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PREVIOUSLY ARCHIVED RECORD REVIEWS FROM MY OLD BLOG 'FLOWER BOMB SONGS'


Here are some of my random thoughts and words about obscure and in-demand ’60s garage and psychedelic singles over the years. All of the original blog posts on my old website have since been deleted so no label scans or picture sleeves are available. Instead, I’ve used images of The Cindermen.

BOBBY FULLER FOUR – ’The Magic Touch’/’My True Love’ (Mustang M 3018) June 1966

Los Angeles based band The Bobby Fuller Four are well documented elsewhere and have a somewhat tragic history.

Thankfully their GREAT music lives on and the strident mod soul attack of ’The Magic Touch’ may just be my favourite Bobby Fuller Four song. It’s quite a sought after disc now that the European mod DJs have been hipped to it’s dance floor appeal.

’The Magic Touch’ was written by Ted Daryll who was a member of The Town And Country Brothers….

”You got the Magic Touch
And I’m caught in your spell”

(07/02/10)

THE DOORS – ’People Are Strange’/’Unhappy Girl’ (Elektra EK-45621) Sept 1967

According to Doors drummer John Densmore, his band started out in a Venice garage and just over a year later were playing ’Light My Fire’ on The Ed Sullivan Show. Such are the breaks I suppose and Jim Morrison’s wild antics and tight leather jeans must have helped along the way.

The Doors managed to successfully attract a pop crowd and an intellectual one and ’People Are Strange’ is a song that would appeal to both crowds. It was quite a big hit both in USA and Europe with some copies coming in a trippy picture cover.

The song deals with being and outsider and was written by Robbie Krieger and the Lizard King after walking to Laurel Canyon and encountering strange freaks on the way.

A full page Billboard advert was taken out by Elektra to promote the release of the latest Doors record in September 1967. 

Reader comment:
I have this , too. Of course , saw them play live, 1967 with Jefferson Airplane at Birmingham High School , in the San Fernando Valley. !!!!!

(04/02/10)

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH – ’Take A Giant Step’/’Don’t Blame Me (For Trying)’ Colgems 66-1024) June 1968

So who were Fountain Of Youth? I know nothing about them apart from the fact that they released four singles on Colgems. According to FA&F they hailed from Fredericksburg, Texas. Hopefully someone will get in touch with more information.

’Take A Giant Step’ written by the Goffin-King partnership is pop perfection and this version is more bubblegum than the recording made by The Monkees.

It was also recorded by The Rising Sons. The sublime arrangement is credited to Hollywood session guitarist and producer Richard Podolor who has been mentioned on my Blog before for his work with The Chocolate Watch Band and The Standells.

The 45 got a ’Special Merit Spotlight’ mention in a June 1968 edition of Billboard.

The flip ’Don’t Blame Me (For Trying)’ has a tougher edge and was compiled on Boulders Volume 8 back in the 80s. I had one of those vinyl only Boulders comps but the sound quality was worse than appalling and I quickly sold it on. No doubt it sounds awful on that series.

(24/01/10)

PAUL DOWELL and The DOLPHIN ’The Last Time I Saw You’/’It’s Better To Know You’ (Sire 45-4107) 1969

This was the final 45 by The Dolphin. This time around though the name of the band on the label were billed as Paul Dowell And The Dolphin but I’m not sure why, especially when both songs on the record were written by a teenage Nils Lofgren.

Maybe Nils Lofgren and The Dolphin would have been more appropriate!

This band of course featured ex members of The Hangmen (see my previous Hangmen feature) and this release was produced by Richard Gottehrer of The Strangeloves.

(09/12/09)

NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND – ’I Wish I Was A Punk’/’Down In The Basement’ (Vanguard VRS 35073) 1968

One of the most interesting ’second tier’ bands of the West Coast were this rather scruffy looking hippie group from Berkeley who become a fixture on the scene and eventually took over from Country Joe and the Fish as residency band at a local hang out called The Jabberwock.

The Notes even shared Fish producer Sam Charters.

