Don & the Holidays came from Orlando, Florida, cutting a single on Kam Records and backing other artists on the label. “Grasshopper Pizza” is fratty r&b with lyrics almost impossible to decipher, something about a “Beatle drive” and “grasshopper pizza is really alive”.
I like the flip, “It Won’t Be Long” with its gloomy sound and spare guitar breaks instead of sax. Both songs are originals credited to Don Adams. Kam Record Co. released it in July, 1966.
Bill Clifford posted the video of “Grasshopper Pizza”, above (under his actual name Bill Schwentner), with the names of the other Holidays members and some info:
Don Adams (vocal), Mark Farrel (Farfisa organ), Bill Stancliff (guitar), Bill Clifford (bass). [“Grasshopper Pizza”] was the only song of 13 recorded that day that was released on Kam Records.
I would like to hear the other 12 songs cut at that session! From the business card included with the video, the band seemed to go by the simple name, The Holidays, and also there was another member named Denny.
Interestingly, it appears from the RCA custom pressing codes that Kam Records issued the Don & the Holidays single at the same time as Kam 102 (Buddy Killen’s “I Oughta Be Home With Nell” / “Mister Blue”) and Kam 103, which featured Holidays’ keyboardist Mark Ferrell on his originals, “Go Go Girl” / “I’ll Never Forget You”.
I haven’t had the chance to hear the Mark Ferrell single yet.
Both songs from the Don & the Holidays single were rerecorded for Kam 111 with the artist name changed to Big Don Adams. These versions are supposed to be slicker than the original release, but I haven’t heard either.
Guitarist Bill Stancliff cut his own composition “Redline” with his Holidays band mates Mark Ferrell and Bill Clifford, along with Billy J. Killen, on November 1, 1965 at Wurtle Film Studios, Orlando. Unfortunately this fine instrumental went unreleased.
Some of the photos in the video above have the name Mark IV behind the band. From the credits, this seems to have been a different lineup featuring Bill Clifford and Bill Stancliff of the Holidays with John Oyler on tenor sax, C.E. Stubblefield on Wurlitzer piano, Roy Halpin on bass, and Clark Wormer on drums.
Kam Record Co. discography
– possibly incomplete, any help with this would be appreciated
Kam 101 – Billy J. Killen – “Truly Love You” / “Walkin’ Talkin’ (In My Sleep For You)” (both by Angel, Killen, Martin) S4KM-8406/7
Kam 102 – Billy J. Killen - “I Oughta Be Home With Nell” (Otto P. Martin) / “Mister Blue” (Martin-Killen-Angel) T4KM-9776/7
Kam 103 – Mark Ferrell – “Go Go Girl” (Mark Ferrell) / “I’ll Never Forget You” (Mark Ferrell, Jerry Adams) T4KM-9778/9
Kam 104 – Don & the Holidays – “It Won’t Be Long” / “Grasshopper Pizza” (both by Don Adams) T4KM-9780/1
Kam 105 – Curt Fields – “Man, Woman And Love” / “Five Lonely Rooms” (both by Angel, Killen, Martin)
Kam 106 – Johnny Selph – “My Gal’s Outta Her Tree Again” (Don Gore) / “Working On Your Future” (John Harris Selph)
Kam 111 – Big Don Adams – “It Won’t Be Long” / “Grasshopper Pizza” (different versions of Kam 104)
Many of these songs are copyrighted to Villard J. Killen, Otto Martin and Robert Paul Angel, whose name appears in producer role as Bob Angel in later singles on the Bion label of Orlando, including ones by Mark Ferrell and Johnny Selph. All Kam Records songs published by Ankilmar, BMI.
Burton Mader – lead vocals, guitar (?)
Kyle Jones – organ
Mark Miller – bass
Danny Foreman – drums
They cut a single in 1968 or 1969 on mbm PRODUCTIONS No. 1946. Keyboardist Kyle Jones wrote the languid A-side, “Laura (Is the Girl)”. The flip is Danny Foreman’s song “Acelia Dulfin”, a warning about a girl with a cool spoken introduction. Hear both songs on youtube:
A comment on Discogs gives the full names of the band, and that they won “the Crowley High talent contest in the late 60s.” Another mention of the band being from Arlington, Texas seems far-fetched, as Arlington is 400 miles away from Crowley.
Mike Miller, son of legendary studio owner J.D. Miller of Crowley ran MBM Productions, putting out these four singles around 1968-1971:
MBM Productions 1945 – Maximus and His Projectors – “A Thing Called Limericks (part 1)” / “Bang Bang Lou Lou” (labeled Not For Broadcast!)
