Category Archives: California

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 Xanadus

Xanadus Angelus 45 Before the DawnXanadus Encore 45 Before the Dawn

I mentioned the Xanadus when I wrote about Angelus Records, a label for Christian music based out of Lorin Whitney’s studio in Glendale. The Xanadus first single was on Angelus, even though it was not a religious record. On hearing their second single recently, I decided the Xanadus deserve their own entry.

Their first single, “Before the Dawn” features a basic ensemble of lightly-amplified guitars, tambourine and harmony singing. “Little Girl” is a ballad, even more low-key than the A-side. Both songs are on youtube but not in great sound quality. It came out on Angelus WR-4442, and then the band reissued it on their own Encore label with the same catalog # 4442.

Xanadus Encore 45 You Turn Me OnThere are only a few instrumental or pop releases on Angelus. The Xanadus single is more pop in style and subject matter, but it’s so light and innocuous it doesn’t clash with the typical Angelus subject matter.

However, there’s no way Angelus would allow the band to use the label for their second 45, the salacious and amazing “You Turn Me On” / “Bankrupt Bothered & Bewildered”, released on Encore 4443. These are sharp, cutting rockers, with good guitar breaks. “Bankrupt Bothered & Bewildered” sounds like it was recorded live, shouting and hooting in the background.

Photos in the videos are different bands.

Angelus WR-4442 – “Before the Dawn” (Boyd & Adams) / “Little Girl” (Wray) produced by J & R Productions
Encore 4442 – Xanadus – “Before the Dawn” (Boyd & Adams) / “Little Girl” (Wray) (WR-4442-45) released Feb. 1965
Encore 4443 – “You Turn Me On” / “Bankrupt, Bothered & Bewildered” released April 1965

Both Encore releases have publishing by Shat-Shep Music BMI.

At this time I know nothing about the band.

The Shat-Shep Music credit shows up on at least a couple other singles of the period. One is Gail Da Corsi ‎– “I’ve Lost In Life” / “Touch Of Yesterday” on Dolton 314. The other is the Universals “I’m In Love” / “A Love Only You Can Give” on Shepherd SR 2200, a doo-wop style 45 from 1962.

Another Shepherd release, though without the Shat-Shep credit is Ritchie Marsh “They Say” (Pat Vegas, R. Marsh, pub. by Debutante Music) / “Darling I Swear That It’s True” on Shepherd SR-2203. Ritchie Marsh is better known as Sky Saxon.

The Shepherd label came out of Hollywood.

Thank you to Dan Peterson for the scan of the Angelus 45. If you have better scans of the second Encore single, please contact me.

Anyone have more info or a photo of the band?

The Front Office on Mijji

Front Office Mijji 45 WowThe Front Office single on Mijji seems to be a combination of two different recording groups. The A-side “Girl” is polished, Motown-type soul, written by Steve Cook and arranged by Val Garay (who would go on to engineer and produce many high-profile acts in the 1970s and ’80s) and Mark Holly.

The instrumental flip side is something else altogether. “Wow” is first-rate psychedelia done by a band who knows what they’re doing and don’t hold back. The song writing credit goes to Gilbert Day, who is also credited as producer with G. Zacharisen (possibly George Zacharisen). Satori Music, BMI published both songs, released on Mijji M3007 in 1968.

Beyond those names, the identity of the musicians on “Wow” is a mystery. This was the last release on Mijji, which had a handful of other singles. Sound 70 had two singles on Mijji:

Mijji M-3002 – Sound 70 – “There Is No Reason” / “Seven Day Fool”
Mijji M-3004 – Sound 70 – “One Too Many Mournings” / “Chicago Blues”

Day-Gardner-Brown produced both singles, and other than song writing and publishing credits for the cover songs, “Seven Day Fool” and “One Too Many Mournings” (sic), there are no other names on the labels. Sound 70 played live around San Mateo, Belmont and San Carlos, California, adjacent towns on the peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose. Sound 70 seems to have come out of the Bundles, whose songs “Mark My Words” and “Watch Me Girl” went unreleased at the time but now appear on the Big Beat CD Dance With Me: The Autumn Teen Sound.

