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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 a photo of The Lyrics.

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR – ’One Face In The Crowd’ / ’Mandy’ (Atco 45-6443) 1966

60s pop fans will no doubt already know about this Beach Boys infatuated band from Indianapolis. They were a popular draw in their home region and released a handful of singles on various labels such as Soma, Cameo, Bad and Atco.

’One Face In The Crowd’ was their first 45 on Atco. It’s a surprisingly polished folk rocker with jangly guitar. The flip ’Mandy’ reverts to Beach Boys mode and is indeed a classy surf pop tune.

Sundazed released a CD compilation of Boys Next Door way back in 1999 and it’s now long out of print. The Sundazed site no longer lists it….shame cos I don’t have a copy!

(11/01/09)

CHAPTER V – ’The Sun Is Green’/’Dolly’s Magic’ (Verve Folkways KF5046) 1967

Quite how Canadian Brian Ahern got signed to Verve is unknown. They even allowed him to produce and arrange these records. So I’m almost certain that Chapter V were a studio creation consisting of Ahern plus an assortment of Verve sessionmen.

According to the Verve archives three songs were recorded by Chapter V at their studios in New York City on the 17th February 1967. This may explain how one of the songs ’Dolly’s Magic’ was used as a flip twice.

’The Sun Is Green’ is a classic slice of pop psych with a very strong Beatles influence with it’s Lennonesque song structure circa Revolver era.

’Dolly’s Magic’ has a bouncy bass rhythm with some sweet harmonies and would have made a commercial A-side in it’s own right.

CHAPTER V – ’Headshrinker’ / ’Dolly’s Magic’ (Verve Forecast KF5057) 1967

Another single was also released by Chapter V again backed with ’Dolly’s Magic’. This time around ’Headshrinker’ got it’s chance but it doesn’t appear to have done any better than ’The Sun Is Green’.

After these recordings with Verve, Brian Ahern relocated to Nashville and became a much rated producer of country records.

(03/01/09)

THE BELIEVERS – ’Soul Raga Cookin’ / ’Soul Raga Simmerin’ (Capitol P 2253) 1969

Both sides of this ’psych exploitation’ 45 were written and produced by Joe South. It’s more than likely that these raga instros were indeed solely the work of South but the record was released as by The Believers (maybe for contractual reasons).

’Soul Raga Cookin’ and ’Soul Raga Simmerin’ are virtually the same but the latter is a much slower version (hence the ’simmerin’ in the title).

It’s also evident if you listen to Joe South’s song ’Hole In Your Soul’ from his solo album ’Games People Play’ that ’Soul Raga Cookin’ evolved into that song. The tempo and ’sitar’ sounding guitar are the same.

(02/01/09)

THE PHOENIX TROLLEY – ’When Charlie’s Doin’ His Thing’ / ’Three Part Invention’ (Too Many Trees In The Forest) (Capitol P 2227) June 1968

This outfit were probably a studio creation or songwriters Stephen Schlaks and Charlie Weiss backed with Capitol session players. I’ve did some digging and Schlaks and Weiss wrote several songs together although very few seem to have been recorded by bands ’Flower Bomb Songs’ is interested in.

I can confirm that English band The Escorts recorded their song ’The One To Cry’ in 1964 and it was in fact released as their second single. Schlaks also co-wrote ’Your Maw Said You Cried’ recorded by The Turtles on their 1965 LP ’It Ain’t Me Babe’.

Anyway, back to The Phoenix Trolley. ’When Charlie’s Doin’ His Thing’ is classic harmony sunshine pop that reminds me an awful lot of Sagittarius. ’Three Part Invention’ (Too Many Trees In The Forest) is an intense and sophisticated acid trip with harmonies, studio effects and the constant refrain ’too many trees in  the forest’…..file under essential!

Another Schlaks/Weiss composition was recorded by the Sugarbeats on Polydor in 1966. The song is called I Just Stand There, and the Sugarbeats were none other than Tony Rivers et al. Great tune, great performance! Frans

(02/01/09)

THE GOOD FEELINS – ’Captured’ / ’End Of A Love’ (Liberty 55981) 1967

This record was previously released locally on Rock-It, a small label based in San Bernardino, California. It must have created some kind of buzz because Liberty Records released it nationally but to little response.

Nevertheless, The Good Feelins enjoyed a big reaction in their home base and opened for many acts including The Animals, The Grass Roots, The Rolling Stones and The Music Machine.

