Category Archives: Pennsylvania

The Sands of Time on Stearly Records

The Sands of Time, circa 1967-8
The Sands of Time, circa 1967-8

Sands of Time Stearly 45 Come Back Little GirlThe Sands of Time came from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and recorded one single on Stearly Records 8167 in August, 1967.

“Come Back Little Girl”, written by Feliciani, has a catchy intro with a distorted treble guitar sound.

The singer breathlessly calls out the lyrics to the flip “When She Crys For Me”, written by Ellis, with more cool buzzing guitar between verses. Bill Hamilton of Hamilton Productions produced the single.

I didn’t know the members’ names or anything much about the band until I heard from Mike Marr:

The Sands of Time, early photo with Bill Ellis and Joe Feliciani
“Here is the earliest picture of the band, Bill Ellis (top right) and Joe Feliciani (bottom right). The accordionist did not stay very long with the band.”

At the time of this recording I was the bass player in the Sands of Time; the band members were:Joe Feliciani – lead guitar and vocals
Bill Ellis – rhythm guitar and vocals
John Furterer – drums and vocals
Art Bernie – organ
Mike Marr – bass

The original band members were all neighborhood friends. Back in the mid to late 60’s everybody wanted to play guitar. We would play in someone’s basement or living room. I guess you could say the band was officially organized by an older man named John Mullins who knew Joe Feliciani’s father.

Sands Of Time at Scanlon RecreationCenter, Philadelphia, May or June, 1967
Sands Of Time at Scanlon Recreation Center, Philadelphia, May or June, 1967

This was a picture [above] of our first playing job. It was at Scanlon Recreation Center in Philadelphia. I think this was taken May or June of 1967.

Art Bernie joined the band a few weeks after this picture was taken and he was from that neighborhood (Kensington) in Philadelphia.

The Sands of Time, circa 1968
The Sands of Time, circa 1967-8

We were ages fourteen to sixteen at the time of the recording. It was done at a studio in Camden New Jersey that was in a motel on Admiral Wilson Blvd. It was the Oasis Motel and the studio may have been named Palmer Studios.The name Stearly Recordings was chosen because it was the street where our crowd of friends lived and hung out. I don’t remember [producer] Bill Hamilton. It is possible that he knew and dealt with John Mullins who acted as our manager at the time.

That is a Vox bass. Later I bought a White Gibson EB3 (very rare color). I also had a fretless Dan Armstrong (clear body). The band evolved with other members as time went on but no other recordings were ever made.

The Sands of Time, circa 1967-8
The Sands of Time, circa 1967-8

These pictures [at right] show Art Bernie the organist but Joe Feliciani was no longer in the band and was replaced by Rick Sutcliff, and Bill Ellis remained for another year.This would have been Fall of 1967 and Winter of 1968. There was more evolution but this was the band at the time of the record recording and soon after.

Mike Marr

Sands of Time Stearly 45 When She Crys For MeThis band has no connection to the Sands of Time who recorded Red Light on Sterling Award records out of New York.

The Coachmen Five and the Kiski label of Pennsylvania

The Coachmen Five Kiski 45 I Will Cry TodayThe Coachmen Five have this one obscure release from May of 1966 on the Kiski label. The band was from Oakdale, Pennsylvania, a small town about 20 minutes west of Pittsburgh. The Kiski label was located in North Apollo, PA, an even smaller town about 45 minutes drive northeast of Pittsburgh.

The singing is somewhat eccentric, but the band ably rocks out on both songs, originals written by Horpenska. A comment below lists members of the band as including Joe Horpenska on vocals, Jeff Thomas on bass and Denny Singer on drums.

I can find almost no info about the band, but this seems to be one of the later releases on the Kiski label, at least of the 20xx series. Kiski had over a dozen 45 releases in the early ’60s ranging from country to religious to soul to garage. Kiski started with Vandergrift, PA listed on the labels, then Freeport, PA, then New Apollo, PA.

Any help with this discography would be appreciated.

Kiski 2050 – Jacklads (arr. Dick & Jack Tody, sax Dick Tody) – “Alouette” / “Hot Toddy”
Kiski 2051 – Men From Mars – “I’ve Been With Jesus”, “Lord Build Me a Cabin” / “Previous Memories”, “The Fourth Man”
Kiski 2052 – Faulkner Bros., Gary & Dick – “In The Chapel In The Moonlight” / Gary & Dick Faulkner – “Guitar Boogie” 1961
Kiski 2053 – Jack Cartwright & the String Kings – “I’ve Lost You Forever” / “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”
Kiski 2054 – ?
Kiski 2055 – Barnes Brothers – “All Mixed Up Inside” / “Don’t Blame Me”
Kiski 2056 – The Alma-Keys (vocals) with the Citations – “Please Come Back To Me” (Roland Hayden) / “Jumpin’ Twist”
Kiski 2057 – Tawni Simms – “Will You Please Be Mine” / “Goodbye My Love”

