Category Archives: US

The Yorkshire Puddin

The Yorkshire Puddin cut two 45s in ’67 and ’68. Their first 45 is the fine “Good Night Day” backed with “Ain’t Gonna Love Ya No More”. They updated their sound for the second release, “Keep Me In Mind”.

“Keep Me in Mind”, like both sides of their first 45 were written by Cotharin – De Leon and produced by Woody Gardella. “Black Jacket Woman”, the flip of “Keep Me in Mind”, is the same moody pop number also done by the Zone V and the Tropics (the original?). I hear a female voice on the harmonies on this song only.

Dellwood was based in first Hackensack then nearby Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

Rhythm guitarist and vocalist Frank DePauw left a detailed comment about the band below, that I’ll repeat here:

Bob Cotharin, left hand Hofner bass player, and head singer and spokesman of the group.
Reynold Ponce De Leon, keyboards, (harpsichord), rhythm guitar, and harmonies.
Robert Heinick, lead guitar, and vocalist.
Gail Koennemann did some backup singing, and wed Bob Cotharin in ’69 or ’70. No longer together.
Daniel Jollen, drummer, drafted into the Army in the summer of ’68
Frank DePauw, second guitar, harmonies, backup keyboards, and in spare time, light show producer.

The group was the “house band” for the “Castaway” in Hampton Bay, Long Island, N.Y. in the summer of “68, when the drummer was drafted. A mad search went out, but no one could fill Dan’s job, and the group, after trying to get the “sound” back, broke up.

Anyone have a photo of the group, or can fill in more history on how they came to record for Dellwood and play at the Castaway?

Thanks once again to JP Coumans for the scan of “Keep Me in Mind” and transfer of “Black Jacket Woman”

The Interns

The Interns playing a dance at Spring Branch High School

Updated December 2009

The Interns have two 45s on the Paradise label, both have A-sides of straight up rock n’ roll. “Sally Met Molly” is a cool medley of Long Tall Sally and Good Golly Miss Molly. The flip is a a good version of Don Covay’s “Have Mercy”. What’s that someone shouts during the fadeout at the end of the song? Anyway, it’s like they were doing a song the Beatles covered on one side, and one the Stones cut on the other.

Their second 45 has “Don’t Make Me No Mind”, which sounds much like “Out of Sight”, backed with an original by Jack Durrett and Graham Hill, “Life With You”. With its harmonies and lighter sound “Life With You” is much different than their other material.

I knew nothing about the group until bassist and vocalist Graham Hill wrote in with info about the group (see comment below):

Lead singer- Jack Durrett, lead guitar- Reid Farrell, drummer- Rusty Dobson and I were the group’s main players. Ernie Graham from Kinkaid H.S. and Albert Dashiels from Lee H.S. played guitar and Tony Pryor and Johnny “The Rabbit” Bundrich [John Bundrick] from North Shore H.S. played organ at various times. We attended Memorial High School and graduated in 1967.

We primarily played private high school parties and after football game dances but we were the opening act for the Animals, Hermann’s Hermits, Neal Diamond, The Byrds, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs and other groups at concerts at the old Houston Colliseum. We also played the Houston Club scene. The other bands of our time were the Coastliners, Neal Ford and the Fanatics, Thursday’s Children, and Fever Tree. Roy Head and BJ Thomas were a few years older than us. Billy Gibbons was a little younger and he would hang out at our practices-Reid still stays in touch with him.

The recording you have was on a 4 track machine at Gold Star Studios. We double tracked the lead vocals on Have Mercy and added the hand clapping and back up singing on Sally Met Molly. We did hit the KILT radio top 10 list and were on the Larry Kane TV show several times.

Johnny has been playing with “The Who” since the mid-70s. Reid toured with Archie Bell and the Drells after graduating from high school. Jackie, Reid, Rusty and I still play once or twice a year in Houston.

Thanks to Graham Hill for info and photos of the band and for sending me their second 45 to transfer and scan.

Graham Hill and Reid Farrell of the Interns, opening for the Animals and Herman’s Hermits at the Houston Coliseum

Dick Curtis

As far as I know, Dick Curtis (Richard S. Curtis according to song publishing credits) only put out this one 45. The A-side, “Funny Girl” is kind of outsider pop, and interestingly it’s in stereo, primarily for the string arrangements. Most people reading this will prefer to skip that song and just listen to the quick moving “It’s Not the Same”.

The label is Colortronics Recording Industries, out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a label that was active until at least 1972. I’d like to know who was backing Dick Curtis on this track.

