The Honeycombs - Can't Get Through To You

The Honeycombs - Can't get through to you [Warner Brothers 1965]

One night a group, known then as The Sheratons, was playing in a London pub, The Mildmay Tavern in the Balls Pond Road. In the audience were Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, a very prolific British songwriting team, who later wrote hits for such artists as Lulu, Elvis Presley, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich and Petula Clark. Howard and Blaikley, then working in production for BBC Television, liked what they saw and suggested the band might like to hear some of their material. The band had an upcoming audition with indie record producer Joe Meek, whom most notably had produced The Tornados, and composed their number one hit ("Telstar") in 1962, and were eager for some new material. At the audition in Meek's studio in Holloway Road, they played Howard and Blaikley's "Have I the Right?" which Meek recorded.

Have I The Right?" hit number one in the UK and number five in the U.S. in the autumn of 1964 shortly after the start of the British Invasion. They were especially successful in Sweden (four consecutive number ones) and in Japan (where they issued a live album entitled, In Tokyo). Honey Lantree was an accomplished drummer and the star attraction of the group as she was one of very few female drummers at the time. The unique and heavily compressed bass drum sound on "Have I The Right?", which many other drummers of the period tried to replicate, was augmented by the group stamping on the stairs of Meek's studio. Meek achieved this by placing four microphones attached with bicycle clips under the stairs.

The group's founder Martin Murray had worked as a hairdresser, Honey Lantree being his assistant. They decided to combine his profession with the name of the drummer, and changed their name to The Honeycombs. They were signed to the Pye record label.

After proving a 'sleeper' for seven weeks the record took off in the summer of 1964 reaching the number one spot around the world
and selling over 2 million records. It was Meek's final hit in the
United States, where it was issued on the Interphon label (a Vee Jay label).

Listen to this Joe Meek penned b-side and get ready for an assault on your senses....

The Honeycombs Can't get through to you

Yaphet Koto - Have You Ever Seen The Blues?

Yaphet Koto - Have you ever seen the blues? [Chisa 1968]

A great actor who unfortunately came up when the Hollywood system allowed for only one or two Black actors to play prominent roles in marque movies. Had Kotto started in the 1990s, you would know his name as well as you know Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington, and Samuel Jackson. But as it is, Yaphet Kotto remains a cult figure known mostly for his role as the best Bond villain, Dr. Karanga AKA Mr. Big, from Live & Let Die. Kotto fans thrill every time they see him show up in a bit role on TV or as a character in a movie.

Kotto did this jazz poetry blast back in '68, and it comes off as a bit less Burn Baby, Burn than The Last Poets. Perhaps that is because Kotto is the son of a Cameroonian prince! And his producer on this is fellow African Hugh Masekela. Coming from Africa and seeing the plight of American Blacks in the 1960s, especially the institutionalized poverty, is a bit different than living it. So maybe that is why Kotto doesn't spit the same rage as The Last Poets......or maybe he is just a different cat.

Man, I don't wanna kill your buzz so forget that jive for a second and check out Kotto's Beat-inspired 'try (as in poe'try).

Yaphet Koto Have you ever seen the blues?

Young Jessie - Don't Think I Will

Young Jessie - Don't think I will [Modern 1955]

Young Jessie, was born Obediah Donnell "Obie" Jessie on December 28, 1936, in Lincoln Manor, Dallas, Texas.

Jessie's father was a cook but had no musical background. His
mother, Malinda (née Harris) had a brief musical career playing piano under the name Plunky Harris. On his mother's side of the family, Jessie was also kin to blues musician Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Best known as the writer of his original "Mary Lou," [later covered by Ronnie Hawkins in 1959, Bob Seger in 1976, Gene Clark in 1977 and The Oblivians in 1997] as well as a stint in The Flairs in the early 1950s and The Coasters in 1957 singing lead on "Searchin'" and "Young Blood".

He made several solo singles in the 1950s and 1960s. He would later release a couple of jazz albums under the name Obie Jessie.

His younger brother DeWayne Jessie became an actor and
became well known as Otis Day in the film National Lampoon's
Animal House.

