Mike Hutson – lead vocals

Pete Frolich – guitar (replaced original guitarist)

Martin Woodward – keyboards

Dave Moses – bass

Chic – drums

This five-piece harmony band was formed at Warlingham School in Surrey during 1968. The group recorded two singles for NEMS, kicking off with “Like the Sun” c/w “Florence”, which was released in September 1968. Both sides were produced by guitarist Pete Gage, who co-wrote “Like the Sun” with the band. “Florence” was written by Mike Hutson with a school friend.

A second single, “Heart and Soul” c/w “Who Wants Happiness” came out on 24 January 1969 by which point the band had split up. Produced again by Pete Gage, “Heart and Soul” was composed by R MacDonald and M Green while Dave Moses penned “Who Wants Happiness”. Pete Gage made the decision that Pete Frolich rather than Mike Hutson should sing on “Heart and Soul”.

Martin Woodward joined The Fantastics’ backing group, The House of Orange and later recorded with Aquila before working with the Tommy Hunt Band. Mike Hutson subsequently took up a post in promotions at United Artists and RCA.

Thank you Martin Woodward for providing information about this band and also to Pete Gage. Garage Hangover would be interested to hear from anyone that can add more information about the group.


The Fantastics – British tours 1967-1969

Originally known as The Velours, US soul band, The Fantastics had enjoyed Stateside success before being brought to the UK by promoter Roy Tempest in late 1967.

Billed as the “Fabulous Temptations” (even though there was no connection with the more famous Motown act), the group’s debut UK tour took place in September 1967.

Bournemouth 65-67
The Sovereigns, circa 1966. Sitting on elephant, left to right: Mich Tomich, Freddie Tillyer, Pip Williams and Keith Franklin. Standing: Roy St John (pic: Pip Williams)

To support the soul act on the road, Roy Tempest’s agency hired West London band, The Sovereigns, who had been formed in mid-1965 and comprised singer Roy St John (real name: Roy Thwaites), lead guitarist Pip Williams, bass player Mick Williams, tenor sax player Freddie Tillyer and drummer Keith Franklin.

When the band turned professional, Pip’s brother Mick dropped out and Mick Tomich took over on bass. Shortly after, sax player Freddie Tillyer also left. Just before the band got picked up by Roy Tempest’s agency, Scotsman Brian Johnson, keyboard player in The Senate, came on board.

Pip 65-67
Pip Williams, circa 1966.

Selected gigs:

1 September 1967 – California Ballroom, Dunstable, Hertfordshire (billed as “Fabulous Temptations”) (possibly debut show)

2 September 1967 – Starlight Room, Boston Gliderdrome, Boston, Lincolnshire with The Equals, The Sovereigns and The Rubber Band (billed as “Fabulous Temptations”)

3 September 1967 – King Mojo, Sheffield (billed as “Temptations”)

5 September 1967 – Whisky A Go Go, London (billed as “Temptations”)

Within weeks of the tour starting, Mick Tomich departed and Ron Thomas was brought in from Hamilton & The Movement. Tomich went on to play with Pickettywitch among others. By this point, the group had changed name from The Sovereigns to The House of Orange.

Selected gigs:

16 September 1967 – The Place, Wakefield, West Yorkshire


14 November 1967 – Whisky A Go Go, London (billed as “Fabulous Temptations”).

17 November 1967 – California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire (billed as “Fabulous Temptations”)


Fantastics Dec 19673 December 1967 – Starlight Ballroom, Crawley, West Sussex with The Army (billed as Temptations)

5 December 1967 – Klooks Kleek, West Hampstead, London (billed as “Fabulous Temptations”)


17 February 1968 – Princes Pavilion, Falmouth, Cornwall with Peace & Quiet

25 February 1968 – Beau Brummel Club, Nantwich, Cheshire (bills backing group, The House of Orange) with The Jaytree Organisation


