Category Archives: Louisiana

The Surrealistic Pillar “I Like Girls”

Surrealistic Pillar Tamm 45 I Like GirlsThe Surrealistic Pillar came from Lafayette, Louisiana and cut the classic “I Like Girls” circa 1967 or 1968. The names on the label, Eddie Smith and Ed Futch, were not members of the band, but Ed Futch is likely singing lead vocals on “I Like Girls” – he has become well known by his stage name, Eddy Raven.

The lyrics, what I can make out of them, are from a different era:

Sitting in a car, the tape machine is blaring,
Watching all the girls, and digging the clothes they’re wearing.

When I see a mini-skirt, it drives me crazy,
Cause all the time I’m watching, I’m thinking … maybe,
I would find a girl that would say “surely”.

You could laugh at me, but never call me stupid…

[I wish I could make out the words of the third verse.]

Ed Futch, Eddie Smith wrote “I Like Girls” and Eddie Smith wrote the unusual instrumental, “Mexican Calliope” (rated a “2” in Teen Beat Mayhem!). La Lou Music BMI published both songs.

Though issued on Tamm Custom Series T-2027, this is a production of La Louisianne Records, which issued plenty of great singles, including Eddy Raven’s “Misery” and (for garage fans) the Rogues incredible “I Don’t Need You”.

A defunct website Turn Me On Dead Man had some info from one of the members of the band dating back to about 2003, but that person’s name is left off and only first names are given for the rest.

Well, the band started in 1965-+. We all went to school together or close to each other and somehow started playing together and then started a band. We used the name Kings Council at first, then took the name from a Jefferson Airplane album.

The band had six members with a light man and helper. I played bass. Ernie played drums, Benny played lead, Bubba played guitar, Rayburn sang, Glynn played lights and Clyde played tam, lights, and helped out.

We had Kustom equipment and a Hammond organ, so we could play stuff by Vanilla Fudge, Steppenwolf and other great bands.

I saw Eddie Futch[’s] (Eddie Raven) name listed, he is related to Benny. Eddie Smith is the one who got with us and taught us the song “I Like Girls.” He paid for the recording session and we sold about 200 copies. There is a couple still floating around. We used to play places like the Swing Machine, a college hangout. All I knew is we just had to play loud.

I just retired from the Lafayette Police Force after 29 years. In 1969 I went into the USMC and did my tour in VN [Vietnam]. Some members of the band went on to play in Sage. Benny is playing guitar in church. I have several guitars and play with Benny when we get together. The rest of the guys live around here [Lafayette, Louisiana] but me and Benny are the only ones who still play.

Surrealistic Pillar Tamm 45 Mexican Calliope

Sunshine Reigns

Sunshine Reigns MBM 45 Acelia DulfinSunshine Reigns came from Crowley, Louisiana. Members were:

Burton Mader – lead vocals, guitar (?)
Kyle Jones – organ
Mark Miller – bass
Danny Foreman – drums

They cut a single in 1968 or 1969 on mbm PRODUCTIONS No. 1946. Keyboardist Kyle Jones wrote the languid A-side, “Laura (Is the Girl)”. The flip is Danny Foreman’s song “Acelia Dulfin”, a warning about a girl with a cool spoken introduction. Hear both songs on youtube:

A comment on Discogs gives the full names of the band, and that they won “the Crowley High talent contest in the late 60s.” Another mention of the band being from Arlington, Texas seems far-fetched, as Arlington is 400 miles away from Crowley.

Mike Miller, son of legendary studio owner J.D. Miller of Crowley ran MBM Productions, putting out these four singles around 1968-1971:

MBM Productions 1945 – Maximus and His Projectors – “A Thing Called Limericks (part 1)” / “Bang Bang Lou Lou” (labeled Not For Broadcast!)
MBM Productions 1946 – Sunshine Reigns – “Laura (Is the Girl)” / “Acelia Dulfin”
MBM Productions 1947 – 49th Blue Streak – “Fire” / “Foxy Lady”
Bulb Record Co. 101 – Sorce – “Tomorrow Won’t See Me” (G. Duhan) / “Courthouse Massacre” (a Division MBM Productions of Crowley Louisiana, MBM Music, BMI)

Mike Miller’s mbm Productions is not connected to an earlier MBM label from Birmingham, Alabama.

Sunshine Reigns MBM 45 Laura (Is The Girl)

The Lost Generation on Bofuz

The Lost Generation circa 1966: Mike Rhodes, Rod Grassman, John Herring, Bob Keating, Ronnie Easley, Ronnie Schilling
The Lost Generation circa 1966, from left: Mike Rhodes, Rod Grassman, John Herring, Bob Keating, Ronnie Easley and Ronnie Schilling.
Thanks to Pam Causey for the photo

Lost Generation Bofuz 45 Let Me OutThe Lost Generation came from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and had one single on the Bofuz Enterprises label, “Let Me Out” / “They Tell Me” in 1966. Both sides are original songs.

