Category Archives: New York City

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

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 Buffaloes

Buffaloes GMC 45 She Wants MeConsidering the names on the labels of this 45 and the quality of single, it’s amazing how obscure this group called the Buffaloes seems to be. Other than a likely location of Long Island, I know nothing about the group.

The A-side is the jangly blaster, “She Wants Me”, written by G. Schwartzkopf, Jr. It’s a catchy song and I could imagine it being a hit, but seems to have missed. The flip is a ballad written by A. V. Walker, “You Told Me Lies”. Both songs published by Impression Music, BMI.

The Buffaloes may have had the first release on the GMC label. Gene Moretti founded the label; he had been director of international sales for MGM-Verve in 1964 after starting in the mail room of ABC-Paramount (according to Billboard).

Buffaloes GMC Billboard April 2, 1966
Gene Moretti’s GMC Records announced in Billboard, April 2, 1966
“GMC Records, a Division of Go-Go Music Corp” led me to a notice in the April 22, 1966 issue of Billboard explaining how Gene Moretti would be managing and recording six acts for his new label. The telling line is “Moretti’s approach is to rely exclusively on the copyrights owned by Impression and draw talent primarily from the three million population Long Island area. All six acts, in their teen and early 20’s, are local boys and girls.”

Billboard announced the Gumdrop 2 would have the first issue on GMC, “Getting Over You” / “So I Try”, numbered GM 10001, However, the Buffaloes single, dated to October ’66 in Teen Beat Mayham, is numbered GM 10000. GMC had about fifteen releases in total, featuring a dozen artists including Priscilla Price, Tony Kaye, Johnny D., Doreen Rose, the Miller Sisters, the Islanders, the Spoilers, Frankie ‘Slim’ Summerville, and Frankie Gracie & the Plastics.

Another interesting connection is the studio, listed as Mayfair Studios (8 Track). Clair Krepps had been a recording engineer for Capitol, MGM and Atlantic Records and also did a lot of stereo percussion albums for Audio Fidelity. About the same time Moretti started GMC, Krepps began Mayfair Recording Studios at 701 Seventh Ave in Manhattan. Other clients would include the Velvet Underground, Al Caiola’s Caiola Combo All Strung Out LP on United Artists, Nico, the Chameleon Church, the Ultimate Spinach, the Beacon Street Union, Puff, Galt MacDermot, Ricardo Ray, Jimi Hendrix, the Mothers of Invention, etc.

Buffaloes GMC 45 You Told Me Lies

The Pebble Episode

Vincent Oddo J-2 45 Tripsey
mistaken first label with studio owner Vincent Oddo’s name as artist

Bill DeFalco – lead guitar
Frank DeFalco – rhythm guitar
Jimmy DiGiacomo – bass
Joey Erico – drums

Brothers Bill and Frank DeFalco had a previous group called the Rock Monacles with a different drummer, Henry Bauman and vocalist George Malin. In the summer of 1967 the Pebble Episode went to O.D.O. Sound Studio on West 54th Street in Manhattan to record two songs, “Tripsey” (by William DeFalco, Frank DeFalco) and “The Plum Song” (by William DeFalco, Frank DeFalco and James DiGiacomo). Publishing by Mozella Music BMI, and produced by S. & J.

Juggy Murray of Sue Records signed the group to J-2 Records, his new label as Sue was sliding into bankruptcy to be sold to United Artists around 1968.

Pebble Episode J-2 45 Tripsy
Artist name corrected, song now spelled “Tripsy”

To compound the problems Murray had with Sue at the time, the first pressing of this 45 was mistakenly labelled with Vincent Oddo’s name, the engineer and owner of the ODO studio where the band recorded, but most definitely not the artist! New labels were printed up with the correct band name, though this time the A-side was spelled “Tripsy”.

“Tripsy” is an apt name for this wild instrumental loaded with echo and repeating riffs that wouldn’t be out of place on The Inner Mystique. By comparison, “The Plum Song” is much more conventional in sound, dominated by Bill DeFalco on organ and Joe Erico’s fine drum fills.

This was the first release on J-2 Records followed by Baby Washington doing “Like a Rolling Stone” (I’d like to hear that version!) b/w “The New Yorker” (J2-1301) and the Poets in-demand soul classic “Wrapped Around Your Finger” / “Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow” (J2-1302).

The Pebble Episode continued until 1972, with home recordings I haven’t heard but no further releases.

More info is in the comments to the Discogs page for the single.

Sorry for the atrocious condition of the labels for this post, but if you have a better high-resolution scan of Tripsy, please send it in.

Anyone have a photo of the group?

Pebble Episode J-2 45 The Plum Song

Mustache Wax

Mustache Wax Inner 45 I'm Gonna Get YouDaniel Lane (Danny Lutzky) – guitar
Richie Winston – 6 and 12 string guitar
David Knopf – bass
Lloyd Goldberg – drums and lead vocals
Eddie DiBiase – harmonica

I was very excited to track down a copy of this 45 only find it to be in nearly unplayable condition – if anyone has a nice spare please contact me!

Mustache Wax came from the Bronx, in Riverdale. This was the last of several lineups and band names they used before breaking up after high school. They recorded the 45 in a studio on 42nd St.

Eddie DiBiase came from Queens and was the connection to Inner Records, though I can’t find any other releases on that label. Eddie wrote the top site, “I’m Gonna Get You” published by Luv Music ASCAP.

Mustache Wax Inner 45 On My MindI also like the flip, “On My Mind” alternately somber and quick, written by guitarist Danny Lane for Philonic Music, BMI.

The 45 was produced by Epstein-Schwartzberg, yet it’s also “A Vitale-Eden Production”.

Anyone have a photo of the group?

Info from David Knopf via Flower Bomb Songs.

Joey Vine on Hercules

Joey Vine Hercules 45 The Out of TownerJoey Levine wrote “Try It” for the Standells and went on to compose, produce and sing on numerous pop hits for the Third Rail (including “Run Run Run” and the excellent flip “No Return”), the Ohio Express, Jet Stream and other acts. Before the hits came this one-shot record as Joey Vine, released on Hercules Records in the U.S. and Immediate in the U.K.

I’d like to know who was backing him on these songs. Though likely studio musicians, the group has a sharp garage sound on “The Out of Towner”, with a catchy guitar hook, solid drumming, and good harmonica fills. Vine gives a good vocal on the A-side, then does a close Dylan imitation on the flip, “Down and Out”.

Though Joey Levine wrote both songs, Gallico Music published “The Out of Towner” while Pentagon Music BMI published “Down and Out”.

Joey Vine Hercules 45 Down and OutHercules Records had three singles, all in 1965, all produced by Charles Calello and distributed via Jamie/Guyden. Besides Joey Vine’s there were also Hercules 101, the Victorians “C’mon Dream (Chris Andrews) / “Catrina” (Donnie Frio) and Hercules 102, Joy Leonard “Baby I Wanna Back Track” (Lou Christie, Twyla Herbert) /”Don’t Feel Sorry For Me” (Rosemarie McCoy, Dorian Burton).

Of these three only Joey Vine’s was licensed for release in the UK by Immediate in October, 1965. How that happened is uncertain – the only other Jamie/Guyden product to be picked up by Immediate was a Barbara Lynn single whose r&b sound would have obvious appeal in England.

Background on Joseph Levine is available at http://home.comcast.net/~bubblegumusic/levine.htm and at http://www.wfmu.org/LCD/22/bubblegum.html

Hercules discography compiled by Davie Gordon on Spectropop.