Category Archives: Plato

The Lovin’ Kind and the Martels

The Lovin' Kind photo
Left to right: Harold Scott (Scotty), Terry Childers, Jerry Childers and Bill Traylor

Bill Traylor sent me this photo of the Lovin’ Kind, a four piece from the northeast edge of Kentucky. If anyone has scans or good quality transfers of the 45s, please get in touch with me at chas_kit@hotmail.com.

I had a band in the late 60’s from Ashland, KY called “The Lovin’ Kind”. It consisted of Jerry and Terry Childers, Harold Scott (son of Hal Scott of Hal Scott Enterprises) and myself. We made on 45 in ‘69 for, I believe, Plato but I have no copies. Jerry, Terry and myself were former members of The Martels before we broke away and formed the Lovin’ Kind.

The Martels originally formed around 1964 and consisted of Pat Loving, Terry Sanders, and others. I joined the group in 1966 and it was an 8 piece band at that time which consisted of Terry Sanders on drums, John Sturgill vocals, Danny Young on keys, Larry Creech and Larry “Frog” Johnson on sax, a trumpet player whose name I can’t remember, Terry Childers on bass, Jerry Childers on guitar and myself on lead guitar. We made one record in Lexington in 1968 and performed until 1969 when three of us left and formed The Lovin’Kind.

Both groups were booked by Hal Scott and we performed at colleges and in all the clubs in KY, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Bill Traylor

The Satisfied Minds

The Satisified Minds, 1966
The Satisified Minds, 1966 clockwise from left: Darrell Fetty, Danny Ward, Yancey Burns and Hale Talbot

The Satisified Minds formed at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia and recorded the first and liveliest garage 45 released on the Plato label. Fuzz guitar drives this one throughout, and the distortion gets especially wild during the solo. “I Can’t Take It” was written by Darrell Fetty and Yancey Burns. Darrell Fetty also wrote the softer b-side, “Think About Me”.

I just heard from Yancey Burns, bassist and vocalist (and later guitarist) with the group. Following is his history of the group and his answers to some questions I had about the band.

My name is Yancey Burns, and I’m the Burns in “Fetty/Burns” on the Plato record “I Can’t Take It” by the “Satisfied Minds.” When I found out about your website, I was shocked that anyone remembered what we were up to in 1967.

The Satisifed Minds
from left: Yancy “Ed” Burns, Hale Talbot, Mike Fincham, & Darrell Fetty. Thank you to Lola Fincham for the photo scan

Our record did very well here in the West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio area, but never charted. At the time, Darrell and I were going to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. The band had personnel changes all through our time at Marshall, but the constant in the band was Darrell and I. The first photo is the original line-up on the record: Darrell on B-3 organ and vocals, Danny Ward on guitar, Hale Talbot on drums, and me on bass and vocals.

I switched to guitar later when we went to a three-piece, with Darrell handling the bass by adding a Fender Bass Keyboard (like Ray Manzarek used in the Doors) to his customized B-3 set-up. We had gigs all throughout the south, performed as the opening act for a few local concerts, but mostly played tri-state area rock clubs, college parties, and high school dances.

Local music store owner and county fine arts educator Pat Wiseman began Plato Records in 1967 with a pharmacist and music lover named Bob Ullom. They booked their sessions at King Studios in Cincinnati, Ohio.

We were playing a lot of live gigs at that time, and on the night before our recording date, our hustling manager Hal Scott of Hal Scott Enterprises in Ashland, KY (besides booking rock bands. he ran a mortuary business) had us booked for a high school prom from 9pm to 1am, THEN an after-prom party at a DIFFERENT high school from 4am to 6am! So, with no sleep for 36 hours, our voices raw from singing for six hours, our bodies aching from packing and unpacking our equipment, and driving the hundred plus miles from West Virginia, we arrived for our session at around 11am. Because our voices were so ragged, we weren’t able to do the harmonies that we did live, but everybody seemed to like the rawness of the record.

The Satisfied Minds, 1968
The Satisfied Minds, 1968

After college graduation, I did two years in the Army, then started teaching, while Darrell took off for Hollywood to pursue acting. But we kept in touch, and I kept playing. In 1977 Darrell called me out to L.A. to play music and be in a film he was co-starring in called “Big Wednesday”, a surf epic written and directed by John Milius that’s become somewhat of a classic. Shortly after that, Darrell starred in a CBS comedy series pilot written by Lorenzo Music called “Friends” about a couple of rock stars, loosely based on Flo and Eddie from The Turtles. Darrell got me on that show as the guitar player in his band. In the opening credits for the show, there’s a scene of Darrell & his co-star playing a gig at the legendary Troubadour club. Along with the show’s fictional band, the marquee proclaims “Now Playing ……..The Satisfied Minds!”

