Saturday, June 2, 2018

Your Love Is My Goal

Your Love Is My Goal

The Top 40

 Tommy Biener
With Wendy & The Schoolgirls
Blackie Schackner and Orchestra

Your Love Is My Goal
T. Biener, Cal Cagno, A. Schackner  Beta Music BMI

The Top 40
Sy Levitan Michel Music ASCAP

Golden Crest label CR-501

Billboard rev. May 19, 1958 :
TOMMY BIENER Golden Crest 501 TOP 40 (Michele, ASCAP) An effective novelty-blues with clever lyrics about a guy's personal fem hit parade. Swingin' backing by a fem group gives the disk a provocative sound. It rates whirls. Flip, "My Love Is Your Goal," is a medium-beater (Beta, BMI).

Born John Thomas Biener in New York (in 1937 or 1938).  John Byner's stand-up comedy career began in New York's Greenwich Village where he worked for a year for Max Gordon at Gordon's jazz club "Village Vanguard". He then went on to open for some of the finest jazz greats of his time and steadily became a favorite New York nightclub fixture. As he rose to the top of his game, he opened or headlined prominent niteries throughout the country included headlining stints at Basin Street East, Copa Cabana, Latin Quarter, The Rainbow Room and at such showrooms as Harrah's, The Sahara, The Sands, Caesar's Palace, The Tropicana and Las Vegas Hilton.

In the 1960's anyone want to get national exposure wanted to be on Ed Sullivan. For John Byner his big break came in 1964 when he was a feature act on the show. The highlight of his act was when he did an impression of Mr. Sullivan introducing Elvis Presley and then did a song as Elvis.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Waxmate of the month : Marva King

Born in Flint, Michigan, USA.  Marva King has been performing with major artists since the age of 13 with the Clarke Sisters and Andre Crouch. Marva was nurtured by a family of entertainers with gospel, classical, and secular music. Her mother, who is a vocal and piano teacher, between touring, nourished and influenced Marva's skills. Marva has taken audiences by storm in her stunning role as "Helen", the lead in the hit musical play "Diary Of A Mad Black Woman", which has been in theatres across the country since January, 2001.

In addition to her vast resume as a session singer—which also includes recordings by Lionel Richie, Whitney Houston, Jimmy Cliff and Chaka Khan—she co-wrote The Whispers’ single “Innocent,” which debuted at #4 on the Billboard Hot Singles Chart and sold more than one million units worldwide. King also wrote the lyrics & melody for ”A piece of Love” on Lionel Richie’s CD “Louder than words.” Over the years, she has performed live with Lenny Kravitz, Seal and William and toured with many affiliated hit makers.

King’s mesmerizing delivery inspired Larry Flick to write in Billboard, “Marva King is a supreme diva, and her name will go down in history as one of the best.” In 1997, Prince took her on the road, under his wing, and made her a member of his group, New Power Generation (NPG)—a stint that included recording on his New Power Soul album. In 2007, she reunited with Prince for another series of arena and intimate venue concerts, which included the record breaking “21 Nights Concerts” at the 02 Arena in the UK, as well as recording on his Lotus Flower recording in 2009; she also made several appearances in his bestselling coffee table book “21 Nights.” King managed 15 shows of her own in between the Prince dates. “Those two years were intense,” she says. “I was exhausted the entire time, yet it was so exciting. I learned a lot about performing from Prince.”
Other career highlights include Stevie Wonder hiring King as an eager teen; performing on “Natural Wonder,” a double album recorded live in Osaka and Tel Aviv in the mid 90’s.

Marva King official website

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Oh, She's The One

Mike O'Berry

Soo Records No. 0011

199 E. Blvd. S.
Pontiac, Mich.


I've found nothing on this one.  No other Soo record. No other Mike O'Berry recording. Michael O'Berry copyrighted this song in 1960. This Perry Music Co., affiliated with ASCAP, is unrelated to Perry Music Co (affiliated with BMI) out of Vidalia, Georgia. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

God Made A Way

God Made A Way

The Songsters Quartet from Charleston, West Virginia, on their own label pressed by King Records in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Date is 1960

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Little Kitten

Colpix CP 153
His first record before his better known on Gone Records  — a cover of Rock Around The Clock (as Franny Boye) — on  also issued in 1960.

Real name : Frank Ciliberti from Media, Pennsylvannia.

Francis Ciliberti, 17-year-old Penncrest High School junior, appeared twice on American Bandstand as a dancer when kids and dance to the tunes Dick Clark played.  When he recorded "Rock Around the Clock,"   Frank mentioned to Dick Clark that he didn't want to get in trouble because he had a record of his own.  Clark then invited him to perform his song.   Clark said thanks for letting him know about the record, then he said  'have your manager get in touch with me so you can appear on the show.'" [ed. you all know what that means...]

"Little Kitten" was written by his manager Charles D. Poole,of Woodlyn, formerly leader of the Channels combo and Ted Fedena of Marcus Hook.

Dick Clark will always have a special meaning to Frank's family.  According to his son :
Every year, it was a fact that my family would watch Dick Clark count down a new year on Dick Clark's "New Year's Rockin' Eve." Even my son started getting interested in the show because a lot of his favorites were performing.

