Ronnie D. & the Casuals – “I Need Your Lovin”

Ronnie D. and the Casuals, Ron-Ee 45 I Need Your Lovin'

Ronnie D. and the Casuals, Ron-Ee 45 When A Clown Settles DownTim Warren turned me on to “I Need Your Lovin” by Ronnie D. & the Casuals. The band is better known as Ronnie & the Pomona Casuals for their hit on Donna “I Wanna Do the Jerk”.

“I Need Your Lovin'” has a different sound, even though the chunky guitar, swinging bass lines and solid drumming are typical of the Eastside style.

The similarity to John English III’s “I Need You Near” is striking and begs the question, which came first? The Sabra label released John English III’s single in May of 1965. The release date for Ronnie D. & the Casuals 45 is much less certain. The very small stamped “H” in the deadwax only indicates an RCA Custom press.

I’ve read that this is the first release by Ronnie D. & the Casuals, but that would date it to before the release of their Donna 45s which began around November of 1964. More likely it comes after their contract with Bob Keane ran out following three singles and LP on Donna, and a 45 on Mustang in May of 1965. This would make it a cover, or adaption, of the John English III song.

Song writing credits aren’t much help – John English is credited as writer on “I Need You Near”, published by Rattan Music BMI, while Ronnie D. & the Casuals’ “I Need Your Lovin” lists Derrek A. as writer, published by Branch Pub. Co. BMI.

The flip is “When a Clown Settles Down” a long ballad with some good moments, but poorly-produced. I can’t imagine the band was happy with the sound of this side of the single. This side also written by Derrek A., a name I can not trace to any other release from this era.

If John English III had the first release, one question is how did it come to the attention of Ronnie D. & the Casuals? The John English III single is especially rare, only a handful of copies now exist. It had almost no distribution or airplay at the time. Though based in San Fernando, John English III did perform with his group the Heathens at the Retail Clerks Auditorium in Buena Park, and at Pandora’s Box on the Sunset Strip, so some exposure was possible. By coincidence the Casuals single on Ron-Ee seems to be very rare as well.

Another question would be who is singing on this record? Chas Lett was the usual lead vocalist for Ronnie & the Pomona Casuals, but to my ears this sounds like someone else.

Ronnie & the Pomona Casuals were:

Charles Lett (vocals)
Ronnie Duran (lead guitar)
Robert Arroyo (organ) replaced by Les Kalil (Wurlitzer electric piano)
Jimmie Duran (tenor sax)
Robert Foley (baritone sax)
Ryan O’Brien Jr. (bass)
Phillip Duran (drums)

Ronnie Duran and his brother Jimmie attended Damien High School in San Dimas, California, where they formed the Casuals. Their first recording may have been “20.75”, which appeared on the second volume of the Salesian High School Rock ‘n Roll Show, recorded October 18, 1964. Billy Cardenas, manager and producer of Cannibal & the Headhunters, The Premiers, The Blendells, Mark & the Escorts and many other great acts, took them on and brought them to Bob Keane’s Donna Records.

In November, 1964 they put out the first of three singles and an LP on Donna. An interesting side note is that Arthur Lee of Love wrote “Everybody Jerk” and “Slow Jerk”, and sang backing vocals on the album. The Pomona Casuals had one further single on Mustang (the replacement label for Donna, which Keane retired), and also backed the Sisters on their Del-Fi single, “Ooh Poo Pa Do” and “Happy New Year Baby” (Del-Fi 4302).

The Casuals recorded their Donna and Mustang singles at Stereo Masters in Hollywood with Bruce Morgan engineering and Billy Cardenas producing. This single on Ron-Ee was cut at Audio Craft Recorders (aka Audio Craft Recording Studios) at 283 North Garey Avenue in Pomona.

Ronnie & the Casuals continued performing into the 1970s (I can find ads for their appearances through January 1970). Charlie Lett was killed many years ago and Les Kalil has passed away.

