Clockwise from bottom left: Martel Day, Reese Gwynn, Art Travis, Jeff Cooper, Dan Toomey, Jay Jacobson and Collis Alford
Click for larger image (3 MB)
|A couple weeks ago I posted a photo from a group and asked who was the band and what movie they were in. No one hazarded a guess, so I’ll give it away now, they were the Geatormen, and the movie was “Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows”, a silly and innocent comedy about a group of Catholic schoolgirls accompanied by nuns crossing the country to a youth rally. The screen shots (below) are from a scene where the band is lip-synching to the title song by Boyce and Hart.The Geatormen included:|
Collis Alford (trumpet
They were students at Brandywine High School in the suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware, where they played with the Brandywine Blazers. Somehow they met up with Jerry Blavat, “the Geator” and became the Geatormen, performing on Blavat’s TV show Discophonic Scene and appearing with him in live shows.
An article in the Delaware County Daily Times from April, 1968 also mentions them appearing on WFIL-TV’s The World Around Us, a daily morning show in Philadelphia hosted by Anita Klever.
They weren’t credited for their appearance in “Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows”, so it doesn’t seemed to have helped their career much. I believe only five of them are featured in the movie. After the filming, Martel Day was replaced by Bob Howe and Max Rarigh. A later lineup of the band included Nino Puglisi from the Stairways. I don’t know of any records released by the band.
Jeff Cooper posted a few additional photos of the band at the bottom of this page.
There’s no denying the power of the Mondells 45 on Gaye, “I Got a Feeling” / “You’ll Never Come Back to Stay”. Both songs have thick distortion on the guitar, nice organ swirls, pounding drums, and good lead and backing vocals.
The code U4KM-5024 denotes an RCA custom pressing from the first half of 1967. The scan I originally posted showed no song writing credits on the label, but as Mike Markesich pointed out in his comment below, that scan was doctored to keep the writer’s name secret until the band could be found. From the scans I now have, Roy Farmer Jr. wrote “I Got a Feeling” and Benny Thomas wrote “You’ll Never Come Back to Stay”. Both sides are published by Margie Music, BMI, and listed as A Gaye Talent Production.
The group itself is still something of a mystery to me. I did find out that the Mondels, like Red Beard & the Pirates, came from the rural hills between Blue Ridge, Georgia (Morganton, Mineral Bluff, Epworth) and Copperhill, Tennessee / McCaysville, GA, about two hours drive north of the studio in Decatur, GA, just east of Atlanta. From the same area came The Blazers, who had a self-produced LP On Fire.
An old auction listing gives a couple names for Red Beard & the Pirates: Randy Queen and “Sea Dog”. The seller also mentioned two members of the Mondels: “Billy Suites (died from auto accident) and Lamar Harper (died a couple of years ago from cancer). Actually the name ‘Tootie’ written on the record is my sister-in-law and she dated Lamar.” I contacted the seller for more info, but I can’t confirm if these names are accurate.
The Mondels is one of the rarest and best 45s on the Gaye label.
Mike Dugo interviewed a member of the Penetrations who have a record on Gaye, “A Different Kind of Man” / “I Got A Girl” but they were from Belton, South Carolina, to the north east of Atlanta.
Thank you to Mike Markesich for the scans and info on the band. Transfers from Teenage Shutdown vol. 13.
The Myddle Class, circa late 1967: front and center Dave Palmer
behind him, from left to right: Myke Rosa, Rick Philp (wearing hat), Charles Larkey and Danny Mansolino
In the background on the left side: Bruce DeForeest and his girlfriend Ronnie
|Susan Palmer De Leon sent in these photos of the Myddle Class that I had never seen before, one an early shot of the group from circa late 1965, a few months after they had met Carole King and Gerry Goffin, and the other one from a couple years later.|
I have rewritten the article on the Myddle Class, see the current version here.
An early photo of the band, taken in Carole & Gerry’s backyard
Front to back: Myke Rosa, Rick Philp, Danny Mansolino, Dave Palmer and Charles Larkey
The Remains – ‘Let Me Through’ b/w ‘Why Do I Cry’
(2011 Sundazed S-231)
Review by Rebecca Jansen
“The new single by The Remains,” now doesn’t that alone sound good? Fortunately this vinyl debut of an original Barry Tashian and Vern Miller composition does sound very good indeed! Performed live on Ed Sullivan’s CBS television studio stage, Sunday December 26th, 1965, Barry’s snarling Guild lead guitar is in good form as the group soars (and sometimes stumbles, true) through some Psychotic Reactions style tempo changes. Very fearless on a national show with a song only cooked up a couple weeks before! Topo Gigio was probably forced into hiding while this punky racket was flowering, not that the sound quality is at all lacking with the minor exception of some audience applause at the start and again at the conclusion.