Judging by “There Is No Reason” and the heavy drums on “One Too Many Mournings”, Sound 70 had the ability to cut a track like “Wow”, but that’s only speculation.

The only other single on Mijji that I can find is by the Venus Flytrap:

Mijji M-3005 – Venus Flytrap – “The Note” / “Have You Ever” (both by Donald Danielli – Daniel Sanchez, prod. by Gilbert Day, published by Guard Music, BMI)

The original release came on Jaguar Records J-103, owned by Barry Wineroth. It was a hit in the Santa Barbara area, but the Redwood City band also had a following in the South Bay, which may be why Mijji repressed it. Both songs copyrighted in April and July, 1968, orig. publisher Wren Music BMI, then Guard Music BMI, part of Golden State Recorders.

At the time of the single, the Venus Flytrap were Nancy Morgan, lead singer; Peter Sessions on lead guitar; Dan Sanchez rhythm guitar; Ken Czapkay on bass; and Debbie Binetti. Bard Dupont of the Outfit replaced Ken Czapkay when he was drafted, and Michele Sevryn replaced Nancy Morgan shortly before the band split.

If anyone has more info or photos of the band, or copies of any of the singles (especially the Venus Flytrap on either label), please contact me.

Sources include: “The Continuing Adventures of Bard Dupont, Introducing the Outfit” by Alec Palao, originally published in Cream Puff War No. 2, February 1993, page 87-96.

Front Office Mijji 45 Girl

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

Star-Bright Records discography

Wilde Knights Star-Bright 45 Just Like Me
I’d appreciate any help with this discography.

Star-Bright 3051 – The Wilde Knights – “Beaver Patrol” (Dey – Brown) / “Tossin’ and Turnin'”
Rich Brown, vocal on both songs. S-1-866/7

Star-Bright 3052 – The Wilde Knights – “Just Like Me” (Dey for Tinadele Pub. Co. BMI) / “I Don’t Care” (Dey-Brown) Rick Dey vocals on both songs, S-1-864/5

Star-Bright 3053 – Bruce (pseudonym for The Niteriders) – “I Got My Mojo Workin'” / “La-La-La”

Star-Bright 3054 – The Niteriders – “Satisfaction Guaranteed” (Doak) S-1-868 / “Whatever’s Right” (Johnson, Doak, Sells)

Star-Bright 3055 – The Niteriders – “With Friends Like You Who Needs Friends” (Doak) S-1-871 / “Just Call on Me”

Star-Bright 3056 – ??

Star-Bright 3057- Thornbush Ripple IV – “Room With a Crew” Part I / “Room With a Crew” Part II (Anonymous – McCoy for Tinadele Pub) S-1-874/5

Paul Johnson produced all the Star-Bright singles.

Wilde Knights Star-Bright 45 I Don't CareThe Wilde Knights formed when the draft took Ray Kennedy, lead singer of the Furys, who had two fine r&b records on the Lavender label. Furys member Rich Brown ( lead vocals, guitar) and Roger Huycke (drums) added Rich Dey from the Vejtables as a second lead vocalist and Dean Adair and changed the band’s name to the Wilde Knights.

The Furys had originally been based out of Longview, Washington, but the band’s live circuit brought them up and down the west coast, so perhaps it’s not surprising the Wilde Knights cut their two singles in a studio in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles for release by a brand-new label based in a small coastal town in southern Oregon.

“Beaver Patrol” is an instant classic, featuring lead vocals by Rich Brown. Their second single on Star-Bright, also from 1965, features the original version of “Just Like Me” written and sung by Rich Dey. The story goes that Paul Revere heard the song and bought it from Dey for maybe $5,000. It became a monster hit for the Raiders in December 1965, while Dey seems to have died young, circa 1970. The full story of the Furys/Wilde Knights and their later incarnations is best told in Greg Shaw’s liner notes to the 1984 Voxx LP compiling their recordings.

The third release on Star-Bright is one I haven’t heard, an artist called Bruce doing “I Got My Mojo Workin'” / “La-La-La”. Bruce is supposed to be a pseudonym for members of the Niteriders, who would have the next two singles on Star-Bright in 1966. I know very little about the Niteriders but their two singles are fantastic. The group may have come from Portland, Oregon. “Satisfaction Guaranteed” b/w “Whatever’s Right” came out in early 1966 followed quickly by their second release “With Friends Like You Who Needs Friends” b/w “Just Call on Me”.

