Monday, September 15, 2014

The Time Stoppers - I Need Love

I really don't know a whole lot about this band. One source puts them as a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania band. The fact that we have listed St. Clair Productions would make me think the band hailed from the suburbs of Detroit, a place where Hanna-Barbera Records found lots of bands such as The Unrelated Segments and Tidal Waves.

I Need Love was originally done by Washington DC area band, The Mad Hatters. That version was released in 1965. The Time Stoppers released their version on Hanna Barbera Records in 1967. In fact, it was the last release for the quick lived label.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Beau Gentry - Just In Case

The Beau Gentry, formed in Indiatlantic, Florida in '64, made their way up north in the summer of '66 to tour the midwest and soon were amassing a following in the Wisconsin and Illinois area. So much so that they settle in the area for the next while and eventually made today's recording, Just In Case, on a small label out of Janesville Wisconsin in, I believe, early 1967.

Just in Case - the flip-side of the single - was written by non-bandmember R. Bryant and has an odd time signature, somewhat reminiscent of the Yardbirds' Little Games. What is it? 3/4? In any case to me it's like an inverted waltz. Add to this some brilliant CSN-like harmonies, a charging, free-form rhythm section and a time-signature change for the bridge and you know you're in some uncharted territory. The Beau Gentry was Rick Jaeger, Doug Kilmer, Lance Massey and Russ DaShiell (l-r pictured above).
Doug Kilmer and Russ Dashiell soon hit it big when they joined Norman Greenbaum for the recording of Spirit In The Sky and subsequent touring, while Rick Jaeger went on to record and tour with Dave Mason. Not bad! The Beau Gentry also show up in a Dunwich retrospective and it is no surprise they were subject to the gravitational pull of that formidable scene.

Vinyl Frontier

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ryan Adams - New York, New York

The funny thing about memories is they get mixed with the mud over time. The memories lose their sparkly shininess they once had. As time passes it becomes harder and harder to differentiate what was real in that frozen moment and what latched on to that memory like a blood sucking leach. Sometimes having the luxury of distance can make watershed moments more crystal clear. More black and white. Other times the distance just muddles up the hue. Secondary events, secondary memories, our own moral beliefs, our own political beliefs, our own prejudices, our own desire to frame ourselves to fare better in that memory will change how we view said memory. And then where are we? What is real? Was I really part of this? If the answer is yes, then how much? Maybe it doesn't matter. So many memories. A perfect unblemished blue sky. 

Booker T. and The MGs - Plum-Nellie

Feel the groove baby. Booker T. and The MGs lay down a nasty beat with their original composition, Plum-Nellie. Steve Cropper opens the number with a scorching Telecaster guitar tone. The kind of tone that will peel the paint off of your walls. An intimidating bass and brassy section gives way to Booker T. Jones and his trademark, sparse organ riffs. Plum-Nellie was the Flip-Side of a great number called Chinese Checkers and was released on Stax Records in June of 1963. 

It's hard to beat this but The Small Faces tried to outdo The MGs when they covered the number more than ably on their 1967 album, From The Beginning. 
 Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Marvin Gaye - One More Heartache

Marvin Gaye made a solid record or two in his day. One More Heartache was one of those. Released on Tamla Records in January of 1966, the song was covered by UK mod band, The Artwoods, that same year. The Chicago group, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, more than ably covered the number the following year as the Flip-Side of their only Elektra release. But it's hard to beat the original.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Kinks - Mindless Child of Motherhood

You may have heard of this group, The Kinks. They released a record or two in their day. And then some. In fact, they continued to release good quality records well past that of many of their contemporaries who began to buckle under the pressure of touring, taxes, unscrupulous managers and the unbearable heaviness of the impending 1970s. 

Mindless Child of Motherhood appeared as the Flip-Side of the certifiable hit Lola in these United States of America on Reprise Records in July of 1970. In the band's native UK, the Dave Davies composition was billed as The Kinks Featuring Dave Davies and was released on Pye Records as the Flip-Side to Drivin' which was released during the Summer of 1969. 

