This 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).
Labeled “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:
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.