Category Archives: US

The Hungri I’s

From Daytona Beach and named after the San Francisco nightclub, of course. The Hungri I’s were regulars at the Beachcomber Nightclub and the Surf Bar, as well as the Vanguard Club in Titusville. The lineup was Neil Haney lead vocals and organ, Danny Rowdon lead guitar, Chris Drake guitar, Allen Martin bass and Lou Shawd drums.

They cut some tracks at the Bee Jay studio run by Eric Schabacker, and “Hold On” was released on Bee Jay Demo vol. 2, on Tener. It’s a good organ-led version of the Sam and Dave hit (thanks for sending me that Ad Z.)

At Bob Quimby’s studio in Ormond Beach they recorded a fine original by Neil Haney, “Half Your Life”. Danny Rowdon’s lead guitar really gives the song some momentum. The flip is a relaxed cruise through How Come My Dog Don’t Bark, retitled “Comin’ Round” and credited to Danny Rowdon.

The band paid Gil Cabot to release the two songs on his Paris Tower label, supposedly because he offered to make them famous. Paris Tower was known as a vanity label, however, and never did any promotion for its releases. Years later you could say Cabot’s words have come true, as this 45 is very well known amongst fans of 60’s 45s.

It was up to the band to distribute the 500 copies pressed in November of ’67, so for some reason they took to the road and toured Wisconsin, Minnesota and Indiana.

Fuzz, Acid and Flowers lists Ralph Citrullo and Allen Dresser as later members, but I believe it was Neil Haney and Chris Drake who left the I’s and joined the Third Condition, previously known as The 2/3rds, which already included Citrullo and Dresser.

The Sigma Five

Sigma Five Riviera 45 Comin' DownThe Riviera label was created for the Riveras, who scored with their first single, “California Sun”, released in October ’63 and hitting the national top ten in early ’64. Bill Dobslaw owned the label and also managed the Rivieras, occasionally singing with them as well.

Besides the Rivieras, the label released one 45 each by the Kastaways and the Sigma Five, one and the same group according to Otto Nuss of the Rivieras, who recalled in an interview with Kicks magazine that the original name of the group was the Sigma 5. This group was from La Porte, Indiana, a few miles west of South Bend. The Sigma Five’s keyboardist uses the electric piano instead of the organ sound that the Rivieras made popular.

“Comin’ Down” is a cool adaption of “Money”, credited to their producer Bill Dobslaw. The neat instrumental “Pop Top” was written by Banicki, who also wrote the Kastaways b-side “You Never Say”, which I haven’t heard yet.

Velvet Haze

Butch Martinez – vocals
Jim Jost – vocals
Mike Mullins – lead guitar
Roger Bullock – guitar
Art Meushaw – bass
Tom Futch – drums

The Velvet Haze came from Alexandria, Virginia. The band started out as the Arratics in 1965. Members were Jim Jost vocals, Mike Mullins guitar, Ron Collins guitar, Dave Padgett bass and Steve Larrick drums. In 1966 they changed their name to the Velvet Haze.

The next year they had a major lineup change. Rhythm guitarist Roger Bullock told me that “Mike Mullins started the Velvet Haze and I joined in what could be termed phase II, i.e., Mike Mullins and Jim Jost remained from the original band, and Art Meushaw, Tom Futch and I joined the band — and a short time later we added Butch Martinez as a second vocalist.”

The Haze were known for playing some rough venues and it shows up in the heavy, scuzzy sound of their only 45, from 1968. The gem is the insane psychedelia of “Last Day on Earth”, an original by Mullins & Marty “Butch” Martinez. A drill-to-the-skull fuzz riff, garbled vocals, sharp solo and a cool drum break by Tom Futch, who is thrashing away throughout the song. The other side is a straight blues, “Bad Women”, written by Bullock and Martinez.

Roger Bullock commented below in detail about “Last Day on Earth”, so I’ll repeat some of his comments here:

Mike Mullins wrote and played the lead guitar riff. “Last Day on Earth” was literally composed in Tom Futch’s garage.

Mike Mullins was playing a Gibson ES-335 through a Fender Super Reverb and standard, off-the-shelf, Maestro “Fuzz-Tone”. I played rhythm also using a Gibson ES-335, but played through a Fender Band-Master amp. Art Meushaw played a Gibson EB-0 Bass through a Fender Bassman amp.

