The Tongues of Truth & The Grodes

In honor of the Chocolate Watchband playing the Underground Garage festival in NY this weekend, I’m featuring the original version of their most famous tune, “Let’s Talk about Girls”.

The Grodes and Tongues of Truth were two names for the same band – originally from Tucson, Arizona, but often recording in L.A. They were renamed Tongues of Truth without their knowledge by their manager and promoter, Dan Gates, dj at local KTKT in Tucson. Gates didn’t bother to tell the band about the rechristening until he announced the new single, “Let’s Talk About Girls”, over the airwaves. They stuck with it while the 45 had it’s time on the charts (#37 locally), then returned to being the Grodes. “Cry a Little Longer” is an earlier 45 on the Tri-M label, and one of their best.

14 thoughts on “The Tongues of Truth & The Grodes”

  1. do you have any other tracks by them? i love cry a little longer…and of course the classic lets talk about girls…it would be cool to hear some more from them…by the way this site is amazing!

  2. I can’t believe that it took me so long to find this site, but of course I LOVE it! Those were some of the best (and worst) times of my life. Many stories come to mind (uh oh, here goes Freiser AGAIN!). Just one tidbit for now: the Tri-M label was a typical fiasco. I was told by my friend, Mike Borchetta, that Uh Huh Girl (first Grode recording in Spring ’65) was a ‘smash’ and that we “oughta start our own label. You, me and my friend (actor, Cass Martin) will each contribute $100, and press up the records — let’s call it (wait for it) — TRI-M RECORDS!” Well, I contributed MY $100 — and it wasn’t until years later that I found out that the ENTIRE cost of pressing the singles was $100. I had been conned into paying it all — AND giving them two thirds of the company, such as it was. ROCK & ROLL FOREVER!


  3. When I was a wee lass I learned that back when I was born that I was supposed to be a boy, (whoops…I definitely am NOT!)and that I was to be named Michael after…..drumroll please….yes you guessed it, Mike Borchetta. Luckily for me, my parents conceded and gave me the female version of the name, Michelle. Maybe one day I will get to meet my name sake. Thats your tidbit on Mr.Borchetta.

    1. She may not mention it, but I will. The story she told of how she was named is absolutely true. I ought to know because Michelle is my daughter. As a very small person in terms of her age during my Splitsound Records days, she spent many days, and sometimes at night, hamgin’ with me at Splitsound business discussions, rehearsals of ThebGrodes and Dearly Beloved. She indeed was there and knows what was private and secret then. She wanted so much to be a singer too. Maybe I should have made it happen. Times then, both public and private, were in constant turmoil. So much so that many things might have fared better if we could hear anything above the volume of the amplifiers or the arguments.

  4. I was in a blues/soul band called the Garfield Smelter with Brooks Keenan and Pat McAndrew while at the UofA in the sixties and I remember hearing about the Grodes, but never saw them play. We were the house band at the Dunes on Speedway and I remember the bass player for the Dearly Beloved dropping in and sitting in with us a couple of times and I believe we sat in with them on occasion. Those were magical times. A shame they couldn’t last.

  5. Not much of what was written here about The Grodes is accurate. Although I had a hand in their bookings, I was never their manager. One if their members did that job most of the time. I had nothing to do with any of their names with one exception (Spring Fever) which I wanted because of the addition of young singer Patty McCarron (sp?). Among things I did have something to do with The Grodes was as producer of some of their recording sessions, and in some ways I served as their friend and advisor . I wanted to coaxed them away from being a “Rolling Stones ” type of group into much more of being entertainers. The final two of their Splitsound Records 45s showed their progress toward that destination. But, as is too often said, all good things must come to an end that brings me to the end of my perspective of my days with The Grodes.

    Dan Gates

    1. Thanks for your comment Dan. I wrote that short piece 13 years ago, with info coming from the Bacchus Archive CD liner notes I believe. It’s due for a revision. I love their harder-edged rock music as well as the more commercial recordings.

      1. Chris. I produced at quite a few recording sessions beginning with Bakersfield’s Doris Webb when she was only 13. Also from.Bakersfield, I worked on sessions of the Rev-Lons with Gary Paxton. Gary and I got together for a third Doris Webb release financed by Fred Astaire’s Ava Records because of regional success of the a previous release, Lost Dream Boy I produced and signed Doris on to Fred Astaire’s Ava Records. Her new session hired The Blossoms to back up Doris on her bluesy rendition of He’s The Most to be her next Ava release at 14 years old. But it didn’t happen because Uncle Sam shut the doors and locked away all the product. Gary had good duplicates which he was later able to include in his Garpax Girls LP series. After moving,to Arizona, I began listening to local Tucson talent, and this led me to work with and produce several sessions that included The Grodes and Dearly Beloved. Other sessions recorded tHe Lewallen Brothers plus solo sessions with DB bass player Shep Cooke. Splitsound Records had RCA press 200 copies of two if the three songs I produced with drums player Rusty Terry, and Shep then playing all the other instruments and performing all the voices. I lost the collection of all the records I produced in a housefire that literally took everything we owned and turned it into a pile of rubble and ash. Over the years since, I’ve managed to find replacements of nearly all those 45 RPM records and LPs lost in the fire. I’m still hoping to find someone who has one of Shep’s Splitsound 45 RPM release, Anybody out there? Please let me buy, or at least borrow one long enough to make good copies to help me replace what I lost in my record producing days collection.

        1. It’s hard to believe that not one person stepped up with,a copy of Shep Cooke”s 45 rpm record on the Splitsiund label. I am particularly proud of Shep’s performance, as well as my work in producing both songs, plus a third. If you ever find one copy and can listen to it, I think you’ll understand.

          1. Hey Dan – You still out there? I have the Shep 45, I can send you some mp3s if you like. Actually, I have all the Splitsound 45’s except that damn Rena Cook / Love Lost 45 that I’ve been chasing since the mid-80’s! Also have the ’86 KXCI interview if you need that as well.

    2. By the way, Manny and I are still friends today. We may have argued about some things, especially regarding ideas for a recording session, but that’s often how you can end up with something better.

      1. Hey Scott, I just came across your offer yo send mp3s of Shep’s record. When I moved from Tucson for a while, I gave all the 45 RPM records I still had to Shep, and the master tapes to Dan Peters (I think. It might have been the other way round?) Anyway. Yes Scott, please send mp3s to,me at;

        Amy other Splitsound product you may have if you have time.
        By the way, Rena’s song was Once In a Lifetime Love written by Manny, and with The Grodes & a singing group from Daytom (Whose Who) on bkg vocals,
        .The flip side was an instrumental by a group from Bakersfield, CA, The Royal Coachmen, writen by them. That pairimg released,by an LA. record company Thats all I can think,of right now.

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