Check out the other side of "Mary Lou" a killer "doomba, doomba, dooma doom" with the great Mickey Baker on guitar.

Young Jessie Don't think I will

'Cile Turner - Crap Shootin' Sinner

'Cile Turner - Crap Shootin' Sinner [Colonial '59]

"Lucile ('Cile) Turner, a young singer from southern Virginia, became fascinated with African-American music while attending the New England Conservatory of Music in the mid-1910s There she attracted attention by singing African-American folk songs and spirituals she had learned as a child from workers on her parents' farm.

By the 1920s, she was touring the Eastern United States giving programs of "Songs from the South," later hosting a popular weekly fifteen-minute radio program on NBC's coast-to-coast network. What began as a hobby for Turner evolved into a full-time profession for the next forty years as she traveled through the South collecting African-American songs and stories to present on radio, records, live performances, and later on her own syndicated television show.

In December 1959, her somewhat creepy 45 "Crap Shootin' Sinner" and "The Golden Rule" made the Cash Box Top 100, and several others received special mention in Billboard Magazine.

'Cile Turner Crap Shootin' Sinner

Eugene White - They Didn't Really Go To The Moon [Pt's 1&2]

Eugene White - They Didn't Really Go To The Moon, pts 1&2 [Royal American]

How, where, why???? All good questions that come to mind when you listen to this slab of conspiracy theory, made-up-on-the-spot, explanation by one Eugene White...a grammar school drop-out for sure. He's got an explanation for just about everything his deer-in the-headlights buddy can throw at him.

I'm not sure when this was recorded but it had to be 1969 or later. Part 1 is on side A and part 2 on side B....I joined them so you could have an uninterrupted listening experience...whew!

The scary side of the whole thing is that the label says:

From the album "They Didn't Really Go To The Moon"

A whole LP of opinions from the man who almost made me wet my pants, Eugene White.

Eugene White They Didn't Really Go To The Moon

The Persuaders [Hollywood Persuaders] - Grunion Run

The Persuaders - Grunion Run [Original Sound 1963]

Around the same time that Frank Zappa was honing his doo-wop chops [See previous post / The Penguins - Memories of El Monte] he was also working with some of the local band was The Hollywood Persuaders....I don't know if they dropped the "Hollywood" or added it as I have another of their 45's "Drums A-Go-Go that is credited to The Hollywood Persuaders. I guess I could check the #'s but is it really necessary? Just check out Zappa's guitar on this slab of surf/psych!! Awesome.

What they are: Grunion are small sardine-shaped silvery fish that ride the waves in Del Mar City Beach, La Jolla Shores, Mission Beach and Silver Strand Beach up onto the sand to procreate, making for a veritable sea of squirming 4-8 inch fish out of water.

The deal is: The female grunion buries herself in the sand to lay her eggs and the male wraps himself around her to fertilize them--a female's eggs might be fertilized by up to eight males in one night. Then they wait for a wave to take them back out to sea.

The Persuaders Grunion Run

Zappa: The Penguins - Memories of El Monte

The Penguins - Memories of El Monte [Original Sound 1963]

Written by Frank Zappa & Ray Collins recalling the groups who performed at El Monte Legion Stadium. Although credited to The Penguins only Cleve Duncan remained from the original group which had a hit with "Earth Angel" ten years earlier and broke up around 1959.

Zappa described the other vocalists as "a bunch of guys from the car wash" but they were El Monte Legion Stadium favorites...The Viceroys.

"The very first tunes that I wrote were 50's doo wop, Memories Of El Monte, and stuff like that. It's always been my contention that the music that was happening during the 50's has been one of the
finest things that ever happened to American music and I loved it. I could sit down and write a hundred more of the 1950's type songs
right now, and enjoy every minute of it."
Frank Zappa - In His Own Words (1974)

The record was recorded at Paul Buff's studio in Ccamonga, California. Paul Conrad Buff grew up in Cucamonga. Joining the Marine Corps, after graduating, he trained in aviation electronics. He returned to civilian life and took a job making parts for guided missiles at General Dynamics. After a few months at the "Bomb factory", as FZ would refer to it, he was bored with his job so he borrowed $1000 and, knowing nothing about the music business, set up the Pal recording studio in Cucamonga. Recording studios were usually controlled by the big record companies at that time so he could offer a cheaper alternative for would-be bands to record. His lack of knowledge and finance meant that the studio produced a different sound from the major studios which became known as the "Pal Sound". He worked with groups such as the Surfaris ("Wipe Out"), The Chantays ("Pipeline"), and many others.

