The Incrowd came from Hillsboro, Ohio, close to 60 miles east of Cincinnati. Members were:
Larry Zuggs – vocals Randy Applegate – guitar Paul “Bud” Long – guitar Charles Murphy – organ Mike Waddell – bass Jay Cooper – drums
Circa 1965 they traveled to Dayton’s Mega-City Studio to record their only single, featuring an overwrought soul ballad “Keep It” on the A-side. Most listeners now prefer the frantic and distorted “Set Me Free” on the flip. Both songs were supposedly written at the recording session!
Instead of release on Mega-City’s in-house Pixie label, or on the standard Prism label, they were given the plain b&w Prism package plan for their pressing of 500 copies. Other bands on this 3000 custom series included the Senators and the Warbucks.
The Breakaway Five cut the great instrumental “Jivin” for Red Wortham’s revived Bullet label, featuring pounding drums in the intro and great guitar work, including a quote from Hank Snow’s “I’m Movin’ On”. The flip “I’m Gonna Walk” is a country song by F.L. Parrish, livened up by the echo on the guitar lines.
Members of the Breakaway Five included Norman Davis, Larry Davis, Larry Morgan, and possibly Ronnie Morgan. According to a comment on youtube, the band may have started as the Rivieras from Dickson, Tennessee, just west of Nashville.
Sur-Speed Music ASCAP is listed as publisher on both songs, though “Jivin” does not have any writing credit.
I’m not sure of the release date on this, but I would guess late ’50s or early ’60s. The label credits do not match the Villains 45s or any other Bullet 45 releases of the 1960s. The release number 241 is closer to Bullet’s early 78 rpm releases by Cecil Gant and Wynonie Harris. No other Bullet 45s have similar mastering codes (869-1165/6 in this case), a production credit to Wortham, or (in most cases) lack of an address.
The Cordials recorded for the Bundy label of Freeport, New York. They may have been a local group, but Freeport is not far from Brooklyn, so the group could have been from anywhere in the New York metro area.
The Cordials cut a fine version of “Misery”, originally done by the the Dynamics on their 1963 single on Big Top. I prefer the flip, “Tell Me Please”, a moody original with great harmonies, written by Rick Stevens and published by M.C. Music Pub. BMI.
An article in Cash Box from August 7, 1965 gives an approximate date for the Cordials release and some background on Bundy:
Mickey Carr, top man at The Bundy-Fonic Corp., is in the process of expanding the firm’s activities, and has appointed Bob Spina to veep and Clarence Finnell as A&R boss.
The diskery, with Dee Dee Records as a subsidiary line, will be offering two new releases, the first tagged “Misery” b/w “Tell Me Please” by the Cordials, and another by the Diablos, the titles on which will be announced at a later date. Both disks will be on Bundy Records. The address of the firm is 22 Pine St., Freeport, L.I.
Although Bundy had a 1962 release by Ray Artis, “Dear Liz” / “Wella-Wella” (Bundy BU-222), I haven’t found the Diablos single or anything else on Bundy. There were several record companies called Dee Dee, and I’m not sure if the one mentioned in the Cash Box article actually released anything.
The Cordials is a styrene 45, released on Bundy BU7711, Mickey Carr gets credit for arranging and producing both sides, and Bundy is listed as a subsidiary of Bundy Phonic Ent. Corp.
The Stairway to the Stars came from the Pittsburgh area, but cut this 45 for the Brite-Star label out of Newberry, Ohio, near Cleveland. Newberry is only a couple hours from Pittsburgh, but the labels indicate a Nashville base.
One side has a moody, echoing vocal, “Cry”, written by Tom Sellosi and Dave Benard. The intensity grows for the short recitation at the end.
On the flip is “Dry Run” a great instrumental featuring a lot of tremolo on the guitar, a strong three note riff that sounds like a keyboard more than guitar, and a long and dissonant middle section for the lead break. Phil Dirt pointed out the similarity of the opening melody to the Vistas “No Return” on Tuff, but the Stairway to the Stars really expand on that theme in the rest of the song.
John Barbero produced the 45. The Rite account number is 728 and the release numbers are 17909 (“Dry Run”) / 17910 (“Cry”), released in September or October 1966.
The Library of Congress has a registration for “Cry” from September 12, 1966, to David Benard and Thomas Sollosi. The “Dry Run” label lists T.R. Sollosi, but this song wasn’t registered.
Teen Beat Mayhem indicates this came with a picture sleeve, which I’ve never seen. Anyone have a scan of it?!