2 March 1968 – Starlight Ballroom, Boston Gliderdrome, Boston, Lincolnshire with Gospel Garden, The Reformation (bills backing group, The House of Orange)

2 March 1968 – Brave New World, Portsmouth, Hampshire (billed but replaced by Mike Cotton & Lucas)

3 March 1968 – Ram Jam, Brixton, London

17 March 1968 – Beau Brummel Club, Nantwich, Cheshire (bills backing group, The House of Orange) with The Jaytree Organisation


Fantastics March 196826 April 1968 – Clockwork Orange, Chester, Cheshire (bills backing group, The House of Orange)

27 April 1968 – Ram Jam, Brixton, London with Duke Reid Sound


6 May 1968 – Belfry, Wishaw, West Midlands with Immediate Pleasure

13 May 1968 – Cromwellian, London


3 June 1968 – Queen’s Hall, Leeds with The Herd, Bill Haley & The Comets, Alan Bown, Edwin Starr, Amboy Jukes, Gospel Garden, Clockwork Orange and others

3 June 1968 – Blue Lagoon, Newquay, Cornwall with The Action (unlikely with gig in Leeds on the same day)

10 June 1968 – Carlton Club, Warrington

11 June 1968 – Klooks Kleek, London

15 June 1968 – Bulmershe College of Education, Woodley, Berkshire


11 August 1968 – Black Prince Hotel, Bexley, Kent

16 August 1968 – Fishmonger’s Arms, Wood Green, London

22 August 1968 – Klooks Kleek, West Hampstead, London

24 August 1968 – “Middle Earth”, Torquay Town Hall, Torquay, Devon (bills backing group, The House of Orange) with The Royals and Howard Stephen Shape


1 September 1968 –Queen’s Hall, Leeds with Ben E King, Clyde McPhattter, Flirtations, Tim Rose, Timebox and The World of Oz