’I’m Captured’ is a catchy pop garage tune and the jangly pop flip ’End Of A Love’ is also worth a listen and is clearly influenced by the Brit Invasion.

The band broke up when members got drafted to Vietnam.

line-up:
Kenny Myers (vocals/guitar)
Jerry Dalpiaz (bass)
Ray Iodice (guitar)
Mike Kravitz (drums)
Paul Balletti (vocals)

(01/01/09)

ONE – ’Hey Taxi’ / ’Enter Into My World’ (Columbia 4-44256) 1967

This is a great double sider and relatively unknown. ’Hey Taxi’ was co-written by Jackie Lomax who was lead singer with an early 60s beat outfit from Liverpool called The Undertakers.

They made their way to America following the ’Brit Invasion’ but disbanded soon after the tour ended.

Band members Jackie Lomax and drummer Bugs Pemberton remained in New York and quickly formed another band with Tom Cacetta on bass and John Cannon on guitar. They called themselves The Lomax Alliance.

’Hey Taxi’ and ’Enter My World’ were recorded sometime in ’67. It has been reported that there are other songs from these Columbia sessions but they’ve never been released.

Before this 45 was released Jackie Lomax split but the others decided to carry on renaming themselves One.

The producer on this record John Simon also worked with The Guilloteens when they signed to Columbia.

(30/12/08)

THE TWEEDS – ’We Got Time’ / ’I Want Her To Know’ (Coral 62551) 1968

From the New York area, teenage band The Tweeds were fortunate to release two singles during their brief time together. Their debut 45 on Coral ’What’s Your Name’ / ’A Thing Of The Past’ sold well enough for the record company to chance their arm again with this second release in the Spring of 1968.

Both sides of this disc show a maturity and musicianship beyond their years. ’I Want Her To Know’ is a slow paced ballad with added strings whilst ’We Got Time’ is a typical 60s rocker.

Guitarist Dave Constantino from the band would form hard rock outfit Talas in 1971. A few years later he was joined by former drummer from The Tweeds Paul Vargo.

(29/12/08)

SUMPIN’ ELSE – ’I Can’t Get Through To You’ EP (Liberty LEP 2268F) 1966

Sumpin’ Else were a short lived band from Los Angeles who strangely had a four song EP in picture sleeve released in France. The band in this pic have square dude haircuts and that mid 1965 co-ordinated look popular with bands at the time before some of that Sunset Strip rebellion set in and bands began to dress a little more freaky.

Sumpin’ Else have that well produced L.A. sound coming across like The Standells. ’Baby You’re Wrong’ has got some prominent fuzz base lines and was compiled on Vile Vinyl back in the 80s. ’I Can’t Get Through To You’has also got fuzz action and some killer lead guitar.

’Toy Boy Girl’ is more poppy than the previous songs and ’Danger’ uses fuzz again. All of these four songs were written by John Merrill. I’ve done some digging through liner notes etc but can’t figure out if this is the same person who played guitar and wrote songs in The Peanut Butter Conspiracy??

Sumpin’ Else had another release on Liberty Records 55900 recording ’You’re Bad’ written by the Addrisi brothers and a Dallas Smith song ’Here Comes The Hurt’. Both tunes are great garage pop with the latter especially cool because of a couple of fuzz guitar rave-ups. 

’You’re Bad’ has a way too short raga guitar solo. Just out of interest Dallas Smith produced this record and he also worked with The Gants.

(26/12/08)

OS JOVENS – Apresentando EP (CBS 56226) 1965

This duo comprising Francisco Fraga and Joao Jose were from Brazil and sang in their native language of Portuguese. On this ’65 EP they are backed by a band called The Blue Caps.

All songs contained on this disc is good beat, they recorded much more dynamic and punky songs on their 1967 album….but if you dig the ’English Sound’ made by Brazilians you gotta get this record.

Two of the songs ’I’ll Never Know’ (Sofrendo Por Amor) and ’Hurting Inside’ (Louca Paixao) are Dave Clark Five covers. For me though the stand out beat is the original ’Sinto-Me Feliz’ written by Francisco Fraga.

(25/12/08)

HOPPI and the BEAU HEEMS – ’When I Get Home’ / ’So Hard’ (Disques Vogue INT.80134) 1968

Hoppi and the Beau Heems were are short lived band from Tampa, Florida. Their first single at the back end of 1967 was ’I Missed My Cloud’ backed with ’So Hard’ on Laurie 3411 or was ’So Hard’ the plug side? Who knows, because ’So Hard’ was released again as the B-Side of ’When I Get Home’ in 1968.

