Apolloes Look 45 Summertime Blues

The Apolloes (Swingin’ Apolloes)

 The Apolloes
The Apolloes

Apolloes Apolloe 45 Laugh In My Face

The Apolloes cut an interesting variety of work, from the off-the-cuff and updated renditions of 50’s standards like “Slow Down” and “Summertime Blues” to the intricately produced psychedelia of “Chained and Bound”.

Wayne White, leader of an Atlanta group the Famen happened to be in the studio when the Apolloes came in to play on a session for the Younger Brothers. Wayne taught “Laugh in My Face” to the band and may have played organ on it as well. The flip, “Hey”, was written by Jim Youmans, who produced this single as well as the later “Chained and Bound”.

They released “Summertime Blues” on three different labels, though the first version on Soupa is not as wild as the one that would come out as the Swingin’ Apolloes. “Gone” the A-side to the first release of “Summertime Blues” was also written by James Youmans, and produced by Pat Hughs.

Apolloes Soupa 45 Gone

The band had a penchant for backwards guitar, as it’s all over their great version of Larry Williams’ “Slow Down”, and shows up again on “Chained and Bound”, written by Chester, Lane and Freeman. Later 45s were released as the Swingin’ Apolloes. Also I don’t know what the b-side of “Chained and Bound” is, if anyone knows please chime in.

Apolloes Look 45 Summertime BluesUntil Pat Ray commented, below, nothing was known about the group other than that they recorded and played live in Atlanta, Georgia from about ’65 to ’67. I’ll repeat his comment here:

I founded The Apolloes along with Ralph Whitsell, Jim Youmans and Tom Preston in the fall of 1964 when we were all students at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Georgia. When Tom’s father passed away early in 1965, I got hold of Gerald Cox in Atlanta to play bass guitar. He and I had played together for years in Atlanta while we were in high school. The four of us blew the Night Shadows off the stage at Misty Waters early in 1965 and we came to the attention of Pat Hughes (WQXI in Atlanta).

Swingin' Apolloes White Cliffs 45 Slow DownGerald had known Wayne White (a house painter in Atlanta) for a number of years. We had booked time at Maurice LeFever’s studio and Wayne paid for the session and we cut “Laugh In My Face.” The flip side was “Hey” by Jim Youmans. Which side was “A” or “B” is a toss-up.

Pat Hughes produced a session at a different studio and we cut “Lucille” and “Gone” which Youmans also wrote. Brooksy Hunicutt sang the high female part at my suggestion and we dubbed it in.

The off campus “Animal House” fraternity at Georgia Southern College in Statesboro, Ga (SEX was the name of the fraternity) booked the Rolling Stones in May, 1966. We played as a warm-up band. When the Stones took the stage, they immediately grossed the South Georgia audience out. Jagger’s first word was a long “F***************K You!” The crowd booed them off the stage and began chanting “Apolloes!! Apolloes!!” We set up again and gave the crowd their money’s worth.

Pat Ray

45 releases:

The Apolloes – Hey / Laugh In My Face (Apolloe 5813/4, November 1965)
The Apolloes – Gone / Summertime Blues (Soupa 001, May 1966)
The Apolloes – Summertime Blues / Slow Down (Look 001, June 1967)
The Swingin’ Apolloes – Summertime Blues / Slow Down (White Cliffs 262, 1967)
The Swingin’ Apolloes – Chained And Bound / (SAC 1001-1/2) need confirmation of this release!

Thank you to Mike Markesich for info and Pat W. for the photo.

23 thoughts on “The Apolloes (Swingin’ Apolloes)”

  1. Hi Guy!

    My wife (Cathy) and I just moved to Atlantic Iowa last week. She’s the new Pastor of the Church of God of Prophecy here. We live in the parsonage.

    Still moving in. Got the phone and e-mail installed this past Thursday.

    Would LOVE to talk to you or Ralph. Send me his e-mail and I’ll send him my
    number. (I won’t put it in the body of this e-mail, because I’m not entitely sure how private this is.)

    Cathy is also a singer and BMI publisher & songwriter. Writes lots of patriotic and Christian music. Wrote and recorded “United We Stand America”
    which was recorded and sung at the inauguration by Leon Patillo (formerly of
    Santana fame, now pastor of his own non-denominational church located on the
    permanently moored Queen Mary in the L. A. harbor.

    Anyway, GREAT hearing from you!!! Please be in touch!!!!!

    Harry E. “Pat” Ray

  2. I founded The Apolloes along with Ralph Whitsell, Jim Youmans and Tom Preston in the fall of 1964 when we were all students at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Georgia. When Tom’s father passed away early in 1965, I got hold of Gerald Cox in Atlanta to play bass guitar. He and I had played together for years in Atlanta while we were in high school. The four of us blew the Night Shadows off the stage at Misty Waters early in 1965 and we came to the attention of Pat Hughes (WQXI in Atlanta).

    Gerald had known Wayne White (a house painter in Atlanta) for a number of years. We had booked time at Maurice LeFever’s studio and Wayne paid for the session and we cut “Laugh In My Face.” The flip side was “Hey” by Jim Youmans. Which side was “A” or “B” is a toss-up.

    Pat Hughes produced a session at a different studio and we cut “Lucille” and “Gone” which Youmans also wrote. Brooksy Hunicutt sang the high female part at my suggestion and we dubbed it in.

