Thursday, August 28, 2014

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


  1. agree. a real sleeper of a gem. I wish it was in better shape at the beginning. Take what you can get, though.