Andy and the Manhattans

Robert Anderson was a singer from Omaha, Nebraska who fronted most of his bands as Andy Anderson, beginning with Andy and the Live Wires with “You’ve Done It Again”, a light vocal over a Willie & the Hand Jive beat, b/w a Duane Eddy-type instrumental “Maggie” on the Applause label in 1960.

Next came Andy and the Playboys (no recordings as far as I know), and in 1964 Andy and the Manhattans, whose 45 on Cardon Records I’m featuring today.

“Double Mirror Wrap Around Shades” is a good bit of jivey r&b, an original by Anderson, like the flip. It charted at #40 on the August 28, 1964 chart of Chicago station WLS 890 AM.

“Tell Her Yourself” has vocals that sound very folk-influenced, though the backing is simple garage r&b.

Also that year they had two singles on Musicor, “Should’ve I” / Desperate” (I haven’t heard either song) and “Skinny Minnie” / “Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide”. After the Manhattans he recorded as the Buggs on Soma, featuring Bobby Jones (later of Aorta) on drums, then retired from professional music to go into medicine.

In a sad and gruesome end to the tale, on May 21, 2009 Anderson shot his wife Karla then himself. A news report on KMTV (no longer on the station’s website) didn’t elaborate on the circumstances.

Sources include Rockin’ Country Style, Rockabilly Bash and chart info from ARSA.

23 thoughts on “Andy and the Manhattans”

  1. Andy also led a band called The Rolling Stones circa 1959, he cut many great rockabilly discs including classics like Tough Tough Tough ( a demo version cut at Sun is on a Bear Family CD), Gimme A Lock Of Your Hair (Century) and You Shake Me Up (Apollo). his story was featured in an early issue of Kicks mag.
    Let me know if you want any info on the Banshees of Project Blue (Dunchwich) fame, I wrote about them in Kicks #3, the rhythm guitarist– John “Jack Boy” Smead was my super for 20 years and had lots of great photos, inlcuding some when they were called the Fugitives.

  2. The Applause single was issued nationally as Liberty 55321 (Billboard April 10,1961)

    I agree that the Andy Anderson who led the Daybreakers is a different guy.

  3. Used to hear Andy and the Manhattans at local bar in Omaha in 1965. Group consisted of Andy (lead guitar), bass, and drummer, who, unfortunately, was blind. Great sound. Favorite was an original, “Cinderella”. Always wondered what happened to this group. Agree, very sad ending.

  4. I absolutely loved Andy and the Manhattans when they played in the early sixties. I am stunned of his passing and the circumstances surrounding it.

    RIP, Bob

  5. Andy was married to my cousin, their daughters and her lived with us for a little while, my mom and I thought he was fantastic, nice guy to, he got me interested in playing the guitar, been a musician ever since he actually gave me my first guitar, an old airline lap steel and matching amplifier, and a kay vanguard, single pickup. I wish I still had them. he also would bring me all of his latest recordings, I had all that you mentioned above and then some, don’t have those either damn it, but do have a lot of promotional photographs and articles. very strange end to his story, I don’t buy it. to many similarities to other things happening around that time. I am not alone

  6. Robert “Andy” Anderson did indeed cut at least one record as “Andy & the Pla-Boys”! It is “Your Pretty Lies” b/w “Keepin my Eyes on You” on the Dawn Cory label. I have a copy of it. I live in Terre Haute, IN and how I come to have it is that it was apparently pressed at the Columbia Records plant here in Terre Haute. Dawn Cory probably used Columbia to press its vinyl, so it would have been mastered in Chicago then sent here for the press run.

  7. to john wright bob was married to my cousin I wrote the post above yours he was part owner of dawn cory records his mother in law was dawn his daughter is named dawny cant remember who cory is or was a local band in the Omaha ne. area called the rumbles recorded on that label also they are still around with only one original member drummer steve huff my email address is jjj56@cox.net

  8. i also had had that record at one time wish i still had all that stuff he was # 1 around these parts back then they would have made it big if not for an unscrupulous manager they were so popular that in 1964 or 65 the #1 radio station around here koil bought them a brand new gto convertible with a custom tiger striped paintjob and all the guys girlfriends or wives wore tiger striped bikinis i have pictures of that

  9. I always loved the name, “Andy & the Live Wires” – Andy thought he needed to change himself somehow. I was with him in ’63 and ’64 when we played a new club on Farnum and about 25th called Yano’s Manhattan. And when we did the Buggs routine – that was during that time – combed our hair down and did the Skiffle instead of the Wobble onstage. The original piece above is CLOSE, but the chronology is incorrect. Also, I played bass and vocals (not drums), and Jerry Rabuck played drums with us. When Jerry and I left, Andy got Howie Anderson (no relation) on bass, [and I’m stuck on recalling who the drummer was – forgive me], but those guys did “Wrapped Around Shades” and “Tell Yourself.” (The blind drummer mentioned was Rick Gray, but I don’t think on those records – I could be wrong.) I spoke with Andy less than six months before he died, and we had many laughs – we were wonderful friends. I live in Calif, but some point I must meet Robyn, his daughter.

