Sunshine Reigns came from Crowley, Louisiana. Members were:
Burton Mader – lead vocals, guitar (?) Kyle Jones – organ Mark Miller – bass Danny Foreman – drums
They cut a single in 1968 or 1969 on mbm PRODUCTIONS No. 1946. Keyboardist Kyle Jones wrote the languid A-side, “Laura (Is the Girl)”. The flip is Danny Foreman’s song “Acelia Dulfin”, a warning about a girl with a cool spoken introduction. Hear both songs on youtube:
A comment on Discogs gives the full names of the band, and that they won “the Crowley High talent contest in the late 60s.” Another mention of the band being from Arlington, Texas seems far-fetched, as Arlington is 400 miles away from Crowley.
Mike Miller, son of legendary studio owner J.D. Miller of Crowley ran MBM Productions, putting out these four singles around 1968-1971:
MBM Productions 1945 – Maximus and His Projectors – “A Thing Called Limericks (part 1)” / “Bang Bang Lou Lou” (labeled Not For Broadcast!) MBM Productions 1946 – Sunshine Reigns – “Laura (Is the Girl)” / “Acelia Dulfin” MBM Productions 1947 – 49th Blue Streak – “Fire” / “Foxy Lady” Bulb Record Co. 101 – Sorce – “Tomorrow Won’t See Me” (G. Duhan) / “Courthouse Massacre” (a Division MBM Productions of Crowley Louisiana, MBM Music, BMI)
The Lost Generation came from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and had one single on the Bofuz Enterprises label, “Let Me Out” / “They Tell Me” in 1966. Both sides are original songs.
“Let Me Out” has a great relaxed Stones feeling to it. Band members Michael Rhodes and Bob Keating wrote the song.
The flip is a different style, an echoing ballad that alternates harmonized verses with a mournful lead vocal. Mike Rhodes wrote this side.
John Herring sent in the photo above (courtesy of Pam Causey) and wrote to me about his career in music:
The personnel in the photo were the players on the Bofuz (Bonnie Fussel) record:
Bob Keating – lead vocals Mike Rhodes – lead vocals Ron Grassman – lead guitar Ronnie Easley – rhythm guitar John Herring – bass and vocals Ronnie Schilling – drums
Mike Rhodes went on to a career in broadcasting (radio & television) primarily doing Sports for WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge.
I later played bass and sang in a three-piece power group, The Joint Effort with lead guitarist Jerry Heinberg (Souls of The Slain) and drummer Jimmy Rink, before joining Danny Cohen (Casey Kelly) from The Greek Fountains and Joe Miceli (A.J.’s older brother and the drummer for John Fred and The Playboys) in an L.A.- based group who recorded on A&M Records as The Luziana Band.
The Luziana Band also had guitarist/songwriters Jeffrey Comanor and Sammy Rubin (ye olde Inn Crowd) at different times.
Contrary what you may read elsewhere, this is not the same Lost Generation who had a single on Tear Drop 3195: “Baby!” (Allan Green, Gary Green) / “Night Time (Makes You Lonely)” in October 1968. That group came from the area around Freeport, Texas, including West Columbia, Clute and Lake Jackson. The members were Leonard ‘Beak’ Johnson (lead vocalist), Willie Funderburg (lead vocalist), Gary Greene (lead guitar), Larry Beal (organ), Mike Roberts (bass) and Pat O’Leary (drums).
The Chancellors came from Oil City, Louisiana, about 30 miles from Shreveport along Caddo Lake.
Members of the band were:
John “Rusty” Shafer – guitar Howard Lee – guitar Mike Dunahoo – bass Tommy Valliera – drums
According to the liner notes of Big Beat release Don’t Be Bad, Rusty Shafer and Howard Lee were part of a folk quartet called the New River Four at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Lee and Shafer found a rhythm section in Mike Dunahoo and Tommy Valliera, and renamed the group the Chancellors.
They drove over four hours to cut two 45s at Recording Service Studios, Inc., 227 E. Sterling, Pasadena, releasing them on the Caddo label in 1965. The first was “It’s Too Late” / “Can It Be Love” (Caddo 101, LH-2023/4), followed by “Don’t Tell Me” / “I Don’t Know Where I’m Going” in November, 1965, (Caddo 102, LH-2055/6).
“Don’t Tell Me” is available on the CDDon’t Be Bad, 60s Punk Recorded in Texas. I like “It’s Too Late” from the first single:
All songs were originals by Rusty Shafer and Howard Lee, published by Crazy Cajun BMI. Shafer and Lee registered five more songs with the Library of Congress that year, including “Gone Away, Lost in Sorrow”, “Impossible Dream”, “The Love We Share”, “Never, Never Say You Love Me”, “Tired of Laughing”. I don’t know if they recorded any of those songs.
The Barracudas came from Bunkie, Louisiana, a small town south of Alexandria.
