Saturday, January 24, 2015

Give Your Name To Santa Claus

Sandi Rust
featuring the Sensational Wonders

Fable 675

Issued just in time for Christmas 1958 (I guess) on the always interesting Fable label.  Next issue on Fable was "Rock 'N' Roll Dice " by Whalen J. Jones.  Old song poet Victor Macy wrote both sides which were coprighted by him in 1956.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ideal Records (Los Angeles, 1958)

500 - Frankie White
I-500-A —  It's All Over Now
I-500-B  — Gee-Huh-Hee Baby
501 - Heavy J. Lockett with Frankie White and The Enchanters  
I-501-A —  Chicken In a Hurry
I-501-B  — Smack Me Baby

This is, I assume, the entire output of this obscure Los Angeles label.  The two records came probably from the same recording session and were issued in the summer of 1958.  That's all I known.
No info about Frankie White.  No info neither on Heavy J. Lockett.   A John Lockett had a single issued in 1962 on the L.A. Triangle label (It Shouldn't Happen To A Dawg / The Circle Twist).   He sounds like he's possibly the same singer.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

That'll Be The Day

Dick Holler and the Holidays
Don Smith, Wayne Branham, Merlin Jones

That'll Be The Day
(B. Holly)

Vital 64 V-106


After performing in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, first with The Rockets and then with The Holidays, Dick Holler left Baton Rouge in August 1962 and performed and recorded until May of 1965 in and around Columbia, South Carolina.  “Our records were selling there, so we went where the action was,” he said.

Dick Holler (far right) and his band, 
broke down again while on tour (1962)
Born on October 16, 1934, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dick Holler moved with his family to Baton Rouge in 1951.  He graduated from University High School the following year and attended LSU for five years.  It was while attending LSU that he began to play piano and organizing bands with his college friends.  Holler performed for two years on the local award-winning WBRZ-TV teen show Hit or Miss.  Others who performed on the show were future actresses Donna Douglas and Elizabeth Ashley, and movie critic Rex Reed.  Holler also appeared occasionally on deejay Dave Davidson’s Saturday morning radio show Teen Town Rally.  It was during a January 1956 Teen Town Rally show that he met Jimmy Clanton and brothers, Ike and Tommy.  Jimmy was a student at Baton Rouge High at the time and he and his brothers were singing the Cadillacs’ song Speedoo....MORE

By The Time They Get To Phoenix (Part two)

Reprinted article published by Billboard (September 21, 1959)
Mixed Reactions to Lormar Beachhead
Diskery Comments Vary From Loud 'I'm Not The Law'  to Cautious 'No Dice'

New York — Revelations last week on the activites of the new Phoenix, Ariz., distributor known as Flash Records - an outfit known to have a rich background or hoodlum connections - drew mixed reaction this week from diskers whose labels reportedly were already in the Flash camp or being sought by the firm fo Phoenix distribution.   It was noted last week in an exclusive story from Phoenix that Flash had acquired Roulette, Prestige, Savoy and King, and that overtures were being made to ABC-Paramount and M-G-M.

MGM Says No Dice

M-G-M Records prexy Arnold Maxin told The Billboard "They have never even approached us for the line.  Furthermore, in such a case we would always have to consider the great M-G-M name before making any connections which might have even the shadow of a cloud overt them."

Savoy Records prexy Herman Lubinsky said that Flash had approached him for the line. "However," said Lubinsky, "we have made no agreement and there have been no shipments of records made.  As in any case where we are approached on distribution matters, we look thoroly into the parties involved before making our decision."

Syd Nathan, prexy of King Records, reached at his Cincinnati headquarters, admitted that Flash is now representing his line in Phoenix.   "We have done business with the Lormar one-stop in Chicago thru our distributor there and I must say our relationship there has been 100 per cent.  They've always paid their bills on time and they buy only what they need.