Watching Clark push forward after a stroke was both heartbreaking and inspiring. He wasn't going to let this obstacle stop him from doing what he loved. I also would watch Dick Clark with my grandmother during the 1970s when he hosted the $25,000 Pyramid.
Clark, forever known as "America's oldest teenager," had also a rep of a greedy exploiter of pop culture, an insatiable money-grubber with countless business ventures who produced and often hosted game shows, lowbrow bloopers shows and awards ceremonies,  according to Ben Fong-Torres who interviewed him when they met in 1964 in Malibu.
I asked why he had to get his hands into everything. Clark smiled at this naive, long-haired inquisitor from San Francisco. "The problem with you," he said, "is that you're a liberal, and I'm a f--ing whore."
Of course, he was effing right.  

Dick Clark: 'You're a Liberal and I'm a F---ing Whore,' the TV Icon Once Told a Famed Rock Music Editor 
The Hollywood Reporter

Monday, May 14, 2018



In our series "The Great Unknowns" here is a recent (2015?) re-issue (by Bear Family, I believe) of a mysterious old recording.   Nothing is known about the original release, believed to be from the Middle East, possibly Iraq?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mustang Sally

Gene Dozier & The Brotherhood

Minit 32031

Unusual cover of the Mack Rice song by Gene Dozier & The Brotherhood, which were Ike Turner's band in 1966/1967, with Gene Dozier on keyboards

Ugene Lloyd Dozier (who also wrote and recorded under the name Billy Jackson) got his start in Philadelphia working at Cameo records. By the mid-60’s he had relocated to Detroit where he had wanted to work for Motown, but ended up working briefly at the Golden World label writing for Theresa Lindsey (‘Daddy-O’) and Pat Lewis (‘Let’s Get Together’) under the Jackson name. He soon found his way to the West Coast, where he signed with the Minit label and began recording as Gene Dozier & The Brotherhood. The Brotherhood sound was mostly instrumental, marked by a funky rhythm section backed by a full horn section, with Dozier composing, arranging and playing keyboards

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Vladimir and The Grave Diggers

Vladimir Twist

Drac Walk

 Mel Par 45-1006
October 1962

Review from Kicks Magazine #6
 Inscription on the Billy Miller's copy reads
"when you hear this 'abortion' don't tell
anyone you know me!"

Vladimir, aka Ronald Klugman, aka Ron Barry

Born in Newark, N.J., Ronald Klugman was a son of Fani (Pickar) Klugman of Springfield, N.J., and Samuel Klugman. Actor Jack Klugman was his uncle.   A 1966 graduate of Emerson College, Boston (B.S. in Speech Broadcasting), he was a radio personality, under the name Ron Barry, with WEST and WEEX, Easton, and WBAX, Wilkes-Barre.  As big a fan Ron was of Dark Shadows, he was an even bigger fan of Laurel and Hardy, and as an adult got to know and befriend Stan Laurel.
Ron Barry has been collecting Elvis Presley records since 1956. "Being born and raised in New Jersey," said Barry, "we never heard the original Sun records, because their distribution was limited to the South. So Elvis had already made the five Sun records before I heard about him. But once I saw him on the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey "Stage Show," I knew he was going to be a big star." It was then that Ron started building his file of Presley discs. 

In 1961 when Barry was working as a production assistant for WPIX-11 TV New York, he asked his boss for Stan Laurel's address in hope of acquiring an autographed picture. After a few weeks the photo came, and, to Barry's surprise, a personal letter from the famed comedian.

That first letter developed into a four-year pen pal relationship between young Barry and the aging Laurel. "Very few carried on pen pal relationships with Stan," Barry said, adding that he received the last letter just two weeks before Laurel's death. "He wrote me every two weeks whether I did or not."

Later, while at W.E.S.T. in Easton,Pa. as the story goes, Ron was home sick one day and turned on the t.v. where he saw an episode of Dark Shadows. He became so enamored with the show that he eventually would make several trips down to the NYC studios to visit with and get to know the actors, as well as watch tapings of the show.  Over a 2-3 year period he interviewed many of the actors on his radio show, either in person in the Easton studio, or over the phone.  Using members of his radio show production crew, Ron created a parody version of Dark Shadows entitled 'Dumb Shadows'.

As far as I know the Mel-Par single was his only record.  But young Ronnie certainly wrote other songs.  One of these was sent to Stan Laurel in 1962.  In a letter addressed to Richard [Sloan] dated Nov. 28th, 1962, the actor wrote :
 No, I've never talked on the phone with Ronnie Klugman, but have heard him on tape a couple of times, he sounds a normal nice chap then suddenly lapses into that 'Horror' character mentality - I imagine he 'Hugs' the character too (a la that picture!!) Am enclosing you a tape of his latest idea for a record he sent me, I think its titled 'The Lumbago Limbo" or something - he requested my opinion - I of course am not familiar with this type of Opera - told him I was strictly a "Siatica Shuffle" man with a touch of 'Hi Nonny Nonny'.!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

I'm A Little Piglet

I'm A Little Piglet

Angela Records No. IP-127

Angela Vella Ghelarducci, who graduated from The Juilliard School, composed children's music for dance studios, some of which can still be purchased. 

