There were a number of groups called the Villagers around the country, but these Villagers came from Dayton and cut only one record, the endearing garage original “He’s Not the Same” b/w the melancholy “Sunshine My Way”.
Released on Hamlet Records V-1000 in 1968, the Villagers are a mystery other than the info on the labels: authors J. Mills and M. Copp, publishing by Counterpart Music, BMI, the code 813L which was Counterpart Records account number with RCA custom pressings, and W4KM-6004/5 (indicating a RCA custom pressing from the first half of 1968).
Library of Congress copyright records give one name, Janis R. Mills, who copyrighted “He’s Not the Same” on January 5, 1968, and “Sun, Shine My Way” (notice the different rendering of the title) on May 20, 1968. M. Copp is not in these copyright listings.
BMI’s database lists Janice Mills and Michael Copp. The spelling of her name as Janice certainly is a mistake on BMI’s part, as BMI attributes two recent country songs by Janice S. Mills from Alabama to the author of “He’s Not the Same”. It wouldn’t be unlike BMI to conflate two similar names.
Strangely, BMI lists “He’s Not the Same” and “Sunshine My Way” as registered to Piagneri Music in Astoria, NY, even though Counterpart Music is still active in Cincinnati.
I can find no listings or articles on the band from that time, so it’s possible they were not even a semi-professional band or one that would play battle-of-the-bands. Maybe Janis Mills wrote these songs and brought them to the attention of Counterpart, which had Michael Copp arrange them with some local group or musicians.
One of Hours came from Lexington, Kentucky and released two singles on the local Chetwyd Records label.
I have three members’ full names:
Bob Willcut – guitar Bob Bogliole – bass Robert Nelson – drums
For the rest of the One of Hours, I only have last names from the record labels: Foreman and Flynn; and a couple first names: David who may have played bass and Shawn who played keyboards.
The band has the very first release on Chetwyd, CW-45001 featuring “It’s Best (by Foreman – Bogliole), a gentle ballad featuring the band’s vocal harmonies, accompanied by what sounds like autoharp and even whistling.
“Trifolia” (by Foreman – Flynn – Bogliole) is more rocking but the production gives it a distant sound. The release date was 1966, and like all their songs the labels list publishing by Chetwyd, though there’s no listing for them in the Library of Congress.
In April 1967 the One of Hours released their second single on Chetwyd CW-45005. The production is so much better, and the band more energetic and tighter. “Feel The Pain” (written by Foreman – Flynn – Bogliele) is a stand-out rocker with blistering lead guitar, some fuzz blasts, good lead and backing vocals, and a solid rhythm section behind it all.
“Psychedelic Illusion” (by Foreman – Willcutt) has the cloudier production of the first single, but has beautiful guitar picking and a melancholy feel to go with lyrics like “the sounds and the colors start to sway / the sounds and the colors are starting to fade / I feel my life slip away”. An organ, barely heard on the flip side, plays the instrumental break.
Dave Baldwin spoke to a couple members of the band in the 1990s and said that Bob Willcutt played a Mosrite electric 12-string on “Psychedelic Illusion”, and also that the studio was known as the “House of Commons”, owned by Ed Commons.
Most intriguingly, Dave learned the group signed to Liberty Records with the group name changed to “Dandelion Wine”, and recorded and mixed an entire album only to have it cancelled by the label. Dave told me Bob’s “description of the unreleased ‘Dandelion Wine’ album made it sound like it was probably good psych with a lot of fuzz guitar.” I hope the unreleased album comes to light someday soon.
The Maltese came from northern Kentucky communities such as Covington, Park Hills and Erlanger, all part of the greater Cincinnati area.
An article in the Enquirer’s Teen-Ager section on Granny’s club in nearby Elsmere, KY shows a band called the Maltese. I think it’s likely this is the same group who recorded on the Lexington, KY label Chetwyd, which would have been about an hour’s drive to the south. Of course I could be wrong and this could be a different group using that name.
The article calls Granny’s teen club the “Home of the Dingos”, a band who played often in the area and who often appear in the local listings, unlike the Maltese.
Two members of the Maltese are identified in the article, John Hyland with the bass, and Mike Mahoney on guitar. Both songs on the single are credited to Akers.