The music on this 45 is an odd mix of jugband, blues and jazz and will be an acquired taste as they say in the trade. I dig both sides of this stereo record and also recommend tracking down a copy of the out of print 1995 Big Beat CD release ’The Berkeley EPs’ where you’ll find more Notes music (including several previously unreleased recordings as well as all songs from their rare ’Changes’ EP)

(05/12/09)

THE CLOUDWALKERS – ’Sunglasses’/’Never Told Me So’ (Capco Records 106) July 1965

The Cloudwalkers were from Brooklyn, NY and recorded this sole 45 for Capco Records.
’Sunglasses’ is an energetic R’n’B shaker with plenty of harmonica and tambourine. I suppose ’64 era Rolling Stones is a positive comparison.

’A groovy chick came up to me
Said what you’re doin’ bumpin’ into a tree
I turned to her and she said with a start
What you’re wearing after dark
Sunglasses, sunglasses…Yeah!’

The flip ’Never Told Me So’ is a much different affair, this time mixing a folk rock sound with a vocal delivery similar to Buddy Holly.

Both songs are credited to Chris Welch and Pete Polizzano.

The sound engineer was Joe Venneri who was an original member of The Tokens then worked for Mercury Records either producing or engineering music for the likes of The Blues Magoos, The Cowsills and Spanky And Our Gang.

Reader comment:

I hope someone in or around The Cloudwalkers chimes in here–I’ve wanted to know the story behind this record for a long time! ”Sunglasses” has an interesting comp history–first on The Midwest vs. The Rest in ’83, and then on the Pebbles, Vol. 8: Southern California 1 CD in the mid-’90s.

Locating groups based on producers (or ”sound engineers”) is always a dicey proposition, but you’d think Venneri would’ve zeroed people in on the NYC region sooner.

Probably an interesting story behind the group being sourced to The Midwest and SoCal too! Maybe they were transplants to Brooklyn?

(10/11/09)

THE TURTLES – ’You Showed Me’/’Buzzsaw’ (London HL 102451) Italian release 1969

Big favourites of mine The Turtles, looking washed and very clean cut for the late 60s, deliver a 45 of two sides if there ever was one. The promoted song ’You Showed Me’ is perfectly delivered soft rock with their trademark tight harmonies. The song of course was an unreleased Byrds original that was left in the vaults for a number of years.

The flip ’Buzzsaw’ didn’t even warrant a mention on the front of the sleeve. It may have come as a shock for all of the squares and housewives who bought the 45 for ’You Showed Me’ to hear such a turned on and seriously heavy instrumental on the B-Side.

Pounding fuzztone combined with a schizoid hammond B3 organ and the odd scary scream makes for some fine entertainment. The Turtles certainly flew their freak flag on this side.

(07/11/09)

THE CINDERMEN – ’Don’t Do It Some More (’Cause It Hurts So Good)’/’True Love’ (Moonglow M-5012) 1966

Here’s a band that I’d like to know more about but scant information exists. As far as I can gather The Cindermen were one of the top rock bands from the San Joaquin Valley, California. Their star rose even higher when they became the house band at one of Sunset Strip’s most popular clubs ’The Cinnamon Cinder’.

The promo photograph of the band came with another Cindermen 45 I bought earlier this year called ’Don’t Knock It’ which was the follow up 45 to ’Don’t Do It Some More’.

There are two versions of ’Don’t Do It Some More’…the more famous version from Pebbles Volume 8 is the fast paced groovy swinger with stingin’ guitar and girl screams.

A slower version was also released without the screams and most of the excitement. It still rules though! 

Reader comments:
The Cindermen played house band in Newport Beach on the Balboa Penn at the Rendouvou Ballroom for a couple of years in mid 60’s.

I know because I was almost the Lead guitar replacement for Kelly but he got wise and came back so I played one song with them. Sure would love to hear more of their songs been a long time.

I was the drummer in the Cindermen. I’m the guy sitting front in the picture. Actually the Cindermen didn’t play at the Cinnamon Cinder, The New Life which was an out growth of The Cindemen did.

The New Life was myself and Don Waley from The Cindermen and Steve Wood (eventually played with Kenny Loggins), Alan Shapazian, and Phil Reed (who was killed falling from a building while he was on tour with Flow and Eddie (former Turtles)).

Go to http://www.samsinopoli.com to see a current picture of me.

Talk about a blast from the past! The Cindermen were from Fresno, California, my home town. They were one of the top local rock bands (along with the Roadrunners) in the mid-1960s.

The original line-up as I knew them were Jim Kelly (lead guitar), Sam Sinopoli (drums), Fred Perry (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Don Waley (keyboards), Bill Brant (bass guitar), and Steve somebody (sax) whose last name I don’t remember. (Sorry if I misspelled some names.)