The label has producer James Wilson’s Lorton, VA address. I’ve read that this was recorded at Wilson’s home studio in Mount Rainier, MD, however Roger Bullock remembers it differently:

The recording was done at the Roy D. Homer studios in Clinton, Maryland. Roy was a superb engineer in all respects with top end gear. James Wilson, our producer arranged the recording sessions. James was a disc jockey on WPIK/WXRA country radio station from Alexandria, Virginia. We provided the music for his cover release [as James Wilson & the Lorton Boys] of Joe South’s “The Games People Play” b/w the traditional “Worried Man Blues”.

Sometime after the single, Rick Stone took over as drummer until the band broke up in 1971. They reunited around 1975 for a show with Rick Stone on drums, at a local Alexandria, VA community center. Recordings of “Grizzly Bear” and “Let It Be Me” come from that show.

Several members continued in music in various combos right up to today. For more info on those bands, see

Does anyone have a photo of the group or one of their posters?

The Riviaires

Riviaires Steck 45 Bad GirlYou could hardly find a 45 that defines ‘amateur’ better than this one by the Riviaires. That’s not to criticize – this duo of Wattsy Watts and Bill Latham are well-rehearsed. Sure the singing is off key and nasal, but the drummer’s precise and they don’t lack self-confidence!

I assume that’s ‘Wattsy’ on amplified acoustic guitar and vocals because he’s also the songwriter for both sides, which would make Bill the percussionist, but I could be wrong. They were maybe pushing fourteen at the time of recording. Released on Steck Records, Oxford, Mississippi.

I’m not sure how they got their timing info for the labels – “Bad Girl” is listed at 2:48 but runs close to 30 seconds less, and “Sticks” is clocked at 2:51, but actually runs only 1:39. Maybe we’re meant to play the single at some in-between speed, like 37.5 rpm!

The Night Mist and The Shags

Before the Night Mist were the Shags, from left: Terry Ottinger, Frankie Gorman (on drums), Bobby Burgess and Mike McMahan

The Night Mist "Last Night" on MFT RecordsThe Night Mist came from Newport, Tennessee, east of Knoxville. A tremendous distortion sound distinguishes the psychedelic “Last Night”. The drummer pounds the toms throughout and the lead solo is cutting. Very few people have heard the flip side, the slow and dense ”Janie” which has more good fuzz and some wah as well. A promising solo gets cut by the fade out. Both sides were written by Michael McMahan.

Mike Markesich tells me it was released in December 1967, much earlier than I thought.

The Night Mist recorded at Vibrant Studios, which I thought was in either Cosby, TN, south of Newport, or Crosby, TN, half an hour north of Newport on the Dixie Highway (Rte 32, Interstate 25E) along Cherokee Lake, but Terry Ottinger says the studio was in Newport.

Above and below: the Shags

I had very little info on the Night Mist until I heard from bassist Terry Ottinger, who sent me the photos included here. As it turns out, the Night Mist were originally known as the Shags:

This 1965 photo [above] shows the original members of the Shags practicing in the basement of Terry’s home in Newport, Tennessee. Derry James on the sax and vocal, Terry Ottinger playing bass and vocal and Mike McMahan playing rhythm & lead guitar and singing lead.

The Shags of Newport, Tennessee started with original members:

Derry James (sax, lead vocals, drums)
Terry Ottinger (bass and vocal)
Mike McMahan (lead singer and guitar)
Frankie Gorman (drums and vocal)

Later Bobby Burgess (lead guitar and vocal) and Jerry Burgess (keyboard and vocal) became members.

We played school proms, parties, dances, fairs, clubs and shows from 1965 through 1968. Competing twice, 1966 and 1967 for the Tennessee State Championship, the Battle of the Bands finals held in Oakridge, Tennessee.

Our managers were Gene “Wompo” Laymen; Frank Gorman Sr. and Dennis Burgess; Clinton Francis; and our last managers, Matt Osborne and Jack Brockwell, for both the Shags and Night Mist.