This record also got a release in France with a picture sleeve. Both songs are good pop garage but maybe their best song was ’I Missed My Cloud’ which is a cheeky re-write of ’96 Tears’.

Also of interest is a four song Mexican EP released on Gamma Records. This record contains cover versions of ’I’m Not Your Stepping Stone’ and ’Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying.’

(25/12/08)

GODFREY – ’The Trip’ / ’Come On, Come On’ (Cee-Jam Records 3) Sept 1965

Godfrey was a Los Angeles DJ in the mid 60s at around the time when the Sunset Strip was a happenin’ place and he obviously wanted to get some of that hip action in the form of his own record.

’The Trip’ is a cover of Kim Fowley’s psychedelic rap and it ain’t a bad effort sticking very close to the original version. Not sure if this was any kind of hit or anything. It probably didn’t sell much outside of L.A.

The flip ’Come On, Come On’ is credited to Godfrey’s Group presumably his backing band on ’The Trip’. It’s a neat instrumental with the inclusion of brass and has that mid 60s soul feel about it.

Cee-Jam Records were short lived and only released a handful of records including 45s by Art Wheeler and Dorsey Burnette.

(24/12/08)

YESTERDAY’S OBSESSION – ’The Phycle’ / ’Complicated Minds’ (Pacemaker Records PM-262) January 1968

Fuzztoned psychedelia by Yesterday’s Obsession, a band I’ve not read about that much despite ’The Phycle’ appearing on at least four different compilations. The person who sold me this 45 suggested that the band were a group of high school kids from Port Arthur, Texas.

Port Arthur is not too far away from Houston, Texas…where Pacemaker Records were based….so that may be true, but if anyone knows accurate details please get in touch.

’The Phycle’ is doomy psychedelia with eerie organ in the background, loud bass and fuzz. It’s a strange title and words ’the phycle’ is never mentioned in the song?!

Maybe the title should have been ’The Psycle’ but someone spelt in wrong when designing the label and the ’mistake’ was only spotted after the records had been pressed?

’Complicated Mind’is less popular with the compilers. Don’t know why because it’s a great tune, heavy on tambourine and maracas.

The songs were recorded at the famous Gold Star Studios and produced by Huey P. Meaux. I’ve checked my database and he also worked with Gaylan Ladd and The Sir Douglas Quintet as well as many soul acts I’m not bothered about. 

Reader comments:
Yes, they were a high school band from the Port Arthur, Texas area. I talked to the singer some years back. This was recorded in January, 1968.

I believe The Phycle is a creative spelling of the word ”fickle.” I’m from the area and it was is a popular phrase and concept at the time and mirrors the detached tone in delivery by the singer. Just a theory, of course, but I find it more probable than the theory of a misspelling.

(23/12/08)

THE GAUNGA DYNS – ”Rebecca Rodifer” / ”Stick With Her” (Busy-B Zap 2) June 1967

I recently made contact with Gaunga Dyns guitarist and main songwriter Steve Staples. I emailed a him a whole load of questions to get his Gaunga Dyns experience and I planned to share his thoughts with readers of my blog. Sadly he never replied…..

*** since I wrote this entry a wiki page has been created with loads of information here

The Gaunga Dyns were based in New Orleans and recorded for the same label that released collectable records by The Leather Pages, Peabody and The Plastic Blues Band.

’Rebecca Rodifer’ has been one of my favourite jangly garage sides ever since I heard it on a Highs In The Mid Sixties LP. As usual, the sound quality on those things is not ideal so when I started collecting 60s garage 45s this one was at the top of my list.

The subject of the song is about teenage abortion and not the usual thing to write about.

The other side of the record is the more punky tune ’Stick With Her’….This was a cover version, the original was by a band from Houston, Texas called The Glass Kans.

THE GAUNGA DYNS – ”Clouds Don’t Shine” / ”No One Cares” (Busy-B Zap 4) Dec 1967

The second and last 45 by The Gaunga Dyns is another winner. ’Clouds Don’t Shine’ is considered by many to be a ’moody’ classic. I must say it is a very mournful song that only picks up pace right at the end with some cool guitar.

The flip ’No One Cares’ has the typical 60s garage sound and is much less intricate.

This is Steve Staples. I apologize for not getting back to you. I had a lot of changes etc going on at the time. I should have communicated much better. Please get in touch with me again and I’ll get all your answers. You can email me steve@webcorral.com or at international vintage guitars of new orleans.