The pilot wasn’t picked up, but Darrell and I continued to play in groups in L.A. -. Among them, a group called “Pacific Ocean,” which featured singer Edward James Olmos before he became a famous actor. We also played a number of gigs with David Carradine and his younger brother Robert Carradine. In 1979, we did a concert with the entire family: David, Robert, their brother Keith, and father John Carradine at the Wilshire Ebell theatre, called “An Evening With The Carradines.” Filmed live, the concert became part of a documentary that’s now on DVD.

After that we started a California version of the Minds with our good friend Sam Melville a co-star with Darrell on Big Wednesday who had been one of the three leads on the ABC hit show “The Rookies”. We called this band “Raw Dog”, but it was still the Minds. A couple of years later, I moved back to the family farm in Lincoln County, West Virginia to be with my aging parents. I started teaching again but kept right on playing. Darrell segued into writing and producing TV and films.

The pictures enclosed are the band in 1966 (check those tuxedos), in 1968 (times were a-changin’ and the guy sitting on the stone was our drummer, Jim Frazier–Hale had gone off to the Berklee School of Music in Boston). The third one is 1980 of “Raw Dog,” and the guys with Darrell and me are Sam Melville on bass and Jeff Marx on drums.

Darrell and I still stay in touch and try to play music together whenever he’s in town. Lately, we’ve been talking about writing a stage musical based on some songs I’ve written about the “Chemical Valley” (the heavily industrial Charleston, St. Albans, Nitro area) where I grew up. Don’t worry….we’re not through yet!!!

Raw Dog

Q. How did you start in music? Was the Satisfied Minds your first band?

Yancey Burns: I had played in high school groups, but I didn’t know Darrell or any of the other guys then. When I came to Marshall, I formed an R & B group called “The Seagram Seven.” We featured a big black guy who looked and sounded just like Junior Walker on saxophone and a crazy New York Italian guy who sang soul songs. Since we were a mixed group (black guys & white guys) we played a lot of black clubs and frat gigs.

One night, during a snow storm at about 3 a.m., we were driving from a gig in the customized hearse we used to haul our equipment. No one else was on the road at that hour but the occasional truck driver. Suddenly, we saw this silhouetted figure crawling out of a snow drift in the Interstate median – It was Darrell Fetty struggling across the highway to flag us down. He had been driving from a gig in the opposite direction when his car broke down. He had been out there alone (remember this was before cell phones) for a couple of hours and was about to freeze to death. That’s how we met.

Darrell was still in high school at the time, but had been playing in various rock groups for several years. He started playing piano when he was eight for church choirs and gospel quartets. We happened to be looking for a new keyboard player at the time, so Darrell gave me his number. I called him a couple weeks later, and he was thrilled to join the “Seagram Seven” to play college bookings and get away from the Elks Club and Moose Lodge gigs he’d been playing with an older group.

When Darrell came to college the following year, his Dad bought a boarding house where a bunch of us guys lived and practiced music in the basement.

Q. How’d the band get it’s name?

Yancey Burns: After the “Seven” broke up, we were looking to play a new kind of music that was happening then. It was 1967, so we still had to play a lot of R & B for the local gigs, but we started stretching things out with guitar solos and so forth and played sort of “psychedelic soul” style. We got a light show, and I started burning guitars and setting off smoke bombs onstage. We wanted a name that reflected sounded kind of mind expansive, so Darrell came up with the “Satisfied Minds” which was actually pulled from the lyrics of an old country song about “a man with a satisfied mind.”

Q. Did you know other bands on the Plato label, or were friends with other local acts?

Yancey Burns: We knew all the acts! They weren’t exactly friends, because, then, we saw them as our our competition. Although secretly we were all kinda fans of each other. Most of the acts on Plato were managed and booked around the area by Hal Scott Enterprises.

This was a great time for music in this area. We’d see professional acts like Paul Revere and the Raiders, then later Led Zeppelin, the Who, etc. but none of them seemed as exciting as some of our local groups! Among some of the other groups in the Tri-State area at that time were “The Explosive Dynamiks” who featured three lead singers, a white guy and two black guys (one sounded like James Brown and the other like Brooke Benton). The Dynamiks had a local hit, but it was a record they produced and distributed themselves (not on Plato). [for more info on the Dynamiks, check out this entry at Capitol Soul Club]

There was also “The Fugitives” who went to New York for awhile and actually opened for “The Young Rascals” for a couple of concerts. Darrell and I were also big fans of “Little Archie & The Parliaments” an all-black group who also recorded their own records (not on Plato). Little Archie was about seven feet tall who could sing, dance, and gave as great of a show as Otis Redding!

