The Blazers on Brass and Melinda and the Misfits on U-Nek

Blazers Brass 45 I Don't Need You

The Blazers cut one fine single, “I Don’t Need You” (D. Hord) b/w the more ’50s sounding”Lovin’ to Do” (H. Halter) on Brass 306 in November 1965, produced by John C. Price.

I don’t know the band members, but in BMI’s database, both songs are listed as co-written by Dennis Hord and Harold Halter, published by Mantle Music (BMI).

Brass Records at 7807 Truman in Kansas City, MO also released three singles by the Fabulous Four.

Dennis Hord and Harold Halter wrote both sides of Melinda and the Misfits’ “Don’t Take Your Love Away” / “Forever and a Day”, on U-Nek Records 711, copyrighted in March of 1967 for Velcille Music, BMI. This has a very different sound than the Blazers, a pop production with lots of echo.

Hord and Halter also wrote Melinda & the Misfits next single “Sweet Love” and “My Kind of Man” on U-Nek 712, also produced by Don Price but published by Bill Roberts Music. Bill Roberts had his own single on Brass 307 “Shout It Out” / “Please Take”, and would also release “Kansas City Chiefs” with the Fabulous Four on Cavern 2218.

That’s as far as I can trace the careers of Dennis Hord and Harold Halter.

Melinda Mendenhall would have one more release on U-Nek Records 829 “You’re the One” (an original song by her) and “Two Big Birds” (Deb Dyer) with Tom Harrison and Craig Schuemaker on guitars and Lee Waterman on drums, then join the first incarnation of Morningstar in 1969.

Blazers Brass 45 Lovin' To Do

The Satyrs “Zodiac Zoo”

The Satyrs released two singles in 1972 and 1974, both recorded in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but released with an address in Syracuse, New York.

Their first single “Right On” / “Sahib Sam”, is a light-hearted take on cliches of the era. It was released on Randall Records MF 10013-2514. Credits show both songs by Maceo Jefferson, Gerald Randall and Samuel Turiano; arranged by Tobias C. Frey, and engineered by Steve Csordas. Copyrights on these songs date back to December 21, 1970.

There was a Maceo Jefferson who played with Louie Armstrong as far back as 1934; it seems unlikely this could be the same person.

Satyrs Randall 45 Zodiac ZooTheir second single, “Zodiac Zoo” starts with a slow rhythm that reminds me of Traffic Sound’s “Virgin”, then doubles the pace just before the verse. The vocals are an unusual meld, a male voice sounds slowed down a little.

Released on Randall Records R-101 with an address of 1643 West Genesee St., Syracuse, New York, the labels note it was “produced, engineered and arranged by Steve Csordas” and also that it was recorded at Connecticut Recording Studios, Inc., Bridgeport, CT.

The musicians on both songs are obviously accomplished. The flip side is “I’m an Astrologer, Too”, but it is lighter fare.

Both songs were composed by Gerald Randall and Tobias C. Frey, with H & G Randall, Inc as publisher. Library of Congress copyright records show lyrics by Gerald Randall, and music by Tobias Charles Frey, registered on July 25, 1973 along with several other songs: “Two Souls in Love”, “If What the People Say Is True” and “Satyrs’ Ball”.

Registration for “I’m an Astrologer, Too” came in 1974, plus a host of other collaborations that must not have seen release, including “Bagnew Dixen”, “Be My Destiny”; “I Guess You Can Blame Me”; “Mr. Uncle, Little Yahoo”; “Mr. World War II”; “Satyrs Visit Grandma’s Pad”; “There’s One More Adventure Left in Me”; and “What’s the Shouting For”.

Other songs that seem to have been unreleased include “Why Me Blues” by Maceo Jefferson, Gerald Randall and Samuel Turiano, dated October 26, 1970, and “The Toby’s Song”, featuring lyrics by Gerald Randall and Michael Schwab, with music by Tobias Charles Frey, registered on September 8, 1972. Also the intriguing “Satyr Called Ralph” in November, 1972, and “Why is Your Love Haunting Me” with words by Gerald Randall and Sam Turiano and music by Maceo Jefferson.

These were not the Satyrs who cut the excellent “Yesterday’s Hero” on Spectrum, or the band from Asheville who cut “Don’t Be Surprised” on Wal-Mor.