(21/12/08)

THE LYRICS – ’My Son’ / ’So Glad’ (GNP Crescendo 381) 1966

This 45 by The Lyrics (check out the Lyrics article elsewhere on this blog) was the follow up single to the killer 2 sider ’So What!!’/’They Can’t Hurt Me’. Don’t expect anything as brutal as the Era release because this record is a huge change of direction….destination soul.

Just out of interest Richard Delvy gets a supervision credit for ’My Son’.. He played in notable surf groups The Bel-Airs and The Challengers pre Beatlemania then in the late 60s produced psych soul outfit The Chambers Brothers.

This is a sought after 45 for collectors of ’Northern Soul’

Dan Garcia recently gave me his thoughts about ’My Son’…

I remember ’My Son’ was re-mixed in three different studios and the final mix was not very good I thought they lost the dynamics of the song and although we had a small orchestra behind us the final mix was very muddy but it was a very powerful tune. ’So Glad’ was a filler B side song.

We were going thru a lot of changes at that time ’Mr Man’ was doing pretty good on the charts in Southern California and ’My Son’ was released on the East Coast and was getting a good response, unfortunately it got pulled off the radio due to an arranger that worked with us for a very short time because he said he helped write ’My Son B.S.!!!!

Anyway that was the last we heard of ’My Son’ being played anywhere.

I think if we would have been able to continue recording, our style of music would have ended up more like ’Wake Up to My Voice’. We were all happy with that recording and the new material was just as good.

(29/11/08)

THE CLUE – ’Bad Times’ / ’She’s The Reason’ (Byron Records 101) 1967

The suggested location for this outfit is Midland in Texas, after all this is where the label Byron Records were situated. ’Bad Times’ is considered to be one of the classic garage punkers of the genre so it seems a big surprise to me that it’s only ever been compiled on Pebbles Volume 8 and Mayhem and Psychosis Volume 3 in less than stellar aural delight. Check out my Cavestones Volume 14 to hear it’s sheer power.

Steve Thomas wrote ’Bad Times’ and it’s the primitive nature of the beast that makes it a killer, from the persistent two note organ, jagged guitar solo and cave teen screams. Check out these lyrics:

’You say you don’t have any thought for me today,
I guess I better get my kicks another way,
Bad Times, Bad Times….’

The still uncompiled flip ’She’s The Reason’ is a Steve Thomas-Larry Grubb composition and sounds like a completely different band. It’s a slow paced affair with an overall moodiness and again has that cool organ sound combined with yearning vocals.

(16/11/08)

THE GUILD LIGHT GAUGE – ’Cloudy’ / ’14th Annual Fun & Pleasure Fair’ (Capitol P-1600) May 1968

Paul Simon’s song ’Cloudy’ got covered a few times in the 60s but this version may be the best. I was surprised to find out that his brother Eddie played guitar in The Guild Light Gauge.

The band were probably named after Guild guitar strings and this was more than likely a one shot deal for them.

The songs are very well recorded and produced by Artie Kornfeld and arranged by Jimmy Wisner (who had produced records for Bill Wendry and The Family Album). But despite the push from Capitol Records the record seems to have been largely forgotten about. Very little information exists in reference books or internet sites.

’14th Annual Fun & Pleasure Fair’ was written by Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld. They were both part of garage pop group The Changin’ Times. Artie Kornfeld is probably more famous for being part of the creative team behind the Woodstock Music and Art Fair held in mid August 1969.

(01/11/08)

VELVET SEED – ’Flim Flam Man’ / ’Sharon Patterson’ (M.A.I. 201) 1968

According to Fuzz, Acid And Flowers Velvet Seed hailed from Maine, USA. They even have, according to the writer, unreleased recordings including a take of Gene Clark’s ’Feel A Whole Lot Better.’ Hopefully this information is correct and one day these ’lost’ recordings are released.

’Flim Flam Man’ credited to Bourassa – Levesgue is a total winner. It’s got a fast pace that never slows from the start to finish with pumping bass runs, wild guitars and weird trippy sci-fi noises.

Sounds like bubblegum and psychedelia all at the same time…I’ve never heard anything quite so hip especially with the male/female vocals soaring over the lysergic layers of noise. Sadly, this was the B-Side and was probably never even heard/played in the 60s.