As children in the 1920s, Angela, Jane and Louise Vella regularly traveled by train to New York City with their mother Margaret, who wanted them to acquire an appreciation of dance by taking lessons and seeing world-class performances.

The Vella sisters were quick studies. By 1937, they were running a studio in the dining room of their Canonsburg [Pennsylvania] home. Their reputations grew and the Vellas expanded their lessons to 13 sites through the region. The fourth generation of students is now taking lessons in a Vella studio.
Among the early hoofers in their studios: Canonsburg boys by name of Perry Como and Bobby Vinton, who clearly learned all the right moves.

The singer is probably not Angela herself, but rather an uncredited vocalist, as it's almost always the case on dance records on labels such as Danro Records, a quite prolific imprint, who released several Angela Ghelarducci compositions.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Waxmate Of The Month : Apollonia Kotero

Apollonia Kotero (born Patricia Kotero; August 2, 1959) is an American actress, singer, former model and talent manager.  She is best known for co-starring in Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain and for having been the lead singer in the girl group Apollonia 6.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Oh.. My Hands

The Mystic Zephyrs 4

Oh. . .My Hands

Two:Dot HRH 1171

The Mystic Zephyrs 4 (aka The MacLeods) "one of Ventura county's Yougest Combos" were as follows:
Lynne Louise MacLeod, Jared Keith MacLeod, Gayle Yvonne MacLeod and Joyce MacLeod.  Age, at the time of release of this single, ranged from 15 to 9.

The Mystic Zephyrs 4 in 1974
from the cover of "Maybe" (LP Two: Dot Records HRH-6873)

Recorded at the Two:Dot Recording Studio located in Ojai, California and owned by Dean Thompson.  According to Raymond Dumont, a ’60s psychedelia collector :

Three factors drove the collectors’ fascination with Two:Dot. First, scarcity. Two:Dot generally printed albums in tiny lots: 50 copies, 100 copies, perhaps 200 copies. Four decades later, how many could possibly be left?

Second, sound quality. For a tiny studio out in the boondocks, Two:Dot maintained very high technical standards. And Two:Dot of course used analog equipment, which later was rendered obsolete by the digital revolution. Many audiophiles nowadays revile the sound of digital recordings and thrill to the sound of a well-made analog album, including those cut at Two:Dot.

Third, the cultural context. If a record gives off the right vibe, redolent of the late ’60s, then it will be cherished as an endearing artifact of that tie-dyed, paisley-patterned period that began with “Sgt. Pepper.”

“The late ’60s, early ’70s psych stuff is very interesting to collectors,” Dumont says. “Especially when it was released locally.”

The problem for collectors is that most Two:Dot albums were not in fact very psychedelic. Many a psych-folk aficionado has ponied up for a rare Two:Dot title by the likes of the Guys and Dolls or Mountain Glory, only to find himself in possession of a mediocre country-rock album, or one with a Christian theme. Even more problematic is “Maybe,” a very rare Two:Dot album by the groovy-sounding Mystic Zephyrs 4. Collectors who shell out hundreds of dollars for a copy may be disappointed to learn that the Zephyrs in question were four squeaky-clean teenage siblings from Ventura, whose album is rather less trippy than advertised. Back it goes on the online auction market with a new and somewhat desperate sales pitch, such as this one (actual ad):

“Incredibly strange and rare original private press from 1974! Incompetent teen-age family band with sincere pop songs and positive vibes. The drummer is only 12! May be your only chance to grab this highly sought after and mega-rare artifact!”
Above is from an article relating the story of the Two:Dot Studios found here

Four squeaky-clean teenage siblings from Ventura? What's wrong with that?

Friday, April 27, 2018

We're Voting For Wallace For President

Re-up of requested songs by Miss Hilton Hammond on her own Hammond and Rooster labels. See previous posts here

This is actually anti-Wallace. Vote for him for president to get him out of Alabama!

Based on an overheard conversation about a planned knife attack,

Miss Hilton singing about her love for butterbeans, ham and cornbread. Miss Hilton says she loves those butterbeans so much, that she wants them on her grave when she dies, instead of flowers.

Miss Hammond's take on "Runnin' Bare",  a parody of Johnny Preston hit ‘Running Bear’ penned and recorded by Jim Nesbittt in 1970

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Our Honeymoon

The 4 Bees

GEMS 3/4
Lacytown, Georgetown
British Guiana
US pressing?

Lead singer on this record is probably Gloria Beaton, wife of Norman Beaton.

During the 1950s Lacytown was one of the most musically creative spaces in the Guiana colony; Al Seales was one of entrepreneurs who ran their business in a single block in the Lacytown bordered by Robb Street, Wellington Street, Regent Street and King Street.  Also located in that block was Freedom House, the headquarters of the Peoples' Progressive Party [..] and "Point".  "Point" was at the corner of King and Regent Street and was the venue where independant musicians were hired by bandleaders for temporary assignments

Al Seales started his working life as a sailor on the Demerara River and was given a quatro by an Amerindian man. From the quatro he graduated to the banjo and joined the Washboard Orchestra in the 1920s.