Sundazed’s sleeve is based on a vintage picture sleeve used by Epic, same design but different shot from the same photo shoot, and it’s that attention to detail that keeps Sundazed high in afficianados’ regard. The flip is a version of “Why Do I Cry” from the essential Session With the Remains LP also available through Sundazed. This single is more fun than Senior Wences’ plate-spinner eating goats; I predict it’ll be really beeg with all the kiddies in the garage!
This 45 is available through Sundazed.
Rebecca Jansen’s writing and artwork can be seen at Hippies stole my blog! *.
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Johnny Brooks owned the Gaye label, based in Atlanta, Georgia, and named it after his wife. The label started with pop and soon had soul and pop releases mixed in with consistently strong garage singles by Little Phil & the Night Shadows, the Mondels, the Blades, the Penetrations and Red Beard & the Pirates. Some numbers have a prefix, usually ASR.
Troy Shondell recorded the Chips Moman song “This Time” for Goldcrest in 1961, released nationally by Liberty. I don’t know who Troy Shundell is, but his version on Gaye (#2010 from circa 1965) is a different recording than the Goldcrest/Liberty issue, and is likely a different singer altogether.
Any help with this discography would be appreciated
114 – Ken Springer – “You’re Faithful Anna” / “Lovely Love” (with picture sleeve)
210 – J.T. Ratcliffe With Shirley & The Swamp Bugs – “The Beatle Bug” / “Bill’s Friend”
212 – George Hughley – “Do The Beatle” / “My Love Is True”
368 – Paula Grimes – “Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart” / “Fancy Love Words” (need confirmation on this one)
2002 – Bobby & The Belmonts – “Drum Dog” / “He’s Home From College” (1964)
2004 – Beverly Taylor – “Sweeter Than Sugar” / “I Believe in You”
2009 – Ken Springer – “Like A Child” / “Maybe”
2010 – Troy Shundell – “This Time” / “I Catch Myself Crying”
2018 – Frankie And The Play Boys featuring Arnold Sanford – “Two To One” / “Crying Towel”
3019 – The Blades – “I’ll Shead No Tear” (sic) / “Again”
3020 – Joe Dickey – “April In Atlanta” / “Walk With Me (Into Paradise)”
3027 – The Penetrations – “A Different Kind of Man” / “I Got A Girl”
3031 – Little Phil & the Night Shadows – “Sixty Second Swinger” / “In the Air”
3031 – Milford Fagg with the Penetrations – “Do You Still Remember Me” / “Mr. Ivory”
3032 – The Mondels – “You’ll Never Come Back To Stay” / “I Got A Feeling”
3033 – Joe Brown – “It’s All Over” / “Promise Me”
3034 – Ted Ford – “You Don’t Love Me” / “Hold On To the Key”
3041 – C. J. DeLong – “Goodbye Dreams” / “I Don’t See Me In Your Eyes Anymore”
3043 – Red Beard & the Pirates – “Go On Leave” / “Don’t Be A Loser”
3044 – Jerry Ashley – “Come On” / “Come On” (instrumental backing track)
3045 – The Blades – “Moving Out” / “I Need You”
3047 – Sheppard Brothers – “Hold Me Closer” / “Mess Up My Mind”
5001 – Johnny Jenkins – “Soul Boo-Ga-Loo” / “Ring-O-Ling”
5002 – Lee Mays & the Zonics – “Writing This Letter” / “Nothing Means Nothing To You”
5005 – Ernie Wheelwright – Begging You Back / “In Your Arms”
5006 – Automations – “World of Make Believe” / “Going Out of My Mind”
6001 – Betty Logan – “A Lot To Learn” / The Logan Sisters – “Flop Mop”
One reader sent in this neat promotional photo of the Rice Paper Window, a quintet from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I don’t know anything about the group, who was in it or if they recorded. Anyone have more info?Thanks to Bob Degutis for sending in this and other Wisconsin band photos.
