The Cloudwalkers came from the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. They cut one single, the harp-driven “Sunglasses” b/w “Never Told Me So” on Capco 106 in mid-1965.
“Sunglasses” isn’t the same song as the Cramps’ “Sunglasses After Dark” but I’d like to think there was some influence there. The single made it to #49 in Record World’s “Singles Coming Up” chart.
Members included Chris Welch and Peter Polizzano, who wrote both songs on their single, plus Pete Frias.
“Never Told Me So” is a fine Buddy Holly influenced rocker.
George Napolitano of the Ox-Bow Incident told me that Pete Frias was the guitar instructor and mentor of many musicians in the neighborhood, and also was guitarist for Jimmy & the Jesters, a group that often played the Peppermint Lounge. George also thought the Cloudwalkers single was recorded at Rossi Sound Studios at 2005 West 8th Street and Avenue T in Brooklyn.
The labels note “A Billyjo Production”. The engineer for the session was Joe Venneri, who was a guitarist for the Tokens during their early days, then became an engineer at Incredible Sound Studio, Mira Studios and Mercury Records.
Chris Welch and Peter Polizzano registered both songs with the Library of Congress on July 2, 1965. Publishing came through Calboy Music, BMI, owned by Joe Calcagno who also owned the Capco Records label.
An ad in Billboard in November 9, 1965 lists Capco Hitsound Records at Southard Ave in Rockville Center, NY. The label was promoting Capco 108, Irv Goodman’s “Hava Nagilah” / “Sugar Blues au Go Go” produced by Jimmie Haskell.
Singles by the Crossfires, the Don Rays and others on a green Capco label, circa 1963, come from a Los Angeles company probably not associated with Joe Calcagno.
I’d appreciate any further info on the Cloudwalkers.
The Zounds released their only single in June of 1967. “Me and My Girl” is the more uptempo side, while the organ leads the melody for “Love Has Found Me”. Both have fine performances by the band and singer, though the lead guitar and rolling drums on “Me and My Girl” stand out. The horn sounds a little out of place on “Me and My Girl” but fits in better on the flip.
The group came from Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, about 25 miles south of Louisville.
I’ve seen a photo of the group as a six-piece, but I only know four names:
Doug Hawkins – ? Roger Smith – guitar David Berry – ? Thomas Troutman – ?
David Berry and Roger Smith wrote “Me and My Girl”; Doug Hawkins and W. Hawkins wrote “Love Has Found Me”. Both songs published through Falis City Music Co. BMI.
The Music Mountain labels list the band as The Sound of the Zounds. Music Mountain was a recording studio in Lebanon Junction run by Bill Masden with Grant Watson engineer. It was active into the 1970s. The U4KM-9950 shows this was a custom RCA pressing.
I looked for mention of the band in local newspapers and could only find one reference from the Louisville Courier-Journal on August 6, 1967. The discussion of the ‘combo contest’ lists a number of local groups, but limits coverage to the winner, the Frogs from Jeffersonville, Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville. The Frogs never recorded to my knowledge.
‘Frogs’ Jump to Win ‘Crusade’ Combo Spot
If their Jeffersonville neighbors knew what 17 teen-age talent judges know, they’d be more tolerant when The Frogs roar into a practice session. This guitar-banging, organ-pounding, drum-beating quintet last night topped seven other finalists in the second annual WHAS Crusade for Children combo contest, combining the loud and the soft in today’s Mod music taste. The selection by the teen-age panel on an hour-long WHAS program makes them the best among more than 90 area combos which auditioned for a place among the eight finalists.
Popular as they may be among the younger set, the “Monkee-suited” group has its problems with the older generation. “It’s kind of tough to find a place to practice,” leader Douglas Decker, 18, of 608 Kewanna Drive, Jeffersonville, said. They’ve tried basements and backyards, but the sound of The Frogs isn’t always in tune with the neighbors. Right now they’re practicing in Doug’s basement. “The folks don’t mind, as long as we practice and don’t goof around,” Doug said. “Of course they bug out when we start to play.”
Other finalists were The Zounds, of Lebanon Junction; the Cavaliers, The Silhouettes, The Dynamic Imperials and The Dark Shadows, of Louisville; The Exotics, of Leitchfield; and . “I thought The Dark Shadows were going to win,” Decker, the base guitarist, said. But the other members of his group were convinced that The Dynamic Imperials were the combo to beat.
