The Hallmarks came from the towns of Oceanport and Long Branch, New Jersey. An article from the Ashbury Park Press of September 26, 1967 gives the full membership of the group:
The Hallmarks are Russ Scalzo, the composer who plays rhythm guitar; his brother, Joseph, drums, and cousin, Anthony Scalzo, rhythm guitar; Ricky Gager, lead guitar, and Jim Bova, bass guitar.
At the time of the article, Russ was the oldest, at 19, Tony Scalzo was 18, Joe Scalzo was 16, and Ricky and Jim were 15.
The article continues, “The record was produced by Thomas Falcone, who was instrumental in bringing the group together through a contest and for promoting the record with Mercury.”
The band cut Russ Scalzo’s original “I Know Why” as early as 1966. With a new title and lyric changes, plus layers of echo and effects to the recording, the Hallmarks released the song as “Soul Shakin’ Psychedelic Sally” on Smash in the summer of 1967. Many listeners prefer the original version without all the echo and effects, but the single does have a zany power that’s made it a classic.
The flip, “Girl of My Dreams” is more conventional. A demo acetate from Bedminster Sound Corp. in West Orange has one unreleased song produced by Tommy Falcone, “Baby We Can Make It Together”, the band trading off with a girl group chorus.
Unfortunately this was the only release the band had. I’m not sure how or why the group broke up.
A few years ago Russ Scalzo produced a musical based on his experiences with the group, “Running Through the Fire” written with daughter Rachel, and is now an author of Christian books. His website is www.russscalzo.com.
Producer Tommy Falcone has an interesting history. In 1963 he and Gino Viscione started the Cleopatra label, famous for labels featuring a reclining woman, often mistaken for Elizabeth Taylor but actually Tommy’s wife in costume. Cleopatra had at least eight releases, ranging from the Tabbys’ bizarre “Hong Kong Baby” to the Centuries great instrumentals “The Outer Limits” and “Jack 23”.
After Cleopatra folded, Falcone had his hand in producing, including the Inmates’ excellent “You Tell Lies” on Columbia and the Shoestring’s “Candy Andy”. Unfortunately Tommy Falcone passed away around the age of 40 circa 1970, supposedly from a heart attack after playing an accordion concert.
Great double-sider 45 from the Towers, “Not With Him” b/w “Babe”, their only release on the Flame 411 with 102-A/B also on the labels.
The fast, pleading “Not With Him” was written by Einstein, Anderson, Bado, Anderson.
Harmon Einstein wrote the flip, which I like even better, “Babe”. Both songs have Nanni Publication listed for publisher.
The mastering engineer must have been working without a title sheet, as he etched “Said I Love You” in the deadwax of the A-side and “Bab” of the flip. It’s a low-fidelity pressing, with lots of surface noise, but the quality of the performances comes through.
The location of the band was a mystery to me until Mike Kuzmin wrote to me that the band was from Hamilton Square, New Jersey, near Trenton.
The Flame label also released Clay Brown & the Invaders “Talkin’ Soul” (C. Wilson) / “Nothin’ But Love” on Flame 415. Clay Brown & the Invaders formed in Florence, South Carolina in 1967.
I’d like to know the three singles that come between the Towers on Flame 411 and the Clay Brown on Flame 415.
I don’t have any info on the Mark V other than what’s on the labels. BMI lists the “Mark V” as the song writer for “I Want To Say”, so that indicates the band members were L. Cerame, G. Snow, R. Eder, T. Montanino, and R. Hackling.
The b-side “You Make Me Lose My Mind” is the wilder of the two songs; Jack Provenzano is the writer. Unfortunately it’s not on youtube right now, but it’s worth seeking out for the weird scream after the opening drum roll.
Released on Blast 215 in 1964. Vincent Catalano (Vinnie) owned the Blast label, and also had the Sinclair, Whale, Mermaid, and Camay Records labels with Don Ames. Blast is known for doo wop, especially “Coney Island Baby” by the Excellents. Basil Bova did some A&R work for the Blast label.
Jerry Rivera and the Generations released this single on the Kim Records label, probably in the early 1970s.
“Baby Be Mine” was supposed to be the A-side, it starts with a recitation and moves into an easy-listening ballad.
I’m more taken with the flip, “Lovin’ Man” which starts quietly and gets a good psychedelic groove going, but refrains from cutting loose. In nearly four and a half minutes, we get several repetitions of the chorus, a long undistorted guitar solo and some overdubbed trumpet, and I did like how the lyric “let me ease your mind” sounds like “let me eat your mind”!
Both songs are originals published by Help Me Music BMI, and recorded at Triple “A” Studios, on Walnut Street in South Amboy, New Jersey with Marty Ruszala as the engineer.