The terribly under appreciated little brother puts forth a wonderful vocal performance and I could make a strong argument that this song is better than the A-Side of the UK release. Mindless Child Of Motherhood feels exceptionally personal. And as such, often feels like we are seeing too much into the life of the singer. The listener a muted observer to the painful tragedy unfolding in front of them.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Johnny Bond - Hot Rod Lincoln

Hot Rod Lincoln was first recorded in 1955 by it's composer, Charley Ryan, as a retort to the 1951 Arkie Shibley composition, Hot Rod Race. In June of 1960, veteran country singer Johnny Bond released his souped up version on Republic Records. It was his version that Commander Cody souped up even more until it was wound up to 110.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hope Waits - Get Behind The Mule

We're going to stay in Louisiana for our third straight day. In fact, it's our 5th Louisiana artist in the last two weeks alone. All hail the Pelican state!

Hope Waits hails from Monroe, Louisiana, a town on the highway between Shreveport and Jackson, Mississippi and dead center of nowhere good. And like the subject of yesterday's post, this Louisiana native traveled west to record in Los Angeles. Working with producer Peter Malick, Hope Waits kicked out one nice, jazzy album for Radarproof Records back in 2007. Our song today, Get Behind The Mule, written by our smooth throated chanteuse, explores a lovely, sparse country-blues style. It's wonderfully produced with lots of open spaces in the song. A great example of how less is more. Or, to put it another way, it's sometimes what you don't play that matters more than what you do play. The result here is that the open spaces allow for Waits' vocals to float effortlessly as she stirs her brandy with a nail.

You can stream her entire album, Introducing Hope Waits, over at her site located here. Below we're giving you a bonus video of Waits doing I'll Be Satisfied.

Have a good weekend. Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

James Burton and Ralph Mooney - Corn Picken'

It's Corn Pickin' time! We return today to Shreveport, Louisiana and to James Burton. We mentioned in yesterday's post that a young James Burton was on guitar for yesterday's Dale Hawkins tune, La-Do-Dada. Today we feature that guitarist front and center.

James Burton was raised in Minden, Louisiana, just an opossums throw away from Shreveport. He cut his chops early as a self-taught guitarist and became the spokes-picker for a distinct style of guitar playing called chicken picken'. That flat pick/finger pick/under-string-pluck/note bending combo thing he does so well is on full display here on his own composition, Corn Picken'. Burton's second, and final, solo single was released on Capitol Records in March of 1968. It's one minute and 47 seconds of pure geetar pickin' goodness.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dale Hawkins - La-Do-Dada

Dale Hawkins hailed from the swamps near Shreveport, Louisiana. The skinny, pimply faced white kid had a penchant for employing great guitarists like Roy Buchanan and James Burton. James Burton, who would go on to play with Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley and Gram Parsons, plays on this Hawkins original, La-Do-Dada. This A-Side, Hawkins' 5th single, was released on the legendary Chicago blues label, Checker (a subsidiary of Chess Records) in July of 1958. He may be the only white guy on that label. Anyone?

Dale Hawkins got into the production business and worked with The Uniques, who we just featured a few days ago, Mike Nesmith of The Monkees, The Five Americans and The Blue Things. The Blue Things, incidentally, covered La-Do-Dada in 1965 for their major label debut.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

006 - Like What, Me Worry?

The cleverly named 006 hailed from the Chicago area and released one single on the local Harlequin Records label in April of 1966. That record, Like What, Me Worry?, was picked up for national distribution by the girl-group-centric Red Bird Records a month later. Their presence on Red Bird Records -- which released a lot of songs by professional composers in the Brill Building -- led to speculation that the band was a studio creation. But they weren't. They were a sextet made up of some Beach Boys looking lads. Doc Watson (not THAT Doc Watson) was on lead vocals, Ray Fowler on second vocals, John Kielnik on guitar and organ, Dennis Rezendes on lead guitar, Ted Byczek on drums and Jimmy Flowers on bass.

