Monday, September 19, 2011

The Frantics - "Werewolf" - Dolton, 1959

This is a classic tune, basically a standard amongst a certain set of bands.  It influenced The Cramps' "Don't Eat Stuff Off The Sidewalk".  It was covered by Los Straitjackets.  The Ventures played it note-for-note and retitled it "The Fourth Dimension". I got in on the action too. So who were the original men behind the music?

The Frantics were based out of Seattle, Washington and were active between '55 and '65. Ron Petersen and Chuck Schoning started as a duo in jr. high, and the band grew from there. By the late 50's they were recording what would become their classic material with Dolton. The two most well-known cuts are probably "Werewolf" and "Fog Cutter", but "Straight Flush" also charted. In the 60's, the band line-up was shifting and thier sound drifted towards the RnB side of things. By '65, they disbanded. There's a great collection of info at this site for those who want to dig into it further.
Dolton was a Seattle-based label started by Bob Reisdorf and Bonnie Guitar, and was active until '67. First called "Dolphin", they changed the name after a few releases to avoid confusion with a Laurie "Dolphin" subsidiary (but they kept the fish in the logo). Aside from The Frantics, other acts included The Ventures, The Fleetwoods, and Vic Dana. Avnet scooped up the label in '63 and in '65 it was merged with Liberty. It was finally closed in '67.
Most of the other songs in The Frantics catalog seem to be of the tamer teen variety, but this one is tough and eerie. Have a listen:

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