The release on Kim Records 20605 included the cool picture sleeve with notes on the back (“LOVIN’ MAN also projects a meaning but of a different nature”). The runout on this single is etched ARP-2097/8, I’m not sure the plant, but it would not be American Record Pressing Co. in Owosso, Michigan.
Max Waller informs me of another single by Jerry Rivera, “Fortunata” / “This World” on Kim ULT 70011 from about 1970, which indicates “written by Gerald D. Rivera” on the label. Neither of us has heard this single.
This is not the same Kim Records who released an excellent Night Crawlers sounding single by Ron Starr (aka Ron & the Starfires) with the Chuck Conlon penned “Crawl Into My Shoulder” in 1967.
Last weekend I picked up a number of interesting LPs. None of them of the garage genre, but Big Daddy’s Twist Party sounds great. My copy of the LP has stickers on the front cover saying “Herb Zane”. Herb seems to have signed this copy on the top left of the back cover, which also lists him as producer.
WFMU’s Beware of the Blog discussed this record a couple years back. They kindly included soundclips of all the songs if you want to hear them.
Herb Zane’s real name was Herb Zukerberg. He lived in Patterson, New Jersey and his orchestra had a long stint at the Steak Pit in nearby Paramus. He died in 2009 at age 81; an obituary called him “the bar mitzvah king — a roly-poly force of nature”. The article continues:
November of 1964 found the Herb Zane Orchestra at the Short Hills Caterers for Jay Rosenbaum’s coming-of-age celebration.
“Before the party, he asked me what my theme song was going to be,” Rosenbaum said. “I told him I wanted ‘Blue Velvet’ by Bobby Vinton. I remember him looking at me and thinking, ‘Oy, kid, get a life!'”
Rosenbaum got his “Blue Velvet.” He also got rock-and-roll.
“Some of my relatives thought the band was way too loud and left,” Rosenbaum said. But the party went overtime and the bar mitzvah boy’s friends danced out the door.
Zane had a great 1955 single, “‘You Name It’ Mambo” on Eddie Heller’s Rainbow label out of New York, that included the line “Oh hot pastrami, hot pastrami mambo mambo”.
Zane followed this with two singles on what might have been his own label, Caravan, in 1957, and had at least six additional singles on various labels. He cut his first LP, Let’s Go Latin Cha Cha Cha, for Tico in 1960. Though a drummer and emcee with his orchestra, he’s credited with the vocal on the Rainbow single and on at least one of his De Luxe 45s.
So Herb Zane must be Big Daddy, right? Here’s where it gets confusing, and thus, the reason for my post on this record.
There were at least a few artists using the “Big Daddy” moniker in the late ’50s and early ’60s. One was Frankie Brunson, who recorded as Big Daddy for the Gee and Wynne labels, among others, but he doesn’t seem to be involved with this album.
The two mentions of Big Daddy’s Twist Party on the internet attribute this album to “Big” Bob Kornegay (pronounced Carnegie, I believe), a prolific r&b vocalist and songwriter (see this detailed discography) who sometimes recorded as Big Daddy. However, I don’t believe Kornegay is actually singing on this record.
In February, 1957, Bob Kornegay cut a double-sided r&b novelty number “The Man in the Phone Booth”, first as “The Wanderer” on the Flair-X label and then a week later for the Herald Label as “Big Bob Kornegay, ‘The Happy Wanderer'”.
Billboard sussed out the story behind these competing records with two items in the February 23, 1957 issue (see clippings at end of article). One describes how Kornegay was under contract to Herald when he recorded the Flair-X sides. Herald had Kornegay cut an identical version, using the same musicians and arrangement, and rushed it out to compete with the Flair-X release.
A separate article notes “Al Silver of Herald said he and Kappi Jordon – blonde chick who runs Flair-X – had decided not to sue each other. ‘We’ll fight it out record for record like gentlemen’ said Silver, ‘and let the best wax win.'” Billboard later discovered Kornegay was signed to several other labels as well, so no wonder he recorded under aliases.
As it turns out, Herb Zane co-wrote “The Man in the Phone Booth” with Lee Pines. Fred Mendelsohn of DeLuxe Records decided to have Zane cut his own version and rushed it into the marketplace in a matter of days, though in a review Billboard preferred Kornegay’s vocals.
Coincidently, an ad for DeLuxe, King and Federal records from March of ’57 (Syd Nathan owned all three labels at that time) includes Herb Zane’s “The Man With the Phone Booth” and also lists Kornegay (as Big Daddy) with “Bacon Fat” / “Bad Boy” on King 5013. Not only did Herb Zane and Bob Kornegay release the same song, but they simultaneously were also recording under the same umbrella of labels.
