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.
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.
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.
There 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.
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.
The 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!
A 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”.
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.
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.
Much has been written about Euphoria’s legendary album A Gift from Euphoria. This article focuses instead on the various releases the band members did prior to the LP and the connections to other bands I’ve covered on this site.
Euphoria had its start as a Cleveland band with David Potter and Wesley Watt called the Bushmen. Although it was thought that the Bushmen was a separate group from Wesley Watt’s projects prior to Euphoria, David Potter’s bio states:
After playing drums at the club [the Clinton Bar in Cleveland, OH] for three months, Wesley Watt, a guitar player came in looking for a drummer for a group he wanted to put together, The Bushman [sic]. When he heard David he knew he was the one. David turned sixteen in January and in May, David, Wesley, Paul Armstrong, and Carl Johnson left for Los Angeles to make their mark. On arriving in L.A. they immediately became the house band for the club, Guys and Dolls.
After only eight weeks they signed a contract with Colpix records, also signing with Buck Ram, the manager of the Platters. Their first single was “Baby” with “What I Have I’ll Give to You” on the flip side.
The Bushmen had one release “Baby” / “What I Have I’ll Give to You” on Dimension 1049 in June of ’65. Dimension Records was part of the Columbia Pictures / Colpix company at this time.
Bill Lincoln had relocated from Seattle to Los Angeles. He must have been in the group at this point as he is the composer of “What I Have I’ll Give to You”.
Potter’s bio continues:
The Bushman [sic] were getting a lot of notoriety and attention from all over, including film producer David L. Wolper. He was looking for bands for a documentary about to start filming, Teenage Revolution. They approached Buck Ram about The Bushman being the premiere band for the documentary. Wolper wanted to show what bands went through while traveling around the country from gig to gig. (Along with The Bushman being were about four other bands, one being The Lovin’ Spoonful.) About a month later Buck set up a live gig in Lancaster CA where they filmed their part of Teenage Revolution.
A portion of Mondo Teeno aka The Teenage Revolution is online. I hear music that may be the Bushmen, but haven’t seen any footage of the band.
In addition to the Bushmen single, Watt and Lincoln recorded their original songs as the War-Babies “Jeanie’s Pub” / “Love Is Love” (Highland 4000, August 1965).
The War-Babies recorded another two songs, “Now It’s Over” / “So Little Time” but these came out under the name The Word on Brent 704.
Although I’ve read that the Bushmen came after the War-Babies and Word singles, release dates suggest the Bushmen single came first.
Potter’s bio continues:
After filming the documentary, David, Wesley, and Bill Lincoln wanted to do their own thing. Now seasoned professionals and highly respected musicians they wanted to play and record their own music. With the chance so did their name, to Euphoria. The newly named group spent all their time playing, touring, and recording material that would lead to two of the groups albums. During a successful tour in Texas, their single. “Baby”, released when they were The Bushman [sic], went to #7 on the charts, staying there for seven weeks.
The newly-named Euphoria added Pat Connolly of the Surfaris on bass by the time they toured Texas in 1966. Bill Lincoln left the group when he married and moved to England, though he would rejoin Wesley Watt within a year or two for Euphoria’s 1969 album on Capitol. Connolly also left so Watts brought in James Harrell on guitar and Peter Black on bass, both of the legendary Houston group the Misfits. I believe David Potter was still playing drums with the group at this point, but it may have been Steve Webb of the Misfits.
This group recorded some tracks at Andrus Productions in Houston, including “Pick It Up”, “In Time”, “Walking The Dog” and “Oh Dear, You Look Like a Dog”, none of which surfaced until Texas Archive Recordings released the LP Houston Hallucinations in 1982. The band had other unreleased Texas recordings which await reissue, including “People You and Me” which has some similarity to Da Capo era Love.