I'm not the law

"What they do outside of Lormar or Flash is something else again.  I'm not the law, and I'd say if they've done anything wrong, let the law worry about it.  Besides, I say, let he who among us without sin, cast the first stone.  And I don't see anybody throwing any stones."

Sam Clark, prexy of ABC-Paramount, admitted that "they have approached me by mail, phone and personnaly.   However, we're perfectly satisfied with Frontier Distributors in Texas which serves the Phoenix market for us.   We contemplate no change in distributors.  Frankly, I have no idea why Flash should be pushing our "Living Doll" record, but I think I should send them a thank you note for their help."

Joe Kolsky, prexy of Roulette Records, declined comment.

Bob Weinstock, who heads up Prestige said that "Flash handles our line. They've got shipments of our records now and the only fair way for us to judge them is on the basis of whether they pay their bills and whether they promote the line properly.  I'm not the law and it's not up to me me to try a man.  If they prove a man is guilty of a crime and they send him to jail that's a different thing.  There are plenty of so-called legit people in the distributing business who take on your line, don't pay their bills and disappear.  What about them ?"

One of those queried added that he would take the line away from Flash only if he discovered that they were using the distributorship in Phoenix to get the basic rate and shipping records ino their Lormar
one-stop in Chicago.

Meanwhile, it was learned that tho Joe English is the active manager and operator of Flash, the company, which was founded last August 1, is owned by a Mrs. Margaret Ross of Chicago.


By The Time They Get To Phoenix (Part one)

Reprinted article published by Billboard (September 14, 1959)

Local Disk Scene Shook Up By Lormar Distrib Invasion
Former Rackets Committee Target Seen Eying West Coast Pastures

   PHOENIX, Ariz. — Lormar Distributors, the Chicago one-stop with a rich history of hoodlum connections and strong-arm pressure in selling disks to juke box operators, is backing a major attempt to establish a distribution beachhead here.  The move is believed to be a stepping stone to distribution on the West Coast.

   Lormar, headed by Charles (Chuck) English who, with his brother (Butch) English, was hailed before the McClellan Labor Rackets Commitee - is behind the opening of Flash Distributors in Phoenix, headed by Joe English.   Flash is operating as both a distributor and one-stop.  It has already obtained distribution of Roulette, Prestige, Savoy and King lines, and is making a strong bid for ABC-Paramount and M-G-M.    Merchandise on other labels is being shipped to Flash via air express from Lormar in Chicago.

   Other distributors are openly puzzled as to how Flash can afford to bear the cost of air express shipments daily from its parent one-stop, which in turn, must presumably buy its merchandise from distributors.  But the technique is enabling Flash to provide dealers with speedy service that even their territorial distributors —some located in El Paso — cannot match.  One distributor of a major label has told Phoenix tradesters that as a feeler be offered to sell singles to Flash for 42 cents and was "laughed out of the place" by Joe English.  The distributor has said he is at a loss to explain where Flash or Lormar is getting its merchandise.

   All retailers in Phoenix except one, who was ill, met 10 days ago to ponder the entrance of Flash in their market.  They "more or less" agreed according to a trade source to shy away from the new outfit.  But it is known that the temptation of fast shipments at competitive prices is breaking down resistance with some of them.   Flash reportedly has made hurricane progress in taking over juke box sales all over Arizona and is making inroads on the Coast.

   Joe English has been active in promoting a single disk employing methods which have set radio stations on their guard.  The program director of one station told the Billboard that English has called three weeks consecutively to announce he expected to see a chart listing the following week for ABC-Paramount's "Livin' Doll" by Cliff Richard.   When the program director said that dealers were not reporting sales on it, English is said to have replied that he expected a listing anyhow.   Other than that the program director said the conversations did not contain any "threat."