Other members of the winning Frogs are: Rhythm guitarist Rob Roby, 16, of Utica Pike, Jeffersonville; lead guitarist David Rowan, of 210 Spickert Knobs Road, New Albany; organist John Shaughnessy, 17, of 716 Roma Ave., Jeffersonville; and drummer Richard Wolfe, 17, of 401 Chippewa Drive, Jeffersonville. While they reluctantly admit- their zany outfits are patterned after the famed Monkees, The Frogs’ favorite big-name groups are The Beatles and The Young Rascals. They organized their group only six months ago, although most of them had played with other combos which drifted apart. Shaughnessy had been a member of the Centrics, last year’s winners, before that group competed in the 1966 Crusade combo contest. The Frogs will be one of the acts to perform on this year’s WHAS and WHAS-TV Crusade for Children program Sept. 23-24. Last year’s Crusade provided $415,592 in charity for handicapped children of Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
The Marquis from Louisville could be the Marquee Monsters who recorded “I Love The Beat” (B. Cason) b/w a favorite of mine, “Laws and Restrictions” (Mac Gayden and Bill Fennell) on Our Bag Records in Sept. 1966.
Blue came from Salt Lake City, Utah. A photo of the group appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune on June 6, 1968:
Appearing in person at Kmart Friday … 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. – June 7th
Starring – Scott Peterson, Fred Lampropulas, Aaron Boswell and Jerry Seare
“Blue” will play their new recording “SAD ‘BOUT US” and “EVERYTHING FOR YOU.” also autograph their new 45 R.P.M. recording
OUR REG. 77c ea. – 63 ea.
I don’t have a subscription to a news archive right now so I can’t access the photo in the article.
Blue do a fine version of the Who’s “Sad ‘Bout Us” keeping the harmonies and frantic drumming of the original. Not many bands covered this song at the time, at least on record.
For the flip they have a good original song, “Anything For You” (by Fred Lampropoulos, Jerry Seare, Aaron Boswell and Scott Peterson) featuring two strong instrumental breaks. The production of the record doesn’t do justice to the performances.
Released on Iris Records IR-1036 with a BMI credit on “Anything For You”. I don’t know of any other releases on Iris.
The Blazers were an obscure group who cut one fine instrumental single “Poison” / “Blue Blazin” with a Century Custom franchise out of Paducah, Kentucky, in the far west of the state.
“Blue Blazin” was the original A-side, a bluesy guitar workout with plenty of room echo. B. Houghland and R. Griffith, I presume they were members of the band.
“Poison” has achieved some fame since appearing on an early volume of Strummin’ Mental (available now through Crypt Records). J. Adler and H. Alexander wrote “Poison”.
The Blazers recorded through the Century Custom Recording Service of Thomas F. Morris at 3029 Oregon St., Paducah, Kentucky. Fellow Paducah band the Moxies recorded their great last single, “I’m Gonna Stay” / “Drinkin’ Wine” through Century.
The Century Custom release number 18054 dates it to 1964.
The Nomads came from Evansville, Indiana and played live throughout the southwest part of the state. Members included:
Eddie Karges – rhythm guitar, lead vocals Max Emmick – lead guitar Chuck Dowd – organ Jeff Davis – bass Gary Varden – drums
In 1965 they recorded their only single in Santa Claus, IN, released on Skoop 1065, one of the labels owned by Ray Scrivener. One side is the disaffected “Coolsville”, written by Max Emmick and Jeff Davis, with some of the classic lyrics of the era:
Walking down the street with my baby, In my baggies?? so tight, Yeah, I was whistled at, By a gang of girls.
Went to a dance that night, Danced with all my might, Walked into the gym, Boy what a crowd of hicks, Yeah they were doing the Twist, C’mon and twist, twist, twist, twist, ahhh!
Strolled up to a chick, Smiled and I said to her, Do the Twist or (?) the Charleston?
I’m a gonna leave this town, Yeah, I’m a gonna leave this town, I’m a gonna leave this town, Never to return again.
The flip is the more tender “Shy Girl”, written by Max Emmick.
Despite the Buna Music BMI publishing credit on the labels, I don’t believe these songs were registered with either the Library of Congress or BMI.
I’ve read Ed Karges and Chuck Dowd later played in another Evansville group, the Misfits, who cut “I’ll Feel Better (In the Morning)” / “Please Don’t Go Away” (both by Kneeland – DeVillez) on the Showboat label in 1967.
Jeff Davis moved to Tennessee where he formed the Amazing Rhythm Aces in the early ’70s.
