The Kickin’ Mustangs

The Kickin' Mustangs
Back row from left: Albert Richardson, Larry Creech, Larry Talerico, Buddy McCoy, Brad Rhodes; Front row from left: Danny Shortridge and Bruce France. Missing is Pat Loving.

Unlike the other 45s on the Plato label, the Kickin’ Mustangs record is not garage, but has a wild two-minute funk number “Kickin'” on the top side and a fine ballad “Take a Miracle” on the flip. It was recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio the same day as the Outcasts’ record, which shows the range of musical styles of the time.The band was from Ashland, Kentucky, original billed as simply the Mustangs. The original band included

Danny Shortridge – lead vocals
Larry Creech – sax
Darrel Tucker – trumpet
Rudy Hester – keyboards
Boots Shelton – bass, replaced by Larry ‘Frog’ Johnson
Dave Osborne – drums

By the time of the Kickin Mustangs single, Danny Shortridge and Larry Creech remained from the original group, but the rest of the members were new:

Danny Shortridge – lead vocals
Bruce France – lead vocals
Larry Creech – sax
Larry Talerico – trumpet
Pat Loving – lead guitar
Brad Rhodes – keyboards
Albert Richardson – bass
Buddy McCoy – drums

“Kickin'” was written by Parnell, Loving, & Minnefield. “Take a Miracle” on the flip is a nice ballad written by Bob Minnefield. This is also the most valuable record on the Plato label, by the way.

Keyboardist Brad Rhodes sent in the photo above and gave me some background on the group:

I was the keyboardist for the Kickin’ Mustangs when we recorded our 45 rpm disc in Cincinnati. At the time, the members were Larry Creech, Pat Loving, Danny Shortridge, Larry Talerico, Bruce France, Buddy McCoy and Albert Richardson.

Attached is a promotional photo of the Kickin’Mustangs from back in the day with Hal Scott Enterprises. The only person missing is Pat Loving, our guitar player. This photo may have been taken when Pat was laid up after a car accident.

I had joined the Mustangs around 1966-67 after playing in a band out of Flatwoods, KY. “Frog” Johnson was the bass player initially and the group always had an R&B / soul feel to it, but when Albert, Buddy and Bruce were added, it created a whole new sound that complimented the R&B scene during those days. Bruce, Buddy, Albert and Talerico were from Huntington and they were instrumental in taking the Mustangs to another level. Man, I miss the days of R&B!.

We played the usual Tri-State venues, but were also fortunate to have played with Cream, The Grass Roots, and performed in an event in Ashland with The Left Banke and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

I remember when Hal Scott came to us with the opportunity to cut a disc with Plato Records, because all the bands he booked received the same offer. Although I do not recall the date, I remember traveling to Cleveland, Ohio after cutting the record, and appearing on “Upbeat”, a syndicated T.V. show. I imagine it is lost in the archives!

Brad Rhodes, July 2010

Later members included Terry Sanders on drums and Mike Tolone. Pat Loving and Larry Creech have since passed away.

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!'”

The Tigermen

The Tigermen were from Olean, New York, south of Buffalo, and started out in 1964.

Members were Tom Consedine, John Farrell, Tim Stavish and Jeff Todd. They recorded four songs in October 1965 at a studio in Buffalo, releasing two 45s in quick succession featuring a tough organ-driven sound. First released were two originals by Consedine and Farrell, the garage classic “Close That Door” backed with a moody ballad, “Love Me Girl”.

The second is a slow, spooky grinding rocker, “Tiger Girl”, with a cover of “Runaway” on the flip. “Close That Door” seems to be the rarer of the two 45s.

Production was by Art Detrick who later created the Free Design around the singing and songwriting talents of his kids.

The Tigermen had regular gigs around the Cuba Lake resorts and in northwestern Pennsylvania, but after the summer of 1966 the band split up as members went to college or were taken by the draft.

The Shays

The Shays in 1963 photo, from left: Steve Naylor, Denis Ahlborn, Jim Harvey, Ken Heinrich and George Mattson
The Shays in 1963, from left: Steve Naylor, Denis Ahlborn, Jim Harvey, Ken Heinrich and George Mattson

Updated June, 2016

The Shays came from Mount Prospect, Illinois, northwest of Chicago, and released one 45 on Astra, “People’ve Been Sayin'” / “Tell Me Where”. These two tracks feature basic but solid two-guitar instrumental backing for the vocalist.