Oglethorp and Othellow (sic), from left: Greg Carlock, Don Bearup and Dick Dean
|Last week I wrote about Van Recording of south Texas. For some odd reason, at least five singles on Van released between 1965-1967 were produced in Taylorville, Illinois, close to 1,000 miles northeast of Angleton TX, the base for the Van label.|
Richard Dean played bass on one of those records, “Please Don’t Go Away” and “I’ll Still Love You” by Oglethorp and Othelow. We may never know how these recordings ended up on Van, but Richard provides a detailed account of the music scene in the area just south and east of Springfield, Illinois during the mid-60s:
Thank you to Richard and his sister for the photos and clippings used in this article with the exception of the color photo provided by Donnie Bearup. Thanks also to Tom Fallon and Matt Baker for information on the Kenny Biggs 45.
“A photo of my first band, The Fade-Aways, taken in 1965. From left: Greg Carlock (Othelow), lead singer David Brownback, Donnie Bearup (Oglethorp), and me.
Drummer Jim Lowe was not present.
That Stratocaster was my first real guitar, cherry red. Greg’s was a Guild.”
Donnie Bearup and Deb Lynch during the Fade-Aways era, 1966
with the second place trophy at the State Fair
from left: Don Bearup, Richard Dean and Greg Carlock
‘The Re-Actions’, from left: Dick Dean (bass), Steve Westoff (rhythm guitar), Butch Hartel (drums), Monte McDermith (lead guitar) and kneeling, Vince Slagel (organ).
Not pictured, lead singer Donnie Bearup
Bob Ellis from the Alabama Record Collectors Association sent me this history of the Ramblers of Birmingham, written by Chip Sanders.
Back in 1961, the guitar playing Terrell brothers, Tommy and Eddie along with classmate Chris Covey found a junior high school drummer, Johnny Robinson, to play music. It was decided that the eldest brother, Eddie, would be the bass player, and Tommy would play rhythm guitar. Fellow Ramsey High School classmate, Van Veenschoten joined in to round out the group and play lead guitar. The group named themselves The Ramblers, and began playing for high school functions and fraternities and sororities in the Birmingham area. When Eddie Terrell received a tennis scholarship and headed to The University of Alabama, The Ramblers had no trouble in convincing Chris Convey, with the unusual nickname “The Spook,” to take over on the bass.
By mid-1962, The Ramblers were playing weekends regularly in and around Birmingham and cut their first record, “Stop That Twisting” / “Hundred Miles Away”, at Boutwell Recording Studio in Birmingham. Shortly thereafter, guitar player Van Veenschoten met Chip Sanders, a junior at neighboring Shades Valley High School, who was a piano player. The Ramblers auditioned Chip on a Sunday afternoon at Van’s parents home in Mountain Brook, and the nucleus of the group, that would become synonymous with “party band” was established.
An important early performance by The Ramblers at a state-wide Alabama high school Key Club Convention gave the group name recognition throughout the state, and soon The Ramblers of Birmingham were playing in Alabama cities and towns from Huntsville to Mobile. Practicing in a store room in the back of Johnny Robinson’s garage in Mountain Brook, Alabama, or in the basement of the Sanders’ home in Vestavia, The Ramblers were truly the proverbial garage band.
By fall of 1963, it was time for more of The Ramblers to make a decision, music or college! They decided on both, and as Tommy and Spook headed off to the University of Alabama and Johnny and Chip still in high school, the group began playing college fraternity parties at the University of Alabama.
By 1965-1966, The Ramblers were working regularly, primarily at Fraternity Parties around the southeast. Eddie, Tommy, Spook, and Chip had all become members of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at The University of Alabama, while Van was at Samford University and Johnny at the University of Montevallo. No longer rehearsing on a regular basis, the guys would meet up whenever and wherever the group might be playing.
In 1967, the group recorded another record at Boutwell Recording Studio, “Come Back, Come Back” / “Whole Lot Of Woman” written by keyboardist, Chip Sanders. The record experienced moderate success in the Alabama area, but college priorities prevented the group from properly promoting the record. Ed Boutwell, Birmingham recording pioneer, continued to use The Ramblers as back up musicians on many recording sessions at his studio.
Throughout this period, local radio station “sock hops” gained popularity amongst the Birmingham teenage population, and The Ramblers worked with local personality Duke Rumore of WYDE radio at Duke’s sock hop at the Ensley National Guard Armory, as well as Dave Roddy, from WSGN Radio at the Aporto Armory, across town. Also during this period the Ramblers were the backup band of choice for singers passing through Birmingham like Bobby Goldsboro or Billy Joe Royal.
As a “special added attraction” The Ramblers added a new set, featuring “Little John,” Chip’s kid brother, 11-year-old John Lee Sanders, who sang and played harmonica. John Lee Sanders, is now a successful song writer, performer and composer in the Bay Area of California. For the last 20 years he has worked with Long John Baldry, Starship, Paul Williams, Linda Arnold, and other popular entertainers.