“Let Me Out” has a great relaxed Stones feeling to it. Band members Michael Rhodes and Bob Keating wrote the song.

The flip is a different style, an echoing ballad that alternates harmonized verses with a mournful lead vocal. Mike Rhodes wrote this side.

Lost Generation Bofuz 45 They Tell MeJohn Herring sent in the photo above (courtesy of Pam Causey) and wrote to me about his career in music:

The personnel in the photo were the players on the Bofuz (Bonnie Fussel) record:

Bob Keating – lead vocals
Mike Rhodes – lead vocals
Ron Grassman – lead guitar
Ronnie Easley – rhythm guitar
John Herring – bass and vocals
Ronnie Schilling – drums

Mike Rhodes went on to a career in broadcasting (radio & television) primarily doing Sports for WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge.

I later played bass and sang in a three-piece power group, The Joint Effort with lead guitarist Jerry Heinberg (Souls of The Slain) and drummer Jimmy Rink, before joining Danny Cohen (Casey Kelly) from The Greek Fountains and Joe Miceli (A.J.’s older brother and the drummer for John Fred and The Playboys) in an L.A.- based group who recorded on A&M Records as The Luziana Band.

The Luziana Band also had guitarist/songwriters Jeffrey Comanor and Sammy Rubin (ye olde Inn Crowd) at different times.

Contrary what you may read elsewhere, this is not the same Lost Generation who had a single on Tear Drop 3195: “Baby!” (Allan Green, Gary Green) / “Night Time (Makes You Lonely)” in October 1968. That group came from the area around Freeport, Texas, including West Columbia, Clute and Lake Jackson. The members were Leonard ‘Beak’ Johnson (lead vocalist), Willie Funderburg (lead vocalist), Gary Greene (lead guitar), Larry Beal (organ), Mike Roberts (bass) and Pat O’Leary (drums).

The Chancellors on Caddo

The Chancellors Caddo 45 Can It Be LoveThe Chancellors came from Oil City, Louisiana, about 30 miles from Shreveport along Caddo Lake.

Members of the band were:

John “Rusty” Shafer – guitar
Howard Lee – guitar
Mike Dunahoo – bass
Tommy Valliera – drums

According to the liner notes of Big Beat release Don’t Be Bad, Rusty Shafer and Howard Lee were part of a folk quartet called the New River Four at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Lee and Shafer found a rhythm section in Mike Dunahoo and Tommy Valliera, and renamed the group the Chancellors.

The Chancellors Caddo 45 Don't Tell MeThey drove over four hours to cut two 45s at Recording Service Studios, Inc., 227 E. Sterling, Pasadena, releasing them on the Caddo label in 1965. The first was
“It’s Too Late” / “Can It Be Love” (Caddo 101, LH-2023/4), followed by “Don’t Tell Me” / “I Don’t Know Where I’m Going” in November, 1965, (Caddo 102, LH-2055/6).

“Don’t Tell Me” is available on the CDDon’t Be Bad, 60s Punk Recorded in Texas. I like “It’s Too Late” from the first single:

The Chancellors Caddo 45 I Don't Know Where I'm GoingAll songs were originals by Rusty Shafer and Howard Lee, published by Crazy Cajun BMI. Shafer and Lee registered five more songs with the Library of Congress that year, including “Gone Away, Lost in Sorrow”, “Impossible Dream”, “The Love We Share”, “Never, Never Say You Love Me”, “Tired of Laughing”. I don’t know if they recorded any of those songs.

The Barracudas of Baton Rouge

The Barracudas, photo from Brown Paper Sack
The Barracudas, photo from Brown Paper Sack
Barracudas Zundak 45 Baby Get LostThe Barracudas came from Bunkie, Louisiana, a small town south of Alexandria.

Members were:

John Haas – vocals
Terry Fontanille – lead guitar
Tommy McNabb – bass
Alex Haas – drums

The photo above shows a quintet, so I’m not sure who the additional guitarist was.

According to Mark Prellberg’s article in Brown Paper Sack, the band started out as the Pickles and appeared on a Saturday morning TV show broadcast from Alexandria. After a show at a Chevy dealership, KDBX DJs Gene McDaniels and Larry Jorgensen signed them to a management deal. They cut one single in April 1965 at the KDBX studio for release on their managers’ Zundak label.

