The Jagged Edge

Supposedly recorded in California, but released on a NY label, with the band maybe from Ohio? That’s how different versions of the story go, which has to make the Jagged Edge one of the best ’60′s bands whose history was a mystery until recently.

Their fantastic double-sider on the Twirl label features a cover of the Pretty Things’ “Midnight to Six Man” that surpasses any other I’ve heard. The b-side “How Many Times” is an original by D. Brown (which could stand for Donner Brown). It was released in February, 1966.

Band members were:

Shelly Leader – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Don Brown – lead guitar, vocals
Freddie Ebner – bass
Peter Gretch – drums
Lenny (surname?) – organ

As Alan points out in a comment below, the Twirl label was started in Detroit. Harry Balk had formed Twirl and the publishing company Vicki Music and had a business partner, Irving Micahnik. They released about twenty singles on Twirl before Balk sold his share in Twirl and Vicki to Irving and formed the Impact label, which released some great 45s by the Human Beings and others. It seems that Irving Micahnik relocated the Twirl label to New York, where he resided, in 1965.

When I originally made this page in March, 2007, I gave an edge to Detroit as the most likely origin for the band, but I finally heard from the band’s manager, Mike Glasser and their vocalist Shel Stewart, and have confirmed the band was from New York City.

This was their only release, but a couple of unreleased acetates turned up that I’m fairly sure is the same band, but I would like confirmation of this from one of the members. The demos feature an excellent original song (?) “Gonna Find My Way”, and a frantic version of “I’m a Man”. The other songs on the acetate are a decent version of “Big City” and a slower take on “I’m a Man”. Who has the acetate – where was it recorded?

I wonder if any photos of the group exist? If anyone knows of one please contact me.

To make clear another confusing matter, this band was not the Jagged Edge from Brooklyn that released “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” / “How She’s Hurting Me” on Gallant in April of ’66, and then became the Off-Set, recording “Xanthia (Lisa)” for Jubilee in July of ’66. That band also did a version of “A Change Is Gonna Come” that went unreleased at the time.

Shel Stewart wrote to me:

Shel Stewart, known as Shelly Leder at the time. I formed the group with Don Brown in NYC in 1965. I played rhythm guitar and sang lead with Don Brown on this record. Don Brown played lead. Lenny from Brooklyn played Vox organ, Mike Glasser at the time was our manager. Peter a friend of Don played drums.

Don Brown is a childhood friend of mine that goes way back when we were both in high school together. We played together before the Jagged Edge, which I named the band. It was a high school band called the Continentals and we played many of the NYC synagogues and some churches.

Because of my brief but exciting past with this band I will recall most of what I can remember in a future memoir/historical document.

I kept in touch with Don sporadically till about 1973/1974, then we drifted into different lifestyles I presume.

Most of my life I played in various original bands after the Jagged Edge still looking for the dream. I have been in glitter rock projects (Dorian Zero) during the pre-punk days, Poptronix a new wave band, Fahrenheit 451 a gothic band, Orange Midnight a garage retro band, The Lucifer Scale, an industrial band. To listen to some of my other projects after that just google my name Shel Stewart. I’m featured on bigmusic.org and reverbnation.

The band’s producer Michael Glasser also produced The Soup Greens’ “Like a Rolling Stone”/”That’s Too Bad” at Dick Charles Studio. I believe Mike also recorded for LHI (Lee Hazelwood) under the name Michael Gram, but I haven’t confirmed this with him yet. Mike Glasser commented below, “I was the manager/producer, and a Long Island, NY band took the name when the original band dismantled. Joe Mara of the Night Owl Cafe loved this band and if Joe is still with us I know he can verify the origin of the Jagged Edge and so many other bands and artists that the Night Owl Cafe showcased back in the early 60s.”

21 thoughts on “The Jagged Edge”

  1. Wow!!!
    You’ve done it again man…,,,what a find,this is the best version I’ve EVER heard,and from a band I have NEVER EVER heard of…and the “I’m a Man” cut is beyond awesome too.
    Props matey…
    Jonno

  2. Twirl Records was a label run or owned by one of the managers of various early 1960′s Michigan legends, such as Del Shannon and Johnny and the Hurricanes (from Ohio but tied to the Detroit area). The management team broke up in 1965 and one of them was involved with Twirl. Jagged Edge could possibly be from Detroit.
    The Detroit rock and roll web site Rusted Chrome had this mention when I checked their site:
    “…all of Detroit and Ann Arbor’s top talent – including the Five, The Rationals, SRC (who kinda got the ball rolling back at the Hideout when they were the Fugitives), Billy C and the Sunshine, Jagged Edge, The Woolies, Thyme, and The Frost playing the Grande regularly…”
    Love your site.

