The Fabulous Plaids

The ’66 Mustang in the foreground of the sleeve dates this record from no earlier than September of 1965 but from the looks of the band you’d think this was early ’60’s frat rock. So what do you get?

Most garage fans will want to pass on “Let’s Learn About Love”, the designated top side. It’s an odd pop tune, catchy in its way, though I have a hard time imagining this being a real hit. The b-side is another story. “I’m Comin’ Home to You” is tough r&b with blasting horns and a good guitar solo. Never comped before, either!

The Dixie label, located at 1020 Central Ave. in Charlotte, North Carolina, is better known for rockabilly and country releases. As far as I know, this is the only release on the label that comes close to garage.

The back cover lists the Fabulous Plaids as Ken Carpenter on guitar and vocal harmony (he wrote both songs); Denny Allen able to play alto and tenor sax “simultaneously, in complete harmony”; Jessie Smith on vocals, piano and organ; Tommy Hoover lead vocals, trumpet and “showmanship”; Jerry Vassey bass; and Mike Mallonee on drums. It also lists Hymie Williams – the latest addition – as an “old veteran of the big time bands” and that he “adds polish.”

In case you were wondering, “the attractive young lady on the cover is Miss Jayne Tatum of Winston Night Club, Charlotte.”

As the sleeve says, “What could be more rewarding to a group of young Americans than a ‘hit record!'”

26 thoughts on “The Fabulous Plaids”


  2. Joanie:
    Hi this is Ken Carpenter the founder of The Plaids. I came across this site and was surprise to see this old 45 in their. I would like to let you know that we continue to play until 1992 and reformed in 1995 and played until 2002, our last job was on the Charlotte square for the Taste Of Charlotte Festival. I still talk to a lot of the older musicians that remember Hymie, he was a great player and person we enjoyed a lot of conversation on some of the late night trips back to Marshville. I am in the processing of combining all of our recording into anew CD which will have four new songs on it. I am going to send our recording to this update our profile, thanks for your comments and god bless.
    Ken Carpenter

    1. Hi, I just found the site again and looked over the responses about my Dad Hymie .. Dad left us in January of 2013 . We will always remember his stories of all of his Music and who all he performed with .. My Brother Joe is just like our dad been playing music since he was 12 .. He is with a few bands in charlotte area . He is considered one of the Best Bass players around ..The new group he is with now was voted one of the best for the past 12 months >>in the latest issue if Creative Loafing , the best of issue . Look for best new band formed in past 12 months . The winner – The country band , Bill Noonan and the Hey Joe’s . My dad left a legacy of Music and we miss him dearly ..

    2. Ken , Dad talked about you too ..He never had a bad memory at all .. He had so much to talk about when it came to music .. God Bless . Joanie

    3. Oh Ken Carpenter – I, Betty Collins and Karen Aycock were reminiscing about you and when you played for us at the Windyrush Club in Charlotte in the 70’s. You were the greatest!! Love to you, Betty and Karen

  3. I played with The Plaids through the 60’s and 70’s. I learned more from Ken Carpenter, the leader of the group than any person I’ve ever known.
    Hymie is one of the great people in the Charlotte music scene. Hymie played with The Tempests on several recording sessions besides The Plaids.


    1. Hi Nelson , I remember you , he talked highly of you .. Dad left us in January of 2013 ..we miss him so much … Do you know where i can get recording of any groups my Dad performed with ? My brother Joe is a great Musician like Dad .. He plays Bass and a few other instruments ..He misses Dad so much , they talked Music almost every day and Dad was so proud .. He is with a few groups right now like our Dad was always playing with so many .. the one group he is with were in the creative loafing in charlotte >> nominated >>>n the latest issue of Creative Loafing , the best of issue . Look for best new band formed in past 12 months . The winner – is the country band , Bill Noonan and the Hey Joe’s … please conatct me if you know where i can maybe find a few recordings of my dad playing ,we do not have any.. thanks Joanie