By 1961, Felix Mendelsohn had left Deluxe and started his own label, Regent, which he would later sell to Herman Lubinsky of Savoy. One of his first LPs on Regent is Big Daddy’s Twist Party, produced by his old friend from the DeLuxe days, Herb Zane.
Is Bob “Big Daddy” Kornegay singing on this LP? It’s possible, but I doubt it. The Music Maestros label released a 45 featuring the identical cut of “The Persians Twist” from this album with Herb Zane’s name on it, and no mention of any other vocalist. Considering he was characterized as ‘roly poly’, I am inclined to think that Herb Zane took the Big Daddy name for himself for this album.
There’s a secondhand reference on the ‘net that Kornegay had throat cancer and stopped singing in 1959, but see Robin’s comment below that he actually lived into the 1980s.
Herb Zane discography (any help would be appreciated)
U.S. Singles: Rainbow 289: “‘You Name It’ Mambo” / “Wedding Mambo” (1955) Caravan 15605: “Double Talk Cha Cha Cha” / “Cuban Rangers Cha Cha Cha” (June 1956) Caravan 15606: “Encanto Cubano” / “Itsfunto” (meringue) DeLuxe 6099: “By You, By You” / “Let Me in Your Heart” (December 1956) (vocal by Herb Zane and Chorus) DeLuxe 6118: “Man in the Phone Booth ‘Hello Baby'” / “Man in the Phone Booth ‘Hello Mama'” (February 1957) Arrow 718: “Love, Love, Crazy Love” / “Y-Yi-O-U” (October 1957) 20th Century Fox 289: “Hokey Pokey Rock” / “Digga Digga Dum Dum Dum” (January 1962) 20th Century Fox 405: “Didn’t Want To Get Hitched” / “I Laughed Till I Cried” (1963) Music Maestros Z6201: “The Persian Twist” [written by Zane and Gross (Felix Gross?)] / “Twistin’ At The Pit” (year?) Music Maestros Z6202: “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” / ?
Unconfirmed singles: Allegre 5560 – “Melancholy” / “Bye Bye” (may be demo acetate only) Bond 605: “Double Talk Cha Cha” / ?
Ronnex 1181 (Belgium) “Encanto Cubano” / “Itsfunto” meringue Ronnex 1185 (Belgium) “’You Name It’” Mambo” / Alfredito: “His Majesty Cha Cha” Regency 596 (Canada) “Man in the Phone Booth ‘Hello Baby’” / “Man in the Phone Booth ‘Hello Mama’”
LPs: Tico LP 1073: Let’s Go Latin Cha Cha Cha (1960) Regent MG-6106: Big Daddy’s Twist Party (1961 or early 1962)
Thank you to Tapio and Bob of Dead Wax for help with the discography.
The Bucaneer’s (or Bucaneers) had this one release, a great two-sider from 1966 on the Amigo label out of Philadelphia, PA. Both sides are well-written and performed.
“You’re Never Gonna Love Me Anymore” pleads forgiveness for cheating a third time. A repetitive lead guitar line plays over the distorted rhythm guitar, with tambourine helping to move the tune along.
The shoe’s on the other foot for “I’m a Fool”. This time the guy is sticking around while his girl deceives him.
Both sides are by Ron Krause, though I couldn’t find any listing in ASCAP for these songs.
Richie Moore produced this and the publishing is attributed to Amigo and R-Mor. Reach Records is listed as distributor. Interesting spelling of their name on the label, as it should be Buccaneers instead of Bucaneers and doesn’t need the apostrophe.
I knew next to nothing about the band until guitarist Don Bevers contacted me and informed me they were from Barrington, New Jersey, just southeast of Philadelphia:
My name is Don Bevers, originator and lead guitarist of the band. Members on the recording were:
Ron Krause – rhythm/lead guitar, lead vocal George Falcone – Farfisa keyboard/ keyboard bass and backup vocals Ken Loftis – drums, tambourine, back up vocals Don Bevers – lead/rhythm guitar, back up vocals
1963 Don and George met in grade school school and practiced standard songs playing accordion and guitar. Later added Ken Loftis on drums and named the combo The Starlites.
1964 The Starlites played weddings, parties, school dances, and private clubs in the Philadelphia, and Jersey Shore area.
1965 The band progressed from dance music to R&R cover songs while developing strong vocal harmonies.
1966 Met with Ron Krause who was a talented poet and songwriter. We began to arrange two of his songs and was then introduced to a producer, Richie Moore, of The Richie Moore Trio in Philadelphia. The band name was changed to The Buccaneers. The spelling had to be altered for copyright reasons.
