Category Archives: Tennessee

The Madhatters on Re-Echo Records

Madhatters Re-Echo 45 Unchain My Heart

The Madhatters have the earliest single on the Re-Echo Records label out of Livingston, Tennessee, about 100 miles northeast of Nashville. The A-side was a better-than-average version of “Unchain My Heart” b/w a breezy garage pop song, “That Kind of Girl”, released on Re-Echo Records 1003-45 in 1966.

T. Bradford, M. Peterman, J. Holloway wrote “That Kind of Girl” and were probably members of the band. I can’t find any further info on the group.

The Madhatters – “Unchain My Heart”
The Madhatters – “That Kind of Girl”

The label reads published by Middle Tenn. Music Co. BMI and Atwell Studio Production. Unfortunately, though many other songs published by Middle Tennessee Music were registered in the ’60s, I can find no copyright notice for this song or the writers.

Like many early releases on Re-Echo, this is a Rite pressing 17843/4, account number 1810. Other than the Madhatters, all other releases on the Re-Echo label seem to be either country or white gospel music.

Livingston, TN also had the Breeze Records label, based out of 209 South Church Street, with a connection to Atwell Publishing on 704 Bennett St. in Lafayette, TN, and featuring Dickey Cherry and Lonnie Holt, among others.

Re-Echo Records discography (probably incomplete)

1003 – Madhatters – “Unchain My Heart” / “That Kind of Girl”
1004 – Jim Edwards – “Talk to Your Heart” (James E. Hensley) / “If You Were My Darling”
1005 – Crownsmen Quartet – “Sweet Jesus” / “When God’s Chariot Comes”
1007 – Herman Hatfield and the Tennessee Valley Boys – “Sweet Memories of You” / “He Is The Master of Us All”
1008 – Sharlet Sexton & the Tennessee Valley Boys – “I Ain’t Good For Nothin ‘cept Pickin and Singin” / “Boys Like You”
1010 – Leon and Earl & the Bluegrass Mountain Boys – “There Could Never Be Another” / “False Dreams”
1011 – The Poston Family – “I Remember Daddy” / “It Might As Well Be Me”
1012 – Vic Jason & the Lonely Ones – Home Again” / “To Be Free” (both by Charles ‘Clint’ Cravens)
1014 – Dickey Cherry and the Common People – “All But Me” (Terry Muncy) / “Anita, You’re Dreaming”
45-6-2328-69 – Lonnie Holt – “Overton Hanging” / “One Little Things At a Time”

plus a spiritual album by the Four J’s Keeper of the Door.

Madhatters Re-Echo 45 That Kind Of Girl

The Tangle on Canary Records

Tangle Canary 45 Any Time, Any WhereThe Tangle recorded the very cool single “Any Time, Any Where” / “Our Side of Town” for Canary Records of Nashville, Tennessee in October 1966.

Alvin Holland and Nyman Furr came from Camden, Tennessee, about 50 miles west of Nashville, so that was possibly the base for the group.

Members included:

Alvin Holland – guitar and lead vocals (?)
Ronnie Waters – guitar
Nyman Furr – bass
(?) Hayes – drums

“Any Time, Any Where” has great riffing guitars and a relaxed Stones-like feel to the vocals and band.

When I can make out the lyrics to “Our Side of Town” they’re wild: something about munching her box…lunch.

According to the labels, Halland, Furr, Hayes, Waters wrote both songs. C.L. Womack produced the single and also published both songs through C.L. Womack Pub. Co. BMI but I can find no copyright listing in the Library of Congress indexes.

Halland is a typo for Holland and a site for the Tennessee River Crooks band featuring Ronnie Waters on guitar listed the members of the Tangle as Alvin Holland, Ronnie Waters and Nyman Furr.

Holland, Waters and Furr later played in versions of Maggie Lee & the Percussions.

Nyman Furr passed away on March 10, 2007, according to Wikipedia.

Thank you to Max Waller and Mario Aguayo for their help with finding info on this band.

Tangle Canary 45 Our Side of TownCanary Records had at least seven releases, most seem to be country music. J.C. Rhoton, Jr. shows up a lot on the labels, possibly he owned the label. Howard Rhoton may be his son, his “I’ll Skip School” on Canary was advertised in Billboard on April 25, 1964.

Gower-Moore Studio seems to be connected to the Gower guitar makers in Nashville.

