Category Archives: Tucson

The Five of Us

The Five Of Us Platt 45 Hey YouThe Five of Us came from Tuscon, Arizona. Members included Paul Canella on lead guitar and George Maryville on bass (also sometimes spelled George Miraval), Alex Valdez on drums and vocals, Lee Stansrud on vocals and Richard Gomez on organ.

In 1965 they backed Tommy Gardner, a singer who sounds a lot like post-army Elvis on “Why Oh Why” / “Pretty Baby” on Keeson Recording Ltd KRL-125. The labels credit the single to Tommy Gardner and the 5 of Us. Both songs were Gardner originals, published by Keeson BMI and produced by E.M. Keener. This is the same Tommy Gardner who cut “Why” / “That Kind of Love” with the Versatiles on Rev Records.

The Five of Us - Need Me Like I Need You - Current 45Without Gardner the Five of Us cut an interesting single on Platt Records GMJ-8149 in May 1966, “Hey You” / “I Don’t Believe” – covering both sides of the Guilloteens first single on HBR 446 from June of the previous year. The Five of Us version of “Hey You” is almost as good as the Guilloteens, but the group is a little shaky on “I Don’t Believe”. The Platt label has no publishing info; deadwax has the Monarch delta # 61973 and CJM 8149. I can’t think of any other single that covers both sides of another artist’s release.

The next single would be their best, the band original “Need Me Like I Need You” published by Wayne-Houle BMI, with a repeat of “Hey You” from their Platt single. The Current Records label released it in July 1966.

Think of the Good Times: The Tucson Sound features the previously unreleased “Let Me Explain”, recorded in 1966. There’s another unreleased song titled “I Lied” that I haven’t heard yet.

When the Five of Us split, Paul Canella and Alex Valdez joined the Yellow Balloon, and would continue into The Popcorn Explosion.

The Five Of Us Platt 45 I Don't Believe

Splitsound Records discography and the Whose Who

Splitsound was a Tucson, Arizona label owned by Dan Gates, DJ/Program Director at KTKT and Dan Peters. Splitsound is best known for the Dearly Beloved’s great “Flight Thirteen”, but it also had fine 45s by the Lewallen Brothers, the Buckett City Distortion Rackett and the Grodes.

The Whose Who were actually a vocal group from Dayton, Ohio Des Moines, Iowa. Dan Gates recorded their tracks at Audio Recorders in Phoenix in return for doing background vocals for another artist produced by Gates, Rena Cook.

James Hagerty of the Whose Who wrote to me, “The group was from Des Moines, IA and included James Hagerty, Kathy Mazzola, Darrell Chrystle, and Al Jinx. We came to Tucson to record at the request of a former member of the group, Steve Harris who had recently moved to Tucson. I don’t know how he met Dan Gates.”

Fans of moody pop should dig “Don’t Let Her See You Cry”, written by Grodes vocalist Manny Freiser. The breezy flip, “The Fun We Had” was written by J.J. Hagerty.

Usually Splitsound releases have a catalog prefix “SSDG” with the DG standing for David Gates. The Whose Who was produced by Steve Harris, so it has the prefix “SSSH”, unique among Splitsound 45s as far as I can tell.

any help with this discography would be appreciated!

Splitsound discography:

SSDG 1-1/1-2: Lewallen Brothers – I Think I’m Glad (Cal Lewallen) / It Must Be Love

SSDG 2-2/2-2: Rena Cook (with The Grodes Orch. & Chorus) – Once in a Lifetime Love (Manny Freiser) / The Lovelost (featuring Reggie Arvizu) – Lost Love

SSDG 3-1/3-2: Buckett City Distortion Rackett – I Can See It’s Coming / I Lied (Steve Lewis)

SSDG 4-1/4-2: Grodes – Give Me Some Time / Background of Give Me Some Time (both by Manny Freiser and Rich Cota Robles) (December, 1967)

SSDG 5-1/5-2: Dearly Beloved – Merry Go Round (Larry Cox) / Flight Thirteen (Terry Lee)

SSDG 6-1/6-2: Lewallen Brothers – Only A Dream / Somethin’ On My Mind (March, 1968)

SSDG 7-1/7-2: Butterscotch – Your Own Love / Three-O-Nine (Fred Porter)

SSDG 8-1/8-2: Spring Fever (The Grodes) – Sand / Give Me Some Time (June 1968)

SSDG 9-1/9-2: Greylock Mansion – Over My Shoulder / Dedication (1970)

SSSH 1-1/1-2: Whose Who – The Fun We Had (J.J. Hagerty) / Don’t Let Her See You Cry (Manny Frieser).

Max Waller writes about Greylock Mansion that it “was released in 1970 but had been recorded in December 1969 at the same time as the ‘Catafalque’ / ‘Amazon’ pairing that was released first in Jan 1970 on Dynamic Records.”

Shep Cooke? – or is that a mix up with the Rena Cook 45?

Sources include: 60sgaragebands.com interview with Dan Gates.

Thank you to Max Waller for his help with this discography.

The Tongues of Truth & The Grodes

In honor of the Chocolate Watchband playing the Underground Garage festival in NY this weekend, I’m featuring the original version of their most famous tune, “Let’s Talk about Girls”.

The Grodes and Tongues of Truth were two names for the same band – originally from Tucson, Arizona, but often recording in L.A. They were renamed Tongues of Truth without their knowledge by their manager and promoter, Dan Gates, dj at local KTKT in Tucson. Gates didn’t bother to tell the band about the rechristening until he announced the new single, “Let’s Talk About Girls”, over the airwaves. They stuck with it while the 45 had it’s time on the charts (#37 locally), then returned to being the Grodes. “Cry a Little Longer” is an earlier 45 on the Tri-M label, and one of their best.