All posts by Chris Bishop

The Conductors “She Said So”

The Conductors photo: Larry Borgess, Chad Fenstemaker, Skip Kreitz, Regan Meyer, Barry Hirsh, and Danny Brungard
The Conductors, from left: Larry Borgess, Chad Fenstemaker, Skip Kreitz, Regan Meyer, Barry Hirsh, and Danny Brungard

Conductors Dater 45 She Said SoThe Conductors came from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, cutting the great “She Said So” as the b-side to their June 1966 single. Members were:

Larry Borgess – lead vocals
Chad Fenstemaker – lead guitar
Skip Kreitz – rhythm guitar
Regan Meyer – bass
Barry Hirsh – organ
Danny Brungard – drums

Barry Hirsh and Larry Borgess left to join Prince Charles & the Royaltones. Mike Ranck replaced Larry until the Conductors split.

“She Said So” is a stomping fuzz and organ rocker written by Barry Hirsh, with taunting lines:

You gotta stay home and watch the kids tonight,
Because she said so,
But I wanna tell ya,
Better sit up and say that everything’s not right,
Because you said so.

You gotta break free,
Stand on your own two feet,
Stop doing things that you don’t want to do,
Just because she said so!

The original A-side “Whatever’s In Your Smile” is light pop, but worth a listen, it too was written by Barry Hirsh, and features harmonies, piano and a lighter touch on the guitar.

Publishing was through Hi-Mar Music and Ronbeth Music BMI, both of which had other copyrights, most notably Ronbeth with the 7th Avenue Aviators “You Should ‘O Held On”.

The Conductors single came out on Dater DT-1303/4 in June, 1967. Dater was owned by Dave Chackler, and had one other single that I know of, the Soul Generation “I Can’t See You” / “Big Boss Man” on Dater DT-1301. The A-side has the Starlites doing a drier, stripped-down version of their classic on Bar-Clay, “I Can’t See You”. The label notes produced by Dave Chackler for Peter Warren Enterprises. The Starlites came from Reading, PA, 100 miles southeast of Williamsport, so I wonder how the Conductors connected with Dave Chackler.

Info on the band from Rob’s Williamsport Rock Bands

Conductors Dater 45 Whatever's In Your Smile

Something Obviously Borrowed

Something Obviously Borrowed JCP 45 Tell The PeopleSomething Obviously Borrowed are another mystery to me. Their only single is a good two-sider, released on the same J.R.P. label as the Shadow Casters.

“Tell the People” is upbeat, with typical lyrics of the time (“Now is the time to tell the people, all about love”). D. Geinosky and L. Carr wrote the song; they were probably members of the band.

“Joan” is laid-back rock, with a feel something like Loaded-era Velvet Underground, the singer intoning “please come on home, Joan”. Writer credit is to the producer, James Ruff, but members of the Shadow Casters noted he put his name on one of their compositions, “Going to the Moon”.

James Ruff Productions probably paid for recording time and pressing of the single on J.R.P. 004, sometime after April 1968. J.R.P. labels list an address in Aurora, Illinois. Sandpiper BMI published both songs but I don’t see a copyright listing for either. The code TM 2665/6 indicates Chess Records’ Ter-Mar studio in Chicago.

Something Obviously Borrowed seems to be the only other release on JRP besides the Shadow Casters, and also seems to be rarer than their singles.

Something Obviously Borrowed JCP 45 Joan

Marty and the Monks “Mexican Party”

Marty and the Monks Associated Artists 45 Mexican Party

Herman’s Hermits “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1965, so a Hollywood studio owner rushed out a parody, “Mrs. Schwartz You’ve Got An Ugly Daughter” with the artist listed as Marty & the Monks. This version is on youtube if you want to subject yourself to it, but the real gold is the instrumental on flip, cut by a group that seems to have been totally unrelated to the musicians on the A-side.

“Mexican Party” is a rocking take-off on “Money” that sounds like it was actually recorded live in the studio. There are whoops, shouts, lots of string bending, a ridiculous horn blast. It has a lot in common with the Pacific Northwest sound like the Moguls “Avalanche”, the Jesters’ “Alki Point” or even Don & the Goodtimes version of “Money”.

Released on Associated Artists AA-3066, the song was retitled “Psychedelic City” when it came out as the flip to “Mrs. Schwartz” on Era Records 5037.

Marty & the Monks Era 45 Mexican Party
Jesse Hodges is credited as producer. Hodges owned Hollywood Sound Recorders and I believe he owned the Associated Artists label, which released about twenty 45s, including a couple of Hodges’ own singles. K. Young, G. Connor, and T. Reed have writer credits on “Mexican Party”, but none of their names appear on other Associated Artists releases as far as I can tell.