MBM Productions 1946 – Sunshine Reigns – “Laura (Is the Girl)” / “Acelia Dulfin”
MBM Productions 1947 – 49th Blue Streak – “Fire” / “Foxy Lady”
Bulb Record Co. 101 – Sorce – “Tomorrow Won’t See Me” (G. Duhan) / “Courthouse Massacre” (a Division MBM Productions of Crowley Louisiana, MBM Music, BMI)
Mike Miller’s mbm Productions does not seem to be connected to an earlier MBM label that featured a Lafayette, Louisiana band called the Rogues.
Sands of Time – ”Come Back Little Girl” / “When She Crys For Me”) Stearly 8167, August 1967)
Satyrs – “Yesterday’s Hero” (C. Morrill, G. Williams) / “Marie” (Spectrum 2668, released 1968, Haddonfield Heights, NJ)
Groop Therapy with Gary Dial “I’ve Got To Leave This World” (Gary J. Dilllio) / “Ronnie Ronnie” (Lisa 6865, June 1968, Ripley Park, PA)
For more on the Sands of Time, see the separate entry for the band.
Hamilton also put out a number of singles, mainly soul, on the Groovey Grooves label starting in 1968, including the Exceptions “The Look in Her Eyes” and Phillies player Rich Allen and the Ebonistics doing “Echoes of November”.
Groovey Grooves discography
any help with this would be appreciated
Groovey Grooves 160 – Rich Allen and the Ebonistics “Echoes of November” / “Fannari”
Groovey Grooves 161 – Exceptions “The Look in Her Eyes” / “Baby You Know I Need You” (Hynes, Walker, Ellis, Jones, arr. by Bob Lowden)
Groovey Grooves 162 – Collectors “Cruel World” / “I Still Love You” (March, 1969)
Groovey Grooves 163 – Isthmus of Sound “River” / “Sweet Love”
Groovey Grooves 164 – Stone Dawn “Agent Promise Blues” / “What You Think Is Right” (both by Penny Stubbs, Assoc. prod Bill Hoy)
Groovey Grooves 165 – ?
Groovey Grooves 166 – Norwood Long “I’d Like to Have You” / “She Belongs to Me”
Groovey Grooves 167 – Exceptions “The Shagg” / “Danny Boy”
Groovey Grooves 168 – Great Compromise “Let The Evening Roll On” / “He Was A Man”
Groovey Grooves 169 – Les Stewart, Jr. “One Woman Man” / “Mind Your Own Business”
Groovey Grooves 170 – Fairwinds “She & Me” (J. Swank, R. Smith) / “Height in Funland”
Groovey Grooves 176 – Fantastic Soul-Locks “Come On Home Girl” / “Funky Prance”
The Exceptions recorded at Impact Sound Recording Studio on Castor Ave in Philadelphia, while Stone Dawn recorded at Baker Sound in New Jersey.
Klemen Breznikar has an interview with one of the members of Stone Dawn at It’s Psychedelic Baby!. The piece doesn’t identify which member he interviewed but I believe it’s George Manney.
Thank you to Laurent, Max Waller and Mike Markesich for help with this post.
The Sound Track are another unknown group, probably from the area around Kingsport, Tennessee, more than four hours east of Nashville.
Their first single has two cover songs, including one of the best versions of the Music Explosion’s “I See the Light” (E. Chiprut) b/w “Groovin’”. It came out on Trail Records TSRC-1706 in November 1967. It’s a Rite pressing, #20781/2, account #400.
Trail Records came from Kingsport, TN, and had many other releases, mostly gospel. Early releases such as the Grim Reapers “Under My Thumb” / “See See Rider” (Trail TSRC-1702) have a diamond logo and list Tri-State Recording Co. and 1767 Fort Henry Drive. Some later releases such as the Downbeats “Pain” / “Got To Get You Into My Life” (Trail SRC-1736) have a rustic logo with pine trees and “Trail” spelled out in wood logs.
Over a year later the Sound Track put out their second single, this time featuring two band originals. “Face the New Day” has distorted guitar riffs repeating throughout, and solid backing of organ, bass and drums. It sounds almost like an English freakbeat track. Ron Allgood and Jerry Melton wrote the song, they were probably members of the band.
The flip “People Say” is also good, and the composer credits give six names, probably most of the band: Ron Allgood, Jerry Melton, T. Melton, Layton Bentley, Kim Dillard and B. Richmond. Copyright records give B. Richmond’s full name as Randy Richmond. The release came on Action 101, with the codes WS 1000 and PRP 7731/2.
The Sound Track went to Nashville to make their Action single. It was produced by Hoss Linneman and Al Gore, two country musicians with many recording credits to their names. Washington Square Music, BMI published both songs. This was a very rare single until 15 or more copies turned up in August, 2016.
Hear both songs at this Open Drive link while it lasts.