  3. I was just reading the bio of Brooklyn, NY’s The Soup Greens at Beyond the Beat Generation here, and noticed that their “Like a Rolling Stone”/”That’s Too Bad” 45 was also produced by Mike Glasser at Dick Charles Studios near the Brill Building, the same neighborhood as the Twirl Records address given on the Jagged Edge 45. The bio gives some further details about Glasser, but no mention of The Jagged Edge. It seems certain that the band that recorded this 45 has no connection to the Brooklyn-based Jagged Edge who released “You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down”/”How She’s Hurtin’ Me” on Gallant in the summer of ’66 and then changed their name to The Off-Set, but if the producer of “Midnight to Six Man”/”How Many Times” is the same Mike Glasser who produced The Soup Greens, then the NYC connections for this group are starting to pile up mighty thick!

  4. The Jagged Edge were playing many of the clubs in Greenwich Village in ’65-66.
    I have a first-hand account from a teen (at that time) who saw them play numerous times in the Village and said The Jagged edge were just as good, if not better on stage than on record. The 45 came out in Feb. of ’66, plus it was reviewed in the trade mags. There is no connection to other groups / combos with the same name. My pal also said he doesn’t think the Jagged edge lasted much after the summer of ’66, since they were gone from the scene.
    The Twirl label was re-activated in the fall of ’65 in NYC at the address in Manhattan. It originally operated in Detroit, but shut-down for a time before relocating with different people running the show.

    MopTopMike

  5. they were and are from detroit, they used to play in the late 60s at the northland mump. they still play downrtiver in detroit. it was called stoney and the jagged edge

  6. Stoney and Jagged Edge broke up around 1969 or early 70 as stoney got married, and went fairly straight, but battled the deamons for a couple of years. I cannot say that these songs are The Jagged Edge of the Grande Ballroom fame in Detroit, as I met Stoney just after he quit playing publically. His voice as a lead singer is/was infinitaley better in 1971 when I heard some of his latest material. The Detroit News did a full page spread on him around 1971 as he was listed in the Michigan R&R hall of fame. He did not go back into music full time fearing a relapse. God could he write and sing songs. I live across the country from stoney since 79 or so. I will be calling him to also discuss this site that I stumbled on. Best Regards.

  7. For the umpteentskillionth time, the Jagged Edge profiled here were a NYC based group. They broke up in mid 1966 at the latest. I managed to find one ex-member but he isn’t interested in recanting his musical past. I’ll keep workin’ on it !

  8. For what it’s worth, Jagged Edge were managed by Jeep Holland, so if they had recorded, it probably would have been for Jeep’s A-Square Records. Don’t think they did. If they had, I’d probably still have a copy.

  9. Stoney and and few other went on to take over Wilson mower Pursuit before settling down. There was a reunion page. Still is some. I knew the reunion drummer who may have been original. Jeff Varalone. Whatever.
    One song written by D. Brown may be DOUG Brown Bob Segers partner from the Mushrooms. Also another writter is R Taylor. LONG SHOT But R Dean Taylor Motown writer????? Indiana wants me Stoney Mazar also did something with MEATLOAF??????? Maybe??
    Tell you this, recordings have NO BALLS!!!!

  10. R.Taylor is Richard(Dick)Taylor an original member of the Rolling Stones. He left the Stones and went on to form his own band “The Pretty Things.” Co writer was Dave May another member of Taylor’s group.

  11. I have recently unearthed two cuts from the “lost” Jagged Edge studio recordings. I recently purchased a load of radio related reel to reel tapes from a former Michigan DJ and one of them had an hour long segment from WABX from 1969 on the history of Michigan bands and the jocks played two Jagged Edge cuts, “The Devil” and “Who’s Loving Her Now”. Stony the lead singer even appears in an in-studio interview. The recordings are a bit rough, the first 45 seconds or so of “The Devil” is very muffled, but they appear to be only surviving copies of these cuts. I have two other Jagged Edge cuts from another “off radio” recording called “Crystal Rain” and “Chasing Rainbows” but they are even more primitive than these and I doubt they would be of good enough quality to consider releasing.

  12. Stoney and I would be very interested in hearing those recordings. BTW… for anyone interested The Jagged Edge will be performing another concert at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, MI June 8, 2012 promoting the movie “Louder than Love” (2 Jagged Edge cuts featured in soundtrack) premiering at the Detroit Institute of Arts on April 5, 2012.

    1. Dave Les never played the Grande Ballroom with ” The Jagged Edge ” The lineup back then was Dave(Stoney)Mazur Lead Vocals, Ira Pack Guitar, Harold Kataranzak Bass, and Tim(Weezle)Thompson Drums.After the original group broke up, Stoney tried to re-form with a number of players without much luck untill ” The Jagged Edge ” re-formed with Stoney Lead Vocals, Randy Medic Guitar, Tom Fine Drums, and Myself, Mark Torpey Bass and Vocals. We played the Factory Ballroom Pontiac Michigan, The Eastown, Detroit Michigan with Rod Stewart and the Faces, Procol Harum, Savoy Brown and others. Dave Les recorded 2 songs in a basement studio with Stoney and Ira and a Remember The Grande night show at the magic bag in Ferndale. There were only 2 legidimate groups called ” The Jagged Edge ” The original lineup, and the re-formed group with Stoney, Randy, Tommy, and Myself… Thanks, Mark Torpey…

  13. stoney is playing the mqgic bag in ferndale june 8th with friends savage grace. may be one of the last real jagged ede shows………………..onlt he and dave les are from the group that played the grande

    hear they are going to do some songs notb heard for 40 years…..

