The Lost Generation on Bofuz

The Lost Generation circa 1966: Mike Rhodes, Rod Grassman, John Herring, Bob Keating, Ronnie Easley, Ronnie Schilling
The Lost Generation circa 1966, from left: Mike Rhodes, Rod Grassman, John Herring, Bob Keating, Ronnie Easley and Ronnie Schilling.
Thanks to Pam Causey for the photo

Lost Generation Bofuz 45 Let Me OutThe Lost Generation came from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and had one single on the Bofuz Enterprises label, “Let Me Out” / “They Tell Me” in 1966. Both sides are original songs.

“Let Me Out” has a great relaxed Stones feeling to it. Band members Michael Rhodes and Bob Keating wrote the song.

The flip is a different style, an echoing ballad that alternates harmonized verses with a mournful lead vocal. Mike Rhodes wrote this side.

Lost Generation Bofuz 45 They Tell MeJohn Herring sent in the photo above (courtesy of Pam Causey) and wrote to me about his career in music:

The personnel in the photo were the players on the Bofuz (Bonnie Fussel) record:

Bob Keating – lead vocals
Mike Rhodes – lead vocals
Ron Grassman – lead guitar
Ronnie Easley – rhythm guitar
John Herring – bass and vocals
Ronnie Schilling – drums

Mike Rhodes went on to a career in broadcasting (radio & television) primarily doing Sports for WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge.

I later played bass and sang in a three-piece power group, The Joint Effort with lead guitarist Jerry Heinberg (Souls of The Slain) and drummer Jimmy Rink, before joining Danny Cohen (Casey Kelly) from The Greek Fountains and Joe Miceli (A.J.’s older brother and the drummer for John Fred and The Playboys) in an L.A.- based group who recorded on A&M Records as The Luziana Band.

The Luziana Band also had guitarist/songwriters Jeffrey Comanor and Sammy Rubin (ye olde Inn Crowd) at different times.

Contrary what you may read elsewhere, this is not the same Lost Generation who had a single on Tear Drop 3195: “Baby!” (Allan Green, Gary Green) / “Night Time (Makes You Lonely)” in October 1968. That group came from the area around Freeport, Texas, including West Columbia, Clute and Lake Jackson. The members were Leonard ‘Beak’ Johnson (lead vocalist), Willie Funderburg (lead vocalist), Gary Greene (lead guitar), Larry Beal (organ), Mike Roberts (bass) and Pat O’Leary (drums).

The Nokounts

The Nokounts Venus 45 Hey Girl

The Nokounts came from West, Texas, a small town south of Dallas and just north of Waco. The band released one single in August, 1964, “Hey Girl” / “I Saw Her Yesterday” on Venus 500/501. The A-side is a strong bluesy shuffle while the flip is a fast rocker.

The Nokounts, West News, August 28, 1964
The Nokounts in the West News, August 28, 1964
Both songs list writing credits as Kudelka – Hunt. Ron Kudelka was part of the group while 45cat lists Harmon Hunt and Bobo Wes as producers. Venus Records Inc, based in Waco, published the songs through Deb-Ka Publ.

The West News covered the band in a front-page article from August 28, 1964 titled “Nationwide Sale of Record by the Nokounts” with a lot of interesting information on the group:

Ron Kudelka, Butch Vochoska and Robert Ernst, all of West, Johnny Nash of Arlington and Randy Hudgins of Waco are members of the young group … they are looking forward to additional dates in Hillsboro, Waco and the famed teenage-nightclub “The Sugar Shack” in Dallas.

This record was also the first recording of Venus Records, Inc., a new company formed by several Hillsboro-West area people with the main office in Waco. Harmon Hunt of KHBR is president of the company and Miss LaNelle Duncan of West is Secretary-Treasurer.”

“Hey Girl” was recorded by Sellers Co. of Dallas and pressed by Wakefield of Phoenix, Arizona. Bill Lindsey of Dallas, nationally known for his hit recording of “Blue,” was the arranger for the recording company.

The Nokounts were originally organized by a group of West High Students [sic], and were first known as the Counts.

The Nokounts at the Playdium West, TX, October 17, 1964
The Nokounts at the Playdium West, TX, October 17, 1964

The Nokounts at Cottonwood Hall West, TX, December 27, 1964
The Nokounts at Cottonwood Hall West, TX, December 27, 1964
The article also noted their Venus 45 had distribution throughout the U.S.

An ad for a teenage dance on Saturday, October 17, 1964 at the Playdium ran in the West News of West, TX on Friday the 16th saying “The Nokounts of West … Recording Stars on the Venus Label “Hey Girl” and “I Saw Her Yesterday” … Their Second record Will Be Released in December “I’m Alone” and “I Don’t Care”.

To my knowledge that second record was not released and those songs have never surfaced.

The Nokounts Venus 45 I Saw Her Yesterday

The Rubber Maze

The Rubber Maze photo in Teen Screen
The Rubber Maze photo in Teen Screen

Rubber Maze Tower 45 Mrs. Griffith

The Rubber Maze released one excellent double-sided single on Tower 351 in July 1967, featuring two different styles. The A-side is “Mrs. Griffith”, typical of the soft psychedelia of the era, written by Marty Cooper, who co-produced the single with Ray Ruff.

