The Tony Hendrik Five were from Germany and mostly recorded typical pop of the day. The A-side, “Tavern in the Town”, is really awful. “I’ve Said My Say” shows they had some talent and should have pursued this tougher sound more often.
The band came from east of Astoria, Oregon, the small communities of Knappa and Svensen to be exact (the area had a large number of people of Swedish descent).
The members were:
Tom Kayser (Keyser?) – guitar
Toivo Lahti – drums
The Zero End’s first 45 on Garland, “Blow your Mind” / “Fly Today” from late ’67 has a dark sound. Their next and last shows the influence of psychedelia, as “Lid to Go” has the lines “don’t you know he’s a flower child/ what a crime, being high.” The version of “Hey Joe” has a good fuzz solo. Dig the cool drum head in the photo above.
Both sides of the first 45 are by Tynkila/Salo. Songwriting on “Lid to Go” is by Bill Maley and Carl Salo. Dale Hansen produced both 45s. The Garland label was from Salem, OR, owned by Gary Neiland of Prince Charles & the Crusaders.
I didn’t much about the band until JP Coumans sent me the article from Hipfish, below. As the article states, the band started out as the Vanchees until Bill Tynkila suggested Zero End. They had a manager, Dale Hansen who booked them throughout the Northwest. At the club below the Portland youth center The Headless Horseman, they saw a band called Seattle Gazebo that was playing the new psychedelic free-form music. It was a revelation to the band, who returned to Knappa and remade their sound completely.
They played venues such as the Riviera Theater in Astoria and the Crystal Ballroom in Portland. The Hipfish article mentions a live recording from the Riviera, which I’d love to hear.
Thanks to J.P. Coumans for the article scan.
I’d like to focus on the early career of Baby Huey and the Baby Sitters – four songs released across five singles during 1964-1966, before Huey signed to Curtom and recorded the songs issued on his great posthumous LP.
These four are the influential “Monkey Man” and a great cover of Junior Wells’ “Messin with the Kid”, along with a fantastic soul number, “Just Being Careful”. His version of “Beg Me” isn’t bad, but it’s probably the weakest number on these early 45s.
Baby Huey was born James Ramey in Richmond, Indiana and formed the Babysitters in Chicago in 1963 with guitarist Johnny Ross and organ player/trumpeter Melvin “Deacon” Jones. Melvin Jones is brother of jazz drummer Harold Jones. Reno Smith was the drummer at some point (though I’m not sure if he’s on these singles). “Monkey Man” and “Just Being Careful” were both written by John R. Ross.
Other members of the Babysitters included Plato Jones on percussion, Danny O’Neil on guitar, Rick Marcotte on trumpet, and Byron Watkins on tenor sax.
Baby Huey died in a South Side motel room on October 28, 1970, after a show in Madison, Wisconsin.
Early 45 releases
The history of Baby Huey’s early singles is somewhat confusing because of the repetition of songs. Below seems to be a complete list from this time period:
Shann 73924 – Just Being Careful / Messin’ With the Kid (1965)
USA 801 – Just Being Careful / Messin’ With the Kid (April ’65)
St. Lawrence 1002 – Monkey Man / Beg Me (1965, issued on both blue and white labels)
St. Lawrence 1002 – Monkey Man / Messin’ With the Kid (1965, white label only)
Satellite 2013 – Monkey Man / Messin’ With the Kid (1967)
Some or all of the Shann 45s have the label name marked over with “USA”. I don’t believe “Monkey Man”/”Beg Me” exists on Satellite.
The St. Lawrence white label of Monkey Man was bootlegged in 2011.
In 2005 an acetate came up on auction that was supposed to be an unreleased instrumental by Baby Huey and the Baby Sitters. I had a sound clip up here for over a year before Mark Namath identified it as “Zoobie” by the Noisemakers. The acetate was probably a DJ or collector’s cut misidentified as Baby Huey – there’s no connection whatever between the groups.
Thanks to Dean Milano for scan of the photo of Baby Huey and the Baby Sitters at the top of the page. Check out Dean’s new book The Chicago Music Scene: 1960s and 1970s.
Transfer of “Beg Me” thanks to a fan of the group.
|Gigs and announcements in the press|
According to Billboard, promoter Barry Fey’s first production was a Baby Huey show in Rockford, IL. Eventually Huey and the Babysitters were managed by Marv Stuart’s State and Madison Management (listed as Marv Heiman on wikipedia).
