Category Archives: US

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.

I haven’t heard their first single yet, “Right On” / “Sahib Sam”, 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 no 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.

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.

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

The New Yorkers & the Fury Four

New Yorkers Santana 45 Things Are ChanginThis is the very first single by the New Yorkers, who would cut the classic “Mr. Kirby” for Scepter before going on to greater fame as the Hudson Brothers. The group started in 1965 as the My Sirs in Portland, Oregon. Members in the early years were:

Bill Hudson – guitar, vocals
Kent Fillmore – guitar
Brett Hudson – bass, vocals
Mark Hudson – drums, vocals

In 1959, Jim Bailey, a DJ at KAGT in distant Anacortes, Washington, had produced the Swags “Rockin’ Matilda” on his Westwind Records label. He was able to promote it to Del-Fi for national hit release in 1960. Bailey is listed as co-writer of “Rockin’ Matilda” with Swags guitarist Gailen Ludtke, and he published the song through his Skagit Music Company. He’s noted as booking acts in the Pacific Northwest, but I can’t find much about Bailey’s recording activity until he reappears with the New Yorkers in 1966.

Bailey heard a few demos the My Sirs had cut with $40 in an unnamed studio and set up a sponsorship with Chrysler. Bailey renamed the group the New Yorkers after the Chrysler auto, and found another group, possibly also from Portland, and named them the Fury Four after the Plymouth Fury (also made by Chrysler).

Fury Four Santana 45 City GirlLabeled “A Gift for you from the 1967 Go Show”, Bailey released a 45 with the New Yorkers singing their catchy original “Things Are Changin” on Santana Records SAN 6602-A / SAN 6603-A, NW-1 / NW-2. On the other side is the Fury Four’s “City Girl” (written by D. Ford) with harmonies and fuzz guitar throughout. Skagit Music published both songs.

An article from the June 15, 1967 Idaho Free Press shows that the New Yorkers toured to promote Chrysler right up to the release of their second Scepter single:

TEEN SCENE
Group Tells Tour Plans

The New Yorkers, who recently were heard in Nampa, next plan a 21-day record-promoting tour around the nation. They write all the songs they record, and plan a new album for release this fall.

The New Yorkers recently played their last Chrysler Go Show performance at Nampa. Members of the group are: Bill, lead guitar, Brett, bass guitar; Mark, drums; and Kent, rhythm guitar. Upon completion of the Chrysler Go Show, the New Yorkers will now go on a 21 day tour around the nation to promote their new record, “Mr. Kirby,” to be released this month.

Flip side of “Mr. Kirby” will be either “Seeds of Spring” or “Show Me The Way To Love”. All of the songs the New Yorkers record are written by them. The current release by the New Yorkers, “When I’m Gone” failed to move nationwide. In July the group plans to go on tour with Herman’s Hermits. They have just finished a tour with Don and the Goodtimes in Washington and Oregon. The New Yorkers record on the Sceptor label in Seattle and Los Angeles. An album is planned for release this fall.

Mark Hudson, the drummer, does most of the singing for the group. It is his voice that is heard on “When I’m Gone.” Offstage the New Yorkers are probably one of the funniest groups around. At the airport when the group was preparing to leave for Portland Bill confessed he doesn’t like to fly. Mark, who seems to have an eternal feud with their manager, kept wanting to buy an insurance policy out of a vending machine, but his manager wouldn’t let him. Kent was trying to […] fool with the public address system. All in all, the New Yorkers aren’t the best in the business but they aren’t the worst either. [!]

Bailey’s name turns up on New Yorkers releases through their 1969 Decca single, “I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City”, and also on The Live Five’s “Take the Good & the Bad”. The Fury Four were never heard from again, at least under that moniker.

Source: An interview with Brett Hudson on RockTalkTV.

Thank you to Mikael for looking up the text of the Free Press article for me.

The Voyagers on Feature Records

The Voyagers came from Racine, Wisconsin, cutting two 45s for the Feature Records label out of Janesville.

The band first recorded as a quintet with:

Mark Peterson – vocals
Jay Sieger – lead guitar
Ed Hauser – rhythm guitar
Lance Davenport – bass
Steve Porter – drums

Their first 45 was the excellent “Away” backed with “I’m So Lonely”, both songs written by Sieger and Davenport, from August 1966 on Feature Records 817R-111, an RCA custom press. Spad Music would publish all their original songs.

Voyagers Feature 45 Can't Save This Heart

Voyagers Feature 45 I Want You Back

By the time of their second single, in 1967, Marc Peterson and Ed Hauser had left, replaced by Joey Carrion (Tino Gonzales) on lead vocals and rhythm guitar. This lineup recorded two more originals, “Can’t Save This Heart” by Sieger / Davenport, and “I Want You Back” by Carrion. It was released as Feature Records F-101, and produced by RAM Prod. After the single, Jay Sieger left and was replaced on lead guitar by Bob Spock.

Steve Sperry in Chicago, 1966
Steve Sperry in Chicago, 1966

Arthur Sullivan sent me Stephen Sperry’s photo and business card, and wrote to me with some information:

This group, The Voyagers was produced by Steve Sperry who operated Ram Productions during the 1960s. This group was probably managed for bookings by Ken Adamany who lived in Janesville during that time. Steve lived in Janesville WI and also managed Dick Campbell of Monroe WI for a while. I don’t know where it was recorded but it has a very good clean sound. There was Leaf Studio in Janesville or Cuca at Sauk City. 

Stephen Sperry Ram Productions, Janesville
Stephen Sperry & Ram Productions card, Janesville
Steve Sperry had an early 45 on Cuca J-1008 “That Ain’t So” / “Our Summer Love” before starting Ram Productions artist management and the Rampro label.

Arthur Sullivan had his own release on Swan Records ‎S-4153 as Artie Sullivan with the Rhythm Beats ‎– “It’s Time” / “Suzanne”, and produced singles with vocalist Dick Campbell on Camsul Records out of Worcester, MA (The Wild Ones “Surfin’ Time Again” for example), and CineVista Records out of Monroe, Wisconsin, among many others.

Sources: Gary E. Myers Can You Hear That Beat and On That Wisconsin Beat, and 45 cat