Category Archives: Unknown

The Royal Coachmen “Lollipop” / “Bama-Lama”

Royal Coachmen Coachmen 45 LollipopThe Royal Coachmen are an unknown group who cut two fine, fratty rockers for their own Coachmen label in June of 1966.

“Lollipop” does sound like it could be an original, while “Bama-Lama” is a rewrite of Little Richard’s “Bama Lama Bama Loo”.

A. Parker is credited for both songs. ASCAP has both songs listed in their database, but mixed in with the compositions of British soundtrack composer Alan Frederick Parker. There was an Al Parker playing in the Plymouth Rockers, but that group is listed as from Arizona and working out of Los Angeles.

It’s difficult to say where the band was from. The numbers 200,914 and 200,915 on the labels refer to the Decca custom pressing code, often used for New England records, but there were pressings for groups from Pennsylvania and beyond. The Sea Music Pub. (ASCAP) was located at 1 Boylston Place in Boston, MA, which may be a better clue to the band’s origin.

1 Boylston Place was also address of Ace Recording Studios, owned by Milton and Herbert Yakus, with William F. Ferruzzi chief engineer.

Royal Coachmen Coachmen 45 Bama-Lama

Apperson Jackrabbit “That’s Why” and “Shadows Falling”

Apperson Jackrabbit Calmis 45 That's WhyThe Apperson Jackrabbit have remained a mystery despite the quality of their single on Calmis. One side is the brooding “That’s Why” which has long been a favorite of mine after hearing it on Tony the Tyger’s Fuzz, Flaykes, & Shakes Vol. 4: Experiment in Color. The flip is the intense “Shadows Falling”.

Both songs were written by Steve Curtis and Mike Simmons, and it was released on Calmis 45-001 in the first half of 1967. The record is most often found in California, but a contributor to 45cat, Deadwax, found an address for the song publisher, Sival Music at 335 N Southland Dr. in Jackson, Mississippi 38212 in the The Musician’s Guide: The Directory of the World of Music (1980). If this seems an unlikely connection, it makes much more sense when looking at the label name, Calmis (Cal-Mis, get it?). What that connection is, I have no idea at this time. Nothing else was released on Calmis that I know of.

Apperson Jackrabbit Calmis 45 Shadows FallingThe band was named after a stylish line of autos manufactured in Kokomo, Indiana in the early twentieth century.

There is another 45 by the Apperson Jackrabbit, “Candy Cane Sound” (John R. Bicknell) and “More Than Just Friends” (Stan Smith), on Steamer Records 001 with publishing by Club Miami. I don’t have this record, but I suspect it is a different group as the credits are completely different and the pressing was done at King instead of an RCA custom.

I did find one listing for a group called the Apperson Jack Rabbit with Smokey playing at the Sleeping Lady Cafe in Fairfax, CA in 1973, but that seems to be too many years out to be this group.

The Velvet Seed “Flim Flam Man”

Velvet Seed MAI 45 Flim Flam ManI can’t find much info on the Velvet Seed. I read they were from Sanford, Maine, and Max Waller wrote they had several unreleased songs including a version of the Byrds “Feel a Whole Lot Better”, but the publishing and distribution on their single point to Massachusetts connections.

Bob Bourassa produced the single and wrote the A-side, “Sharon Patterson” and co-wrote the great “Flim Flam Man” with Donald Levesgue (BMI has it as Donald Loveque, though I think should that be Donald Levesque).

Robert Guy Bourassa has one more credit in BMI’s database, “Believe Me” with Angela M. Puzzuoli.

The single was released on Music Associates, Inc. MAI 45-201 in November 1968 (this is not the M.A.I. label from Kentucky).

Tepajo Music publishing and Sounds of Music Distributing, Inc. are also listed on the label. These have several tangential connections to the Velvet Seed’s single.

Listings for Tepajo first appear in 1964, with an Arlington, Massachusetts address. In August 1969, Billboard’s Buyer’s Guide lists “Tepajo Music (BMI) div. of Big Yellow Productions, Inc. 63 Main St., Maynard, MA 01754, Pres.: Bruce Patch; Gen. Mgr.: Robert J. Jordan”.

If Tepajo includes “pa” from Patch and “jo” from Jordan, then can I assume “Te” must stand for Teddy Dewart of Teddy & the Pandas?

Bruce Patch has an extensive list of production credits, including most of the Teddy & the Pandas singles on Coristine, Musicor and Timbri record labels and the Timothy Clover LP on Tower. “Tea-Pot Production” is likely also Patch.

Tepajo did some eclectic song publishing, including Stark Reality’s ‎”Say Brother” and Bonnie Floyd And The Original Untouchables ‎”I’m So Lucky”, both on the Big Yellow label (also with Sounds Of Music Distributing Inc. credits).

I notice most of the record companies Patch was involved use yellow for their labels’ background color. This is true of Coristine, Timbri, and Big Yellow.

On August 9, 1969, Record World and Billboard both mention Tepajo publishing as being housed with Buck Spurr’s Oracle Records in Brookline, MA. I have not found Patch’s name in the credits of Oracle Records, which is most notable for releasing singer Jimmy Helms, and the Brother Fox And The Tar Baby LP.

OK, a lot of dead ends, but the story of the Velvet Seed is out there somewhere.

The Grim Reepers “Two Souls” on Chalon

Grim Reepers Chalon 45 Two SoulsThe Grim Reepers cut the excellent single “Two Souls”, but are still something of a mystery group. I haven’t been able to find any photos or gig listings for the Grim Reapers or Reepers, however they intended to spell the band name.