The other side is ’Sharon Patterson’, a sweet psych ballad with femme fatale vocals. Really great ringing guitar on this one, quite laid back and another sunshine pop tripper to add to those undiscovered gems.

(24/10/08)

PRICE AND WALSH – ’The House Of Ilene Castle’ / ’Love Is The Order Of The Day’ (Dot Records 45-17077) March 1968

Didn’t know anything about this record when I bought it. I only took a chance because the title of the A-Side ’The House Of Ilene Castle’ sounded like a promising pop psych title and thankfully it turned out to be the case.

I’ve since did a little research and Price and Walsh were two L.A songwriters named Mike Price and Dan Walsh who went onto some success writing songs for singers outside the scope of Renaissance Fair.

Both songs are from aborted sessions with songwriter/producer Gary Zekley. His name may be familiar with readers from his work with The Yellow Balloon, Jan and Dean, The Clique and Fun And Games.

The Dot 45 seems to be a very hard record to track down but thankfully UK re-issue label Rev-Ola have released a full CD retrospective of Price And Walsh including all of the recordings laid down with Gary Zekley in 1968.

(23/10/08)

GERRY POND – ’The Happiness Song’ / ’The Sometime Girl’ (Reprise 0489) 1966

So who was Gerry Pond? He appears to be one of those artists who released an obscure record in the mid 60s then vanished without trace. I doubt that this 45 had much publicity or column inches at the time.

’The Happiness Song’ is a long lost classic folk psych tune with pleasant acoustic guitar, flute and jazzy drums. It’s clearly influenced by psych era Donovan, even down to the child like lyrics and vocal delivery.

Flip it over for the less commercial but equally impressive ’The Sometime Girl’. This tune is a whole lot more loose and has a definite jazz feel. Dig that clattering tambourine chasing the free form bass line and more Donovan(esque) vocals…. It’s a shame Gerry Pond never released anything else.

Gerry Pond is still making music today, albeit under his new name. He is my neighbor in LA and a widely respected musician, teacher, author, and speaker. More info can be found at gurusingh.com. Be sure to check out his music!

(19/10/08)

THE ROGUES – ’Rink Bash’ (April 1966)

Continuing the theme of groovy instrumentals on my blog here’s a demo by a band called The Rogues. They entered Capitol studios, New York in April 1966 and cut several songs in one day.
Only two of the songs, ’Going All The Way’ and ’Go Ahead’ were released at the time when Atco signed The Rogues but made them change their name to The Squires.

According to the liners of the immense Squires retrospective on Crypt (issued in 1986 and on vinyl only!) they had to change their group name because they were told a band called The Rogues already existed in England. They also had to dress a little more smartly…..ha ha bunch of squares at Atco.

(05/10/08)

BRAM RIGG SET – ”Take The Time Be Yourself” / ”I Can Only Give You Everything” (Stateside FSS 501) February 1967

This group of teenagers released this sole offering in late ’66 and were gone. They started out as George’s Boys and laid down a couple of demos at Trod Nossel Studios in Wallingford, Connecticut. Previously unreleased versions of ’Help Me’ and ’Sticks And Stones’ have been recently compiled on Sundazed compilation titled ’Don’t Press Your Luck’…

On this 2 LP vinyl set you’ll also get to hear several unreleased recordings as the The Bram Rigg Set. Not all of them work, in particular ’I Can’t Explain’ sounds diluted and weak when compared with The Who original. They couldn’t hope to compete with this classic.

’Sleepless Nights’ is a winner and could have been a perfect follow up to ’I Can Only Give You Everything’.

I’ve never been a fan of the song ’I Can Only Give You Everything’ no matter who records it. It’s just a song that doesn’t do anything for me. That’s why you get a label shot of ’Take The Time Be Yourself’. This was the French release and is quite rare. Much harder to find than the release on Kayden.

(03/10/08)

THE SHADOWS OF KNIGHT – Potato Chip (Auravision) 1967

Back in the old days when a bag of crisps tasted better and would cost a couple of pence, some companies would cash in on the youth market with promotions. In USA, Fairmont Potato Chips gave away this 5 inch promo cardboard record with a groovy tune by The Shadows Of Knight called ’Potato Chip’…

It was the only way to hear this song in those days as it was not on any vinyl release. The band even tried some comical Beatles chit chat on the disc for the kids while the lucky teens busily fed their hungry faces with chips (or crisps as we say in Britain)…

I don’t suppose many of these survived the excesses of kidsville 1967. Many probably ended up in the bin with the empty crisp packet.

