The Pace-Setters

The äva label – Elmer Bernstein, Fred Astaire, Carol Lawrence, the Pete Jolly Trio – lots of movie themes and light pop music. It makes sense for a label distributed by MGM. Yet I’ve managed to find a couple great instrumental 45s on äva, Allyn Ferguson’s “Your Red Watermelon” and this one, a solid double-sided winner by the Pace-Setters.

Mustang has a nicely tremoloed guitar setting up riffs for a sax to finish off while engines rev in the background. Heads Up is a great r&b guitar workout originally done by Freddie King.

As for the Pace-Setters, they seem to have been a faceless group of studio musicians. Shows how much talent was around in LA in 1964 – two well-produced instrumentals like this get buried in obscurity.

Mustang was written by Gary Moulton, both sides were produced by Steve Benson.

5 thoughts on “The Pace-Setters”

  1. “Mustang” on the A Side: I LOVE this tune! Listening to it is like being transported back to LA in the early sixties. Do you have any more reverb-style surf garage on this site, or is it mainly post 1965 folk, invasion and psyche? And if not, do you know of a site where mainly surf garage is featured?

    Finally, THANK YOU for putting this single up on your site. As we would say in the old days, it’s boss ‘n bitchin, dad.

  2. Still don’t know who these guys were but they are listed as having another recording at Aurora: Setting the Pace 45998-A side & Ooh-Poo-Pah-Doo 45998-B side
    I do like what is here though. I spent a lot of time at the various Surf Music venues as high school kid. Mostly the Orange County ones …The Rendezvous in Balboa, CA, The Pavalon in Huntington Beach, CA, The Retail Clerks Hall in Buena Park, CA, and the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anehim, CA.

    1. I believe The Pace-Setters is The Hustlers (Riverside, CA) from the same session that yielded the soundtrack music from The Beach Girls And The Monster. Aurally, as well as writing style are virtually identical.

  3. The Pacesetters were a band from Long Island, my cousin, now passed, was the sax player in the group. They also had a song called Say Sayonara, I believe there may have been 2 different bands with the name at the time, though I could be wrong.

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