Category Archives: Graves

Graves Discography

Here’s an incomplete listing of released recordings made at Alan Graves’ studio:

any help with this discography would be appreciated

45s:

Graves 1091 – Dominions – “I Need Her” / “Spanish Harlem”
Graves 1094 – Sires – “Don’t Look Now” / “Come to Me Baby”
Tork 1095 – Moguls – “Another Day” / “Round Randy” (Dec. 1966)
Graves 1099 – Ethics – “She’s a Deceiver” / “O.K.” (March 1967)
Graves 1100 – Fifth Row Bac – “Please Don’t Go” / “Destination Train”
Graves GRS 1102 – Smokey Metcalf And His Timber Toppers / “How Can You Love Me” / “Don’t Come Knocking At My Door”
Graves 1104 – Phantoms – “Hallucinogenic Odyssey” / “Sixty Minutes To Nine” (1967)
F-Empire 1106 – The Barber Green – “Gliding Ride” / “Life” (August 1968)

LP:

F-Empire (no #) – Beauregarde (features Beauregarde on vocals, Greg Sage lead guitar, Omar Bose keyboards and trumpet, Dave Kolpel bass, Allen Robinson congas and sax, and Jay Lundell on drums.)

The Moguls had two previous 45s: “Avalanche” / “Ghost Slalome” on Century 20449 in Phantoms Graves 45 Sixty Minutes to NineFeb. ’65, and “Ski Bum” / “Try Me” on Panorama 29 in March of 1966.

The Phantoms 45 on Graves lists the band members: Rudie Muller, Steve Reiter, Dennis Chu, Brian Ashbrough and Geoff Soentpiet. Rudie Muller sings lead on “Sixty Minutes to Nine”, Geoff Soentpiet sings lead on “Hallucinogenic Odyssey”. The Phantoms had an additional 45 on Ridon 859, “Story of a Rich Man” / “Our Great Society” both by Ashbrough and Soentpiet.

I asked Alan Graves about the bands that recorded in his studio in the 60’s and sent him a list of what I knew had been cut there:

The only record I can add is one done on the F-Empire label, GRS 1106, “Gliding Ride” and “Life” by the Barber Green.

There may be other “garage” bands, but most of the stuff I did was local schools, etc – some gospel and dixieland jazz band stuff.

None of the records pressed were released by me, but were the property of the individual bands -who either gave them away or sold them. Most were done in a limited press of 500 copies each. So if you have any of them, I guess you could say they are rare. Since the records were the property of the bands, I rarely kept any copies – and have none now.

I re-activated the studio by acquiring a Scully Mastering record cutting Lathe, and under the name of “The Audio Lathe” cut lots of “acetate” records for DJ’s and juke boxes.

I sold that last November, and now back to just hosting the History of the Presto Recording Corp on the internet.

Phantoms Graves 45 Hallucinogenic OdysseyPhantoms Ridon 45 Our Great Society

To right, the Phantoms’ second 45, recorded at Ridon by Rich Keefer Thank you to Barry Wickham for the scan. Thanks to Dale for pointing out the Smokey Metcalf.

The Ethics

Ethics Graves 45 She's a DeceiverAnother one on Graves, like the Sires I covered a couple weeks back. This group is more obscure, I don’t have any real info on them, other than that they were probably from southern Oregon: Ashland, Medford or Grants Pass possibly. Songwriting is listed to B. Watson and M. Kelsey. The publishing was listed under Arky Lewis.

Both original songs have fine arrangements, languid harmonies and excellent interaction between the two guitarists. “She’s a Deceiver” is slower and dreamier, while “It’s O.K.” is faster but still hypnotic with a raga-like guitar solo. The “It’s” of the title was left off the label and added back with a red stamp. The 45 would have benefited from clearer production.

Ethics Graves45 It's OK

The Sires

The Sires, 1965
The Sires, 1965, from left: Rodger Koliece, Dean Loman, Robert Grebb, Ron Craig, Mike Briggs.

Sires Graves 45 Don't Look NowThe Sires were teenagers from Eugene and nearby Springfield, Oregon, forming at Sheldon High School in 1964 and breaking up in 1969.
Members were:

Marty Berg (vocals)
Ron Craig (lead guitar)
Mike Briggs (bass, rhythm guitar)
Roger Koliece (keyboards)
Dean Lowman (bass, vocals), replaced on bass by Warner (Doc) Swebke
Robert Grebb (drums)

Ron Craig had been in the Tempters out of Springfield with Joe Crippen and Dave Rodakowski who were later in the Eugene-based group Truth. They played nightclubs in Florence, Oakridge and at a ballroom in Eugene. They won some battles of the bands and came in second to the Gentlemen Wild in a state-wide contest. Bruce Mitchell managed the band.

Sires Business Card

Bands like the Sires paid Alan Graves to record them in his basement home studio in Eugene, and he would have them pressed up on his own label. Alan was still cutting records here as of 2004, I don’t know if he’s active today.

Their only 45 is definitely crude in recording quality and composition, and the sound is at odds with their neat image in their photos. Recorded in 1966, the members were about 15 years old at the time.

Sires Graves 45 Come to Me BabyI really dig the A-side, “Don’t Look Now” for it’s menacing repetitiveness. Several members are singing in unison, which is unusual, and the lyrics are cool when you can make them out – “give back my ring, then I will see, just how it feels, to be alone and free”. The vocalists draw some lines out in a lower voice and then shout out the chorus for good dynamic effect.

“Come to Me Baby” has chord changes a la Louie Louie, and again the whole group shouts out the lyrics. Ron Craig plunks out a guitar solo lasting some 45 seconds, and there are some good shouts in the song.

Wild and primitive indeed, and hardly the kind of material that would win band competitions, which usually favored slicker pop songs. Dean Lowman is given copyright on both sides of the 45, so I assume he wrote both songs.

Sources include: photos and some info from the PNW Bands site.

Sires Photo