Both the Associated Artists 45 and the Era release have ∆-57190 in the deadwax, which dates the stampers for both 45s to June of 1965. I assume the Associated Artists was the original release. I have no idea when this “Golden Era Series” came out but 1967 wouldn’t be a bad guess, given the new, topical title.

My fellow WGXC deejay Jillian found a possible source for the band name in the obscure Marty the Monk cartoons of the 1930s.

Marty & the Monks Era 45 Mrs Brown You Got An Ugly Daughter

The Nu-Trons and Spot Records Discography

Nu-Trons Spot 45 I Told You SoI can’t find any specific info on the Nu-Trons. Spot Records came from Johnson City, Tennessee, but recorded groups from locations as far as Knoxville and western Virginia.

“I Told You So” (written by B. Frye) is a moody shuffle with a great r&b feel and fine lead vocal.

“From Now On” (written D. Bradford, G. Shell) has a slower tempo, with more prominent piano and a descending guitar line.

Released on Spot SP7-1123, the RCA custom press matrix S4KM-2012/3 dates this to early 1965.

Spot was in operation for about ten years, from 1959 until about 1968, releasing a couple dozen singles in that span. The Nu-Trons may be the only ‘garage’ style single on the label, though I’d really like to hear The Malibus “She’s Gone”.

There’s a lot of sharp r&b on the label from Little Benny and Richie Weems & the Continental Five, and ’50s style vocal rock from the Rock-Alongs and the True Tones. Infinity’s “Ride on the Milky Way” is a western-tinged instrumental. Lonnie Salyer, who helped me with the discography below, has compiled a youtube playlist with 11 songs from the label, a good start for those interested.

The True Tones were Lanny Green, Neil Walker, Gerald Barber, Jay Henderson, Joby Wheat and Richard Way, out of Central High School in Knoxville.

Spot Records discography (compiled with help from Lonnie Salyer)

I’ve included prefixes because at least two numbers, 1123 and 1124, were reused with different prefixes.

SP-101 – Don Bradford – “Someone’s Gotta Go” (Stan Ratliff) / “That Ain’t Much” (Don Shannon), K8OW-0544/5, 1959

SP-103 – Eddie McKinney And Belvederes ‎- “Teen Town Hop” / “I’m Hooked“ (both by Bradford, Campbell, KO8W-0977/8, with picture sleeve)

SP-106 – Little Benny & the Stereos – “Drinking Wine, Spodie Odie” / “Mine All Mine” (M80W-8134/5, prod. Don Bradford, 1961)

1107 – Bobby Joe – “My Life I’ll Spend With You” (B. Tipton) / “Hellbound” (N80W-8467/8)

SP1108 – Reece Shipley – “I Counted The Raindrops” / “Too Big To Cry” (R. Shipley, Ronald Talley) (ZTSB 83092
SP-1109 – Paul Sutton – “Lucy” / ? (P4KM-3604)
SP-1110 – The Rock-A-Longs – “Don’t ‘cha Know I Love You” / “Theme from the Beachcomber”
SP 7-1111 – Wayne Boling – “Please Cry” / “What Kind of Friend Was He” (with picture sleeve, SO 1467/8)
SP 7-1112 – Wayne Boling – “She’s Coming Home” / “Little Hit and Run Darling” (SO 1611)
SP 7-1113 – Eugenia Anderson – “Soul of a Child” / “Send Down the Fire”

SP 7-1115 – The True Tones – “Lovin’ From My Baby” (Joby Wheat) / “Never Had a Chance” (J. Wheat, L. Green, R4KM-8431/2
SP 7-1116 – Jackie Bair & the Cubs, featuring Skip Lane – “Bare Hug” (Lane, Bair, Miller, Parker) / “You’re In Love” (Prod. by Don Bradford, RK4M-7113)
SP 7-1117 – Richie Weems & the Continental Five – “That 8:30 Special” / “Making Believe” (RK4M-7262/3)
SP-7-1118 – The True Tones – “Please Be True” (J. Henderson) / “Kiss Me Now” (J. Wheat), RK4M-7260, prod. by Don Bradford

SP7-1121 – The Tru Tones – “Little Hit and Run Darling” (Don Schroeder, Wayne P. Walker) / “La La La La La” (Clarence Paul), S4KM-1633/4

SP-1122 – Richie Weems & the Continental Five – “Tricks of the Trade” / “Natural Born Man” (S4KM-1706/7)
SP-1123 – Richie Weems & the Continental Five – “Wild In the Night” (B. Bradford) / “Mine All Mine”
SP-1124 – Little Ceaser & the Euterpeans – “It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way How You Do It” / “Good Good Lovin’”

SP7-1123 – The Nu-Trons – “From Now On” (D. Bradford, G. Shell) / “I Told You So” (B. Frye), S4KM-2012/3
SP7-1124 – Lon Nave – “I’ll Think of You” / “Just Lookin’ Around” (Lon Nave, Harold Nave), TK4M-4056/7, 1966