In a comment below Brenda mentions a 45 Curtis produced by J & B Ware, which I haven’t heard yet. J & B were R. Joslyn and D. Baisch.

The Bugs

The Bugs had a reputation as jokers, but are solid professionals on their excellent first single. ‘Pretty Girl’ is a fine British-influenced pop number that apparently hit the charts of local radio stations from Maine to Chicago to Florida. The flip is the raucous ‘Slide’, supposedly written in the studio but the band sounds too rehearsed for it to be a spontaneous performance. It must have been a staple of their live sets. Both songs were written by Eddie and Rose McGee. This 45 was engineered by Ray Fournier.From Erik Lindgren’s notes to The Polaris Story:

The Bugs were a quartet from Marlboro, MA that cut two singles for Astor records (Pretty Girl/Slide was also issued as Polaris 001) along with one unreleased track, ‘Gonna Find Me a Girl’. They were a ‘wacky’ group that included a female bass player by the name of Rose, who was in her early 40’s and married to guitarist Ed McGee. Polaris booked them throughout greater Boston and Rhode Island, including an appearance on Channel 12 in Providence.

‘Strangler in the Night’, originally credited to Albert De Salvo [the Boston Strangler], was actually written by a ghost writer, James Vaughn, who got drafted three weeks after the making of the single. The narration for ‘Strangler’ was done by Dick Leviatan, a well-known radio personality from New York City.

‘Pretty Girl’ and ‘Slide’ were recorded at Fleetwood Studios in Revere, MA., while ‘Strangler’, ‘Albert’ and ‘Gonna Find Me a Girl’ were recorded at Triple A in Dorchester. The organ on the tracks done at the Triple A session was played by the engineer, whose name remains lost for posterity [actually it was Ray Fournier].

Producer Joe Melino dropped the Polaris label in the aftermath of the under-attended state-wide 1966 Battle of the Bands competition. The Astor label was named after the Astor Motor Inn, where Joe and his new partner had their office.

‘Strangler in the Night’ failed to get the hoped-for notoriety in the press. The single’s failure led to the end of a great run of 45s on the Polaris and Astor labels. Hear both sides of that novelty as well as the Bugs’ excellent unreleased track ‘Gonna Find Me a Girl’ on “The Polaris Story” CD.

More updates

Bittervetch at Town Hall in Centerville, Ohio, 1966.

Some of the recent updates and additions:

George Dilworth, drummer and vocalist for The Voxmen sent four photos of the band, including one with the Dave Clark Five.

D. Gordon Strickland gives a detailed history of his bands The Stains and Five Cards Stud.

Duke Freeman, bassist and lead vocalist for The Us Four talks about his time in the Louisville, Kentucky music scene.

Rob Hegel of the Ohio band Bittervetch sent in the previously unpublished photo above, which really captures the excitement of the early teen scene. Rob tells me this shot was “taken April of 1966 when Bittervetch played a concert to a capacity crowd at The Town Hall in Centerville, Ohio. This is the concert where The Chandells became Bittervetch and announced the release of their PIXIE single. My dad was an advertising guy in Dayton and he knew Mr. Freeman and everyone at the studio so we went there to record the record. MegaCity Music was the company that owned PIXIE.”

Bittervetch cut two great singles and a number of demos now collected on a Gear Fab release that I definitely recommend. Their website ( with an article by Mike Dugo is currently defunct.

The Sultans Five

Sultans Five – original mid-60s lineup on the records
as noted on photo: Ken Allen, Lenny Juliano, Tim Mickna, Ray Polouski and Vic Weinfurter.

The Sultans Five were based out of Racine, Wisconsin, originally a three-piece when they formed in 1963. Original members were Len Juliano guitar, Tim Michna on bass and Vic Weinfurter, Jr. on drums. With the addition of Ray Plauske from the Sensations on lead guitar they became the Sultans IV. Farfisa organist and saxaphonist Ken Allen made them the Sultans Five.

Their recording career consisted of all or nearly all original songs, with Victor Weinfurter the main contributer along with Ray Plauske and Tim Michna.

Their earliest releases include two on the RAL label “Tonight Is the Night” / “Hey Little Girl” and “Walk with Me” / “Who’s at Fault”. Of these I’ve only heard “Tonight Is the Night” from its later release on Raynard. The flip of that release is “With You”, an original by Ray Plauske.

Their second on Raynard was a good rocker, “Daisy” that features a raucous, booming guitar sound on the breaks. It was backed with “Life Is Like a River”. Both were Vic Weinfurter originals.