I worked with Kelly at McDonald’s and knew Waley as the neighbor of my cousin. I picked Kelly’s brain at McD’s about music and developed an interest in playing myself.

His girlfriend at the time (Marty O’Neil) was a classmate at Bullard of my girlfriend (Barbara Neff). I went to many dances at which they played, doing mostly covers.

They got a record deal and moved to SoCal, playing as the house band at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Newport Beach. They wrote and recorded several original songs. I still have several of their 45s. Good Times.

(01/11/09)

THE STAINED GLASS – ’If I Needed Someone’/’How Do You Expect Me’ (RCA Victor 47-8889) June 1966

Having signed to a major label this San Jose band had the opportunity to work with professional record producers and engineers to get their Brit Invasion influenced rock out to the general public, not just the Bay Area.

I’ve read elsewhere that their live set at this stage in their career consisted of the hits of the day with a definite focus on Beatles material. So it was probably no surprise that they chose an obscure George Harrison song ’If I Needed Someone’ as their first 45 for RCA Victor.

There’s no getting away from the fact that the tune is very catchy with immediate appeal and was covered by many 60s bands including The Hollies, The Kingsmen and The Sting-Rays of Newburgh.

The flip ’How Do You Expect Me’ (as previously mentioned in my Trolls entry) was an old song re-used by RCA Victor. I’ve got no evidence that the 45 sold in any quantities but the band were retained for another outing.

THE STAINED GLASS – ’My Buddy Sin’/’Vanity Fair’ (RCA Victor 47-8952) Sept 1966

Two Jim McPherson originals were chosen as their major label follow up with wonderful ’My Buddy Sin’ as the top side. This is a folk rock gem with a strange medieval feel to it, some wailing harmonica (recalling ’Walkin’ Shoes’) and some excellent production by Danny Davis who became a member of a country rock band The Nashville Brass in the late 60s.

The flip ’Vanity Fair’ is a decent pop effort with a strong Lovin’ Spoonful influence. Some good harmonies and punchy bass work by Jim McPherson.

THE STAINED GLASS – ’We Got A Long Way To Go’/’Corduroy Joy’ (RCA Victor 47-9166) 1967

The third Stained Glass record ’We Got A Long Way To Go’ sold well in their locale but again failed to break nationally. It’s a puzzle how such fine melodic songs don’t make it to a bigger audience but then of course many factors can influence a single success or failure.

The song was written by famous song writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil known for writing classics like ’Kicks’ (Raiders), ’Love Is Only Sleeping’ (Monkees) and ’Shapes Of Things To Come’ (Max Frost) was certainly worthy of great success with it’s radio friendly folk pop and catchy chorus.

The production is full and vibrant. In many ways this was the most commercial offering yet by The Stained Glass.
’Corduroy Joy’ on the other hand is perhaps the band’s weakest moment on record.

THE STAINED GLASS – ’A Scene In Between’/’Mediocre Me’ (RCA Victor 47-9354) Oct 1967

The band were dropped by RCA Victor after the release of my favourite Stained Glass song of all time, namely the ultra cool psychedelic masterpiece ’A Scene In Between’. I recall hearing this song for the first time back in the 80s on a ’Psychedelic Unknowns’ comp and thought it was by an English band.

The very trippy production by RCA staff producer Rick Jarred, the ’turned on’ lyrics and soaring harmonies over the acid drenched guitar makes ’A Scene In Between’ one of the very best and somewhat unique psych records from America. Like I said earlier, very few American bands captured the English psych sound as well as The Stained Glass.

’Mediocre Me’ is another standout out but the acid drenched drone of ’Scene’ is replaced by their usual folk rock vibe whilst retaining a small dose of lysergia. Both songs are credited to Phil Stumpo (a pseudonym for Jim McPherson)..

Reader comments:
expo, thank you for most of the kind words and post.. thanks also to jingle jangle… but I thought you should know.. Phil Stumpo was a pseudonym used by jim mcpherson.

Hi Expo67, you´re doing such great job here! Just a little note: The name of the composer is Cynthia Weil (you spelled it ”Wells”). Mann and Weil were composers for the Brill Building, one of their greatest achievements of course being ”You´ve Lost That Loving Feeling”.

