Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mary My Darling

Clarence Green
with the High Type Five

Clarence Green (1934–1997)
Blues guitarist and band leader Clarence Green was born in Mont Belvieu, Texas, in Chambers County, on January 1, 1934. He was a versatile guitarist who should not be confused with the piano-playing blues singer Clarence "Candy" Green (1929–88) from nearby Galveston. Green, the guitar player, was a stalwart of the Houston scene who fronted a number of popular bands, the most famous being the Rhythmaires, between the early 1950s and his death.

This is his first record.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Go Lucky Guy

Little Joanie Scott

Happy Go Lucky Guy
Andy Pace, Kodel Music Co.

Tonix Record Co. JS-340

Born Joan Berger in New Jersey.
Joan had few friends and felt out of place. She reached a turning point in 1962. “Shelly Fabares came out with the song ‘Johnny Angel,’ and I started singing it. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a star,”   After her mother died, Joan moved in with her father and stepmother in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park. It did not go well.   As Joan told it, “I was almost 17, absolutely gorgeous and my stepmother thought I was kind of wild.  She was so high-strung. She’d sit down at the big baby grand piano, drink a glass of Chablis and then all of a sudden start singing, ‘Herman, I love you. Joan, I hate you!’”

So Joan moved in with her grandmother in Miami Beach, where she caught the eye of Morris Landsberg, a hotel owner with mob connections.  She began dating Landsberg, along with various New York Mafia types. After ten months, the excitement had worn off and she was ready to decamp. She thought of Irwin Koplan, a Georgia salesman she’d dated when she was living in Gramercy Park. “Irwin had asked me to marry him a week after he met me,” she explained. “So I called him up and said, ‘Do you still want to marry me?’ He said, ‘Of course I do.’ That night he packed his bags, drove down to Miami Beach and picked up my grandmother and me. He took us back to Georgia and we started making plans to get married. I think that was real nice of him.”

In 1984, Joan Berger-Koplan established JJK Security in Ringgold, Georgia.  For three seasons, she was the star of a reality show, Small Town Security, which traced the fortunes (and misfortunes) of JJK Security,
She barks orders, meddles in other people’s business, and revels in scatological humor. Her conversation is invariably studded with profanity, sarcastic quips and sexual innuendo. She is wildly and hilariously inappropriate, and she is worshiped by her team.
A cigar smoking, hard talking, wisecracking woman with smudged eyeliner and bright red lipstick, Koplan was an instant hit with fans of the show and an immediate subject of “why-we-love” listicles on the net.
During the third and final season of the show, which ran from July 2012 through June 2014, it was revealed she had developed a brain tumor. She was hospitalized several times and suffered many side-effects and health issues in the months afterwards, stemming from the surgery and radiation treatment. She died March 31, 2016;

Light In The Attic Records, an independent record label from Seattle, Washington released an old acetate discovered in Koplan’s attic : "Baby I Need Your Lovin' b/w Kansas City"

Joan had a small part in 1969 in a spanish (or italian?) Tarzan ripoff called Tarzán en la gruta del oro (also known as Zan, King of the Jungle or Tarzan in the Golden Grotto.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Johnny's Yo Yo

Nancy Ford
Johnny's Yo Yo

Jean JR-724

In 1969,  Nancy Da Feo decided to take up the guitar as a hobby. She also was interested in country music. A friend, Wade Dawson, who led a country band, taught Mrs. De Feo a few chords and, after she had mastered them, offered to let her sit in with his group.

Using her maiden name, Nancy Ford, she joined a quartet called the Nashville Kats. In 1971, when the leader of the group left for Florida, Miss Ford took over the combo and, as Nancy Ford and the Nashville Kats, it has become one of the most active country bands on Long Island, where she was the vice president of the local Country Music Association.

Nancy Ford was the first act signed by the brand new Jean label launched by Alithia Records whose president Peter Kraljevich and vice president Vito Samela decided to enter the country field in 1972.

Alithia Records has been set up in 1971 by The King Insulation Co., North Bergen, New Jersey-based firm specialized in pipe and wiring insulation.  The singles lines kicked off with a record by Barbara English

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Long Range Love

The Mack Sisters

(Jack Wolf –Leon Carr)
Blossom Music ASCAP

Orchestra conducted by Marion Evans


The Mack Triplets (1950)

Better known as The Mack Triplets since their singing careers debut in 1943.  The three sisters (not really triplets) Eileen, Charlotte and LaVerne were born McAuliffe.  They launched their professional singing careers quite inauspiciously in 1943 when their agent booked them at a nightclub in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood.