Q. I’ve heard that Plato was started as a label for black music. This doesn’t really fit in with the fact that the Satisfied Minds was the first record released on Plato. What would you say were Wiseman and Ullom’s ambitions for the label?

Yancey Burns: Maybe because of the number of black groups on the label and in the area. Actually, Wiseman and Ullom just wanted to tap into that locally-happening music scene and just get a hit! Our record was the first release, but remember we were segueing from a soul band (you saw the tuxedos) to a psychedelic/rock band at the time.

Q. Are there any unreleased or live recordings of the band?

Yancey Burns: Not that I know of.

Thank you to Yancey Burns for his history and photos of the group.

Update, October 2010:

I’m very sorry to hear that Yancey passed away on June 6, 2010.

Darrell Fetty wrote to me about some of the music he and Yancey did after the Satisfied Minds:

“Reds and Blues” is from a live performance we did in L.A. (I think it was the old Palomino Club) as “Leon Keyboard & the Bilnor Spashers” – it was the “Raw Dog” core musicians: Yancey on guitar, me singing and on keyboards, etc., but for a few gigs we brought in a number of friends of ours who were celebrities at the time. It was a fun, ever-evolving gang of people modeled after the “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” group. On this performance, in addition to Sam Melville and Mark Singer, and our wives Annie Melville, Hau Nani Singer, Carolyne McCoy Fetty, we had Carradine brother Bobby on guitar.

Yancey wrote “Red and Blues” one night after watching a documentary on Custer’s Last Stand. It’s a funky rock/folk song with a raw reggae feel that tells the story (with real names of some of the soldiers involved) from the Indians point of view. This is also a rare recording of Yancey himself singing the lead vocal.

Leon Keyboard & the Bilnor Spashers – Reds and Blues

The Kickin’ Mustangs

The Kickin' Mustangs
Back row from left: Albert Richardson, Larry Creech, Larry Talerico, Buddy McCoy, Brad Rhodes; Front row from left: Danny Shortridge and Bruce France. Missing is Pat Loving.

Unlike the other 45s on the Plato label, the Kickin’ Mustangs record is not garage, but has a wild two-minute funk number “Kickin'” on the top side and a fine ballad “Take a Miracle” on the flip. It was recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio the same day as the Outcasts’ record, which shows the range of musical styles of the time.The band was from Ashland, Kentucky, original billed as simply the Mustangs. The original band included

Danny Shortridge – lead vocals
Larry Creech – sax
Darrel Tucker – trumpet
Rudy Hester – keyboards
Boots Shelton – bass, replaced by Larry ‘Frog’ Johnson
Dave Osborne – drums

By the time of the Kickin Mustangs single, Danny Shortridge and Larry Creech remained from the original group, but the rest of the members were new:

Danny Shortridge – lead vocals
Bruce France – lead vocals
Larry Creech – sax
Larry Talerico – trumpet
Pat Loving – lead guitar
Brad Rhodes – keyboards
Albert Richardson – bass
Buddy McCoy – drums

“Kickin'” was written by Parnell, Loving, & Minnefield. “Take a Miracle” on the flip is a nice ballad written by Bob Minnefield. This is also the most valuable record on the Plato label, by the way.

Keyboardist Brad Rhodes sent in the photo above and gave me some background on the group:

I was the keyboardist for the Kickin’ Mustangs when we recorded our 45 rpm disc in Cincinnati. At the time, the members were Larry Creech, Pat Loving, Danny Shortridge, Larry Talerico, Bruce France, Buddy McCoy and Albert Richardson.

Attached is a promotional photo of the Kickin’Mustangs from back in the day with Hal Scott Enterprises. The only person missing is Pat Loving, our guitar player. This photo may have been taken when Pat was laid up after a car accident.

I had joined the Mustangs around 1966-67 after playing in a band out of Flatwoods, KY. “Frog” Johnson was the bass player initially and the group always had an R&B / soul feel to it, but when Albert, Buddy and Bruce were added, it created a whole new sound that complimented the R&B scene during those days. Bruce, Buddy, Albert and Talerico were from Huntington and they were instrumental in taking the Mustangs to another level. Man, I miss the days of R&B!.

We played the usual Tri-State venues, but were also fortunate to have played with Cream, The Grass Roots, and performed in an event in Ashland with The Left Banke and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

I remember when Hal Scott came to us with the opportunity to cut a disc with Plato Records, because all the bands he booked received the same offer. Although I do not recall the date, I remember traveling to Cleveland, Ohio after cutting the record, and appearing on “Upbeat”, a syndicated T.V. show. I imagine it is lost in the archives!

Brad Rhodes, July 2010

Later members included Terry Sanders on drums and Mike Tolone. Pat Loving and Larry Creech have since passed away.