2 September 1968 – Brave New World, Portsmouth, Hampshire

14 September 1968 – Blue Lagoon, Newquay, Cornwall with Same Brothers and Confusion

17 September 1968 – Hatchettes Playground, London


11 October 1968 – Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham

12 October 1968 – Links, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire with Fragrant Blend

29-31 October 1968 – Rum Runner, Birmingham with Catz

31 October 1968 – Birdcage, Harlow, Essex


1 November 1968 – Bird Cage, Harlow, Essex with Chuck Jackson and Carla Thomas

2 November 1968 – Rawtenstall Baths, Rawtenstall, Lancashire

5 November 1968 – Concord, Southampton, Hampshire

8 November 1968 – Swimming Baths, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire

22 November 1968 – California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire

23 November 1968 – Odeon Manchester (or was this Manchester Free Trade Hall?) with Diana Ross & The Supremes and others

24 November 1968 – London Palladium, London with Diana Ross & The Supremes and others

29 November 1968 – Cue Club, Paddington, London

30 November 1968 – New Century Hall, Manchester


1 December 1968 – Princes and Domino clubs, Manchester

3 December 1968 –The Place Club, Henley, Berkshire (sure not The Place, Hanley, Staffordshire?)

6 December 1968 – City Hall, Sheffield

7 December 1968 – Elm Court Ballroom, Botley, Hampshire

9 December 1968 – Ramsgate Coronation Ballroom, Ramsgate, Kent

12 December 1968 – Pavilion, Worthing, West Sussex

13 December 1968 – Top Rank, Doncaster

15 December 1968 – RAF Mildenhall

16 December 1968 – Tithe Farm, Harlow, Essex

20 December 1968 – Tabernacle, Stockport, Greater Manchester

21 December 1968 – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, Essex

22 December 1968 – Black Prince Hotel, Bexley, Kent

23 December 1968 – Golden Torch, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

24 December 1968 – Plaza Ballroom, Newbury, Berkshire

26 December 1968 – Imperial Ballroom, Nelson, Lancashire

27 December 1968 – Newmarket Hotel, Bridgewater, Somerset

28 December 1968 – Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire with The Hideaways

29 December 1968 – Mercers Arms, Coventry, West Midlands

30 December 1968 – Belfry Hotel, Wishaw, West Midlands

31 December 1968 – Morecambe Pier, Morecambe, Lancashire


2 January 1969 – Sloopy’s, Middlesbrough

3 January 1969 – Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham

4 January 1969 – Civic Hall, Winsford, Cheshire

17 January 1969 – Town Hall, Birmingham

18 January 1969 – Town Hall, Glastonbury, Somerset

19 January 1969 – Surrey Oval Rooms, Kennington, Surrey

21 January 1969 – King’s Hall, Aberystwyth, Wales

24 January 1969 – White Lion, Edgware, Middlesex

25 January 1969 – Winter Gardens Pavilion, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset


1 February 1969 – New Astoria Ballroom, Rawtenstall, Lancashire and Bin Lid Club, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

2 February 1969 – The Place, Hanley, Staffordshire

7 February 1969 – Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham

14-15 February 1969 – Scene 2 Club, Scarborough

16 February 1969 – Black Prince Hotel, Bexley, Kent

22 February 1969 – Cliff’s Pavilion, Southend, Essex

23 February 1969 – Good Companion’s Hotel, Slough, Berkshire

In late February, Keith Franklin and Brian Johnson both departed. Pip Williams and Ron Thomas brought in drummer James Smith from The Nashville Teens and organist Martin Woodward from Tapestry.

Selected gigs:

19 March 1969 – The Lyceum, the Strand, London with The Move (debut show with new line up)

Martin Woodward remembers playing the following venues but doesn’t remember the dates:

Civic Hall, Winsford, Cheshire

400 Ballroom Torquay (at least twice)

Scene 2 Club, Scarborough (two or three times)

The Place, Hanley, Staffordshire

Lyceum, Sheffield

Mecca Derby (at least twice)

Mecca Plymouth

Winter Gardens Pavilion, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset

Dunstable (possibly California Ballroom)

Middlesbrough Showboat for a week plus one night stands

Middlesbrough (with Three Dog Night)

Kenilworth Grange

Bolton Casino, Wigan Casino, Garrick Lea (for seven days)

Sheffield University for last two nights

April – US airbases in Germany and then Zurich, Switzerland with Gun

Selected gigs:

25 April 1969 – Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham

25 May 1969 – Skegness Seaside Soul Festival, Skegness, Lincolnshire with Amen Corner, Inez and Charlie Foxx, Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds

According to James Smith, the Fantastics had problems with UK work permits around this time and had to work in Europe for six months. Just before the following gigs in Germany, Ron Thomas left (later to play, most notably, with The Heavy Metal Kids) and one of the roadie’s mates joined on bass.

Selected gigs:

June-July 1969 – US airbases in Germany

July 1969 – NATO airbase in Naples, Italy

Martin Woodward in Rome
Martin Woodward in Rome

Pip Williams, who wasn’t long married and needed to return home, left while the band was in Naples and returned home, later joining Jimmy James & The Vagabonds. A guitarist called Fred was flown out to Majorca after the bass player filled in briefly for shows in Cannes, France.

Pip Williams later became a top session player, working with producer Phil Wainman among others. Later on, he became a successful producer, and is best known for producing Status Quo and The Moody Blues, among others.

August 1969 – Majorca (for one month)

Aquila (L-R: Phil Childs, Ralph Denyer, George Lee, Martin Woodward, James Smith)
Aquila (L-R: Phil Childs, Ralph Denyer, George Lee, Martin Woodward, James Smith)

When the band folded in 1970, Martin Woodward and James Smith formed Aquila who, after gigging around the UK, Rome, Paris and Amsterdam, recorded a lone ‘prog rock’ album for RCA. They then teamed up again backing Geno Washington for a short time. Woodward then joined the Tommy Hunt Band and Smith hooked up with a German-based American soul band working in Spain.