Ray Ruff and Marty Cooper ran the Ruff and Sully labels, based out of Amarillo, Texas. Their publishing companies Little Darlin’ Music Co. and Checkmate Music BMI published both songs. I’ve read this single came out on the Ruff label but haven’t yet seen a copy.

I really dig the flip, a straight-up garage song “Won’t See Me Down”, written by Rubber Maze member Dennis Swinden.

Rubber Maze Tower 45 Won't See Me DownBassist Ronnie Verge commented on a video of “Mrs. Griffith”:

The Rubber Maze formed in 1965 in San Francisco and moved to Orange County, CA. They started up as The Young Men From Boston, shortly there after change to The Maze, and in 1967 changed to The Rubber Maze. They disbanded in late 1968.

Lead vocals and drums: Reggie Boyd
Vocals, lead guitar and keyboard: Dennis Swinden
Vocals, rhythm guitar: Brian Blanchard
Vocals, bass and cello: Ronnie Verge
Alternate Member on vocals and lead guitar: Chad Blanchard

The clipping at the top comes from Mike Dugo of 60sgaragebands.com, part of a two-page write up on a Dick Clark tour with The Split Ends and Yellow Payges in 1968 in Teen Screen.

The Rubber Maze had no connection to the Maze who had the LP Armageddon on the MTA label.

Rubber Maze Tower PS
rare Tower picture sleeve for the Rubber Maze single

The Jokers

Jokers Destination 45 What'cha Gonna' Do

It’s too bad the Jokers never cut any other records ’cause both sides of this one are impassioned performances of original songs.

“What’cha Gonna’ Do” starts with a solid bass line over fleet and distant-sounding (from reverb) drumming. The lyrics come fast with some nice echos on guitar: “That little lamb, you call him man, eating out of your hand, his golden fleece, can bring you peace, now you wanna get past my door …” Harmonica wails along, the vocal harmonies come in, and the song hits crescendo of the chorus after barely half a minute.

“I’ll Never Let You Go” is a more conventional composition, but the Leslie on the guitar lends a tearful sound to this ballad.

The Jokers came out of Valpariso, Indiana, just southeast of Gary, and about an hour’s drive from downtown Chicago, where they recorded their single. The band’s members were:

Tom Allison – guitar, vocals
Frank Ball – guitar, keyboards, harmonica, vocals
Tim Walkoe – bass, vocals
Ron Januchowski – drums, vocals

Released on Destination 614 in October, 1965, according to the Sundazed compilation 2131 South Michigan Avenue: 60’s Garage & Psychedelia From U.S.A. And Destination Records “they cut their one Destination 45 with engineer Stu Black at Sound Studios. Stu had also engineered the early New Colony Six, which might explain the familiar Leslie guitar sound on the Jokers’ “‘I’ll Never Let You Go.'”

Ron Januchowski sang lead on “What’cha Gonna’ Do”, which was written by Tom Allison and David Roth. Frank Ball and Roth co-wrote “I’ll Never Let You Go”, with Destination and Tawny, BMI publishing both songs.

David Roth is supposed to have been a pharmacist who, under the name Bernard Roth, had written “Forty Days and Forty Nights” for Muddy Waters back in 1956. The Library of Congress lists both of the Jokers’ songs under Bernard Roth only, but BMI’s current database doesn’t list either song. It’s amazing that someone who wrote a few blues songs ten years earlier was able to cop some of Dylan’s quick patter on “What’cha Gonna’ Do”.

Although white label promos exist, this blue-label copy has asterisks by “What’cha Gonna’ Do” – and I’ve had another stock label that is identical but does not include these.

Thank you to Timothy Cox of the 60’s indiana band szene site for the extra info about the Jokers.

Jokers Destination 45 I'll Never Let You Go

The Bad Seeds of northern Kentucky

The Bad Seeds of Kentucky, Cincinnati Enquirer January 14, 1967
The Bad Seeds featured on January 14, 1967.
From left to right, top row: Jerry Foster, Gene Clarke and Ernie Bands; bottom: John Reynolds and Donald Hodge

The Bad Seeds came from northern Kentucky, in the greater metropolitan Cincinnati area. The Enquirer featured the band in its Teenager section on January 14, 1967. At the time the members were John Reynolds, Donald Hodge, Jerry Foster, Gene Clarke and Ernie Bands [sic – should probably read Ernie Banks]. The article notes the Bad Seeds appeared at Granny’s teen club in Elsmere, that the group would have an album in addition to the single, and also that “all except Ernie hail from Northern Kentucky”.

As far as I know, the album never materialized, but nine months earlier a different version of the group traveled to New York to cut a single for Columbia Records featuring two original songs by the band, the Dylanesque “King of the Soap Box” (written by John Reynolds) and the fine 12-string song “He’s Lying”, written by Jerry Foster, both songs published by Red Brick Music, Inc BMI. Robert Mersey conducted and produced the single, released on Columbia 4-43670 in May, 1966

According to a comment by Lloyd McGlasson, the band’s members on the single were:

Jerry Foster – six string guitar and backing vocals
Lloyd McGlasson – 12 string guitar and backing vocals
John Reynolds – bass and lead vocals
Earnie Banks – drums (Ernie Banks?)

