Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry

Steve Rowland
with Earl Palmer and band

Joe Thomas - Howard Biggs
Coblin Music Co. BMI

Intro 6098


Cover of a song first recorded by Roy Hamilton (Epic Records, 1954) issued on the soon-to-de defunct Intro label, the country-arm of Eddie and Leo Mesner’s Aladdin records.

Steve Rowland (born Stephen Rowland, 3 September 1932) is singer, columnist, record producer and actor. He grew up in Beverly Hills and now lives in Palm Springs, California. His father is film director Roy Rowland ("The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T"), his mother Ruth was a writer.

In 1950s, Hollywood, he went on to act in thirty five TV shows such as "The Rifleman", Bonanza, Wanted: Dead or Alive and a two year role in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. Film appearances included co-starring roles in Battle of the Bulge with Henry Fonda; Gun Glory with Stewart Granger; Crime in the Streets with John Cassavetes and Sal Mineo, and the original The Thin Red Line with Kier Dullea and Jack Warden.

Steve Rowland Wikipedia article (no mention of his 1950s records)

Steve Rowland discography
56 Liberty 55030 - Steve Rowland and The Bystanders
How Many Miles
Flat Wheel Train

57 Intro 6098 - Steve Rowland & Earl Palmer band
Say The Word
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry

59 Virgo 1003 - Steve Rowland
Dear Little Pen Pal
How Would You Like It  

63 Cross-Country 1-1818/9 - Steve Rowland and The Ring Leaders
Here, Kum The Karts
Out Ridin'    

70 Bell 863 - Steve Rowland & Family Dogg
Moonshine Mary

 Steve Rowland signed to Intro Records
Billboard, 1957, June 3

Actress Natalie Wood stands on the shoulders of actor Steve Rowland 
at the Thalians Beach Ball which was held at the home  of Elaine Stewart on July 15, 1956 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rocket Honeymoon

Larry Cartell

Rocket Honeymoon
Lawrence Gray, Larlon Music BMI

Roman Records

Arranged And Conducted By Bob Lowden
Produced By Tony Alano


Sounds to me like a mid-sixties recording with a slight Freddy Cannon influence (?).   Incidentally, Freddy Cannon produced one Larry Cartell's single on Glenolden in the late sixties.

According to a press kit published by Glenolden Records in 1967 :

Larry got his start in show business at the age of three, singing with his father in bars in his native Philadelphia.  Larry holds the record for winning song contests.  Beginning as young boy and through his teens,  Larry won every contest he entered, he won one contest for 64 weeks straight.

The 23 year-old recording artist is a talented song writer as well as a singer and also writes the lyrics. 

His career as a singer really got under way last spring when he was discovered by Nick Busillo, who also discovered Al Martino as well as other famous entertainers.  Under Busillo's guidance, Larry recorded "Cowboy Santa", destined to become an all-time Christmas smash.

Larry was the only artist permitted to take part in the Gimbel Brothers annual Thanksgiving Day parade with is own float.  He was seen by 40 million viewers.     He will soon be seen of the "Ed Sullivan," " Tonight," Joey Bishop", "Mervi Griffin," and "Mike Douglas," as well as several other television shows.    Larry lives in South Philadelphia, spawning ground of such recording greats as Fabian, Frankie Avalon and Eddie Fisher. Larry is already carving a name for himself in the recording industry, and he also plans a career in films and television.

Larry Cartell's real name, I assume, is Lawrence (or Laurence) Gray, as I can't find any Cartell song's signature on his records.

Larry sung also the title song in  “Girl In Golden Boots”, a movie directed by Ted V. Mikels.  

Read more about this by Jeremy Allison, a big fan of the movie HERE.


Nicholas "Nick" Busillo, Larry Cartell's manager, was a veteran of the Philadelphia music scene, when he first recorded Larry Cartell for his Glenolden label in 1967.  In the early fifties, he was involved in music publishing and was with BBS Records and Crosley Records labels, which he co-owned with Bill Borrelli and/or Russ Smith.  (The Crosley label was revived in 1958-1960.)

"Larry Cartell, singing star, is enjoying great success with his first release, "Cowboy Santa", on Glenolden Records (150).  At this early point, the record is earmarked as one of the greatest Christmas hits of all times"  (Billboard ad, 1967, Decembre 16)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rock and Roll Baby

Barbie Gaye
Big Al Sears and his Band

Thornett Music BMI

Darl R-1004


Her second single.

Perhaps recorded at the same session that produced her minor hit " My Boy Lollypop " (1956).   She was backed by guitarist Leroy Kirkland, saxophonist Al Sears and drummer Panama Francis.  DJ Alan Freed played it on radio and she appeared in Freed's annual Christmas show at the New York Paramount in 1956.  She also inspired singer/songwriter Ellie Greenwich to issue her first record as "Ellie Gaye".

Born and raised in Brooklyn,  Barbie Gaye, then-14 year old singer, was discovered by Gaetano Vastola in Coney Island, Brooklyn, after hearing her sing on a street corner.

Barbie Gay discography
Darl 1002 – My Boy Lollipop /  Say You Understand
Darl 1004 – Rock And Roll Baby / A Letter To Johnny
Regalia 11-7 – Love Me A Little / In This Day And Age

Also known as Tommy, Sonny, or Corky, Vastola was a partial owner of Roulette Records and an underboss in the DeCavalcante crime family of New Jersey. He worked as a booking agent, and took credits for several doo-wop tracks  Other activities ranged from shaking down dice games to promoting concerts by Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. He also golfed on occasion with Sammy Davis, Jr.   He served time in prison several times (including for extortion and assault of a record company executive in the 1980s).

