Category Archives: South Carolina

The Allusions featuring Lou Martucci

Allusions featuring Lou Martucci Marianna 45 Where Have All the Good Times Gone

Here’s a very good and obscure single by the Allusions featuring Lou Martucci. “Where Have All the Good Times Gone” is an original song with fuzz guitar, not the Kinks tune, the flip is “Burnin’ For Your Lovin'”. Roger Hopkins wrote both songs, released on the Marianna label in October, 1967.

The Allusions label reads “Produced by the Preludes”. The year before, in August 1966, the Preludes featuring Lou Martucci released a single on Hopkins’ Little Nashville label, based out of 1610 Poinsettia Rd. in Charleston, South Carolina. The songs are another original by Hopkins, “On My Lovin” b/w an original by Martucci, “Would You Believe”.

Lou Martucci wrote to the That’s All Rite site with a lot of info about the group. Members were:

Lou Martucci – lead vocals
Joe Opatsky – lead guitar
Al Knox – rhythm guitar
Butch Chevalier – bass
Al Moreno – drums

I assume the Preludes and the Allusions were more or less the same group. The Preludes is a Rite pressing, while the Allusions 45 deadwax reads “NRC 1914 Marianna 593A 20389”.

As Lou Martucci noted on That’s All Rite, drummer Al Moreno passed away in Vietnam, Roger Hopkins in a car accident in the ’60s.

Hopkins was the Preludes’ manager, his associate Boyd Cobb published the songs for both singles with Cobb BMI. Hopkins had his own single with the Chevelles on Little Country LN-0779, “Ronda Road Runner” (Tommy Nation) / “I Made Her That Way”, musical backing by the Centuries. He also had a country single on the related Evergreen label, “Crawling Back to You” / “Ask the Man Who Owns One”.

Allusions featuring Lou Martucci Marianna 45 Burnin' For Your Lovin'

Crossfire


Crossfire promo photo, 1971, from left: Leonard Lehew, Bobby Bond, and Jack Montgomery
Jack Montgomery writes about his band Crossfire from Columbia, South Carolina, who unfortunately never recorded despite having some original songs.

Crossfire formed in January of 1968 when two high school friends, Jack Montgomery and Bobby Bond acquired some very basic musical instruments and began to practice playing tunes from the Beatles, the Turtles and Rolling Stones to name a few. Soon Jack acquired his new Mosrite guitar and Bobby got a set of Slingerland drums. They then found another classmate, Leonard Lehew who played guitar and also wanted to play bass.

The band rehearsed and began to perform small gigs at local church dances, restaurants and teen dances which were held at armories, as well as local swim and country clubs as “The Gross National Product.” After hearing people struggle with their name, they changed it to “Crossfire in 1970.

By early 1970, they were playing weekend gigs at local nite-clubs near the USC campus and travelling to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for weekend gigs at clubs and hotels and many private parties.

While most groups were playing an R&B covers format, there were a small cadre of Columbia bands that embraced the new rock sounds from the west coast and New York. In this musical vacuum there existed a non-competitive, friendly atmosphere between these bands and often one group would go to hear a certain band one night and then that band would reciprocate. The premier psychedelic bands in Columbia were bands with names like Medusa’s Head, Speed Limit 35, and Christopher who actually produced a LP called “Whatcha Gonna Do!”

The social atmosphere in Columbia, S.C. during the late 1960s was difficult at times due to the presence of Fort Jackson Army base, the civil unrest that followed the end of racial segregation, as well an anti-war movement on the USC campus which produced a negative reaction to anything alternative. At an audition in 1969, one local DJ told us in 1969 that “this hard rock stuff is just a flash in the pan; you guys should be playing beach music.” We ignored his advice and soldiered onward. During that time, you had to take care where you booked yourself or you could find yourself facing an angry mob as you left to go home. Crossfire was very lucky in this respect.

The guys in Crossfire soon realized that there was very little money in teen dances and began to focus on playing for private and corporate parties. They also learned what it meant to be economically exploited by bad management, so they went independent in 1970.

In 1971, there was a strike of union musicians and Crossfire, not being unionized, took full advantage of the situation. They played a lot of gigs at Columbia’s hotels for convention groups. With this audience change, they moved away from their original psychedelic format to doing pop and rock covers. On occasion, the sponsoring groups would give them money to purchase matching apparel which they thought was amusing.

