Van Recording discography

Raiders Van 45: Stick Shift, Gone
Above, the original limited pressing of Van V-00262, with extra track “Gone”
Van V-00262, as released to the public “Stick Shift” moved to the A-side

The Van Recording label was owned by Bobby Van Meter, his brother Charles Van Meter and Lonny Roberts, who sang on at least two 45s of his own on the label. They ran the label and studio out of a music shop in Lake Jackson or Clute, Texas, though the label shows different addresses, first Angleton and later Brazosport and Freeport.

Any help with this discography would be appreciated.

The numbering is systematic – the first three digits are the release # and last two are the year, so the Raiders “Stick Shift” (Van 00262) is the label’s second release (002) and dates to 1962 (62).


National issue on Vee Jay

00162 – Lawrence Flippo & the Futuras – Let’s Do It / Cry, Cry, Cry
00262 ¹– Raiders – (It’s a) Stick Shift (J. Caster, T. Simpson) / Skipping Around (also released on Vee Jay 504)
00362 – Lonny Roberts and the Futuras – Don’t You Know / One More Try
004 – ?
00563 – The Futuras – The Hum / The Walk
00663 – Raiders – It’s Motivation (J. Castor, T. Simpson, B. Pitcock) / On a Straight Away
00763 – Raiders – Supercharged / Cruising Low
00864 – Walter Crane with the Raiders – Everyday I Have the Blues / My Chances
00964 – Bobby Clanton – Angel / I Needed Love
01064 – Raiders – Raisin’ Cane / Repetition
01164 – Larry Dallas – The Two Step / I Forgot To Remember To Forget (also on Dallas DS 1)
01264 – Bobby Reed – Twistin’ Petition / Girl Of My Dreams
01364 – Lonny Roberts and the Raiders – Rugged But Right / Room Full of Roses
01464 – Originals – Scatter-Shot / Lucille
01564 – Melody-Aires – Surely I Will (A.E. Brumley) / River Of Jordan (H. Houser)
01664 – Bobby Clanton – The Way That You Are (M. Angel) / Was It Wrong Loving You
01764 – Herb Torres – Dalia / Tribute to J.F.K.
01864 – Ronnie Ellis and the Originals – Honey Blonde / One Little Raindrop (prod. by Wallace Schlemmer)
01964 – (The) Drag Rags – Judy / An Empty Cup (and a Broken Date)
020 – ?
02165 – Originals – Stick Shift ’65 / Blast-Off!
022 – ?
02365 – Larry Dallas – Cheatin’ Woman (Louis Hobbs) / Have I Waited Too Long (also on Majestic 1001)
024 – ?
025 – ?
02665 – Bobby Clanton and the Plateaus – You Can Have Her / An Adventure To You
02765 – The Gudell Brothers featuring the Melody Makers – Heart Full of Country Music / E-String Boogie Rock “recorded live on stage”
02865 – Ronnie Ellis – Goodnight Little Sweetheart / The Right Way of Doing Things Wrong
02965 – Marvin Paul – None of Your Business (Marvin Laqua) / Help Me, Mister Blues
03065 – Originals – Night Flight / Comanche!
03165 – The Hi-Rollers – Slave Chain / Runaway
03265 – The Dinos – Baby, Come On In (Bobby Lira) / This is My Story
033 – ?
034 – ?
03565 – Originals – Searching for Love / How Much of Your Heart (dir. by Lonny Roberts, rec. by Billy Snow)
03665* – Rex Eaton – Lying Lips, Cheating Arms / Shackles and Chains (Taylorville, IL)
03765 – White Twins (Ronnie and Tommy) – I Can Dream / Just Another Face
03865* – Dave & the Detomics – Detomic Orbit (Dave Bethard) / Shatter (issued Jan. 1966)
039 – ?
04066 – Originals – Hop, Skip and Jump / No Love For Me
04166 – Originals – I Can’t Forget / Old Enough to Break a Heart (D. McBride)
04266* – Dave & the Detomics feat. Jeanne Eickhoff – Soft White Gloves (Lillie Bethard) / Why Can’t I
04266 ²– Lonny Roberts & the Originals – Each Night At Nine / Only Want a Buddy (Not a Sweetheart)