Kiski 2063 – Ed “Tex” Belin & the Bel-Marts – “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)” / “I Overlooked An Orchid” 1963
Kiski 2064 – The Renditions – “That’s When I Cried” (David M. Wells) / “Time Goes By” (Thomas B. Kennie & David M. Wells) 1964
Kiski 2065 – The Chevrons – “Who Does He Cry To” / “Jones Girl”
Kiski 2066 – The Thundermen – “Thunderbeat” / “Conjagua”
Kiski 2067 – The Marauders – “Slidin’ In” (Ronald Misejka) / “Kosta Rica”
Kiski 2067 – The Royal Rebels – “Drive In” / “Mojo Workout”
Kiski 2068 – The Kruisers – “C’mon Sweet Baby” (James Robeson) / “Karen”
Kiski 2069 – The Four Dimensions – “Moe’s Cast” / “I’m In Heaven”

Kiski 2072 – The Coachmen Five – “I Will Cry Today” / “I’m Comin’ Home”

Possibly DJ Bob Livorio of WKPA in New Kensington had something to do with the label.

The Royal Rebels came all the way from Cortland, Ohio, and had another recording as the Rhythm Rebels on Sunburst, “The Things You Do” / “Littlest Hobo”.

The Kruisers came from the towns of Sarver and Butler, PA, about 40 miles to the northwest of North Apollo. The Kruiser had another single on the Process label “It’s the Way She …” / “Panther Walk” in December of 1965, and another as the Lost Ones “I Can’t Believe You” / “I Wanna Know” on Mersey 002 in 1966.

In addition there are at least two LPs on Kiski, the Kiski Area High School Second Annual Choral Spring Concert and the Men From Mars Music From Out Of This World. Kiski also released at least one LP and single of polka and Slovakian music by Eddie Mack & His Orchestra, but with a different numbering system than the singles above.

The Coachmen Five Kiski 45 I'm Comin' Home

The Beaus of Beethoven

Beaus of Beethoven Sound-Pro Studio 45 It's Too Late Beaus of Beethoven Sound-Pro Studio 45 Goin' AwayThe Beaus of Beethoven came from Patton, Pennsylvania and other towns of  Cambria County, about 75 miles east of Pittsburgh. Their manager Jack Cessna’s base was Ebensburg.

Members were:

Ron McClinsey – lead vocal, guitar
Nick Fagan – lead guitar
Dave Holtz – keyboards
Paul Lazendorfer – bass
Danny Miller – drums

The Beaus of Beethoven opened for many artists at the Jaffa Mosque in Altoona and appeared on WIIC TV Pittsburgh’s Saturday bandstand show.

In 1967 the band cut two originals at Sound-Pro Studio for release in September. I don’t know the location of that studio and haven’t seen it credited on other singles.

“It’s Too Late” (by Ronald McClinsey, Nicholas Fagan Jr. and David Holtz, B-W Music Inc. BMI) has a buzzing lead guitar while the singer tells how he’s “sing my time just hanging around town, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, living my sins with no regrets” while his ex is “ridin’ uptown in a limousine, checking the nice balls, making the scene”.

A real treasure is the flip, “Goin’ Away” (written by Miller, Holtz and Lazendorfer, Weldee Music Co. BMI), a true picture of teen angst in lyrics like:

I’m comin’ down off the roof, gonna bring my baby back,
I’ve been around too long, now I want to be alone.
So many people tell me I’m nothin’ but a nothin’

wish I could make out the next line “but I can get with my girl …..”

Publishing was through Weldee Music and B-W Music Inc, owned by the same company in Ohio.

The video below has three photos of the band.

Thank you to Peter Aaron for the scans of the 45, which he compiled on a 50 run cassette “Epitaphs for Heads volume 1” in the late ’80s.

The Early Americans

Early Americans Brenick Flagg 45 I Love You (I Want You)The Early Americans come up with a balanced, rich ’60s sound on “I Love You (I Want You)”, not released until May of 1971.

The group may have been from Bath, Pennsylvania. Both this and the b-side “Got a Lot” were written by Nick Mitchell and produced by Nick Mitchell and Brent Koehler.

The Early Americans released this single on Brenick Flagg Records STEA 1012. Pete Helffrich mastered the single, signing the deadwax and indicating stereo sound, though I don’t hear much stereo separation on this single.

Helffrich Recording Labs did a lot of mastering for classical labels like Everest, Nonesuch and Turnabout, but as far as I can tell, relatively little recording. One of Pete Helffrich’s most notable recordings was another PA band, Sandstone, for the album Can You Mend A Silver Thread? I checked the back cover of that LP and didn’t find any other names in common with the Early Americans.

This is not the Early Americans from Tampa, FL who cut Night After Night on Paris Tower in 1967.

Early Americans Brenick Flagg 45 Got A Lot

The Me and Him Duo

Me And Him Duo Paza 45 On the MoneyThe Me and Him Duo were organ player Phil Long and (I believe) drummer John Hill, from Pottstown and Reading, Pennsylvania. They have a good instrumental on Paza Records, “On the Money” backed with a vocal by Phil Long “Stay With Me”.

