Showing posts from March, 2005

The Ghouls !

One of the unheralded architects of the Southern Californian surf sound, Richie Allen (real name Richie Podolor) played a lot of session guitar on surf and hot rod records in the early '60s, particularly for producer Gary Usher. He also played guitar for drummer Sandy Nelson on the classic "Teen Beat" and other instrumentals, and recorded quite a few surf instrumentals under his own name, although these were rather placid and routine when stacked up against the best of the genre.
The Ghouls' "Dracula's Deuce" Lp sports 6 marvelous Richie Podolor instrumentals. Some have appeared from other sessions under other titles as the Devons, etc. Many of Podolor's studio tracks rank among the very best of the genre. The album was recorded in October, 1964 at Capitol in Hollywood. Podolor arranged his own instro tracks on the fly, and could generally lay down six instros in one three hour session, often from melodies Richie had "lying around." Amazing…

Fever !

Little Willie John has got to be one of the most underrated singers of all time. Even though he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, many people still don't know who he is. His debut recording, a smoking version of Titus Turner's "All around the World" from 1955, set the pattern for a remarkable string of hits: "Need Your Love So Bad," "Suffering with the Blues," "Fever," "Let Them Talk," and his last, "Sleep," from 1961. His version of "Fever" (1956) was copied note for note by Peggy Lee and Elvis Presley, both of whom had bigger hits with it; John's version, however, remains definitive. John had a volatile temper, fueled by a taste for liquor and an insecurity regarding his slight height (5 ft 4 in). He was known to pack a gun and knife; in 1964, he stabbed a man and was sent to the Washington State penitentiary, where he died of pneumonia in 1968 at the age of thirty.
I’m Shakin’.

706 Union

Guitarist/vocalist Brad Suggs had no less than eight records released on Sun and Phillips International. Only Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Charlie Rich had more singles released on Sam's labels. Yet the name Brad Suggs isn't even mentioned in the index of the standard history of Sun Records, "Good Rockin' Tonight", by Colin Escott and Martin Hawkins.
This single (recorded in 1959) was the first of 5 guitar instrumentals singles that Sam Phillips embarked upon once it was clear that the Bill Justis saxophone-instrumental bubble had burst. Suggs had recorded for Phillips way back in 1950 with the Slim Rhodes Band. Here, he reappeared as house guitarist, 706 Union being a musical celebration of the original Sun studio due for closure around the time this disc was issued. Two excellent slices of instrumental rock 'n'roll, recorded with the usual Sun crew (Roland Janes on guitar, Charlie Rich on piano, Martin Willis on sax and J.M. Van Eaton on drums).

Brad …

Mule Skinner Blues !

« what in the name of jehosephat are you listening to?? »

The Fendermen resurrected an old song from the 30's and put their only top forty record on the chart in 1960. It was huge, and the duo returned to anonymity as one of the great one-hit wonder acts.
The Fendermen basically comprised Phil Humphrey on vocals and rhythm guitar and Jim Sundquist on lead guitar. The story is that both Phil and Jim had his own band in the late fifties and each played a Fender guitar.
They combined the bands when they met up at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They revived the blue yodel sound and recorded a boisterous, somewhat disorderly version of Rodgers' Mule Skinner Blues. Originally released on the Cuca label in 1959, by the following year there was another release on Soma and it started climbing the charts in June of 1960, finally landing at number five.
Mule Skinner Blues proved to be the one and only contribution to the top forty by the Fendermen, and is regarded as an early version o…

The Sonics !

Hell Hell Hell, Ted from The Real Thing was faster than me on that one but it’s Friday so…..HERE ARE THE SONICS (anyway)!

The Sonics from Tacoma, Washington were formed in 1963 in the wake of the early 60s success of local favorites the Kingsmen and the Wailers (whose Etiquette label they recorded for). The original members were Gerry Roslie (lead singer and piano/organ), Andy Parypa (bass), Larry Parypa (guitar), Bob Bennett (drums), and Rob Lind (saxophone).

They combined the classic Northwest-area teen-band raunch with early English band grit (particularly influenced by the Kinks), relentless rhythmic drive, and unabashed '50s-style blues shouting for a combination that still makes their brand of rock and roll perhaps the raunchiest ever captured on wax.
Lead singer Gerry Roslie was no less than a White Little Richard, whose harrowing soul-screams were startling even to the Northwest teen audience, who liked their music powerful and driving with little regard to commercial subtlet…

Eddie Angel !