The Night Mist members were as follows (“M-F-T Record”):

Mike McMahan (lead singer and lead guitar)
Frankie Gorman (drums and vocal)
Terry Ottinger (bass guitar and vocal)

Terry Ottinger, May 2011

The Night Mist, from left: Mike McMahan, Frankie Gorman and Terry Ottinger photo courtesy of Terry Ottinger

Night Mist MFT 45 Janie

The Lamp of Childhood

Left to right: Fred Olson, Marty Tyron, James Hendricks and Mike Tani

The little known folk-rock group The Lamp of Childhood was the brainchild of singer/songwriter and guitarist James Hendricks (b. 10 February 1940, Atkinson, Nebraska), who organised the original band around June 1966 after working with The Big Three and The Mugwumps. Beside Hendricks, the group also boasted Portland, Oregon, born lead guitarist Fred Olson and singer/songwriter and Hawaiian born rhythm guitarist Mike Tani (aka Michael Takamastu), who were both relative newcomers to the scene. Indeed, it was the group’s drummer, Billy Mundi (b. 25 September 1942, San Francisco), who was by far the most seasoned member, having studied music at UCLA during the late 1950s and performed with a number of noteworthy groups prior to completing the band during the summer. His musical credentials included spells with future Byrd Skip Battin’s group and as a member of another intriguing folk-rock ensemble, Mastin & Brewer.

It was Hendricks’ connections, however, which led to a deal with Dunhill Records and the release of a handful of singles over the next year. Hendricks’ wife was none other that Cass Elliot of The Mamas & The Papas, who were also represented by Dunhill, and the fact that she and singer Denny Doherty had recorded with Hendricks in The Mugwumps probably helped to clinch the deal.

To assist the band with its recordings, Dunhill linked The Lamp of Childhood up with English expatriate Andy Wickham and Israeli immigrant and classical pianist Gabriel Mekler, who oversaw the sessions for the group’s three singles and numerous unreleased recordings. “The story goes that when [Mekler] arrived in Los Angeles he finds his way to Dunhill Records and tells them he can produce a hit record,” says Jim “Harpo” Valley, who got to know the group while he was playing with Paul Revere and The Raiders. “He had never produced before and wasn’t that familiar with rock ‘n’ roll or pop music. They give him the opportunity with a new group called The Lamp of Childhood.”

Mekler’s relationship with the group was somewhat similar to that of Brian Wilson in The Beach Boys, joining The Lamp of Childhood in the studio but not participating in live work. Mekler’s piano playing was employed for several tracks and towards the end of the group’s life he also assisted with the song writing.

Little is known about the sessions that produced the band’s three obscure singles, but what can be gleaned is that Mundi stayed around long enough to appear on The Lamp of Childhood’s debut release, a low-key reading of Donovan’s “Season of The Witch” backed by Tani, Hendricks and Olson’s “You Can’t Blame Me”. It was an impressive start but the single’s failure to register on the charts that September probably played a part in Mundi’s decision to defect the following month to join Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention (and later Rhinoceros and numerous sessions).

The group carried on, working largely in the studio, and only picking up a drummer for the odd live performance. As Jim Valley suggests, the trio of Hendricks, Olson and Tani were often assisted in the studio by The Mamas and The Papas session crew, drummer Hal Blaine, pianist Larry Knechtel and bass player Joe Osborn. That at least is his recollections of one session, which he was asked to participate in playing acoustic guitar, alongside a string section.

“At one point during my year with The Raiders, I moved into an old mansion that used to belong to Greta Garbo. In the downstairs apartment lived Fred Olson [and] we became pals,” explains Valley, who was approached to join the band soon afterwards. “Gabriel and James asked me to record on one of the sessions. My time with The Raiders was becoming strained, my tunes weren’t being recorded and the group just wasn’t evolving as I felt they would or could.

“My song writing was changing due in part to my association with musicians like Gabriel and Jackson Browne and Pamela Polland, who was with a group called The Gentle Soul,” continues Valley. “So one night, Gabriel and James came over to the house very excited. They had decided that I should leave The Raiders and join The Lamp of Childhood. It felt like the right thing at the right time.”

As it was not everyone was happy about the decision to approach The Raiders’ lead guitarist. “The rest of the group wasn’t in on the decision and as it turned out Andy Wickham, the publicist from Dunhill didn’t agree with the move. He felt that Harpo from The Raiders was not the right move. So it never happened but it did show me I was ready to leave The Raiders,” says Valley.

Despite his fleeting relationship with the band, the guitarist has fond memories of the Lamp’s songs. “‘Misty Morning Eyes’ and ‘I Look For Your Smile In A Thousand Faces’ were the first recordings I heard from the group. Since 1967, I’ve never heard those songs again. I’d love to hear [them] again. Their voices were like angels and I was knocked out with their arrangements.”