Gig sources:

Fabulous 208 Magazine, Lincolnshire Standard, Melody Maker, Crawley Advertiser, West Briton & Royal Cornwall Gazette, Birmingham Evening Mail, Northwich Chronicle, Sheffield Star, Warrington Guardian

A huge thanks to Pip Williams, Martin Woodward, Ron Thomas and James Smith for their help piecing the band history together. Thank you to Pip Williams for The Sovereigns photos. Thanks to Martin Woodward for personal photo and to James Smith for Aquila image.

Copyright © Nick Warburton, 2015. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any from or by any means, without prior permission from the author. To contact the author, email: Warchive@aol.com or nick_warburton@hotmail.com



The Hum Drum Band

Hum Drum BandJan Ball – lead vocals

Anne ? – lead vocals

Jon Guyett – lead vocals

Tony Bramwell – lead guitar

John Iggleden – keyboards

Norman Rowe (aka Big Norm) – bass

Steve Dunkley – drums

Band photosFormed in early 1967, the original line up played regularly at the Railway Hotel, Greenford on Sunday mornings. Tony Bramwell had previously played with The Fantoms.

The Hum Drum Band also performed regularly at the White Bear in Hounslow where they often ran into Dave Cousins who played there before The Strawbs became famous.

When John Iggleden left (possibly to join The Downliners Sect), the group subsequently brought in a sax player called Brian (Marshall?).

The Hum Drum Band broke up in 1969 and Steve Dunkley went on to play with several local bands before drumming on cruise ships. He later ran his own roofing firm.

Jon Guyett, who was an industrial chemist, went on to run his own business. Tony Bramwell, who subsequently married Jan Ball, qualified as chartered quantity surveyor.

Norman Rowe became a well-respected draughtsman in an architect’s practice.

Garage Hangover would be interested to hear from anyone who can provide more information on this group.

Thanks to Tony Bramwell for the information and photos.

Delroy Williams & The Sugar Band/Delroy Williams Show

Delroy Williams – lead vocals

Dave Mumford – lead guitar

Malcolm Wainman – organ

Pete Browning – tenor sax

Les Batt – baritone sax

Dick Merrit – bass

Geoff Coxon – drums

The Sugar Band was formed in late 1966 out of the ashes of West London R&B/soul outfit, Colin Shane & The Shannons. Coxon had joined the outfit that summer after working with Hampton, Middlesex group, The Others.

Around September 1967, the group’s agent linked the band with Jamaican singer Delroy Williams and they worked initially as Delroy Williams & The Sugar Band before becoming The Delroy Williams Shows. Go go dancers Una and Paula joined them on stage.

During 1968, Dave Mumford and Dick Merrit departed and were replaced by new members. However, a combination of poor management and artistic differences led to a split in early 1969 when Coxon left to join The Kool. He subsequently reunited with Dave Mumford in Calum Bryce alongside sax player Mel Wayne, who had been Colin Shane & The Shannons from 1962-1964.

Mumford had recorded the track ‘Love Maker’ under the name Calum Bryce and needed a group to tour to promote the single. The band recorded a second single, “In My Valley”, which was never released.

Notable gigs:

8 October 1967 – Flamingo, London

20 October 1967 – Flamingo, London

29 January 1968 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire

10 February 1968 – Blue Lagoon, Newquay, Cornwall with Spirit of John Morgan

1 March 1968 – Galashiels, Scotland

2 March 1968 – Glasgow, Scotland

3 March 1968 – Edinburgh, Scotland

4 March 1968 – Aberdeen, Scotland

5 March 1968 – Elgin, Scotland

6 March 1968 – Stonehaven, Scotland

7 March 1968 – Dundee, Scotland

8 March 1968 – Forfar, Scotland

9 March 1968 – Edinburgh, Scotland

10 March 1968 – Glasgow, Scotland

11-16 March 1968 – Playboy, London

17 March 1968 – Leytonstone, Essex

18-23 March 1968 – Playboy, London

24 March 1968 – Burton-on-Trent

25 March 1968 – Recording

26 March 1968 – Bournemouth, Dorset

27 March 1968 – Catford, Kent

28 March 1968 – Ealing, Middlesex

29 March 1968 – Flamingo, Soho, London

30 March 1968 – Gloucester, Gloucestershire

31 March 1968 – Gillingham, Kent

1 April 1968 – Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire

11 April 1968 – Colchester, Essex

12 April 1968 – Eastbourne, East Sussex

13 April 1968 – Yeovil, Somerset

14 April 1968 – Stockport, Greater Manchester

15 April 1968 – Leeds

16 April 1968 – Hanley, Staffordshire

17 April 1968 – Revolution, London

18 April 1968 – Abingdon, Oxfordshire

19 April 1968 – Perton

20 April 1968 – Waddington

21 April 1968 – Silver Ends

22-23 April 1968 – London

26 April 1968 – Weymouth, Dorset

27 April 1968 – Torquay, Devon

29 April 1968 – London

14 September 1968 – Alex Disco, Salisbury

Most gigs were sourced from Melody Maker.

Many thanks to Geoff Coxon for background information on the Sugar Band.  

Garage Hangover would love to hear from anyone who can provide more information on the band and its members.

Johnny & The Pursuers

The Pursuers
Johnny Eaton – lead vocals
Dave Thompson – lead guitar
Louis McKelvey – rhythm guitar
Dave Wigginton – bass
Alan Worrell – drums

Johnny & The Pursuers was a short-lived R&B outfit from Twickenham, Middlesex, formed around 1961. Drummer Alan Worrell had gone to Spring Grove Grammar School in Isleworth and was classmates with future Small Faces keyboard player Ian McLagan. They had previously worked together in a skiffle group with Terry Munro.

According to Worrell, Ian McLagan designed and produced the group’s business cards in black and silver.

Johnny & The Pursuers Wimbledon TheatreOn 28 April 1962, the band took part in the Twickenham Rhythm contest alongside local rivals Colin Shane & The Shannons and The Bullets. They also played at Wimbledon Theatre for a week in the Tommy Trinder variety show.

In June 1962, Dave Wigginton and Louis McKelvey departed to join Jeff Curtis & The Flames while Worrell went on to play with Colin Shane & The Shannons.

Garage Hangover would be interested to hear more about this band and what happened to its members.

Thanks to Alan Worrell for the information and images.

The Bullets

E Biggs – vocals
P Ravenill – lead guitar
B Brown – rhythm guitar
J Bennett – bass
Keith McGregor – drums

The Bullets were a little known West London R&B band who participated in the 1962 Borough of Twickenham Rhythm contest on 28 April 1962 alongside Johnny & The Pursuers and Colin Shane & The Shannons.

Keith McGregor later played with Nightshift who had featured Jeff Beck on guitar before he had joined.

Garage Hangover would be interested to hear more about this band and what happened to its members.

Thanks to Alan Worrell for the information

The Skeptics of Dayton, Ohio

The Skeptics Spring 45 WonderingHere’s a great single by the Skeptics, whom I’ve read were from Dayton, Ohio. The urgency and scuzzy burning distortion on the guitar on “Wondering” scream out 1968 to me, a date confirmed by the QCA # 80330, specifically March 1968. The flip is a slow recitative called “I’m Lonely Again” that I find less essential.

This band of Skeptics is not related to the Oklahoma group who cut “Apple Candy”, “Stripes”, and “Turn It On” among other classics.

There’s very little info on the label, even the publishing is limited to simply BMI. No trace seems to exist in BMI’s databases, but I found a Library of Congress copyright record listing Michael Downing (Michael Joseph Downing) and John Hoskins as co-composers of both songs, plus Donald Ray Parrett on “Wondering”, published by Lamar Music in May of 1968. Presumably Downing, Hoskins and Don Parrett were members of the band.

