The Good Ship Lolly Pope - logbook:
01- What'cha Gonna Do Baby - The Mersey Lads (MGM,66, US-only 7")
02- Bailiamo Il Jerk - The Bad Boys (Style,66, 7" released in Italy)
03- Who? - The Boston Crabs (Columbia,65)
04- Room At The Top - The Kool (CBS,67)
05- Just A Little Bit - Stu Brown & Bluesology (Polydor,67)
06- Tom Hark - Mickey Finn & The Blue Men (Blue Beat,64)
07- Hidden - Dave Berry & The Cruisers (Decca,66)
08- The Little Old Lady From Pasadena - The Ways And Means (Columbia,66)
09- Harlem Shuffle - The Action (Hansa,68, German-only 7")
10- Words - The Nashville Teens (Decca,66)
11- I Can't Drive - At Last The 1958 Rock And Roll Show (CBS,68)
12- I Don't Feel Myself - The Primitives (French-only EP, s.t., Vogue,66)
13- Draggin' Around - The Saxons (EP, s.t., Rondo,64)
14- I Should Know Better (But I Don't) - Keith Powell & The Valets (Columbia,64)
15- These Boots Are Made For Walking - The Artwoods (EP:"Jazz In Jeans", Decca,66)
16- You Girl - Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers (Decca,64)
17- Catch You If I Can - The Ivan D. Juniors (Oriole,63)
18- Alice In Wonderland - The Dave Heenan Set (Epic,67, US-only 7")
19- You've Got Something - Mike Sarne & The LeROYS (Parlophone,64)
20- Mickey's Monkey - The Wes Minster Five (Carnival,64)
21- Not Until - Hamilton King (HMV,64)
22- Row, Row, Row - Tony Rivers & The Castaways (Columbia,63)
23- What Made You Change - The Jay Bee Four (French-only EP, s.t., Barclay,65)
24- Baubles And Bangles - The Mike Stuart Span (Fontana,68)
25- Stay At Home - The Orchids (Decca,63)
26- Love So Blue - The Druids (Parlophone,64)
27- Come The Day - The Nerve (Page One,68)
28- Don't You Worry - The Roger James Four (Unreleased acetate 64)
29- Like I Love You - Joey & The Gentlemen (Fontana,64)
30- Gonna Say Goodbye - The Buckinghams (Laurie,65, US-only 7")
31- Some Other Time -The Sherwoods (Solar,64)
32- See Emily Play - Ben Cash & The Cash-Tones (VA-LP "England's Top 14 Of Pop", Folge 20, Pop/Vogue,67, German release)
33- Come And Tell Me - Peter & The Hustlers (64 recording, unrel. until 2000, EP, Circle)
34- Come On Girl - The Lemon Tree (Parlophone,68)
(UK 45s except where noted)
Some say The Mersey Lads were a bunch of scousers, who somehow made it to the US of A, where they recorded this 45 for MGM, others say only half of the group was British. Anyway, leader and singer Dave Heenan definitely came from Liverpool, and that's reason enough for me to give the lads the pole position here with this dramatic garage-folk-punk ballad. When they broke up, Heenan stayed in the states for another year and fronted The Dave Heenan Set. (See track 18 here.)
Here come the expatriated Bad Boys again, the group that opened our last issue. Read about them on Tommy 22. This is by far their best Italian sung effort.
Not to be confused with Edinburgh's Boston Dexters, The Boston Crabs came from Cambridge and recorded three flops for Columbia 65/66. This is the flip of the debut "Down In Mexico", which can be found on "R&B Scene 1" and "R&B At Abbey Road".
They evolved from Jeff Curtis & The Flames in Twickenham, but when they changed the name to The Kool, singer Jeff Curtis was the last of the founder members. This is the first of three singles for CBS and MCA between 67 and 69.
Although Stuart Brown plays guitar and sings on all their releases, the fourth and last 7" of Bluesology (see vol. 13) was credited to Stu Brown & Bluesology. This is the second line-up with future Soft Machinist Elton Dean on sax. When pianist Reg Dwight decided to go solo with a new stage name, he combined the first names of Elton Dean and Long John Baldry, the singer the band had backed in the early days, and Elton John was born. The single was written and produced by Kenny Lynch, who had his own Tommyknockers entry on vol. 3.