“You Better Stop” has sustained fuzz notes and sounds something like the Who’s “Out in the Street”. “I Want to Talk to You” is more like the Stones doing Solomon Burke. There’s nightclub noise running in the background but it’s not quite Got Live If You Want It.
Chetwyd released the single with number CW-45006 sometime in 1967. The labels note Chetwyd published both sides with BMI but I can find no record of them, or any other Chetwyd song in the Library of Congress listings. Chetwyd had other good garage releases that I’ll cover soon.
Thank you to Barry Wickham for the scan of the Maltese single.
Long rumored to be from Dayton, the What Four were actually from the Cincinnati area, namely the suburbs of Williamsburg and Bethel.
An April 1966 article in the Teen-Ager section of the Enquirer profiled the band:
Although the Greater Cincinnati area boasts hundreds of talented rock ‘n roll groups, only one, the “What Four,” claims a teacher among its members. Twenty-four-year-old Jim Hoerr, who teaches Latin, English and mathematics at Williamsburg High is rhythm and lead guitarist.
Jim Hoerr started rehearsing with student bass player Larry Malott. With Frank Johnson of Madeira High School on drums, they formed a trio called the Noblemen.
When guitarist Roy Jordan of Bethel High joined in 1965, the band became the What Four.
The What Four did well in a battle of the bands sponsored by WONE in Dayton, the prize was a free recording session. They cut two original songs, “Do You Believe” by Jim Hoerr, and “Whenever” by Jim Hoerr and Frank Johnson. The single was released on the Box label, with the band probably paying for the pressing if not the studio time.
I can find no further mention of the band after their April 1966 profile. Teen-Ager published the photo of another What Four in December 1966, a completely different group from Taft High School in Hamilton, Ohio to the north of Cincinnati.
That group was Dave Bowman on bass, Larry Combs on vocals and guitar, Tim Neff on drums and Tom Savage on lead guitar.
This is the third of Pete Kowalski’s articles on ’60s rock groups from Poland. Previously he wrote about Romuald i Roman and Chochoły.
Founded in 1964 in Warsaw, Kawalerowie (The Bachelors) were active only for two years before disbanding in late 1966. The band was composed of four members, all in their twenties:
Jerzy Szczęśniak – guitar, vocals Piotr Raczew – guitar Marek Zarzycki – bass, vocals Marek Rosiński – drums
Despite their fleeting activity, Kawalerowie managed to release a total of fourteen tracks: three full EPs and two songs issued on a 1967 compilation LP “1000 taktów młodości” (“1000 Bars of Youth”). Compared to other mid-1960s Polish beat groups that were lucky enough to be given a chance to make a record, their style seemed to lean towards British rhythm’n’blues of the day with evident influences of groups such as The Animals and The Yardbirds. As far as musicianship is concerned, the band’s recordings represent a rather uneven level – apart from brilliant covers of “I Ain’t Got You”, “I’m a Lover Not a Fighter” and “Long Tall Shorty” with Polish lyrics, and “Nigdy już nie wołaj mnie” which is a great up-tempo track with a sharp scream introducing the guitar solo, there are some less brilliant numbers.
Of all the band’s releases, their second 45, accompanied by a sleeve which bears the same graphics as Chochoły’s “Naście lat” EP, is probably the most appealing one. It opens with “Palcie tylko sporty” (“Smoke Only Sports”) which is the aforementioned rendition of the 1964 Tommy Tucker classic with Polish lyrics which ironically advertise Sporty brand cigarettes, presenting them as a miraculous remedy for the blues. “Piosenka o dziewczynach” (“A Song About Girls”) starts with a wild bass riff but is regrettably compromised by snotty vocals. Side B features “Nigdy już nie wołaj mnie” (“Don’t Ever Call Me Again”) which may very well be among the best Polish garage rock tracks and “Kochaj mnie” (“Love Me”), another Kawalerowie take on an evergreen rhythm’n’blues tune – “The Night Time (Is the Right Time)”.