Mark Guerrero wrote an excellent history of Ronnie & the Pomona Casuals at http://www.markguerrero.com/26.php that I highly recommend. You Found That Eastside Sound has scans of their records and more info.

Ronnie & the Pomona Casuals discography:

Donna 1400 – “Swimming at the Rainbow” / “Casual Blues”
Donna 1402 – “I Wanna Do the Jerk” / “Sloopy”
Donna 1405 – “Out of the Blue” (Cherry-Wright) / “Slow Jerk” (Arthur Lee, Maravilla Mus, Inc. BMI)
Donna DO-2112 – Everybody Jerk (LP)
Mustang 3005 – “Please, Please, Please” / “We’re Gonna Do the Freddie”
Ron-Ee 1001 – “I Need Your Lovin” / “When a Clown Settles Down”

Ronnie and the Casuals photo
Ronnie and the Casuals, clockwise from bottom left: Phillip Duran, Ryan O’Brien, Ronnie Duran, Robert Foley, Jimmie Duran (tenor sax), Robert Arroyo (with arm on keyboard), and Charles Lee. Head of Willie G. at bottom center from photo collage. Photo from the Salesian High School Rock ‘n Roll Show LP vol. 2

The Golden Cabaleers (Golden Cavaliers)

The Golden Cabaleers IGL 45 Come Back To MeThe Golden Cabaleers are one of the more obscure bands on the IGL label. They released their 45 “Come Back to Me” / “All Alone” on IGL 123 in August of 1966. Teen Beat Mayhem lists the band’s location as Holstein, Iowa, 50 miles east of Sioux City, and about an hour and a half drive south of the IGL studio in Milford.

James Goettsch wrote and sang both songs on the single. He attended high school first in nearby Cushing, IA, then graduated from Eastwood Community School in Correctionville, IA in 1967. His first band was the Roadrunners with his brother Gerald Goettsch, T.J. McGuire and Lane Volkert. According to James’ obituary, the band changed their name to The Golden Cavaliers, which makes more sense than Cabaleers. James Goettsch became a physician. He passed away on June 30, 2005.

“All Alone” is very underrated – it received only a 2 in TBM. Check it out below and judge for yourself. It’s a low-key ballad with steady picking and fine vocals. “Come Back to Me” is more upbeat. No indication on the label as to which is the top side. I realize now my copy of the 45 is signed by both brothers on the labels.

The Golden Cabaleers IGL 45 All Alone

Top Ten Club, Hamburg

Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Top Ten Club, Hamburg, photo courtesy of K&K Hamburg

Apart from the Star Club, the Top Ten Club on the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli was arguably the most important rock music venue in Hamburg during the 1960s.

Opened in 1960 by Peter Eckhorn and operated by Iain Hines, the Top Ten Club was where The Beatles played and also backed singer Tony Sheridan in the group’s first recording sessions during early-mid 1961.

Throughout the 1960s, the Top Ten Club played host to a huge number of British bands, some of which featured future stars such as Elton John, Ritchie Blackmore (later in Deep Purple) and Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder (later in The Moody Blues).

Initially, there was only one band each month but from the mid-1960s onwards, there would be several groups sharing the bill each month. Singer Isabella Bond was a regular fixture and saxophone player Ricky Barnes helped run the club during the mid-late 1960s.

I have started to compile a list of bands that played at the Top Ten Club during this period but would welcome any additions and corrections in the comments below.

October 1960:

The Beatles: John Lennon (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Paul McCartney (rhythm guitar/lead vocals); George Harrison (lead guitar/lead vocals), Stuart Sutcliffe (bass/lead vocals) and Pete Best (drums).

1961?:

The Jets: Iain Hines (keyboards), Colin Meander (lead guitar), Tony Sheridan (rhythm guitar), Rick Hardy (guitar), Peter Wharton (bass) and others.

27 March-2 July 1961:

The Beatles: John Lennon (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Paul McCartney (rhythm guitar/lead vocals); George Harrison (lead guitar/lead vocals), Stuart Sutcliffe (bass/lead vocals) and Pete Best (drums).