   The puzzling fact to local tradesters is "that Flash does not distribute ABC-Paramount on which the Cliff Richard disk appears".  This gave rise to local theories that Flash is out to show ABC-Paramount its effectiveness as a distributor.  In New York, ABC-Paramount sales manager, Larry Newton, confirmed to The Billboard that Flash has made a formal bid for distribution of the label.  Newton said that as long as Flash is a one-stop he sees no reason to discourage them from "knocking themselves out working for our records."  He declined to comment on whether he was considering a switch to Flash from his present distributor, Frontier, in El Paso. Jack Williams, the Mayor of Phoenix, and owner of radio station KOY told The Billboard that he received a complaint that Flash is "employing threats" and his office is looking into the charge.

   Early in 1958, Lormar's Chuck English was arrested in Chicago and charged with possession of bootlegged disks, products of a large scale bootleg operation uncovered there.  Arrested at the ame time was George Hilger, charged with engineering the bootlegging.  English was subsequently freed when he disclaimed knowledge that the disks were counterfeit.  He told The Billboard during the investigation that he head no knowledge of Hilger.  Later inquiries by The Billboard uncovered the fact that Hilger's sister had formerly been employed by Lormar listed as an officer on its original papers on incorporation.  She was married to English's assistant Bill McGuire. Hilger later received a suspended sentence and a small fine for unauthorized duplication of trademark.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Little Bit of Lovin'

Gi Gi

Publishers: Glodis-Straight Ahead
A Straight Ahead Rythem Prod.

Seg-Way 1010

Flip :  This Time Next Summer 

Straight Ahead Rhythm was headed by GiGi's manager, Mrs Jean Grace, who also was the main composer and arranger of this independent production company with  Doles Dickens as musical director, a bass player whose musical career started in the 40s.  

Gi Gi / Gigi / Little Gigi
Image found here

Little Gigi real name is Gloria Glenn.  See Derek Daily 45 blog here for Gloria's email if you want to contact her.

Seg-Way (1962)   
1010 — This Time Next Summer / Little Bit of Lovin'  (Gi Gi)
1011 —  Ha Ha / Almost Persuaded (Little Gigi)
Colpix (1962)
668 — Peace For Christmas/The Sound Of. Angels (Gigi)

Select (1964)
731 — Take the Bitter with the Sweet / I'm Hurt and So Is My Heart (Little Gigi)

Soul (1964)
102 — Take the Bitter with the Sweet / I'm Hurt and So Is My Heart (Little Gigi)

Decca (1964-1965)
31721 —  Baby Don'tcha Worry (Vernon Harrell and Little Gigi) / All That's Good (Little Gigi)
31760 — I Volunteer / Save Our Love in time  (Little Gigi)

Dot (1966)
16945 — Can't Help Falling In Love / Don't Be A Loser Baby (Gigi)

Sweet (1971)
001 — Daddy Love Pt. 1/Pt. 2 (Gi Gi)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Jump When I Say Frog

 Bob Merrill
with Hugo Peretti and his Orchestra

Roulette 4043

Born Henry Lavan (or Levan) in Atlantic City in 1921, Bob Merrill did most of his growing up in the Philadelphia area, graduating from high school there.   Following his discharge from the Army at the end of World War II, he went to Hollywood and got a job as a writer at CBS Radio while also finding work as an actor, appearing in The Story of GI Joe and in his own words, "a dozen B films and westerns."

Merrill soon realized he had better be on the other side of the camera, and took a job as a dialogue director with Columbia Pictures in Hollywood where he stayed for seven years.

While working on a film for the company he met a woman named Dorothy Shay, a popular performer and singer known as the "Park Avenue Hillbillie," for whom he wrote several songs.   These later proved a popular part of her million-seller album and encouraged Bob to explore writing songs as a career. He quit his job at Columbia Pictures and moved to New York, becoming one of the starving songwriters haunting the Brill Building.

One of his earliest songs was the novelty song “If I’d Known You Were Comin’, I’d ’Ve Baked a Cake,” which was recorded by Eileen Barton.   This success was followed by other successes including “Honeycomb,” recorded by Jimmie Rodgers; “How Much Is That Doggie In the Window,” recorded by Patti Page; “Love Makes the World Go ’Round,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Pittsburgh Pennsylvania,” “Mambo Italiano” and “Make Yourself Comfortable.”    