Thank you to Nick M. for letting me hear the clips of the first Satyrs 45.

The Shilos “Let’s Go Again”

Shilos Sure 45 Let's Go AgainThe Shilos had only one single, featuring the fine r&b sounds of “Let’s Go Again”, released on the Sure Records label in the second half of 1965.

The Shilos became the Four Winds, and one member recalled those groups lineups as including:

Jeff Pharion – lead vocals
Roger Riley – guitar, replaced by Bob Hill
Walt Edry – bass, replaced by Bob Blackburn
Dave Smith – drums
Russ Geis – saxophone (on occasion)

Other than Jeff Pharion on vocals, I don’t know exactly who plays on the record. The flip is the lighter “You’re Leaving Sunday” featuring a trumpet player. It was an RCA custom press, with master numbers 754S-5932, SK4M-5932/3.

Chuck Howard, a country singer well-known throughout southern Ohio, wrote both songs.

I’m sorry to report that Jeff Pharion passed away January 6, 2019.

Buckeye Beat has photos of the Four Winds and more info on that group.

The Royal Coachmen “Lollipop” / “Bama-Lama”

Royal Coachmen Coachmen 45 LollipopThe Royal Coachmen are an unknown group who cut two fine, fratty rockers for their own Coachmen label in June of 1966.

“Lollipop” does sound like it could be an original, while “Bama-Lama” is a rewrite of Little Richard’s “Bama Lama Bama Loo”.

A. Parker is credited for both songs. ASCAP has both songs listed in their database, but mixed in with the compositions of British soundtrack composer Alan Frederick Parker. There was an Al Parker playing in the Plymouth Rockers, but that group is listed as from Arizona and working out of Los Angeles.

It’s difficult to say where the band was from. The numbers 200,914 and 200,915 on the labels refer to the Decca custom pressing code, often used for New England records, but there were pressings for groups from Pennsylvania and beyond. The Sea Music Pub. (ASCAP) was located at 1 Boylston Place in Boston, MA, which may be a better clue to the band’s origin.

1 Boylston Place was also address of Ace Recording Studios, owned by Milton and Herbert Yakus, with William F. Ferruzzi chief engineer.

Royal Coachmen Coachmen 45 Bama-Lama

Apperson Jackrabbit “That’s Why” and “Shadows Falling”

Apperson Jackrabbit Calmis 45 That's WhyThe Apperson Jackrabbit have remained a mystery despite the quality of their single on Calmis. One side is the brooding “That’s Why” which has long been a favorite of mine after hearing it on Tony the Tyger’s Fuzz, Flaykes, & Shakes Vol. 4: Experiment in Color. The flip is the intense “Shadows Falling”.

Both songs were written by Steve Curtis and Mike Simmons, and it was released on Calmis 45-001 in the first half of 1967. The record is most often found in California, but a contributor to 45cat, Deadwax, found an address for the song publisher, Sival Music at 335 N Southland Dr. in Jackson, Mississippi 38212 in the The Musician’s Guide: The Directory of the World of Music (1980). If this seems an unlikely connection, it makes much more sense when looking at the label name, Calmis (Cal-Mis, get it?). What that connection is, I have no idea at this time. Nothing else was released on Calmis that I know of.

Apperson Jackrabbit Calmis 45 Shadows FallingThe band was named after a stylish line of autos manufactured in Kokomo, Indiana in the early twentieth century.

There is another 45 by the Apperson Jackrabbit, “Candy Cane Sound” (John R. Bicknell) and “More Than Just Friends” (Stan Smith), on Steamer Records 001 with publishing by Club Miami. I don’t have this record, but I suspect it is a different group as the credits are completely different and the pressing was done at King instead of an RCA custom.

I did find one listing for a group called the Apperson Jack Rabbit with Smokey playing at the Sleeping Lady Cafe in Fairfax, CA in 1973, but that seems to be too many years out to be this group.

Bob Marley & the Wailers longer version of “Trench Town Rock”

Bob Marley & the Wailers G&C 45 Trench Town Rock

This is the US issue of the original 1971 version of “Trench Town Rock” by Bob Marley & the Wailers, issued by G & C Records C&G-5000.