Majestic issue of Van V-02365 – which came first?
04366* – Oglethorp & Othelow – I’ll Still Love You / Please Don’t Go Away (both by Donnie Bearup)
04466* – Embalmers – You’re a Better Man / Somewhere Land
04567* – Stingrays – In the Midnight Hour / Girl You Said It Again
04669 – Bobby Sanders & the Psychlones – Come Over to My World / I Can’t Take It
70-46 – Red Mann And The Country Continentals ‎– Heartaches And Honky Tonks / The One Who Changed Is Me
70-47 ³– Lynn Hendrix and the Country Blue Boys – I Don’t Need Anything / I Let You Go (Freeport TX, prod. by Lonny Roberts)
70-48- Lonny Roberts with music by the Raiders – My Sweet Love Ain’t Around / Guys Like Me
70-49 – Walter Crane & Exposition – Someone Special (P. Pennington) / A Place! (prod.: B.J. VanMeter, dir.: James Henry, eng.: Ray Doggett)
V-70-50 – Larry Weathers and the Raiders – The Crying Man / Driving Wheel, produced by L. Roberts, eng. by Ray Doggett, with pressing numbers LH-7384 and LH-7385
70-51 – ?
70-52 – ?
70-53 – Moonlighters – I Destroyed Myself / My Possessive Love (described as a country ballad, Pee Wee Kubon vocals on both sides)
70-54 – Larry Weathers – Believe In Me / Please Tell Me
V-7201 – The Western Four ‎– Butter Beans / Blueberry Hill
V-73-02 – Mike Pepper, music by: “Pepper & Spice” – Let Me Be The Judge (C. Twitty) / A thing Called Sadness (C. Howard) (Mgr. Bob Geer, Producer: Lonnie Roberts, Director: Mike Pepper, Engineer: Ray Doggell)
V-73-03 – Russell Davis and the Country Alibis ‎– The Devil Made Me Lie / Down On Skid-Row
V-73-06 – Mike Pepper – Seasons of the Past (C. Phillips – C. Kirk) / Take A Look Into Your Mind (M. Pepper) (Producer: L. Roberts, Director B. Sanders, Engineer C. Kirk)


1-69 – Lonny Roberts – Presenting … the Sage of the West
(The Bottle Is My Jailer; Loving You; The Devil & Me; Road To Your Heart; I Don’t Love You Anymore; Old Heartaches; Old Mountain Dew; Lonely, Lonely Man; False Impressions; Too Much Wine From The Bottle; You’re Just A Memory; What About Your Mistakes)

* denotes a Van record produced by Oscar Wells in Taylorville, Illinois.

In the mid-’60s Van released at least six 45s produced by Oscar J. Wells: two by Dave & the Detomics, one each by Rex Eaton, the Embalmers and Oglethorp & Othelow, and one or two by the Sting Rays. I’d like to hear those and learn the story behind them. Dave and the Detomics came from Morrisonville, Illinois. Mike Markesich tells me the Embalmers came from Mason City, IL, and the Sting Rays from Springfield, IL. If anyone has good scans or transfers of these 45s, please contact me.

¹ Very rare three-song EPs of Van V-00262 were pressed prior to the two-song issue, probably as demonstration copies to decide which of the three songs to release. The A-side had “Skipping Around” and the B-side “Stick Shift” and “Gone”. Confusingly, “Gone” was actually the Raiders’ version of the Duals song “Stick Shift” but mislabeled. On the EP scans, publishing and song writing info is written in pen (Jessie Caster and Terry Simpson, Glad Music BMI), along with the prefix “(It’s A)” before “Stick Shift”. “Gone” also has “-Gone” written next to it, which I think means to not include this song in the finished two-track 45. I still haven’t heard “Gone”.

² Two 45s issued given the 04266 catalog #, the Lonny Roberts & the Originals was a Texas recording, Dave & the Detomics were from Illinois.

³ In 1970, the numbering changes, so the first two digits are the year recorded, and the second two seem to indicate release # (a Walter Crane disc has LH-7281 which indicates a May, 1970 pressing).