In 1971, Crossfire appeared on WNOK, a CBS affiliate for a one hour concert special called “Rock Saturday” which featured our music and every visual effect the studio could muster. It was sponsored by the McDonald’s franchises in Columbia. Later that year, they did a similar 30 minute concert show on WOLO, an ABC affiliate that was sponsored by a local music studio. These events produced a local recognition for the band that we enjoyed. I do not know of another band that received so much local TV air-time during that period. I think Crossfire was not as socially threatening as some of the other “hippie” bands in that we were still high school students.

By June of 1971, Leonard and Jack graduated Irmo High School and Bobby followed in 1972. Their last formal gig was for a banker’s convention in the Sheraton Hotel ballroom in downtown Columbia in December of 1971. Leonard moved to Atlanta, Bobby went to work in corrections and Jack went to Newberry College. In 1973, Jack began to perform in lounges owned by the Best Western hotels in Columbia who shared a stable of performers between them. As “Jack Monty” Jack performed every week for the next three years and then retired from performing in 1976 until he reappeared musically in 2000.

Jack Montgomery
myspace.com/shadowdancerjack


Crossfire, 1971 from left: Leonard Lehew, Bobby Bond, and Jack Montgomery

The Dimensions 4

Here’s a fratty attempt at r&b called “Sweet, Sweet Soul” by the Dimensions 4 of Jackson, South Carolina. It’s not totally successful, but there’s no denying the funkiness of the opening beat and organ.

It’s probably their best song, though each has its moments. The flip “The Walk Out” is milder, and their second 45 on their own T-D-4 label, “Boogaloo King”, is not as exciting as the title suggests. All their songs were written by Melton Knight.

The Scribes


Updated June 1, 2010

I knew hardly anything about The Scribes until I was put in touch with their lead guitarist Danny Brewer. Danny kindly answered my questions over the phone this last Sunday.

As it turns out, the band was from Rock Hill, South Carolina. Besides Danny, their members were Ray Howison guitar and keyboards, Darryl Whitington bass and Steve White on drums.

Danny and Ray formed the band in 10th grade in high school, initially playing local skating rinks, private parties and a bowling alley. Their main competition was a group called the Open Roads.

The Scribes recorded this 45 at Arthur Smith Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina, just 25 miles from Rock Hill. The band was about 16 years old at the time. This studio, owned by Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith, was also the one used by the Paragons on their classic punker “Abba”, not to mention where James Brown recorded “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”.

Lively guitar work and good singing distinguish “Just Last Night”, written by Danny Brewer and Steve White. Danny told me he used a different guitar tuning for this song, tuning the high E string down to a B.

The A-side “Wishes” is more conventional, but enjoyable nonetheless, it was written by Brewer and Howison.

The Okay label was named after the OKay Boys and Mens shop, whose owners helped the band get their record produced. The band pressed up several hundred copies which they sold to friends in high school. The photo was taken with a friend’s car on the campus of Winthrop University.

For decades this record was unknown outside the area, but a number of unplayed copies with the sleeve turned up a few years ago and started trading for a lot of money. I saved myself close to $200 by buying a used copy of the 45 without the sleeve.

After high school the band added horns, becoming the Scribes Revue, specializing in soul music and playing clubs and colleges around the area. Eventually Danny was the only original member left in the group.

After the Scribes Revue, Danny joined Billy Scott and the Georgia Prophets. Danny played guitar on the Three Prophets’ modern soul 45 from 1971, “I Think I Really Love You” on the Together label.

Thanks to Danny Brewer and to Mike Cobb for putting us in touch.

The New Generation

“That’s the Sun” is a fine garage song with a touch of psych. All copies of the record suffer from a warble in the tape created in recording or mastering.

From Spartanburg, South Carolina, the New Generation had Tommy Caldwell on bass and Doug Gray on vocals – these two would soon become part of the Marshall Tucker Band. Released April of 1968 on the Sonic label.

Anyone have a photo of the group?

“That’s The Sun” was written by Caldwell with R. Foster. The flip side is a conventional pop song called “Because of Love (It’s All Over)”.

I’ve read they had one other 45, but I think that may be a mistake. They were not the same New Generation with a 45 on Kapp, “If You’re Lookin’ for Love” / “Never Let the Right Hand Know (What the Left Hand’s Doin'”.