Category Archives: New York

The Dirty Elbows

Dirty Elbows Solid Gold 45 To Carry OnThe Dirty Elbows came out of the Highland and Poughkeepsie music scene. Around 1966 they cut one excellent single on the Solid Gold label, “To Carry On”.

Members were:

Gene Baker
Russ Aldrich – lead guitar
Jimmy Galuzzi
Al Friedman
Reggie Ward

Russ Aldrich wrote the A-side, “To Carry On” a song that shines from the opening riff to the harmony vocals and excellent guitar break.

The flip is a harmony ballad, “I Love You Girl” by G. Whitsell, Jr.

Released on Solid Gold Records SG-10 (UB-721/2), the labels credit J. Levine with arrangements, and engineering by J. Gasper. Both sides are “A Toi Production” and published by Happi Three Music, BMI

The Poughkeepsie Journal reported them opening for the Animals on April 16, 1966, along with a number of other local groups: the Sepians, the Mark IV. the Jule Ettes, the New Pyramids, the Royal Coach men, the Barons, the Sportsmen, the Benders and the Courages. They also played the Club 44 in Pleasant Valley with the Aborigines.

Russ Aldrich continued in music, including with Spyder in the early ’70s and thereafter mainly as a blues guitarist and was featured in another article in the Poughkeepsie Journal on June 30, 1989. Russell Aldrich passed away on March 24, 2015.

Solid Gold also had a 45 by Shorty Billups “Alone / Shake Off That Dream”.
Dirty Elbows Solid Gold 45 I Love You, Girl

The Mark V on Blast Records

Mark V Blast 45 You Make Me Lose My MindI don’t have any info on the Mark V other than what’s on the labels. BMI lists the “Mark V” as the song writer for “I Want To Say”, so that indicates the band members were L. Cerame, G. Snow, R. Eder, T. Montanino, and R. Hackling.

The b-side “You Make Me Lose My Mind” is the wilder of the two songs; Jack Provenzano is the writer. Unfortunately it’s not on youtube right now, but it’s worth seeking out for the weird scream after the opening drum roll.

Released on Blast 215 in 1964. Vincent Catalano (Vinnie) owned the Blast label, and also had the Sinclair, Whale, Mermaid, and Camay Records labels with Don Ames. Blast is known for doo wop, especially “Coney Island Baby” by the Excellents. Basil Bova did some A&R work for the Blast label.

The best source of info on Vince Catalano that I could find is from the Double Dates of Luck Records.

The Mark V single comes towards the end of the Blast catalog. New York City is a best guess as to the origin of the band, but they could have been from New Jersey or Connecticut.

Mark V Blast 45 I Want You To Say

The Cloudwalkers “Sunglasses”

Cloudwalkers Capco 45 SunglassesThe Cloudwalkers came from the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. They cut one single, the harp-driven “Sunglasses” b/w
“Never Told Me So” on Capco 106 in mid-1965.

“Sunglasses” isn’t the same song as the Cramps’ “Sunglasses After Dark” but I’d like to think there was some influence there. The single made it to #49 in Record World’s “Singles Coming Up” chart.

Members included Chris Welch and Peter Polizzano, who wrote both songs on their single, plus Pete Frias.

“Never Told Me So” is a fine Buddy Holly influenced rocker.

George Napolitano of the Ox-Bow Incident told me that Pete Frias was the guitar instructor and mentor of many musicians in the neighborhood, and also was guitarist for Jimmy & the Jesters, a group that often played the Peppermint Lounge. George also thought the Cloudwalkers single was recorded at Rossi Sound Studios at 2005 West 8th Street and Avenue T in Brooklyn.

The labels note “A Billyjo Production”. The engineer for the session was Joe Venneri, who was a guitarist for the Tokens during their early days, then became an engineer at Incredible Sound Studio, Mira Studios and Mercury Records.

Chris Welch and Peter Polizzano registered both songs with the Library of Congress on July 2, 1965. Publishing came through Calboy Music, BMI, owned by Joe Calcagno who also owned the Capco Records label.

An ad in Billboard in November 9, 1965 lists Capco Hitsound Records at Southard Ave in Rockville Center, NY. The label was promoting Capco 108, Irv Goodman’s “Hava Nagilah” / “Sugar Blues au Go Go” produced by Jimmie Haskell.

Singles by the Crossfires, the Don Rays and others on a green Capco label, circa 1963, come from a Los Angeles company probably not associated with Joe Calcagno.

I’d appreciate any further info on the Cloudwalkers.

Cloudwalkers Capco 45 Never Told Me So

The Fownds of Hudson, NY

Fownds Reeb 45 Comin On StrongFownds Reeb 45 Rosalin

The Fownds came from Hudson, New York, a town I lived in for a year. They had two singles, first the thumping rocker “Comin On Strong” b/w the doo-wop influenced “Rosalin” in 1971, and then the moody “Remember” b/w a hot rod parody “Wheels” (with the band name changed to the Founds). Both singles have a sound like something from the early-mid ’60s despite the release dates.