Canary had two Nashville addresses on its labels, 2906 Ironwood Drive and 2911 Harlin Drive.

Canary Records discography (any help with this would be appreciated)

Canary 1002 – Rhodes Boys – “Pretty Little Miss” (V. Rhodes, B. Rhodes, V. Rhodes) / “Got A One Way Ticket”, prod. by Curtis McPeake, Gower-Moore Studio Production.

Canary 1008 – Howard Rhoton – “Look Back” / “I’ll Skip School” (H. Rhoton, J. Rhoton), Gower-Moore Studio Production.

Canary 1010 – Bob Hayes – “Johnny Reb Was a Fighting Man” / “1862” (both by B. Hayes, C.L. Womack for Ironwood Music)

Canary 1012 – The Tangle – “Any Time, Any Where” / “Our Side of Town”

Canary 2001 – Barbara Dale – “Winner Take All” (Joe South) / “There Stands My World”, produced by J.C. Rhoton, Jr.

Canary 2002 – Charlie Rife & the Chordsmen – “Are You Sure” (C. Rife) / “Here’s the Key”, prod by J.C. Rhoton, Jr, for J.C. Rhoton Music BMI

Canary 2003 – Barbara Dale – “Missing You Again” (Baker Knight) / “Greatest Show on Earth” (Mike Cain)

The Sound Track on Trail and Action

The Sound Track Trail 45 I See The Light

The Sound Track are another unknown group, probably from the area around Kingsport, Tennessee, more than four hours east of Nashville.

Their first single has two cover songs, including one of the best versions of the Music Explosion’s “I See the Light” (E. Chiprut) b/w “Groovin’”. It came out on Trail Records TSRC-1706 in November 1967. It’s a Rite pressing, #20781/2, account #400.

Trail Records came from Kingsport, TN, and had many other releases, mostly gospel. Early releases such as the Grim Reapers “Under My Thumb” / “See See Rider” (Trail TSRC-1702) have a diamond logo and list Tri-State Recording Co. and 1767 Fort Henry Drive. Some later releases such as the Downbeats “Pain” / “Got To Get You Into My Life” (Trail SRC-1736) have a rustic logo with pine trees and “Trail” spelled out in wood logs.

The Sound Track Action 45 Face the New DayOver a year later the Sound Track put out their second single, this time featuring two band originals. “Face the New Day” has distorted guitar riffs repeating throughout, and solid backing of organ, bass and drums. It sounds almost like an English freakbeat track. Ron Allgood and Jerry Melton wrote the song, they were probably members of the band.

The flip “People Say” is also good, and the composer credits give six names, probably most of the band: Ron Allgood, Jerry Melton, T. Melton, Layton Bentley, Kim Dillard and B. Richmond. Copyright records give B. Richmond’s full name as Randy Richmond. The release came on Action 101, with the codes WS 1000 and PRP 7731/2.

The Sound Track went to Nashville to make their Action single. It was produced by Hoss Linneman and Al Gore, two country musicians with many recording credits to their names. Washington Square Music, BMI published both songs. This was a very rare single until 15 or more copies turned up in August, 2016.

Hear both songs at this Open Drive link while it lasts.

The Sound Track Action 45 People Say

The Children on Atwell

The Children Atwell 45 I Long to See HerThe Children single on Atwell has two very well-crafted original songs featuring strong vocals with lead guitar bubbling in the background.

The group is mostly a mystery right now. I’ve read the band was from Georgia, but even northwest Georgia is over three hours drive from Lafayette.

The A-side was “I Long to See Her” (by Mike Gibson), backed with “Lost Soul Seeker in the Rain” (by Mike Gibson and L.S. Goodman).

Atwell Records of Lafayette, Tennessee released the single as Atwell 45-109 in the second half of 1968. Lafayette is about 60 miles northeast of Nashville, and a similar distance southeast of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Loryn Atwell produced the single, with both sides published by Lonesome Ern & Atwell Publishers, BMI. Publishing credits give full names, Michael Freeman Gibson and Louis Samuel Goodman.