As he acquired seniority and became a leader in the band, he took up the saxophone. His tutor was Gun Fernandez. Seales’ love for music was multidimensional. One of his first entrepreneurial ventures was a beer garden that featured a record player and a collection of contemporary jazz and pop records “which he got from old friends who were still working on ships coming from North America and Europe.”

This feature attracted a loyal clientele who constantly offered to buy the record player and the records. Seales, the entrepreneur who never drank or smoked, saw a business opportunity and a way to get out of selling alcohol. He opened General Electrical Musical Supplies (GEMS) at 40 Robb Street. After a few years, he purchased the property, which has remained in the Seales family since. Over the years the business grew from selling records and musical instruments to include a recording studio. Seales never established a pressing plant, so, his recordings were pressed by Melodisc in the United Kingdom.

Norman Beaton (1934 -1994), born in Georgetown, Guyana (then British Guiana), the son of a postmaster who became the country's chief postmaster, went to public school and teacher-training college before teaching there, rising to the post of deputy headmaster at a school in Demerara. At the same time, he followed his love of calypso music by forming the Four Bees vocal group and making 20 singles. The group toured Surinam and French Guyana with the revue Caribbean Cavalcade and Beaton himself was named Calypso Champion of Guyana.   Leaving Guyana for London in 1960, he landed a job as a teacher in Liverpool, becoming the first black teacher to be employed by the Liverpool Education Authority.

Further reading:
Musical Life in Guyana: History and Politics of Controlling Creativity, by Vibert C. Cambridge

Thursday, April 19, 2018


"Rolls" Royce and The Wheels


Constellation Records #133

Musician/drummer Royce McAfee toured with Johnny Carroll and the Spinners in the 50s and 60s, for Warner Bros. and Capitol Records. He led The Unique Three and the Royce McAfee Combo in the 60s and 70s. He owned Royce McAfee Music and was publisher and producer on his ARA Record label. 

Rolls Royce & The Wheels were sessions players in Dallas Texas mostly doing commercials and jingles for radio.  They were also the band to back Mary Smith..aka Lady Wilde (born Mary Murray, March 1942 in Liverpool, England). on "Poor Kid" (ARA, 1965).

Royce met Judy Glenn at high school in Ft. Worth, TX. and they later married in Childress, Texas in 1959, 1959. Royce McAfee, born in Oklahoma in 1941, passed away at his home in Kaufman Co., Texas on January 6, 2015.

Judy McAfee, Royce's wife, is the composer of the song featured here and also probably the female heard on the record.


1963 Warner Bros 5397
Royce McAfee Combo Featuring Joe Davis / Royce McAfee Combo
Once There Was Love / Hot Links

1964 Constellation 133
"Rolls" Royce And The Wheels
The Frog / Topless

1965  ARA 640J-1913
"Rolls" Royce And The Wheels
1 - 2 Many / Above And Beyond

1965 ARA S4KM-8318/9
"Rolls" Royce And The Wheels
Afro-Au-Gogo / Ahh Phooey ‎

ARA label 1965-1966 see

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

God Is So Good

Joel Stafford
and The Starlighters

God Is So Good

Joel Records

Statesville Record And Landmark from Statesville, North Carolina, September 20, 1976, page 9
Wheelchair Is Sought WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — Joel Stafford, 9-years-old and suffering from a rare bone disorder, has his heart set on an electric wheelchair. "I'm going to buy myself a wheelchair," he vows. "I'm going to take it to school so I can roll myself around." Joel has a congenital condition called osteogenesis imperfecta, which means his system lacks the calcium needed to harden and develop bone tissue.  He has steel rods in his legs, but his arms have not developed enough to permit such bone-replacing surgery. Joel sings regularly at his church, and his parents — Wayne and Linda Stafford — took him to a small recording studio to make a record.  It is called "God is So Good," and has sold about 1,000 copies so far. The electric wheelchair Joel wants could cost as much as $1,500. Joel made the recording in hopes of raising enough money to buy the chair.  Though small and unable to move around well, Joel has a happy face and is undaunted by the dangers confronting him.  He hasn't broken a bone since February, a considerable improvement over the past. Often a simple wrong movement could cause a bone to break. He has received therapy at the Shrine Hospital In Greenville, S. C. He attends school at the Children's Center In Winston-Salem, and enjoys school.
Apparently little Joel had raised enough money to buy the wheelchair. But the wheelchair was stolen shortly after, in 1977.  The Piedmonitor.from September 01, 1978 reported :
Frank Barnes, of Winston maintenance, met one of his special friends, Joel Stafford, at the Children's Center during the solicitors' tours of the Forsyth County United Way agencies. The Company long has had a tradition of giving generously to the United Way. It is a tradition that unquestionably deserves to be maintained. and Frank helped promote Joel's gospel singing records to raise money to replace his wheelchair. Joel and Edwin are two of the many people helped by Piedmont's participation in the annual fund drive.

God is so good?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Christmas Time (Is Near)

Debra Ferrara
Walsh High Choir

Christmas Time (Is Near)

Deblyn D45-718

Do I hear a Beatles influence here?

First release on Deblyn Records by five-year old Debra.  Her father, songwriter Jerry Ferrara, and Joe Fresco launched the label in November 1965 with headquarters at 380 Main, East Orange in New Jersey.