1 November 1961-January 1962:

Wayne Gibson & The Dynamic Sounds: Wayne Gibson (lead vocals), Mick Todman (lead guitar), Ray Rogers (bass), Pete Gillies (rhythm guitar) and Larry Cole (drums).

December 1962:

The Krewcats: Ray Thomas (lead vocals), Mike Pinder (keyboards/lead vocals), Ted Tunnicliffe (lead guitar), Andrew Franklin (bass) and Fred Carter (drums).

March 1963:

The Blackjacks: Pat Harris (lead vocals), Don Callard (lead guitar), Robbie Williams (rhythm guitar/vocals), Bob Wilkinson (bass) and Pete James (drums).

August 1964:

The Mastersounds: Mal Jefferson (lead vocals/bass), Adrian Lord (lead vocals), Tony Cockayne (lead guitar), Gerry Stewart (tenor sax), Mike Price (drums) and others.

February 1965:

The Krew, Paddy, Klaus & Gibson, London Beats (plus Isabelle Bond and Beryl Marsden)

The Krew: Steve Aldo (lead vocals), Paddy Chambers (lead guitar), Howie Casey (tenor saxophone), John Bradley (bass) and Eddie Sparrow (drums).

Paddy, Klaus and Gibson: Paddy Chambers (lead guitar), Klaus Voorman (bass) and Gibson Kemp (drums).

The London Beats: Frank Bennett (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Mick Tucker (lead guitar/lead vocals), Sam Coafee (bass) and Jim Smith (drums)

??? 1965:

Next of Kin: Frankie Allan (lead vocals), Dai Johns (lead guitar), Mike Ashman (rhythm guitar), Robert Evans (bass) and Alan Snell (drums).

March 1966:

Frank Sheen Sound: Frank Sheen (lead vocals), T J Huggett (keyboards), John Cushen (bass), John Herridge (drums) and Jeff Condon (trumpet) plus others.

March 1966:

Bluesology and Linda Laine & The Sinners

Bluesology: Stewart Brown (lead guitar/lead vocals), Reg Dwight (aka Elton John) (keyboards/lead vocals), Rex Bishop (bass) and Mick Inkpen (drums).

Linda Laine & The Sinners: Linda Laine aka Veronica Lake (lead vocals), Del Hidden (lead guitar), Peter Bellotte (rhythm guitar), Russ Maxwell (bass) and Len Crawley (drums).

April 1967:

The Copycats: John Stewart (lead guitar), Iain Lyon (rhythm guitar/vocals), Billy Cameron (bass/vocals) and Rob Lawson (drums/vocals).

July/August 1967:

Bluesology and Manchester’s Playboys

Bluesology: Alan Walker (lead vocals), Stewart Brown (lead guitar/vocals), Reg Dwight (aka Elton John) (keyboards/lead vocals), Caleb Quaye (guitar), Marc Charig (cornet), Fred Gandy (bass) and Pete Gavin (drums) (not sure this is the correct formation)

Manchester’s Playboys: Kerry Burke (lead vocals), Stuart Fahey (lead guitar/Trumpet), Graham Sclater (keyboards), Alan Watkinson (bass), Malcolm Tagg-Randall (saxophone) and Peter Simensky (drums).

Circa September 1967:

The Berkley Squares: Barry Wade (lead vocals), Ray Martinez (lead guitar/vocals), Dave Eldredge (keyboards/vocals), Leigh Catterall (bass/vocals) and Terry Abbs (drums).

December 1967:

Floribunda Rose: John Kongos (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Chris Demetriou (keyboards/vocals), Pete Clifford (lead guitar/vocals), Jack Russell (bass/vocals) and Nick Dokter (drums).

March 1968:

Scrugg (possibly billed as Floribunda Rose) and Manchester’s Playboys

Scrugg (two weeks from 1 March): John Kongos (lead guitar/lead vocals), Chris Demetriou (keyboards/vocals), Jack Russell (bass/vocals) and Henry Spinetti (drums).

