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!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Tongues Of Truth (aka The Grodes) - Let's Talk About Girls

Great record. Terrible band name. The Tongues Of Truth that we feature here on this record were really a band out of Tucson, Arizona who went by the equally awful name, The Grodes. In May of 1966 they recorded an original composition called Let's Talk About Girls and released it on the micro-label, Current Records. Their manager decided they needed a new name. But he forgot to tell the band. Ahhh, you have to love managers, producers and record company A&R men who think they are bigger than the band. 

Let's Talk About Girls charted in the Top 40 locally in Tucson, but not much else happened. The song is perhaps best known today as a song by The Chocolate Watchband. But again, we turn to unscrupulous record weenies. In this case, Ed Cobb (who we love) recorded the song with his friend Don Bennett singing lead and released it as "The Chocolate Watchband". Even though it really wasn't. 

All that weenieism aside, Let's Talk About Girls, written by band singer and leader, Manny Freiser, is one kick-ass song. The kid had a way with writing. The Grodes recorded a number of catchy tunes in their short two-year history. Let's Talk About Girls has bravado, a unique recurring guitar riff and a catchy beat.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Video Diary: The Beatles at Candlestick, August 29, 1966

The Beatles played their last live concert right here in San Francisco at Candlestick Park. Tonight, almost 48 years to the day, Paul McCartney plays the final show to be hosted at the storied Candlestick before it comes down.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thee Headcoats - All My Feelings Denied

From 1992, deep inside the mind of Billy Childish, comes All My Feelings Denied by his group du jour, Thee Headcoats. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Fairies - Get Yourself Home

The Fairies are an odd group. They were led by their eclectic drummer who went by the name of Twink. The band hailed from Colchester, England and regularly swapped members with The Pretty Things and The Cops N' Robbers. At the time of this recording the band was John "Twink" Alder, Mick Weaver, John Acutt, John Gandy, and Nik Wymer on vocals.

Get Yourself Home was the band's second of three single and was the first with Wymer on vocals. The sophomore effort was released on HMV Records in March of 1965 in the UK. Dane Stephens of The Cops N' Robbers would soon replace Wymer and Twink would soon depart for a brief stop with The Pretty Things. Speaking of The Pretty Things, Get Yourself Home was co-composed by the band's road manager, one Johnnie Dee. Dee also composed The Pretty Things' sophomore release, Don't Bring Me Down. In fact, Don't Bring Me Down was originally written for The Fairies but wound up in the hands of The Pretty Things instead. And Get Yourself Home was written for The Pretty Things, but after that band rejected the number, The Fairies took this crack at it. I think we can agree that Wymer sounds a tad like The Pretty Things' Phil May. No? 
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Boots - You'll Never Do It Baby

For the third straight day, we're playing You'll Never Do It Baby, the song composed by two members of the little known UK beat band, The Cops N' Robbers. Today we travel to West Berlin, Germany to hear the most raw, frantic version ever committed to vinyl. The band is The Boots and they released their version in 1965 on Telefunken Records. What a cool label name that is! The Boots seem to have heard both the original version that has a wailing harmonica, and The Pretty Things' version that changes the chorus to a IV-I-IV-V structure. For the record, The Boots were Bob Bresser on bass, Uri Grun on keyboards, Heintz Hoff on drums, Werner Krabble singing and Jurge Schultz-Eckel on guitar.

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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Pretty Things - You'll Never Do It Baby

The same year that The Cops N' Robbers released their original composition, You'll Never Do It Baby, on the Flip-Side of a French only EP, The Pretty Things recorded the number for their second album. The number leads off side 2 of the Get The Picture LP. The Pretty Things modified the chorus structure and removed the piano and harmonica. The beat is slightly modified as well, making it less jazzy and more of a straight ahead, on the downbeat rock-n-roll number. Interestingly, The Pretty Things' drummer, Viv Prince, is not playing on this. A cat by the name of John Adler took over on this track as Viv was on his way out of the band at the time. 
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Cops N' Robbers - You'll Never Do It Baby

Back for a second day with The Cops N' Robbers out of the UK. As mentioned yesterday, The Cops N' Robbers, barely a blip on the scene in their heyday, are perhaps best known for composing and recording You'll Never Do It Baby, which was covered by other, more popular bands.

Here is the jazzy original in all it's funky glory. Composed by singer Brian Smith and band pianist Terry Fox, the number was only released on The Flip-Side of a French EP on Vogue Records in 1965. The composition is structurally different than other versions that followed. Specifically at the chorus (or is it a bridge?) . Where subsequent versions changed the chorus to a IV-I-IV-V structure, the original is a descending riff from the IV back to the I. Add in the fact that the dominant instrument is a piano, and you get all sorts of crispy, cool uniqueness here.

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

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Cops N' Robbers - There's Got To Be A Reason

The Cops N' Robbers hailed from Watford, England where they kicked out only three records. Amazingly all three were also released in the US. The first on Parrot Records and the other two on Coral Records.

We focus today on the Flip-Side of their debut single. Released in November of 1964 in the UK on Decca and on Parrot in the states, There's Got To Be A Reason was the Flip-Side of the band's perfectly fine cover of the US folk/blues song, St. James Infirmary. The band, at the time of this recording was Terry Fox on keyboards, Henri Harrison on drums, Steve Smith on bass and Brian Smith on vocals. Brian Smith would soon depart the band to front a Pretty Things related band, The Fairies. The Fairies singer, Dane Stephens, would, in turn, sing for The Cops N' Robbers final single. To further complicate things, There's Got To Be A Reason was co-composed by some cat named Stephens. Dane?

The Cops N' Robbers barely made a blip in their home country and made not even a ripple here in the US. But they get credit for composing the song You'll Never Do It Baby. That song was only released on a French EP but was covered by Berlin band The Boots and UK band, The Pretty Things. More on that in a later post.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!