John Haas – vocals Terry Fontanille – lead guitar Tommy McNabb – bass Alex Haas – drums
The photo above shows a quintet, so I’m not sure who the additional guitarist was.
According to Mark Prellberg’s article in Brown Paper Sack, the band started out as the Pickles and appeared on a Saturday morning TV show broadcast from Alexandria. After a show at a Chevy dealership, KDBX DJs Gene McDaniels and Larry Jorgensen signed them to a management deal. They cut one single in April 1965 at the KDBX studio for release on their managers’ Zundak label.
One side is “Baby Get Lost”, an original by Haas and Fontanille. Guitarist Terry Fontanille provides several excellent hooks with his picking, there’s plenty of background shouting and chirping of the chorus, and even a short drum break.
Clocking in at 1:43, the recording has been called ludicrously sped up, but I’ve played it at various speeds and believe that the pressing is only 1% or 2% fast, which wouldn’t be unusual for the time. One version online pitched down to 2:05 sounded too lethargic and off-key to me. The video below is close to what I feel is the correct speed. Singer John Haas was 15 at the time of recording, which could account for the high-pitched vocals.
The flip is a decent version of Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do” though the short guitar and drum break after the harmonica solo is hilarious.
After Alex Haas left for college, John Haas and Tommy McNabb formed Nobody’s Children, with no recordings that I know of. Billy Powell of Jimmy & the Offbeats from Baton Rouge recruited John Haas as vocalist for his new group, John Eric & the Isoceles Popsicles, making one single each for USA and Verve.
As John Eric and the Isosceles Popcicles, they had two pop singles circa 1968, “I’m Not Nice” / “Like Him” on USA Records 913 and “Gonna Change My Mind” (Haas, Amarosa, McRee) / “I Been Trying” on Verve VK-10589.
The Barracudas was the second release on the Zundak label, Zundak 45-101, with “Baby Get Lost” published by Zundak Publ. Co. BMI and production by Zundak Music Enterprises, Alexandria, Louisiana.
The only other composition I can find published by Zundak is “A Soldier’s Christmas in Viet Nam” by Charles England, copyrighted by Zundak Pub. Co. in October 1966.
Besides the Barracudas, Zundak released an album:
102 – Catahoula Country Time (Ruble Wright)
And five other singles that I know of:
100 – Terry & the Pirates – “Someone Care For Me” / “Stackel-Teez” Feb’65 103 – Little Caesar & the Romans – “Don’t Cry No More” / “Night Train” 104 – Jimmy Ingram and Jimmy Williams and the Down Beaters – “I Need You” / “She’s Gone” (both by O.A. Raby) 105 – Betty Simpson – “Weeping Willow” / “What Is Love” 106 – The X-L’s – “Protest Against Protest” / “Blue Blue Feeling” (July 1966)
The X-L’s is a crude kind of garage record, while the Jimmy Ingram is gospel-style soul and the Betty Simpson is pop, with a good soul feeling on the b-side.
Betty Simpson had a band called the Argos, consisting of Billy Spillman (bass), Steve Smith (drums), Robert Rachel and Stan Rachel (both guitar).
Some of the records were recorded at La Louisianne studios in Lafayette, about 90 miles to the southeast of Alexandria in central Louisiana.
Thank you to Max Waller and Teen Beat Mayhem for help with the Zundak discography.
I wrote about Alva Starr, who had two interesting garage releases on Golden Records of La., based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This single by the Organized Confusion is the other garage single on that label. It features two good original songs by Bill Richards, “Tell Me Why” b/w “Makes Me Sad”. Production credited to Ebb Tide and Randy Darnell, published by Darn-L. Copyrights for these two songs plus one called “Bad Girl” were registered with the Library of Congress in May 1968.
Interestingly, the band was from the Detroit, Michigan area. Ebb-Tide (Ebb Harris) of Golden Records ran classified ads in Billboard in 1967 and 1968 looking for songs and finished songs. Randy Darnell of “The Darnell Sound” may have seen these ads and responded, or A&R man Bob Balog may have brought the band to Golden.
A promotional photo from the old G45 Central forum shows the band in a tree, and the songs for the single list “Hang On, He’s Not Coming” instead of “Tell Me Why”. Contact info is given both for the label, Golden Records and the production company, Darnell Sound Production, which has an address of 13079 Northline, Southgate, MI, south of downtown Detroit.
Alva Starr was a character in the Tennessee Williams play This Property Is Condemned. Natalie Wood portrayed Alva Starr in the 1966 flim of the same name, with a screenplay written in part by Francis Ford Coppola.
Alva is not a common name now, but you may recall it was phonograph inventor Thomas Edison’s middle name. Alva Starr became the stage name for Alva Snelling, a songwriter and singer from, possibly, Denham Springs, Louisiana, a few miles east of Baton Rouge.
Snelling recorded two singles in August and September 1967 for the Baton Rouge label Golden Records, owned by Ebb-Tide, short for Ebenezer K. Harris.