Members were:

Ken Heinrich – lead vocals
Denis Ahlborn – lead guitar
George Mattson – rhythm guitar & backup vocals
Steve Naylor – bass
Jim Harvey – drums

Both songs were written by George Mattson, who contacted me about the band:

Jack Schapps owned three music stores in shopping centers in suburban Chicago and Astra Records was kind of a sideline business of his. The Shays’ bass player, Steve Naylor, and myself worked at his music store at Randhurst Shopping Center in Mt. Prospect and Jack agreed to record our band on his label. I understand that he had worked for RCA records before going into retail, therefore we recorded at the RCA studios in Chicago (somewhere near Navy Pier) around 1965. We did get airplay on WCFL-AM for “Tell Me Where”, which is what we considered the A side. Originally the playing time was almost 3 minutes. WLS told us that was too long to get airplay on their station. At that point, Jack had the 2nd verse removed to reduce the playing time. WLS still wouldn’t play it. 😉

While checking out your website, I discovered the pics of “The Mouse Trap” club in Vernon Hills. The Shays played there regularly in the mid-60s and I still remember The Riddles as another regular band from there. It was another flashback to see the photo of Phil Metzler there. I believe Phil was the guy who started the rumor that burned through the NW suburbs that The Beatles might make a stop at the Mouse Trap after their concert at Comiskey Park in 1965. That night the club was the most crowded that I ever remember. (Phil was a real promoter.)

George Mattson

As George added in a comment below, “we basically were busted up by the Viet Nam draft around 1966-67.”

This group was not connected to the Shays from Canada who had a couple 45s on Roman Records.

Astra Records were part of the Nova Corporation in Hillside, Illinois. Their RCA account number was 806N, with original songs (such as the Shays and Bobby Stanton Sextet) published through Randhurst Music, BMI. There about five other Astra labels from the ’60s including the the reissue label from Pittsburgh and one from Detroit specializing in doo-wop and r&b.

Astra Records discography:

Astra 300: Bobby Angel and the Hilltoppers “Submarine Races” / “Heartbreak Hotel” (instrumental) (N8OW-7560/1, 1962)
Astra 301: Bobby Stanton Sextet Scree….Aghh” / “Scree….Aghh’s Gone” (1963)
Astra 302: Tommy Johnson & Bobby Stanton Quintet “Do You Mean What You Say” / “Coolin’ My Heels” (both by Emme Mullis & Ruth Kling, P3KM-8119/20)
Astra 303: ?
Astra 304: ?
Astra 305: The Shays “People’ve Been Sayin'” / “Tell Me Where” (1965, SK3M-1475/6)

Thank you to George Mattson for the photo and information on the band, and to Gary Cease for providing the photo of the label.

The Unknown IV

The Unknown IV were from the Raleigh, NC area which was also the base of the JCP label. “I Want You To Be Mine” is a good number that the band recorded twice, once for the JCP label with a good rockin’ flipside, “All of the Time”, and again for the Howell label with a country-style weeper, “Happiness Ain’t Comin’ to My House” on the flip.I’m not sure which version came first, but I’d guess the JCP as the Howell recording is a little faster and more confident.

Jerry Evans was the lead vocalist and songwriter for the group, I don’t know the rest of the members.

I haven’t heard their second 45 on JCP, “What’s Gonna Happen” / “Give Me a Chance”.

More on the JCP label at a later post. Thanks to Gary Cease for contacting me about the Unknown IV.

Anyone have a photo of the group?

WNYU Mod Monday Radio

WNYU Mod Monday radio show – one of the very few ways to hear garage sounds when I was in high school in suburban NY in the 80’s. I’ve since lost my cassette copies of portions of the show, but a friend gave me a few cds of shows recorded back in the day. I’ve uploaded an entire show (as two tracks, mono to save space) in mp3 format.

Part one is about 46 minutes, and 27 MB. Part 2 is 30 minutes and about 17 MB. Of course, you can just stream these instead of downloading. This one includes the Chesterfield Kings, a cool version of I’m Down by the 13th Floor Elevators, the Trademarks, Them, Lyres, Quests, etc etc.

Mod Monday October 5, 1987 part 1
Mod Monday October 5, 1987 part 2

The Amen

The Amen (left to right: Dave Wilson, Nick Scali, Bob Clarke, Tim Ryan and Ed Schryer)
The Amen (left to right: Dave Wilson, Nick Scali, Bob Clarke, Tim Ryan and Ed Schryer)

The Amen Algoma 45 Peter ZeusThe Amen (or A Men) originated in Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada. Band members in 1966 were Tim Ryan on vocals, Ed Schryer lead guitar, Nick Scali rhythm guitar, Dave Wilson bass and Bob Clarke drums. At this point they were known for their original songs and also for the 15 minute drum solos of Bob Clarke. A later clipping lists Bob Yukich and Bob Yeomans as well, and omits Ed Schryer.
After eight months together, playing at the local Teen Centre, they traveled to Toronto in late 1966 to record their only 45, a fine 60’s pop 45 released on the local Algoma label early in ’67. No songwriting credits are listed on the label, but an article from the Sault Daily Star mentions Tim Ryan as the composer of the a-side, “Carnivals and Cotton Candy”, with the slightly psychedelic “Peter Zeus” being a collaboration between Tim and Bob Clarke. Production was by John Holt.

Boris's Coffee House and Red Gas Room bands, the Amen, the Tripp, The Rabble
Amen at the Red Gas Room
The Amen apparently moved to Toronto at some point in 1967, returning on July 21 to Sault Ste. Marie for a homecoming concert at the Memorial Gardens. (The Memorial Gardens were demolished in May of 2006.) They stayed active until at least late 1967, sharing billing with the Guess Who at the Princess Theatre in September. They certainly had ambition and talent, but for some reason never cut another record.