The Penguins Memories of El Monte

Otis Spann's 1st Solo Record

An integral member of the non-pareil Muddy Waters band of the 1950s and 1960s, pianist Otis Spann took his sweet time in launching a full-fledged solo career. But his own discography is a satisfying one nonetheless, offering ample proof as to why so many aficionados considered him then and now as Chicago's leading postwar blues pianist. Spann played on most of Waters' classic Chess waxings between 1953 and 1969, his rippling 88s providing the drive on Waters's seminal 1960 live version of "Got My Mojo Working" (cut at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival, where Spann dazzled the assembled throng with some sensational storming boogies). The Mississippi native began playing piano by age eight, influenced by local ivories stalwart Friday Ford. At 14, he was playing in bands around Jackson, finding more inspiration in the 78s of Big Maceo, who took the young pianist under his wing once Spann migrated to Chicago in 1946 or 1947. Spann gigged on his own and with guitarist Morris Pejoe before hooking up with Waters in 1952. His first Chess date behind the Chicago icon the next year produced "Blow Wind Blow." Subsequent Waters classics sporting Spann's ivories include "Hoochie Coochie Man," "I'm Ready," and "Just Make Love to Me." Strangely, Chess somehow failed to recognize Spann's vocal abilities. His own Chess output was limited to a 1954 single, "It Must Have Been the Devil," that featured B.B. King on guitar, and sessions in 1956 and 1963 that remained in the can for decades. So Spann looked elsewhere, waxing a stunning album for Candid with guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood in 1960, a largely solo outing for Storyville in 1963 that was cut in Copenhagen, a set for British Decca the following year that found him in the company of Waters and Eric Clapton, and a 1964 LP for Prestige where Spann shared vocal duties with bandmate James Cotton. Testament and Vanguard both recorded Spann as a leader in 1965. The Blues Is Where It's At, Spann's enduring 1966 album for ABC-Bluesway, sounded like a live recording but was actually a studio date enlivened by a gaggle of enthusiastic onlookers that applauded every song (Waters, guitarist Sammy Lawhorn, and George "Harmonica" Smith were among the support crew on the date). A Bluesway encore, The Bottom of the Blues followed in 1967 and featured Otis's wife, Lucille Spann, helping out on vocals. Spann's last few years with Muddy Waters were memorable for their collaboration on the Chess set Fathers and Sons, but the pianist was clearly ready to launch a solo career, recording a set for Blue Horizon with British blues-rockers Fleetwood Mac that produced Spann's laidback "Hungry Country Girl." He finally turned the piano chair in the Waters band over to Pinetop Perkins in 1969, but fate didn't grant Spann long to achieve solo stardom. He was stricken with cancer and died in April of 1970.
— Bill Dahl , All Music Guide

Muddy Waters called "Little Brother" and was his half-brother. Muddy said of him, the best "real solid bottom blues" player of his day. Only a piece of plywood marked his grave until June 6, 1999 when a gravestone was finally installed thanks to funds raised by readers of 'Blues Revue' Magazine.

I first got hip to Otis Spann when he was backed up by my 60's British Blues heros....Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac on the great LP "The Biggest Thing Since Colossus" on Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon Record label.....
- Mickster , Jungle Records

Check out Otis' 1st Solo record on the Checker label from 1954 with B.B.King & Robert Lockwood on guitars & Muddy Waters on bass!! Although he re-recorded this song up to his death in 1970, this is the definitive recording IMHO! I'll never forget the day I found this 78rpm in my buddy Mystic Mark Martucci's basement along with a Little Walter 78 just waiting for a new home.....when my eyes popped open and drool was dripping on these slabs of shellac Mysto's comment was....."I guess they're going home with you...."
Thank you bro!