Manchester’s Playboys: Kerry Burke (lead vocals), Stuart Fahey (lead guitar/Trumpet), Graham Sclater (keyboards), Alan Watkinson (bass), Malcolm Tagg-Randall (saxophone) and Peter Simensky (drums).

Thanks to the following for contributing to the timeline: Mick Tucker, Jim Smith, Frank Bennett, Graham Sclater, Jack Russell, Nick Dokter, Len Crawley

The Voom Voom Club, St. Tropez

A notable rock music venue in the South of France, the Voom Voom Club in St. Tropez was frequented regularly by French actress Brigitte Bardot and her husband, the late Gunter Sachs.

During the mid-late 1960s, many notable British bands performed at the Voom Voom, including Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede, Jimmy Cliff & The Shakedown Sound, The Soft Machine, The New Formula, Mickey Finn & The Blue Men and The Ray King Soul Band.

I have started to compile a list of bands that played at the Voom Voom Club but would welcome any additions and corrections in the comments below.

March 1967 (Melody Maker lists 16 days in St. Tropez but may not be Voom Voom):

The Herd: Peter Frampton (lead vocals/lead guitar), Gary Taylor (bass), Alan Bown (keyboards/lead vocals) and Andrew Steele (drums)

May 1967:

Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede: Carl Douglas (lead vocals), Del Grace (lead guitar), Mike Manners (keyboards), Tony Charman (bass), Mel Wayne (sax), Verdi Stewart (trumpet) and Del Coverley (drums)

New Formula: Mike Harper (lead vocals), Martin Fallon (lead guitar), Bruce Carey (bass), Ricky Dodd (vocals/saxophone) and Tommy Guthrie (drums)

July 1967:

Jimmy Cliff & The Shakedown Sound: Jimmy Cliff (lead vocals), Kevin Gammond (lead guitar), Terry (Verden) Allen (keyboards/vocals), John Best (bass) and Sean Jenkins (drums)

August 1967:

Ray King Soul Band: Ray King (lead vocals), Roger Dean (lead guitar), Terry Leeman (keyboards), Paul Slade (bass), Jim Lang (tenor saxophone), Ken Horton (baritone saxophone) and Malcolm Jenkins (drums)

August 1967:

Mickey Finn & The Blue Men: Alan Mark (lead vocals), Micky Waller (lead guitar), Rod Clark (bass/lead vocals), John Cooke (keyboards) and Richard Brand (drums)

Circa August/September 1967:

The Soft Machine: Daevid Allen (lead guitar/lead vocals), Kevin Ayers (bass/lead vocals), Mike Ratledge (keyboards/vocals) and Robert Wyatt (drums/lead vocals)

21 May-11 June 1968:

Ray King Soul Band: Ray King (lead vocals), Paul Williams (lead guitar), Terry Leeman (keyboards), Paul Slade (bass), Jim Lang (tenor saxophone), Ken Horton (baritone saxophone) and Malcolm Jenkins (drums)

The Big Wheel

The Big Wheel Eurex PS back

The Big Wheel, Switzerland, late 1966, left to right: Mick Holland, Del Coverley (front), Andy Clark (wearing glasses), Paul Stroud and Ron Bryer
The Big Wheel Eurex 45 Youre Only Hurting Yourself

Paul Stroud – lead vocals

Del Grace – lead guitar (replaced in 1966 by Ron Bryer)

Mike Manners – organ (replaced in 1966 by Andy Clark)

Barry Nicholls – bass (replaced in 1966 by Mick Holland)

Del Coverely – drums

Formed in the Bexley, Kent area in mid-1964, the original line-up included former Carl Lee & The Epitaphs guitarist Del Grace, who joined longstanding lead singer Paul Stroud, bass player Barry Nicholls and organist Mike Manners. Towards the end of the year, former Scimitars sticks man Del Coverley replaced the original drummer.