According to an interview with Ron Cortner, the band was originally called the Roustabouts. By the time of the 45 the group consisted of:
Boyd Bogle – lead vocals Tommy Bradley – lead guitar Ron Cortner – rhythm guitar Blaine Trumbold – bass guitar Eddy Cortner – drums
The band’s members changed frequently, so please check Blackwell & Lake’s research for the full story.
Pla-Me Records was located at 903 Louisiana in Muskogee, 40 miles to the southeast.
The original A-side “Love Comes Once In a Lifetime” is a fine, slow balla; since it isn’t on youtube I’m including a recording of it here from my scratchy copy.
The T4KM-9713/4 RCA custom pressing code indicates a release date from the first half of 1966. The labels credit Bobby McBride and Curtis Long with A&R, both had their own singles on Pla-Me Record. Curtis Long ran the publishing for Vilena Pub. Co. BMI, but neither of these songs were registered with BMI or the Library of Congress.
Pla-Me Records of Muskogee is not related to the Ohio label Pla Me, though both were releasing records at the same time. The Muskogee label had a 666P prefix to its RCA custom pressings, while the Ohio label’s account was 804B.
The Vibrators came from Pike County in eastern Kentucky, including the towns of Pikeville and Phyllis. Circa 1968 they cut the fine single “Bad Girl”, written by Stevie Justice. There’s a lot to like about the song, including a good guitar solo, excellent drum fills and lyrics like “I’ll get even with you before I die”.
The single came out on Graco Records 45-507, with deadwax markings repeated on the labels, 5650/1. The Vibrators would have traveled some distance to find a pressing plant for the singles. Lexington, Kentucky was 140 miles away, and Charleston or Huntington, West Virginia were not much closer. Max Waller suggests the 5650 code indicates Southern Plastics / United Record Pressing in Nashville, which is likely, though there is no etched “SO” or Nashville Matrix stamp in the deadwax. If the 45 is from Southern Plastics, the code would indicate a January, 1969 release.
Richard Hunt produced both sides. The labels indicate BMI for both songs but I can find no evidence of copyright registration for either song.
I only know of two band members’ names, Steve Justice and Fonso Fields. Fonso Fields wrote the flip, the bluesy instrumental “Keep a Dreamin’”.
The Madhatters have the earliest single on the Re-Echo Records label out of Livingston, Tennessee, about 100 miles northeast of Nashville. The A-side was a better-than-average version of “Unchain My Heart” b/w a breezy garage pop song, “That Kind of Girl”, released on Re-Echo Records 1003-45 in 1966.
T. Bradford, M. Peterman, J. Holloway wrote “That Kind of Girl” and were probably members of the band. I can’t find any further info on the group.
The label reads published by Middle Tenn. Music Co. BMI and Atwell Studio Production. Unfortunately, though many other songs published by Middle Tennessee Music were registered in the ’60s, I can find no copyright notice for this song or the writers.
Like many early releases on Re-Echo, this is a Rite pressing 17843/4, account number 1810. Other than the Madhatters, all other releases on the Re-Echo label seem to be either country or white gospel music.
Livingston, TN also had the Breeze Records label, based out of 209 South Church Street, with a connection to Atwell Publishing on 704 Bennett St. in Lafayette, TN, and featuring Dickey Cherry and Lonnie Holt, among others.
Re-Echo Records discography (probably incomplete)
1003 – Madhatters – “Unchain My Heart” / “That Kind of Girl” 1004 – Jim Edwards – “Talk to Your Heart” (James E. Hensley) / “If You Were My Darling” 1005 – Crownsmen Quartet – “Sweet Jesus” / “When God’s Chariot Comes” 1007 – Herman Hatfield and the Tennessee Valley Boys – “Sweet Memories of You” / “He Is The Master of Us All” 1008 – Sharlet Sexton & the Tennessee Valley Boys – “I Ain’t Good For Nothin ‘cept Pickin and Singin” / “Boys Like You” 1010 – Leon and Earl & the Bluegrass Mountain Boys – “There Could Never Be Another” / “False Dreams” 1011 – The Poston Family – “I Remember Daddy” / “It Might As Well Be Me” 1012 – Vic Jason & the Lonely Ones – Home Again” / “To Be Free” (both by Charles ‘Clint’ Cravens) 1014 – Dickey Cherry and the Common People – “All But Me” (Terry Muncy) / “Anita, You’re Dreaming” 45-6-2328-69 – Lonnie Holt – “Overton Hanging” / “One Little Things At a Time”
plus a spiritual album by the Four J’s Keeper of the Door.