Like what, Me Worry? tells the tale of a proud loner who is down with being a lone wolf who has comfortably embraced his tough-guy persona. I have no idea who the composer is, other than the E. Wenzlaff credit. Doc Watson lays down some perfectly defiant and flippant vocals for the song. Let's let the lyrics to Like What, Me Worry? by 006 do the rest of the talking for us.

Like what me worry, ha ha ha

You never ever see me walkin' round
Crying over a broken heart
'Cause I made up my mind a long time ago
That I'm a loner from the start
You never see me gettin' all busted up
And worrying my pretty little head
Like man I know where I'm sleeping tonight
Cause I already done made my bed

Like what me worry, ha ha ha
Oh man, you just ain't a threat.

I ain't got no gal I ain't got no pal
That's ever going to cheat on me
I always maintain a very clear head
And nothing ever troubles me
Like man I got my very own cloud
And Im always flying high
But I'll tear that silver lining right out of you
If you mess around in my sky

Like what me worry, ha ha ha
like man you just ain't digging
Up a little baby, come on. yeah!

If I were you I'd march straight ahead
And tape up my big mouth
If you don't your eyes will be headin' north
And your nose will be headin' south
If you think of stirrin' up some action baby
Cause your life is gettin' sorta dull
Then I'll take a deep breath and I'll huff and I'll puff
And I'll blow you right outta your skull

Like what me worry, ha ha ha
oh man you going to be a hairy mess, yeah!

So if you gotta pray and you gotta sing
You better pray and get it sung
Cause there's gonna be an empty place
Where all your teeth once hung
I'm gonna sock your ribs
And stomp your toes
And give your neck a crack
And I'll break every bone individually
In your sacroiliac

Like what me worry, ha ha ha
oh man, you going to be a sorry sumpin'
If you say one more thing about me
When you open up your big mouth
I'll put my hand in there and grab your toes
And turn you inside out
I'm gonna tie you into a great big knot
And throw you onto the floor
Gonna stomp on and pulverize you
Till you ain't no more

Like what me worry, ha ha ha
oh man you ain't suckering nobody

I'm going to take you out to the back alley
and give you a couple of lessons on how to jam, 
man, you know, how to defend yourself against bad things
guns and knives and slashing all the hairy skin, and...

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mick & the Shambles - Lonely Nights Again

Following on the heels of yesterday's moody song we have here today more organ-drenched sadness with Mick & The Shambles doing their own Lonely Nights Again. We don't know much about them, but since this song is on a couple Philly comps we'll hazard to say they are from Pennsylvania. This was their only release from March, 1966 and both sides are penned by Michael Joyce (Mick?) and Robert Youngs (the Shambles?). Joyce handles production too. Please chime in if you know any more information on these guys; their bio's all a-shambles.

As always, see you On the Flip-Side

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Uniques - Tell Me What To Do

Back in May of 2013 we featured a record by an Arkansas group called The 5x5 (aka The Five by Five) and their excellent recording of Tell Me What To Do for Paula Records. We've re-posted that so it now appears directly under this post. Today we turn to The Uniques doing Tell Me What To Do

The Uniques, based out of Shreveport, Louisiana, were led by Joe Stampley. The young Stampley, in addition to his job as leader of The Uniques, worked as a house producer for Paula Records. Not only did he produce The 5x5 version of Tell Me What To Do, but he also wrote it. The Uniques released the Stampley composition in April of 1966, almost a full year before The 5x5 put their stamp on it. It was the Flip-Side of their 5th single. This version features far more guitar work than does The 5x5 version. 

You can now listen to both back to back and let us know which you like better.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

The 5x5 - Tell Me What To Do

The 5x5, known as the Five by Five on every other record, hailed from the small town of Magnolia, Arkansas. The band was made up of Larry Andrews on bass, Gene Rowe on Organ, Bill Merrit on guitar, James Dollar on vocals and Doug Green on drums. I saw a comment on another site which suggested that Gene Rowe died in a...wait for it...tractor accident in May of 1968. Can't testify to that, but there you go. 