Otis Spann It Must Have Been The Devil

Andre Williams....The Black Godfather

Andre Williams lived in a housing project with his mother until she dide when he was six years of age. A sly and smart young boy, his "aunties" raised him until he was around 16. He then set out on his own and moved to the motor city, Detroit. There, he bacame friends with Jack and Devora Brown, owners of Fortune Records located in the back of a barber shop.

In 1955 he became lead singer for the 5 Dollars vocal group, which already had a contract with Fortune. Though most of the songs were billed as Andre 'Mr. Rhythm' Williams and the Don Juans. One of their songs was such a big hit [Bacon Fat] that Fortune sold the song to Epic Records which had a much larger distributor. Another song that was a hit by Williams at the time was "Jailbait". Both of these bore the name Andre Williams & Orchestra. Since both were successes, Williams figured that "talking instead of singing" was a better idea for him, for he didn't have a good a voice as some other singers from the 1950's. In 1960 Fortune released a complete LP, of all of his singles with the Don Juans, which was titled JAIL BAIT [rereleased in 1986]. This was the start of Williams nationwide fame.

Just before "The Black Godfather" inked a contract with Chess
Records [1968] he released two records on the Avin Record Label, then two records were released on Detroit's Wingate label [1966]:"Loose Juice" and "Do it".

Download the B-side of "Loose Juice"....and purrrrrr!!!!

Andre Williams Sweet Little Pussycat

Bob "Froggy" Landers w/ Willie Joe & his Unitar

It's time for the world to know about the meanest sounding guitar of the 50's.....Willie Joe & his Unitar!

Sure Link Wray's "Rumble" is the most sinister sounding 2:13 seconds R&R ever had! but Joe Willie Duncan listened to his woman when she said..."bigger is better, Joe Willie...!"

Willie's Unitar was a killer one-stringed instrument of atomic
proportions.....the Unitar. Made from an amplified 7 foot wood plank with one string [actually a wire] with a playing scale of over 4 and a half feet and wired with a DeArmond acoustic guitar pickup. Duncan didn't "pick" the string but instead used a hunk of leather to flog the string as he played it.

Specialty records' head honcho Rene' Hall flipped his first name and recorded him as Willie Joe & his Unitar and put Unitar Rock on the flip side of Bob "Froggy" Landers killer "Cherokee Dance".

Listen to both of these classic 50's hookie-lau's!!!

Bob "Froggy" Landers Cherokee Dance
Willie Joe & his Unitar Unitar Rock

Jerusalem - Kamakazi Moth

Jerusalem - Kamakazi Moth [Deram 1972]

I figured since my tastes range from blues, r&b, soul, garage, hard rock that I'd post something other that what I've been...having said that dig this pounding killer from a bunch of teenagers in the UK...

Jerusalem was an early 1970s British raunchy heavy rock five piece outfit, who released one self-titled album worldwide in 1972 on Deram, produced by Ian Gillan of Deep Purple. Their only other release was a 45 rpm 7 inch single, the non-album ‘Kamikazi Moth’ backed with ‘Frustration’ from the LP.

The band's raunchy, unpolished and brutal rock was "way ahead of its time" and therefore the band never "made it" in a true commercial sense at the time. They were very much a "live" band and whilst many other Rock bands were into getting their audiences to sit down and listen, Jerusalem were all about making their audiences stand up, move and join in. Gigging throughout Europe and shared the same stage as bands such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Status Quo as well as playing at some of the major Festivals in Europe to audiences of 50,000+, usually going down in a storm, because they were different, raw and uninhibited. It has often been stated within the music business that Jerusalem were a substantial influence on many of the 2nd generation Rock "metal" bands and Punk bands of the 80's. Although signing with Deram, Nick Mobbs head of the EMI Harvest label also wanted them; he later became head of A&R for EMI and was the first person to sign the Sex Pistols.

Keep in mind that these guys were all teenagers when they recorded.