Other sources list additional members, including Vicki Spencer on backing vocals on the single, and even Charlie Brown. Vicki Spencer would sing with The Bubble Gum Machine on their 1967 LP for Senate Records.

These Bad Seeds were not the Texas group who had three singles on J-Beck, nor the group from Oxnard, California with a single “Why Oh Why” / “Hearts of Stone” on TVA.

Tonky Tomson, David & the Boys-Next-Door, and Skipper Records

Tonky Tomson Skipper 45 On My WaySkipper Records came from Springfield, Missouri and released at least eight singles in 1965-1966 before folding. It was a creation of Si Siman, a promoter, manager and part-owner (along with Ralph Foster and John B. Mahaffey) of Earl Barton Music, Inc., which published most of the songs featured on the Skipper label.

Everything I’ve heard on the label is snappy and well-produced. Half are upbeat country but there are two rock singles and a couple r&b. The releases by Tonky Tomson and David & the Boys-Next-Door are notable for featuring the earliest work of two men who would go on to have huge successes in the music industry.

Siman Launches Skipper Label Billboard, October 2, 1965
Skipper Records announced, October 2, 1965

Tonky Tomson seems to be a pseudonym for Wayne Thompson, who wrote both “On My Way” and “I’ve Been in Love”, and probably sings on this single from October, 1965. I’d say he was listening to a lot of Hollies at the time. I wonder who was the lead guitarist on these tracks, as he did excellent work, with the country tinge that the Beatles and other groups were starting to reach for.

Wayne Carson Thompson is much better known as Wayne Carson, who would write “The Letter” a couple years after his time at Skipper and go on to write many other hits. Wayne Carson died on July 20, 2015.

David And The Boys-Next-Door Skipper 45 Land O' LoveWayne Thompson also wrote the A-side of David and the Boys-Next-Door catchy party song “Land O’ Love”, and co-write “If I Was King” with David Kershenbaum, the leader of the group.

In 1967 David and the Boys Next Door released a second single on Del-Ray Records of Poplar Bluff, MO, “It Ain’t No Use” / “Spring Fever”, both originals by David Kershenbaum published by Earl Barton. I’ve heard the A-side and it’s good pop, with a nice guitar hook. David Kershenbaum had a solo single on Capitol Records in 1968, “White Velvet Cat” / “Forbidden”, both written by Bobby Lile. Kershenbaum would go on to a successful career as a producer starting in the 1970s.

Steve Sanders would sing “Land of Love” for a single on MGM 13475, a single I haven’t heard yet.

David And The Boys-Next-Door Skipper 45 If I Was King

Skipper Records discography (probably incomplete – any help with this would be appreciated)

Labels for Skipper are gold with black print with the exception of the Clint Harrison 45. Some list Radio TV Bldg, Springfield, MO as the address, and the 828 prefix on these indicates their account with RCA custom pressings.

Skipper 828R-0773/4 – Lewie & the 7 Days – “Night Train” / “What You Never Had”

Skipper 828R-1240 – David and the Boys-Next-Door – “Land O’ Love” (Wayne Thompson)/ “If I Was King” (Kershenbaum & Wayne Thompson) (SK4M-1240/1)

Skipper 828S-1241 – Truman-Lankford – “Arkansas Man” / “Here-Comes-Heaven-Again” (both by Truman Lankford, Jim James, Prod. M.A. Box)

Skipper 828R-1408/9 – Tonky Tomson – “On My Way” / “I’ve Been in Love” (both Wayne Thompson, SK4M-1408)

Skipper 828R-2735 – Wavie Self – “Kentucky” (Prichard) / “These Words” (SK4M-2736)

Skipper 828R-5695 – Lewie & the 7 Days – “You’ve Been Cheatin on Me” (L. Taylor) / “You’re the Reason” (T4KM-5695)

Skipper 828R-6255 Clint Harrison – “Record in My Album” (Eppright) / “Thirteen to Nineteen” (T4KM-6255, red label)

Skipper 828R-7917 – Don Clements w. Anita Kerr Group vocal background – “Made in the U.S.A.” (Ronnie Self) / “My Conscience Knows” (S4KM-7917)

Tonky Tomson Skipper 45 I've Been in Love

The Villagers of Dayton, Ohio

The Villagers Hamlet 45 He's Not The SameThere 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.

The Villagers Hamlet 45 Sunshine My Way

The One of Hours, Lexington, KY

One of Hours Chetwyd 45 It's BestOne 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.

One of Hours Chetwyd 45 Trifolia“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.

One Of Hours Chetwyd 45 Feel the PainIn 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.

Bob Willcutt owns Lexington’s Willicut Guitars.

Thank you to Dave Baldwin for his help.

One Of Hours Chetwyd 45 Psychedelic Illusion

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