The Bad Habits

There were two almost completely unrelated groups that released records on the Paula label as the Bad Habits. The first group were originally known as Debbie and the Lads, and members included Debbie Folse on vocals, Pershing Wells on guitar and Ronnie Plaisance on keyboards. They had one 45 that I know of under this name, “Dear Lord Above” / The Man Who Comes Around” on the Ladd label out of Raceland, though the label spells her name Debbie Falls.

An oft-repeated rumor has it that Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett were the Bad Habits under a different name, but this is wrong. There are two likely reasons for the rumor: the first lineup of the Bad Habits covered two Delaney and Bonnie songs, and a there is some similarity in vocal style between Debbie Folse and Bonnie Bramlett.

You can read about the first lineup of the Bad Habits at Funky 16 Corners.

After three singles with some light chart action this group disbanded and their producer Gene Kent handed the name to the remaining members of the Group (Noel Odom and the Group), who had recorded three 45s for the Tower and Uptown labels.

Bad Habits Paula 45 Thank You For The LoveNoel Odom was no longer in the band by the time they became the Bad Habits, but their first 45 included one of his compositions, “Thank You for the Love”. Vocals were now handled by Ron DiIulio, who also took over as principal songwriter and producer for the band. Ron wrote “Images: The City”, the b-side to their second record and co-wrote “Touch the Sun” with Jack Russell.

Fred Engelke talked to me about their time as the second lineup of the Bad Habits:

After Noel left and joined the Navy we became an 8 then 7 piece band called The Bad Habits and recorded three records on the Paula/Jewel label. We picked up the name when Gene Kent began managing us.

Bad Habits Paula 45 Images: The CityThe Bad Habits were anchored by members of the old Group: Bob Fell on guitar, Ron DiIulio on keyboard, I on drums, and Sonny Williams on bass. Later Sonny left the band and was replaced by Nick Pratt on bass. We added horns; sax, trombone, and two trumpets and later went to trombone and two trumpets. The sax player was Rick Folse (I don’t know if there is a relation). Rick was actually a member of the original Bad Habits. He stayed with the group for maybe a year and then moved back to Cutoff, La. and became a disk jockey.

You may have noticed the high pitch of the lead singer on The Bad Habit’s “Bad Wind” and “Thank You For The Love”. The same person (Ron DiIulio) sang the lead on both sides of each record. We got the higher pitch by recording the track in one key and the slowing the tape down to a lower key to record the vocals and the returning the tape to the original speed to master the record. On “Bad Wind” the drums (at least the fills) were recorded in an echo chamber at the studio to get the “big” sound. On “Images: The City” there are so many changes that during the session I would forget what came next. So after SEVERAL attempts at getting all the way through it, we would just start somewhere before the place I screwed up and continue on. Later we spliced everything together.

Bad Habits Paula 45 Touch The Sun

Touch the Sun was the b-side of our last record “Louie Louie”. We (at least I) were pretty frustrated with the music business because we kept trying to put out what we thought were good songs but they were going nowhere. So we did Louie Louie (we had our own take on it) because it was always a big hit when we played at dances. I actually liked “Touch the Sun” better.

Thank you to Fred Engelke for his help with this article.

Bad Habits 45s on Paula

1st group (with Debbie Folse):
Paula 327 – Night Owl / It’s Been A Long Time Coming (1970)
Paula 333 – My Baby Specializes / Born On The Bayou (1970)
Paula 342 – I Don’t Wanna Discuss It / If The Whole World Stopped Loving (1971)

2nd group:
Paula 353 – Thank You For The Love / My Days Are Numbered (1971)
Paula 370 – Bad Wind / Images: The City (1972)
Paula 374 – Touch the Sun / Louie, Louie (1972)

20 thoughts on “The Bad Habits”

    1. Yes, Ron DiIulio has recorded with other bands. He’s currently in Fort Worth and his last band was “Crawfish” a kick azz group, whom I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in with a few times, (as rusty as I was .)
      Thank you for the “Chicago” reference, as I know it will mean a lot to the rest of the guys. I once heard a studio engineer ( who will remain nameless) say we covered their songs live better than they did. ( not sure if that was true !). But we tried hard. This band was so much better live than what we actually recorded. So much energy and great vocals from all 7 of us. We worked hard under Ron’s direction for he was a stern taskmaster. . Been trying to put together a reunion in Shreveport for a while now…and almost had it done a few years ago. Who knows? Maybe it will happen before we all end up in rocking chairs.