By now everybody who likes rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and/or surfmusic must have heard of Eddie Angel. If you have listened to only one of Eddie recordings you know that this man is a legend in his own lifetime. Playing awesome guitar with legends like Ronnie Dawson and Link Wray and a very active recording artist as well. Eddie recorded with Tex Rubinowitz' band "The Bad Boys", Martha Hull (both on Ripsaw label), the legendary rockabilly revival band "The Planet Rockers" (with Sonny George), "Eddie Angel's Dinosaurs", "The Neanderthals" and "Los Straitjackets" and of course he had some great solo-issues, amongst which self-penned "Rampage". Eddie plays a mean guitar in every genre he picks up, rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, surf, garage, you name it, Eddie plays it!
(Get « Eddie Angel’s Guitar Party » ,you won’t regret it.)

Eddie Angel- Casbah

Eddie Angel- Thunder

Chuck Willis !

Chuck Willis (Born 31st January 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia) was actually discovered by disc jockey and future manager Zenas Shears at a talent show. After a stint as a big band singer in the late 40s (which helped to develop his ability to adapt his style to a variety of arrangements) he signed with the Columbia label, releasing all but his first recording on the subsidiary label Okeh.
After the hits started to try up Okeh rather unwisely let his contract lapse and Atlantic snapped him up in 1956. Atlantic accentuated Willis' subtle and poignant vocals with a much slicker sound than before. Chuck's avoidable and senseless death (from stomach ulcers when Willis refused surgery until it was too late) robbed the world of a great talent still capable of producing its greatest work.
Over the years, Willis' reputation as a writer has deservedly grown through the recording of his songs by the likes of the Band, Ruth Brown, Elvis Presley, Conway Twitty, Derek And The Dominoes and Lav…

Jerry McCain !

Jerry McCain was born on June 19, 1930 in Etowah County, Alabama. In 1955 ,McCain got to record again (after a shot experience for the label Trumpet) ,this time with Ernie Young's Excello label from Nashville. Excello records gained fame due to the presence of some of it's better-known artists like Slim Harpo and Lightnin' Slim, but the Excello catalogue held an extremely diversified roster of talent, blues and otherwise, and Jerry McCain would contribute to its legend no less than any of the others.
McCain recorded for Excello as Jerry McCain and His Upstarts, and the band name was appropriate. While his labelmates Lightnin' Slim and Lonesome Sundown were putting down sides that dealt with boilerplate blues themes like getting drunk, being thrown in jail, and losing your girl, McCain shot directly from the hip and introduced the modern "golddigging" woman.
His release of "That's What They Want" nails to the wall, the familiar theme of a guy wit…

Exotic !

The Sentinals were formed in 1961 in San Luis Obispo, California. The original lineup consisted of Tommy Nunes on lead guitar, Peter Graham on rhythm guitar, Gary Winburne on bass guitar, Bobby Holmquist on saxophone and Johnny Barbata on drums. By the time the Sentinals recorded their two albums, Harry Sackrider took over on rhythm guitar, Kenny Hinkle took over on bass guitar and vocals, and Mike Olson joined on piano.
This combo who routinely pummeled the local competition in 'Battle of the Surf Bands' and was the Impacts' cross-town rivals before both signed to Del-Fi -- blends Latin melodies with slurpy, splashy reverb-drenched surf sounds. ‘Latin'ia’ & ‘Exotic’solidified their place in surf rock history. Aaaaaaaaa…exoticaaaaaaaaa !

The Sentinals - Exotic

The Sentinals - Latin'ia

Link Wray !

Link Wray may never get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but his contribution to the language of rockin' guitar would still be a major one, even if he had never walked into another studio after cutting "Rumble." Listen to any of the tracks he recorded between that landmark instrumental in 1958 through his Swan recordings in the early 1960s and you'll hear the blueprints for heavy metal, thrash, you name it.
If a direct line from a black blues musician crankin' up his amp and playing with a ton of violence and aggression can be traced to a young, white guy doing a mutated form of same, the line points straight to Link Wray, no contest.

Link Wray & His Raymen - The Shadow Knows

Link Wray & His Raymen - Ace Of Spades

Link Wray & His Raymen - Rumble

Bonus !

Link Wray & His Raymen - Scatter

See you on Monday.


The Rivingtons were a West Coast vocal group whose lineup featured Al Frazier, Carl White, John "Sonny" Harris, and Turner "Rocky" Wilson Jr.
People mostly discover their existence when they hear one of the group's three hits, "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow," "Mama-Oom-Mow-Mow (The Bird)," and "The Bird's the Word," which are much, much better known in their composite re-recording by the Trashmen (as "Surfin' Bird"). And when they hear the Rivingtons' version, they're inevitably surprised by the fine singing and superb R&B phrasing, miles away from the Trashmen's pre-punk stylings.
Their version of the song was just as nonsensical, but it had amazing class and panache, and it's more than that -- it's part of a story of superb singing, bird dances and surfin' birds, great dances and even better times, before the world of the 1960s got all dark and serious and too dangerous for good clean fun.

