Category Archives: Portland

The New Yorkers & the Fury Four

New Yorkers Santana 45 Things Are ChanginThis 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).

Fury Four Santana 45 City GirlLabeled “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:

TEEN SCENE
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.

Star-Bright Records discography

Wilde Knights Star-Bright 45 Just Like Me
I’d appreciate any help with this discography.

Star-Bright 3051 – The Wilde Knights – “Beaver Patrol” (Dey – Brown) / “Tossin’ and Turnin'”
Rich Brown, vocal on both songs. S-1-866/7

Star-Bright 3052 – The Wilde Knights – “Just Like Me” (Dey for Tinadele Pub. Co. BMI) / “I Don’t Care” (Dey-Brown) Rick Dey vocals on both songs, S-1-864/5

Star-Bright 3053 – Bruce (pseudonym for The Niteriders) – “I Got My Mojo Workin'” / “La-La-La”

Star-Bright 3054 – The Niteriders – “Satisfaction Guaranteed” (Doak) S-1-868 / “Whatever’s Right” (Johnson, Doak, Sells)

Star-Bright 3055 – The Niteriders – “With Friends Like You Who Needs Friends” (Doak) S-1-871 / “Just Call on Me”

Star-Bright 3056 – ??

Star-Bright 3057- Thornbush Ripple IV – “Room With a Crew” Part I / “Room With a Crew” Part II (Anonymous – McCoy for Tinadele Pub) S-1-874/5

Paul Johnson produced all the Star-Bright singles.

Wilde Knights Star-Bright 45 I Don't CareThe Wilde Knights formed when the draft took Ray Kennedy, lead singer of the Furys, who had two fine r&b records on the Lavender label. Furys member Rich Brown ( lead vocals, guitar) and Roger Huycke (drums) added Rich Dey from the Vejtables as a second lead vocalist and Dean Adair and changed the band’s name to the Wilde Knights.

The Furys had originally been based out of Longview, Washington, but the band’s live circuit brought them up and down the west coast, so perhaps it’s not surprising the Wilde Knights cut their two singles in a studio in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles for release by a brand-new label based in a small coastal town in southern Oregon.

“Beaver Patrol” is an instant classic, featuring lead vocals by Rich Brown. Their second single on Star-Bright, also from 1965, features the original version of “Just Like Me” written and sung by Rich Dey. The story goes that Paul Revere heard the song and bought it from Dey for maybe $5,000. It became a monster hit for the Raiders in December 1965, while Dey seems to have died young, circa 1970. The full story of the Furys/Wilde Knights and their later incarnations is best told in Greg Shaw’s liner notes to the 1984 Voxx LP compiling their recordings.

The third release on Star-Bright is one I haven’t heard, an artist called Bruce doing “I Got My Mojo Workin'” / “La-La-La”. Bruce is supposed to be a pseudonym for members of the Niteriders, who would have the next two singles on Star-Bright in 1966. I know very little about the Niteriders but their two singles are fantastic. The group may have come from Portland, Oregon. “Satisfaction Guaranteed” b/w “Whatever’s Right” came out in early 1966 followed quickly by their second release “With Friends Like You Who Needs Friends” b/w “Just Call on Me”.

I can’t find any copyright registrations to Niteriders member Doak, whose name appears on the Niteriders song writing credits, but I have found a copyright registration from June of ’66 for “Satisfaction Guaranteed” by Donald Richard Keefer. Rick Keefer would produce singles by Genesis, the King Biscuit Entertainers, and American Cheese, all bands with roots in the Furys or Wilde Knights. He had a few early copyrights in 1965: ‘Hurt So Good”, “I Saw Sloopy” and “Soul Searchin'”. It’s conceivable he was a part of the Niteriders.

The Los Angeles label Modern Records released “With Friends Like You Who Needs Friends” under a pseudonym, the Composers, and also put out the Wilde Knights “Beaver Patrol”, supposedly without the band’s knowledge. The Modern releases, along with publishing by Tinadele Pub. BMI suggest a strong Los Angeles connecton for Star-Bright Records.

I haven’t found out what Star-Bright 3056 is, but Star-Bright 3057 (on a purple label) is the Thornbush Ripple IV “Room With a Crew” Part I / “Room With a Crew” Part II, a novelty release featuring a not very funny recitation of what’s supposed to be an asylum inmate, spoken over a bluesy guitar, piano and drums backing.

Star-Bright Records: six or seven releases, four of which are essential garage. Not a bad average!

