry Lewis and Brenda Patterson and the resulting double live album has its moments.
In 1971, Nix was also the choir master for George Harrison's "Concert For Bangladesh".
In 1970/73, he kept on producing albums for Lonnie Mack (Hills Of Indiana), the French group the Variations, and Beck, Bogart and Appice, this trio also recording his song Goin' Down (also covered by Freddie King, Moloch, J.J. Cale...).
Don Nix was also by then one of the managers of Enterprise, the rock subsidiary label of Stax and his Memphis productions included Sid Selvidge, Dallas County, Moloch, Larry Raspberry and The Highsteppers (ex-Gentrys).
Nix also spent several months with John Mayall (the album Ten Years Are Gone) and in 1975, invited by Keef Hartley, he went to England to produce Michael Chapman's Savage Amusement.
Totally exhausted and suffering from serious drug problems, Nix then seriously reduced his activities, with only two albums in 1976 (Gone Too Long) and in 1979 (Skyrider).
In 1996, Nix released a new solo CD and published an interesting book "Road Stories And Recipes" with his adventures in the music business plus sixty pages of cooking recipes given by people like J.J. Cale, Sam The Sham, Jim Dickinson, Delbert McClinton and John Mayall!
NB: (3) as Noah's Ark featuring Rodney Justo.
Well, someone just had to make a record called Love-In. You'll find this likeable psychedelic ditty on 30 Seconds Before The Calico Wall (CD) and Boulders, Vol. 11 (LP). Strangely, Paper Man appears on Rubble, Vol. 15 where it's somehow surmised that the band were from the U.K. despite the 45 getting no U.K. release (huh?!). Paper Man has since appeared on Psychedelic States: Florida Vol. 3 (CD), which sets the record straight.
The band was from Tampa, Florida and Elliott and Richardson had previously been in other local groups including the Raveons, Outsiders and Soul Trippers. Their first two 45s are recommended. The Liberty 45 is totally different; augmented by ex-Candymen Rodney Justo and in a final attempt at commercial success they switched to the overblown soul'n'brass bombast of Blood, Sweat and Tears that was then in fashion. Both sides were written and produced by the Buie/Cobb team, who would work with Justo again when he formed The Atlanta Rhythm Section.
Bobby Caldwell had earlier drummed for The Go-Mads, prior to forming Noah's Ark with Buddy Richardson and Ronny Elliot. Both Elliott and Bill Mann also played in The Outlaws. Caldwell then was recruited by Johnny Winter and, later the UK/US outfit Captain Beyond. Caldwell also drummed on the New Englander's tracks found on the Tener Bee-Jay sampler LPs. When Caldwell left The Go-Mads, the remaining members became, Plant Life.
Noah's Ark later re-grouped as Duckbutter and Buddy Richardson would later form White Witch.
Info on all the bands on the Florida '60s scene are covered in Jeff Lemlich's essential 1992 book 'Savage Lost' (Distinctive Publishing, ISBN 0-942963-12-1).
(Max Waller/Raymond Ehmen/Rick Tampa/Stephane Rebeschini/Susie Martin-Rott)
Unconnected to the Tampa, Florida act, this 45 is OK harmony pop produced by one Bob Feldman. This band could possibly then originate from New York.
Came out of Dallas in the mid-sixties, although they also spent time in Oklahoma City. Stop Your Running Around is a fast dance number delivered in a typical garage punk style, whilst for their 2nd 45 they opted for a reasonable cover of Love's My Flash On You.
Compilation appearances include: My Flash On You on Sixties Rebellion, Vol. 8 (LP & CD); and Stop Your Running Around on Texas Flashback (The Best Of) (CD), Texas Flashbacks, Vol. 4 (LP & CD) and Flashback, Vol. 4 (LP).
A quartet of freshmen from The University of Chicago they had all previously played with high school bands, in Pearie's case back home in Pennsylvania with The Marauders. They played during 1967 and 1968 and their screeching version of Short Time is worth investigating on Back From The Grave, Vol. 7 (Dble LP).
A garage outfit from Albert City, Iowa whose finest moment, Things Aren't The Same, a raucous if melancholic song, comes with a surf-styled guitar break.
Compilation appearances have included: Things Aren't The Same on Monsters Of The Midwest, Vol. 2 (LP) and The Arf! Arf! Blitzkrieg 32 Track Sampler (Dble CD); Things Aren't The Same and Night Rider on both The Best Of IGL Garage Rock (LP) and The IGL Rock Story: Part Two (CD).
From Grandview Heights, a village just Northwest of Columbus, Ohio, these Noblemen inspired by local heroes The Dantes, were active between 1966-68. Their main claim to fame was their inclusion on the rare Hillside '66 (LP) compilation, with a cover of The Who's Under My Thumb. Chris Calvin recalls: "Hillside Records was run by a guy called Larry McKenzie, who we used to hire amplifiers from for our gigs. The track was recorded about a month after we formed in the fall of '66 and we were all fifteen at the time. Larry had a good two-track Ampex or Scully machine and the track was recorded in Larry's house, with band members spread through his front room, dining room and kitchen. The Hillside '66 record itself came with phone numbers under each band's name and was meant to be a demo for each band... it ended up being a snapshot of his customer base for 1966!"
