Category Archives: Golden Records of La

Organized Confusion

Organized Confusion Promo Photo

Organized Confusion Golden 45 Tell Me WhyI wrote about Alva Starr, who had two interesting garage releases on Golden Records of La., based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This single by the Organized Confusion is the other garage single on that label. It features two good original songs by Bill Richards, “Tell Me Why” b/w “Makes Me Sad”. Production credited to Ebb Tide and Randy Darnell, published by Darn-L. Copyrights for these two songs plus one called “Bad Girl” were registered with the Library of Congress in May 1968.

Ebb-Tide Golden Records Billboard February 3, 1968
One of Ebb-Tide ‘s ads in Billboard looking for songs and master tapes.

Interestingly, the band was from the Detroit, Michigan area. Ebb-Tide (Ebb Harris) of Golden Records ran classified ads in Billboard in 1967 and 1968 looking for songs and finished songs. Randy Darnell of “The Darnell Sound” may have seen these ads and responded, or A&R man Bob Balog may have brought the band to Golden.

A promotional photo from the old G45 Central forum shows the band in a tree, and the songs for the single list “Hang On, He’s Not Coming” instead of “Tell Me Why”. Contact info is given both for the label, Golden Records and the production company, Darnell Sound Production, which has an address of 13079 Northline, Southgate, MI, south of downtown Detroit.

The Organized Confusion, from left: Joe Grabowski, Mark Bruce (friend of band filling in for Matt Sclafani), Dave Thibert, Bill Richards and Al Consiglio
The Organized Confusion, from left: Joe Grabowski, Mark Bruce (friend of band filling in for Matt Sclafani), Dave Thibert, Bill Richards and Al Consiglio

Update, February 2017:

Joe Grabowski and Al Consiglio sent in the photo of the group standing in front of trees and gave me more info about the band:

Dave Thibert – lead vocals
Bill Richards – lead guitar
Joe Grabowski- rhythm guitar
Matt Sclafani – bass guitar
Al Consiglio – drums

In the mid 60’s two Wyandotte friends and neighbors, Al Consiglio and Joe Grabowski joined Al’s cousin Matt Sclafani, living in Southgate, who knew Bill Richards and Dave Thibert. The five put together a play list, rehearsed the tunes and played local venues. Bill wrote the two recorded songs and pursued the necessary contacts to find the recording studio of Randy Darnell at 13079 Northline Road in Southgate, MI and produce the record. The building now is a beauty salon.

The band stayed together for a short time after making the record as the members focused their attention on finishing school, girls, cars and careers (in no particular order). To my knowledge no one was in a band prior to or went on to join other bands after the Organized Confusion.

Venues:

Knights of Columbus – downtown Wyandotte, MI
Knights of Columbus – Southgate, MI
Southgate Anderson High School – Southgate, MI
Davidson Jr High School – Southgate, MI
ALSAC Benefit with many other local bands including Little Carl Carlton – River Rouge, MI
Lawrence Technological University (Lawrence Institute of Technologies) – Southfield, MI
Southgate Shopping Center (in front of Montgomery Ward) – Southgate, MI
Aquinas High School – Southgate, MI

Organized Confusion Golden 45 Makes Me Sad

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”