The Children – Lost Soul Seeker in the Rain

The Children Atwell 45 Lost Soul Seeker in the Rain

Atwell had a couple fine rural country releases by the Pedigo Brothers & the Tennessee Rhythm Boys and some later teen releases:

Atwell 100 – “She’s Gone” (Earl Pedigo, Hillard Cliburn) / “You Never Looked Sweeter”
Atwell 101 – “A Love Affair Gone Wrong” / “It’s Hard To Smile” (with picture sleeve)
Atwell 102 – Randy & The Rockets – “Once Upon A Time” (Randy Dillahey) / “Rattlesnakin’ Daddy” 8/1965 “kids”
Atwell 111 – New Musical Express – “Child Of The Midnight Sun” (Gary Agers, Tommy Ramsey) / “Wrong Side Of Love” (Jerry Ford) 1969
Atwell 45053 – Sweet Revenge – “Love Machine” / “Sweet Revenge” (released with picture sleeve of the band around one member in a coffin, mid 1970s)

Atwell also released EPs by the Tennessee Harmoneers, spiritual LPs by the Singing Youth, the Singing Gospeltones, and the Tomes Four (actually a quintet), a bluegrass album by Ron Knuth, among other religious and country 45s and LPs.

Atwell Studios is credited on some releases on the Re-Echo Records label of Livingston, TN, including The Madhatters “Unchain My Heart” / “That Kind Of Girl”, as well as on releases on the Breeze Records label, also from Livingston.

Thanks to Max Waller for a couple additions to the Atwell 45 discography.

The Red Coats

The Red Coats of Memphis photo
The Red Coats. Photo from The Memphis Garage Rock Yearbook by Ron Hall.

Red Coats Orchid of Memphis 45 You Told a Lie
The Red Coats came from Ripley, Tennessee, about 50 miles northeast of Memphis.

Members were:

Bill Gurley – guitar and vocals
Tommy Bearid – organ and vocals
Johnny Shands – bass and vocals
Chris Tucker – drums

Guitarist and vocalist Bill Gurley moved to the Raleigh section of Memphis, but continued in the band despite having to travel to meet them at gigs around the West Tennessee area.

Their debut single for the Orchid of Memphis label in late 1966 featured Bill Gurley’s original song, “You Told a Lie”, which has a guitar intro akin to “Paint It Black”. There’s an effective gloominess throughout, helped by the echo on the vocal harmonies.

The flip was another Gurley original, “I’m Going to Tell You About My Baby”, both songs published by Black Orchid Music BMI.

In early ’67 the Red Coats went to the Stax Studio to record a second single, “Poison Ivy” / “Just Send Her To Me”, which was released as by the Sunday Funnies, a name the band did not use in live performances. I haven’t heard either song but the sound has been described as soul. “Just Send Her To Me” was recorded by another Orchid of Memphis act, The Tight Little Unit, who made it the title track of their album in 1967. The cover of that LP lists Terry Rose from Orchid Records and engineer Allen Worley.

Orchid of Memphis also released a rare Christian LP by Steve Engelhardt, Is It True, recorded at Cardinal Sound in Lexington, Kentucky.

Information from The Memphis Garage Rock Yearbook 1960-1975 by Ron Hall. Thanks to Kip Brown for the single!

Red Coats Orchid of Memphis 45 I'm Going to Tell You About My Baby

The Four on Clark Records

The 4 Photo
The 4, from left: George Parks, Greg McCarley, Larry Rains and Paul Crider

Here’s an obscure one that isn’t in Teen Beat Mayhem, though it certainly deserves to be. I didn’t know anything about the group, called simply, The Four, but then I found their photo in Ron Hall’s The Memphis Garage Rock Yearbook, 1960-1975.The Four Clark 45 Now Is the Time

The band were:

George Parks – guitar
Greg McCarley – guitar
Paul Crider – bass
Larry Rains – drums

“Now Is the Time” is a good mid-tempo song with harmonies and Beatles-type changes. It was written by George Parks.

“Lonely Surfer Boy” is an original by Paul Crider and Greg McCarley.

SoN 15101/15102 indicates it was mastered by Sound of Nashville, while the ZTSB 99962-A / 99963-A in the deadwax indicates it was pressed at the Columbia Records plant in Nashville. I’m not sure the date on this one but early 1965 seems about right.The Four Clark 45 Lonely Surfer Boy

Both songs were published by Lonzo & Oscar Music, BMI and produced by Jack Logan, who was A&R director of Nugget Records of Goodlettsville, Tennessee which also seemed to own the Clark label.