Debra Ferrara had another release on the Lynde label featuring a cover of "These Boots Are Made For Walking"

Debra (Deb) is still performing today, had written material for others, but also released her own pop-rock CD.

Debra Ferrare, then and now

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sitting Here Thinking

Ken Capehart

Sitting Here Thinking

Hart Record 45-966

From St. Clair, Missouri, in the Starday custom series

Ken Capehart (1924-2013)
Kennneth Charles Capehart, known to all as Ken, 89, St. Clair, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013,
Ken was a Christian and longtime member of First Baptist Church, St. Clair.  During his working career, he was a member of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 1839, St. Louis, where he worked on various projects as a carpenter through the union hall.  He was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II..  Ken earned five Bronze Stars and a Good Conduct Medal for his participation in several campaigns in Europe, including Normandy and central Europe. He had a passion for music, playing guitar and singing in his band, Ken Capehart and the Carol County Ramblers.  He even backed up Loretta Lynn when she first started out. Ken also loved to fish.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Little Ishana Man

Eddie Daniels
and his Daniels Nine

Little Ishana Man

Eddie Mae's E-501
2720 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles

Written and produced by Jewel Akens and arranged by Miles Grayson.  

Creole with roots in Louisiana, Eddie Daniels was born in Watts, CA.  During Junior High School, he acquired the nickname, The Ghetto Baby. Eddie started in show biz in 1954 with a singing group called “Vernon Green and the Medallions”. The group had hit records like “Buick 59”, “The Letter”, “Maybe Yes, Maybe No”, and many more.  Eddie also played piano on Bobby Day’s “Rockin’ Robin” and Eugene Church’s “Pretty Girl”, and also played with Bob & Earl of “The Harlem Shuffle”.

Eddie took his first tour with bluesman Floyd Dixon. He recorded his first record, “Whoa Whoa Baby”, with Ebb Records in 1957. In 1958, he started singing with Jewel Akens. They recorded 8 songs together. They had a hit record called “Opportunity” that received good air play on the biggest black radio station at that time, KGFJ  

Having been taken advantage of by both Bumps Blackwell and Jerry Capehart, Daniels concentrated on touring as a vocalist and keyboard player with Bob and Earl during the ’60s. Then, in 1972 he hooked up with the Platters’ original female vocalist Zola Taylor, forming a lifelong kinship with her that lasted until her death in 1986.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

He's A Devil

Lillay Deay

He's A Devil

Timely Records

Late 60s?

Lillay Deay is one of the Candidates for Immortality listed by Irwin Chusid at the end of his book "Songs In The Key of Z, The Curious Universe of Outsider Music.

Lillay Deay (or Lillay Daniels) was born about 1896 in Texas where she still resided in 1940 along with her husband William J. Daniels and two sons, Robert 17 and Dan 13.  That's all about I can find. Timely Records out of Tujunga was her own label active during the late sixties/early seventies.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Snake

Prince Dan Igor Glenn & The Slap Bass Band

The Snake

From the EP Breakfast In The Afternoon
no label

Born and reared in Alabama, Dan "Igor" Glenn began singing gospel music at a young age. By age five, he knew hundreds of hymns and songs by heart.  He moved to Arizona in the early 1960s with a passion for architecture.  After finishing up a residency at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West School he changed course to study music at Arizona State University.  He soon found Crazy Ed's, a jazz hot spot founded by Ed Chilleen, who also started Cave Creek bars the Horny Toad and Satisfied Frog.

He sang with the New Christy Minstrels as they toured the world and composed and arranged for many well-known artists. In addition to being an entertainer, he also publishes cartoons with a music theme.

Though “retired” he still books himself and his “Jazz Cowboys” anywhere from cruise ships to state fairs. He finds time to host a weekly American Folk Music Gathering at The Beatitudes in Phoenix where he and his wife Barbara live.

The Snake

"The Snake" is a song written by Oscar Brown in 1963. The lyrics tell a story inspired by Aesop's fable of The Farmer and the Viper.  (Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BC)

Oscar Brown Jr. (1926-2005) was an American singer, songwriter, playwright, poet, civil rights activist, and actor. He ran unsuccessfully for office in both the Illinois state legislature and the U.S. Congress. Brown wrote numerous songs (only 125 have been published), 12 albums, and more than a dozen musical plays.

The song tells the story of a kind and tender woman who finds a frozen snake on the ground on her way to work one morning. The snake begs the woman to take it home and take care of it. She obliges and takes the snake to her home and puts it by the fireplace with a silk blanket, some honey, and some milk. When she gets home from work later that evening, she finds that the snake is now warm and revived. Feeling happy for the snake's recovery, she picks it up and gives it a tight hug and kisses it on the head. However, the snake is actually vicious and gives the woman a bite, fatally poisoning her. She asks the snake why it bit her even though she took it in and cared for it, to which it responds: "Shut up silly woman! You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in!"