Back in L.A., Bob Shad of Brent & Mainstream Records brought the group into United Studios in Hollywood to record four songs in one session. Shad issued two of these (with vocals re-recorded at additional sessions), “Hungry Women” and “No Me Tomorrow” on Mainstream 655, but two originals by James Harrell, “I Realize” and “It Could Do Us No Wrong” were left unreleased and eventually lost. The single would reappear on the Mainstream compilation LP With Love – A Pot of Flowers in 1967.
Despite a good push from Bob Shad, the single didn’t make much of an impact and the group broke up. James Harrell and Pete Black went back to Texas and rejoined the Misfits, changing the name to the Lost and Found.
Potter and Watt joined Lee Michaels band where they played on Michaels’ album Carnival of Life with Gary Davis and John Keski.
Potter joined the East Side Kids in time to play on their album The Tiger and the Lamb, which featured one of his original songs as well as two by Wesley Watt, “Heavy Love” and “Can’t Feel Love”.
Bill Lincoln had returned by this time. He and Watt worked for almost two years on what would become their album A Gift from Euphoria on Capitol in 1969, produced by Nick Venet. According to his bio, Potter also played on the album. Guitarist Doug Delain is also listed in credits for the LP.
After recording the East Side KidsThe Tiger and the Lamb album, Potter moved to Houston and joined with Endle St. Cloud (Alan Mellinger) for his album on International Artists, which also included Pete Black and James Harrell of the Lost & Found. They moved back to LA to for the Potter St. Cloud LP on Mediarts in 1971.
David Potter passed away in 2011, but there was a detailed biography about him at his website, davidpottermusician.com (now defunct but viewable on the Internet Archive).
Watt and Lincoln co-produced and played on Bernie Schwartz’s solo album The Wheel, released on MGM in late 1969, which features a version of their song “Sunshine Woman” that had been on Euphoria’s Capitol LP.
Potter, Watt and Lincoln all continued in music into the early ’70s. For example, Potter and Watt played on Daniel Moore’s 1971 ABC album, and Watt played guitar on Dory Previn’s 1971 Mediarts album Mythical Kings and Iguanas.
Hamilton Wesley Watt, Jr. passed away on February 20, 2015 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Lead guitarist Eric Zacher sent in these two photos of the Royal Knights, one of the many bands who played the Retail Clerks Auditorium and were listed on a flyer I had posted in 2014.
Phil Whitson – lead vocals Eric “Ric” Zacher – lead guitar, 2nd vocal Mark Drawbolt – 2nd lead guitar and rhythm Steve Werner – rhythm guitar Jim Wilson – bass Terry Buckman – drums
We started in Terry’s garage as a lot of bands did in 1965. We all went to Millikan high in Long Beach, CA. My dad was our band manager and represented us very professionally unlike other bands. We got lots of gigs (most weeks after we got going were 2 per week!).
We played Retail a Go Go as the flyer said (did about 3 gigs there), Cinnamon Cinder in Long Beach, the Elks club and many “joints” (off campus clubs having Friday and Saturday parties).The songs we did included Stones, Zombies, Beatles, Yardbirds, Byrds and others from the mid 60s.
We broke up in 1967, all went our separate ways. I was in a college band called the Woods – very professional and made lots of money! I still play weddings and am jamming with several local bands. I really got into blues after the 70s. I have cut several CDS of 60s and 70s folk rock.
The Gibson 335 that you see me holding in the pics was purchased used for 250.00 in 1965. It is an original limited edition dot neck 1961 cherry – I still play it as my blues guitar!
In April of 1967 a band called The Colony released their only single, the wild “All I Want” b/w a great song called “Things On My Mind” on Platter Records P-105. The two make for an interesting contrast: one is hard-edged r&b with a desperate-sounding vocal, the other a much more polished production that includes string arrangements but keeps its drive.
Both songs were written by Mike Foley and Bill Eucker for Worlday-Jenks BMI.
Platter Records: a redundant name wouldn’t you say? Platter was located at 34 San Clemente St, in Ventura, California.