''Nobody in the audience paid attention to us. They were more interested in drinking,'' mused Charlotte, who recalled the trio received $15 - total - for the gig. ''Out of that we had to pay the agent's fee.''

But the future looked brighter in 1944 when the Mack Triplets went on radio with Phil Spitalny's Hour of Charm. They also toured with Spitalny's all-girl orchestra.

The Mack Triplets went with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis on a three-week gig at Slapsie Maxie's in Hollywood,  played the London Palladium with Tony Martin and, for years, were performers in the live stage shows in Lowe's theater chain. They also did the first Phil Silvers TV show and made two appearances on the Milton Berle show among their scores of credits.

 The Mack Triplets doing promotion for the Senate beer (circa 1949)

Emil Coleman (left) with Ted Martin and the Mack Triplets (Eileen, Charlotte, LaVerne) performing in studio.
(DeLuxe Records session?)

The Mack Triplets produced a number of records with varied success. Their best sales were overseas, especially in Australia.   With the popularizing of rock 'n' roll, the entertainment world was changing drastically. And the sisters opted to retire from the stage in the late '50s.

''Besides, it had become tiring. I remember doing eight shows a day at Atlantic City's Steel Pier,'
' said Charlotte said. ''It was time to get out and raise our family.''

Monday, May 1, 2017

Diana Darrin, Waxmate of the Month

Diana, as Theila Darin, on the cover of Frolic (1954)

Diana Darrin (born April 15, 1933 in New Haven, Connecticut) is an American film actress and singer. She has made over 35 film and television appearances in her career. 

She spent the early years of her career appearing in several later Three Stooges films such as He Cooked His Goose, Shot in the Frontier and A Merry Mix Up.

Later appearances include a starring role in The Broken Land with Jack Nicholson, High School Confidential, Reform School Girls and Slither. She appeared on several television series including Bonanza and McHale's Navy.

Carbine Williams, the inventor of the M1 carbine rifle, brought her to Hollywood.

I first met Carbine, he was 50 at the time.  I used to stop by his 28-room mansion in New Haven (Conn.) on my way home from school to do my homework.  It was a pecaliar relationship. 

We fell deeply in love and I loved him because he made me feel secure.  He'd listen to me and I could relate to him.   He was married but separated from his wife the entire time I knew him.

When I decided to become an actress, Carbine brought me to Hollywood. 

After a 10 year affair with Carbine Williams, their relationship ended when Williams fell ill and returned to his family in North Carolina.

1001 : Freedom Riders (1960 Pony Express) / All Accordin (1960) *

1004 : Gimme A Little Kiss / I Love The Way (1961)
1005 : Little Gun, Little Me / Lost Love (1962)
1007 : Frankie Ace / He's Gonna Be Mine (1962)

* A gold copy pf the Freedom Riders was presented to Pres. Eisenhower on December 2, 1960

According to Cash Box (Feb. , 1961), "Actress-singer Diana Darrin, pacted by Magnet Records topper, Jay Colonna, to wax an album tagged “Pink Mink,” which combines some new material as
well as old standards. . . . " 
But no evidence of an actual recording or release has be found


Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Skyway Records Story

Foeword : I'm well aware that the choosen title, The Skyway Records Story, may be a bit too ambitious, but what's the heck, how many labels compilations you bought which were not completely satisfactory? And mine is free.  

Skyway Records was probably owned (or partly owned) by Everett Lorne Whenham.  Born in Canada in 1902, Everett Whenham came to California at an early age.   In the thirties, he registered various inventions with the US Patent Office, such a patent for a shoe cabinet (United States Patent 2069635, 1937).
In 1943, Mr. Whenham was made American citizen.  He was then a soldier at the army air base of St. Petersburg, Florida.  

After the war, he became a songwriter (California Jack was his pseudonym) with a special interest for season's greetings.  In 1944, one of his first songs being recorded was "Season's Greetings, A Cheerful Hello" by Yiddish jazz singers Claire and Merna Barry better known as The Barry Sisters.   Copyrighted around the same time, several songs such as My Little Dog's Tail  and Spring Fever Blues were later recycled on the Skyway label by The Duke And The Spacemen and by The Dream Dusters.