    The off campus “Animal House” fraternity at Georgia Southern College in Statesboro, Ga (SEX was the name of the fraternity) booked the Rolling Stones in May, 1966. We played as a warm-up band. When the Stones took the stage, they immediately grossed the South Georgia audience out. Jagger’s first word was a long “F***************K You!” The crowd booed them off the stage and began chanting “Apolloes!! Apolloes!!” We set up again and gave the crowd their money’s worth.

  3. Pat,

    I ran across this info on The Apolloes and was knocked out to see your post. I grew up on Collier Drive in the neighborhood in Smyrna, GA where I believe you were living when you were in the Apolloes. As a matter of fact, I still have an 8X10 of the band that you gave me. You were a great inspiration to all of us kids in the neighborhood who were crazy for rock and roll, and several of us went on to play in bands in the area. As a matter of fact, I’ve been privileged to be a musician through all these years, and wanted to give you a tip of the hat for the inspiration back in those days. Hope you’re well! All the best from a former Apolloes fan!

  4. Hi, My name is Danny Davenport. I’m from North Georgia and played in a band called The Blazers in Blue Ridge, Georgia / Copperhill, Tennessee back in the 60s. I played several gigs with Ralph and Jim. I later went to work at United Artists records where Raplh was the Promotion Manager there. I followed Ralph into promotion when he left UA and I then went on to Warner Brothers where I stayed for 29 years.

    Is it possible you could put me in touch with him and or Jim? I don’t see a date on this so I’m hopeful that they are both still living and doing well.

    If you could let me know, I’d really be grateful.

    Thanks for your time,
    Dan Davenport
    Marietta, Ga.
    dannyd01@comcast.net

  5. Playing with the Apolloes was great fun. I was still a part of the group at the Rolling Stones concert and will always remember it. Also, James Preston, my brother, sang as the front man and played harmonica for a time with the original group.

    I would love to hear from Jim, Pat and Ralph. if anyone is in touch with them, please let them know.

    anyone that has pictures of the early group, I would really appreciate getting copies.

    Tom
    tom@tompreston.com

  6. I have an old picture of the appolloes and Harvey leach was my half-brother. I was the little kid at his house who followed you guys and the englishmen everywhere. contact me if you would like a copy of the picture at skipdot@gmail.com

    1. Ralph and All:

      My wife, Cathy, and I are in the ministry now. We have returned tp
      Grand Junction, Colorado. You can be in touch at:

      2500 Broadway
      Unit B #310
      Grand Junction, CO 81507

      Or at cathyray.org and send us an email.

      Love you all!!!

      -Pat- 02/18/2015

    2. November 16, 2016

      New (And Permanent) Email address is: harry@cathyray.org
      as my wife Cathy, has her own ministry now and the website to
      go with it. So, no matter who our Internet Provider may be in the future’
      we will ALWAYS have the harry@cathyray.org email since it is provided by GoDaddy. You can bring us up that way or at http://www.cathyrayministries.org and reach us through the “contact us”
      button or call and leave a message at (308) 455-3005. We live in
      Kearney, Nebraska now. Song clips are at the website as well.
      -Pat Ray-

  7. Lost track of you and thanks to my great memory. The Apolloes donged my bell. Remember some hippy looking fellow pulling into the drive way.

    Call or email please.

    skip

  8. I remember the Apolloes playing at Misty Waters a lot in the sixties, but the lead singer then was a guy named Woody Turner. Am I thinking of the same band? Thanks.

  9. I became the drummer for the Apolloes when their original drummer—who may have been Pat Ray—left the band sometime in the summer of 1966. I had played in a small informal group with Ralph Witsell when I had lived in Macon, but then I had moved to Huntsville, Alabama. He tracked me down when the Apolloes needed a drummer. We were all in school in Statesboro, Georgia that fall and winter, traveling on weekends to gigs.

    A journal page I have from then says we went into a recording studio in Atlanta at 7:30 on Friday night, January 13, 1967, and recorded all night, not leaving until 9:30 Saturday morning. That was the “Summertime Blues” session that became the June release.

    July 19, 1967, we played the Atlanta Auditorium with the Dave Clark Five on what was billed as Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars. We had just come from playing the pier at Daytona, if I recall correctly. I know I fell off the drum riser when we were doing our version of “Good Vibrations” because I stood up when I played, and they suddenly doused the stage lights and threw on two strobe lights with a bubble machine right next to me. I was completely disoriented. Our bass player, Mojo (Gerald Cox), was I think about the only person who really noticed, and thought it was hysterically funny. Me, not so much.

    We split up in the fall of 1967, primarily because of the war draft and some other issues. I went back to Alabama.

    To an earlier poster: Yes, Woody was lead singer for a while. I think he had come into the band around the same time they got me to play drums.

    Randy McDonald

  10. BTW:

    Maurice Seymour, who was Elvis Pressley’s Photographer, took the picture of the original band at the top of this page in an Atlanta warehouse during
    late winter of 1965. The original members are (from bottom left and clockwise): Me (Pat Ray, Drummer), Gerald Cox (Bass Guitar), Jim Youmans (Rhythm Guitar & Lead Singer) and Ralph Witsell (Lead Guitar).

    My new Email is: heray3@charter.net Feel Free to contact me there.

    -Pat Ray-

  11. The “Chained and Bound” single (at least my copy) has the same song on both sides, and only one printed label. The “B” side label is plain white, unprinted. “135” is etched in the dead wax on each side.

  12. I was playing on the Appoloes recording of “Chained and Bound” as one of the three writers and a member of Georgia Southern’s “Younger Brothers” who were recording in Atlanta with Jim Youmans as producer. The entire music track is actually the Younger Brothers with Jim’s voice overdubbed.

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