For more information on the band, check Chris Calvin's website: http://members.tripod.com/~Calvin8tor/index.html
Retrospective compilation appearances include: Under My Thumb on Oil Stains, Vol. 2 (LP).
Formed in 1965 these Noblemen came from Indianapolis, Indiana. Rick Wilhelm and Brian Crouch co-wrote the 'A' side of their record, Satisfied. Larry Burch recalls: "I was the oldest (20) and Chuck the youngest (17), was still a senior in high school. The band was managed by Chucks' Dad Ramon and his brother Gene. We worked all over Indy and most of the state.... playing at a lot of small town armorys and teen dances, etc. We sold our 45 and 8"x 10" glossys for a buck each and developed a pretty good local following. One gig that stands out was playing for a summer stock cast party of which Edie Adams was the main star. It was our only association with a major star at that time and I can remember we thought it was a pretty deal at the time. After about a year or so we cooled off somewhat and Rick left the group first and was replaced by Mickey Smith."
"After a few more weeks Mickey and I moved on to play in house bands in nightclubs playing in a group called Melting Pot. I left that group and went to the west coast and the Melting Pot gravitated toward Florida. They did one album, Burn Fire, Cauldron Bubble (Capricorn Records ) before they disbanded. The drummer of that group (Jerry Thompson) went on to work some with Dickey Betts, but I don't know what they're doing now. After I discovered that The Noblemen were on a compilation record, I did locate Rick Wilhelm and he's still in the Indy area into real estate.
"As far as I know I'm the only one of the original group who has stayed in music all their life. I stayed in the San Francisco bay area for about five years working with a trio (The Company) and we worked from Portland, Ore. down past San Bernandino, Ca. and most points in between with a few trips to Reno and Tahoe. (Those gigs always payed well, and still do I guess) However this was the late sixties and in to the early seventies and I (plus the band and everyone else) were very much into "hippiedom" so a lot of the gigs remain kind of 'purple hazy' if you know what I mean. One thing that was constant until about 15 years ago was being on the road. I had met Woody Herman at a gig in Ohio and he was such a gentlemen and complimentary towards me that it gave me enough confidence to move to Nashville. It was there that I joined a R&B group called Pure Pleasure. We were managed by Ed Leffler from L.A. who was also at the time managing Sammy Hagar and a couple of lesser known groups. He went on to manage Van Halen until he passed away in '93 I believe. But he got us a deal with A&M Records and we did shows mostly around the south with acts like Cameo and The Commodores. etc."
"I've been in the Columbus area since '88 and have found it to be a good home base for gigs. One days drive in any direction has hundreds of places for musicians to work. I've had a band called Larry B and The Real Deal for the last ten years. We're fairly well known in the area and have done shows with the likes of Tower Of Power, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and most every one in between in that musical genre."
Compilation appearances have included: She Still Thinks I Love Her on Fuzz, Flaykes, And Shakes, Vol. 5 (LP & CD).
(George Gell / Max Waller w/thanks to Larry Burch)
An unknown and uncompiled band from Clearwater, Florida.
NB: (1) also seen listed as on USA 1003.
Milwaukee rock'n'rollers whose debut was a modest hit - popular enough to merit a U.K. release in both 45 and 78 format (Top Rank JAR 155). They backed other artists too, e.g. on Little Sir Ryland's My Worried Lover (USA 1214) 1959. You can hear their Dirty Robber on Highs In The Mid Sixties, Vol. 10 (LP).
From Reading, Pa.
Any of the above? Heaven knows.
Mike Kuzmin's discography of Pennsylvania, 'Sounds From The Woods', reveals that this band hailed from Greensburg/Irwin. I Can Hear Raindrops, a superb garage ballad with great rainstorm effects and a salute to the Cascades, is to be found on I Can Hear Raindrops (LP). Confusingly it turns up again, with the last verse repeated, as I Can Hear The Rain Drops by The Aces on Thee Unheard Of, supposedly a collection of Michigan acetates on the Punch label (a Hideout subsidiary). However, it turns out that the reason they were "unheard of" is that many of these acetates were modern forgeries, manufactured by a fraudster who duped the compiler.
Similarly, Hang It In Your Ear also appears on Thee Unheard Of, but credited to "The Underdogs"!
(Max Waller/Mike Markesich)
This quartet was out of Wilmington in Delaware and earlier known as The Sting Rays and The Cobras, Something Else was a pretty frantic garage punker with vibrant guitar and lots of organ. The local radio station banned it because they thought the song was about sex and it sank without trace. The group soldiered on until 1968 when the draft and college led to their demise.