Spring Records was part of O’Brien’s Recording Service in Springfield, Ohio, 24 miles north east of Dayton. There were at least a few releases on the Spring label, but this may be the only one in a rock style. The 45s were pressed at Queen City Albums in Cincinnati.

O’Brien’s Recording Service did register copyrights for a few of song-poem composer Irene Dollar Heffner’s songs, including one, “Vietnam Sweetheart” that was sung by Rodd Keith (under the alias of John Dough). The flip of that was arranged by Jeanne O’Brien.

The Skeptics Spring 45 I'm Lonely Again

The New Generations and the Cyclones of St Marys, PA

The New Generations Bomb 45 I Told You OnceThe New Generations came from St Marys, a rural town in NW Pennsylvania. They had one single on the amazingly-named Bomb Records, “It’s Alright” written by Victor St. John b/w “I Told You Once” by Blake Haberberger. Both songs were produced by Larry Fairchild and published by Magnetic Reproductions, BMI

I’m partial to the b-side, “I Told You Once” which has a perfectly moody, low-key atmosphere.

The New Generations Bomb 45 It's AlrightThe RCA custom pressing code SK4M 3110/1 indicates the second half of 1965, the labels also have other codes: 885-2, YZ 2154/5 whose meaning I don’t know.

I’ve read two members were with the St. Marys band the Cyclones, who had their own excellent single, “She’s No Good” / “Time for Me to Leave” both written by Hampton for Lee Music BMI in December 1965.

If anyone knows the names of other members of either band, or has a photo of either group, please contact me.

The Cyclones Lee 45 She's No Good

Murphy and the Mob

Murphy and the Mob Talisman 45 Born LoserDenny Murphy – lead vocals
Terry Murphy – lead guitar, lead vocals
Kenneth Sigler – bass
John Sebring – rhythm guitar
Ronnie Cooper – drums

The great majority of the information in this post is from Andrew Brown’s Brown Paper Sack.

Terry Murphy started playing with school friends when he was in 7th grade in 1964 in Tyler, Texas. The group was dubbed Murphy and the Mob by an adult as a joke but it stuck. A year later Terry found a more serious group of musicians, kept the band name and started practicing regularly in the Murphy family living room.

The group played live at a local teen club called The Plum, at the Bergfeld Park ampitheatre, at the YMCA and at their Catholic high school. At the Bergfeld Park battle of the bands produced by Rodney Kamel, Murphy & the Mob would compete with The Marauders (from Troup, TX), the Hobos from Jacksonville, and the Indifferents from Tyler, featuing Terry’s friend Sam Blanchard. (The Indifferents had a 45 on Valor, “Cindy” / “She’ll Be Back”).

In October 1966, the band went to Steve Wright Studios in Tyler to cut their only single, hoping for some success with “Because You Love Me” an original by Terry and featuring his lead vocal. Funds for the recording came from the father of Terry’s girlfriend, Diane Whitten. For a B-side, the band tried “Born Loser”, a song co-written by Terry, Denny and the group’s manager, Steve Brewerton, who was attending Tyler Junior College that year.

Dennis and Terry Murphy and Steve Brewerton (and their moms!) signed publishing contracts with Steve Wright’s Thunderball Music Co. for “Born Loser” in October 1966. Interestingly the three also signed a contract on July 14, 1966 for an unrecorded song called “Don’t Let It Blow Your Mind”.

The band pressed 500 copies to be sold at Anton’s Records in the Weingarten Shopping Center, and reached #11 on KDOK’s charts in November 1966. The band continued until the summer of 1967. Terry Murphy stayed in music while Denny Murphy and Ronnie Cooper left music. Sadly, Kenneth Sigler and John Sebring passed away many years ago.