The Riving…


The Chantays was comprised of the Californian Santa Ana High School students Bob Spickard (lead guitar), Brian Carman (guitar, saxophone), Bob Marshall (piano), Warren Waters (bass) and Bob Welsh (drums).They formed The Chantays in 1962 and secured immortality with « Pipeline » the following year. Initially released as the b-side to a vocal track, this atmospheric surfing instrumental brought a new level of sophistication to an often one-dimensional genre and deservedly became a hit in the USA and Britain. Competent players who went heavy on the rumbling bass, ghostly reverb, and electric keyboards, they were very much a one-shot act; their repertoire was crowded with rock & roll covers and "Pipeline" sound-alikes, and none of their follow-up singles charted. But who cares, it’s perhaps the most famous riff in surf music and one of the most perfect his tunes.

The Chantays - Pipeline

The Chantays - Tragic Wind

Flyin' Saucer Rock & Roll !

In the 50's Billy Lee Riley recorded Flying Saucer Rock and Roll which was his first hit record. Recording at Sun Studio's in Memphis, Tennessee, Riley ended up backing up many of the performers who came through the door to do session work at Sun. His guitar and harmonica work was called into play for any performer without a band. Joining him during these sessions were Roland James and J.M. Van Eaton. These three formed a group called the Little Green Men, the name drawn from Riley first hit. Riley recorded for a number of labels in a variety of styles, especially effective with blues. Though never commercially successful, Riley's Sun recordings of "Flying Saucer Rock 'n' Roll" (1956) and "Red Hot" (1957) remain landmarks of the genre.

Billy Lee Riley - Flying Saucer Rock And Roll

Billy Lee Riley - Red Hot

Camel Walk !

From the vaults of horror (Reverends Lp Crypt),I bring you....
Camel Walk...(scream)

This is one of those vital obscuros that really belongs in every instro fan's collection. It epitomizes all that is exotic and tribal in rock and roll, and is the very embodiment of the strip joint runway tune as well. From the bump and grind of the tom toms to the sultry sax and shimmering guitar, the Saxons have hit the genre spot on and made all subsequent songs redundant. Utterly glorious! Juiced up with low-key utterances of "ca-mel meat-o" and "voi-tro pek," this is one tribal seductive monster.
Pakledo! Camelmido! CAMEL WALK!
(Thanx to Reverb Central)

The Saxons - Camel Walk, Part 1

The Saxons - Camel Walk, Part 2

Li'l Red Riding Hood

Best known for their 1965 smash "Wooly Bully," which helped introduce Tex-Mex rhythms to mainstream rock & roll, Sam the sham & the pharaohs were formed in Dallas by lead singer Domingo Samudio, who took the name Sam the Sham from a joke about his inability as a vocalist.
The Pharaohs consisted of guitarist Ray Stinnet, bassist David Martin, saxophonist Butch Gibson, and drummer Jerry Patterson. Before hitting it big with "Wooly Bully," the band recorded the independent single "Haunted House," which helped them get a deal with MGM. Following "Wooly Bully," the group recorded a series of largely novelty singles, but only "Li'l Red Riding Hood" approached the success of its predecessor.
Hear me howl.

Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs - Li'l Red Riding Hood

Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs - Monkey See, Monkey Do

Have a gooooooooood weekend.
Friday means Extra song.

The Frantics - Werewolf

Percy Mayfield !

A blues and R&B legend, Percy Mayfield is known both as a singer and as a songwriter for other artists, most notably Ray Charles. His singing career took off in the late '40s, when he tried to get Jimmy Witherspoon to record some of his material. Spoon's Supreme Records signed Mayfield as an artist instead, releasing "Two Years Of Torture" b/w "You're Still A Square," songs that were recorded years later by Brother Ray and B.B. King, respectively. Percy Mayfield had the world by the tail until a horrific 1952 auto wreck left him facially disfigured. That didn't stop the poet laureate of the blues from writing in prolific fashion, though. As Ray Charles's favorite scribe during the '60s, he handed the Genius such gems as "Hit the Road Jack" and "At the Club." Even though his touring was drastically curtailed after the accident, Mayfield hung in there as a Specialty artist through 1954, switching to Chess in 1955-56 and…

Button Nose

Benny Joy, the Tampa guitarist and vocalist, cut a few rare singles in the late '50s that didn't get anywhere, although he was represented for a time by Platters manager Buck Ram and did some recording in Nashville with session musicians like saxophonist Boots Randolph, guitarist Hank Garland, and drummer Buddy Harman.
Although rockabilly was calming down by the late '50s, Joy seemed in no mood to settle down himself, and on numerous sides he sounds like he's about to shout-sing himself hoarse!
Like many obscure rockabilly acts, Joy enjoyed renewed appreciation in England after British collectors discovered his work, particularly for his 1958 single "Crash the Party."