I can’t find any copyright registrations to Niteriders member Doak, whose name appears on the Niteriders song writing credits, but I have found a copyright registration from June of ’66 for “Satisfaction Guaranteed” by Donald Richard Keefer. Rick Keefer would produce singles by Genesis, the King Biscuit Entertainers, and American Cheese, all bands with roots in the Furys or Wilde Knights. He had a few early copyrights in 1965: ‘Hurt So Good”, “I Saw Sloopy” and “Soul Searchin'”. It’s conceivable he was a part of the Niteriders.

The Los Angeles label Modern Records released “With Friends Like You Who Needs Friends” under a pseudonym, the Composers, and also put out the Wilde Knights “Beaver Patrol”, supposedly without the band’s knowledge. The Modern releases, along with publishing by Tinadele Pub. BMI suggest a strong Los Angeles connecton for Star-Bright Records.

I haven’t found out what Star-Bright 3056 is, but Star-Bright 3057 (on a purple label) is the Thornbush Ripple IV “Room With a Crew” Part I / “Room With a Crew” Part II, a novelty release featuring a not very funny recitation of what’s supposed to be an asylum inmate, spoken over a bluesy guitar, piano and drums backing.

Star-Bright Records: six or seven releases, four of which are essential garage. Not a bad average!

Allen Fierro and the Outrage

Outrage Promo Photo

My friend Derek Taylor sent in this cool promotional photo of a group called Outrage, with a logo that could come from some ’80s hardcore poster. The group had one single that I haven’t heard as Allen Fierro And The Outrage “Show Me” b/w “Light My Fire” on Music City 45-870. They were certainly an East Bay group, but what town I don’t know.

That’s all I can find out about the group, but Joey D came through with the info that “the logo was drawn by Don Ryder who did a lot of flyers/posters for Bill Quarry’s Teen ‘n Twenties.” These shows took place in Hayward and San Leandro at the Rollarena and other venues. More info on Bill Quarry’s promotions and many examples of Don Ryder’s poster art can be seen at Bill Quarry’s Teens N’ Twenties site.

The Starfires from Long Beach

The Starfires of Long Beach, from left: John Cameron, Pete Wilson, Dave Christopherson and Al (surname?) on sax
The Starfires of Long Beach entertaining at the Terminal Island Officer’s Club “Shipwreck Party” in 1967. From left: John Cameron, Pete Wilson, Dave Christopherson and Al (surname?) on sax

Starfires Long Beach business cardA couple years ago I posted some business cards from the Los Angeles area music scene, including two cards from the Starfires. I assumed these were from the Downey group that had six singles, including the famous “I Never Loved Her”.

The Starfires Garrison Recording Studio demo, never released
The Starfires Garrison Recording Studio demo, never released
It turns out that at least one of those cards belongs to a different Starfires group, operating out of Long Beach, only 15 miles to the south. Apparently this town was big enough for two groups of the same name!

Chris Robere sent me the photos and scans seen here with a little info on the group.

In 1965, the band members included:

Pete Wilson – lead guitar
John Cameron – bass and rhythm guitar
Don Schraider – sax
Dave Christopherson – drums

The band seems to have been popular with the Naval base in Long Beach. They had at least one recording session, as an acetate demo exists from the Garrison Recording Studio in Long Beach. I haven’t heard of “No Hair McCann” before so I expect that must be an original song.

John Irvin Cameron passed away on September 15, 2015.

John Cameron's business ard
John Cameron’s business card

The other Starfires, from Downey, deserves to be covered on this site. That group included Chuck Butler lead vocals, Dave Anderson lead guitar, Sonny Lathrop rhythm guitar, Freddie Fields bass guitar, and Jack Emerick on drums. Freddie Fields seems to have done most of their song writing.