Thank you to Mike, Brian Kirschenbaum, DrunkenHobo, Jim, Laurent Bigot, Barry Wickham, Billy Gibbons, porcupine, eleelandc, Chris Harpe, Eric Lelet, Jeff Brant, Jason Chronis, Dennis Wilson and Bob of Dead Wax for their help with this discography.

For more on Ronnie Ellis and the Originals see the article I’ve posted here.

Demo pressing of Van V-00262, “Skipping Around” listed as A-side
Another rare copy of the Raiders’ 3-song EP, sent to me by Jessie Caster
Another rare copy of the Raiders’ 3-song EP, sent to me by Jessie Caster

19 thoughts on “Van Recording discography”

  1. My friend’s uncle (and his friend) released a 45 on Van as “Ogelthorpe and Othello,” a kind of Peter and Gordon/Chad and Jeremy type of duo. They were from a small town in Illinois near Taylorville. I was always confused by the releases being from both Illinois and Texas.

    Sorry I don’t have a Van # or title (I’ve only seen his uncle’s hammered copy and have never found a copy for myself here in Illinois).

  2. 01164 Larry Dallas : The Two Step / I Forgot To Remember To Forget (Also On Dallas DS 1)

    01264 Bobby Reed : Twistin’ Petition / Girl Of My Dreams

    01664 Bobby Clanton – The Way That You Are (M. Angel) / ?
    —>B/W Was It Wrong Loving You

    02365 Larry Dallas : Cheatin’ Woman B/W Have I Waited To Long

    04266 Lonny Roberts And The Originals : Each Night At Nine B/W Only Want A Buddy (Not A Sweetheart)

    70-48 Lonny Roberts /Music By The Raiders : My Sweet Love Aint’ Around / ?

  3. Larry Dallas – Cheating Woman Van (TX) 45 – 02365 (1965) Great Rockabilly stroller (Note also issued on Majestic (TX) 45 – 1001) Sorry dont know flip but I do have a label shot. Its been issued on a couple of Rockabilly bootlegs

  4. Hello everyone!! I am still singing and playing around central Illinois with my brother Mike(Mouse)Bearup and still writing music. I have alot of new songs and my brother writes also. We love that God has blessed us to be still healthy and able to perform. My brother and I have played in numerous bands over the years such as BEAR CREEK ROAD-JESSIE-NORTH SYDE TREE-BLACKWOOD MAGAZINE-SKY HIGH-( the list goes on and on. We now go by either Bear Creek Road or just the Bearup Brothers. Thank you for having this site to remember the good old days when life was fun and relaxing. Just celebrated my brother’s birthday Saturday and Greg,Mouse, and I sang and played all night long at my home. What a blast we had. Too bad no one heard it but us. BC Harmony at their best!!!! Cheers

  5. other Vans from my collection that haven’t been listed:

    V70-47-I Don’t Need Anything/I Let You Go by Lynn Hendrix and the Country Blue Boys (Freeport TX, produced by Lonny Roberts)

    V-03665-Lying Lips, Cheating Arms/Shackles and Chains by Rex Eaton (Taylorville, IL)

    V-02765-Heart Full of Country Music/E-String Boogie Rock by the Gudell Brothers featuring the Melody Makers (Angleton, TX: label says “recorded live on stage”

    1. Lynn Hendrix and the Country Blue Boys – I Don’t Need Anything / I Let You Go

      That is my Aunt. What is this site about??? My Aunt recently passed and we need to get a LP/45 of this. I Informed her daughter about this site and she will be getting a hold of Cat..or whoever runs this site.

  6. Lonnie Roberts, or Lorn as we knew him, was my uncle. He passed away many years ago. Thanks for this site, it brings back memories. We have probably about 20 45’s or so from the era, some Originals, Raiders, and Lonnie solo. I also just converted Sage of the West to digital sound. It is so crisp and clear. The background guitar work is very good, particularly for the era. I’m not much of a C&W fan, but, I am of the old style Country sound.