The rest of the band’s discography is weakened by low recording quality and poor mastering which take away the youthful, vehement energy, so important in this musical genre. Of the tracks on the group’s EPs issued on the Pronit label, three seem to stand out: “Ej, stary” (“Hey, Fella”) which is the previously mentioned cover of “Ain’t Got You”, mistakenly credited to The Yardbairds (sic) on the record label, “Małgorzato, jeśli chcesz” (“If You Want It, Margaret”), a slower love song based on a catchy hummed tune and “Jeszcze nie wiem nic o tobie” (“I Don’t Know Anything About You Yet”) with a simple riff reminiscent of some of the Spencer Davis Group numbers.
The two songs exclusively released on the “1000 taktów młodości” compilation are sung by Wiesław Czerwiński (ex-Chochoły) and his wife Sława with Kawalerowie providing the instrumental backing.
Like the majority of Polish beat groups of the time, Kawalerowie recorded much more material than was officially released in the communist times. The complete Kawalerowie recordings are available on a CD compilation “Kawalerowie – gwiazdy polskiego big beatu” issued by Polskie Nagrania. “Od dzisiaj znów zacznijmy marzyć” (“From This Day On, Let’s Start Dreaming Again”, “I’m a Love Not a Fighter” cover) is available on vinyl compilation Working Class Devils vol. 2, released on Beat Road Records.
Pronit N0426: “To ty w moim mieście” (“It’s You in My Town”) / “Ej, stary” (“Hey, Fella”) / “Małgorzato, jeśli chcesz” (“If You Want It, Margaret”) / “Nie wiem gdzie cię szukać” (“I Don’t Know Where to Look For You”)
Muza N0437: “Palcie tylko Sporty” (“Smoke Only Sports”) / “Piosenka o dziewczynach” (“A Song About Girls”) / “Nigdy już nie wołaj mnie” (“Don’t Ever Call Me Again”) / “Kochaj mnie” (“Love Me”)
Pronit N0457: “Jeszcze nie wiem nic o tobie” (“I Don’t Know Anything About You Yet”) / “Ja wiem co to znaczy” (“I Know What It Means”) / “Słońce w dłoni” (“The Sun in Hand”) / “Czemu chodzisz z głową w niebie” (“Why Do You Go With Your Head In the Clouds”)
Pronit XL0370: “Uderzaj w mig” (“Strike Fast”) / “Kiedy dziewczyna mówi nie” (“When a Girl Says No”)
The Shadows 5 were thought to be from Oswego, New York, on Lake Ontario, northwest of Syracuse, but the band actually formed in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The band members’ first names are on the labels but only know one member’s surname. Another member’s last name is Williams, but I don’t know which.
Bill – lead vocals Randy – lead guitar (Fender Jaguar) Craig McKinney – rhythm and occasional lead guitar (Mosrite “Joe Maphis”) Ralph – bass (Fender Jazz) Vic – drums (Ludwig)
“Gathers No Moss” is an incredible version of the song, and the flip “That Little Girl” is a fine jangler.
Tech Records released the single in August 1966; I can’t find anything else on this label. The quality of the recording is excellent, with the opening guitar riff jumping off the grooves.
This was a very rare record though in the last year about 10 copies have shown up, which is how I was able to afford one.
Craig McKinney wrote to me with info about the group:
Two of us (Vic and I) are from Fulton, NY, a small city just south of Oswego, NY. Vic and I played together there before shipping off to Fort Wayne, IN and college. We started the band out there.
We recorded the record in Fort Wayne, IN at radio station WOWO and pressed 500 copies in Chicago. I wrote the words and music to “That Little Girl” as well as the arrangement for “Gathers No Moss.” Bill sings lead on “Girl” and that’s me on “Moss.” There is only copy out there that was signed by all members of our band. It was signed while we were on a tour trip to upstate NY in our old hometown.
Q. Were you or Vic in the Newberry 4 of Oswego when you lived in Fulton? They recorded a song called “That’s Why I’m a Rolling Stone” that is much like “Gathers No Moss”.
We were never in the “Newberry 4.” I heard them once or twice, though I was not there much in those days. They were the area’s top group at the time. They were excellent. A “Beatles” spin-off group if I remember right. Never knew them but admired them at the time. I didn’t remember their song until I heard it after reading a comment on your website. Still a great song to this day.