The first, on Golden 102 is the psychedelic-garage classic “Clock on the Wall”, where Alva intones lyrics like “time has made slaves of us all … the clock ticks away at our destiny … the hands they move with such a pace as to control the lives of the human race” while the band vamps with a monotonous drum beat in the background.
The flip side is the bizarre and cool patriotic ode “Space Race to the Moon” which includes lyrics like “the moon must be free, because that’s the way God meant it to be”. Alva Snelling wrote both songs, published by Sano Pub. Co BMI.
His second single is another fine original “Light of 1000 Years” played with a defter touch than the first, and backed with a cover of Arthur Alexander’s “Anna”. Snelling registered “Light of 1000 Years” with the Library of Congress in March of 1966.
As to who was backing Alva Starr, one commentator on youtube suggests the band was named the Luvrakers. I couldn’t find info on the Luvrakers other than they had a guitarist named Susan Owens probably at a later date than these recordings. However John Herring of the Lost Generation doesn’t recall Susan Owens, but provided me with the names of the Luvrakers:
Rodney White – lead guitar and vocals L.J. DeMaio (DeMiah? – how should this be spelled? – now calls himself L.J. Copas of the Copas Brothers) – rhythm guitar and vocals Alva Snelling – bass and lead vocals Alva’s brother – keyboard David Cook – drums
Alva Starr and Ebb Tide produced both of these singles on “Golden-Records of La.” Golden Records had an address of PO Box 2544 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Both singles were released with gold-colored labels, though some copies of “Light of 1000 Years” have blue labels.
In 1986 Alva’s current band the Luv-Rakers recorded a heavy version of “Clock on the Wall” on Angel Records 1006, b/w “Lost Things and Changes” (written by Susan Owens).
Alva Snellling seems to have died in 1995, but I can’t find confirmation of this.
Other than Alva Starr and an interesting release by a Detroit group, Organized Confusion, most releases on Golden Records were country or soul music. 45 Cat has a nearly complete discography.
Blue label version scan taken from Mojama Records. Tip of the hat to Chaim O’Brien-Blumenthal for finding the Billboard ad at top.
Ronnie and the Crowns formed as early as 1962 at Westdale Junior High in Baton Rouge. Members on the single may include:
Ronnie Sherlock – vocals Jimmy Rogers – lead guitar Cal Arnold – bass A.J. Miceli – drums
Although not audible on the single, the band also included a full horn section at some point:
Charlie Spinoza – trumpet Ivan Bergeron – trumpet Tommy Berthelo – tenor saxophone Richard Sherlock – baritone saxophone
In 1966 they recorded their one excellent single on Stephanie Records of Baton Rouge #MX-957. One side is “Love You So” written by James M. Rogers, lead guitarist in the group and featuring his super-trebley and reverbed guitar. The flip is a cover of Lenny Capello’s New Orleans classic “Cotton Candy” (“I know my Candy is always handy”).
Ronnie Sherlock produced the Ronnie & the Crowns single. My copy is pretty rough, but it’s inscribed “from Richard & Ronnie” on the “Cotton Candy” label.
I don’t know much about Stephanie Records, other than seeing a list of 10 or so singles released on the label. Sam Montel (S.J. Montalbano) must have owned the label as two early releases have his name as producer. Also, the MX- prefix is present on all releases on the label, and shows up on many releases on the Montel and Michelle labels, as does the Red Stick Music publishing, used for “Love You So”.
Lee DeHart – lead vocals Doug Cochrane – lead guitar Brad DeHart – rhythm guitar, vocals Tommy Ranson – bass and vocals Doug Begneaud – organ Keith Thibodeaux – drums Joe Stein – percussion and vocals
The Persian Market came from Lafayette, Louisiana. In May of 1967, the band recorded four songs at La Louisianne’s studio in Lafayette. Two of these, “Flash in the Pan” and “The Wind Is Ours” were released on Lightning Records LR 103. They also recorded versions of “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” and “The Gamma Gooce”, which eventually saw release on Cicadelic. “Flash In the Pan” is a driving garage number, led by the organ playing and with a good vocal delivery. It was written by Lee Dehart and Tom Ranson. The flip is the softer “The Wind Is Ours” (written by Brad Dehart for Lightening Pub, BMI).
The single was produced by Eddy Raven and Ben Skolnick, 104 Brighton, Lafayette, LA; the address is a house not far from the Vermilion River. Ben Skolnick managed the group.
Keith Thibodeaux had acted the part of “Little Ricky” on the TV series I Love Lucy and also played in another group, Little David and The Giants.
Anyone have a photo of the band?
The first 45 on the label was Lightning LR-101, the Roamin’ Togas “Bar the Door” (Person, Adams, Prust) / “You Must Believe Me” from June of 1967, with the same production and publishing credits as the Persian Market. The Adams in the credits seems to be Pete Adams, according to BMI. I’m not sure of any other releases on Lightning, but the Togas and Persian Market are now very rare, fetching about $200 nowadays.