Of the two songs listed, “Thousand Faces”, to give it its correct title, is a co-write between Mike Tani, James Hendricks and Gabriel Mekler. The author of the other title, however, is not known unless of course this is just a working title. The BMI, which represents, songwriters, composers and publishers, lists a number of songs written by the band’s members during this period but whether these were meant for The Lamp of Childhood and were recorded in the studio remains a mystery (and Hendricks cannot remember any titles).

To start with Mike Tani and James Hendricks co-wrote one song called “Low Down Woman” and also collaborated on another entitled “Blues for Django” with guitarist Eric Hord. The BMI lists a number of Mike Tani compositions with interesting titles like “Maybe Again”, “Prayer for Julian” and “Sad Sad Memories” but whether these songs were solo tracks, group recordings or meant for other artists is not clear.

As it was, none of the above tracks turned up on the group’s second Dunhill single, released in March 1967. Gabriel Mekler penned the A-side – “First Time, Last Time” backed by Tani, Hendricks and Olson’s “Two O’Clock In The Morning”. Once again, however, the single failed to make the charts despite both being strong numbers and coming in an attractive picture sleeve. The single, incidentally, featured new member, bass player Marty Tryon from The Purple Gang who added a fourth voice to the mix.

Back in the studio, The Lamp of Childhood recorded one final track, and arguably their finest moment on disc, “No More Running Around”, a co-write by Mekler, Hendricks and Tani, which features some fantastic piano flourishes courtesy of Mekler. Coupled with a re-release of “Two O’Clock In The Morning” on the A-side, the single was issued later that summer by which point the band had undergone a major upheaval, resulting in James Hendricks’ departure for a solo career. Like the other singles, “No More Running Around” fell on deaf ears.

In his place, Tani, Olson and Tryon recruited guitarist and singer John York (b. 3 August 1946, White Plains, New York), who had previously worked with The Bees, The Sir Douglas Quintet and The Gene Clark Group and would subsequently tour with The Mamas & The Papas and record with Johnny Rivers before joining The Byrds in late 1968 for two albums. “I joined The Lamp of Childhood after James Hendricks left,” explains York. “His girlfriend [sic] Cass Elliot wanted the band destroyed because she was mad at James and possibly because it might have been a threat to The Mamas & The Papas.”

The new line up did only one gig with a borrowed drummer at the Mount Tamalpais Festival in San Francisco in mid-June 1967. “I do remember vividly our gig at the 1967 Mount Tamalpais Music Festival,” recalled Tryon in an interview in Misty Lane issue 19. “We had to follow The Doors our first afternoon. The last song of their set was ‘Light My Fire’. We played as the people walked out. Our second afternoon, we followed The Fifth Dimension. Their last song was ‘Up Up and Away’ as skydivers with purple trails parachuted into the venue. We played as the people walked out. Talk about feeling invisible. We knew that feeling.”

According to John York, the plan was that the group would erase James Hendricks’ vocal parts on the unreleased songs and he would sing them. Apparently that was not enough for Cass and “Dunhill ‘froze’ the band for seven years.” James Hendricks, however, denies that there was any friction with Elliot and the group.

Whatever the case, the individual members went their separate ways, although Mike Tani and John York did reunite years later to work as a duo act for several years. Marty Tryon meanwhile hooked up with the remnants of John York’s former band, The Bees, now going by the name The WC Fields Electric String Band. After missing out on a chance to join Steppenwolf, he later did sessions for Simon Stokes. He currently works with the Smothers Brothers.

Olson, who moved into session work, appearing on Brewer & Shipley’s Weeds and Mike Bloomfield’s It’s Not Killing Me albums in 1969 and Southern Comfort’s eponymous debut in 1971, sadly died years later from a heroin overdose. Gabriel Mekler sadly is also no longer with us. After the band’s premature demise, he landed on his feet and found the success that he had missed with The Lamp of Childhood in his next project, the multi-million selling Steppenwolf.

As for James Hendricks – he attracted the patronage of singer Johnny Rivers, who expressed an interest in covering the singer/songwriter’s “Summer Rain”. Released as a single, it became a top 20 US smash in January 1968, and Rivers also recorded a number of Hendricks’ compositions for his new album, Rewind. Hendricks later recorded a solo album, produced by Johnny Rivers, with whom he maintained a close working relationship and he continues to record to this day.