"Season's Greetings (A Cheerful Hello)," had also be used as a greeting card verse in Buzza-Cardozo's 1955 Christmas line.  According to Billboard : "Skyway execs calculate that if 1,000,000 "Season's Greetins" cards are sold, their royalties will total $6,000. "

" Season's Greetings", if my count is right, has see five releases on Skyway, first by Pete Pontrelli (the first Skyway release in December 1953), also re-issued in December 1954 with a different flip, then by Gaylord Carter, another by George Cardini and finally by The Hatton Sisters.

Closely associated with Skyway Records from mid-1959 was the mysterious Louise Lewis, later the main artist on the label.  Her first appearance on the label  was as the songwriter of the Curtis E. Williams single (Hula Hula Rock / A Star Behind A Cloud, Skyway #122 ).   It seems, after the arrival of Miss Lewis, that Mr. Whenham was less and less involved. 

Miss Lewis was still a songwriter for Skyway Records & Music Publications until the seventies, but I can't find evidence of releases, except Careful Hands / Mender Of Broken Hearts issued in 1974 on Skyway #145

The excentric Louise Lewis, aka Miss L.L., aka "Miss Matches U.S.A. was born in 1923.  That's, unfortunately, the sum of my knowledge. 

The Skyway Records Story
see comment for valuable info

103 - Playball  - Jimmie Maddin                                         
104 - I Like a Shuffle Beat - Jimmie Maddin                            
104 - I Stole De Wedding Bell - Jimmie Maddin                          
114 - Donkey Rock Elephant Roll - The Hatton Sisters                   
116 - Hassle It Jack  - Bobby Hicks                                    
117 - Boogie Man   - The Dodgers And Johnny Angel                      
117 - Come On Pretty Baby - The Dodgers And Johnny Angel               
119 -  Big Mo - The Dodgers And Johnny Angel                           
119 - Poor Little Fool   - The Dodgers And Johnny Angel                
120 - My Little Dog's Tail - The Duke And The Spacemen                 
120 - The Big Green Door - Taldo Kenyon And The Spacemen               
121 - Robin Hood Rock - Taldo Kenyon                                   
127 - Is There Still A Chance - The Fanatic's                          
127 - Oogly Googly Eyes - The Fanatic's                                
128 - I Want Love - Jackie Gates & the Fanatics                        
128 - Teenage Rainbow - Jackie Gates & the Fanatics                    
129 - Barbie, Barbie - Fred Milton                                     
129 - Midnight Ride - Fred Milton                                      
134 - College Queen - Jim Ford                                         
134 - Lazy Love - Jim Ford                                             
135 - The Stranger And The Bomb - Louise Lewis                         
136 - Tumba Conga Cha - Vincent Romano & Miss L.L                      
140 - The Monster Miss - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis                        
140 - The Monster's Bride - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis                     
141 - Tiger Shake - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis                             
142 - The Astro-Mice (No Cheese On The Moon) - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis  
143a -Wee Oo I Ll Let It Be You Babe - Karl Evans                      
144 - Wee Oo' Ill It Be You Babe - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis          
145 - Careful Hands - Louise Lewis          


Friday, April 28, 2017

Frankie And Johnnie

John And Rusty

Frankie And Johnnie

Dottie Sings

John on piano and Rusty on banjo, and Dottie (?) on vocal (?)  Recorded live in some Hollywood tavern?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Devil's Racecourse

Adina Edwards

Devil's Racecourse

Help The Blind
A Joe Gibbs production
Kingston, Jamaica

★ ★ ★

Adina Edwards-Chen

The current generation of gospel artistes and fans know little about Adina Edwards, the blind singer who stood on the corner of Kingston and Barry streets playing an accordion and belting out Christian songs.  She would do songs like Precious Lord, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Love Walks With Me and He Touched Me.  But it was her cover of the Bee Gees' Don't Forget To Remember that many had identified Edwards with.

Edwards died April 4, 2008 at the University Hospital of the West Indies, at age 83. She was revered in gospel circles but largely unknown to a secular audience.

Acknowledgments : The Jamaica Observer

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Y-E-S !"