A Men live on CJIC-TV with the Odds and Ends and the Rogues RPM, October 17, 1966
A Men live on CJIC-TV with the Odds and Ends and the Rogues RPM, October 17, 1966
Thank you Jim Witty for letting me know about this group, and special thanks to Bård Hodneland for the cool photo and memorabilia of the Amen, and Ronald T. Robinson, former DJ at Sault Ste. Marie radio CKCY, who sent in the fabulous article “Amen Cut Peter Zeus” from the Sault Daily Star which his wife had saved since high school. Thanks also to Ivan Amirault for the scan from RPM.

Amen are back clipping

The Amen cut Peter Zeus

Amen Sault Memorial Grounds ticketAmen and Guess Who ticket

Later photo of the Amen with six members
Later photo of the Amen with six members
Later photo of the Amen with six members
Later photo of the Amen with six members
Above, the Vandettas (Vendettas?): Bob Yukich, John Derbyshire, Keith McKie, Bob Yeomans, Alex Darou.
Bob Yukich and Bob Yeomans would join a later version of the Amen, and Keith McKie went on to Kensington Market.

(Those) Rogues

(Those) Rogues photo: Mike Jargan, Rick Rogers, Bryan Primeau, Harvey Bell
(Those) Rogues – left to right: Mike Jargan, Rick Rogers, Bryan Primeau, Harvey Bell

(Those) Rogues Algoma 45 Wish I Could See You AgainAnother band from Sault Ste Marie are (Those) Rogues, who have a fine and rare double-sider on Algoma, “Wish I Could See You Again” / “Girl”.

Members were Bryan Primeau organ and vocals, Rick Rogers guitar, Terry Davey on saxophone, Harvey Bell on bass and Mike Jargan on drums. Terry Davey left the group sometime before they recorded their 45.

In 1963 or ’64, the group recorded a whole LP worth of songs in John Holt’s basement. John Holt had about 10 acetate copies without covers made from the tape, some of which were used for promotion. Any copies John Holt had of this were lost in a house fire, and both Bryan and Terry have lost their copies. Does anyone have this lost artifact of Soo rock n’ roll?

CJIC-TV Telethon notice with local Soo groups the Odds and Ends, the A Men and The Rogues.
CJIC-TV Telethon notice with local Soo groups the Odds and Ends, the A Men and The Rogues.

(Those) Rogues photoIvan Amirault explained to me: “The Rogues changed their name to (Those) Rogues, because at the time Mandala used to call themselves the Five Rogues.”

The single was recorded at Arc Studios in Toronto on February 26, 1967 (I’m not positive on the year), with Marshall Shapiro engineering the session. The label lists the address as Case Road. As with the Amen’s 45 the producer is John Holt, but no songwriting credits are listed. As Bryan’s son Joel mentions in the comment below, his father was the songwriter for the group for the 45.

At this point the band was regularly playing at the Sundown Room, though I’m not sure if that was in Sault Ste Marie or elsewhere in Ontario.

Notable in the article below is when Bryan describes the feeling of playing in front of an audience: “It’s like going to an LSD party, without the LSD”!

Thanks to Ed Narorozy who sent in scans of the newspaper clipping and the photos, and to Ivan Amirault who interviewed the late John Holt and provided me with info on their acetate and about their name change.

Rogues are off to Toronto to cut their first disc

 An early photo of (Those) Rogues
An early photo of the group

Terry Davey spoke to me about the early days of the group:

The Rogues started their career playing in the Moose Hall in Thessalon in the very early 60’s. The Fireflies gave us a break to fill their spot at the Peppermint Hall in the Soo as they were taking a trip. We played there and then moved across Queen Street to play at the former Knights of Columbus Hall. As I remember we were the last group to play at the Peppermint Hall. The Fireflies had just moved their equipment into the hall when it burned down.

When I was with the Rogues we made an LP with the help of John Holt. John Holt managed the entire thing. I believe it got a little air time at CKCY radio and possibly CJIC, but hey, that was the early 60’s. I had one copy and all the other band members had a copy.

When the Rogues decided to go to Toronto I decided to stick with my job at Algoma Steel. It was a good choice!

That is me on the sax in the photo. I am not that tall. I was standing on the rails of the barstools.

Some years later I also started a group called the Bishops Court Trio with Ed Shire and Jerry Pennet. We played at the Algonquin Hotel and also the Black Knight and other places.

Is Harvey Bell still alive? He was Chief of the Ojibwa tribe for some time.

My son Kevin Davey, formally of the Soo, is making a real name for himself in Canadian Music, check out launchingsweety.com. I had taught him guitar and bass many years ago and now he really makes me proud. He now lives in Vancouver, B.C.

I am currently playing sax, sometimes bass and guitar, in our church’s Prase and Worship group.

The site for '60s garage bands since 2004