In the months that followed The Lamp of Childhood’s demise, one final piece of work emerged on The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s album, Pure Dirt – the previously unreleased Tani, Hendricks and Olson collaboration, “You’re Gonna Get It In The End”. And apart from the inclusion of “No More Running Around” on the Dunhill Records’ sampler, The Penny Arcade, that’s all that’s been heard from a group that promised so much but never achieved its full potential.

Many thanks to James Hendricks, Jim Valley, Brian Hogg, Mike Paxman, John York, Marty Tryon.

Copyright © Nick Warburton, 2008, All Rights Reserved.

To contact the author, email:


Feature in Teenset

The Tills

Tom Cleary, one of the owners of the Cody label in Chicago sent me these scans of the Tills 45. Tom writes about the Tills:

“A southwest side Chicago group Cody recorded in 1967 at Sound Studios. I met them at a performance and turned the recording element over to my partners. Stu Black, Chicago’s preeminent sound engineer of the day ran the session. They had limited play on radio station WCFL in Chicago. It exists as a DJ copy only.”

Both sides are fantastic upbeat pop. ”One Sided Love” has a siren-like guitar riff, good harmonies, and sharp drumming.“I Remember” is similar with fine vocal arrangements and a very Byrds-like guitar solo. Either side could have been a hit with a little luck. A great band but who are they? No credits on the label, so until some contracts are found we’re in the dark.

Thanks to Tom for sharing his memories of the Tills and scans of their 45. Transfers taken from a Sound Studios acetate via Gyro1966’s comps.

Sonny Page and the Triangles

Left-right: Jim McDaniels, Mike McCloud, unknown drummer, Sonny Page, Cleo Riley, unknown bassist

Al Collinsworth of the Outcasts wrote this history of the band of his friend Sonny Page, and sent in the fantastic photo above.

Sonny Page and the Triangles represented Lemco Records’ entry into the country music scene. Sonny’s recording of “Big Wheels”, which began with the sound of an 18-wheeler shifting gears as it sped by, received air-play on country radio stations such as WAXU in Lexington, KY and was promoted by Grand Ole Opry and Columbia Records recording star Esco Hankins. The recording included the Triangles and studio musicians Kenny Whalen on guitar and Bill Wasson on bass.

The original Triangles included Sonny page on vocals and guitar, Charles Burgess on steel guitar, Raymond ‘Timber’ Lowery on bass, William Hanshaw on guitar and David Miller on drums. Later, the Triangles added Jim Mcdaniels and Cleo Riley on guitars. Sonny also recorded on the Rem Records label (“The Golden Book” / “Lost City”).

During the 1960s, Sonny and the Triangles played country music shows with such stars as Webb Pierce, Pee Wee King, the Collins sisters and George Morgan. Always a very popular singer in the Lexington area, Sonny worked with the famous 50s star Little Enis and was a regular performer at Lexington’s Zebra Lounge. Sonny also worked at Martins where JD Crowe first started in Lexington.

Sonny retired from professional music and had a very respectable career as a peace officer. He was a lieutenant with the Fayette County Police, a Fayette County Deputy sheriff, a Fayette County deputy jailer and a bailiff for several high profile Fayette County judges.

Sonny is now happily married and living peacefully in Lexington, KY. Sonny told me that like many of us 60s era musicians, he too had lots of fun and has always had a genuine love of music.

Al Collinsworth

The Chevron’s V

Chevrons V Nook 45 I Lost You TodayThe Chevrons V came from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Their first 45 from January 1966 has a sharp bluesy lament, “I Lost You Today” on one side and the nonsensical chant “Niat Pac Lavram” (read it backwards) on the flip. Total time for both songs clocks in at a succinct 3:40! Bands today should consider that approach to recording.

It was considered a rare 45 until 2008 when fourteen or more copies turned up. No song writing or production credits on the label, but the same band released a later 45 as simply ‘The Chevrons’ on Fenton, “Hey Little Teaser” / “What Everyone Wants”.

Patrick Strong wrote to me that he played guitar on “What Everyone Wants”. I’m not sure if he was in the group for the first 45.

I knew almost nothing about the band until Bob Goote commented below that I’ll repeat here:

Chevrons V Nook 45 Niat Pac Lavram

I was a founding member of the Chevrons. The members of the band were:

Bob Goote (keyboards/lead vocals), Pat Strong (lead guitar), Bob Vandenberg (guitar/vocals), Steve Vanderark (bass/vocals), and the great Jerry Vanderwal on drums.