Barry Mann had a hit with ”Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” in 1961. We know where that lead to…I wouldn´t want to leave this as a comment. But maybe you´d like to include the information. Best regards, Axel

(25/10/09)

STAINED GLASS – ’Lady In Lace’/’Soap And Turkey’ (Capitol P 2178) April 1968

Following the expiry of their RCA Victor contract Stained Glass signed to another major label, namely Capitol Records and went through a personnel change with rhythm guitarist Roger Hedge departing.

The group were now a three piece with Jim McPherson (vocals and bass), Dennis Carrasco (drums) and Bob Rominger (lead guitar).

The first Capitol 45 was the pop psycher ’Lady In Lace’, another Phil Stumpo (pseudonym for Jim McPherson) penned tune. The song had a blissful sweeping baroque arrangement with hit potential, very similar in style to those early lush Left Banke classics. Sadly, the record failed to dent the national chart.

The flip ’Soap And Turkey’ is an excursion into psychedelia with some tasty raga-esque lead guitar from Bob Rominger. This song appeared on their first album ’Crazy Horse Roads’ but ’Lady In Lace’ is non LP.

STAINED GLASS – ’Fahrenheit’/’Twiddle My Thumb’ (Capitol P 2372) 1969

Both of these songs appear on the album ’Crazy Horse Roads’, the single was probably released to promote this long player. ’Fahrenheit’ sees the band develop a more standard late 60s rock sound.

The flip ’Twiddle My Thumb’ is downer folk, stripped down to the bones apart from a yearning vocal from Jim McPherson and some pleasant orchestration.

STAINED GLASS – ’Gettin’ On’s Gettin’ Rough’/’The Necromancer’ (Capitol P 2521) 1969

Sometime in early 1969 Bob Rominger had been replaced by Tom Bryant on lead guitar and Jim McPherson became the sole songwriter of the band. Both of these songs were part of their second album ’Aurora’ released in June 1969.

’Gettin’ On’s Gettin’ Rough’ is laid back rock with a punchy production from Voyle Gilmore (fresh from his work with Frank Sinatra and The Kingston Trio)….

The biggest thing I have noticed with Stained Glass from 1969 is that Jim McPherson’s vocals had changed to a soft and wavery delivery and remind me of Jack Bruce or Barry Gibb.

’The Necromancer’ is a blues rocker and is obviously heavily influenced by Cream. The bass is loud and heavy and Tom Bryant’s lead guitar runs are inventive. It’s a real grower and it’s a shame the band didn’t continue on this kind of trip. Could have been interesting.

STAINED GLASS – ’Crazy Horse Roads’ LP (Capitol ST-154) 1969

I very much suspect the recordings that made up the first Stained Glass album were put together in 1968 (’Soap And Turkey’ dates from April ’68 for instance) but the record wasn’t released until early 1969.

The LP cover showed McPherson, Rominger and Carrasco hanging by the neck from a tree dressed in their rural hippie garb. I’m sure back in the day this would have been quite shocking and the image would hardly tempt the casual buyer into taking a gamble on it.

The album is a solid representation of the talent this three piece folk rock band possessed. All eleven songs are originals with leader Jim McPherson writing or co writing everything except ’Soap And Turkey’ which was penned by lead guitarist Bob Rominger.

The majority of the tracks continue their folk psych ideal but they indulge in country rock on ’Horse On Me’, childish playfulness on ’Piggy Back Ride And The Camel’ and the acoustic/fuzz rock of ’Doomsday’…

My copy of the album sleeve has some weird tracks over it that has left marks. It makes the lynching picture even more creepy and bizarre. One of the poor chaps even ’died’ without his boots on.

(27/10/09)

STAINED GLASS – ’Aurora’ LP (Capitol ST-242) June 1969

No more than six months after ’Crazy Horse Roads’ limped out of Capitol Records came the second and final LP by Stained Glass. Jim McPherson was again the main songwriter apart from a cover version of ’Jim Dandy’ written by Lincoln Chase.

Overall the album is enjoyable late 60s hippie rock with extended guitar meanderings on some of the songs but I didn’t get the connection like I did with the 45s and first album. The Cream/Beatles influence is forceful especially on ’Gettin’ On’s Gettin’ Rough’, ’The Necromancer’, ’The Kibitzer’ and ’A Common Thief’…..My favourite of the whole set is the floaty meloncholic psych of ’Inca Treasure’.