Jasmine Records (UK) has compiled a 2CD set (61 tracks) featuring songs penned by Bob Merrill and sung by such big name artists as Tony Martin, Guy Mitchell, Burl Ives, Patti Page, Doris Day Also included are the 18 songs from his own Coral album from 1956.

Bob Merrill discography
(as singer)

Coral CRL 57081 album "And then I wrote..."     (1956)
 Side 1 : (If I Knew You Were Coming) I'd've Baked A Cake - Toys - Candy And Cake - My Truly Truly Fair - Pittsburgh Pennsylvania - Sparrow In The Treetop - Walkin' To Missouri - So Beautiful Is The Glow - Feet Up
Side 2 : Belle Belle My Liberty Belle - Lovers' Gold - (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window - I'm Nothin' But A Dreamer - Mambo Italiano - Our First Kiss - Make Yourself Comfortable - Chow Mein - When I Was Young

Roulette 4043     (1958)
Nairobi Jump / When I Say Frog   

Roulette 4085     (1958) 
Swimmin' Suit  / With One Side Of Your Heart   

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Every Night

Rita Renay
with the Eddie Beal Orchestra

Liberty 55073

Penned by Ronnie Rae, Ed Townsend and Scott J. Johnson, Jr.  "Every Night" is a song first recorded by Peggy Lee for Capitol Records and issued about one month before the Rita Renay version.  Etta James also recorded the song the following year for Kent Records.  According to some, the Rita Renay version is the best one.

Her Liberty record was also issued on London Records in Australia just before her tour in that country with headliner Billy Eckstine in October 1958. The Australian release was credited to Renee Renor, the name whereby she was most widely know.

Born Tia Camarillo,of Mexican-american lineage. she mainly performed in night-clubs with bands such as Franke Rapp, The Exciting Singing and Rhythms of Ed Domingo, Jack Costanzo...). in Texas, Nevada, Arizona and California during the fifties and the sixties, using various aliases.
She recorded as Renee Medina for 4 Star (1963) and Challenge (1964). 

From 1964 to 1972, she was Harla Day on stage (Las Vegas, Santa Cruz, El Paso, Pasadena, Phoenix,...).

And finally she settled down in Phoenix, Arizona (1972) after a last (?) single for RCA.  She had at that time the same manager as Charley Pride :
TIA CAMARILLO Vocal, single act. Concerts, Fairs, Night Clubs, Club Dates. Jack D. Johnson Talent, Inc., Don M. Kelrns, responsible agent. Jack D. Johnson, personal manager. RCA Records, "Somewhere In This Town". 
In 1955, she had a small part in "Guys and Dolls", a movie directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz,, starring Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons (1955) : she sings in the Havana Cafe scene (see picture below).

But is she also the dancer ? (I'd like to think that the answer is yes, but I'm really not sure)

Rita Renay
 a.k.a. Renee Renor, Renee Medina, Harla Day and Tia Camarillo


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Women's Lib

 Vicki Leah

Frank Leah, BMI
Craft Records #201

Recorded in Nashville.  Craft was Frank Leah's own label. Early seventies?

Frank Leah, a composer, singer and musician (playing rhythm guitar, blues harmonica) was looking for talent for a new band in the late sixties.
He heard about the Shomer family in Kansas City and was told they were remarkably gifted and versatile. When he arrived at the Shomer home the first time, only Vicki's mother was home. Mrs. Shomer said: "You better come back tonight when Vicki will be here. I know you'll just love her voice and personality. And she plays great bass, too." Mrs. Shomer was surprised and disappointed when Frank promptly rejected Vicki saying: "No, ma'am! No girl vocalists for me. They're nothing but trouble, trouble. I only want men for my bands."