Vastola is believed to be among the models for the character Hesh Rabkin in the TV series The Sopranos, played by actor Jerry Adler.

Note 1 : There is much information about "My Boy Lollipop" to be found on the web. Most sources are inaccurate and conflicting.  The best (and the more likely story, in my opinon) is the Wikipedia article. But still it has errors.

Note 2 : Regarding the Darl label, after hours of research and fascinating readings, there is much unsolved and nagging questions surrounding it's story, such as who was behind Darl Records Inc. ?

Like said Edward Dahlberg "It takes a long time to understand nothing. "

Millie Small covered "My Boy Lollipop"
Here, uncovered

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Dave S. Trio

Dave Schumock & Gene Lawrence
Pub. Sixteen-Ten Music (BMI)

Birthstone Records

Tacoma, Washington


Odd rocking instrumental with accordion, sounding in some parts almost as a Cajun band !

This Mount Tahoma High School band was led by David Lloyd Schumock (1947-2008) and included Gene Lawrence.   A  (later?)  line-up is listed in the Pacific Northwest Bands discography HERE  Page has a picture of  the band.

The quite obscure Birthstone label was perhaps owned by Attilio ("Art") Mineo, a jazz pianist, who, thanks to his connections in the East Coast introduced the Wailers and other Northwest acts to Golden Crest.   Chance Eden, a Birthstone recording artist, was later signed by Roulette Records.

Here was a man who knew Jacqueline Kennedy, Al Capone, Frank Sinatra, Babe Ruth, not to mention all the musical greats of the 20th century,” said Barry Johnson, a local opera singer and good friend of Mineo.

Mineo also wrote operas about the Mafia, though he made clear he wasn’t part of the official organization.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Little Bit Of Some Of You

Debbie Sciame & The Rhythm Rockets
Words & Music by Debbie Sciame

Sha-La-Mar XB-2610/1

1968 (if Capitol custom pressing)

Audio is from mp3 of very low quality, probably from a record well played to say the least.  But this a so good and so obscure chick bopper......  Take that Cees (Klop)!
Rockford, is the second largest city in Illinois after Chicago.  Yet Rockford sheltered very few records labels in the fifties or the sixties : there was the Rustic label (Jimmie Dawson, 1957). There was also Allstar Records (Jim Friis And The Valiants, mid-sixties).  And Vincent Record Co. (Vincent Chiarelli?).
To that very short list, you now can add Sha-La-Mar.

Rockford housed  the Time Museum (now closed). It was the world's biggest museum dedicated to the history of humankind's efforts to measure time's passage.  Behind the times however is Debbie Sciame.  She bop like if the surf, the twist or even British Invasion have never happened.
No info about Mrs Sciame, unfortunately.

The only other record found on the same label is by Mr. Lonesome And The Knight Riders.   Mr. Lonesome is quite likely Bill Davis.  Bill Davis and/or the Knight Riders or Knight Ryders on Sara, Cuca and Ator,   The latter was located in a Rockford suburb at 1819 Juniper Lane, Loves Park.

Friday, August 9, 2013

China Rock

Hank Paul and his Rainbow Valley Boys

China Rock

CTG Shirely


Pressed by RCA Records (custom division) in September or October 1960. 
Matrix numbers are from a batch of Midwest labels (Chicago mastering and  Indianapolis pressing).  

A Midwest label, for sure.   No further info.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Irene Reid
 with Kelly Owens Orchestra

Crossroads (BMI)
Savoy 1170

Recorded in New-York, August 8, 1955
Budd Johnson, Jerome Richardson (tenor saxophone) Dave McRae (baritone saxophone) Kelly Owens (piano, arranger) Milt Hinton (bass) Panama Francis (drums) Irene Reid (vocals)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Splish Splash Twist


 (B. Darin-J.Murray, Portrait BMI)
An Aragon and Therry production
Del-Fi 4174

 March 1962

Co-producer Aragon is Johnny Aragon who had at least 3 "teen" records on Airlok (re-issued on 20th Fox), Dondee and Sound-O-Rama.
Other producer is Nick Therry.  Nick wrote the lyrics of "Too Soon" which was sung by Duke Mitchell (uncredited) in the movie "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla" (1952).   He recorded for Spin-It Records in the mid-fifties, a label he co-owned in Hollywood with Eddie LeBaron.  And in 1956, he was doing some promotion for Bill Haley in the West Coast.

But who was Desda ?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Hear My Baby

Bixie Crawford

Indigo Records #104

June 1960

Arranged and directed by Evelyn [Evlen on label] Freedman (sister of Ernie Freeman) and her husband Tommy Roberts.

Bixie (above) was born in Oklahoma City in 1923. After her short stay with Buddy Banks in 1949, she became vocalist for the new Count Basie Band in 1952.


She was fired when Basie's wife discovered her making advances toward the Count.

"Before she joined Count Basie orchestra as singer, Bixie Crawford was teaching school in Los Angeles.   She holds classes for band members in French and Spanish" (quoted, Jet Magazine, September 4, 1952)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Colorado Queenie

Eddie Skelton

John Reynolds-Bill Way, Moss-Rose BMI
produced by Cliff Williamson
Chart Records 5077
Eddie Skelton RCS page