I wrote “I Lost You Today”. “Niat Pac Lvram” (Captain Marvel spelled in reverse) was a collaboration with the whole band, I wrote the music. I also wrote the songs “What Everyone Wants”, “Hey Little Teaser”, “Seeing You”, and “My Mind’s Made Up”.

Our record “Hey little Teaser” / “What Everyone Wants” made it to #5 on the radio music charts in Grand Rapids.

We had a great time playing gigs while in High school at East Christian High in Grand Grand Rapids (65-68). After high school in 1968 we all sort of went are own ways and the band broke up. After the group retired I wrote and recorded a song called “Somewhere (Someone Is Waiting” on the Coventry label. It also got some air play in the Grand Rapids market.

Bob Goote

Anyone have a photo of the band?

Tulsa to Memphis: Lonnie Lee & the Big Beats, The Shadow Lake 8, and the Jades

Lonnie Lee and the Big Beats, circa late 1960
from left: Dale Roark (bass), Lonnie Lee Edens (guitar), Jerry Woods (drums), and Archie Barnes (guitar)
“I had just turned 17 when this picture was taken. I believe Archie was 14!
It was taken at the Starlite club in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.” – Dale Roark

Dale Roark of the Escapades sent these songs and recollections of his start in music in the town of Bartlesville, forty miles north of Tulsa:

These recordings chronicle three musicians from Bartlesville, Oklahoma from 1961 until 1966.

The area around Tulsa in the late 50’s and early 60’s was a hotbed of musicians. David Gates (later ‘Bread’), Johnny Cale (later J.J. Cale), Tommy Crook (local guitar legend that stayed put), Leon Russell plus traveling Arkansas bands such a Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks (later ‘The Band’), Charlie Daniels and the Jaguars (yes, that Charlie Daniels), and the McClellan brothers (The Five Emcees) out of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, all put their mark on the local music community. The Paradise Club in particular was a venue where musicians would casually approach the bandstand with “hey man, can I sit in?”. It was always fun but occasionally Tommy Crook, Roy Clark, or some of the other professionals would just blow you away. Any musician could request and it was understood that you would let them. It was competitive but also an inspiration.

Dale Roark (bass), Archie Barnes (guitar), and Denny “Zoot” Freeman (drums) formed a group called The Ravens in late 1959 and played local YMCA and high-school gigs for about a year. I was a high school junior. Archie and Denny were both in the 8th grade. A year later we joined up with Lonnie Lee Edens and formed Lonnie Lee and the Big Beats. We played the local night-clubs and did pretty well for a bunch of high schoolers.

During my senior year Dale Smith, my high school choir director, approached the group about backing him up on an original song he had written. As you will see, he had a beautiful Perry Como-type voice. He rented time a Tulsa TV station studio and me, Archie, and Denny plus Richie Dickerson (9th grade – piano) backed him up. When you listen to Archie’s solos, keep in mind that he was in the 9th grade! Let’s Fall In Love (Mr. Smith’s original) and Canadian Sunset Twist were the result.

I went off to Oklahoma State University and wasn’t active in music my freshman year but right before the end of the winter semester I was approached by Kent Washburn to join the “Shadow Lake 8” for the summer gig in Noel, Missouri. The band had been a staple at OSU for years with graduating members being replaced by new, younger talent. They also needed a guitarist so I introduced him to Archie and his mother agreed to let the young sixteen year old join the band. The drummer quit the first week there and Denny was contacted and drove out the next day.

The band at that point consisted of:

Kent Washburn – Tenor Sax and Band Leader
Amos Ming – Alto and Baritone Sax plus flute
Terry Mead – Trumpet and Valve Trombone
Bing Vasser – Trumpet
Bill Schooler – Piano
Archie Barnes – Guitar
Denny Freeman – Drums
Dale Roark – Electric Bass

During the winter of 1963, Kent’s younger brother, Gary, replaced the piano player with his brand new Hammond B-3 organ and the dynamics of the group started to change. A demo tape was made at the Tulsa University ballroom. Single mike, no mixing, direct to tape and later cut as a demo. It is 45 years old and has a lot of pops and scratches so I only included a couple of snippets to help contrast with later recordings.The last 30 seconds of “Splankie” show Denny’s mastery of big band jazz. The last two minutes of “From the Heart” (a Ray Charles number from his “Genius Plus Soul = Jazz” album) show off Archie and Denny’s 10th grade musician skills. Denny was a huge jazz fan and his talents are present in his kicks and comping abilities. Archie shows a sophistication that few rock and roll musicians could conceive at such a young age. It also allows comparison between Gary’s “All Skate” tone to the later recordings as he finally mastered the tone controls of his B-3. He was also in high-school at the time.