Songwriting is credtied to Philip Long and John C. Hill for Mamy Music Corp. and Mary Hill Music BMI.

Phil Long’s real name was Philip Charles Peter Vagnoni. He was related to country songwriter Shorty Long (Emedio Vagnoni). Phil continued playing organ in the Pottstown area with other drummers including Scot Raugh. Phil passed away in July 2008 in Reading, PA.

This is a mid-late ’60s record, not ‘garage’ by most people’s definition, but I’m posting partly to compare it to other organ and drum duos such as the Denny & Kenny Duo, and the Chancellors (usually a quintet but one of their Fenton singles has the instrumental “5 Minus 3” by organist Jim Ovaitt and drummer Rick Garfield):

I shouldn’t leave out the Cosmic Rock Show whose fabulous “Psiship” / “Rising Sun” takes the duo concept into new experimental territory, released in 1968 on Blitz Records 469 from the Minneapolis area.

The New Generations and the Cyclones of St Marys, PA

The New Generations Bomb 45 I Told You OnceThe New Generations came from St Marys, a rural town in NW Pennsylvania. They had one single on the amazingly-named Bomb Records, “It’s Alright” written by Victor St. John b/w “I Told You Once” by Blake Haberberger. Both songs were produced by Larry Fairchild and published by Magnetic Reproductions, BMI

I’m partial to the b-side, “I Told You Once” which has a perfectly moody, low-key atmosphere.

The New Generations Bomb 45 It's AlrightThe RCA custom pressing code SK4M 3110/1 indicates the second half of 1965, the labels also have other codes: 885-2, YZ 2154/5 whose meaning I don’t know.

I’ve read two members were with the St. Marys band the Cyclones, who had their own excellent single, “She’s No Good” / “Time for Me to Leave” both written by Hampton for Lee Music BMI in December 1965.

If anyone knows the names of other members of either band, or has a photo of either group, please contact me.

The Cyclones Lee 45 She's No Good

The Cutaways

The Cutaways A Go Go 45 You're Driving Me Out of My MindThe Cutaways (often listed as the Cut-a-Ways) came from Bellaire, Ohio, a town on the eastern edge of the state close to Wheeling, West Virginia. One article I found listed them as a Wheeling band, but that may have been for convenience. That show was in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, 300 miles away from Bellaire and Wheeling!

Larry Gorshe seems to have been the leader of the group and main song writer. I’m not sure of all the other members of the band or who played what instrument, but members included Bill Bell, Gary Parrish, Charles Soltes and Walter McElroy. Also someone named Jurovcik may have been a member as he is listed as one of the song writers on their second 45. Helen Mae was a manager of the group.

The Cutaways put out two 45s, the first from circa 1964 was a Buddy Holly type rocker “You’re Driving Me Out of My Mind” backed with a good ballad, “Now That You’re Gone”. Larry Gorshe wrote both songs for Claridge Music Inc ASCAP. The label was Agogo, which also released “Hitch-Hike” / “Sippy Sippy Sop Sop” by the Fantastic Emanons, another Bellaire band.

The Cutaways Sur Speed 45 I'll Never Fall in Love AgainTheir second 45 is a favorite of mine. The top side is “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” written by Gorshe, Saltes, McElroy and Jurovcik. The flip is “Hold Me” by Larry Gorshe, both sides published by Silver City Music, BMI. It was released on Sur-Speed 205, a record label located in Nashville, TN, over 7 hours drive from Bellaire.

Gorshe also wrote both sides of the Big C on Sur-Speed 202 “(Hey Girl) Come Along With Me” / “Gee Whiz I Love You”

Sur-Speed was located at 1201 Whites Creek Pike, Nashville, Tennessee, and the SO-prefix indicates the 45 was mastered at Southern Plastics

Larry Goshe passed away on February 21, 2008.

Does anyone have a photo of the band?

Larry Gorshe & the Cut-a-Ways, the Pottstown Mercury, August 6, 1966
Larry Gorshe & the Cut-a-Ways playing the Morgantown PA fair, August 6, 1966
The Cut-a-ways, New Philadelphia Daily Times, May 11, 1964
The Cut-a-ways to play in New Philadelphia, OH on May 15, 1964

The Cutaways Sur Speed 45 Hold Me

Karl Thaler

Karl Thaler 45 The StormKarl Thaler 45 Phoebe

Supreme obscurity here, though not garage at all. Karl Thaler plays acoustic guitar and sings doom-laden lyrics on the excellent composition “The Storm”, and plays guitar and harmonica on the instrumental “Phoebe”.

Karl Thaler – The Storm

I had no info other than what’s on the label, which includes the deadwax stamp “45 202 385” / “45 202 386”. A comment, below, informs me that this single was included with the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania’s literary magazine Esprit in 1969, when Karl Thaler was a student there. Any further info on about Mr. Thaler or the University of Scranton music scene this came from would be appreciated.