Category Archives: Orlando

Don & the Holidays on Kam Records

Don & the Holidays Kam 45 It Won't Be Long

Don & the Holidays came from Orlando, Florida, cutting a single on Kam Records and backing other artists on the label. “Grasshopper Pizza” is fratty r&b with lyrics almost impossible to decipher, something about a “Beatle drive” and “grasshopper pizza is really alive”.

I like the flip, “It Won’t Be Long” with its gloomy sound and spare guitar breaks instead of sax. Both songs are originals credited to Don Adams. Kam Record Co. released it in July, 1966.

Bill Clifford posted the video of “Grasshopper Pizza”, above (under his actual name Bill Schwentner), with the names of the other Holidays members and some info:

Don Adams (vocal), Mark Farrel (Farfisa organ), Bill Stancliff (guitar), Bill Clifford (bass). [“Grasshopper Pizza”] was the only song of 13 recorded that day that was released on Kam Records.

From the business card included with the video, the band seemed to go by the simple name, The Holidays, and also there was another member named Denny.

It appears from the RCA custom pressing codes that Kam Records issued the Don & the Holidays single at the same time as Kam 102 (Buddy Killen’s “I Oughta Be Home With Nell” / “Mister Blue”) and Kam 103, which featured Holidays’ keyboardist Mark Ferrell on his originals, “Go Go Girl” / “I’ll Never Forget You”.

Both songs from the Don & the Holidays single were rerecorded for Kam 111 with the artist name changed to Big Don Adams. These versions are supposed to be slicker than the original release.

Guitarist Bill Stancliff cut his own composition “Redline” with his Holidays band mates Mark Ferrell and Bill Clifford, along with Billy J. Killen, on November 1, 1965 at Wurtle Film Studios, Orlando. Unfortunately this fine instrumental went unreleased.

Some of the photos in the video above have the name Mark IV behind the band. From the credits, this seems to have been a different lineup featuring Bill Clifford and Bill Stancliff of the Holidays with John Oyler on tenor sax, C.E. Stubblefield on Wurlitzer piano, Roy Halpin on bass, and Clark Wormer on drums.

Update: Don Edward Adams Sr. passed away on November 20, 2017 at the age of 84. He was born in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Kam Record Co. discography

possibly incomplete, any help with this would be appreciated

Kam 101 – Billy J. Killen – “Truly Love You” / “Walkin’ Talkin’ (In My Sleep For You)” (both by Angel, Killen, Martin) S4KM-8406/7

Kam 102 – Billy J. Killen ‎- “I Oughta Be Home With Nell” (Otto P. Martin) / “Mister Blue” (Martin-Killen-Angel) T4KM-9776/7

Kam 103 – Mark Ferrell – “Go Go Girl” (Mark Ferrell) / “I’ll Never Forget You” (Mark Ferrell, Jerry Adams) T4KM-9778/9

Kam 104 – Don & the Holidays – “It Won’t Be Long” / “Grasshopper Pizza” (both by Don Adams) T4KM-9780/1

Kam 105 – Curt Fields – “Man, Woman And Love” / “Five Lonely Rooms” (both by Angel, Killen, Martin)

Kam 106 – Johnny Selph ‎– “My Gal’s Outta Her Tree Again” (Don Gore) / “Working On Your Future” (John Harris Selph)

Kam 111 – Big Don Adams – “It Won’t Be Long” / “Grasshopper Pizza” (different versions of Kam 104)

Many of these songs are copyrighted to Villard J. Killen, Otto Martin and Robert Paul Angel, whose name appears in producer role as Bob Angel in later singles on the Bion label of Orlando, including ones by Mark Ferrell and Johnny Selph. All Kam Records songs published by Ankilmar, BMI.

Don & the Holidays Kam 45 Grasshopper Pizza

The Malemen

 The Malemen from left: Bill Avera, Ed Bacon, Larry Bacon and Randy Bushee
The Malemen from left: Bill Avera, Ed Bacon, Larry Bacon and Randy Bushee

Updated April 2011

Malemen Pine Hills 45 My Little GirlI really like this 45. “My Little Girl” has rockabilly-style guitar with a light touch and drumming to match. “She Means All the World to Me” is the ballad side, and a great one if you can dig the slowness.