  4. Ken:
    Hi. Hope this finds you well. This is Lewis Holton–former Plaids drummer. My mom recently came across an old picture of you, me, and Kenny Stogner at one of Jesse’s weddings (#3, I think?). It’s kind of a hoot and a glimpse into the past. If I knew how to get in touch with you, I’d send you a copy. I’m still making music, too, but a solo act now; I picked up the guitar some years back (4th CD just recently released). Living in Myrtle Beach area. If you’d like to get in touch, I’m not hard to find; Google me (as Lew Holton) and follow one of the links.
    Take care,
    Lew Holton

  5. Lewis:
    Nice to hear from you I often wnodered were you were. The Plaids preformed not long ago, we had some of the original guys and some from the seventy and eights members come out and set in. Still playing occasionally, doing some song writing & recording. .
    I am going to check out your website and give you a shout.

    Thanks for the reply Ken Carpenter

  6. I was the orignal piano /organ/ and vocal singer – I wouldlove to here from Ken And Lewis – Im in Atlanta ga, and just finished 40 years of baseball umpiring – I still have all the keyboards, and Am ready to play if we can get to gather – let me know – Jesse “P”

  7. I believe a friend of mine was a member of your band in the late 80s. I have lost contact with him and if you know Eli Honeycut, would you please let me know. He would have been the keyboard player and singer. He was also in a band “The Fairlanes” for several years before. He was actually in the banking field and played in the band part time. Would love to know where he is. Thanks for your help! Shirley Coffey. KY

  8. They say it’s not bragging if you can back it up. I’m one of the real men of the original Fabulous Plaids Show and Dance Band from 1961, and I’m still alive. Jessie, Ken, nelson, Larry and I started it all with “Last Night”, “Night Before” by the Markeys, on stage at Park Center, and at Winston’s Night Club”, and the ole Peppermint Lounge at Matthews. I’m the one still standing drinking all the good likker and loving all the good looking women while the rest of you were on the floor passed out. Ya, Ken was still standing there watching me. Played tenor and alto together simutanously, in complete harmony. Added that wicked/powerful back beat sound, the sound Chris Beachley called the best kept secret of beach music at the 1982 Myrtle Beach Music Awards. Jessie “P”, glad to see your still alive, bring your piano, I’ll bring my saxes, Ken bring the guitar, somebody call Jerry for Bass, nelson for drums, I want to see Jessie do the skit about Ray Charles, stagger onto stage,blind and needing a fix, then start the piano riff on What’d I say. I bet we can still do it. Your chicken if you don’t show. No I will not tell where Eli is. Denny 10-2010

  9. One of the most fun times in my life was life was when Hymie played with the band I was with had the fun of Hymie playing with us for a while. He lived in Monroe, was almost blind and was one of the best musicians I’ve ever played with. We played at a country place, barn sort of, out from Rockwell, N,C. Ravon Furr was drummer and leader of the band. I played piano and sang. I am 74 now, playing mostly gospel music . Ive written a few gospelsongs, given to me by God and I credit Him with my talent. Joanie, it is 2011 now and my beloved husband. Johnnie Tienda from Houston, Tx went to heaven in 2008. I miss him so very much. Joanie, I live in Cordele Ga would love to hear from you on my e-mail. I admired your Dad so much. He was so very talented…!

    1. Hi Amie ,i just saw this . My dad Hymie left us on January of 2013 , and we miss him dearly .. Our Mother left us in 2010 and he missed her and was ready to go to Heaven and be with her and our Lord Jesus .. My dad left so many memories with us .. I think i remember when he did perform with your group ? what was the name of it .. ? Thanks all .. He talked all the time about his life as a musician . it was his life and we loved him so much , and his talent .. Joanie

  10. Eli is in Charlotte NC and is also on Facebook. He is a member of the facebook group “Carolina’s bands music and fans”.

  11. Well, you Plaid players were not chicken,in fact, you all showed at the vineyard, along with the Boardwalk Band. Each of you inspired my heart. Nelson Lemmond, Eli, Jesse “P”, Jerry Vassey, Lew Holton, M. Wayne Deese, Richard Green, Kenny Stogner and Ken Carpenter, what a performance, and what a frolick. Ole Plaids became new Plaids.