Next is the other side of Mickey Finn & The Blue Men's debut on the ska label Blue Beat (see vol. 2) "Tom Hark" is a nice ska version of a traditional Zulu melody written (or arranged) by South African Rupert Bopape, and popularized in the UK by Elias & His Zig Zag Jive Flutes in 58. In 62 someone added some "lyrics" to the melody and Jimmy Powell released a happy-go-lucky, (or popcorn, as they nowadays say) vocal version on Decca. Mickey Finn wisely denied himself to do the same. Certainly not your standard beat stuff, but definitely worth a listen nonetheless.
Dave Berry (David Holgate Grundy) from Sheffield was the one and only real cool crooner of the 60s. He started as an R&B act with his band The Cruisers and never quite forgot his beat roots when he was remade, remodeled as a tearjerking teen idol by Decca after hits like "The Crying Game" and the unbearable "Mama". On most of his 45s from 65 to 67 he had the orchestrated schlock on the a-side and a track with The Cruisers on the flip. He was good enough for The Sex Pistols, who covered his "Don't Gimme No Lip Child", and sure enough he's good enough for me.
Not much known about The Ways And Means. They had three singles for three different label (Columbia, Pye and Trend) and tried their luck in just as much different styles. Via "Chocolate Soup For Diabetics 5" and "English Freakbeat 3" the best known song is the slightly delic "Breaking Up A Dream" on Trend, but here we have the debut, where they still tried to establish some kind of Brit Surf with a Beach Boys number on one side and this Jan & Dean hit on the other.
Hard to say why the last single of The Action only had a German release, but Bob & Earl's original of "Harlem Shuffle" was a permanent turntable hit back then, so maybe no-one saw the power to compete in the UK. Bad mistake, cause this is a much tighter, hard-driving version without the somewhat tedious, out of tune brass section of the original. The equally amazing flip can be found on "Broken Dreams 5", the long out of print UK 60s series on the German Line label.
And another Nashville Teens b-side (of "That's My Woman") that not only is uncompiled, but also slipped through the net when Repertoire and Rock-in-Beat put together the almost complete output of the group on two CDs. (See also vol. 18 for "The Hard Way". And check our department of undead heroes for some more recent noises of The Teens from 30 years ago)
At Last The 1958 Rock And Roll Show actually was (Freddie) "Fingers" Lee & The Upper Hand with a different name. They had Miller Anderson on guitar and future Mott The Hoople frontman Ian Hunter on bass. Lee was a very talented Jerry Lee Lewis impersonator who knew all the tricks of the Killer. He already had two solo 45s on Fontana 65/66, one of them the first version of "I Can't Drive", before he picked up the Upper Hand for two further singles, even if the second of these was only released in Germany and Belgium. Then, with the rise of the first UK Rock n' Roll revival, he tried this change of name to ALT1958R&RShow, before he had quite a long-standing greaser career as a solo artist in the 70s and 80s. Oh yeah, Papa does allow Teddy Boys here... as long as they raise hell like this!
Tne Northampton based Primitives already had two Pye 45s when Mal Ryder, who already had recorded for the label as solo artist and with The Spirits, joined to record a last Pye 7" as Mal & The Primitives. Without noteworthy chart action at home, they toured the German chitlin' circuit for a while without making much impression, but then they made it big in Italy, where they recorded a couple of successful singles - some in Italian language - and an album. The Primitives were reduced to backing band status more and more after a while, and Mal stayed there after the split and had middle of the road hits until the late70s in a style not far from Engelbert. While they obviously never played in France, an EP with four previously unreleased tracks, most probably still recorded for Pye, appeared exclusively there. Drummer Pick Withers, who was the first to quit, joined prog band Spring and later found fame and fortune with The Dire Straits.
The Saxons in question are from Exeter and are unrelated to the band of the same name on Tommy 9 and 21, as well as to the instrumental combo on Decca. They only had this EP on the tiny local Rondo label. Another track from this record showed up on the (tough to find nowadays) compilation "Revenge Of The Amphetamine Generation".
For Keith Powell & The Valets from Birmingham see Tommy 16. This is the plug side of "Too Much Monkesy Business", the last of three 45s for Columbia. They had a last one on Pye in 66.
Guess you all know enough about The Artwoods. If not, visit Tommy 15 and 20. This quite amazing treatment of Nancy Sinatra's greatest hit is one of two vocal tracks on the rare EP "Jazz In Jeans", which is omitted on all vinyl collections of the group's work.
Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers were formed in Norfolk 1960. Under the guidance of Joe Meek they started recording - predominantly instrumentals - for Decca in 62, before they changed to Piccadilly after five singles, where four more followed. The guitarist was Pete Miller aka Big Boy Pete of "Cold Turkey" fame, aka Miller of "Baby I Got News For You" glory. When he quit, a couple of guitar players tried their hands, but in the end Terry Reid took over, and the band recorded a final 7" as Terry Reid with Peter Jay's Jaywalkers for Columbia in 67. "You Girl" was the last effort for Decca, the first single that wasn't produced by Meek, and one of their rare vocal tracks.
Read more about The Ivan D. Juniors from Burnley on Tommy 20. This is the other side of their sole record.
When The Mersey Lads (see track 1 here) fell apart, Dave Heenan stayed in New York for a year and formed The Dave Heenan Set with American musicians. The resulting single was "Alice In Wonderland", a pretty good pop-psych number for Epic. But Heenan went back home to Liverpool soon after, and the group kept on making records as The Glitterhouse in the States.
All I know about Mike Sarne has been said on Tommy 20, while one of our favourite groups, The LeROYS, have been featured on vols. 10 and 12, and will be revisited on 25. This is the b-side of "Love Me Please", the only joint venture of Mike and The LeROYS. (Cock sparrow with an Oedipus complex, I'm afraid to say.)
With Tony Reeves, Jon Hiseman and Dave Greenslade in the group, The Wes Minster Five was for Colosseum what The Graham Bond Organisation was for Cream. This version of a Miracles hit is the flip of "Sticks And Stones" from Tommy 17. They had another 45 on Carnival which is o.k., but with half-decent instrumentals on both sides not necessarily a Tommy candidate, plus a 7" as backing band of soul singer Maynell Wilson, which I still have to track down.
Although there's not much of a ska influence on his records, Hamilton King most likely came from Jamaica to London, where Don Charles produced three singles for HMV with him in 64 and 65. He never had a hit and his records are hard to find. Strange enough, the easiest to get is the American release of his first single "Not Until" on the the World Artists label. The song was quite popular on the Continent in the version of the Dutch beatband Tony Ronald & His Kroners. (Who later were big in Spain, but that's another story.) More of Hamilton King on "New Rubbles 3" and "Nothing Comes Easy-Vol.2-Breaking Point"
We've had Tony Rivers (Douglas A. Thompson) & The Castaways from Dagenham on Tommy 5, 9 and 14. After some line-up changes they came back as soft-pop combo Harmony Grass in 68. "Row Row Row" is the b-side of the group's first record "Shake Shake Shake".
This is the third track from The Jay Bee Four's French-only EP on Tommy, and, as announced, the only self-written song on it. For more see vols. 20 and 22.
The Mike Stuart Span from Brighton, who later mutated to Leviathan, quite rightly are famous for the psychedelic masterpiece "Children Of Tomorrow"/ "Concerto Of Thoughts", owing to cicumstances released in small quantity on their own Jewel label only. Before that, they had less ingenious 45s on major labels: Two on Columbia in 66 and 67 and this one here on Fontana. And while "Baubles And Bangles" with that fake live atmosphere is a pleasant mod soul number, it still shows how the pressure of the horny-for-hits-industry fucked up another visionary band.
We had requests for more female attractions here on Tommyknockers, but it's hard to find any fitting contributions that haven't been documented on one of the many compilations dealing with that special facet of British music history. Here's one: The Orchids were three 15-year-old singing schoolgirls from Coventry. They were discovered (or recruited?) and managed by Larry Page in 63 in order to establish some kind of British equivalent to Phil Spector's girlgroups like The Shirelles. They had three singles on Decca, all produced by Shel Talmy, and were relatively popular for about a year, or as long as the novelty effect kept the public amused.
The Druids from Essex had two 45s on Parlophone in 64. This is the other side of "Long Tall Texan" on Tommy 17. And on volume 18 you can find the second single " It's Just A Little Bit Too Late".
The Nerve from Nottingham, formerly known as The Lovin" (two 45s on Page One) and before that more or less unknown as The Children, recorded four singles for Larry Page's Page One label. The first was a Reg Presley composition, the next three were produced by the late, great Reg. This is the b-side of the third, and you can find the fourth on Tommy 14. After that Rob Duffy and Steve Taylor formed the short-lived Duffy Taylor Blues with one last Presley produced 7" on Page One in 69. We'll have that on a future Tommy.