The Platter Records discography looks like this (any additions would be appreciated):
Platter 1001: Homer Lee – “Pedernales River” (Bert Peck) / “I’ve Got Some Crying To Do” (June 1966) Platter 1002: The Cobras featuring Warren Patience – “It’s a Lie” (Michael Walker) Worlday-Jenks BMI / “Thoughts of You (Are Wrecking Me)” Sept. 1966 Platter 1003: Morrie Hamilton “Wimoweh” / “Pickin’ and Grin’in” (Morrie Hamilton – Chas. Wright for Worlday-Proctor BMI) (produced by Joe Bill D’Angelo) Platter 1004: The Two of Us (Bill & Dorice) “You’ll Love Me” (Richie Carpenter, Lightup Music BMI.) / “Piki Teepee” (no artist listed) Platter 1005 – The Colony – “All I Want” / “Things On My Mind” (Mike Foley and Bill Eucker) April 1967
The Cobras came from Kingston, Pennsylvania, west of Scranton. I have no idea how they came to be on Platter Records, but their 45 is a rare and classic garage single. The label for the Cobras reads “featuring Warren Patience” but an ad I found in a central PA newspaper puts his name as Warren Patients.
Homer Lee worked with a song writer out of Dallas, Texas. Morrie Hamilton worked in various locations including Denver. The Two of Us (Bill McClure and Dorice Vance) worked around Anaheim and Santa Ana in Orange County.
With the widespread origins of these artists, the Colony may have been the only act on the label actually from the Ventura area.
Bill Eucker produced and arranged both sides of the Colony single. His full name is William Herschel Eucker. I have no other clue as to who performed on the Colony single, or if they were even a real band outside the session for these two songs. Bill Eucker’s name connects Platter Records with an earlier label from the Oxnard area, Break Out Records.
One odd thing about this discography is the B-side to the Two of Us single, credited only by its title “Piki Teepee”. This instrumental had original release two years earlier as the flip to the Sundancers’ Break Out Records single, “Devil Surf”. Who were the Sundancers? They were Chiyo & the Crescents by another name.
Chiyo & the Crescents and Break Out Records
The best info on Chiyo comes from the article and comments section of Office Naps’ post Everybody Wipe Out Now, which I’ll summarize here, though I can’t attest to the veracity of all this information.
Chiyo was supposedly of Hopi Indian descent, originally named Chizomana. In the 1940s Chiyo went to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln to study music. She married an engineer by the name of Fred Ishii who worked at Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station in Oxnard. She began giving lessons in various instruments at her home, but by the early ’60s she opened up her shop, Chiyo’s Guitars and Drums, on Saviers Road in Oxnard where she continued teaching, notably flamenco-style guitar.
Around 1962 or 1963, Chiyo formed a band called the Crescents:
Chiyo Ishii – lead guitar Thom Bresh – rhythm guitar Tom Mitchell – bass Ray Reed – sax Bob Ross – drums
Thom Bresh is Merle Travis’s son. He would have been about 15 or 16 at the time of these recordings. Bresh was taking lessons at Ernie Ball’s store in Thousand Oaks, where Bill Eucker was teaching. Eucker wrote an instrumental he called “Pink Dominos”, which would become the first of three singles by the Crescents on Break Out Records. Oddly each of the three releases has a different artist name, even though all are by Chiyo & the Crescents.
The only single on Breakout not by Chiyo and the Crescents was by the Dar Vons: “Hot Pepperoni” (obviously trying to cash in on the Dartells “Hot Pastrami”) b/w “Bowling Alley Baby”. The Dar Vons or Darvons included Dave Bowers and previously were known as the Surftones – but I don’t believe this is the same Surftones that backed Dave Myers, that band included Johnny Curtis, Ed Quarry, Dennis Merritt, Seaton Blanco, and Bob Colwell.