SP-7-1128 – Kenny Springs & the Scat Cats – “Nobody Else But You” (K. Springs) / “Let Nobody Love You”, prod. by Don Bradford, TK4M-4722
SP7-1129 – Glenn Shell with Jackie Bair & the Cubs – “It’s Too Late” (G. Shell) / “Ain’t No One Woman Man” (U4KM-2575)
SP7-1130 – The Malibus – “She’s Gone” (J. Boyle, E. Fielden, J. Melton for East Tenn. Music) / “Oop Poo Pa Do” (U4KM-4837, 1967)

SP-7-1132 – The Kool Kuzzins – “Love Can Be True” (D. Rose, B. Rose, M. Powell) / “Hey Little Girl” (1968)
SP-7-1133 – The Infinity – “Ride on the Milky Way” / “Moon Gazer” (both by Charles Stafford & Gene Wheelon) W4KM-6546/7, 1968
SP 7-1134 – Little Caesar & the Euterpians – “Love Is A Beautiful Thing” / “I Can’t Stand It Together” (W4KM-)

Most originals on the label published by East Tenn. Music Pub, BMI.

The Kool Kuzzins came from Castlewood and Oakwood, Virginia and featured Danny Rose on lead vocals and drums, his brother Bill Rose on guitar and Mike Powell on bass & organ. The Kuzzins lived in the Tidewater during the summer of 1967, recording some unreleased sides for Frank Guida. After the band made their single at Spot, Danny Rose left to join Sound on Sound, based in nearby Grundy, VA, as lead vocalist. (Info from the CD Aliens, Psychos & Wild Things Vol. 2 on Arcania International.)

This was not the same label that released the Shytones or the Los Angeles label with the Poets and Effie Smith.
Nu-Trons Spot 45 From Now On

The Surrealistic Pillar “I Like Girls”

Surrealistic Pillar Tamm 45 I Like GirlsThe Surrealistic Pillar came from Lafayette, Louisiana and cut the classic “I Like Girls” circa 1967 or 1968. The names on the label, Eddie Smith and Ed Futch, were not members of the band, but Ed Futch is likely singing lead vocals on “I Like Girls” – he has become well known by his stage name, Eddy Raven.

The lyrics, what I can make out of them, are from a different era:

Sitting in a car, the tape machine is blaring,
Watching all the girls, and digging the clothes they’re wearing.

When I see a mini-skirt, it drives me crazy,
Cause all the time I’m watching, I’m thinking … maybe,
I would find a girl that would say “surely”.

You could laugh at me, but never call me stupid…

[I wish I could make out the words of the third verse.]

Ed Futch, Eddie Smith wrote “I Like Girls” and Eddie Smith wrote the unusual instrumental, “Mexican Calliope” (rated a “2” in Teen Beat Mayhem!). La Lou Music BMI published both songs.

Though issued on Tamm Custom Series T-2027, this is a production of La Louisianne Records, which issued plenty of great singles, including Eddy Raven’s “Misery” and (for garage fans) the Rogues incredible “I Don’t Need You”.

A defunct website Turn Me On Dead Man had some info from one of the members of the band dating back to about 2003, but that person’s name is left off and only first names are given for the rest.

Well, the band started in 1965-+. We all went to school together or close to each other and somehow started playing together and then started a band. We used the name Kings Council at first, then took the name from a Jefferson Airplane album.

The band had six members with a light man and helper. I played bass. Ernie played drums, Benny played lead, Bubba played guitar, Rayburn sang, Glynn played lights and Clyde played tam, lights, and helped out.

We had Kustom equipment and a Hammond organ, so we could play stuff by Vanilla Fudge, Steppenwolf and other great bands.

I saw Eddie Futch[’s] (Eddie Raven) name listed, he is related to Benny. Eddie Smith is the one who got with us and taught us the song “I Like Girls.” He paid for the recording session and we sold about 200 copies. There is a couple still floating around. We used to play places like the Swing Machine, a college hangout. All I knew is we just had to play loud.

I just retired from the Lafayette Police Force after 29 years. In 1969 I went into the USMC and did my tour in VN [Vietnam]. Some members of the band went on to play in Sage. Benny is playing guitar in church. I have several guitars and play with Benny when we get together. The rest of the guys live around here [Lafayette, Louisiana] but me and Benny are the only ones who still play.

Surrealistic Pillar Tamm 45 Mexican Calliope

Rupe & the Jades

Rupe and the Jades Rainbow 45 Listen To MeRupe & the Jades came from Clifton Forge, Virginia, a town in Alleghany County. Rupe was Rupert Howard, who I believe was a number of years older than the teenagers usually making this kind of music.

