Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Hollywood Persuaders - "Drums A-Go-Go" - Original Sound, 1965

Today it's a pounding dance floor orgy from The Hollywood Persuaders!
Mick and Mallory dig that crazy beat!
You may remember this song from the prison riot sequence in Natural Born Killers, and the tune's frantic intensity certainly fits.
Mastermind Paul in the middle
The Persuaders were primarily Paul Buff, he wrote most of the songs and even played many instruments on the recordings. His first hit, "Tijuana Surf", was pressed with buddy Frank Zappa's “Grunion Run" on the flip. The success of that tune started Paul's career, and he linked up with Original Sound records for plenty more tunes.
From the "Drums A Go Go" album liner notes:
"...Paul Buff was working on an idea which showcased drums in the arrangement. Buff’s first attempt was entitled “Drums” and simply featured drums with his wife Allison’s backing vocals. This version was released on an extremely rare promotional single with “Yes, I Want To Dance” as the B-side. Paul Buff went back and completely re-recorded the track with an extremely powerful drum presence, more instrumentation and a sax replacing Allison Buff’s vocal. This version became “Drums A-Go-Go,” and it was an even bigger local success."
Art working the boards in a promo shot
Original Sound is run by Art Laboe, and I believe this is still an active studio in Hollywood. Check out his website here for the full info.
Current pic of the studio
Now start bouncing!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Utopians - "Dutch Treat" - Imperial, 1962

Today I've got one of my favorite doo-wop records for ya - but unfortunately I have almost no information on The Utopians.  All I know is that they are also known for their hit "Along My Lonely Way" which is a nice doo-wop ballad sought after by record collectors. This one is a great up-tempo doo-wop number, and the other side is ace as well. Pick this up if ya see it, and please send any info on the band if you have it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Barbarians - "Hey Little Bird" - Joy Records, 1964

Today I've got one of my favorite garage tunes for ya - The Barbarian's "Hey Little Bird".
The Barbarians formed in 1964 and were based out of Cape Cod. There's no denying their roots - listen to one of their tunes and the accent is heavy and unmistakable. "Hey Little Bird" was their first tune, and it flopped badly. I think it's a pretty rocking little number and a heavy guitar drone/gong at the end of each verse really makes the song for me.

The Barbarians' big hit was "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?", which peaked at around #55 on the charts. Also, I'd recommend checking out "Moulty" - a silly ballad about how the drummer lost his hand, that was later included on the infamous "Nuggets" compilation. The Barbarians split by '68 but I'm glad they left us with a few gems. Here a clip of them performing today's 45 on the TAMI show.

Joy Records was active between 1958 and 1965. Based in New York, it was run by Hal and Mariam Weiss. I also know that the producer of this tune, Al Ham, was the A&R chief at Joy. That's really all I've got on Joy.
And the clip:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

King Curtis - "I Never Love A Man (The Way I Love You)" - Atco, 1968

Today I've got a nice blues-soul instro from sax god Curtis Ousley AKA King Curtis. Maybe you don't know the name, but you've got to know his honking on tracks like The Coasters' "Yakety Yak" or Buddy Holly's "Reminiscing."
Born in 1934, Curtis picked up at sax at age 12. He got his professional career started as a sideman in the 50's and 60's, but by the mid 60's he was able to lead his own band recording plenty of instrumentals for Atlantic. He died tragically, stabbed to death while trying to shoo some junkies away from his apartment stoop in 1971. Curtis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 6, 2000.

Today's song was originally an Aretha Franklin tune, peep this YouTube clip for a taste of the flavor:

Atco Records released a ton of 45s and I'm sure you've come across many. From Wikipedia:

"Atco Records was founded in 1955 as a division of Atlantic Records. It was devised as an outlet for productions by one of Atlantic's founders, Herb Abramson, who had returned to the company from military service. It was also intended as a home for acts that did not fit the format of Atlantic, which at the time was only releasing blues, jazz, and R&B/soul. The Atco name is simply an abbreviation of ATlantic COrporation."
And now, the clip!