Break Out Records discography
Break Out BBM-3/4 – Chiyo & the Crescents – “Pink Dominos” (Bill Eucker) / “Devil Surf” (Chiyo) (Sept. or October 1963) Break Out 105-A/106-B – Kresents – “Purple Checkers” (Bill Eucker, Dimondaire Music BMI) / “Maple Syrup” (Chiyo) (February, 1964) Break Out 107-AA/108 – Dar Vons – “Hot Pepperoni” (Steve Middleton, B. Peeler) / “Bowling Alley Baby” (Waldemar Mennigen – Jerry Jaye) produced by Moraga- B. Moon Break Out 111 – The Sundancers – “Devil Surf” / “Piki Teepee” (both by Chiyo)
I could use good scans of the Sundancers single if anyone has it. Also would definitely like to hear the Dar Vons, and would like to purchase a copy of any of the Break Out singles.
Break Out was at least partly owned by Harold Moraga. Moraga also owned part of Dimondaire Music BMI, which published all the songs on Break Out.
Kim Fowley bought the master for “Pink Dominos” and placed it with Era Records for a wider release, reaching #95 in Billboard on December 28, 1963 and reportedly climbing as high as #69 in early 1964. I read Ghoulardi used it on his show so it became an in-demand in the Cleveland, Ohio area.
Fowley controlled half the publishing for both sides through Room Seven Music, BMI. The flip side “Breakout” is credited to Moon and Moraga and even though Chiyo’s name is on the label, this sounds like a different group using a cheap organ sound.
Despite the success of the single, the two follow ups on Break Out were recorded under different band names. The Kresents single features a song Bill Eucker wrote called “Purple Checkers”, while the band remade “Devil Surf” with saxophone under a new title, “Maple Syrup”. As the Sundancers, they do yet another version of “Devil Surf” with “Pink Teepee” on the flip. BMI shows he wrote a song called “Torment” during this period, which seems to have gone unrecorded.
I wonder what Bill Eucker was doing in the two or three years between writing for the Crescents and recording the Colony single. It’s also a mystery how “Pink Teepee” shows up on the flip to the Two of Us single, as there doesn’t seem to be any overlap in publishing or production between the Break Out and Platter labels.
I find no more credits for Bill Eucker until 1972, when he turns up playing guitar on the John Henry Kurtz LP Reunion on ABC Records. That record that contains the original version of “Drift Away”, a later version of which continues to be heard in supermarkets across the country.
Thank you to Dick Blackburn for adding the Dar Vons to the Break Out discography. Thank you to Chuck Keever for the scans of the Kresents single and suggestions about the order of release.
Here are two obscure singles that seem to have been recorded in one session on the same day, apparently March 12, 1965. Both feature the Mockers, and each was released on the Monte-Vista label and numbered 3-12-65.
The first features two surf instrumentals: the atmospheric “Children of the Sun” backed by a first-rate surf-rocker “Madalena” with crunching wet guitar. Both songs were written by someone named Norgord for Monte-Vista Music BMI.
The Mockers were obviously a very competent group, but the second single has them backing what sounds like a prepubescent lead singer, Chris Parry, on another single written by Norgord, “I Need You Now”. The flip is a cover of “Angela Jones”, written by John Loudermilk (composer of “Tobacco Road”).
The producer was Dale Smallin who in 1963 managed the Surfaris’ and brought them to Paul Buff’s PAL studio in Cucamonga to record “Surfer Joe” / “Wipe Out” (Smallin also contributed the maniacal laughter to the opening). Smallin may have lost the Safaris when he and Dot Records brought in the Challengers to record tracks to fill out the album. In any case, the Mockers may have been the only records after the Safaris to feature his name as producer. If there are others, I haven’t found them yet, nor have I found any info on the Mockers or Chris Parry.
Monte Vista Street runs in Highland Park in Los Angeles, not far from the Glendale origin of the Safaris. Smallin would name his film production company Monte-Vista and produced a 28 minute movie show in West Covina, The Day That Sang and Cried in 1968, featuring another band, The West Coast Blues Company. Dave Smallin died on March 1, 2011.