    1. Jack Clark was on drums and played with Andy & The Live Wires but I do not know all the details. He was my uncle. I never got to meet him as I was in his sister’s stomach when he died of cancer in 1974. I do have the 45 record of “Maggie” and “You’ve done it again” in which he played drums on, displayed on my bookcase. My mom has a lot of details and I believe my grandfather Harold Clark had a lot to do with the band as well. Wish I could have met him, however I enjoy listening to him play and am fortunate to get to do so.

    2. Did you play with them when they recorded you’ve done it again and Maggie . I am jack Clarks sister who was the drummer on those recordings

    3. The drummer on Double Sided Wrap Around Shades was Mikel Wilson. He was my husband’s dad. I know this because we have the newspaper article.

      1. For further clarification, I am married to Mikel

        Wilson’ s son. Mikel
        married Connie Cornish
        of council bluffs, Iowa.
        They had 3 sons,
        Michael Daniel, who
        was connies first son, with Don Edwards who Mikel adopted in 1964.Michael always lived with Mikel and Connie in Lake Manawah in Council Bluffs. My husband, Michael, now 57,knew Howie and Andy. Although he was very young he remembers going to Penny Park to watch the band shoot bows and arrows. They left Iowa when Michael was 6yrs old and their next son Anthony Wade Wilson had just been moved to southern California and stayed with Mikel’ s oldest brother,Don Wilson. Mikel continued his career as a musician playing and recording with bands such as The Righteous Bros, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, Leon Russell, Doobie Bros, Tom Jones just to name a few. The list is quite extensive. Mikel lost his life in 1984 in a motorcycle accident in Anaheim, Ca. Michael, Tony and Max are still with us. Michael and myself would love talking to you and exchanging stories. Our #’s (area code 417): 664-7751 or 288-8734 or 650-5396 or we can just do it here. Thanks and happy rock n rollin.

      2. my brother played drums on Maggie and you’ve done it again only . then they split up. they made another record which was not released called ” Aligator Stomp.

        I do not doubt that the drummer on Double sided wrap around shades was MIke?
        you may email me or find me on facebook
        would love to hear more.
        brenda.padre@gmail.com
        Brenda Meyer
        Falls City
        profile is beautiful great grandbaby 🙂
        Blessings be

  10. to bobby jones I have some posts on garage hangover I have some pretty cool pictures of you guys you may already have them ? I would love to talk with you I have had fairly recent contact with dawny she may be able to hook you up with robyn I think that as much of the rich history of the local music scene back then should be remembered and preserved I would be more than happy to mail you a bunch of this stuff if you like my e-mail is jjj56@cox.net and ph# is 712-256-5035 if no answer leave message have a peaceful day my brother rock and roll forever

  11. and lets not forget skinny minnie and let your consience be your guide on musicor records. ya gotta love the sixties! keep talkin we cant lose it!!! i have some great photos. someone please help show me how to post them on the internet

  12. Andy was my dad.

    I was telling dad’s story around the campfire last night and found this site. So very cool. I am 45 and dad had pretty much given up music by the time I was born. He had been married to Dawn and they had 2 daughters: Dawn & Robyn. Dad and Dawn divorced and around ’66 he married my mom, Karla Kochenderfer. I am their eldest and have 1 younger sister, Erin. They stayed married until their death in 2009.
    Sadly, we were never close to his first 2 daughters and after his passing we have gone our separate ways. We aren’t in contact with them.

    I LOVE reading this stories. I have a few of his records and a small stack of reel-to-reels. I even found a receipt for the $65 that they were paid to open for the Rolling Stones here in Omaha. Pretty great 🙂

    I followed in my dad’s footsteps a bit but never enjoyed the same level of “fame.” I fronted three local Omaha bands “Lavender Couch,” “Echo Farm,” and “Goodbye Sunday.”

    The “couch” was an all girl band and we had a pretty good local following. We released a cassette tape around 1992.

    Echo Farm was a bit more successful- we could pull in a decent crowd – but due to some personality conflicts, we didn’t last long. We released a Self Titled CD.

    Goodbye Sunday barely got started before I left, in 2005, to have my baby girl. We didn’t record.

    I never went back to music after my Ella was born but hope to again someday.

    Thank you all so much for keeping these stories and history alive. It’s truly incredible!

    Peace and Love to you all!

  13. This must be the Andy Anderson of ” Andy and Ray” who performed at Pal Joeys in Ralston and I remember Andys wife Karla was a nurse at Douglas County Hospital. I remember them singing “Cinderella” many times. Am I correct? Ray was bass player Ray Bomer I think from Council Bluffs

    1. Larry Johns, you are correct. I played at Pal Joey’s at that same time, ( Churchill & Emshwiller) and I remember going to hear Andy & Ray. I also used to listen to Andy and the Manhattans downtown at Mickey’s on 15th and Farnam. We had a band then called “The Rogues” and we played there on Sunday afternoons. When we finished Andy and the Manhattans would play and we would stick around to hear them. They were very good then.

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