Monday, 21 February 2011

The Dandeliers & Others - 'Chop Chop Boom'

01 The Dandeliers - Shu-Wop
02 The Dandeliers - Loving Partner
03 The Dandeliers - Chop Chop boom
04 The Dandeliers - My Autumn Love
05 The Dandeliers - Little Man
06 The Dandeliers - May God Be With You
07 The Dandeliers - She's Mine
08 The Dandeliers - My Love
09 The Hornets - Lonesome Baby
10 The Hornets - You Played The Game
11 The Hornets - Ridin' And Rockin'
12 The Hornets - I Can't Believe
13 The Hornets - Big City Bound
14 The Strollers - In Your Dreams
15 The Strollers - Go Where My Baby Lives
16 The Strollers - Bitter Dreams
17 The Drakes - Mellow Dady
18 The Drakes - Just A Dream
19 The Palms - Girl Of Mine
20 The Palms - I Knew I Had A Chance
21 The Palms - Dianne
22 The Five Chances - Sugar Lips
23 The Five Chances - Bashful Boy
24 The Five Chances - Gloria

The Dandeliers - Chop Chop Boom

A subsidiary to United Records (Leonard Allen), States (Lew Simpkins) concentrated on rhythm and blues, jazz, and gospel, but also released some fine vocal groups.

The Dandeliers had only been singing for a few months before they were "discovered" by United Records. "We had been up there to United several times and had auditioned for them," said Dixon (1st tenor), "but each time we had been turned down. And it was just this one day when we were in Washington Park, messing about with chords and stuff that Smitty (Lew Simpkins) came by and saw us."

The vocal group releases didn't sell well outside Chicago, making them highly sought by collectors. The Hornets only release 'I Can't Believe' b/w 'Lonesome Baby' was, according to the CD notes, sold for the humongous sum of $18,000 in the 1980s, although this could have been for 2 copies. A bargain at $9,000 a pop then!

The Five Chances recorded for Blue Lake and Chance labels prior to States, then went on to record for Federal. Never having much luck with any label.

The Palms never made much of an impression either, not for lack of talent. The song 'Girl Of Mine' was sold by United to Mercury, and the Diamonds recorded it.

Nothing is known about the Strollers or the Drakes.

very expensive

Friday, 18 February 2011

"El Capris"

'Girl of Mine' / 'These Lonely Nights' ('57)

There were two groups called the El Capris (that I know of), one from Pittsburgh and this group, from Detroit I think.........the record was released on the Hi-Q label - a subsidiary of Fortune. Sam Crumby sings, or more accurately 'wails', his heart out on both sides.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Wild And Frantic LP

Wilderness Records, 21667, 1979
Side A
01 Upsetters - I'm In Love Again
02 Billy La Mont - Country Boy
03 Pretty Boy - Switchen' In The Kitchen
04 Mr P.T - Crazy Sadie
05 Otis Redding - Fat Gal
06 Little Cameron - Kansas City Dog
07 Rockin' Bradley - Lookout
08 Don Covey - Believe It Or Not
09 Tony Harris - Chicken, Baby, Chicken
Side B
10 Tommy Louis - Wail Baby Wail
11 Mr P.T - Aunt Suzie
12 Freddy Robinson - Five Feet Of Lovin'
13 Joe Tex - You Little Baby Face Thing
14 Pretty Boy - Rockin' The Mule
15 Lowell Fulson - Rock This Morning
16 Andy Wilson - My Love, My Love
17 The Valiants - Frieda, Frieda
18 Curtis Carrington - I'm Gonna Catch You

Tommy Louis - 'Wail Baby Wail'

The title says it all! Vinyl rip and rudimentary info provided by Woo Dops -

The Upsetters & Little Richard
The Upsetters were Little Richard's backing band and the man himself sings on 'I'm In Love Again.' The band behind Billy La Mont 'Country Boy' is rumoured to have been The Upsetters as well. Don Covey also recorded as Pretty Boy and worked for a time as Cauffeur for his idol, Little Richard, doing double-duty as the hitmaker's opening act. The two songs by Mr. P.T. (and the Party Timers) appeared on a 1961 Federal release. Otis Redding's 'Fat Gal' was released on Confederate Records with the other side being 'Shout Bamalama.' Rockin' Bradley does a Little Richard lyrical mash-up with some brilliant tape overload shouts on 'Lookout.' Opera music gives Tony Harris the creeps, as his crazy chicken song explains! There's a decent bio at allmusic on the life of Tommy Louis aka Kid Thomas; a larger than life character who came to an unfortunate end. 