As 1966-1967 came along, the world was quickly changing and The Rambler’s music began to change as well. Inspired by the psychedelic sounds coming out of the west coast, The Ramblers found a new sound with a young female vocalist, Vicki Hallman. Covers of the Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt and other female artists were added to their repertoire. After a brief marriage to drummer Johnny Robinson, Vicki continued her career in Nashville as a member of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos group and as a permanent cast member of the long running TV series, Hee-Haw.
With the Viet Nam War continuing to escalate in the late sixties, members of the group began to worry about the draft. This was definitely not the time to quit school and loose a student deferment to become a rock ‘n roll star. At various times during the next few years, Tommy joined George Bush in the Alabama Air National Guard, Chris joined the Coast Guard Reserve, Chip got in the Army National Guard three days before his draft notice, and Johnny became a reluctant member of the Talladega National Guard.
During their respective intermittent absences the group stayed together, with Terrell brother, Eddie, rejoining the group, along with a variety of substitute and fill-in players. As the sixties came to a close, one by one, the group began to graduate from college, get married and begin careers other than music. All the members of the group initially took jobs in Birmingham so that the band was able to stay together, but soon, the pressures of new careers, new wives, and even children began to put a strain on the group. “I don’t remember us ever officially deciding to break up. I just recall playing in a little town somewhere in South Alabama. We all brought our wives. It was a fun weekend. I remember staying in some ‘Bates Motel’ place and we all went swimming in their pool. That’s the last band job I can recall, but there may have been others,” said Sanders.
Johnny Robinson, who had tried to hold things together began touring with a new group, The Homestead Act, and subsequently moved to California to help his new wife start a music career. Chris moved away to seek his fortune, Chip moved near Memphis to start an insurance agency, and Tommy became a bank examiner for the Treasury Department.
The Ramblers were history, or so they thought. They stayed in touch with one another and by 1978 all of the remaining members of the group were thinking the same thing. They wanted to play again.
In 1979, the band regrouped as The Rambler Reunion Band adding Jim Burford on lead guitar to replace Van who died in a motorcycle accident in 1972. Chip moved out of state and was replaced by John Livingston on keyboards. Eddie rejoined the band to replace Chris who resides in Treasure Island, Florida. During the 80’s and 90’s the band continued working around the southeast entertaining at events with their 60’s music. Currently the RRB entertains at wedding receptions, reunion parties, company parties, club dances, and most any event that requires authentic 60’s rock and roll music.
Chip Sanders, 2011
Johnny Robinson answered some follow-up questions I had about the photos and recording sessions.
The picture of the four of us [top of page] was taken at Highland County Club in December 1961. Van played lead guitar, Tommy rhythm guitar, Eddie bass. At this time we had very few vocals. That one mike and the small guitar amp (lower right corner) was our PA system. We bought the vests at Pizitz downtown.
The two professional photos were taken by Ken Ives at his studio in English Village down the street from Boutwell Recording Studio, where we recorded “100 Miles Away”. Chris Convey replaced Eddie on bass when Eddie left for college on a tennis scholarship. We have tons of other pictures through the years.
B.Temple is Brook Temple. He went to Shades Valley High School. We met him through Lee Shook, a mutual friend. Brook wrote “100 Miles away” with words about a girl he dated in Montgomery (100 miles from Birmingham) and asked us to record it. His mother paid for the recording session and the cost of the records. We did not like the words to the song, so we made it an instrumemtal. He also wrote “Stop That Twisting”. The Brook record label is his name. After all his mother paid for everything.
The second record, “Come Back, Come Back” was made in April 1967. The total for the packing slip was $123.10 for 510 records. That made them 24 cents each. The studio time was $300 as I remember. That made the total cost 83 cents each. Of course we did not made the records to make money, we gave most of them away to try and book more jobs. We have other studio recordings and live recordings.
The music scene in Birmingham was very active at this time – 1961 to 1968. The Distortions, Sammy Salvo, Willum Fowler, The Tremolos, Larry Parker, The Nomads, The Strangers, The Reflections, The Brood, and The Gents are just some of the local bands that recorded and released records on labels like Jo-Jo, Vibrato, Vesta, Lemon, Gold Master, Modern Enterprises, Malone, Vaughn-LTD, Malcolm Z. Dirge. There were many more. The ones I listed are part of my 45 collection. Others we were friends with: The Bassmen, Larry and the Loafers, The Kingsmen (not the famous ones), Daze of the Week, and Circus.