The Apolloes cut an interesting variety of work, from the off-the-cuff and updated renditions of 50’s standards like “Slow Down” and “Summertime Blues” to the intricately produced psychedelia of “Chained and Bound”.
Wayne White, leader of an Atlanta group the Famen happened to be in the studio when the Apolloes came in to play on a session for the Younger Brothers. Wayne taught “Laugh in My Face” to the band and may have played organ on it as well. The flip, “Hey”, was written by Jim Youmans, who produced this single as well as the later “Chained and Bound”.
They released “Summertime Blues” on three different labels, though the first version on Soupa is not as wild as the one that would come out as the Swingin’ Apolloes. “Gone” the A-side to the first release of “Summertime Blues” was also written by James Youmans, and produced by Pat Hughs.
The band had a penchant for backwards guitar, as it’s all over their great version of Larry Williams’ “Slow Down”, and shows up again on “Chained and Bound”, written by Chester, Lane and Freeman. Later 45s were released as the Swingin’ Apolloes. Also I don’t know what the b-side of “Chained and Bound” is, if anyone knows please chime in.
I founded The Apolloes along with Ralph Whitsell, Jim Youmans and Tom Preston in the fall of 1964 when we were all students at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Georgia. When Tom’s father passed away early in 1965, I got hold of Gerald Cox in Atlanta to play bass guitar. He and I had played together for years in Atlanta while we were in high school. The four of us blew the Night Shadows off the stage at Misty Waters early in 1965 and we came to the attention of Pat Hughes (WQXI in Atlanta).
Gerald had known Wayne White (a house painter in Atlanta) for a number of years. We had booked time at Maurice LeFever’s studio and Wayne paid for the session and we cut “Laugh In My Face.” The flip side was “Hey” by Jim Youmans. Which side was “A” or “B” is a toss-up.
Pat Hughes produced a session at a different studio and we cut “Lucille” and “Gone” which Youmans also wrote. Brooksy Hunicutt sang the high female part at my suggestion and we dubbed it in.
The off campus “Animal House” fraternity at Georgia Southern College in Statesboro, Ga (SEX was the name of the fraternity) booked the Rolling Stones in May, 1966. We played as a warm-up band. When the Stones took the stage, they immediately grossed the South Georgia audience out. Jagger’s first word was a long “F***************K You!” The crowd booed them off the stage and began chanting “Apolloes!! Apolloes!!” We set up again and gave the crowd their money’s worth.
The Apolloes – Hey / Laugh In My Face (Apolloe 5813/4, November 1965)
The Apolloes – Gone / Summertime Blues (Soupa 001, May 1966)
The Apolloes – Summertime Blues / Slow Down (Look 001, June 1967)
The Swingin’ Apolloes – Summertime Blues / Slow Down (White Cliffs 262, 1967)
The Swingin’ Apolloes – Chained And Bound / (SAC 1001-1/2) need confirmation of this release!
Thank you to Mike Markesich for info and Pat W. for the photo.