In late 2013 two acetate surfaced of a group called “The 4” from Sam Phillips Recording of Memphis, “69” / “I Gotta Go” and “When Ever Your Down” (sic) / “Midnight Hour”.

“69” opens with one of the most intense screams ever committed to vinyl, and it is now on the shortlist for Back From the Grave vol 9! it was backed with an uptempo pop number “I Gotta Go”. It’s such a different sound that I thought it must be a different group, but both songs were written by George Parks. I haven’t heard “When Ever Your Down” yet, but it was written by Greg McCarley.The 4 Sam Philips Studios Acetate "69"

The Memphis Garage Rock Yearbook notes The Four “cut three singles, all in Nashville in the late ’60’s. After they broke up, Greg McCarley released two singles on the local Klondike label as ‘Beau Sybin.’ George Parks had a release on Epic that he cut in New York and was also a staff writer at Stax.”

A late ’60s release by the Four on the Nashville North label is likely by another group. “Good Thing Going” (B. Carlton, H. Adams, D. Johnson) / “Cy’s Been Drinking Cider” was produced by Vern Terry and Len Shafitz, out of Massillon, Ohio, just west of Canton. Teen Beat Mayhem lists that band as from Elyria, Ohio. They cut a later 45 on Epic as the Sunny Four “Why Not (Be My Baby) / “Goodie Goodie Ice Cream Man”.

The Clark label had two other garage releases that I know of. On Clark CR-235 is the Ebb TIdes “Little Women” (by Donald Kyre, Michael Wheeler, Michael Whited, and Waldron), which sounds something like the Beatles “You Can’t Do That”. The Ebb Tides came from Columbus, Ohio. Their Clark 45 may have come about as part of a deal to do a summer tour of the Ohio Valley area. The flip is “What I Say”, by Gene McKay & the Ebb Tides. McKay was another singer on the tour and though the Ebb Tides backed him on the cover of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”, they did not otherwise work together.

The Ebb Tides had a second 45, the spooky novelty “Seance” (Benny Van, M. Wheeler) b/w a mystical spoken vocal, “Spirits Ride the Wind” (Benny Van) that I really like. This 45 was produced by Rudy Varju on Jar 106 from early 1967. Benny Van of the Ebb Tides became J.D. Blackfoot.

The other is the Jades “You Have to Walk” / “Island of Love”, both written by Paul Helms and released on Clark CR-262 from May of ’67. That group was from Herrin, Illinois, a small city southeast of St. Louis and almost 200 miles northwest of Nashville, but the publishing is also Lonzo & Oscar, and the label states that it was produced and distributed by Nugget Sound Studios, Goodlettsville.Jades Clark 45 You Have to Walk

Other songs on the Clark label seem to be country, such as CR-266, Charlie Haggard’s “Throw Me Out the Door”.

Lonzo & Oscar were Johnny and Rollin Sullivan, whose family had started the Nugget Record company in Tampa, Florida in 1959, but Lonzo & Oscar Music Publishing had a Nashville base from the start. They bought or built Nugget Sound Studios in Goodlettsville, just north of Nashville. Most releases they recorded are on the Nugget label, and most are country.

History of the Nugget label from 45-sleeves.com. Thank you to Buckeye Beat for the info on the Ebb Tides 45.

If anyone makes a youtube video of “Now Is the Time”, please send me the link and I’ll include it here instead of the soundfile.

The Volcanoes

Here’s an unknown group with a great rocking b-side “Someone Like You”, featuring swirling organ, a couple good shouts, decent guitar solo and a solid rhythm section.The top side “Two of a Kind” is an odd choice – a long dramatic introduction leads to a slow weeper sung by (I think) a different vocalist than the flip.

Frederick Prue wrote both songs, and the labels credit Johnny Baylor Production. I don’t know where this band came from, but some publishing info points to Memphis, Tennessee as a possibility.

There were most certainly not the Volcanoes who do “Sympathize” / “Listen to the Clouds” on Sound Inc (and picked up by Sparton in Canada), two songs written by Ron Allan Neilson & Harry Olsen and produced by Getz-Powers. I believe that group was from Michigan, but would like to know more about either one of these ‘Volcanoes’.

James sent links to his copy, a red-label stock copy with a different logo at top, and oddly, a second vocal track on “Someone Like You”. I’ve added his label scan below.

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