Donald Moore wrote most of the songs and did some lead vocals. Sal Gambino wrote “Rosalin”, and Roy Jackson sang lead on the moody “Remember”.

Both singles are on the Reeb label (“beer” spelled backwards), but even though the numbering suggests other releases, I haven’t found any others on this label.

The Fownds – Comin On Strong
The Fownds – Rosalin

The Founds, vocal by Roy Jackson – Remember
The Fownds, vocal by Donald Moore – Wheels

Don Moore had a later band called Confusion, I believe he passed away in 2013.

Founds Reeb 45 Remember

Founds Reeb 45 Wheels

Arboreal “Our Souls Would See Us Through”

Arboreal 45 Our Souls Would See Us ThroughThis single by Arboreal was a mystery to me, the only names on the label are Glen, Greg Allen, and no label name or address. Even the deadwax only repeats the 45-ST-101 A/B on the labels. When I first wrote this post in late October, 2016, there was no info on the ‘net, nothing.

Obviously it’s not ’60s garage but sounds like mid-late 70s rock, without much punk influence. The opening of “Our Souls Would See Us Through” reminds me a little of Wire, but that’s as far as it goes. “16 Years Old” gives more attitude, but both songs have an original sound that can’t be pegged to any movement or sound from the time. The songs are in stereo.

Arboreal – Our Souls Would See Us Through

Arboreal – 16 Years Old

As it turns out, Arboreal were two brothers, Greg Allen and Glen Allen, originally from Nutley, New Jersey but living in New York City when they went into a studio as early as 1968 and cut the songs on this single.

My friend Jason of Rip It Up R.I. and The Basement Walls did some excellent sleuthing and contacted Steve Simels of the Power Pop blog who had been in the Floor Models with Glen Robert Allen in the 1980s.. Glen wrote a long history of the band.

The entire post is worth a read, but the relevant paragraphs are:

Greg and I had a clunky but good sounding Telefunken tape recorder and, later, a Sony that had sound-on-sound,as it was called back then. We could overdub ourselves. Many Dada-esque tunes were recorded, and some attempts at “real” music as well.

But in ’68 I took up guitar, and we wrote and recorded more in earnest. By then our family had been in NYC for about a year. Greg and I decided to record in an actual studio.

An older classmate of mine, Jon Fausty, was working in a studio that specialized in Latin music. The first day in the studio the equipment went south, wouldn’t work. I was actually relieved, for although Greg and I had performed in public and had recorded at home, this was A STUDIO! Where RECORDS WERE MADE!

The next day the gear was in working order, and I had shaken off the nerves. After all, I did have long wavy hair, a cool turquoise ring, a Superman-logo’d tee shirt, tie-dyed jeans, and, most of all, my ’68 Gold-Top Les Paul Standard on which I had mastered the three essential chords.

I also loved the name we’d devised: Arboreal. We always had a thing for chimps, and we both probably would’ve proposed to Jane Goodall.

Greg was a metronomic drummer, a better time-keeper than me (‘though I keep good time!). But who knew at the time that left handed drummers set up their drums differently than righties? Not us — we’d only seen righties ever play.

Nontheless, with Greg keeping time and me on guitar, bass and vocals(!), we cut “Our Souls Would See Us Through,” which Greg wrote the lyric for, and “Sixteen Years Old,” which I wrote.

The chorus on “Sixteen…” was originally “Things are pretty shitty when you’re sixteen years old..” But for the sake of mass appeal and radio play, I cleverly changed “shitty” to “sickening”. A move of rare genius, though I missed the sheer beauty of the “pretty/shitty” rhyme scheme.

Greg, in true mystical metaphoric mode, came up with “we gazed into each other’s eyestreams, until we met each other’s dreams.” And to think — “eyestreams” was hardly ever used back then!

We printed 100 45’s, sent them out to several record companies, and waited for the offers to roll in. Some of the rejection letters came on very nice stationery. Some with encouraging comments and actual signatures!

As I recall, Pickwick, a budget label, made an offer, but we held out for the big fish. That fish is still swimming merrily out there somewhere….

I’d like to hear some of the Allen brothers other early tapes, they obviously had a very original approach to rock music.

Arboreal 45 16 Years Old

The Innkeepers on Galiko

Innkeepers Galiko 45 Never Should Have Done ItThe Innkeepers had one excellent single in late 1966, “Never Should Have Done It” b/w “Wanted” on Galiko 895. The band came from Queens, New York somewhere near Bayside. One member may have been Leon Salem, who wrote both of these songs. That’s all I can tell you about the group.

“Never Should Have Done It” jumps into a tense mood, with a neat sliding guitar riff throughout the song and the line “life’s not worth living now, ever since the day, oh-o-o, you left me.” The drummer keeps a strong pace, and the bassist pushes the mood as each line of the lyrics crescends and crashes. The organ player compliments the repeating guitar and takes an extended solo after a brief guitar break.

The band comes up with a tight arrangement and good harmonies to back the lead vocalist on “Wanted”.