(30/09/08)

THE ZOO – ‘(Standing On) The Sunset Strip’ / ’One Night Man’ (Sunburst 775) Dec 1968

This band released an album titled ’Present Chocolate Moose’ on Ed Cobb’s Sunburst Record label in ’68 but both sides of this 45 were not part of it. Also when Big Beat re-issued the album on CD in the early 90s they failed to include the single sides. Not sure why?

‘(Standing On) The Sunset Strip’ was written and produced by Mars Bonfire and Morgan Cavett.

Mars Bonfire is perhaps best known for writing ’Born To Be Wild’ recorded by and a huge success for Steppenwolf. Indeed, Morgan Cavett also has links with Steppenwolf co-writing some songs with singer John Kay.

’One Night Man’ is a Morgan Cavett song.

Both songs are late 60s psych rock productions with searing guitar on both cuts.

Howard Leese was the guitarist on this track – he went to be with Heart for over 20 years and entered the RNR HOF of Fame with them in 2013. He’s currently playing with Paul Rodgers solo band, Bad Company and the #1 Las Vegas Show ”Raiding the Rock Vault”.

(13/09/08)

THE CARNIVAL – ’Dark Star’ / ’Doot Doot Doo Doo’ (Columbia C4-2782) 1968

Both sides of The Carnival’s first 45 are flower power pop psychers and both will be included on Gear! 13.

Tim Hallman and Michael T. Oberle were from Waterloo out of WCI while Don Pellow, Bob Brownscombe, and Bill Wells were from Woodstock. In 1968, out of the ashes of The Flying Dutchman Drum And Bugle Corp., the band settled in Kitchener-Waterloo as The Trendsetters.

Hallman, stayed in high school making the band a four-piece. That year they played on CTV’s ’After 4’ show in Toronto. They would do five of these appearances and from that show won the audition for ’It’s Happening’ starring Robbie Lane to replace his backing band The Disciples.

The producer of the TV show, Mike Steele, wanted five bodies on the stage, so Tim Hallman got the call and walked straight into a national TV contract. The production, a 26 week run, was standard for its day . The Carnival taped at CFTO Studios on 13 alternating Fridays (two shows per session).

By this time the band lived in Don Mills, Ontario and pre-recorded the backing music at Chelsea Sound on Mount Pleasant Ave. in Toronto – a four-track facility – where it was necessary to pre-record between 18-20 tracks every two weeks as backing tracks for feature artists as a means of keeping up with the pace of the show.

The performances on the show featured Robbie Lane singing live while the band, now calling themselves The Carnival, lip-synced – vocally and instrumentally. On occasion the band became a ’featured act’ on the show.

The young band got to meet, among others, Andy Kim, Eddie Floyd (”Knock On Wood”), and Grant Smith (minus his band The Power). They were working towards releasing an album (tentatively titled ’Keil Heil Kelly’) but split up before it could be completed.

Line-up:
Tim Hallman (piano)
Don Pellow (organ)
Bills Wells (bass)
Bob Brownscombe (guitar)
Mike Oberle (drums)

(13/09/08)

THE ORPHANS – ’Deserted’ / ’This Is The Time’ (Epic 5-10348) June 1968

The Orphans were from Boston, Massachusetts and only really ’made’ it when they dropped the ’S’ from their name to become simply Orphan in the late 60s.

They were led by Eric Lilljequist. He wrote the uncompiled top side ’This Is The Time’….a simple acoustic folk pop tune with strings and things. The better side is the Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer composed ’Deserted’, notable for it’s memorable guitar solo by Lilljequist.

Randell was an arranger, working with Bob Crewe on The Four Seasons early records before going into production, then working on his own songs with lyricist Sandy Linzer.

An earlier single ”There’s No Flowers In My Garden” / ”One Spoken Word” (Epic 5-10288) was released during February, 1968.

(13/09/08)

THE MESSENGERS – ’Window Shopping’ / California Soul’ (Tamla Motown GO 25.673) Oct 1967

The Messengers were the first white group to sign with soul label Tamla Motown. The flip ’California Soul’ is the well known Ashford and Simpson song covered many times and I’ve read that The Messengers version was the first to be recorded.

I much prefer the plug side ’Window Shopping’ which was written by producer R Dean Taylor. It’s a very catchy bubblegum pop song and reminds me of early Monkees.

The label scan is of the Dutch release and came housed in a smart picture cover showing The Messengers all wearing turtle neck sweaters.

(11/09/08)



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