Today's SoTW is called Tell Me What To Do. It's the Flip-Side of their first single, a credible cover of Shake A Tail Feather, released on Shreveport, Louisiana based Paula Records on March 21, 1967. The organ heavy, Tell Me What To Do was written by organist (and one-time member of The Uniques), Joe Stampley, who also gets producer credit on this. The hammond organ work is beautiful and gives the song a real Animals feel to it. The backup vocals support James Dollar's pained lead beautifully. I wish the song didn't fade out as you can hear a faint falsetto as the song trails out.

This copy I have is a little rough, particularly at the beginning (sorry), but I think it is still worth including here at On The Flip-Side. I've seen on one site that this was released only as a promotional copy. Every copy OTHER THAN THIS ONE that I've ever seen has been a promo. But here you have the stock copy which apparently didn't exist. Hmmmm.

The 5x5 scored a regional hit with a subsequent single, a cover of Jimi Hendrix's Fire. The Flip-Side of that single, Hang Up, is worth seeking out. All told, the band released eight singles and one album, all on Paula Records.

If you know more about the Arkansas band, please let us know.

As alway, we'll see you next time On The Flip-Side

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spiritualized - Death Take Your Fiddle

Spiritualized hail from Rugby, England and is essentially one man, Jason Pierce. We feature today his 2008 release for Sanctuary Records, Death Take Your Fiddle from the brilliantly titled album, Songs In A&E. Enjoy all the free and open space in the song. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wynn Stewart - Another Day, Another Dollar

Wynn Stewart hailed from Los Angeles where he began playing both kinds of music, Country and Western at Edison Park High School. Many years on the circuit running the triangle of LA to Bakersfield to Las Vegas led to many line up changes, many label changes and eventually the opening of his own club. It was at his own Nashville Nevada in Las Vegas where Wynn Stewart and the West Coast Playboys held a 6-night a week residency playing honky tonk to the Vegas faithful. 

Wynn Stewart never hit it big but he did put out some nice records and even was able to give a young Merle Haggard a start in the music biz as The West Coast Playboys' one-time bassist. In 1962, Wynn Stewart and The West Coast Playboys released Another Day, Another Dollar on Challenge Records. The song made it to #27 on the Country and Western charts and features the fine guitar work of Roy Nichols. I'm not too sure who is playing the sledgehammer. Enjoy.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Lyres - Don't Give It Up Now

The Lyres hailed from Boston, Massachusetts and were fronted by organist and singer Jeff Conolly. Ricky Carmel, Rick Coraccio and Paul Murphy rounded out the bean town garage band.

We feature today the Flip-Side of their 1979 single, Don't Give It Up Now as released on Sounds Interesting Records. The damn rockin' Don't Give It Up Now was penned by Conolly and shows a very clear tip of the hat to Boston's own garage heroes, The Remains. I just can't get enough of this foot stomper.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Busker Days: Trevor West - I Have To Smile

I had to smile after I walked away from Trevor West and our recording session at Montgomery BART. He was great to hang out with and new to the station. In fact, this was his first busker outing ever. So I felt lucky. We recorded several songs, two originals and one a cover of a song by a certain artist / wife, and I enjoyed them all. This one - the first recording we made - is loosely based on a Frank O'Hara poem and is called I Have To Smile. Trevor comes to us from Morro Bay, a town somewhat south of the Bay Area along the coast, and I'm glad he made the journey and I hope he gets the exposure he deserves. Enjoy.

See you on the Flip-Side!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Sidewalk Sounds - The Born Loser's Theme

Here is a nice 1:46 moto-psycho instru-mental for you today. It is labeled as The Sidewalk Sounds but is really none other than Davie Allan and the Arrows, kings of the moto-psycho instrumental. This one, The Born Loser's Theme, comes from July, 1967 on Tower Records and was part of the soundtrack for the motor cycle biker-gang exploitation film, The Born Losers. The film, incidentally, spawned the character Billy Jack that would be part of a series of vigilante films of bigger budgets and more success.

Mike Curb, who claims a little co-writing credit here (yeah, right) was the producer and "conducted" the number. Mike Curb was a relentless self promoter and even managed to get a play off of his name for the band's fictitious name. Curb went on to be the Lieutenant Governor of California between 1979 and 1983 and now works in NASCAR.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!