Jerusalem Kamakazi Moth

Jimmie Raye - Hey Let's Dance

Jimmie Raye - Hey Let's Dance [Satan 1962]

Jimmie Raye Feagen was born in Alabama and raised in Niagara Falls, New York. His grandfather Abraham Singer was the voice that he listened to the most and being a minister, he introduced Jimmie to the bible. The family moved to Niagara Falls when he was eight years old.

At the age of nine The Junior Royal Gospel Singers was formed with Jimmie, his sisters Ina, Mae and Pearl. The Royal Gospel Singers were very popular in the Niagara Falls, Buffalo area and the Junior Royal Gospel Singers would often open the concert for them. Jimmie enjoyed singing the lord's music he learned growing up. In his home there were two types of music, Country and Gospel.....Rhythm and Blues was not allowed.

In 1962 Jimmie went to Washington D.C. where Bo Didley introduced Jimmie Raye to singer/producer Sylvester Steward [Sly Stone???]. Satan Records was the recording company formed and Jimmie recorded "Hey Let's Dance" b/w "Forgive Me."

Check out this slab of screamin' R&B & dance!! As it was recorded in D.C. in 1962 it's possible that Link Wray & the Wraymen might've had something to do with the hookey-lau goings on....sounds like it could be.

I dare anyone to not wet their pants as Jimmie gets into it toward the end of the record.

Jimmie Raye Hey Let's Dance

Calvin Cool & the Surf Knobs - El Tecolote

Calvin Cool & the Surf Knobs- El Tecolote [C-R-C 1963]

Calvin Cool was really one of the leading figures of West Coast jazz, Shorty Rogers. He recorded 1-LP & 1 45rpm as Calvin Cool.

His decision to stop performing and switch to full-time studio work in 1962 marked the end of its golden era. Rogers played with a number of big bands in the late 1940s, and began to attract attention as an arranger while working with Woody Herman. Stan Kenton then hired him away from Herman and Rogers' compositions and arrangements for Kenton made him as much of a star as any of Kenton's soloists. Rogers left Kenton and pulled together a small group that included Art Pepper, Shelley Manne, Jimmy Giuffre, and Hampton Hawes to record Modern Sounds for Capitol. Rogers' tight and innovative arrangements on this recording are considered by many to be as influential as Gil Evans' for Miles Davis' small group on Birth of the Cool.

Rogers formed a small group he called the Giants and recorded a series of albums for RCA, including The Cool and the Crazy and Shorty Courts the Count. Marlon Brando wanted Rogers to provide the soundtrack for his movie, The Wild One, but the studio refused, hiring Leith Stevens to provide most of the score. Rogers was featured on screen, though, in Frank Sinatra's The Man With the Golden Arm, leading the jazz group Sinatra's character played with. Rogers also worked with Perez Prado on a concept album titled Voodoo Suite.

Rogers was a dramatic character but a thoroughly professional musician, and he moved to the financial security of writing for television and movies when the West Coast jazz scene began to fade in the early 1960s. He was a prolific contributor to television and to a lesser extent films through the 1980s. Among the series he scored or wrote incidental music for were "The Partridge Family," "The Mod Squad," "The Rookies," "Starsky and Hutch," and "The Love Boat." His tune "Chelsea Memorandum" shows up in the midst of Lalo Schifrin's cuts on the second "Mission: Impossible" soundtrack album. He also composed and conducted the music for a number of the innovative UPA cartoons featuring the work of Theodore Geissel (Dr. Seuss) and Stan Freberg.

During this period, Rogers continued to work occasionally on pop and jazz recordings, but primarily as an arranger. He and Claus Ogerman split arranging duties on Mel Torme's 1962 hit album, "Coming Home, Baby." Late in the 1960s, he was responsible for one of those assimilation-via-train wreck creations that incredibly strange music fans love, Bobby Bryant's "The Jazz Excursion into 'Hair'". He pops up as arranger in a variety of places, from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass' Christmas album to Bud Shank's mellow album of Lovin' Spoonful covers for Liberty to Frances Faye's now sounds album, "Go Go Go." One of his ignominious credits is the arrangement for Wayne Newton's cover of "These Boots are Made for Walking."

Shorty or Calvin died in 1994......

Calvin Cool El Tecolote