The cover is more than a little corny. Someone in Capitol’s art department must have been short of ideas because the ’stained glass’ window is just too obvious but at least they printed some band shots on the back cover. 

’Aurora’ is a tough one to score so a little diggin’ is required if you need a copy.

When the album came and went, the band were dropped by Capitol, then had a name change to Christian Rapid. They played several gigs, opening for touring bands but never released any records.

Leader and main songwriter Jim McPherson then teamed up with ex Quicksilver Messenger Service guitar slinger John Cippolina to form Copperhead in 1971. McPherson died in the mid 80s aged only 40.

(29/10/10)

THE TROLLS – ’Walkin’ Shoes’/’How Do You Expect Me To Trust You?’ (EU 898260) 1965

One of the most compelling and interesting bands of the Bay Area in the late 60s were The Stained Glass. Before they adopted this moniker they were called The Trolls and released this little treasure on a small indie label that probably sold in very small quantities.

’Walkin’ Shoes’ is a beat mover with pleasing harmonica, very much in vogue with the new wave of music from England like The Animals and The Stones.

The flip, the folky ’How Do You Expect Me To Trust You?’ would be the template sound the band would adopt when signing to RCA Victor and becoming The Stained Glass. Indeed, the song was re-used as the flip of ’If I Needed Someone’.

line-up:
Jim McPherson (bass/lead vocals)
Bob Rominger (lead guitar)
Roger Hedge (rhythm guitar)
Dennis Carrasco (drums)

(24/10/10)

THE ENEMYS – ’Glitter And Gold’/’Too Much Monkey Business’ (MGM K13485) April 1966

The Enemys from Los Angeles were very much a part of the mid 60s Sunset Strip scene and had a residency at The Whiskey A Go Go. They also appeared in the teen exploitation movie ’Riot On Sunset Strip’ performing ’Jolene’ but did not show up on the album soundtrack released by Tower Records (perhaps because they were an MGM recording group).

They also show up with slicked back hair and suited & booted playing a fabtastic instrumental in an episode of Burke’s Law.

The first Enemys single was credited as Cory Wells and The Enemys and it was released on (Valiant V-714). 

’Sinner Man’ was backed with ’Say Goodbye To Donna’, I’ve only ever heard a thirty second clip of ’Say Goodbye To Donna’ and for 1965 the ’teener pop’ I listened to sounds completely dated and was probably not what the kids on the Strip wanted.

The Enemys first MGM 45 was ’Glitter And Gold’/’Too Much Monkey Business’.

According to the date on the label the record had an April 1966 release. The music on offer is a soul/RnB Club sound that combined with the strident vocals from Cory Wells reminds me of a very early Tom Jones when he was backed by his beat group (pre his solo hits of course).

The record was produced by Tom Wilson who is remembered for producing Verve acts The Velvet Underground and The Blues Project. He’s probably more famous for his studio work with Bob Dylan though.

I’m presuming that at this point the band had a change of image and direction because the next singles were in the folk rock/garage vein.

THE ENEMYS – ’Hey Joe!’/’My Dues Have Been Paid’ (MGM K13525) 1966

Many bands in the 60s either recorded or played ’Hey Joe’ at gigs and The Enemys were no different. This version is a little more restraint than the more famous offering by The Leaves.

So far, ’Hey Joe’ is the only Enemys song to be compiled and that was years ago on Garagelands Volume 2.

The flip ’My Dues Have Been Paid’ is far superior and is perhaps The Enemys finest moment. There’s a really fantastic vocal part by Cory Wells, full of anguish and emotion. As far as I know the 45 sold well in some parts of America and was indeed a small hit.

THE ENEMYS – ’Mo-Jo Woman’/’ My Dues Have Been Paid’ (MGM K13573) 1966

The final Enemys record was the classy R’n’B rocker ’Mo-Jo Woman’. The band can be seen performing this song in an episode of The Beverley Hillbillies and they look the part in their Sunset Strip clothes and long hair.

They also perform ’Pretty Woman’ and a hot garage instrumental. I could do without the truly awful 60s dancing by the crowd and members of the Hillbillies though.

I’m not sure why ’My Dues Have Been Paid’ was chosen to back ’Mo-Jo Woman’ when it had already been used as a B-Side. Perhaps no other recordings were available and the release was somewhat rushed.

The Enemys soon split after this record with leader Cory Wells eventually joining forces with Producer and recording artist Danny Hutton to form Three Dog Night.