    Again, thanks, If you had any pictures of Lonnie, I would love to see them. All of Lonnie’s siblings have passed away, including my mother, it’s makes the memorbilia special.


    1. Lonnie Roberts recorded 5 songs written by my husband. One of the five I actually wrote. What About Your Mistakes. Lost the 45 in all of the years that have passed.

  7. V-73-02 Mike Pepper Music by: “Pepper & Spice” Mgr. Bob Geer, Producer: Lonnie Roberts, Director: Mike Pepper, Engineer: Ray Doggell; Side 1 – Let Me Be The Judge (C. Twitty) Side 2 – A thing Called Sadness (C. Howard)
    V-73-06 Mike Pepper Producer: L. Roberts, Director B. Sanders, Engineer C. Kirk; Side 1 – Seasons of the Past (C. Phillips – C. Kirk), Side 2 Take A Look Into Your Mind (M. Pepper)

    They both have Tyler Pub. Co., of Tyler, Texas, Listed on the Label. Curtis Kirk owned Tyler Publishing Company and Custom Records in Tyler. You can visit here for more information.

    Also you can here a Curtis Kirk song here:

  8. Lonnie Roberts picked 5 songs from my husband at the time. I actually wrote one of them. (what about your mistakes) They were recorded in Tyler. I remember the deal was that the owner of the recording studio got to put his name as co-writer on the records. We didn’t realize that until it was a done deal, but we were young and excited to get something recorded and it would have been ok anyway. Through the years I have lost my copy of the songs. My husband’s name was Donnie Faull.

  9. I done a record on the van label with Lonnie and jody burl sanders in the 70s. was wild and young then and didn’t know what I had. wondering who were musians on the record. a single. any ifo would be helpful and I would be very thankful, thanks bobby

    life just lets me live
    new fool tonight

    1. 9-5-2017 1:30PM

      Hey Bobby Keith:
      I saw your comment on the Van Records Website. How in the world are you doing? Fine I do Hope.
      Man, I’m 70 years old now! I sure do miss those good ole days back in the
      1960’s down there in the West Columbia, Texas. We all had some Great Times going to all those Dances to hear BJ Thomas and the Triumphs, Roy Head and the Traits and many other Bands. I played Drums in a Band called ‘The White Twins And The Twilights.’ Over the years I’ve had about 50 of my songs Recorded by Male and Female Artists and Bands.
      I was in Columbia High School from 1961-1965. After Graduation I
      joined the U.S. Navy and went to ‘Viet Nam’. The ‘Viet Nam’ conflict took a lot of young men’s lives, so sad but true. Sure am glad that Nightmare is over. God Bless all those Souls who lost their lives in ‘Viet Nam’.
      I’m also still a Songwriter. I received a ‘Gold’ Record Award for my original song “Angel With A Broken Wing” recorded by Heidi Hauge from Norway. She has her own Website. She is such a fine person and I’m sure happy having Her as my Friend too.
      Also I got Seven Cuts on my song “We Don’t Love Here Anymore”( We Just Live Here). I just love Songwriting.’ Some Songs just Grab Your Soul And Won’t Let Go’. And I appreciate that Greatly.
      Well,Bobby, I gotta make like a door and close for now. God Bless you and yours. Allen Greene/Greenehand Music-BMI
      Address: Allen Greene/Greenehandmusic-BMI
      3108 Bradfield Drive
      Nolensville, Tennessee 37135-0646

  10. Hi,

  11. found your site and it looks great, my father is the one and only Walter Crane still alive and singing with his great voice, if you would like further info to contact him, please call me at 626-214-6591, you can pick his brain, and get a wealth of information

  12. Here’s another title to add to the Van Discography: V-7-
    0-50 ( Side 1 ) Larry Weathers and the Raiders “The Crying Man”; and ( Side 2 ) Larry Weathers and the Raiders “Driving Wheel”, which is a version of the blues song written by Roosevelt Sykes. Both sides produced by L. Roberts, Engineered by Ray Doggett, with pressing numbers LH-7384 and LH-7385.

  13. Anybody knows what happened to all 4 members of the Originals? I happen to have a 45 on the VAN label with all 4 signatures of them.

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