Category Archives: N-Joy

N-Joy Records discography

Any help with this discography of the N-Joy Records label of West Monroe, Louisiana would be appreciated.

1001 Lance Farr and The Beltones – “Mona Lisa” / “Too Much Ain’t Enough” (1964)
1002 Syl Sims – “Lovemist” / “Landslide”
1003 Randy and The Rockets – “Doggin'” / “Let’s Just Say Goodbye” 1964
1004 Bill Dunnam and The Playboys – “Back To School” / “Anna Belle Lee” 1964
1005 John Fred & the Playboys – “Boogie Children” (Lynn Ourso) / “My First Love” (produced by Rocky Robin, 1965)
1008 Huey Darby – “Rockin’ Robin” / “Secret of Love” (1965)
1009 Duane Yates – “Passin’ On By” / “Anyone”
1010 Duane Yates & the Capris – “Here I Stand” / “Hold It” (C. Scott & B. Butler)
1011 Jody Daniel – “At the Go Go” / “Quando Caliente el Sol”
1012 Billy John & the Continentals – “Ooh Pooh Pah Doo” / “Does Someone Care (for Me)”
1013 Ron Gray & the Countdowns – “No More” / “Ajax The Tin Knight” (1966)
1014 Billy John & the Continentals – “Lover Boy Blue” (B & B. Babineaux) / “Put the Hurt on You”
1015 The Countdowns – “Cover Of Night” (Don Griffin – Don Strickland) / “Can’t You See” (Ron Gray, A&R also Ron Gray)
1018 Don & Jerry – “Too Much Confusion” / “Better Run & Hide”
1019 Thursday’s Children – “Running Around on Me” / “I Don’t Need Your Love” (J. Dunn & S. Farmer)
1020 The Spectres – “No Good, No Where World” (Ron Gray & J. L. Carraway) / “High Stepper”
1021 The Rogue Show – “Look to Me” (Larry Jefferson, Jay Boyott Music BMI) / “Little Lonely Summer Girl” (D. Box, R. Rush)

Compiled with help from Global Dog Productions though I took off their listing of Penny Gilley at 1016 as I believe that’s a different N-Joy label.

Don & Jerry with the Fugitives

Don Griffin and Jerry Strickland were primarily songwriters. In 1965 and ’66, they cut some of their originals as Don & Jerry with the Fugitives.

Their first 45 was “In The Cover Of Night” b/w “I Can’t Quit”, released on Fabor Robinson’s label in late spring of 1965. Ron Gray and the Countdowns would later record an excellent version of “Cover of Night” for N-Joy.

They next backed singer Delna Lee for another record on Fabor which I haven’t heard yet, “One Year Today” b/w “Big Man (That Ain’t Love, It Ain’t Right)” from June of 1965.

Returning to Louisiana, they released another original with a quick tempo, “Better Run & Hide” b/w “Too Much Confusion” on N-Joy. I’ve heard “Better Run & Hide”, and it’s good, but I don’t have a copy to make a transfer yet.

Jerry Strickland went on to work with Bobby Patterson on producing and writing songs for the Jewel and Paula family of record labels. He started two labels of his own, Soul Power with Bobby Patterson in ’72 and Alarm with Stewart Madison in ’75.

Billy John and the Continentals

Billy John and the Continentals are most famous for a couple 45s on Floyd Soileau’s Jin label in Ville Platte, “The Alligator”/”All Over Again” (Jin 203) and “Slap It To Me”/”Shooting Squirrels” (Jin 214). (Thanks to Boursin for this info – see his comment below correcting my original post regarding “Po Boy”.)

Billy John was Billy John Babineaux, and I believe he passed away in 2002. I’m not sure who was in the Continentals, but Kirby Boudreaux is a possibility.

They also released two 45s on Roland “Rocky” Robin’s N-Joy label in a more conventional r&b style. The first is this fine cover of Jessie Hill’s “Ooh Pooh Pah Doo” with the ballad “Does Someone Care (for Me)” on the flip.

The second N-Joy release has two more Billy Babineaux originals, the rockin’ “Lover Boy Blue” and the horn-driven r&b “Put the Hurt on You”.

The Spectres

The Spectres formed at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, and then based themselves in Monroe, which is about halfway between Shreveport, LA and Jackson, Mississippi. Band members included Daniel Gilbert on lead guitar, Jim Steele on vocals, Sidney Boone on keyboards and vocals and Woodie Bardin on keyboards.

Their repertoire leaned heavily on soul songs, and they often played at the Dynasty in West Monroe.

Monroe was also the base for the N-Joy label, run by Rocky Robbins. Both sides of the Spectres 45 were written by Ron Gray and J.L. Carraway. Gray did A&R for the label and had his own group, the Countdowns, with whom he released three earlier 45s on the N-Joy label, some of which I hope to feature soon. I’d be interested to know why he had the Spectres record these songs instead of his own group.

“No Good, No Where World” has a neat keyboard riff, and a heavy beat. It’s well produced with a nice pop sensibility, while “High Stepper” is a bit of a throwaway, maybe closer to their live sound. My copy of the record has some serious Katrina/Rita water damage on the labels.

Jim Steele contacted me and also sent in the two songs from the later 45:

The writers Ron & Jerry were disc jockeys in Sherveport where we cut those two sides on N-joy at Sound on Sound Studios, which burned down many years ago. Other band members besides Daniel, Sidney, and Woodard were Terry Montgomery on bass – his brother the late Vince Mongomery played bass in the very popular band from Mississippi, The Gants, and our crazy drummer Billy Bass…he’s still crazy after all these years.

You’re right about “High Stepper” it should have been thrown away! The lyrics were handed to me as I was singing them. Sidney did the harmony. He did all the soul stuff. The band even changed to gold jackets for that part of the show. I sang on the Brit Invasion and pop stuff. Unfortuately Sidney died years ago..a very talented man. We all miss him.

For some reason Daniel didn’t play guitar on Stepper, Bobby Stampley, who played in The Uniques with his brother Joe played on it. We cut two more sides in the the fall of 66.

I got drafted in the Army in Aug of that year, but came home on leave and we went to Robin Hood Brians studio in Texas to record two songs that Daniel had written. “I Cried” and “Psychodelic Situation”. Their new singer also sang, but I forgot his name. They came out on Paula, Stan Lewis’ label in Shreveport. I recently found “I Cried” on an Aussie compilation, Wyld Sydes Vol5. Did you get your royalities Daniel? Since I got out of the Army, I’ve played in a few bands and worked in radio. I currently DJ at Classic Hits LA105.3 in Monroe, Louisiana.

“Psychodelic Situation” is not very mind-bending, but it’s a solid song, and “I Cried” is even better. Both sides were produced by Rocky Robin. Thank you Jim for your comments and for sending in these two songs.

Anyone have a photo of the band?