Released on Rainbow 45-100, I originally thought this was a late ’60s pressing, but Max Waller pointed out it’s likely a King custom pressing from 1965.

“Listen to Me” is a good original song with a fine guitar solo. The writers were C. Burnett, L. King, R. Howard and D. Davis, all band members I assume.

Corky Burnett’s original “A Time For Us” is a ballad with a whistling intro, and includes laments against war and poverty.

Rupert Howard later played mandolin and sang for the Mountain Magic Band, whose 1978 album Blue Ridge Mountain Magic proficiently combines country, bluegrass and rock.

Rupe and the Jades Rainbow 45 A Time For Us

The Hallmarks “Soul Shakin’ Psychedelic Sally”

Hallmarks, Asbury Park Press, September 26, 1967
The Hallmarks present “Soul Shakin’ Psychedelic Sally” to Oceanport Mayor Edward C. Wilson and Councilman Felix Foggia, September, 1967

Hallmarks Smash 45 Soul Shakin' Psychedelic Sally

The Hallmarks came from the towns of Oceanport and Long Branch, New Jersey. An article from the Ashbury Park Press of September 26, 1967 gives the full membership of the group:

The Hallmarks are Russ Scalzo, the composer who plays rhythm guitar; his brother, Joseph, drums, and cousin, Anthony Scalzo, rhythm guitar; Ricky Gager, lead guitar, and Jim Bova, bass guitar.

At the time of the article, Russ was the oldest, at 19, Tony Scalzo was 18, Joe Scalzo was 16, and Ricky and Jim were 15.

The article continues, “The record was produced by Thomas Falcone, who was instrumental in bringing the group together through a contest and for promoting the record with Mercury.”

The band cut Russ Scalzo’s original “I Know Why” as early as 1966. With a new title and lyric changes, plus layers of echo and effects to the recording, the Hallmarks released the song as “Soul Shakin’ Psychedelic Sally” on Smash in the summer of 1967. Many listeners prefer the original version without all the echo and effects, but the single does have a zany power that’s made it a classic.

The flip, “Girl of My Dreams” is more conventional. A demo acetate from Bedminster Sound Corp. in West Orange has one unreleased song produced by Tommy Falcone, “Baby We Can Make It Together”, the band trading off with a girl group chorus.

Unfortunately this was the only release the band had. I’m not sure how or why the group broke up.

A few years ago Russ Scalzo produced a musical based on his experiences with the group, “Running Through the Fire” written with daughter Rachel, and is now an author of Christian books. His website is www.russscalzo.com.

Producer Tommy Falcone has an interesting history. In 1963 he and Gino Viscione started the Cleopatra label, famous for labels featuring a reclining woman, often mistaken for Elizabeth Taylor but actually Tommy’s wife in costume. Cleopatra had at least eight releases, ranging from the Tabbys’ bizarre “Hong Kong Baby” to the Centuries great instrumentals “The Outer Limits” and “Jack 23”.

After Cleopatra folded, Falcone had his hand in producing, including the Inmates’ excellent “You Tell Lies” on Columbia and the Shoestring’s “Candy Andy”. Unfortunately Tommy Falcone passed away around the age of 40 in the late ’60s, supposedly from a heart attack after playing an accordion concert.

Background on Tommy Falcone from Crud Crud and On the Record.

Hallmarks Smash 45 Girl Of My Dreams

Dee Robb and the Robbins (the Robbs)

Dee Robb and the Robbins Score 45 Say That ThingI picked up Dee Robb & the Robbins’ “Say That Thing” not realizing this was the Robbs in an earlier incarnation. This 1964 Score single is much different from the sound of their Mercury singles and LP from a couple years later.

Early versions of the group included:

Dee Robb (David Donaldson) – guitar & vocals
Joe Robb (George Donaldson) – saxophone, bass guitar & vocals
Bruce Robb (Robert Donaldson) – keyboards & vocals
Dick Gonia – rhythm guitar
Craig Krampf – drums

They released three singles before their stint with Mercury. First came Dee Robb’s “Bye Bye Baby” / “The Prom” on Argo 5439 from 1963. Later that year as Robby and the Robbins they cut “Surfer’s Life”, a song written by Dee Robb with the group’s manager, Con Merten, b/w “She Cried” on Todd 45-1089. “Say That Thing” seems to be from 1964, judging by the Score release number.

“Say That Thing” sounds much like “What’d I Say” and has great lead guitar in Lonnie Mack’s style. The flip is a rocked-up version of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”.

Lenny LaCour’s Score label also put out a couple singles by the Texas/Chicago band the Bossmen, plus Oscar Hamod and His Majestics’ cool “Come On Willie” / “Top Eliminator.”

Dee Robb and the Robbins Score 45 He's Got The Whole World In His Hands