The song gained renewed attention during the campaign for the 2016 United States Presidential election. Republican candidate Donald Trump read its lyrics at several campaign rallies to illustrate his position on the Syrian refugee crisis, claiming that the decision to allow people claiming refugee status to enter the United States would "come back to bite us", as happened to the woman who took in the snake in the song.  The daughters of songwriter Brown – whose work has been characterized as "a celebration of black culture and a repudiation of racism"  – have asked Trump to stop using their late father's song, saying: "He’s perversely using 'The Snake' to demonize immigrants" and that Brown "never had anything against immigrants."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Here I Am Again

Vanita Lynn

Here I Am Again
P. Thompson - C. Thompson
Toltec Music BMI

Sound Tex 670209

The Sound-Tex label was a subsidiary of the Texas Sound Studios in San Antonio.  Other in-house labels were Anthem, Horn of Plenty and Peace.

Located at 506 W. Hildebrand Ave., the studios were formed by Jeff Smith, a local Hi-Fi equipment dealer.(his Texas-TV shop was there in the early fifties).

Wired For Sound has posted six year ago an interesting (and recommended) article on the Harlem label which contains some info about Jeff Smith:
With only one or two exceptions, everything on Harlem, Hour, and related labels was recorded at Jeff Smith’s Texas Sound Studios, located on Hildebrand Avenue on the city’s North Side. Anyone who has spent more than five minutes collecting Texas labels is familiar with the “TSS” designation, etched into the run-off grooves of countless singles from the late 1950s until the early 1970s. But who was Jeff Smith?

“Jeff was like an old-style Chamber of Commerce guy,” Carr says. “You do business with him, he’ll go out and promote you. Jeff would take stuff out to the stations. And of course, if it was a Jeff custom pressed job, he’d get ‘em out there early in the day. Jeff was probably the most accommodating engineer I’ve ever met. (But) he had no knowledge of the music. And he was a little bit cautious with running the meters. I’m sure rock and roll killed him (from an aural standpoint). He got a little confused with the electric bass for awhile, particularly with the early stuff on Harlem. You can hear it on “Oh Please Love Me.’ It did knock the needles off the jukeboxes.”

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Terry Richards


Rebel Records

Another unknown artist and record on this small ㅡ  but quite collectable ㅡ  Rebel label out of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, owned by Bill Cooley.

McGibony, one of the songwriter), is Richard McGibony, born in Chattanooga, TN, 1934. After his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1957, he returned to work on the railroad and started pursueing his music.  After working with professionals such as Jack Bookout and Carol Smith, he started his first band called the Off Beats. Through Carol Smith he submitted his songs to Cliffie Stone, V-P of Capitol Records in Hollywood, CA. In 1959 Esquerita recorded three of his songs.    Johnny Cash recorded his  "Monteagle Mountain" and his music was also used in the movie "Layin' Track" that Johnny Cash starred in.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Willard Chamberlain


Citation Records
Early sixties

Willard Chamberlain (Saxophone) played in one of Johnny Winter first band : Johnny Macaroni and the Jammers.  Probably Edgar Winter on piano here.

This Citation label is out of Beaumont, Texas and unrelated to any other labels of similar names.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Popcorn Baby

Artie Picasso

Hanover 4536

Popcorn Baby was copyrighted in May 1959 by Norman "Red" Benson (words) and Leonard Levy (music). For some reason (payola?), the song on label is credited to one F. Botwin.

Norman (Red) Benson was master of ceremonies in mid-1950's for NBC-TV's Name That Tune and joined WPEN (Philadelphia)  in 1956.  Leonard (Len) Levy was the head of Hanover Records. Artie Picasso (a pseudonym perhaps) is unknown, possibly from Philadelphia , .  His lone record anyway under this moniker.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Colleen Lovett, Waxmate of the Month

(from her Laff album, 1979)

Texas-born Colleen Lovett  was known as one of the Lovett Sisters, a singing duo with her sister Charlotte.
When we were very young teenagers, we began singing on the W.F.A.A. Sat. Night Shindig radio and T.V. shows, and later on the W.R.R. Big 'D' Jamboree in Dallas. It was during this time period that we were signed by a major record label, Imperial Records. 
In 1957, Colleen married bandleader Teddy Phillips, 22 years her senior.

In 1984, Colleen, now Dr. Colleen Phillips, Ph.D., Diet Nutritionist, founded Diet Doctors Medical Mgmt, a successful medical weight loss center in Canoga Park, CA.  In 2003, Colleen and Char once again hit the recording studios as the Lovett Sisters and released their double album "Wheels of Time".

Lovett Sisters

54 Imperial 45-8228Time Out For Love / No More Teardrops
54 Imperial 45-8233 Until I Lost You / I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire
54 Imperial 4X8262 Sometime, Somewhere / Behind My Back - 54
54 Imperial 4X8272 Bacon And Eggs / Little Dirty Face
55 Imperial X8286 Come Home To Me / Mexican Polka
57 Todd 1001 Won't Cha Squeeze Me? / Dear Daddy

Colleen Lovett (except when noted)