Stephen Brewerton commented at On the Flipside:

Stephen Brewerton, Tyler Junior College Yearbook Photo
Stephen Brewerton, in the 1966 Tyler Junior College yearbook

I was a nerd going to junior college trying to avoid the draft. I began making fur vest out of old fur coats discarded behind a local high end department store. I began selling these fur vests to rock bands. Some were sold to bands that recorded at Robinhood Bryan’s recording studio and Steve Wright’s recording studio. I met Terry and Dennis Murphy and somehow became their manager. I wrote the lyrics to “Born Loser.” I managed them for two months. After I quit managing them, Terry and Dennis put music to my lyrics and recorded the songs at Steve Wright’s recording studio. The “A” side made it to the top 10 on KDOK radio station, the local rock station. “Born Loser” made it into the top 40 on KZEY, the local R & B station. After that I joined the Navy and went to war and became an alcoholic. I am a hell of a lot more proud of my small volume of poetry, “Ramblings Of An Alcoholic Mind” than I am the lyrics of “Born Loser.”

Stephen added to Oktay Gürbüz:

I have lost touch with all persons involved in [the] Mob and don’t know where to find them.  As I stated before, I am not interested in an MOB projects.  I cant remember even one word of “Born Loser”. Terry and Dennis probably consider this infatuation with Murphy and the Mob as I do as a mere childhood juvenile frivolity.

Thank you to Andrew Brown, Morgan Young, Terry Murphy and Stephen Brewerton, and to Oktay Gürbüz who prodded me to do this article for a long time!

I am a loner baby, I swing alone I’ve got my own pad and an unlisted phone
A steady job, that’s all I need
One pocket to fill, baby, just one mouth to feed

I got no pals, but look who’s got the gals
They come to my pad because they want me so bad
I sleep all day and I swing all night
I’m so cool, baby, I’m just out of sight

All these people. I mean, people they just don’t understand. They see me coming, they shake their head and
say, “Look at him. He’s the born loser. Well, look at him. Born loser.” All right.

– Born Loser by Murphy, Murphy and Brewerton

Murphy and the Mob and Thunderball Music contract
Murphy and the Mob and Thunderball Music contract for “Born Loser”, courtesy of Stephen Brewerton


Murphy and the Mob and Thunderball Music contract
Murphy and the Mob and Thunderball Music contract for “Don’t Let It Blow Your Mind”, courtesy of Stephen Brewerton

The Happy Hoss and Stark Records Discography

The Happy Hoss Stark 45 Call Me BabyStark Records in Mount Airy, North Carolina is famous for the single by the Nomads, “Not For Me” / “How Many Times” as well as a good rockabilly 45 by David Southerland and the Southerns. I don’t have the Nomads, but I’ve picked up this oddity, a soulful and very crude single by the Happy Hoss, which seems to be a pseudonym for song writer Alan Westmoreland.

The top side is “Call Me Baby”, the vocalist shouting out the repetitive lyrics in a hoarse voice (ha ha) answered by high-pitched backing vocals. The flip “You’re The One (I Love)” is a ballad with saxophone.

Mount Airy is a small town very close to the Virginia border, 37 miles northwest of Winston-Salem. Stark Records had at least fourteen singles and a couple albums. The label seems to have been run by Thomas Paul Stark, as every release has Tom Paul Music Co. BMI in the publishing.

The Nomads single is their first, and they recalled the studio being in a basement when they cut their 45 and demos. Their next 45 “Thoughts of a Madman” / “From Zero Down” was released on the Tornado Records label (Tornado 159 in April of 1967), which also featured a release by Joe Stone and Bobby Atkins (Tornado T-136, “Mister Bluegrass”) who have a 45 on Stark. Tornado Records was similarly dominated by country releases.