  1. Hi , Interesting story about the Bad Habits on Paula, I have a 45 on Scepter by The Bad Habits Hook Nose and Wooden Leg/Don’t Take My Love Away Scepter 12126. A side is a good Newbeats style tune, Both sides produced by Huey Meaux hence the possible Texas/Louisiana connection Ed

  2. It’s possible, but I’d bet it was a different group. Both those songs were co-written by Jack Rhodes (writer of Action Packed, Rock-n-Bones and many other great rockabilly and country songs.) For more on Rhodes see Norton Records release “Shake It Up and Move: Primitive Texas Rockabilly 1956-57”. The notes have a long history of Rhodes’ career.

  3. Hey !

    This is Nick, the bass player ( actually, I’m a guitar player) for what I’ll call Bad Habits II for this purpose. Fred mentioned our Louie Louie session in his interview. The way I recall it, was that we were all sitting around the Sound City studios one night after cutting some jingles, and Ron mentioned that we needed to release another single. I think we listened to some of the guy’s song ideas and got tired and sleepy, when someone started making jokes about songs for us to record. Most likely, it was Bob Fell. Bob always had a great sense of humor and loved to crack me up. He’d really mess with me on stage all night…which made playing all the more fun. All of sudden, we were all naming off stupid song titles and laughing. Then, I dont remember exactly who it was, but they said ” Let’s do Louie Louie…the way we do it live.” What was so funny, was the weird keyboard intro on Louie Louie. Ron started the song, and reached down and flipped the power switch on his old Hammond a few times. This was done at a gig one night accidently , as I think his Hammond had come unplugged from the wall just as he started the song. The crowd loved it as he held the chord down and plugged it back in. So that’s what he did on the record. I dont think we meant to release the song at all, since it was cut cold, and mostly for fun. We might have come back the next day and punched in the three part harmony vocals, because I distinctly remember singing my high part behind a screen with Bob, Ron and maybe Rick Folse and Danny Hess. Bob and I were the only two that could sing that high, as I recall. Somewhere, Ron has some live recordings of the band. This was much harder hitting and tight group live… than any of the records we ever released. I always wanted to record some harder R&B/Rock, but we never did. Stuart Madison at Malaco may still have our unfinished album. I have some unremixed tracks from it and was really beginning to like where the band was going about the time we broke up. We have talked about a reunion gig on and off for years. I’ve played guitar with Ron’s Band, Crawfish out of Fort Worth, a few times, but we still havent done the reunion. Dont listen to Fred…he’s so old he cant remember anything ! Just kidding Fred…you know I love ya man !

  4. I know Fred liked “Touch the Sun”…but it did nothing for me. My favorite was “Images: the City”, written by Ron DiIulio. It barely touched upon what the band could do live….just barely. By the way…if you’ll listen closely to Louie Louie, you’ll hear a faint, offbeat guitar track in the background. I was on Bob’s old Les Paul doing a sound check for the engineer just minutes before the session. Someone left it in during remix, but we got lucky…I had been playing in the key of “A”…just like the song. It still drives me crazy to hear it to this day.

  5. There were four of us. I was the drummer and sang the screeching parts on the record. Porter Jordan on bass and Martin guitar wrote Hook Nose, Jerry Beach on lead guitar and Danny Harrelson played piano. We cut several sides at Robin Hood Bryan’s studio in Tyler Texas. I think it was in 1964. Jack Rhodes was a good friend and he owned an old rundown motel in Mineola, TX where we stayed when we were recording. I went with Jack to present our tape to Huey Meaux. Huey told me to go and buy a Cadillac. Poor Jack got so excited that had a heart attack on the way home but he lived for sometime after that. It started moving up the charts when Meaux was arrested with an underage teenager in his motel room. I think he went to jail. The word was that he was framed by a certain arm of the Federal government. I contacted an agent friend in California and she got us booked as the warm-up band for the Rolling Stones in Sacremento. Then the two guys that were married got ultamatims from their wives – “NO California”! Soon after that I bailed out of the music business and started a new line of work. That’s about all I remember. I saw Jerry about 20 years ago playing in a night club in Bossier City. I think he has won some awards in the Blues area. Glad to see one of us make it. Porter wrote some songs for the movies I think. I don’t know what happened to him or Danny. Actually that was my second disappointment. Before Hook Nose I was with the Newbeats – or I shod say the Pre-New Baets. We recorded a bunch of stuff in my living room in Shreveport, LA. There was myself, Dean and Mark Mathis, Billy Sandford and of course Larry Henley. Larry did well for himself, especially after writing “Wind Beneath My Wings”. He was a nice guy and I was happy to see him hit it big. Me and Dean & Mark and Billy Sandford who played guitar were playing with Bob Luman and when Bob went to cut a song called “Interstate Forty’ at RCA in Nashville, we went along. Not to play, just to drive his car and van to Fresno California where we had a gig. Luman dumped us there and I called the Musicians Union to get enough money to get us back to Louisiana. Luman swore he’d get me one day but he died before he could make good on his promise. After we got back, Dean & Mark and Larry got a call from Hickory Records. They wanted Dean & Mark and Larry, but not me and Billy. Good thing I got out when I did, the damn business would have killed me. Too many girls and booze.