Both Raynard 45s, along with their last, came with custom sleeves reading “Enterprise Thirteen presents the Sultans Five”, along with the band’s first names, song titles and composers, the Baker Building address and the optimistic message “more to come”.

Enterprise Thirteen would be the label for their last and most famous release, the fabulous “You Know, You Know” a song that would grab everyone’s attention whenever my pal DJ Bossy Boots played it out in clubs. The flip is the gentle “Calico”, a fine moody number written by Weinfurter and Ray Plauske.

After the recordings Tom Zager joined on bass and Butch Kieffer on organ. The band broke up in 1968.

Thanks to JP Coumans for the scans and transfers of the Raynard 45s. If anyone has good transfers of their RAL releases, please let me know.

Update, November 2009

Ken Allen, who played Farfisa organ with the group wrote to me about his time with the band, and sent in the photo at top:

The picture I sent you was taken from the Racine Journal Times, advertising for us playing at Ligits Beach Bar at Browns Lake, Wisconsin.

Vic called me and asked if I would play organ for the Sultans and I said yes, but I would have to order a portable organ first. I ordered a brand new Farfisa Compact Duo, with two Gibson Saber Reverb amps. It was a great high tech fold up organ for the day. I had to wait for a month and a half for it to come over to the USA on a boat. I was told that my Farfisa was the second one sold in the USA.

We played at Earls Club in Kenosha, The Nitty Gritty in Racine, The Kraut Festival in Franksville, Wisconsin. We also would play for private parties etc.

Yes I was on our records. The records were recorded at the [Dave] Kennedy Recording Studio in Milwaukee. King Sabornick a D.J. at WRIT Radio was one of the arrangers we had and the other one was from New York, but I can’t remmember his name.

To make a long story short… Tim Mickna and I resigned from the Sultans Five, and that is when Butch Keifer replaced me on keyboard and Tom Zager replaced Tim Mickna on bass. I can’t remember all the details, 44 years is a long time. We had a great time while it lasted though.

Ken Allen

A later lineup, standing from left: Len Juliano, Ray Plauske, Butch Kieffer, Tom Zager; seated: Vic Weinfurter
Photo from Gary Myers’ Do You Hear That Beat, original from the collection of Vic Weinfurter.

Chuck Conlon & the Crawlers

Here is Chuck Conlon on two fascinating 1967 45s on Henry Stone’s Marlin label after leaving the Nightcrawlers and relocating from Daytona Beach to Miami. “I Won’t Tell” reworks the opening guitar line of “Little Black Egg” and adds similarly odd lyrics like “A teaspoon holds more than the fork does”, sung in the same naive style.

“You’re Comin’ On” has fine production, opening with distinctive percussion, allowing the bass carry the melody and keeping the distorted guitar as decoration. Though credited to Conlon and the Crawlers, I don’t know if any of the his former band the Nightcrawlers actually played on these songs. I’ve heard that Ron and the Starfires were backing him on some of these tracks.

The A-side of the second 45, “Won’t You Say Yes to Me Girl” is a pop gem. I don’t usually object to horns on songs but I wish the producers had kept to the simple arrangement of the intro for this one. The piano trills and organ are excellent and the trombone player’s solo lines blend well.

“Midnight Reader” is more obscure, an ode to introspection as far as I can tell: “He goes behind closed doors every night / all that shines is a small intensity light / there’s no one inside the room but him”. Another verse goes “All the persons who are drunk are asleep / he cares not if they leave him in peace”: the scholar surrounded by hedonistic students maybe?

Compare the opening lines to another that Conlon wrote for the Nightcrawlers, “A Basket of Flowers”: “She sits in a cell at the midnight hour / gatekeeper tied in the darkest hour / she seems so lonely there”.

“I Won’t Tell” entered the charts of Orlando AM station WLOF in April ’67 and reached as high as #19 in May. The first 45 was a Bard Shapiro / Steve Alaimo Production, the second credited to Marlin Productions. All four songs are Conlon originals, though “Won’t You Say Yes to Me Girl” is co-credited to Brad Shapiro.

Chuck released a few solo 45s that I haven’t heard about once every ten years beginning with “When God Comes to Call” in 1965, all as Charles Conlon. He also wrote “Eric Cleveland” which appears on a 45 by the Yak on Tooth 533 and Avco Embassy AVE-4514 with a cover of the Beatles “Every Little Thing” on the flip. I don’t know if he had any involvement with that group, it was pressed at Queen City Album Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio in August, 1969. There seem to be some unreleased recordings as well, including one titled “Poor Little Mixed Up Kid”.