Nancy Claire
Jack Lloyd, Moreno Music (ASCAP)

Rona Records 1007

Born Nancy Claire Penninger in Seattle in 1943.  Peter Blecha has wrote a quite detailed biography of Nancy Claire. 

Nacio Brown Jr., owner of Rona Records produced her recording session, with Perry Botkin Jr. conducting the orchestra.

It was quite an experience for the rural farm girl to suddenly be in the presence of big-time players. "I had never been in studio before and I was like a little girl in a candy store with all these musicians I had heard about. I have great memories of meeting Barney Kessel and some of the other musicians at the session".  "We had really big-name jazz people doing this record. I couldn't believe it! Earl Palmer was the drummer. Carmel Jones played trumpet, and Plas Johnson played saxophone. Oh, it was neat! To get to see and meet everybody ... it was like a fairy tale".

Saturday, April 15, 2017

To The Beat

Chuck and Gasper

To The Beat

Cosimo Recording Studios
New Orleans

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Southern Love

The Disciples
vocal Tom Sunlin

Illibois (?) band covering two songs from 1959. "Something on Your Mind" is the Big Jay McNeely song issued on Swingin' Records, while "Southern Love" was on Roulette Records by Ronnie Hawkins and the Hakws. 

Recording studios and label Studio 4 were operated by two musicians and brothers, Jim and Tony Sotos in Rock Island, Illinois.  

Born and raised in New York City, The Sotos Brothers formed an act and left New York while still in their teens, working all the major night clubs and theaters around the country.  In the late fifties, they recorded as The Cheerful Earfuls on Zale Records and Fraternity Records (The Drag).

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Alas, No Gas

Jane White
Alas, No Gas

Dauntless 033

Jane Douglass White 
essentially a pianist and composer, also recorded songs, but not too many.  Twenty years earlier, in 1953, there was at least two singles (as by Jane Douglass) on Opportune Records. She was backed by Johnnie Garnieri Orchestra.  One song was a duet with Tom O'Malley. 

Dauntless Records was the subsidiary of Audio Fidelity Records founded by Sidney Frey in 1954.

Born Ruby Jane Douglass in 1919 in Coffeyville, Kansas, she was educated at Oklahoma University, Columbia University (MA) and Colorado College of Education. As early as the mid-thirties, she was described as "a  capable pianist, but violinist and organist as well."

During the War, she was an officier with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).  According to John Bush Jones (The Songs that Fought the War: Popular Music and the Home Front, 1939-1945), Lt. Douglass (later Captain)
wrote some significant war-related songs of various kinds   Among Lt. Douglass's wartime songs were two lighthearted though not comic pieces that fall into this catchall bunch, each happily pointing out, as one of their titles proclaims, "Something New Has Been Added To The Army (Leeds, 1943), that something neatly summed up in the single line "Right along with khaki shirts comes the sight of khaki skirts."  Lt. Douglass expands upon her theme to cover all the women's service branches in "There'll Be A New Style Bonnet In The Easter Parade" (Leeds, 1943), declaring "the WACS will wear a hat that os smart and new, the WAVES wear a bonnet of Navy blue,/ And the SPARS come out in a hat that's O.K., there's no original by Lily Daché.
 Jane Douglass ended up writing the official WAC Song and was awarded the Legion of Merit medal for service in lifting the morale of troops with her music.  After being discharged in the Big Apple, a friend asked Jane Douglass to accompany her on the piano for an audition. The agent at the audition was not looking for a singer, but for a pianist, instead, for the Park Sheraton Hotel dining room. "I got the job! But I found that the tips there were bigger when I could play the classics, and I needed coaching since I had been playing strictly pop music in the Army.  Someone recommended Anton Bilotti, a concert pianist, as a possible coach.   I auditioned for him and he took me on as a student. 

She soon married Gail White,  her coach's brother-in-law, and pursued a
postwar career as Jane Douglass White, composer, singer, pianist and producer of TV's Name That tune. 