  6. hi bill: my name in the 50s was gary upchurch, good friend with porter jordan . I would like to know what happen to porter, and where he is now. its been a half of century, thought i better find him pretty quick. any info would be great. jesse smith

  7. hello ed i just wanted to tell you” hook nose ” was written by a very good friend of mine porter jordan, we were friends in shrevesport and went to school at fair park , i have been trying for ever to find out what happen to porter, with no luck. if you know anything about him please let me know. i have really enjoyed reading about the band and all that goes with it. hope to hear from youn soon. jesse

  8. hello ellis i am looking for porter jordan , a good friend back in shreveport 1955-? been trying to find out something about him for a long time. if you know him or of him i sure would like to here from you. please e-mail me if you have the time. thanks and hope to here from you soon.

  9. I still have this 45 single and it is my FAVORITE version of “Louie, Louie”. I played it so much that it is very scratchy. I transferred it to CD not too long ago but still has many ticks & pops. I wish there was a link to that song on this page like all the other songs. And from what I’ve heard of the other songs on this page, I would have bought a full album ! ! ! Granted in 1972 I was only 5 years old, yet I already had an album collection.
    Thanks for keeping the music alive.
    David in Kansas City.

  10. Hi Jessie – Did you ever find Porter? I assumed he moved out to California. He was always talking about it back then. I found a cold trail one time to a music operation with Porter’s name on it. But when I tried to find out more it was a dead end. Porter was a good friend of mine while we worked together. I also what like to know what happened to him.
    Bill Scott Bill.StoreReport@gmail.com

  11. I grew up in Raceland, LA, and although I was only 10 or 11 years old at the time, I seem to remember that the group was called Candy Cotton and the Bad Habits for a while (when Debbie Folse was still the vocalist). And now, I’m off to eBay to find these singles. 🙂

  12. hi bill sorry it took so long for me answer you but i just didnt check the comments. i still would like to find porter. i just dont know where else to look. its been so long mabey hes not anywhere now. i sure hope thats not the case.would like to here from you. jesse

  13. I remember Gene Kent playing the Bad Habits’ records on old KWKH FM when I first moved to Hughes Springs TX. Good stuff, and their version of Louie Louie was the best I ever heard. I remember y’all 40+ years later 🙂

  14. Thanks, Dave. Yeah, I heard about Danny some time ago. He was a good friend and I cherish his memory.

    Jessie Smith, the only information I ever found about Porter is what you have probably found on the Internet. I assume he must have died by now. I never knew there were so many “Bad Habits”. I swear, I came up with the name by myself when Jack Rhodes made us pick a name during the recording sessions. I remember we voted on it, and that one stuck. None of us had ever heard it before as I remember. I have some very good memories of Bossier starting in 1961 until about 1965 or maybe 1966 when I quit the music business and went on to pursue a more stable career. Jack Fiscus, Lewis “Butch” Maloncone (sp), Roy Day, Bob Bercejaey (sp), Lucky Clark, Danny and Jerry, the Beverly Hillbillies, Stefan Anderson, Dean & Mark, Randy Meek, Tobby Cooper, Larry Breeze, Wolfman Jack, the Diamond Head Lounge, Gus Theodos, the mafia guys of course, Sammy Tuesch (sp), Shindig/Hulabaloo, Whisky-A-GoGo, Ace Cannon, KJOE, KEEL, KRMD, KSLA, KTBS, KTAL, Hub Brando, the Orbit Lounge… and many other names I can’t remember… I guess my mental faculties are still in-tacked. If I think harder I’m sure I can remember more. Every now and then I hear a name and think, ‘Oh year, I remember him, or her, or that place’.

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