While we recording in the studio at WOWO, we had a professional photographer take pictures and videos of the group. We also left with the master tape. To this day, the pictures, videos and tapes cannot be found.
The group played backup for The Kingsmen in 1966 at my brother’s fraternity at Franklin College, Franklin, IN. They commented on how much better we were than them. Great fun! We played a LOT of frats and sorority houses in Indiana until Vic and I flunked out and the band broke up. Vic and I both later returned and graduated.
Randy was from Fort Wayne and, unfortunately, passed away about 8 years ago. I’m not sure where Ralph was from, but now resides somewhere in Florida. Bill was from Ohio and still resides there. Vic lives in Huntington, IN. I am back in Fulton, NY.
This is not the same Shadows Five who recorded “Dynamic Drums” / “Gary’s Boogie” for the Sully label and “Markham” / “Twistin’ Shadows” for Peacock. That group became the Ultimates and later Prince Charles & the Crusaders, then finally the Ultimate, with a 45 on Garland.
Records like this one keep collecting interesting. Blue Creed came from somewhere in West Virginia. I haven’t been able to find out anything about the band yet.
It seems likely they recorded at Midway Recording Studio in Hurricane, West Virginia. The related Alta record label usually has a Hurricane address on it, but in the case of the Blue Creed single, Midway-Alta is listed at Camden-on-Gauley, WV, two hours drive east of Hurricane.
Luckily the Blue Creed put some of their names on the labels. Gary Gordon, Dave Franco and Bill Rexroad wrote “Need a Friend”, and the three of them plus Ron Sweeney wrote “Sugarbabe”.
Both songs feature hoarse, exaggerated vocals, a heavily distorted organ sound, a guitarist who sounds something like Jorma, especially on “Sugarbabe”, and a drummer who likes to hit the crash cymbal loudly and often.
Amazingly this came with a sleeve (which I don’t own), sporting a photo of the band in hip clothes, wigs and sunglasses. Two or three of the band look like they’re from an earlier generation of musician than 1970 psychedelia.
I’ve seen the label listed as Moigo Records, but I think Mo Go is more correct, release # 4570. The ARP-1339/40 suggests American Record Pressing Co. in Michigan. Publishing by Sexman Pub Co.
A walk through my Montreal garage bands: the It Group, the Virgins, and Steve & the New Beats, 1964 -1967 by Gus Appignanesi
My name is Gus but went by the name George in garage band era. I started as a drummer playing in a number of garage bands in the east end of Montreal. Unfortunately, the people I met and played with was all with first names. We never thought that we would need last names or photos to find each other years later. We truly lived in the moment.
As a drummer I played in at least two bands; The Ancient and The Morticians. Please don’t laugh; bands had a variety of names. I played with a bass player called Perry and a guitarist singer by the name of Yehor. Downtown the street from us was a great garage band called Little Michael and the Archangels. Their drummer was Called Leddy and his younger brother was Michael. The last band, with the same line up, was called The It Group (managed my girlfriend at the time – Donna). At the same time bands that became more popular were sprouting all around us. There was; The Monks (later called the Exit 4), Bartholomew +3, The Haunted, The Rabble, J.B. and the Playboys and a number of great French bands (The Sinners, Les Classels, Les 409 to mention just a few).
In 1966, I bought and electric Fender Rhodes piano and started to play in bands that were actually getting real paying jobs. The Virgins was a really great rock and R&B band in which we had two drummers (Steve and Peter), guitarist (Dario), two lead singers (???) and me (aka George) playing piano with bass boost (similar to The Doors with no bass player). I then played with another dance R&B band that had changed their image from a rock band called Les Horribles to Steve and the New Beats. Steve was lead singer, Mario on bass, me (aka George) on piano, Serge on lead guitar and a drummer (???). We played every city and town throughout Quebec from 1966-1967.
Expo 1967 actually killed a lot of the local bands, since everyone was coming to Expo to hear a variety of international bands. I believe so called garage bands were coming to an end. Musicians and the equipment changed drastically over the years. People actually rented studios to practice in and recordings became more popular. Bands moved out of their local garages and moved into the larger arena of music. I miss those guys. Hopefully one of them may read this and contact me. Regardless, I hope this short history will be beneficial to anyone out there from that great era. Rock on!