The Outcasts

The Outcasts of Ashland, Kentucky

The Outcasts of Ashland, Kentucky, just over the West Virginia border turn in a fine mid-tempo ballad, “Loving You Somtimes”.

I recently heard from Al Collinsworth, vocalist and co-songwriter for the Outcasts. He filled me in on some questions I had about the band, including interesting background about the Plato label and about how “Loving You Sometimes” has become well known in funk and hip hop DJ circles.

I was in the Outcasts and remember the whole Plato experience. The Outcasts included Nick Wickware on drums (deceased); Dick Hall-Hawkins on bass (deceased); Ronnie Gibson on lead guitar; Ralph Morman and myself on vocals. I sang lead on “Lovin’ You”.

The Outcasts mostly played school parties, bars, the Hullabaloo Club in Huntington and we auditioned for Buddha Records in 1969. The group disbanded in 1969. We did manage to be an opening act for Neil Diamond one night.

Plato was originally intended to be an African-American music (Afrilachian) label. Dick Hall was the person who worked out the deal. Dick spent most of his life proving that Hawkshaw Hawkins was his father. Hawkshaw was a popular country star that died in a plane crash with Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.

Plato wasn’t sure they wanted to sign us. We paid for the studio time and Plato pressed the records. We recorded the record in Cincinnati at Queen City Studios, the same day that the Mustangs recorded their song. We were all friends and it was a very good time for both bands.

The record received local airplay and got on the Billboard charts. The amazing thing is that Lovin You has been released 4 different times on 4 different labels. Plato was the original release.

A second release was with a compilation record along with ZZ Tops’ first release and The Allman Joys’ first release (Allman Bros). I don’t have a copy of this record. A third release was in 1984 with BFD records in Australia on a compilation called “Highs in the Mid Sixties Vol. 9 – Ohio”. The liner notes read, “A Zombies-influenced, moody punk sound from Cincinnati, not to be confused with 18 other groups called the Outcasts!”

A 4th release was done in 2002 by Arista Records Hip-Hop Artists, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist on the very popular “Product Placement” CD. Oddly, and I don’t know why, Loving You Sometimes is now a very popular hip-hop hit. Remixes have been done by DJ Shadow and DJ Ayres. LSD Phone Calls (a NYC hip-hop e-magazine wrote, “Maybe the perfect song. Garage psych dorks who hate this also hate the Zombies. Who hates the Zombies!?”

Ralph Morman later worked with the Joe Perry Project (Aerosmith) and Savoy Brown.

In 1972, I worked with Pre (ZNR Records) which was a Prog-Rock Band. I now have a self-titled release on CD Baby. I also play steel guitar and have a promo photo on the MSA steel guitar site in the SuperSlide section.

It seems that it took a long time for the song to become popular, but that’s always the opportunity for any recording. All I can say is why not?

Al Collinsworth

Thank you to Al Collinsworth for relating the history of the band, to Ronnie Gibson for the great photo at top and to jgtiger for the photo at bottom.

King James and the Royal Jesters


Bottom left to right: Art Thevenin and David Anthony.
Standing left to right: Eddie Swann, Dee Thevenin, Mike Carlisle and Jack Simpkins

The old US Route 60 runs through Milton, West Virginia, home of the Plato label, which released at least three garage discs and a great funk 45 from 1966-68. Anything else on the label is completely unknown as far as I can tell. All of these 45s were produced by Ullom-Wiseman.

Since hearing from a couple of the bands on the label, I’ve split the post into this one on King James and the Royal Jesters, and separate ones on the Outcasts, the Satisified Minds, and the Kickin Mustangs. Or check out the complete set of posts on the Plato label.

One of my favorite records on this label is King James and the Royal Jesters “I Get a Feeling”. The swirling organ and lethargic vocals give it a haunted sound unlike any other garage song I can think of. The band came from Point Pleasant, WV, at the junction of the Ohio and Kanawha rivers.

Since my original posting, I’ve heard from the Dennis Thevenin, whose father Dee was lead singer of King James and the Royal Jesters. He told me that they recorded their 45 at King/Federal Studos in Cincinnati, Ohio, which thrilled them being the same studio James Brown used. They were only about 17 at the time, so they didn’t play many live shows.

Mike Carlisle, the keyboardist wrote “I Get a Feeling”. Mike Carlisle and D. Thevenin wrote the ballad on the flip, “Girl”, which became popular with homesick soldiers in Vietnam when a Point Pleasant recruit took the record overseas with him. Other members of the band were Willie Louis guitar, Butch Bright and David Anthony on bass, and Eddie Swan drums. Dee remembers a photo was taken of the band but he does not have it.

Thanks to Dale for the photo and caption!