The Fire

April Brooks and Candy Hunt of Fire
April Brooks and Candy Hunt of Fire, featured in the E.J.D. Enterprises Inc. News Bulletin of Nov/Dec ’67

The Fire Vanco 45 Happy SpringtimeJP sent me this 45 by an Oregon group The Fire, released approximately 1968. “Happy Springtime” was written by Candy Hunt and David Kahl, but I prefer the b-side, “Sorry for Tryin'”, written by Candy Hunt and Jeff Kaasted, with a neat organ solo. Both sides were produced by Bill Downer and engineered by Rick Keefer.The Fire included two female singers, April Brooks and Candy Hunt, Jeff Kaasted on guitar, David Kahl on bass, and Jerry Krauser drums. John Lessig was the original frontman and the first keyboard player, Roger was replaced by Omar Burns who also doubled on trumpet.

I spoke to David Kahl about his time with the band:

I was sixteen at the time. I never intended to join the band, I was always basically a blues lover. The Animals and Yardbirds were the only bands that had appeal for me outside the blues.

I had gotten a call to audition for this band when I hadn’t actually put anything out that said I was interested. They were out in the middle of the sticks. They had a gig, needed a bass player temporarily. I agreed to join for thirty days. I stayed longer than I ever anticipated – almost a year. Getting out of class early was compelling!

We did some good rooms all over the Northwest. Opened for Don and the Goodtimes, the Sonics, the Wailers. The manager, Bill Downer … that was an appropriate name – about the slickest guy you could ever imagine … but he got us a lot of gigs.

The Fire Vanco 45 Sorry for Tryin'I’d been trying to write a tune here, a tune there. The manager said “Look, Candy’s got some words, we want to put out a record, give it a try.” Then I heard the words! I said “Oh God!” So I wrote a decent hook and modulated a couple times knowing full well it would be vocally challenging!

Jeff was supposed to write Sorry for Tryin’. I got him interested in using the fuzztone. Once we got into the studio we were told “that will never do!”

We were a tight, well presented group. I got the guys to do a couple Hendrix and Cream tunes. My older brother was a player too, guitar and also violin; we loved the direction Clapton and Hendrix were going in. I was getting paid incredibly well, but my brother and I formed a quartet then a trio, getting paid a fifth of what I got with the Fire. They went on for another year then dissipated as well.

After I worked with Rod Price, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, and spent five years playing with Paul deLay, probably the best chromatic harp player in the world.

David still plays music regularly in Portland. He is now working on MyGigNet.com a social network for musicians and music professionals.

Thank you to JP for sending me the scans and transfers, and to David Kahl for speaking to me about his first band.

The Gentlemen Wild

Gentlemen Wild Photo SignedAThe Gentlemen Wild had a lively career based out of Portland, Oregon starting in 1965. The band went through several personnel changes, but early members include Craig Cathey vocals and keyboards, Jay Zilka lead guitar, Page McCallum keyboards, Bill Whitcomb bass, Tom Phelps guitar and David Vermilya on drums.

In 1966 Bob Hart joined from the Beaverton group, the Nightraiders, and his father Ross Hart took over management of the band. Both additions immediately improved their prospects, and they became a house band at a teen club in Portland, the Tork Club.

In May of 1967 they won the state Battle of the Bands, enabling them to travel to the Ridge Arena in Braintree, Massachusetts (just outside Boston) to compete nationally. Their version of “Nowhere Man” from that competition is on a rare two record album released at the time. The photo just below is taken from the program for the Battle of the Bands.

They appeared on local and national television shows, including the Paul Revere & Mark Lindsay hosted show, Happening ’68. In the episode I’ve seen, the Gentlemen Wild lip synch to their version of “Keep On Running”, easily beating out a California band, the Good Friends and Merry Fellows, who did “Heat Wave”. Judges for that show included Bobby Vee and Sal Mineo, who says “have beads will travel” during the introductions! All the photos below are from the Happening ’68 show.

They released just one 45, recorded at the local NWI (Northwestern Incorporated) Studios and pressed on its vanity label. This is a label I’d definitely like to know more about! “You Gotta Leave” became a big hit on the west coast, reaching #2 in Portland. It was written by the guitarist, Jay Zilka.

The flip side, “I Believe”, wasn’t written by any of the band members. It’s not garage, more like the last slow song at a dance, the kind to get you to leave! Other members of the Gentlemen Wild at one time or another included Dave Cookson drums, John Crowe drums, and Steve Joslin keyboards. The band broke up in 1969.

Thanks to Mike for the Gentlemen Wild appearance on Happening ’68, and to Paul for the scan of the Braintree Battle of the Bands program.

 

 

 

 

 

 


All the screen shots above from the Happening ’68 TV show