Like the first Jamaican Tuff Gong issue, this US version clocks in at 3:29. The last thirty seconds contain the verse: “Don’t call no cop, we can trash things ourselves, got no snacks on the shelves, but let me tell you behave yourselves”. These thirty seconds do not appear on later Tuff Gong pressings, the UK Green Door 45, or the African Herbsman LP on Trojan, among other issues, which time at about 2:59.

I’d like to know exactly which Tuff Gong issues have the longer version, only the ones with red text & logo, or do any with a blue printed logo or handwritten labels.

Interestingly, this longer version has what sounds like an edit about 3:02 into the song, so possibly the ending was grafted from another take. The instrumental version on the B-side, titled “Grooving Kingston” on this release, or “Grooving Kgn. 12” on others, times at 2:59 on all releases I’ve heard.

This seems to be the only release on G & C Records.

The Velvet Seed “Flim Flam Man”

Velvet Seed MAI 45 Flim Flam ManI can’t find much info on the Velvet Seed. I read they were from Sanford, Maine, and Max Waller wrote they had several unreleased songs including a version of the Byrds “Feel a Whole Lot Better”, but the publishing and distribution on their single point to Massachusetts connections.

Bob Bourassa produced the single and wrote the A-side, “Sharon Patterson” and co-wrote the great “Flim Flam Man” with Donald Levesgue (BMI has it as Donald Loveque, though I think should that be Donald Levesque).

Robert Guy Bourassa has one more credit in BMI’s database, “Believe Me” with Angela M. Puzzuoli.

The single was released on Music Associates, Inc. MAI 45-201 in November 1968 (this is not the M.A.I. label from Kentucky).

Tepajo Music publishing and Sounds of Music Distributing, Inc. are also listed on the label. These have several tangential connections to the Velvet Seed’s single.

Listings for Tepajo first appear in 1964, with an Arlington, Massachusetts address. In August 1969, Billboard’s Buyer’s Guide lists “Tepajo Music (BMI) div. of Big Yellow Productions, Inc. 63 Main St., Maynard, MA 01754, Pres.: Bruce Patch; Gen. Mgr.: Robert J. Jordan”.

If Tepajo includes “pa” from Patch and “jo” from Jordan, then can I assume “Te” must stand for Teddy Dewart of Teddy & the Pandas?

Bruce Patch has an extensive list of production credits, including most of the Teddy & the Pandas singles on Coristine, Musicor and Timbri record labels and the Timothy Clover LP on Tower. “Tea-Pot Production” is likely also Patch.

Tepajo did some eclectic song publishing, including Stark Reality’s ‎”Say Brother” and Bonnie Floyd And The Original Untouchables ‎”I’m So Lucky”, both on the Big Yellow label (also with Sounds Of Music Distributing Inc. credits).

I notice most of the record companies Patch was involved use yellow for their labels’ background color. This is true of Coristine, Timbri, and Big Yellow.

On August 9, 1969, Record World and Billboard both mention Tepajo publishing as being housed with Buck Spurr’s Oracle Records in Brookline, MA. I have not found Patch’s name in the credits of Oracle Records, which is most notable for releasing singer Jimmy Helms, and the Brother Fox And The Tar Baby LP.

OK, a lot of dead ends, but the story of the Velvet Seed is out there somewhere.

The Cherades “My Little Red Book”

Cherades RHM 45 My Little Red BookThe Cherades are an unknown group who covered two hits from ’65 and ’66 for release on RHM Records 1001/1002. Their version of Love’s arrangement of “My Little Red Book” is very good, I’d say this was a studio group except the lead singer sounds unpolished. It was backed with the McCoys’ “Sorrow”.

The single was produced by Jimmy R. Johnson, the session guitarist who would become co-owner of Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. These were most likely cut at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Johnson produced the Rockin’ Rebellions excellent “Don’t Let Go” / “Anyway the Wind Blows” for Gold Groove 111.

RHM Records has an address of 411 N. Atlanta Ave, in Sheffield, Alabama. The deadwax of SIMS RHM 1001 / RHM 1002 with a “Nashville Matrix” stamp indicates this may have been considered for the Sims label owned by Russell Sims, who had released many soul singles cut at FAME.

Oddly the labels show correct publishing for “Sorrow” but list “My Little Red Book” as “Pub. Unknown”!

Max Waller wrote to me that he had a note from an unknown source listing “members include Ronnie, Joe, Frankie”.

Cherades RHM 45 Sorrow

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