One side is “Baby Get Lost”, an original by Haas and Fontanille. Guitarist Terry Fontanille provides several excellent hooks with his picking, there’s plenty of background shouting and chirping of the chorus, and even a short drum break.

Clocking in at 1:43, the recording has been called ludicrously sped up, but I’ve played it at various speeds and believe that the pressing is only 1% or 2% fast, which wouldn’t be unusual for the time. One version online pitched down to 2:05 sounded too lethargic and off-key to me. The video below is close to what I feel is the correct speed. Singer John Haas was 15 at the time of recording, which could account for the high-pitched vocals.

The flip is a decent version of Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do” though the short guitar and drum break after the harmonica solo is hilarious.

After Alex Haas left for college, John Haas and Tommy McNabb formed Nobody’s Children, with no recordings that I know of. Billy Powell of Jimmy & the Offbeats from Baton Rouge recruited John Haas as vocalist for his new group, John Eric & the Isoceles Popsicles, making one single each for USA and Verve.

As John Eric and the Isosceles Popcicles, they had two pop singles circa 1968, “I’m Not Nice” / “Like Him” on USA Records 913 and “Gonna Change My Mind” (Haas, Amarosa, McRee) / “I Been Trying” on Verve VK-10589.

Zundak Records

The Barracudas was the second release on the Zundak label, Zundak 45-101, with “Baby Get Lost” published by Zundak Publ. Co. BMI and production by Zundak Music Enterprises, Alexandria, Louisiana.

The only other composition I can find published by Zundak is “A Soldier’s Christmas in Viet Nam” by Charles England, copyrighted by Zundak Pub. Co. in October 1966.

Besides the Barracudas, Zundak released an album:

102 – Catahoula Country Time (Ruble Wright)

And five other singles that I know of:

100 – Terry & the Pirates – “Someone Care For Me” / “Stackel-Teez” Feb’65
103 – Little Caesar & the Romans – “Don’t Cry No More” / “Night Train”
104 – Jimmy Ingram and Jimmy Williams and the Down Beaters – “I Need You” / “She’s Gone” (both by O.A. Raby)
105 – Betty Simpson – “Weeping Willow” / “What Is Love”
106 – The X-L’s – “Protest Against Protest” / “Blue Blue Feeling” (July 1966)

The X-L’s is a crude kind of garage record, while the Jimmy Ingram is gospel-style soul and the Betty Simpson is pop, with a good soul feeling on the b-side.

Betty Simpson had a band called the Argos, consisting of Billy Spillman (bass), Steve Smith (drums), Robert Rachel and Stan Rachel (both guitar).

Some of the records were recorded at La Louisianne studios in Lafayette, about 90 miles to the southeast of Alexandria in central Louisiana.

Thank you to Max Waller and Teen Beat Mayhem for help with the Zundak discography.

Barracudas Zundak 45 Honest I Do

Alva Starr

Alva Starr ad in Billboard, September 9, 1967
Alva Starr ad in Billboard, September 9, 1967
Alva Starr Golden 45 Clock on the WallAlva Starr Golden 45 Light of 1000 YearsAlva Starr was a character in the Tennessee Williams play This Property Is Condemned. Natalie Wood portrayed Alva Starr in the 1966 flim of the same name, with a screenplay written in part by Francis Ford Coppola.

Alva is not a common name now, but you may recall it was phonograph inventor Thomas Edison’s middle name. Alva Starr became the stage name for Alva Snelling, a songwriter and singer from, possibly, Denham Springs, Louisiana, a few miles east of Baton Rouge.

Snelling recorded two singles in August and September 1967 for the Baton Rouge label Golden Records, owned by Ebb-Tide, short for Ebenezer K. Harris.

The first, on Golden 102 is the psychedelic-garage classic “Clock on the Wall”, where Alva intones lyrics like “time has made slaves of us all … the clock ticks away at our destiny … the hands they move with such a pace as to control the lives of the human race” while the band vamps with a monotonous drum beat in the background.

The flip side is the bizarre and cool patriotic ode “Space Race to the Moon” which includes lyrics like “the moon must be free, because that’s the way God meant it to be”. Alva Snelling wrote both songs, published by Sano Pub. Co BMI.

His second single is another fine original “Light of 1000 Years” played with a defter touch than the first, and backed with a cover of Arthur Alexander’s “Anna”. Snelling registered “Light of 1000 Years” with the Library of Congress in March of 1966.