I’d never heard anything by the latter before researching this post so checked out YouTube for some Dog music. For the record I don’t want my ears to hear any of their music ever again nor do I need my eyes to again witness what I saw! Stick with The Enemys!!!

(18/10/09)

THE WHAT FOUR – ’Do You Believe’/’Whenever’ (Box Records BX 4000) 1965

Several bands in the 60s called themselves The What Four and most of them have been documented in various fanzines and online sources. Unfortunately, this band appear to have gone unnoticed and slipped under the radar.

I have checked the comp database and this outfit are given an Indianapolis location, however the dealer I bought my 45 from provided an Ohio base (maybe because Box is a label from Dayton, Ohio)??

Both sides are pleasant Brit Invasion influenced beat, nothing too dangerous, no fuzz or anything.

’Do You Believe’ is an R’n’B shuffle with a decent guitar break although by the end of the 10 second solo you feel that the teenage guitarist had used up all of his energy in keeping it together for the probable single take.

The flip ’Whevever’ has a strange drum tap and a more or less spoken vocal part. The lyrics verge on the corny side. The singer dig’s his girl and he ain’t ever gonna stray. Well, I suppose he was just a kid, just wait until she starts to nag him to do the washing up.

Recently The What Four have seen their songs compiled. ’Do You Believe’ can be found on the CD release of Psychedelic Unknowns Volume 9 and ’Whenever’ has turned up on the recent Destination Frantic Volume 2.

Reader comments:
A band called the ”What Four” played at my Junior-Senior Prom in 1968 (Victor Valley High School, Victorville, CA)…wondering if this is the same band?

The group you saw may have been The Whatt Four who were from San Bernadino, CA.They released two singles ”Our Love Should Last Forever”/”You Better Stop Your Messin’ Around” (ESP 109) and ”You’re Wishing I Was Someone Else”/”Dandelion Wine” (Mercury 72716)

(16/10/09)

THE PRECIOUS FEW – ’World Of Your Dreams’/’For A Lifetime’ (Velvet Tone VTR-113) April 1968

The Precious Few were a short lived teenage garage band from Huntsville, Alabama. They were signed to Producer Jimmy Velvet’s own label Velvet Tone Records and as far as I know this is their one and only 45. According to the handwritten note on the label, the record was released in April 1968.

During the early part of 1967 The Precious Few had an opening slot in Dick Clark’s ’Caravan of Stars’ when it rolled into Florence, Alabama. One of the other acts on the bill were L.A. band The Hard Times and according to the liners of Rev-Ola’s Hard Times CD collection singer/leader of the band, Rudy Romero was so impressed with Larry Byrom, the nineteen year old lead guitarist from The Precious Few that he asked Dick Clark to sign him up for The Hard Times.

According to a local newspaper report from May 1967, Dick Clark personally phoned the young Larry and asked him to move to Los Angeles with the prospect of recording and becoming a full time member of The Hard Times.

At first he played occasional bass and lead guitar before finally taking over lead guitar duties on a permanent basis.

Following the demise of The Hard Times, Larry formed T.I.M.E. with former bandmates Bill Richardson and Steve Rumph. He then joined a late 60s early 70s line-up of Steppenwolf.

So what do we deduce from this related information? Well if the date on the label is correct, Larry Byrom had already left The Precious Few and is probably not on this record under review.

Another interesting fact is that label owner and Producer Jimmy Velvet was one of Elvis Presley’s oldest and closest friends and as well as a couple of crooner 45s during the very early 60s released his own soft rock solo album in 1968 titled ’A Touch Of Velvet.’

The folk psychedelia of ’World Of Your Dreams’ is splendid and remains uncompiled. The club crooner flip ’For A Lifetime’ is a major disappointment and falls outside the sound of my blog Flower Bomb Songs.

Larry Mangum:
One of my band mates since 1972, Jack Mentzel, was a member of THE PRECIOUS FEW when the 45 was released and part of the Dick Clark tour. Based on his encouragement, I too became a songwriter and have had a lifetime of great music that continues today (www.myspace.com/larrymangum).

Jack is also still playing and writing and enjoying living at The Villages near Ocala, FL. He also attends frequent reunions of the band in Alabama and Larry Byrom also attends on occasion.