Two likely members are Greg Magie and Mark Paterson. Greg Magie’s name is in the song writing credits of the album “Stuntrock” by the late ’70s Los Angeles group Sorcery, (sound track to the movie Stunt Rock), and he is also, I believe, the vocalist in Sorcery as Greg McGee.

J. Sturgis is another name on the song writing credits, but in the BMI database, “Two Souls” shows only Mark Patterson, Richard Serrana and Joanne Funk.

“Two Souls” / “Joanne” was released on Chalon 1003 in January of 1967. Besides a few country singles by Roy Stevens, the Grim Reepers is the only other release on Chalon Records that I know of. Produced by Walker – J-P Productions (including B. Walker?).

Grim Reepers Chalon 45 JoanneChalon Records shared an address of 5539 Sunset Boulevard with Impression Records. Ramhorn Pub. Co. published “Two Souls” and also published many of the songs released on the Impression label. J-P Productions shows up on the Dirty Shames’ Impression single. A. Jones who is credited with arranging the Grim Reepers single is almost certainly Al Jones. Al Jones and Joe Osborn’s names show up on many Impression singles, and on the writing credits to Roy Stevens “Over Again” on Chalon 001.

Greg Magie’s “Joanne” is published through Reklaw Music Co.

The Breakaway Five “Jivin” on Bullet

Breakaway Five Bullet 45 JivinThe Breakaway Five cut the great instrumental “Jivin” for Red Wortham’s revived Bullet label, featuring pounding drums in the intro and great guitar work, including a quote from Hank Snow’s “I’m Movin’ On”. The flip “I’m Gonna Walk” is a country song by F.L. Parrish, livened up by the echo on the guitar lines.

Members of the Breakaway Five included Norman Davis, Larry Davis, Larry Morgan, and possibly Ronnie Morgan. According to a comment on youtube, the band may have started as the Rivieras from Dickson, Tennessee, just west of Nashville.

Sur-Speed Music ASCAP is listed as publisher on both songs, though “Jivin” does not have any writing credit.

I’m not sure of the release date on this, but I would guess late ’50s or early ’60s. The label credits do not match the Villains 45s or any other Bullet 45 releases of the 1960s. The release number 241 is closer to Bullet’s early 78 rpm releases by Cecil Gant and Wynonie Harris. No other Bullet 45s have similar mastering codes (869-1165/6 in this case), a production credit to Wortham, or (in most cases) lack of an address.

The Four Counts – unknown band

The Four Counts photo

Here’s an unknown group, the Four Counts, or the Counts Four, possibly from Reading, Pennsylvania. There’s a chance they could have evolved into the Counts who came from Valley View and cut “Last Train” / “I Will Lose My Mind” for the Kingston label in July of 1969, but from the small b&w photo I’ve seen of the Counts I’d say this is unlikely.

Any ideas?

The M+M “She Shut Me Down”

 The M + M Glass 45 Where Is SheI can’t find any info about M + M, other than the names on the two singles they released on Glass Records, M. Kane and M. Schools. I’ve tried other variations on their band name, M+M or M&M, without luck.

Although the songs feature a full group of guitar, bass, drums and even harmonica with one vocal, it’s possible this was a duo who overdubbed their parts to fill out the sound.

All four singles have “72” etched into the deadwax along with the Glass Records numbers, so I think that is likely the year of the recordings. Given that two of these are nearly four minutes long, a seventies date makes sense.

I have no idea where they came from, but lead vocals do have a southern sound to them. On the other hand, I bought these from someone in New Jersey and a different copy of the second 45 sold from a Brooklyn location.

I prefer the B-sides of each single. “She Shut Me Down” stands ouf among the four cuts for the melancholy feeling and tempo changes. “Where Is She” is the most upbeat of the four.

The Glass Records release numbers are:

F-201/2: “Your Turn to Cry” / “Where Is She”

F-203/4: “No More Crying” / “She Shut Me Down”

All songs written by M. Kane and M. Schools, no publishing listed.

The M + M Glass 45 She Shut Me Down

The Secrets “Somethin Good For Me” on Raven

Secrets Raven 45 Somethin Good For MeThe Secrets’ “Somethin Good For Me” / “Love” has as obscure an origin as any single out there. The band may have been from southern Illinois or eastern Missouri, but I don’t know anything definite yet. The only name I can associate with the group is Ivan White who wrote both songs.

“Somethin Good For Me” is lo-fi perfection, offering plenty of atmosphere over a chunky rhythm, a pleading vocal and a simple but apt lead guitar break.

“Love” slows it all down and substitutes accordion for the rhythm guitar. I’d put up a clip but my copy gets scratchy sounding on this side.

Released around 1967 on Raven 18569/70, with production credited to “Div – JLJ Enterprise”. This is a Rite release, as was the other Raven release I know of, Johnny Apollo “You’re Sixteen” / “Shake the Hand of a Fool” on Raven 17829/30 from a year or two earlier, with J. Hutcheson credited as director.

Rite 286 is found in the deadwax, an early Rite account number dating back to 1960. 286 was used for at least two other singles: the Harmony Echoes single “Wonderful Guest” / “Gospels Singers Heaven” on Echo CP-6759/60 from 1961, out of WFRX 1300 AM, West Frankfort, Illinois, featuring Joe Williams, Phyllis Williams, Rolla Martin and Don McCool.

Also for Amateur 11421/2, the Coachmen “Lonely Rider” / These Memories of You”, folk & pop from 1963 out of Maplewood, Missouri with J. Buchman credited on the label.

Maplewood is just west of St. Louis, and 115 miles northwest of West Frankfort. It seems possible the Secrets come from this area of southern Illinois or eastern Missouri.

Info on other Rite pressings from www.45rpmrecords.com

Secrets Raven 45 Love