58 Coral 62024 Colleen And Her Schoolmates
Mairzy Dotes / My Heart Is On A Merry-Go-Round

58 Brunswick 55099
Out For The Day / Blue Moon

59 Brunswick 55127
Goodnight Sweetheart / I'd've Baked A Cake

59 Stepheny 1836
Wishin' / Cla-Wence

62 Carlton 583 Cindy Rella And Her Stepsisters
He Don't Love Me Anymore / I Want Him To Come Back Home

63 Newport 1452 Colleen Lovett With Teddy Phillips Sextet
Teenage Blues / For The Birds

63 IRC 7919
Scubie-Dubie Scuba Diver / ?

64 Drum Boy 112
Bring Me A Beatle For Christmas / Cla-Wence

66 Dot 16832
Freckle-Faced Soldier / Go-Go Girl

66 Mira 226 Colleen And Teddy
Beachnut / Lonesome Blues

69 or later  P&L
Galveston / Omaha


61 Teddy Phillips Quintet, Featuring Colleen Lovett                            
Five Men + 1 Girl   (Carlton 12131)

65 Teddy Phillips Orchestra, Featuring Colleen Lovett
Music You Want To Hear  (Drum Boy 1002)

68 Teddy Phillips /Colleen Lovett & Their Mexicali Brass
Tijuana Sounds (P&L 10357)

74 Colleen Lovett
Birds With Broken Wings (Era 605)

79 Colleen Lovett
Good Grief, It’s... Candy  (Laff A137)

More info here and here

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Lunar Flip

Joann Thomas

Lunar Flip (vocal)

Lunar Flip (instrumental)

American Voices Records 1

Recorded in Nashville and
produced by Ray Pennington

Joann Thomas and Gus, her husband

Singing duet Gus and Joann Thomas have been for many years, direct from the WWVA Original Jamboree in Wheeling. before coming to WWSM (Lebanon, Pennsylvania) where Joann has a show twice a week.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes

 Dawn Owens
 And The Rhythm Kings

Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes

In the 1950s, Fred Rumfelt and some friends formed a band called the Rhythm Kings. Soon, the Rhythm Kings were playing gigs throughout the region. They performed on television shows in Charlotte, Asheville and Spartanburg, S.C. Although they started out in bluegrass and traditional country, they soon adapted to the new rock and roll sound.  

Before long, the group recorded two songs in a Nashville, Tenn. studio. They recorded “Billy Boy,” a song written by Rumfelt, and Elliott’s rock and roll instrumental “Boppin’ Guitar.”  The record was issued in June 1960 on Brooke Records.  The lineup included Ed Elliott on lead guitar and Ray Hall on steel guitar. Jim Jones, who had worked with Rumfelt at Marion Manufacturing, sang harmony vocals and also played guitar.

In 1961, Hall left the Rhythm Kings but the group continued making music. The lineup would change some more. Eual Owens and his wife Dawn later joined the group. Eual played drums while Dawn was the lead vocalist.

The band went down to Arthur Smith’s Studios, recording the old Chuck Willis song (Atlantic Records 1179, 1958) backed with "Talk To Me", and has the 45 out on their own Star label pressed at the Kay Bank plant.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Dances

The Starfires

The Dances

W. Osborne, Y plus X Music (BMI)

Atomic 1912

After The Starfires initial release on George Goldner's Bernice Records  “Yearning For You” failed to chart, their one year contract with George Goldner was allowed to expire. The group continued singing at various engagements around Philadelphia.

The Starfires went through some changes. Wally Osborne dropped out of the group in order to manage them. “I wanted to be like Richard Barrett,” recalled Wally. “So we got a guy named Rudy [last name long forgotten] from West Philly. He was a tall thin fellow and he became the new lead.” Though Wally no longer sang with the Starfires, as their manager, he continued to rehearse them.

Wally met Steve Hodge of D&H Records while networking at a local radio station. Stephen Hodge ran a thriving jukebox operation in NYC.  He’d previously owned the Atomic label and had recorded Jimmy Castor & the Juniors and Dennis Brown & the Atomics. Hodge’s partner at the time was Julius Dixson [sometimes listed as Dixon]. Dixson also had a long history as a label owner and songwriter. He’d co-written “Dim Dim The Lights” (Bill Haley), “Lollipop” (Chordettes) and It’ Hurts To Be In Love” (Annie Laurie). Earlier, Dixson had managed and written for the Jaytones (Timely and Brunswick labels) and owned the Alton label (“Clouds” by the Spacemen). By 1961, the two shared an office on 125th Street in Harlem with record label icon, Bobby Robinson.  As you opened the door there was a partition – on one side was Bobby Robinson’s Fury label and on the other was Dixson and Hodge’s D&H Records.

In February 1961, D&H released their first and only record by the Starfires. The ballad side was the old standard, “These Foolish Things”. The flip was “Let’s Do The Pony,” a song written by Wally Osborne about the popular dance.

The Starfires’ next release, “You’re The One” b/w “So Much” came out on the Bargain label. Both songs
were written by Wally Osborne. It was quickly followed by “Love Will Break Your Heart,” a song co-written by Wally Osborne and Jimmy Bishop. The flip, “The Dances,” was a Wally Osborne composition. All four
songs were recorded at Tony and Don Luisi’s Sound Plus Studio in Northeast Philadelphia. “You’re The One” did fairly well on the East Coast and also in Cleveland.

Late '61, Steve Hodge, probably in search of a better national exposure, also issued “Love Will Break Your Heart” on his reactivated Atomic label shortly after,  Bill Lasley's Lesgal Productions distributed the record.