More about The Roger James Four, who later recorded as The Hobby Shop, on vols. 11 and 22. They had two singles. "Better Than Here" was compiled on "Purple Pill Eaters", "Leave Me Alone" on New Rubbles 1" and we had "You're Gonna Come Home Cryin'" on Tommy 11. That would leave us with "A Letter From Kathy", but it's a bit too much on the lame, tame tearjerking side for my taste. We'll give you an unreleased demo acetate from 64 instead, and you should be glad about that, believe me.
Here's the first of two singles by Joey & The Gentlemen from Cardiff, both released in 64. The flip is quite o.k., but, if you're not a wealthy completist, keep clear of the second one "Dummy Dum Song"/"Gooodbye Little Girl".
Although this 45 by The Buckinghams only was released in the USA, this isn't the well-known hit group from Chicago, but a British beat combo from Islington, Greater London. They had two uk releases on Pye, but both aren't half as exciting as this great doublesider on the Laurie Label.
This Sherwoods here have nothing to do with the bands of the same name who recorded for Pye and Major Minor. It's the only record the band from Solihull left behind, and it's on the tiny, but very fine and hard to find local Solar label that also released records by The Forerunners and The Rainchecks. The Sherwoods toured Germany twice in 64 and 65, but unfortunately didn't record here, like so many other obscure British beatbands did.
Ben Cash, with and without The Cash-Tones, was one of many fantasy names used for anonymous Brit studio groups when Pop, one of the cheapo subsidiaries of Deutsche Vogue, put together the V.A.-LP series "Original Beat aus England" in Germany, which changed title to "England's Top 14 Of Pop" after about 15 volumes in 67. The man behind most of these ghost squad productions was one Bill Wellings, but on some of the earlier LPs you'll also find live recordings made in Germany by British bands like The Liverpool Beats. (See Tommy 19) Most of these recordings were made at Pye studios, others at CBS, and more than 200 of these cover versions actually were released in the UK on a series of 40 EPs called "Top Six" on a cheapo label also called Top Six from 64 to 66. Sloppy rivals of the Embassy label, not even bothering with coming up with fantasy names for the uncredited bands. In Germany they were called Beat Kings, High Tops, Johnny Smash and the like, and the Ben Cash moniker was used for some of the rougher stuff on the cash-in LPs, but also for a couple of orchestrated ballads. The name was even printed on two 45s on the motherlabel Deutsche Vogue, where you could clearly recognize that very various artists were involved. Anyway... we'll never find out who sang and played on this remarkable version of The Floyd's second single, but it's a truly stunning rendition for a low bugdet production, if you ask me.
Peter & The Hustlers from Horsham near Brighton recorded a couple of demoes before they changed the name to Beat Merchants in 64 and turned into something like the south coast's Rolling Stones. They only recorded two 45s on Columbia, but these are among the crown jewels of Brit 60s R&B. When Circle issued a collection of the group's output, beefed up with a lot of unreleased recordings, they added an EP with the pre-Beat Merchants acetates of Peter & The Hustlers to the first edition of the vinyl LP. Don't hesitate to buy, steal or borrow this fabulous release on sight.
Birmingham's Lemon Tree are famous for their first 7" "William Chaulker's Time Machine", a marvellous 68 pop-psyche opus on par with the best of The Move. (Small wonder. Ace Kefford wrote it and Trevor Burton co-produced.) But they had a second, less known single on Parlophone. We present the flip here, you'll find the other side on "British Psychedelic Trip 2". Guitarist Mike Hopkins came from Denny Laine's Diplomats and later was in Idle Race, Keith Smart had drummed for Danny King's Mayfair Set and joined the last incarnation of The Ugly's when The Lemon Tree lost the leaves by the end of the 60s.
Blogito, ergo sum... More next month. Looks like we could make it and clock out at about 1000 tracks on Tommy, the K. That would mean a volume 30. 28 are in the can, but it's damn hard, time-killing work, and after losing my job (not that much a damage, they payed starvation wages anyway), I'm about to lose the last of my social contacts this way. Encouraging comments could help. Free your ass and your mind will follow. Yours, up and down, Lol E.Pope (aka Allen Foran: "What, me stand down? Down for me is up!") & West F. Auster (Aka van daale: "my world is an ouster." nehmen siemers nit ybel...)
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