Benny Joy - Button Nose

Benny Joy - Crash The Party

You Can Have Her

Welcome back everybody. Sorry for yesterday, I was doing an exorcism, a friend of mine was listening to Spandau Ballet. Don’t worry, he’s saved.

Too few people, even music enthusiasts, remember Roy Hamilton. He was a heavyweight Golden Gloves boxer before starting his music career as a member of The Searchlight Singers.In 1953, he was discovered singing in a New Jersey club by Bill Cook, an influential local disc jockey who became the singer's manager. His contribution to soul/r&b has been overlooked, by many. He was a big influence on Elvis,that is evident in Elvis' style. The Epic label treated Hamilton as a major pop star and issued 16 albums by the artist. During the mid-60s, his career sank while recording with MGM Records and then RCA Records, and he died not long after suffering a stroke in 1969. His selection of music is strong and his voice carries each piece. Hallelujah.

Roy Hamilton - You Can Have Her

Roy Hamilton - Deep River

Technical Difficulties


B.Bumble & The Stingers !

The Ernie Fields "Orchestra" was actually the Rendezvous/Class (Class Records was formed in late 1951 by Leon Rene in Los Angeles California) Records House Band, which included pianist Ernie Freeman (later with hits on Imperial), guitarist Rene Hall (former guitarist for the Dominoes), saxophonist Plas Johnson, and drummer Earl Palmer (former session drummer for the famous New Orleans acts like Fats Domino).
Like many of the really talented studio groups in Los Angeles in the late 1950s and early 1960s, this Rendezvous House Band recorded under many different names, including B. Bumble and the Stingers (with bassist Red Callender) , the Dyna-Sores, and later as the Routers (on Warner Bros.).
Kim Fowley produced the B.Bumble & The Stingers hits. The first few B. Bumble records featured Ernie Freeman on piano, but by the time "Nut Rocker"(not my fav one I must admit) came out in 1961, Al Hazan had replaced Freeman on piano, as Freeman had become a well-known act on…

Johnny Carroll !

Part of the original rockabilly movement in the 1950s, singer/guitarist Johnny Carroll issued several oft-overlooked yet classic singles for the Decca label, including such titles as "Crazy, Crazy Lovin," "Wild, Wild Women," and "Hot Rocks." Although he never truly obtained substantial success stateside, European rockabilly audiences revered Carroll. After falling off the rock & roll radar shortly after his '50s singles, Carroll emerged once again in 1974. He immediately recorded a tribute to Gene Vincent, "Gene Vincent Rock" (also issued under the title "The Black Leather Rebel"), following it up three years later with the full-length Texabilly, as well as a few other releases during the '80s. On January 13, 1995, Carroll passed away due to liver failure.

Johnny Carroll - Bandstand Doll

Johnny Carroll - Crazy Crazy Lovin'

Experiment In Terror !

Another goodie from Henry Mancini (a true hero to me), this time for the 1962 Blake "Pink Panther" Edwards directed thriller starring Lee Remick, Stefanie Powers and Glenn Ford. Lounge, groovers, big-band jazz and moody atmospheric pieces sit alongside some old time piano numbers and a few orchestral incidental pieces. For one of the most gripping scenes in the picture, a murder sequence, he wrote a hauntingly beautiful melody titled Nancy, featuring piano soloist Jimmy Rowles.
It’s one of my fave soundtrack of all time, but hey, I could mention all the others he did ('course i'm obsessed with them too...) :Border River, Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Creature Walks Among Us, Damn Citizen, Flood Tide, Four Guns To The Border, The Golden Blade, The Great Impostor, It Came From Outer Space, Man Afraid, So This Is Paris, The Thing That Couldn't Die, The Tattered Dress, Touch Of Evil, Veils Of Bagdad, Voice In The Mirror, and Walking My Baby Back Home…and on and…

You're Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Don Woody became a disc jockey after attending college at local nightclubs .Soon he met an agent who signed him up on the "Ozark Jubilee" (country-singers show, hosted by Red Foley) to do the "warm-up" for the audience just before the show went on the air... Woody recorded « You’re barking up the wrong tree » (flip side « Bird Dog ») in 1957.The songs were released by Decca at the time and even though "Bird Dog" sold pretty well, probably due to the success of a song with the same title by "The Everly Brothers", Decca couldn't be persuaded to renew Woody's contract. Actually, his song was before the Everly Brothers recorded theirs (He had released his Decca record and about 2 weeks later The Everly Brothers record was released.) .Woody cut another session for Arco in 1958, but did not sustain a career in music. He joined trading company Sears-Roebuck and currently manages a store in Dallas, Texas.

Don Woody - You're Barking Up The Wro…