Billboard and Jet magazines kept tabs on some of Baby Huey’s doings during the late ’60s. I’m sure Chicago newspapers from the time have more listings.
Billboard also mentions that after Huey’s death, the Babysitters changed their name to Boink for at least one live show. However Robert Baker, in a comment below states “The Babysitters never changed their name to Boink. This was another concurrent group that had at least two ex-Babysitters in the group.” Live dates from publications including The Daily Herald (Chicago), the Des Moines Register, the Belvidere Daily Republican.
at the Jaguar with the Shadows of Knight!
March 16, 1968
Jet, November 12, 1970
Billboard, December 5, 1970
Jet, October 7, 1971
Billboard, October 29, 1966
Billboard, November 26, 1966
Jet, January 19, 1967
Billboard, September 30, 1967
Billboard, November 18, 1967
Billboard, December 23, 1967
at Mother Duck with the Box Tops
November 23, 1968
Billboard, April 1, 1969
Billboard, April 12, 1969
Billboard, April 26, 1969
Billboard, May 17, 1969 – does the tape of this broadcast still exist?!
Jet, August 14, 1969
At Lou’s Quarry, Appleton, Wisconsin, August 1, 1970
Some r&b for a change. Little Bob (Camille “Li’l” Bob) got this song from Peppermint Harris, apparently making enough of a change to give himself writing credit on the label. Since his version in 1966, it’s been covered several times.
La Louisianne is still in business, and is releasing a CD of Lil Bob and the Lollipops’ recordings. La Louisianne had one great garage 45, the Rogues “I Don’t Need You” / “Tonight” on La Louisianne 8094 from April 1967.
Los Chijuas – from Mexico, 1968.
“Changing the Colors of Life” was written by José M. and Julian Genem.
The Pink Fairies – they have plenty of mediocre stuff, but “The Snake” / “Do It”, their first 45 is their best – pure grunge & very heavy for 1971.
“Kakkoi” my friend Ryoma said when I played him “The Snake” for the first time.
Red vinyl from the Italian issue.
The Pleasure Seekers gave Suzi Quatro her start, for all you bubble-glam fans.An ode to teenage drinking!
Well I love you baby
I’m telling you right here
But please don’t make me decide baby
Between you and a bottle of beer.
Baby come on over,
come on over to my side
well I may not live past twenty-one
what a way to die!
Your lovin’ fluctuates baby
and everybody knows
but the temperature always stays the same
on an ice cold bottle of Stroh’s
When I start my drinking
my baby throws a fit
So I just blitz him outta my mind
with seventeen bottles of Schlitz
You’ve got the kind of body
that makes me come alive
But I’d rather have my hands around
A bottle of Colt 45
Baby come on over,
come on over to my side
well I may not live past twenty-one
what a way to die
An early photo of the band before vocalist Evan Silva joined.
From left: Brian Harris drums, Danny Stradwick guitar, John Bisset organ and Jack Stradwick bass.
The Action I’m posting today isn’t the UK group of the same name but a New Zealand group from Auckland. Seems like they didn’t mind being confused with their more famous namesake, as they recorded the UK Action’s “Never Ever” for their second 45. Not an unusual practice at the time, there’s also an Australian group calling itself the Birds who covered two of the UK Bird’s 45s, “No Good Without You” and “Say Those Magic Words”.
This Action cover the Vagrants “I Can’t Make a Friend” on the flip side of their first 45, “Romeo and Juliet”, doing an excellent job of it too. This was recorded in April of 1967. Though you wouldn’t think it from this song, they were actually known as more of a soul and r&b band than pop or garage.
Evan Silva wrote to me about “I Can’t Make a Friend”:
That was the first song I recorded with the Action at Stebbings studio in Eldred Stebbing’s basement. I sing on all but Romeo & Juliet. The A sides were Stebbing’s suggestion for the pop market and we selected the B sides. We never played the A sides live as we did not like them, except for Try A Little Tenderness we played that regular especially in Oz! Brett [Neilsen] our drummer was the La De Da’s drummer prior to us and did not want to go back to Oz, then joined the Action and off we went to Oz!
Brian Harris then took Brett’s place in the La De Da’s!
Eldred Stebbing was the owner of the Zodiac label. Many of the great New Zealand bands recorded at his studio, and the Action, the Pleazers and the La De Da’s all played residencies at his nightclub, the Galaxie.
A detailed history of the band is available here