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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mama - Come Save Your Child

Maureen Cannon

Mama - Come Save Your Child
Lincoln Chase, Robert Mellin, Inc. BMI

Orchestra directed by Milton DeLugg
Jubilee 45-5272

Born in Chicago in 1924, Maureen Cannon appeared in short films and on stage, playing and singing in musical productions (she was Rosie, an aspiring singer in Up In Central Park, 1945-1946).  She sang on the Goodyear Revue television program from 1949 to 1952.

In September 1952, Derby Records released a couple of tunes featuring Maureen Cannon and the Striders: "Did I Speak Out Of Turn"/"Yes Lord."
DERBY 809 — Maureen Cannon turns in a bright performance as she bows on the Derby label with a swingy rendition of the Willard Robison gospel- styled oldie, backed in fair style by the chorus and ork.
Maureen Cannon made her first Chicago public appearance in her hometown in Augut 1954 with her singing, "fresh from TV and Broadway."

Not much information can be found about her career after 1958, date of release of her second Jubilee single.
She was on tour in England (1960) and Brazil (1961).
 In 1965 she was hired to replace the ailing actress (Sylvia Posedel) in Gypsy, a musical (probably in Portland, Oregon?) and according to one account "She reopened the show after only a few days of rehearsal"
Maureen Cannon  died in New York in 2003


Maureen Cannon And The Striders
1952 — Derby 809  Yes, Lord/Did I Speak Out Of Turn
Maureen Cannon /Orch. directed By Milton DeLugg
1957 — Jubilee 5272 : Mama - Come Save Your Child / Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh 
Maureen Cannon, musical director Billy Rock
1958 — Jubilee 5314.I Double Dare You / I'm Never Satisfied

Monday, December 15, 2014

Who Is It This Time?

Ethel Ennis

Spiral Records #1234
 1971 or early 1972?

Ethel Llewellyn Ennis (born November 28, 1932, in Baltimore, Maryland) began performing on the piano in high school, but her natural vocal abilities soon eclipsed those as a pianist. Embarking on a solo career, she recorded a number of sides for Atlantic Records before the Lp debut, 1955's Lullabies for Losers was released by Jubilee Records. In 1957, Ennis moved to the Capitol Records label for a two-album contract, and A Change of Scenery was released. Soon after the 1958 follow-up Lp Have You Forgotten, Ennis took a six-year hiatus from recording during which she toured Europe with Benny Goodman. [Wikipedia]

This is one of few singles she recorded in New York for Gladys Shelley's Spiral Records in the early seventies.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Jailhouse Rock

Eli Whitney

One of the many budget labels operated by the Synthetics Plastics Company (or SPC) of Newark, New Jersey 
Eli Whitney, whoever he really is,  wasn't the most prolific name used on the label.  I've found only four titles performed by this pseudonymous artist, whose name was obviously devised to cover the Elvis Presley hits of the day.

The three others are Wear My Ring (58),  I Got Stung (58) and I Need Your Love Tonight (59).

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I'm Your Slave

Jeanie Allen

J.Allen, Scope Music, Inc. BMI
Vocal background by The Beavers 
with orchestra conducted by Marvin Montgomery
A Robert Lissauer Production
Arliss 1001
Arliss Records, a division of Scope Music, Inc., N.Y.C.
This is the first record issued on Arliss Records,which was the only label, I think, ever owned by veteran songwriter, publisher and artists manager Robert Lissauer.

Orchestra leader and vocal backing are the same on the second Arliss release (Eddie McDuff) and both, Arliss 1001 and 1002, are probably from the same session (held in Dallas?)

Marvin Montgomery was by the early 1950s to 1962 the musical director of the Big D Jamboree, a weekly radio show syndicated nationally from Dallas that featured well-known and rising stars in country music.

The Beavers : siblings Judy, Rick and Robin joined the Big D Jamboree about 1958. Their repertoire included songs such as "If I Had A Hammer" and the traditional ballad "Barbara Allen".  They backed local artists on several recording sessions, such as Dub Dickerson and Bobby Crown among others.

I've not discovered much info about the singer Jeanie Allen.  Was she from Texas? I don't known.  Anyhow, she has certainly worked closely with Bob Lissauer in New York, first as songwriter and later as his assistant.  
Before recording two singles for the new Mala label in 1959, Jeanie Allen co-authored "Look Out I'm Fallin In Love " with Clint Ballard, Jr., a song recorded by The Morrison Sisters on Decca (1958). Her pen name then was Jean Kieffer.

Jeanie Allen discography
 Mala 402 - Jeanie Allen - I Can't Stand It / Tony - 1959
Mala 403 - Jeanie Allen - I Really Love You / Nobody To Love Me - 1959
Arliss 1001 - I'm Your Slave / It's All Over Now - 1960
Robert Lissauer (1917–2004) Bob Lissauer was born in New York City where he attended the Juilliard School and then worked with Irving Berlin on his musical This Is the Army. From this production "Yanks A Poppin" was developed as a show that could be performed for troops in the field. As a soldier in World War II, Lissauer managed a production unit that traveled across the Pacific Theater.
After the war he managed the song library of Vincent Youmans, the composer of standards like "More Than You Know" and "Tea for Two,'' and worked as a record producer and songwriter. 
In 1955, Bob Lissauer opened two new publishing firms. Mode Music, Inc., is his ASCAP .outlet, while Scope Music, Inc., is his BMI affiliate.

A lifetime of experience led to his writing Lissauer's Encyclopedia of Popular Music in America (first edition, 1991)

Arliss listing (1960-1962)
 1001 Jeanie Allen
1002 Eddie Mcduff
1003 Jimmy Randolph
1004 The Preludes
1006 Lonnie Heard (Original Member Of The Five Dollars/Don Juans On Fortune Records)
1007 Karl Hammel, Jr.
1008 Jay And Dee (early Doris Troy)
1010 Pancho Villa
1012 The Expressions
1013 Joe Bragg
3301 Sam Sacks (LP)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Scratchin' On My Screen

Feelin' Joyous

(new link)

Ric Cartey-Larry Handley
Lowery Music

El Rico 069 1/2

A reworking of the song recorded four years earlier by Ric Cartey on NRC.  Feelin' Joyous is quite possibly Ric Cartey himself.  The song, written by Cartey, was loosely based on the old country blues "Diggin' My Potatoes".  The P.O Box on label is the address of the Lowery Music Company. 

Carole Joyner and Ric Cartey

Ric Cartey will be remembered as the co-writer of "Young Love". Few songs have charted in so many different versions. Alongside the chart-topping renditions of Sonny James and Tab Hunter, there were hit versions by The Crew Cuts (# 17, 1957), Lesley Gore (# 50, 1966), Connie Smith & Nat Stuckey (# 20 country, 1969), Donny Osmond (# 25, 1973) and Ray Stevens (# 93, 1976).

Ric Cartey was a protégé of the Atlanta-based music publisher and record producer Bill Lowery, who launched the Stars label in 1956 with Cartey (and his group the Jiv-A-Tones) as his principal artist. Ric's debut single, "Ooh-Ee", was reviewed in the C&W section of Billboard (November 24, 1956) and scored a 90, a rating rarely given. "A unique listening experience", wrote the reviewer. Hidden on the backside of this rockabilly number was a ballad in a completely different style, "Young Love", which Cartey had written together with his girl friend, Carole Joyner.