Six months later, he married Vicki Shomer.

Vicki Leah, born Shomer

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Boom Boom

The Blazers
With Lil' Ray Armstrong

Antunes-Armstrong, Grand Canyon Music Inc
Empire Records
1650 Broadway, N.Y.C.

Produced by Jack Peters of F.G.G. Productions  (Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer)
Upstate New York band formed by Ray Armstrong, from Rome, New York, and  Mike Antunes (born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts). The "A" side is "Boom Boom" which they sang at almost every gig, and the "B" side is "A-Time" written just by Mike Antunes. The record never made it real big, but The Blazers were a big hit around Syracuse and  Ithica (Upstate New York).   Mike Antunes, the sax player, and Bill McCool (bass) were in the Air Force.   The Blazers, at one time, had a steady Sunday night gig at Zito"s Hacienda. They would change members due to the fact the guys in the Air Force would get transfered in and out of Griffiss (Air Force base located in Rome). 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Let's Do The Itch

 1 -Tiny Hill - Lovebug Itch -Mercury - 1951
 2 -T. Texas Tyler - Scratch & Itch -Decca - 1953
 3 -Rex Jennings - Itchy Feet -Mar-Vel' - 1954
 4 -Chuck Higgins - The itch -Dootoo - 1956
 5 -Bobby Hendricks - Itchy Twitchy Feeling -Sue - 1958
 6 -Charles Dean - Itchy -Benton - 1958
 7 -Curley Jim  - Rock And Roll Itch -Metro - 1958
 8 -Curley Jim  - Rock And Roll Itch -Mida - 1958
 9 -Deep River Boys - Itchy Twitchy Feeling -His Master's Voice (UK) - 1958
 10 -Sonny Burgess - Itchy -Sun - 1958
 11 -Arlie Neaville - Lovebug Itch - unissued - 1958 or 1959
 12 -Carl Cherry - The Itch -Tene - 1959
 13 -Little Scooter Bill - Let's Do The Itch -Razorback - 1961
 14 -Eddie Pace - The U T Itch-Enterprise - 1962
 15 -Freddy & The Ravens  - The Big Itch -WED - 1962
 16 -Guitar Crusher - Itch With Me -Bethlehem - 1962
 17 -Metallics - Itchy Twitchy Too -Baronet  - 1962
 18 -Rufus Thomas - Itch and Scratch pt1&2 -Stax - 1972
 19 -Toby King - Itch & Scratch -Sound Plus - 1972

They didn't make it in time for this comp (too busy scratching?) :

The Divots-I Itch-Mart
The Knights-Itching Powder-Terra
The Maniacs-Itch And Scratch-Metropolis
Billy Nix, Russ Dugan, Morris Willett, Jack Cain-Itchy Feet-Ben
... and Bill Clinton

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Little Fish

Ken Pepper

J. Duncan, Dundee Music, BMI

Roulette 4375
July 1961
 Recorded in Clovis, N.M.

Ken Pepper real name is Homer Tankersley, Jr.

Homer Tankersley was the long-serving lead singer of The Imperial Quartet, a Texas gospel group organised in the forties by Marion Snider, former pianist for the Original Stamps Quartet and Rangers Quartet. By 1955 the Imperial Quartet began transitioning away from gospel music and into popular music as the Commodores (records on Dot and Challenge,1955-1957)

 Homer Tankersley, Clovis News Journal :
While teaching voice in California, my dad called and said the Imperial Quartet wanted me to audition as lead singer.

I did and the job lasted for some 16 years.

As recording artists, The Imperials traveled coast-to-coast performing with many gospel groups. We were on the “Texas Quality Network” weekly in Dallas and a Friday night television show with Pat Boone in Fort Worth, Texas.

Eventually we became known as The Commodores, singing popular music with a hit record “Riding On a Train.” We were guests several times on the CBS “Arthur Godfrey Show” in New York.