On 45 cat, DeadWax suggest the band could have been from Monongahela, outside of Pittsburgh.
Here’s an unknown group, the Four Counts, or the Counts Four, possibly from Reading, Pennsylvania. There’s a chance they could have evolved into the Counts who came from Valley View and cut “Last Train” / “I Will Lose My Mind” for the Kingston label in July of 1969, but from the small b&w photo I’ve seen of the Counts I’d say this is unlikely.
Barry Elam sent in the photos of his band the Specters, and wrote the following about the group:
The Specters from Kirksville, Missouri were active from 1967-1972. They were a popular band in Northeast Missouri and played many area dances, fraternity parties at Truman State University, and private events. The band’s material covered originals as well as top hits of the day.
Band members were Randy Crowder on vocals and guitar, Barry Elam guitar, Randy Grissom bass and vocals, and Charlie Harrington, drums.
The Specters did not release any records but we were friends with another local band that did, Friar Tuck and The Merry Men. My original guitar teacher was Bud Porter who was the lead guitarist for Friar Tuck. They had a regional hit called “Peanut Butter” on Sherwood Forest Records, released in 1966.
Here’s an excerpt of an alternate version of Baker Knight’s original “Are You Satisfied Now”.
The Reprise single version of “Are You Satisfied Now” has horns, a female chorus, a completely different band and a smoother vocal from Baker. It was the b-side of “The Verge Of Success”, Knight’s seventh and last release on Reprise Records from April, 1968. That version was produced by Jimmy Bowen.
This demo definitely comes from an earlier session, I’d guess around 1966 given the folk-rock backing and grittier vocal. Although this demo lists Hill & Range publishing, by the time Knight registered the song in 1968 that had changed to Smooth Music / Noma Music as it is on the single. In fact I don’t find any evidence of Baker publishing through Hill & Range during the mid-60s.
I only wish Knight would stop singing long enough for a guitar break, but he had plenty of lyrics to get through.
Along a scenic mountain parkway stretch of I-65 heading south, past Bowling Green and just north of the Tennessee border, in a tiny Kentucky town called Mundfordville, in Hart County, tucked on the hill above the moving Green River, a group of teenage boys formed a band in the winter of ’65.
Hearing the happening mid-sixties sounds of the Byrds, the Animals, the Beatles and the Stones, these boys got stars in their eyes and took up instruments, calling themselves December’s Children, named after the cold season upon them.
The members were:
Mike ‘Hoot’ Gibson / guitar, vox (Gibson ES 330)
Sam Goodman / lead guitar, fuzz ( Fender Telecaster)
Clint Nichols / bass (Fender)
Mike Rife / drums, vox
Honing their skills and gaining local popularity in Munfordville at the town’s teen club called ‘The Nightmare’ – the group of high school boys shortened their name to ‘The Children’ and went on to play Hart County ‘courthouse fairs’, gigs in nearby Glasgow and also competed in the State Fair in Louisville about an hour north.
With a solid high school fan base and local support, the community was pushing them to make a record. By 1968, the members were all seniors and would graduate that following summer- all except Sam who was already a few years older and had his own wheels. The band had about 50 cover songs in the pocket, mostly dialed in on current rock radio hits of the day.
Disappearing to the parent’s basement, Mike and Sam penned two original songs that year and a recording session was appointed at Atwell Studio about an hour and a half’s drive south in Lafayette, Tennessee. The band loaded their gear in Sam’s car and excitedly roared down the road. The resulting session yielded two amazing tracks, done in one take that summer of ’68.
“I Long To See Her” b/w “Lost Soul Seeker In the Rain” was released later that year on the Atwell label and was issued with a simple picture sleeve of the band with a portrait that was made in a small photography studio along the way in Glasgow. It is not known how many copies of the record were pressed. Sources say that Lorne Atwell would often only have 100 run pressings done of the secular groups that came through the door, as Atwell was mostly a gospel/country label. The group never had any other draft or sketch of another original song, but stayed active as the Children until around ’72. Nonetheless, the two sides made for Atwell that summer have forever set them in garage punk unknown history stone.
Mike Gibson still lives in Mundfordville and continues to write and perform contemporary christian music. Many thanks to him for sharing his memories of the band from which this article was produced and for the photo from the class of ’69 Hart Co. High School yearbook that shows the band in action (Christmas of ’68).
Mike Rife died in Mundfordville in 2011.
The other band members are still residing in Kentucky, and were unable to be contacted for this article.
Extra special thanks to John Freeman, mayor of Mundforville for sharing his memories, sourcing the record and arranging the interview with Hoot.