(15/10/09)

THE CHEVRONS – ’Dreams’/’Love, I Love You’ (MMC 45-016) 1968

One of the most popular groups in the Omaha area along with The Rumbles and The Coachmen were The Chevrons. Their sunshine lyte ’Dreams’ is a sweet tune and has only ever appeared on a cassette tape only collection called ’Monsters Of The Mid West’ and that was way back in the mid 80s. ’Love, I Love You’ is another lyte pop song with brass.

This 45 was originally released on the local label MMC (who also put out 45s by The Beach-Niks, The Coachmen and The XL’s). The record was then picked up by Independence Records for a further outing. 

(14/10/09)

THE TRIXONS – ’Just Another Song’/’Sunny Side Sam’ (Paramount PAA-0006) Oct 1968

Ireland was not exactly a hot bed of pop talent in the 60s but The Trixons (made up of Englishmen and Irishmen) released this pleasant two sider in October 1968.

’Just Another Song’ has distorted lead vocals with a soul backing and brass. It has an air of lyte psychedelia and sounds very accomplished. The flip ’Sunny Side Sam’ is another winner but with a touch of bubblegum in the mix.

The 45 sold well in Ireland but bombed everywhere else. The UK/Irish release came with a picture sleeve.

(12/10/09)

TERRY KNIGHT AND THE PACK – ’I (Who Have Nothing)’/’Numbers’ (Lucky Eleven LE-230) Oct 1966

An underrated garage rock band from Flint, Michigan who are in desperate need of a re-evaluation. I don’t think any Terry Knight and the Pack retrospective has ever been released on CD and their compilation appearances are few and far between.

’I (Who Have Nothing)’ is a version of the Leiber and Stoller tune probably better known as a hit by Ben E King. Ex Detroit DJ, Terry Knapp or (Knight) handles the soul searchin’ vocals and the addition of strings added to the mix makes for an interesting reading. So much so, that the 45 was a big regional hit for the band and made the lower 40s of Billboard.

The flip ’Numbers’ written by Knight is a crunchin’ garage rock mover that smokes, great fuzztone sound also.

Terry Knight was murdered in November 2004. He was stabbed multiple times in a fight with his daughters boyfriend.

PROFESSOR MORRISON’S LOLLIPOP – ’You Got The Love’/’Oo-Poo-Pah Susie’ (London HL 10254) 1968

I’ve been going through a bit of a bubblegum phaze recently and even offered a couple of free bubblegum comps via my blog a few months ago. All copies were taken. Anyway one of my favourites is a song by ex Coachmen musicians who signed with White Whale and had a name change to Professor Morrison’s Lollipop.

A crazy name then, and one that won’t win any prizes in a ’best group names of all time’ competition…but who cares? I certainly don’t. The picture sleeve highlighted is my obscure Italian release of the single coupled with another bouncy, repetitive smash called ’Oo-Poo-Pah Susie’.

Take a look at the ’way out’ image in particular the beefy guy on the end who looks like a long haired Uncle Fester. These cats rock.

Professor Morrison’s Lollipop appeared on Dick Clark’s ’It’s Happening’ show, first airing on 2nd October 1968. I hope this bubblegum action turns up on YouTube one day.

Professor Morrison’s Lollipop ’You Got The Love’ 45 on White Whale is always on eBay at a low price and is a good place to start your bubblegum collection.

(06/10/09)

GENESIS – ’Journey To The Moon Part I’/’Journey To The Moon Part II’ (Buddah Records BDA 132) 1969

The whole world seemed to go space crazy in the 60s, not only in music but TV, film, books, toys and even fashion. So it was no surprise that something was released to celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing and none came more hip and trippy than ’Journey To The Moon’ by Genesis who were more than likely a studio outfit including John Madara, Len Barry and Tom Sellers.

The flip is non LP and is an instrumental of the top side.

I’m not certain if John Madara was the same person who formed a group called The Spokesmen with partner Dave White and local D.J. Ray Gilmore in the mid 60s and released ”The Dawn of Correction” an answer song to the enormous hit ”Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire.

This weird and wonderful space exotica is surely ripe for re-issue. One can only hope a small label sees fit to explore the possibilities.

The music is mostly instrumentals but with Victor Jay adding narration. Song titles on the album include ’A Walk On The Moon’, Lunar Walk’, ’Lift Off And Return’, ’Moon Plague’ and ’Mystery Of Space.’

(04/10/09)

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