Big Wheel gigged incessantly around the London area and played regularly at the Black Prince Hotel in Bexley, working with notable acts like John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and The Graham Bond Organisation. In March 1966, the musicians played at a festival in Berlin, Germany.

Around April 1966, Mike Manners dropped out and Andy Clark took his place. On 6 June, the new formation left England to tour Germany and Switzerland. On the band’s return, both Del Grace and Barry Nicholls both departed.

Del Grace joined The Carl Douglas Set in July 1966, which morphed into Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede. Barry ‘Baz’ Nicholls, years later, joined heavy metal band, More, with whom he continues to gig.

With further gigs lined up in Switzerland, the remaining members brought in former Carl Douglas Set guitarist Ron Bryer, who’d previously worked with Lewisham group, The Loose Ends and bass player Mick Holland.

The new configuration developed quite a following in Switzerland, playing at the Tanzrad in Basel before moving on to Zurich. Big Wheel even issued a hopelessly rare (Swiss-only) mod single, Andy Clark’s “Don’t Give Up That Easy” c/w “You’re Only Hurting Yourself”, released on the Eurex label in February 1967.

However, in early October 1966, Del Coverley left to join Del Grace and original Big Wheel organist Mike Manners in Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede.

It’s likely that the remaining Big Wheel members stayed in Switzerland until at least May 1967 whereupon all of the musicians except Ron Bryer returned to the UK.

Bryer joined Dee Dee Barry & The Movements before forming Brainticket in 1968. The band cut a lone album “Cottonwoodhill” in 1971, shortly after which Bryer died of a drug overdose.

Back in the UK, Andy Clark reunited with Del Coverley in The Fenmen (aka Kindness). This proved to be short-lived and after working with Sam Gopal’s Dream and Vamp, he formed Clark-Hutchinson, which brought Coverley in for its 1970 and 1971 albums, “Retribution” and “Gestalt”.

Original member, Mike Manners would record two singles with Johnny Young in 1967 after leaving Carl Douglas in July 1967. Del Grace, meanwhile, would record solo material for United Artists and Liberty before moving to Spain and cutting solo CDs.

Many thanks to Del Coverley, Del Grace and Mike Manners for helping to piece this story together. Thanks also to Rolf at Feathered Apple Records in Switzerland for the use of the Eurex single scans

The Big Wheel Eurex 45 Don't Give Up That Easy
The Big Wheel Eurex PS
The Big Wheel Eurex catalog

The Vynes

The Vynes Athon 45 More Each DaySince I posted about the Dynamics on Athon, I will add the Vynes, who have an excellent harmony 45 on the label. The Vynes came from Naperville, Illinois, the same Chicago suburb where Conrad Haidu owned Athon Records.

The top side was “I Might Be Free” written by John Guill. My favorite of the two is the B-side, “More Each Day”, written by Gary Baldwin. The single was released as Athon 103 in February 1967. I’m surprised I can’t find either song on Youtube.

The band consisted of:

Randy Schum – vocals
John Guill – Telecaster guitar
Mark Groenke – Rickenbacker 12-string guitar
Gary Baldwin – bass, lead vocals
Dave Dieter – drums

Victor Wells joined on lead vocals after Gary Baldwin left the band.

Gary Baldwin recalled the band recorded the single at Balkan Studios in Berwyn, Illinois.

Beyond the Beat Generation has a photo and full interview with two members of the band.

The Vynes Athon 45 I Might Be Free

The Dynamics on Athon

Dynamics Athon 45 Clap Your HandsThe Dynamics came up with a catchy dance B-side in “Clap Your Hands”. I can find no info on the band.

The 45 was released as Athon 106 and has a RCA-Victor custom code A4KM-3283/4 indicating an early 1971 pressing, later than I expected from the sound of “Clap Your Hands”.

The original A-side, the ballad “Roses and Thunder” was written by Conrad Haidu and Emme Mulis and published by Athon in 1961. Haidu was Athon’s owner, according to Gary Baldwin of the Vynes.