The Rogues recorded two singles on Regan Records circa 1968-1969. They seem to be from Michigan, and the “Capital City Music” publishing on the one original song they recorded may refer to Lansing, but other than that I have no clue.
Their first 45 has good versions of Bob Seger’s “Heavy Music” b/w” a cover of “Born in Chicago”, released on Regan R-0021 with IRM #1039.
The second single has an original song, “Something Called Humanity”, written by Jantz (or Jants) and Gaik (or Galk) – I don’t have a copy so I can only guess at the names on a poor photo online. Publishing by Capital City Music BMI, released on Regan R-0022, with IRM-1067. This was the flip to a version of “Summertime”.
If anyone has a scan or sound clip of “Something Called Humanity” please contact me.
Steve Donahue produced both singles, the second has a credit to Don Kemp for engineering. I can’t find their names in connection to any other releases, nor can I find any other releases on this Regan Records label.
This copy of “Heavy Music” came from the collection of David Martin, with special thanks to his family.
Some of the best versions are the Mussies of South Haven, Michigan who cut it on Fenton, the Fugitives of San Antonio on Alamo Audio, and the Missing Lynx of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, who have it on the flip of “Hang Around” on United Sounds 100.
One of my very favorite versions is by the Chambermen, a sextet from West Valley High School in Spokane, Washington. Their version of “Midnight Hour” on the flip is good too. Members were:
Don Hines – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Lanny Beck – lead guitar
Jim Ryder – rhythm guitar and vocals
Steve Myers – keyboards
Pat Teague – bass
Jon Conant – drums
Steve Mauss (saxophone, vocals) may also have been a member at some point.
After winning a Battle of the Bands at the old Spokane Coliseum, the Chambermen had a chance to record, produced I assume by Larry Wacholtz of 4111 Willow in Spokane, whose name is on the label.
John Conant and Don Hines have since passed away. That’s all I can find on the band.
Does anyone have a photo of the group?
The Del-Fis formed in Bethesda, Maryland in 1964. Members were:
Craig Brown – lead vocals
Steve Brust – lead guitar
Bob Swain – rhythm guitar
Budge Witherspoon – bass
Jim Callas – drums
Fifi Gorska penned an article on the band for the Teen section of the Washington Evening Star on Saturday, May 29, 1965. The article has some great quotes from Bob Swain: “they talked in Greek, but we played in rock” (when the band appeared on WPIK’s Greek show), and his description of singer Craig Brown making up new versions of nursery rhymes, “sentences like a barrage of multiple karate chops to the left pancreas, each one more devastating than its predecessor” [what’s the left pancreas, anyway?]
There’s also a list of their cars (Model A, Ford Mustang, 442 Olds and Chevy II) and mention of girls wearing the Del-Fis name on their “swamp” coats (long rain coats, a fashion fad in 1964).
At the time of the article, Craig Brown, Bob Swain, Jim Callas were students at Walter Johnson High School; Steve Brust and Budge Witherspoon attended North Bethesda Junior High School, all were between 14 and 16 years of age. Their manager was Toby Long, a fellow student at Walter Johnson.
In August of 1965, the band went into the studio to record two original songs for Lillian Claiborne’s DC Records. Craig H. Brown and Steven N. Brust copyrighted both songs in August, 1965. The great side is “Now It’s Time” with it’s chiming guitars, excellent rhythm section and perfect teen vocals.
The flip is “Without You”, a harmony ballad with a finely picked melody, a good one for the slow dance, I guess.
DC Records released this with two label colors: yellow and the pink/fuschia seen here. The article says they did away with the apostrophe in Del-Fi’s but there it is on the label.
I found the article at top 12 years ago while scanning through the microfilm of the New York Public Library, but hadn’t put it together with the band on the DC single until now. If anyone has a better quality photo please contact me.
The Shanels came out of New Haven, Indiana, a town just east of Fort Wayne. The only band member’s name I can find is Marvin Larue, who wrote both songs on this single. “Why Did I” is a stomping Stones-influenced song with harmonica wailing throughout.
The band changes instruments for the ballad flip, “I Really Care For You” utilizing 12-string guitar and organ instead. Vocals are sung in unison for both songs.
West Haven Pub. Co published both songs through BMI, where I found M. Larue’s full name. Timothy Cox of 60s Indiana Band Szene wrote in a comment on Artyfacts in Wax that “every ‘West Haven’ publishing I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a few, is from Ft. Wayne Indiana. Surf Suns, Olivers, Chessmen, and Blues Inc, all shared this.”
From an online obituary, it seems that Marvin LaRue passed away on September 26, 2004 in Minnesota. In 1963 he graduated from New Haven High School and then attended Purdue University.
According to Teen Beat Mayhem, the record dates to February 1965. The number “SS-3886” indicates a pressing by Stereo Sound in Chicago.