Starfires Long Beach Naval Station Officers Mess Monthly December, 1965
The Starfires featured in the Long Beach Naval Station Officers Mess newsletter in December, 1965

Golden State Records singles discography

Custer and the Survivers Golden State 45 I Saw Her WalkingGolden State Recorders used the Golden State Records label for acts that did not have a deal with another company. The music can range from soul to hard rock to gospel, but Custer & the Survivers, Zorba & the Greeks and the Poor Souls all have good garage sounds.

The changing numbering system makes it difficult to put in exact chronological order without knowing the dead wax of each release. Early singles have white labels with simple black print or yellow and greenish blue labels with bridge logo. This changed to red, green, purple, etc in later years without the bridge logo.

I’m sure there are many more releases than I have listed here, any help with this discography would be appreciated.

GSR 653 – The Astros – Space Walk” (B. Please, Rap Music ASCAP and DeGar Music ASCAP)

654 – Lanny Duncan – “I Didn’t Lie” / “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me”

GSR – 656 – Weyland Jennings – “Nashville Bum” / “Gulf Coast Belle”

GSR-657 – Custer and the Survivers – “I Saw Her Walking” / “Flapjacks” (both by J.B. Pavseni, Mark Nine Music BMI, produced by Arvey Andrews) (Nov. 1965, also released on Vardan and Ascot)

Arvey Andrews also produced the Mystic “I Get So Disgusted” / “Weekend People”, D. Witherspoon & the Future, and the Lovers “Without a Doubt” on Frantic Records, and the Emotions “Love of a Girl” / “Do This For Me” on Vardan.

453 – The Lo-Kals – “Look Out Baby Here I Come” / “I’m So Tired” (Bobby King, Guard Music BMI) (J.H. Lewis Production)

GSR-597-A – Zorba & the Greeks – “One and Only Girl” / “You’ve Had Your Chance” (Nov. 1966)

GSR-597-B – Zorba & the Greeks – “Shockwave” (Myrin, Guard Music BMI) / “Memories of You” (Johnson) (Nov. 1966)

GSR-45-606 – The Donnybrookes – “Time Will Tell” / “You’re Gonna Cry” (Nov. 1966)

GRS-1721 – The Poor Souls – “Baby Let’s Wait” / “It Ain’t Enough” (Frank Marseguerra, Degar Music ASCAP) (Oct. 1967)

GSR-1351 – David London – “Tomorrow’s OK By Me” / “Lara’s Theme” (produced by Leo Kulka)

GSR-501 – Gold – “Summertime” / “No Parking” (production: A-side Country Joe McDonald, b-side George Benz)

GSR – 4-69 – Mel Davis – “Just Another Smile” / “The Life I Live” (1969)

GS106 – Spyders – “I Can Take Care of Myself” / “Make Up Your Mind” (W. Cox) (1968)

GSR-1969 – The Voices of Victory Choir – “I Feel Good” / “There’s No Hiding Place”

GSRC-2452 – Seventh Dawn – “Don’t Worry Me” (Phillips, Phillips, Noyer; Guard Music BMI) / “Wings of Flight” (1970) gold label, G.S.R. Custom Records, band from Oroville

GSR-7695 – Swinging Granny – “Irall Waltz” / “Da-Dippty” (both by Irral Berger, 1969)

GSRC 437 – Joy Higgins – Come Back Big Jack” / “Shoulda Told You” (1978)

recent pressings of unreleased soul recordings:

GS-2001 (GSR346) – The San Francisco TKOs – “Make Up Your Mind” / “Send My Baby Back”
GS-2002 (GSR352) – George & Teddy – “Oh Yeah” / “Lover”
GS-2003 GSR362) – Spyders – “I Don’t Care” / “I Can Take Care of Myself”

33 and 1/3 rpm 7″ custom pressings:

M-1967 – Leo & Flora de Gar Kulka – A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
GSR-1562 – Garland Dudley & the Voices of Frederick of the Third Baptist Church – “He Touched Me”, “Touch the Hem of His Garment” / “Sweet Sweet Spirit”, “You Must Live Right” (7″, 33 1/3rd rpm)

LPs on Golden State include Paul LaMont – Psychedelia (Opus 1 & 2), War Songs of the Third Reich, and Joel Andrews – Harp Soundings.
Poor Souls Golden State 45 It Ain't Enough