Stark Records Discography (any help with this would be appreciated):

Stark SR-002 – Joe Stone and Bobby Atkins & the Dixie Mountaineers – “Love Is A Lot To Understand” / “Bob’s Special”
Stark SR-003 – Bobby Atkins & the Farm Hands – “Lonesome Banjo” / “My Darling And Me”
Stark SR-004 – The Country Cousins – “Wrong Side Of Town” / “Bought Me A Farm”
Stark SR-005 – David Sutherland and the Southerns – “You Better Leave My Baby Alone” (Sutherland) / “Whispering Bill” (“A Product of Pilot Record Co.”)
Stark SR-006 – Randy Scott – “If Seeing Is Believing” (David Sutherland) / “You’ve Lost Too Much”
Stark SR-006 EP – Siney Ann Wooten – “Darling You Don’t Love Me Anymore” (Paul Johnson, Johnny Long) / “Crazy Mixed Up Town” (David Sutherland)
I believe the A-side of the EP repeats the two songs from the Randy Scott SR-006 single, but I need confirmation of that.
Stark SR-007 – Randy Scott – “So Welcome to the Club” / “Back Up Troubles”
Stark SR-008 – Bob Hastings – “Crazy Mixed Up Town” (David Sutherland) / “Two Kings and One Kingdom” (Johnny Long)
Stark SR-009 – The Nomads – “How Many Times” / “Not For Me” (Bruce Evans, Larry Deatherage, Tom Paul Music Co. BMI, July 1966)
Stark SR-0010 – Intellectuals Combo – “Our True Love” / “That Ain’t Nice” (instrumental, written by Mike Dee Love)
Stark SR-0011 – Siney Ann – “I’m So Lonesome (I Could Cry)” / “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)”
Stark SR-0012 – Jimmy and Wesley and the Twin County Pardners – “Make Me A Pallet On The Floor” / “The World Is Still Waiting For The Sunrise” (Jimmy Arnold and Wesley Golden)
Stark SR-0013 – Hank Riley – “Record Of Heartbreak” / “Consolated Egotated Love”
Stark SR-0014 – Deep Valley Boys – “Please Don’t Honey, Please” / “Some Dark Hollow”
Stark SR-0015 – The Happy Hoss – “Call Me Baby” / “You’re The One (I Love)” both by Alan Westmoreland, Tompaul Music Co.
Stark SR-0016 – Four Souls – “Freedom Bound” / “Louise” (both by Paul Cain, Dennis Inman)
Stark SR-0017 – Tony Zito – “Hide Away Moments in Prayer” / ?
Stark SR-0018 – Bobby Atkins – “Memories Of President John F. Kennedy” (Paul Johnson) / “Love Valley” (1968, recorded by Lookabill’s Studio, Greensboro)
Stark SR-0019 – Don Sawyers and the Grangers – “My Favorite Way to Cry” (Larry D. Alderman – Don Sawyers, vocal by Larry D. Alderman and Don Sawyers) / “Imagination Trapped Within My Mind” (Don Sawyers, vocal by Don Sawyers) 1970
Stark SR-0020 – Carl P. Tolbert – “Liquor By the Drink” / “Changing of the Time” (1974)
Stark 100 – Pete Holden & the Baux Mountain Boys – “Truck Driver’s Vow” / “Legend Of Charlie Monroe”


Stark SR-200-1 – Easter Brothers & the Green Valley Quartet – Bluegrass & Country Hymns (1967)
Stark SR-0001 – The Carolina Gospel Singers (1969)

Most of Stark’s output was country music. Early singles have deep red labels and give the address as 1312 Summit Drive, Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Later ones read 628 South Street, Mount Airy, N.C. Later singles were produced by Paul Johnson.

Max Waller writes: “The Intellectuals had at least one further 45, “I Don’t Want To Cry” (as Mike Watson & the Intellectuals) / Danny Boy (as Glenn Wall & the Intellectuals) on M.K.B. 120 from Jan 1968 (SO 4898)”. MKB Recording was located in Tobaccoville, NC, just northwest of Winston-Salem.

Thank you to Max Waller, Lightnin’ Wells and Franz Kunst for help with this discography.

The Happy Hoss Stark 45 You're The One (I Love)

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