Thanks to Joe Emery for suggesting this post way back in February.

Barry Lee and the Actions

Barry Lee is the stage name of Lee Cuilli, who came from the Italian section of Cleveland, like Bocky, both of them managed by Redda Robbins.

In 1964 Barry released his first 45 on the Redda label. One side is the upbeat vocal pop “Make It” which earned some radio play at the time and got the record picked up by UA subsidiary Veep. More interesting is “Things Gotta Change” a nice bit of r&b with guitar flourishes, credited to Lee, Redda Robbins and Tony Styles. The backing vocalists really getting a workout trying to keep up the bop-ba-shu-bop-ba-bas. The buckeyebeat site suggests it’s likely that Barry is being accompanied by Bocky & the Visions on vocals with their backing band Richie & the Fortunes.

Barry Lee found a group of teens from Euclid, a town northeast of Cleveland, to become his band the Actions. Members included Dave Zaller guitar, Vince Baskovic bass and Ken Ruscittio drums. With the Actions he released his second record in 1966, almost two years after the first. “For Such a Little Wrong” might best be called a power ballad, but on the b-side “Try Me”, Barry’s vocal blends perfectly with the band’s strong backing and harmonies. Production was by Kenny Lark, arrangements by Barry Lee and Fortunes guitarist Tony Styles (Tony Bodanza). Originally released on the Wine & Roses label, it too was picked up by a UA subsid., Ascot, for a quick ride to nowhere.

Interestingly, Barry Lee puts songwriting credits to both Barry Lee and Lee Allen Cuilli. Barry wrote a number of songs that he didn’t record himself, as BMI lists him as co-author of “Can’t Get You Home on Time”, “Down Down”, “I Can Dance”, “I’m Not Worth It”, “I’m Pickin’ Petals”, “Land Beyond the Moon”, “Little Wheel” and “When the Sun Goes Down”, all written with Tony Bodanza.

Info for this article from Thanks to Mark Meinhart for the transfer of Things Gotta Change.

Stephen Hartley

This 45 has great atmosphere and unusual production. It’s the work of several talented people who were usually involved in much more commercial music.

Singer and songwriter Stephen Hartley is Stephen Hartley Dorff, a composer of songs and movie & TV soundtracks. The producer Walt Levinsky was an old-time swing clarinet player, composer and arranger who is most well known for writing theme songs for television, including the old CBS evening news theme. The arranger Steve Cagan worked for years with Melissa Manchester. MB Records is also the label that released Manchester’s first record, again with Cagan and Levinsky’s production.

“Have You Seen Her” did make the charts of WOR-FM in New York for a few weeks in July and August of 1967. I prefer “The Other Side” for the moodiness of the music and obsessive lyrics.

The Shados-M

Shados-M Quintet 45 All The Time Shados-M Quintet 45 Sweet LoveThe Shados-M were from Blackstone, Virginia. Drummer Michael Hurley gave me this information about the group:

The original band and the people on the record were Gary Taggart, guitar, me, drums, Gilliam Winn, backup vocals, Eddie Greene, bass, Wayne Goin, rhythm guitar, Neil Owens, organ.

The songs were played on the radio constantly. We were all like 15 except for the guitar player who was maybe 22 at the time. It was a time when bands had long hair and dressed in jeans with holes and that kind of stuff. We wore white tuxedos and that caught a lot of attention at the time.

The name was something we just came up with. It didn’t mean anything we just thought it looked cool. We did some radio shows and people would call in guessing what the name meant. It was funny because they thought of everything from the “M” being for Michael my name to a “W” upside down. We did a few reunions. The last one was probably 10 years ago and we raised over $10,000 in one night for a girl that had a bad accident.

Both songs, “Sweet Love” and “All the Time” both written by Gary Taggart.

Ken Friedman tells me that the Quintet label was a subsidiary of Justice Records of Winston-Salem, which meant the band traveled over 180 miles southwest to Winston-Salem instead of recording in Richmond, an hour’s drive away.

The other 45 on Quintet that I know of is D. Martindale & the Star Fires “Go Jenny”, which is more like amateurish rockabilly than garage.

The Shados-M had another 45 on the Colpar label, “She Loves Me (She Loves Me Not)” / “You Owe Me Nothing” from September 1969, almost three years after their first. Nick Colleran produced that second 45, and again Gary Taggart wrote both songs.

Thank you to Marty for loaning his rare 45, and to Michael Hurley for background on the group.

Does anyone have a photo of the band?

For more on Michael Hurley’s music, check out his site,