Category Archives: Unknown

The Motifs

Another band about which I know nothing, other than the fact that they were on the LeJac label of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I don’t believe there’s a connection to a band called the Motifs in Idaho, and they sound nothing like the New Jersey group with that name.

“Someday” is excellent upbeat garage pop with nice drum breaks and guitar solo. “Telling Lies” is more conventional but worth a listen if you like “Someday”. Both songs credit the band as songwriters.

One member was John Rusinyak, according to Jay, who had played with John in another group in the 1980s and 90s. He reports John passed away at the age of 58.

John and Paul

I wonder how many Beatles fans this one confused? If they dropped the needle on the record before purchasing, the answer would be zero, I’m sure, as this sounds nothing like the Fab Four, and is obviously a very American production.

This was released on a California label, TIP, then picked up by London for release in the UK, unusual for 1965 when records were more likely to be traveling the other direction.

The band delivers a tough sound for “I’m Walkin'” even though it’s not much more than a mediocre love song. “People Say (Love Is Blind)” is of less interest but it still shows the competence of the band and has nice reverb on the guitar.

Who is behind this 45 is definitely a mystery. The songwriting credits for both sides are S. Szigeti and P. Lichterman. The band sounds like more than a studio conglomeration so they were probably a professional group working under an alias just for this release.

The Vi Dels

Lou Fargo started the Fargo label in 1957, recording doo-wop acts for the most part.

The last record released on the label was in 1964, which sounds about right as a date for “Walking Down the Street”, this frantic slice of r&b by the Vi Dels.

This was an unknown 45 up til now. No songwriting credits on either side of the 45, but as Euphonic points out in his comment below, Sebastian Zimmardo and Vito Ingoglia wrote the A-side, “Ya, Ya, Ya, Ya”, and Joseph A. DeAngelis and Zimmardo wrote “Walking Down The Street” for Instant Music Co. – Casgol Pub, BMI.

The Fargo label had offices on Broadway in New York City, but I don’t know where the Vi Dels came from.

I don’t know if there is any connection with an earlier vocal group called the Videls who released the doo wop single “Be My Girl” / “Place in My Heart” backed by the Frank Spino Orchestra on the Rhody Records label. M. Bouchard and P. Andreoli were the song writers for that disk, published by Starfire-Peer, BMI.

The Bystanders

Vanco was a label from Vancouver, Washington, near Portland, Oregon, so bands on the label could be from either side of the Columbia River.

The Bystanders had at least two 45s on Vanco, but I haven’t been able to find out much else about the band. The label credits Rick Keefer as engineer – he later went on to produce the New Tweedy Brothers among others. “Just Exactly Off” is pretty fine garage. The b-side is a ballad, “Flower Song”. Songwriting credits for both songs are Robinson – Tobius.

Another band on the Vanco label was the Twilighters.

Anyone have a photo of the group?

The Epics

The Epics, Bakersfield Californian, Nov 20, 1965
Poor quality photo of Howard Dumble of the Epics, Jeff Gustafson of the Addams Family, Karl Haas of the Glanz, and Ron Sackmann of the Amoebas, in the Bakersfield Californian, Nov 20, 1965

The Epics have one of the best Louie Louie takeoffs titled “Louie Come Home”.

It’s a very danceable number as I found out when I played this to a packed house at Pop Gear some months ago.

The band was from California, perhaps Bakersfield. It’s leader was Howard Dumble, according to a clipping I found in the Bakersfield Californian.

The flip was “Give Me a Chance”, written by Dumble, Ward, Concelez and Iger for Shindig Music BMI. I assume Ward, Concelez and Iger were the other members of the group.

Produced by Lou Bowden, the single was released on the Zen label in April of 1965.

Anyone have a photo of the group or more info on this band?