We scheduled a recording session, we actually recorded four or five originals, but left all but the two released in the can for use on a future album (never finished). The Bucaneers were unsigned. The record was independently produced in cooperation with Reach Productions. I doubt if the master tracks we did are still around. The studio was also independent.
The band was picked up by all the local radio and appeared on many televised teen dance shows in Philadelphia. We became a regular with Hy Lit, Joe Niagra, Jerry Blavatt, Super Lou and many others. After a long tour throughout Pennsylvania, Hy Lit arranged for us to appear with the ” Dave Clark 5 ” as the opening band playing at the Camden County Music Fair.
The Sidekicks toured with us in ’66 all through PA. What a great 60’s band. “Suspicions” was going up the charts along with The Bucaneers “I’m a Fool”. We admired The Sidekicks from the first time we heard them. They were one of the few bands of the era that had really great vocals. We would sit as close as possible when they played and to our surprise, they all were right up front when we took the stage. They especially liked our Stones,Yardbirds and Doors covers, and our single, “I’m A Fool”. We actually played all together for a rockin jam toward the end of the tour.
I recall late one night, after the show, somewhere out in the woods in Pennsylvania, The Bucaneers, with equipment trailer, were the lead vehicle in the entourage of several bands moving on to the next city. Everybody wanted to stop at the first place we could find to get something to eat. Somehow we were distanced way ahead of the rest. Our tour manager stopped at a late night diner. He parked the vehicle near the road so the rest would see that we had stopped there.
These were very different times when guys with long hair were not accepted everywhere, and this was one of those times. As the four of us walked into the establishment with our manager, and took up stools at the counter, we noticed about 6 or 7 tough looking dudes playing pinball in an another part of the diner. They were starting to trash talk while walking toward us. Just when we were thinking that there was going to be a fight, the door opened and The Sidekicks and three or four other long haired groups filled up the place. The look on the faces of those troublemakers was priceless as they slowly left the diner got in their cars and sped away like scared little girls. We all had a good laugh.
1967 Ron left the group to return to college. The band continued to expand their touring range to include Virginia. Just after performing a sold out concert in Petersburg, VA, Ken and Don were involved in a head on car crash, both hospitalized with serious injuries. George joined another working band. After some time the band briefly reformed with Ken Williams on keyboard, and Lou Ottavi on bass to fulfill contractual agreements in Virginia.
1992 The original Bucaneers played a reunion show in Washington Township, NJ.
Where are they now?
Don Bevers: Writing and producing a smooth jazz cd with “The Peter Bennett Band” for release in 2011. Plays bass on occasion with Kickin Again. Lives in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Ken Loftis: Performs with Something Beatles, a NJ based Beatles tribute band.
George Falcone: Writing New Age material for a soon to be released CD from his home studio in NJ.
Thank you for generating interest in the 60’s era bands. It was a great time for everyone.
I would like to say my prayers and deepest sympathy go out to the Krause family as we lost a truly great Bucaneer to cancer. Ron was easy going, and such a pleasure to work with. He always had a smile, and a wonderful, witty, and creative personality.
The Yorkshire Puddin cut two 45s in ’67 and ’68. Their first 45 is the fine “Good Night Day” backed with “Ain’t Gonna Love Ya No More”. They updated their sound for the second release, “Keep Me In Mind”.
“Keep Me in Mind”, like both sides of their first 45 were written by Cotharin – De Leon and produced by Woody Gardella. “Black Jacket Woman”, the flip of “Keep Me in Mind”, is the same moody pop number also done by the Zone V and the Tropics (the original?). I hear a female voice on the harmonies on this song only.
Dellwood was based in first Hackensack then nearby Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
Rhythm guitarist and vocalist Frank DePauw left a detailed comment about the band below, that I’ll repeat here:
Bob Cotharin, left hand Hofner bass player, and head singer and spokesman of the group. Reynold Ponce De Leon, keyboards, (harpsichord), rhythm guitar, and harmonies. Robert Heinick, lead guitar, and vocalist. Gail Koennemann did some backup singing, and wed Bob Cotharin in ’69 or ’70. No longer together. Daniel Jollen, drummer, drafted into the Army in the summer of ’68 Frank DePauw, second guitar, harmonies, backup keyboards, and in spare time, light show producer.
The group was the “house band” for the “Castaway” in Hampton Bay, Long Island, N.Y. in the summer of “68, when the drummer was drafted. A mad search went out, but no one could fill Dan’s job, and the group, after trying to get the “sound” back, broke up.
Anyone have a photo of the group, or can fill in more history on how they came to record for Dellwood and play at the Castaway?
Thanks once again to JP Coumans for the scan of “Keep Me in Mind” and transfer of “Black Jacket Woman”