As to who was backing Alva Starr, one commentator on youtube suggests the band was named the Luvrakers. I couldn’t find info on the Luvrakers other than they had a guitarist named Susan Owens probably at a later date than these recordings. However John Herring of the Lost Generation  doesn’t recall Susan Owens, but provided me with the names of the Luvrakers:

Rodney White – lead guitar and vocals
L.J. DeMaio (DeMiah? – how should this be spelled? – now calls himself L.J. Copas of the Copas Brothers) – rhythm guitar and vocals
Alva Snelling – bass and lead vocals
Alva’s brother – keyboard
David Cook – drums

Alva Starr Golden 45 AnnaAlva Starr and Ebb Tide produced both of these singles on “Golden-Records of La.” Golden Records had an address of PO Box 2544 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Both singles were released with gold-colored labels, though some copies of “Light of 1000 Years” have blue labels.

In 1986 Alva’s current band the Luv-Rakers recorded a heavy version of “Clock on the Wall” on Angel Records 1006, b/w “Lost Things and Changes” (written by Susan Owens).

Alva Snellling seems to have died in 1995, but I can’t find confirmation of this.

Other than Alva Starr and an interesting release by a Detroit group, Organized Confusion, most releases on Golden Records were country or soul music. 45 Cat has a nearly complete discography.

Blue label version scan taken from Mojama Records. Tip of the hat to Chaim O’Brien-Blumenthal for finding the Billboard ad at top.

Alva Starr Golden 45 Light of 1000 Years
Unusual blue label version of “Light of 1000 Years”

Ronnie and the Crowns

Ronnie and the Crowns Stephanie 45 Love You SoRonnie and the Crowns formed as early as 1962 at Westdale Junior High in Baton Rouge. Members on the single may include:

Ronnie Sherlock – vocals
Jimmy Rogers – lead guitar
Cal Arnold – bass
A.J. Miceli – drums

Although not audible on the single, the band also included a full horn section at some point:

Charlie Spinoza – trumpet
Ivan Bergeron – trumpet
Tommy Berthelo – tenor saxophone
Richard Sherlock – baritone saxophone

Ronnie and the Crowns Stephanie 45 Cotton CandyIn 1966 they recorded their one excellent single on Stephanie Records of Baton Rouge #MX-957. One side is “Love You So” written by James M. Rogers, lead guitarist in the group and featuring his super-trebley and reverbed guitar. The flip is a cover of Lenny Capello’s New Orleans classic “Cotton Candy” (“I know my Candy is always handy”).

Ronnie Sherlock produced the Ronnie & the Crowns single. My copy is pretty rough, but it’s inscribed “from Richard & Ronnie” on the “Cotton Candy” label.

I don’t know much about Stephanie Records, other than seeing a list of 10 or so singles released on the label. Sam Montel (S.J. Montalbano) must have owned the label as two early releases have his name as producer. Also, the MX- prefix is present on all releases on the label, and shows up on many releases on the Montel and Michelle labels, as does the Red Stick Music publishing, used for “Love You So”.

The Persian Market

The Persian Market Lightning 45 Flash In The PanLee DeHart – lead vocals
Doug Cochrane – lead guitar
Brad DeHart – rhythm guitar, vocals
Tommy Ranson – bass and vocals
Doug Begneaud – organ
Keith Thibodeaux – drums
Joe Stein – percussion and vocals

The Persian Market came from Lafayette, Louisiana. In May of 1967, the band recorded four songs at La Louisianne’s studio in Lafayette. Two of these, “Flash in the Pan” and “The Wind Is Ours” were released on Lightning Records LR 103. They also recorded versions of “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” and “The Gamma Gooce”, which eventually saw release on Cicadelic. “Flash In the Pan” is a driving garage number, led by the organ playing and with a good vocal delivery. It was written by Lee Dehart and Tom Ranson. The flip is the softer “The Wind Is Ours” (written by Brad Dehart for Lightening Pub, BMI).

The single was produced by Eddy Raven and Ben Skolnick, 104 Brighton, Lafayette, LA; the address is a house not far from the Vermilion River. Ben Skolnick managed the group.

Keith Thibodeaux had acted the part of “Little Ricky” on the TV series I Love Lucy and also played in another group, Little David and The Giants.

Anyone have a photo of the band?

Persian Market Lake Charles American Press Thursday, May 11, 1967
May 1967 ad for the Cave on Ryan Street in Lake Charles, featuring the Persian Market (Fri. May 12) & the Gravel Road (Sat. May 13)

The first 45 on the label was Lightning LR-101, the Roamin’ Togas “Bar the Door” (Person, Adams, Prust) / “You Must Believe Me” from June of 1967, with the same production and publishing credits as the Persian Market. The Adams in the credits seems to be Pete Adams, according to BMI. I’m not sure of any other releases on Lightning, but the Togas and Persian Market are now very rare, fetching about $200 nowadays.

Sources: Brad DeHart’s website and Mike Dugo’s interview with Doug Cochrane.

The Persian Market Lightning 45 The Wind Is Ours