  14. Mike Glasser is indeed the same person who managed The Soup Greens earlier in 1965. The Jagged Edge had a similar sound, but were not as harmonicaly sophisticated.

  15. Hello My name is Shel leder Stewart and I am the founder of the jagged edge!!To end all mysteries this is a nyc band,I played rhythm guitar Don Brown played lead ,we both sang on the record, peter played drums ,and lenny from bklyn played vox organ…i don’t remember who played bass it might have been Joel from nyc..
    if you know the whereabouts of Don Brown I’d love to contact him,
    There is great history here and I will continue the tale if someone responds to me!!

  16. Shelly is in fact the founder of the original “Jagged Edge”. I know because I was the Manager/Producer and a Long Island, NY band took the name when the Original band dismantled.
    Joe Mara of the Night OWL Cafe loved this band and if Joe is still with us I know he can verify the origin of the Jagged Edge and so many other bands and Artists that the Night Owl Cafe showcased back in the early 60s. The early 60s was a crazy time in Greenwich Village NY and the talent pool was incredible, The Jagged Edge, the Soup Greens, The Magicians, The Fifth Avenue Band, Richie Havens, Bunkie & Jake, Jimmy Prior, and of Course Bob Dylan, The Mamas and the Pappas and The Lovin’ Spoonful.
    The Jagged Edge members where Shelly Leader (Guitar), Peter Gretch (Drums), Don Brown (Guitar), and Freddie Ebner (Bass). Pardon my spelling of the members names it has been a while and the management /recording contracts are in storage.
    I still have the original pressing 45 of “Midnight to Six Man” and “How Many times” which I would love to Re-Master and Re-Release along with tracks from other 60s bands. We’ll see how the re-mastering goes.
    The Soup Greens, The Jagged Edge, Michael Gram, And The Family Frog recordings have all been bootlegged in various countries and if anyone knows where the source of these bootlegs are please post them here so the PERPS can be dealt with in a legal manner and maybe the ARTISTS can get paid for their art.
    KEEP ROCKIN’ IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM
    Michael Glasser
    aka
    Michael Gram
    MikeG@FolksDragonMusic.com

    PS. If you loved these above mentioned you should artists checkout (Google / YouTube) Honey LTD and Like Honey, the female side of the sixties. Like Honey are still Rockin’ and Honey LTD have been honored by the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America) for their Bob Hope Tour I Vietnam in 1968.

  17. Mike please email me at sstewart8@verizon.net and lets talk! Yes i continued to play music thru the 70′s to the present day.They were all original and I released several independant records and cd’s thru out the years
    I have been in glitter rock projects (see Dorian Zero) during the pre punk days,Poptronix a new wave band Fahrenheit 451 a gothic band,Orange Midnight a garage retro band,The Lucifer Scale, an industrial band.
    Presently I have a recording Project called Samskara,a trio doing all of the above influences
    Many things to talk about I still live in the metro area,Iam married and have one child
    Best regards
    Shel Stewart

  18. Shel is correct, Michael Glasser is and was Michael Gram. I took that Name as a short easy to remember recording name for the sixties, almost everyone would remember the sound of microgram.
    The Lee Hazelwood (LHI RECORDS) recordings were “Talkin’ To You” & “Purple Dawn” released in the spring of 1968. The news is Michael Gram is back with a new sound and an important Song/Video “Agent Orange Man (Better Living Though Chemistry)” http://youtu.be/nOCM2DZVV2s or buy it on iTunes after 12/15/2012. 5% of the proceeds will be donated to Vietnam Vets of America (VVA)and 5% will also be donated to Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
    I was exposed to Agent Orange here in America before the Vietnam conflict (WAR). The base I was stationed at back in 1963 – 1964 was Chanute AFB in Rantoul Illinois. Chanute is a TOXIC SUPERFUND SITE and even though Chanute was closed in 1993 the Government has not cleaned up any of the Poison (We all eat corn & soy grown around Chanute) checkout http://cfpub.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0501172
    This is a EPA website and proof that the Government is not cleaning up the kind of TOXIC CRAP they prosecute you, me, and corporations for.
    Meanwhile Michael G is starting to record again and I hope you all like the new sounds and help spread the good word. LET’S CLEANUP AMERICA. SO WE CAN ALL KEEP ROCKIN’ IN A CLEAN WORLD.

  19. Michael Gram’s LHI Records single “Talkin” to You” (A) Pastel Dreams (B) have been Re-released in a Lee Hazelwood Tribute by Light in the Attic records. The Lee Hazelwood book and the CD set are available at (http://lightintheattic.net). Light in the Attic has many great retro artists like HONEY LTD who were probably the best female vocal group of the 60′s. check them out with google. The video of HONEL LTD in Vietnam with Bob Hope is awesome.

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