    Thanks to Jesse “P” who coined the slogan “Plaids Family”. At first we did not know what that really meant, but after our 50th year Reunion Show at Thoroughbreds in March, 2011, it grew to mean we are
    now a band of brothera, Our family socials just bonded that relationship more and more. Thanks for the memories at D D Farms & Vineyard in Mint Hill, NC. Your friendships & talent are awesome!

  12. Wow, I just stumbled upon this page and read this post. I would have loved to be there that night in honor of my dad Larry Cable. You know I have some old home movies of you guys but there isn’t any sound. I guess they could only afford the moving photos at that time! So glad to hear you are all still in touch. My dad passed away in 2003 but would have loved to sit in with you guys. He was still playing guitar and keyboards when he died. Hope you are all doing well! Nelson-special hello to you and your family! Haven’t seen you in awhile!

    1. Christi, it is an extreme pleasure to know you. Your Dad was an ausome personality,
      and had so much God given talent. He and I hung some around the Queen City back
      in the 60s, Larry played bass, I played sax, but we both sang back-up vocals together
      on the same mic for years. We all loved your Dad so much, I knew you Mom too, and
      if you are anything like them, you to have a quick wit and great personality.

      Please get on my Facebook @ Donald Denny Farms and see photos of us 4 remaining
      original Plaids, Ken, Jesse, Nelson and I performing at my vineyard shows in Mint Hill
      from 2008 to 2013. Leave your email address and I will send you old photos of Larry, and a poem I penned about your Dad, “5 Plaids are now 4 Lads”. Such memories.

      And Christi, welcome to our “Plaid Family”. All of us Plaids over the years have bonded
      as brothers, and all of our Plaid Families come out to the vineyard to see one another
      each year. Do you play music? Denny Allen, dba dd’s Blues, aka boogie walker

  13. I wanted to let you all know that my Grand Dad Hymie Williams passed away earlier this year. I grew up listening to my Grand Pa practicing his music listening to Big Band and just having fun. I really miss him and I am so glad that you have posted this to your page and that he had and impact on people that we knew he did.

  14. Just found an old tune I penned (1-2-11)called “Original Fabulous Plaids”
    a rap and shag song- by DENNY ALLEN, the fifth of five, 4 of us still alive—
    CHORUS, hello, let’s boogie, once more got to get this party started
    gonna blow the roof off, so keep the front and back door guarded
    just watch these Original Plaids, they still have that Plaid power
    gonna let you have it full blast, hour by hour
    (1)that boy on harp still blows soul, with his piano boogie from days of ole
    he’s a one-man show just waiting to explode, still in Plaid power mode
    (2)We still miss our 1st bassman Larry, lost in 2003
    but our bassman Doug would sing “Thank you John” til three
    often turned his back to the crowd, smilin’ as he walked the dog real loud
    (3)The guitar man opened our door, knowing how to make us roar
    his 5 finger boogie got us in the groove, his riffs kept you in the mood
    (4)Give the drummer some cause he played with pine trees
    got us from rock-a-billy to playin’ R&B like humming bees
    Produced our unique sound onto a record you see,
    got us into that new groove playin’ Bobby Blue Bland and JB
    (5)the saxmans’s on two, playin’ both at the same time
    his twin harmonies so unusual, he’s gonna rattle your mind
    tenor in his left, alto in his right, he’s blowin’ the rafters again tonight

  15. My mother’s cousin Mike Malonee was drummer as noted in the info on The Plaids. I remember seeing this 45 sleeve since I was a tot. Don’t think I ever got to hear the record.

  16. My mother’s cousin Mike Malonee was drummer as noted in the info on The Plaids. I remember seeing this 45 sleeve since I was a tot. Don’t think I ever got to hear the record.
    But I’d like to.

  17. Just saw this website. Jerry Vassey was a close friend of my husbands.
    Haven’t see him in years but loved the Plaids music. My husband was Bill Giles from Charlotte. He passed away in 2008. I now live in Kernersville and am on facebook.

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