Donald H. Reese wrote “Clap Your Hands”, also for Athon Music Co. BMI (I believe the spelling of Anthon on the label is a typo).

Carl J. Wychulis produced this single. There was a Pennsylvania polka musician by that name, otherwise I can’t find any info on this producer.

Athon was located in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb west of Chicago, but the publishing seems to have relocated to the small town of Carney, Michigan, north of Green Bay.

incomplete Athon discography: (help with this would be appreciated)

Athon 101: ?
Athon 102: ?
Athon 103: The Vynes – “I Might Be Free” (John Guill) / “More Each Day” (Gary Baldwin) February 1967
Athon 104: ?
Athon 105: ?
Athon 106: The Dynamics – “Roses and Thunder” / “Clap Your Hands” (1971)
Athon 107: ?
Athon 108: Beowulf – “I’ll Walk Down the Aisle (at the Wedding)” (Haidu and Mulis) / “Loves’ Beggar”
Athon 109: Monte DeGrave – “She Still Cares” / “Kiss In The Park”
Athon 110: Pink Panthers – ? / “Annie Had a Baby” (Rich Klitz – James Kerley – Floyd Kerley)

Dynamics Athon 45 Roses and Thunder

Goodly Rubenson

Goodly Rubenson Stonehenge 45 Inside OutsideGoodly Rubenson Stonehenge 45 Crystal Love

Goodly Rubenson Hillsdale Daily News September 6, 1968The only info I could find on Goodly Rubenson was an article from September 6, 1968 that mentioned they would be playing the second dance at the Hillsdale Teen Club on 77 N. Broad St. in Hillsdale, Michigan the next day. I suppose they were local to the south-central area of Michigan around Hillsdale.

This 45 comes from the same month as that show, released on a Rite Press, Stonehenge 22889/22900. It is a low-fidelity recording, but has a lot of appeal, especially the top side, “Inside Outside”. That song and the flip “Crystal Love” were both written by Gaulin, no publishing info listed. Ray Lantz produced the 45.

The Infernos

The Infernos Pride 45 Road of LifeCan’t find any info on the Infernos other than their location of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Their only 45 came out on the Pride label in April, 1967. The best side is a band original, “Road of Life”, a loose rocker with a dry 12-string guitar sound, great vocal shouts, harmonica, and even what sounds to be a Hammond organ.

The flip is “Your Love for Mine”, written by Chuck Douglas, a ballad with enough attitude to make it interesting. Both sides Oklahoma Pub. BMI. Jay Reed produced the single.

Pride Records was located at 2032 E. 49th St. No in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Thank you to Mike Markesich for the correct date of release.

The Infernos Pride 45 Your Love For Mine

The Christian Brothers on Sidewinder

Christian Brothers Sidewinder 45 Feeling Bad

The Christian Brothers 45 on Sidewinder is a neat obscurity I hadn’t noticed before finding a copy. Both sides have some wild backing tracks by a heavy group with two guitarists (plus overdubbed fills), bass and drums. The vocals come out nasal and muddied on “Feeling Bad” to the point of making the lyrics nearly indecipherable.

The flip “The Last Hour” starts with a solo singer who sounds almost old-fashioned, and the lyrics are clear even when sung in unison. Someone should upload that side to utube – I’m not able to make a decent transfer right now or I would.

I thought there might be some religious aspects to these songs due to the group name, the titles and the strange vocals, but there’s nothing explicit that I can make out in the lyrics. Besides, there’s a serpent on the label.

I don’t have any info on the band. Both songs were written by D. Edison and J. Carter for King Midas BMI. The record was produced by J. Branton and arranged by F. Lange, released in March 1968 on Sidewinder Records LL-003.

I don’t know of any other releases on Sidewinder. The label’s location was 739 W. Gladstone, Azusa, CA. Azusa is on the east side of Los Angeles, near Glendora.

Christian Brothers Sidewinder 45 The Last Hour

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