Salem copyrighted “Wanted” with the Library of Congress in August 1966, following it up with “Never Should Have Done It” in October, both with publishing by Leona Music Pub. Co., but on the Galiko single both list Aurora Music Pub. BMI.

The Library of Congress index shows Leon Salem copyrighting six additional titles before the end of 1966, “What Do You Find?”, “All the Time”, “Venetian Gondola”, “Reasons”, “The Truth”, “Come Back, My Baby”, though only the first of these also had the Leona Music Pub. Co. credit.

With such an accomplished group of musicians, I hope there are some unreleased Innkeepers recordings out there, yet to be heard.

Galiko had a number of other releases, most notably the U.S. Stamps, who had two singles on the label in 1967, “Come On” / “Go and Dry Your Tears” and “Pull the Wool” / “We’ll Find a Way” (by Ed Landis). I don’t know anything about that band either.

This Innkeepers should not be confused with the band from Lewiston, Maine, whose demo “Traella (Hey Babe)” surfaced years back.

Innkeepers Galiko 45 Wanted

The Chimes of Freedom “Jungle Rock”

Chimes of Freedom USS 45 Jungle RockThe Chimes of Freedom came from Scotia, New York, near Schenectady and Albany. “Jungle Rock” is known from Girls in the Garage, but the Dead Wax blog shows this was not an all-girl group: Mari Salato vocals, Chip Vedder vocals, Bill Pytlovany lead guitar, Paul Hamilton rhythm guitar, Jeff Austin bass guitar, and Darrell Francis drums.

Hamilton, Francis and Pytlovany wrote “Jungle Rock”, while the original A-side was “Did You Ever”, a ballad by Francis and Pytlovany.

This is a hard single to date, I don’t see anything in the dead wax other than stamped 102A/B, and the label code USS 102 is also obscure. The Robert Barry Music credit helps connect this to the Vibra-Sound Recording Studio in Schenectady.

Chimes of Freedom USS 45 Did You Ever

The Shadows 5 “Gathers No Moss”

The Shadows 5 Tech 45 Gathers No MossThe Shadows 5 were thought to be from Oswego, New York, on Lake Ontario, northwest of Syracuse, but the band actually formed in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The band members’ first names are on the labels but I only know two members’ surnames. Another member’s last name is Williams, but I don’t know which.

Bill – lead vocals
Randy – lead guitar (Fender Jaguar)
Craig McKinney – rhythm and occasional lead guitar (Mosrite “Joe Maphis”)
Ralph Riehl – bass (Fender Jazz)
Vic – drums (Ludwig)

“Gathers No Moss” is an incredible version of the song, and the flip “That Little Girl” is a fine jangler.

Tech Records released the single in August 1966; I can’t find anything else on this label. The quality of the recording is excellent, with the opening guitar riff jumping off the grooves.

This was a very rare record though in the last year about 10 copies have shown up, which is how I was able to afford one.

Craig McKinney wrote to me with info about the group:

Two of us (Vic and I) are from Fulton, NY, a small city just south of Oswego, NY. Vic and I played together there before shipping off to Fort Wayne, IN and college. We started the band out there.

We recorded the record in Fort Wayne, IN at radio station WOWO and pressed 500 copies in Chicago. I wrote the words and music to “That Little Girl” as well as the arrangement for “Gathers No Moss.” Bill sings lead on “Girl” and that’s me on “Moss.” There is only copy out there that was signed by all members of our band. It was signed while we were on a tour trip to upstate NY in our old hometown.

Q. Were you or Vic in the Newberry 4 of Oswego when you lived in Fulton? They recorded a song called “That’s Why I’m a Rolling Stone” that is much like “Gathers No Moss”.

We were never in the “Newberry 4.” I heard them once or twice, though I was not there much in those days. They were the area’s top group at the time. They were excellent. A “Beatles” spin-off group if I remember right. Never knew them but admired them at the time. I didn’t remember their song until I heard it after reading a comment on your website. Still a great song to this day.

While we recording in the studio at WOWO, we had a professional photographer take pictures and videos of the group. We also left with the master tape. To this day, the pictures, videos and tapes cannot be found.

The group played backup for The Kingsmen in 1966 at my brother’s fraternity at Franklin College, Franklin, IN. They commented on how much better we were than them. Great fun! We played a LOT of frats and sorority houses in Indiana until Vic and I flunked out and the band broke up. Vic and I both later returned and graduated.

Randy was from Fort Wayne and, unfortunately, passed away about 8 years ago. I’m not sure where Ralph was from, but now resides somewhere in Florida. Bill was from Ohio and still resides there. Vic lives in Huntington, IN. I am back in Fulton, NY.

Craig McKinney

This is not the same Shadows Five who recorded “Dynamic Drums” / “Gary’s Boogie” for the Sully label and “Markham” / “Twistin’ Shadows” for Peacock. That group became the Ultimates and later Prince Charles & the Crusaders, then finally the Ultimate, with a 45 on Garland.

The Shadows 5 Tech 45 That Little Girl