The T4KM- prefix in the coding signifies a RCA custom press from the first half of 1966. This predates other 45s I know of on the Pine Hills (PH) label. Don Gore ran the studio in the Pine Hills neighborhood, just west of downtown Orlando. H.F. Gore may have been the same person, or a relative, but he’s credited with producing this 45. H.F. Gore also had a country 45 backed by the Undertakers.

Jeff Lemlich’s Savage Lost mentions that the Malemen backed Sue Pennie on her Dunmar 45 “Ghost Town” / “He’s Everything I Need”, which I’ve never heard or seen. They also covered “Norweigan Wood” for the rare Bee Jay Booking Agency LP 12 Groovy Hits, 12 Florida Bands on Tener.

I couldn’t find much concrete info on the Malemen until guitarist Randy Bushee contacted me.

I played in a couple of good bands in Orlando during the ’60s … The Malemen and Oxford Blue. Also the Brass Opera at the Citizen’s Nation Bank building, downtown Orlando.

The Malemen during my time was Bill Avera on guitar, Ed Bacon on bass, his brother Larry Bacon on drums. Larry and I would switch off sets, I’d play drums a set while Larry played guitar, then we’d switch off. We played Beatles, James Brown tunes and I did a few ballads too.

I just met up with the drummer from Covington Tower (another group from Orlando). He gave me an old newspaper clipping about Don Gore. It has a picture of The Malemen while I was in the band. I don’t remember recording but the picture is of me and them and the story is about his recording place in Pine Hills. I was with the Malemen before or after those recordings.

Oxford Blue was a “soul band,” we had a horn section. We did several of the Blood Sweat & Tears hits as well as the James Brown type of stuff. I was pleased to see that old Orlando Youth Center Schedule with our name on it [see the State of Mind entry].

I wrote “Alice in Wonderland” in 12th grade. It was about my then girlfriend, Alice. I sang it at my 12th grade talent show, I won it too. The other side of the record was a cover of Carole King’s “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”. We were a band with horn section and put our own touch to it. I did a lot of work with Eric Schaubacher at BeeJay in Oxford Blue. Eric went on to a successful career. You can see him at Winter Wood studios in the Ozark mountains where he has a resort style recording studio with many gold records hanging on the wall. Oxford Blue got together a while back for a reunion.

Larry is a retired sheriff now playing music with Patty Mann in Colorado. Eddie, Larry’s brother is a retired US Marine. Not sure what Bill is doing yet. I am trying to find those guys. My emails to them keep bouncing so they must have new ones. I just moved back to FL after being gone almost 30 years. I am still pretty active playing in bands even at the young age of 62!

Randy Bushee

Randy sent this profile of Don Gore and the Malemen from, I believe, the Orlando Evening-Star. It discusses the start of Pine Hills Recording in detail, saying that Don Gore put over $12,000 into buying Ampex decks, a Gates mixing board, a Fisher Eco-Reverb and a Rekokut dub cutter. He started the studio as much out of interest in recording engineering as in turning a profit. “‘Kids used to use my place to practice,’ he said. ‘There wasn’t any place in the area to record.'” Pine Hills had only a few small hits around the Orlando area, but Don’s legacy will include all the good music he recorded.

The article also mentions upcoming releases – a country disc by Jerry Morris & John Lindy’s String Band and a rock group called the Thunders. I’m not sure if these ever saw release. Jeff Lemlich tells me “The Thunders were probably the Fabulous Thunder. They were from the Orlando area, and were booked by Bee Jay (the guys behind the Tener label). The only 45 of theirs I know is ‘So Hold Me Tight’/’Jealous Of You’, on Tight 3606 from January 1966”.

Profile of Pine HIlls Recording Company's Don Gore and the Malemen, Orlando Evening-Star
Profile of Pine HIlls Recording Company’s Don Gore and the Malemen, Orlando Evening-Star