Later, through a week spiritual renewal at her home church in Wyckoff, New Jersey she came to a personal commitment of her life to Christ.   Combining her talents with another professional in music, Janet Baird Weisiger she formed a musical team named Janet and Jane, giving sacred concerts and recording at least one album for Messiah Records in 1973 (Joy and Praise).    She also worked with prison ministry in leading Bible study seminars in prisons throughout the USA,  through Charles W. Colson's Prison Fellowship


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Beau Dollar & The Coins on Baby Grand

Beau Dollar & The Coins

16127 - I've Just Got To Forget You
Lion Pub., BMI

16128 - No More Pain
Frost Music, BMI

Baby Grand 650

These Checker recordings were not issued on the main label for some reasons but on the one-off Baby Grand label.
"I've Just Got To Forget You"  was "written" by Duke/Peacock Records owner Don Robey using the Deadric Malone pseudonym, and first recorded by Bobby Bland in 1960 (but not issued until 1970).
"No More Pain", penned by Steve Alaimo, was first recorded by Sam & Dave on Marlin in 1961 (leased to Roulette in '62).  There was also a cover by Lonnie Mack in 1964 (unissued Fraternity session)

William Hargis Bowman, Jr. (1941–2011), born in Hamilton, Ohio, better known by his stage name, Beau Dollar, was a  vocalist and drummer;  He first performed as member of the Lonnie Mack band and later of the Dapps, all-white band backing James Brown.  Beau Dollar was also the drummer on many studio albums for various artists under contract with King Records.  

After The Dapps broke up, Bill Bowman set up his own production company in Cincinnati, Beau Dollar Productions and even owned a short-lived  label, Bowman, recording and backing Bryan Todd on "Let Them Talk".  There was some work in the mid-seventies for Shad O'Shea's ASG (Artist and Sound Group) where he produced Al Hogan, The Cause and Brenda Mathis.
With the local Cincinnati recording scene being dismantled, Beau went to Nashville, where he tried some session work. His production company was listed at 1610 16th Avenue South in 1978.   He took a job in song publishing, working with his old Hamilton musician friend Troy Seals, who also was in The Dapps for a while, when he lived in Cincinnati.  But in time all that faded and Beau ended up in Florida. There he was known to everyone as Bill. As time passed, only a few old friends remembered him as Beau.

Wayne Bullock, the bass player for Lonnie Mack in the early 1960s said :
 "I used to invite him to our musician reunions every year, but he didn't come. He just didn't want to talk about the old days."

Monday, April 3, 2017

Miss Calendar Girl

Futursonic Productions

Radio Promotion Series
Examples of 365 Musical Jingles

Judy Parma

Jim Wells and Jack Alexander started Futursonic Productions in 1958. Both came from PAMS where Wells had written much of PAMS Series #6.  Alexander was part of the PAMS sales staff.

Futursonic's first package was "Pacemaker" produced in September, 1958. It was followed by "Most Happy Sound" for CHUM in mid 1959, and "Econo-Pack" for WINS in June, 1959.  All were designed for Top 40 Radio.

"Calendar Girl KXOK" was one of the last packages produced by Futursonic in 1961 (the company went bankrupt the following year).   A complete package listing of the company can be found here

Calendar Girl was the first job assigned to Judy Parma [born Mansfield] and her husband Tom Parma when they came to work at the Futursonic.  This was an elaborate package that involved singing days and dates for each month of the year. Judy was doing well singing, and they were able to afford their first house. Judy Parma had been in the jingle business since 1957, her husband Tom Parma since ’58.

The Futursonic jingles were done in a primitive recording studio owned by “Pop” Sellers. The studio was in the same building as Gordon McLendon’s KLIF (AM).   The studio was in a two-room wooden building in the parking lot behind the office. Over the years, those same offices housed CRC and TM Productions, but the studio eventually became a storage shed.  “There was a cancer clinic across the parking lot from the studio run by a medical quack, and a lot of people died there,” Tom said. “Judy and I would see bodies hauled out from time to time.” . Later that office housed the abortion clinic that gained notoriety during the “Roe vs. Wade” Supreme Court case.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Shimmy Twist

Ronnie D. Alan
Shimmy Twist

Golden Star Records 21

Penned, arranged and sung by Ronald Daugherty.  This one has a little more muscle than the two singles he released on the Sea-Lock label out of Seattle, Washington.  Reverse is by Paul Avedon singing "Day In Day Out" the old (1939) song penned by Johnny Mercer

Sea-Lock releases :
#265 Ronnie D- Valiants : "Hound Dog Guitar" / "My Little Darlin'" 
no#  Pam Kelley & Ronnie D. : "Waiting For Her" / Ronnie D. : "Cherry Darlin"