Acknowledgements : "The Wally Osborne Story: The Starfires and the Early Years" by Charlie Horner

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Jimmy Cicero


Penthouse P-621

James Stanley Cicero

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area Jimmy Cicero started playing piano and singing professionally when he was about 12  His mother encouraged him to take piano lessons as a child.   His mother played saxophone and sang. She worked in a band with Jimmy’s aunt who played piano for many, many years in the East Bay Area.

“My first gig was singing at a church dance.”
That was in 1957, two years after Elvis Presley’s emergence and three years into the rock ’n’ roll era. 
Also a composer.  Three of his songs have been placed in a Francis Ford Coppolla film. It's called "The Florentine".

Friday, February 16, 2018

Runnin' Bare

Miss Hilton Hammond
and The Wesbters

Runnin' Bare
Jim Nesbitt

Rooster Records
1332 Bush Blv'd Birminhgam, Ala.
Early 70s
Produced by Hap Hammond

Miss Hammond's take on "Runnin' Bare",  a parody on the Johnny Preston hit ‘Running Bear’ penned and recorded by Jim Nesbittt in 1970, and his last chart entry.

Hilton Hammond and her husband Hap have performed together since they married in 1938. Before World War II there was a radio show down here called, ‘Bill and Kate,’ that was very popular. Hap and Hilton would play on there.  They even ran a bluegrass barn behind their Pickens County home for 26 years, until the maintenance got to be too much.

From an article published by  The Republic from Columbus, Indiana in 1972:
Hap said, "You have to leave the farm to make the money to go back to the farm."   Hilton, who has sung at hospitality areas in national conventions, worked with dance bands and helped raise funds for duo. and appearing before campfire crowds. They are NCHA members from the Bama chapter at Birmingham, Ala. Complaining that "campers always like the kookiest songs, they don't like the pretty ones," Hilton said "Butterbeans," the song with which they opened their segment of the Saturday show, is always a crowd-pleaser. One of her favorites is a "pretty" song she wrote herself, "Lonely Highways."
Hilton, a junior high English and art teacher, began her music career at three. She was the soprano in the gospel group formed with her, her mother, sister and a cousin.    Hap. now a salesman for Sears and Roebuck, formerly a schoolteacher and a farmer, wants to go back to his farm at Reform, Ala.
Hap (John Austin) Hammond, Sr. left this life on Feb 15, 2013.

Miss Hilton Hammond discography

K-Ark 744      1967
A     Giving It Away    
B     Misery And I

K-Ark 803
A     King Size Papa   
B     Don't Make A Strong Man Cry

K-Ark 829
A     I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
B     Don't Ever Say Goodby

Hammond - PRP 2041/2 (1968)
A     We're Voting For Wallace For President    
B     Won't You Come Home George Wallace

Rooster 1/2
A     The Rooster Song    
B     Ode To The Little Brown Shack

Rooster 3/4
A     Charlie   
B     Lonely Hi-Ways

Rooster 5/6
A     Butterbeans    
B     Runnin' Bare

Rooster 7/8
A     NCHA Ditties
B     How Great Thou Art

Rooster 9/10
A     Life Is Like A Mountain Railway    
B     How Great Thou Art

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chicken Delight(s)

"Dance the Chicken Delight Ring-A-Ding"

Track list

"Chicken Delight Twist"
"Dance the Chicken Delight Ring-A-Ding"
Chicken Delight radio spot (1963)

Two instrumentals from promotional one-sided carboard flexi records. No artist credit on record. Early sixties. Bonus: a radio spot from 1963.

The Chicken Delight restaurant chain were known for delivering chicken dinners to your door via a VW Beetle with a fiberglass chicken on the roof

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I've Got It

Joey Delmar
I've Got It
Britone / Ben-Lee Music

Bell-Glade Records
A division of Dimarcap Enterprizes, Inc.
Laurel Springs, New Jersey


The rarest of the Joey Delmar two singles produced in 1962 by B & L Productions (Frank Bendinelli and Lee Leroy Lovett) and one of their earliest, before Patty & The Emblems (1964)
Musician-producer-songwriters Frank Bendinelli and Leroy Lovett formed a production company, Ben-Lee Music, that generated tracks that were leased to other labels, as well as sides that were put out on their own small Philadelphia labels, like Benn-X and Sonata. The exact routes (whereby each side got placed where) are painstaking to trace nowadays; all the lay fan needs to know is that the Ben-Lee umbrella produced obscure Philadelphia soul throughout the decade. Twenty-four of their 1963-68 efforts were collected by the Kent Soul label (Ben-Lee's Philadelphia Story , 1999).

The other single on Joey Delmar, issued on Britone 1001 (Friendship Seven / Happiness) is available on YouTube

Saturday, February 10, 2018

All Grown Up

Darby Anne
And The Jay Jay Kay Trio

All Grown Up
Herbert Baker, Carrie Music Co. ASCAP

Darby 45-609
Ellettsville, Indiana
1957 or later

Presumably, "All Grown Up" is a cover of the song previously recorded by Debbie Reynolds MGM 12560 in 1957. Not much can be found on Darby Anne.  Only thing I known is she recorded another 45 on the same label, also a King custom pressing, backed by the Johnnie Wattles Orchestra  (Betwixt And Between , Darby 45-D3)