That next summer we played at Rockaway Beach, Missouri. It is a resort town of about a hundred people just a few miles from Branson. It predated the Branson we know now and was the “in” place for college kids from Kansas City, Springfield, Memphis, Saint Louis etc. to go. The club was huge by that day’s standard and probably held a couple of thousand people. The group tightened up quite a bit but I quit the following fall for personal reasons. I was replaced by Bill Hieronymus and the following summer they toured the Florida night club circuit as “The Jades”.

“South Parkway” / “Power” on Em-Kay – [this repeats Dale’s comment, below]:

The Shadow Lake 8 – South Parkway
The Shadow Lake 8 – Power

I believe it is the only released record the Shadow Lake 8 / Jades ever cut. These two sides were made after I left the band. “South Parkway” was a major street in Tulsa at the time so that’s what they called the first cut. I am pretty sure that was Amos speaking “g’wan to South Parkway” at the start and Archie counting then Kent speaking on “Power”.

Kent gave me a copy and I took it into Stax records and played it for Steve Cropper the very week I moved to Memphis but Steve wasn’t interested in either the record or the group because of their own in-house musicians. I lost my copy somewhere between Memphis and a half dozen other places over the past 45 years.

I don’t hear any trumpets so I guess it is:

Kent – Tenor Sax
Amos – up front and center on Baritone Sax
Gary – Organ and Piano
Archie – Guitar
Bill – Bass
Zoot (Denny) – Drums

Maybe one of the guys can acknowledge or correct me. Archie’s solos are typical of Tulsa area guitarists at that time . . . speed, speed, speed . . . It wasn’t the most melodic but the dancers loved it!

Both songs by M. Kent Washburn. Rite Pressing #12877/12878 which dates it to 1964.
The band pretty much stayed together for several more years. I had moved to Memphis and was the leader of a group called The Escapades. We were under contract with Sun records and Kent contacted me during the summer of 1966 about cutting a record at Sun. The following four Jades tunes were the result:

Rainbow Riot – A Bill Doggett tune the band used as their theme song
High Heel Sneakers – Kent and Archie doing the vocals
I Got a Woman – Gary Washburn rockin’ on his B-3 including the bass pedals
Come and Take Me Baby – An original with Archie Barnes vocal and local Memphis back up singers

Bing Vasser had left the band prior to this but the rest of the musicians were together. I substituted on bass for Bill who couldn’t make the session. The group stayed together a little while longer but then went their separate ways. To the best of my recollection, with some help from Bing Vasser:

Amos Ming– became an accountant in Nashville with Brenda Lee as one of his clientsKent Washburn – moved to the West Coast and became a Christian Record Producer

Gary Washburn – became a music professor at the University of Hawaii

Bing Vasser – obtained a Masters degree in music from Tulsa University and taught music in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He then returned to Tulsa University to graduate with a Masters degree in mathematics and music computation. His computer music programs were used to produce synthesized music in one of the early computer music conferences held in Tulsa featuring Aaron Copeland.

Dale Roark – formed The Escapades in Memphis, was drafted into the Army, then earned a degree in Computer Science and had a 30 year high-tech career. He now lives in Eagle Mountain, Utah within 1 mile of his 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

Terry Mead – joined Brenda Lee’s back-up band then moved to Nashville for a successful music career. He played on the live TV show “Nashville Now” for several years until ill health caused his retirement. Terry died May 13, 2007.

Archie Barnes – joined Brenda Lee’s back-up band then moved to Toronto

Denny (Zoot) Freeman – joined Brenda Lee’s back-up band then moved to California. He passed away in 2000.

Bill Hieronymus – went back to school and earned a degree in geophysics from the University of Houston. He became a consultant with several major oil companies and was well respected for his analytical expertise. He was also cited by Downbeat Magazine as one of the premier jazz bass players in America. He died on Thanksgiving day, 2008.

Dale Roark, April 2009 (Original Text)
Bing Vasser, (Update and corrections)

Dale and Ken Washburn have created their own website for the Shadow Lake 8 at with more information and photographs.