Tommy Louis
Freddy Robinson had a lengthy career and played guitar with some of the greats, including Ray Charles, Little Walter & Howlin' Wolf; find an obituary here. The famous southern soul artist Joe Tex coined the term 'rap' to describe his style of speaking over the music. Andy Wilson's back up band were called the Cosmos. The Valiants were a terrific R&B act with front man Billy Storm providing vocals on this frantic number; they also released a wild version of 'Good Golly, Miss Molly' which, in my opinion out does Little Richard's version and was released at an earlier date. Couldn't find any info on Curtis Carrington and Little Cameron. Hope you like!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

"The Nutmegs"

'The Way Love Should Be' ('58)

An acappella version was released in '63. A biography of the group here. The gruesome end of Leroy Griffin is noted in the 'Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars' subtitled - 'Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches' !!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Vocal Groups Coast to Coast

01 The Mello Moods - Call On Me
02 The Mello Moods - I Tried & Tried & Tried
03 The Mello Moods - I'm Lost
04 The Mello Moods - When I Woke Up This Morning
05 The Mello Moods - The Christmas Song
06 The Cabineers - Each Time
07 The Cabineers - My My My
08 The Cabineers - Lost
09 The Cabineers - Baby, Where's You Go (To)
10 The Cabineers - What's The Matter With You
11 The Cabineers - Baby Mine
12 Henry Pierce & His Five Notes - Thrill Me Baby
13 Henry Pierce & His Five Notes - Hey Fine Mama
14 The Metronomes - That's Bad
15 The Dukes - Come On & Rock
16 The Dukes - I Was A Fool
17 The Dukes - Oh Kay
18 The Dukes - Ooh Bop She bop
19 The Chimes - Zindy Lou
20 Jesse Belvin - Gone
21 Jesse Belvin - One Little Blessing
22 Byron 'Slick' Gipson & The Sliders - Honey Dew
23 Vernon Green & The Phantoms - How Do You Kiss An Angel
24 Eugene Church - Why Oh Why
25 The Titans - Can It Be
26 The Monitors - Red Sails In The Sunset

An excellent CD showcasing some classy early to mid 50s vocal groups.
Cool and sometimes crazy doo-wop sounds swept the nation during the Fifties - from the East Coast to the West Coast and on down the Gulf Coast. Although Prestige specialised in modern jazz, the New York based company delved into doo-wop early in the decade. This collection begins with the teenage Mello Moods and the more mature Cabineers, both of whose Prestige recordings rank among the rarest of vocal group platters. The action then shifts to Hollywood, mixing tracks (some previously unissued) by southern California harmonizers the Metronomes, the Dukes, the Chimes, Jesse Belvin, Vernon Green & the Phantoms, Eugene Church, and the Titans, with equally rare selections from two New Orleans groups - Henry Pierce & his Five Notes and the Monitors - all from the vaults of Speciality Records - from CD back cover.
Here is one of the few up tempo tracks on the CD by Byron "Slick" Gipson & the Sliders released on Speciality. Can't find any info on Mr Gipson or the Sliders but just listen to that voice. Ouch!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

"THE MOVE" - Interview & Live Clip
A hilarious interview with a short but literally 'smoking' live clip of The Move during a visit to Holland. Any bootlegs of these shows knocking about?

One of the most successful pop groups to come out of Birmingham in the 1960s in terms of British chart success, they were also the hardest to categorize musically as their style ranged from pop to psychedelic, progressive, heavy metal, 1950s style rock 'n' roll and even country and western! Above all, it was Roy Wood's talent as a highly original songwriter that propelled the band on an extended chart run. - more info here

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Major Lance - Live at the Torch LP

Contempo, COLP 1001, 1973

Side A
01 Hey, Hey
02 I Wanna Make You Up
03 My Girl
04 Um Um Um Um Um Um
05 The Beat
Side B
06 Ain't No Soul (Left In These Old Shoes)
07 Investigate
08 Monkey Time

This recording by Major Lance is widely regarded to be the greatest live Northern Soul recording put to wax! Just listen to the party vibe going on in the YouTube clip below, bonkers! The venue reached full capacity that night, apparently there were as many people outside the club as inside, still trying to get in. Not a gig to forget if you were lucky enough to gain entry.

Originally an old cinema, the Golden Torch was redeveloped as a luxury nightclub by Chris Burton, a Midlands businessman, in 1963. Featuring a Roman chariot on the outside wall, the club was classy, with marble pillars and the now compulsory balcony overlooking the dance floor. Originally designed to hold about five hundred people, in it's heyday it hosted in excess of one and a half thousand; which, as the club was situated in a quiet residential street, was only the start of the club's problems. - more info here

Dateline: December 9th, 1972
The Torch Club, Turnstall, Stoke-On-Trent (UK)

Twelve thousand fingers a-poppin', twelve hundred voices raised in salute to a great artist. It's quite a night at Britain's No. 1 Soul club. Major Lance is on stage and tonight he's smashed every box-office record in the book. As he struts around the tiny stage, pouring out the songs which have earned him a place in the Soul Hall of Fame, the excitement reaches to the rafters. There's enough energy in the club tonight to light the town. This album captures the magic of the occasion.
It's something of a threefold Major Lance's dynamic artistry and magnetism; to the staunch supporters of the Torch for their enthusiasm, and, also, to the massive Soul following in Britain for it's undaunted efforts in keeping this brand of music firmly on the map. Soul is a feeling, and means different things to different people. Spin this album on your turntable and it'll mean something special to you.
Chris Burton
The Torch

This one is brought to you by my mystery contributor. Cheers!