While in New York, I resigned from The Commodores and moved my family to Clovis, where I became program director for KCLV and later KICA radio stations.   I started working with Norman Petty, recording under the name “Ken Pepper” (my radio name). Ken James and I sang with the Norman Petty trio and worked many recording sessions as backup singers.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Chandler Family Day

Chandler Family Day today at Dead Wax with Elaine Chandler and her brother Wayland Chandler from San Angelo, Texas.  

Elaine Chandler Tiptoein' thru the Teepee (4 Star 1700, 1956) : later known as Elaine Kiser, Elaine Chandler was born around 1937.  She recorded her only (I believe) record in 1956,  that was also the year she broke the heart of poor Gene Cody "She jilted me for a chance to be a recording star." (From YouTube comment)

Wayland Chandler : Bop With Me Baby (acetate, unissued) was recorded at the Wood Music Center in San Angelo on April 20, 1956.  Wayland recorded later, like his sister, for "4 Star" and two of his songs were recorded by Patsy Cline. 
Wayland Chandler, Sid Holmes and Danny Duseck started out as the Texas Tumbleweeds. They played the usual school gigs, and some stage shows.   The big thing that spurred these teens into action was the appearance of Sun Records own Elvis Presley on tour in West Texas, where he appeared in January & February of 1955.
Wayland Chandler died recently, in November 2014.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive / Get Happy

Lonnie Sattin
Arnie Goland Orch.

Sunbeam 111
Sattin, one of nine children, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but moved as a child to Philadelphia.  He earned his way through Temple university by working as a barber, house painter and door-to-door salesman.   Following the example of his father, the Rev. C.T. Staton, a Church of God pastor, Lonnie toured the eastern seaboard as an evangelist.   After winning a singing contest sponsored by the National Freedom Day association, Sattin gaves a series of concerts that won attention.   Soon he had to face a choice - to stay in the ministry or to seek a musical career.   "I hated to turn my back on my father, who always had wanted me to follow in his footsteps," said Lonnie, " I finally decided to make song my ministry when he told me, 'you have to live with yourself, son. You can't preach with a divided mind.

He was launched on a coast-to-coast concert tour.  The west coast, included on his itinerary, especially appealed to Lonnie and he played several clubs, including the famous jazzspot Oasis, where Earl Hines singled him out to etch two of his songs for his own [D'Oro] label and also him to travel with his band.  When Hines disbanded, Lonnie remained in Chicago, and worked the Club DeLisa and Black Orchid.  In Chicago, he was a member of the Skyloft Players, a theatrical group
Then embarked for New York City, where he has been in demand in noted night clubs.

Making his first Apollo appearance in 1956, Lonnie Sattin went on to become the leading vocalist in the famed Cotton Club Review in Miami, Fla.    New Yorkers will remember him from his appearance in the Broadway production of "The Body Beautiful." (1958)

In 1960, he was in Italy with movie star Jane Russell where she planned to make a number of Italian films with Lonnie Sattin co-starring with her in some of them.

His records can be found on :

D’Oro (1953), Capitol (1956-1957),  ,Sunbeam (1958),,Warner-Bros (1959-1960), Decca (1961)  and Scepter (1962-1963)
(An album recorded in Brazil, Lonnie Sattin sings Bossa Nova was released by Scepter in 1963)

The following quote from an article published by Jet Magazine in 1958 will be my last word  :
Sattin, who has stood on the fringes of stardom for several years, has had mild success as a concert and pop singer   

Friday, December 19, 2014

Let's Waddle

Don Covay -  The Popeye Waddle  (Cameo)
The Tangiers - Doin' the Waddle (AJ)
Sherry Ravon - Waddle Loo (Million)
The Slades - The Waddle (Domino)
Don Barber And The Dukes - The Waddle (Thunderbird)
The Bracelets - Waddle, Waddle (Congress)
The Earls - Let's Waddle (Old Town)
The Spartans - Can You Waddle? (Web)

Let's Waddle