OK, it’s not as heavy as the Shandells, but I can’t believe no one ever mentions this version of “Go Gorilla”. The original of the song was done by Chicago r&b group the Ideals in 1963, who had a #3 regional hit with it on KQV in Pittsburgh.
The Dynastys version come out of Wisconsin in September of ’64, followed by the Shandells a few months later. The instrumental flip, “Birmingham”, shows how accomplished a band they were as it really swings. Neither song has been comped before to my knowledge.
The Coulee label was out of La Crosse, Wisconsin, owned by Bill Grafft, who also ran the Boom, Knight and Transaction labels. The Dynasty’s 45 (Coulee 108) comes just before Dee Jay and the Runaways’ “Love Bug Crawl” / “The Pickup” (Coulee 109).
The Dynasty’s definitely honed their skills pre-British Invasion, with large helpings of rockabilly, r&b and even surf and folk music in their sound. They originally came from Oskaloosa, Iowa. Their first 45 came out on the Fan, Jr label in 1964, a cover of the Eldorados’ “I’ll Be Forever Loving You” backed with another cover, Harold Dorman’s “Mountain of Love”, which Johnny Rivers made a hit not long after the Dynasty’s version came out. Production by Orlie Breunig.
As Gary Myers wrote in a comment below, the band came from Milwaukee. Band members were George Shaput (guitar), Duane Schallitz (guitar), Mark Ladish (organ), Dave Maciolek (bass), Jim Serrano (lead guitar) and Kenny Arnold (drums).
At the band’s request to play on the West Coast, their manager Lindy Shannon booked them into the Longhorn in Portland, Oregon. Jerry Dennon of Jerden Records saw them there and heard their demos, leading to their final 45 in 1966, “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” / “Forever and a Day”.
On “Forever and a Day” the band manages to create a memorable harmony pop ballad without sacrificing their strong rhythm and drumming.
Not long after this release George Shaput joined the Shades of Blue and then played with Conway Twitty. The band reunited at a La Crosse show to honor Lindy Shannon in 1994.
Anyone have a photo of the group?
The Raymarks formed in 1962 in Bremerton, Washington, across the Puget Sound from Seattle. They began as the Orbits, changing their name twice, first to the Galaxies, and in 1964 to the Raymarks. They embody the Pacific Northwest sound – playing tough organ-based r&b numbers with a heavy rhythm section with little or no British Invasion influences.
Their first 45 is a stomping version of “Work Song”, my favorite cut by the band. The flip, “Backfire” is a good instrumental. Mike Spotts wrote most of the band originals, including their second 45, the pounding “Louise”, which was mistakenly released under the name the Paymarks.
Their last 45 is another fine garage number, “I Believed”, again written by Spotts. The Raymarks also had several good songs that went unreleased at the time, including “Walking Down the Street”, “Feelin’ No Good”, “Hard Times” (which uses the same rhythm as “I Believed”) and an untitled piece.
Members included Mike Spotts on keyboards, Ken Huff and Chuck Snyder on guitars, Greg Pettit and Terry Carter on saxophone, Larry Trudeau bass, and Terry Selvidge on drums. Like the Wailers (whose live album At the Castle features singer Gail Harris), the Raymarks’ live shows included a female vocalist, Gail Davies, who is not on their studio recordings.
Chuck Snyder went to the Tacoma group the Noblemen in 1964. Ken Huff and Terry Selvidge were drafted in 1966 which spelled the end for the band.
Anyone have a photo of the group?
Sources include: The PNW Bands site.