Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Heart Jumped

The Wilson Sisters
My Heart Jumped

Dick Liberatore
Briarcliff  BMI

Bethlehem 3032

Written by D.J. Alan Freed's son-in-law, Dick Liberatore, "My Heart Jumped" was first recorded by Bobby Fuller on Yucca Records.  The three other known songs by the Wilson Sisters  are also covers. The sisters were promoted to the main King Records label before the end of the year just in time for Christmas. 

Not an uncommon name in music.  I've found three other "Wilson Sisters"  : one on Freedom in 1958, another one was a hillbilly act who also recorded as The Beaver Valley Sweethearts, and a third, a soul/gospel group on Solid Soul (1968).   But who where these young Wilson Sisters is still a mystery.

Mister Dream  (Bethlehem 3032),  cover of Paul Chandler, Rendezvous Records, 1962

Little Klinker   (King 5724)   previously recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1962

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth  (King 5724) originally recorded by Spike Jones & His City Slickers in 1947, with lead vocal by George Rock.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A very quiet Christmas with The Royals

The Royals

E. Berlin, ASCAP

Vagabond Records VR 444

The Royals were Larry Riera, accordion and piano, Al King Guitar and Tony Castro Drums, 

Larry (Lawrence George) Riera was born in 1937 in Oakland, California where he began his life-long career in the music  He taught music at Fiore's Music in Oakland, and played accordion and piano with his band The Royals. He later owned Riera's TV Music in the Tri-Valley, and then was the top salesman at Kamen Music Corporation for many years.   He died in 2012.

One of his students, Rocky Howard, set the Guinness world record for accordion marathon (72 hours continuous playing on an accordion) at Touch of Italy restaurant in West Covina, California December 9-11, 1979 and held it until 1983.

Records by The Royals have been described as Surf, Garage, or Elevator Music, the latter seems to me the more realistic tag, but like my fellow bloggers I HAD to post a Christmas music...  I am asking for your indulgence.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Yodlin' Hobo

Porky and The Travelers
Vocal By Al Witherow

Yodlin' Hobo

ABS 144


Al "Porky" Witherow was born to Bob and Pauline Witherow in York, Pennsylvania back in 1935.   Music was a part of his family, for they would listen to the big country stations back then, WWVA out of Wheeling, West Virginia and WSM in Nashville, Tennessee.

When he was just four years old, he made his singing debut with his sister Betty, doing some gospel songs.

During the Korean war, Bob Hope wanted Mr. Witherow along to entertain the troops on his numerous USO tours. He worked with such famed Grand Ole Opry acts as Ernest Tubb, Minnie Pearl, Tex Ritter and Grandpa Jones.

He toured for over twenty years with his band the Travelers and the Country Mystery.  He recorded in the seventies for Arctic Records, which was his own label, located in Vails Gate, New York.

Music was seemingly always a part of his life. He went back to York in 1977 to care for his parents. He later enjoyed a career as a training manager at the local chain of Denny's Restaurants in York for over 14 years. In 1997, he retired to Inverness, but kept entertaining the folks there as well and helping out where he could. 

He died in 2004 in his home in Inverness, Florida.

Acknowledgments :

 Al "Porky" Witherow - The Pride of The Western Empire

Al "Porky" Witherow
The Pride of The Western Empire (1969)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Beach Party

The Echoettes and Johnny
Music by Big Fat Mike and his Fatheads

Beach Party
Sprofera-Hilliker; M E Inc., BMI

Swell Records
Music Enterprises Inc.
744 Broad St., 
Newark, N.J.


From the sunny shores of New Jersey come The Echoettes, who are probably Grace Hilliker & Judy Sprofera, composers of Beach Party.  They made locally enough splashes for catching the attention of George Goldner who issued two of their compositions  "Your Love" and "Donny" on his Goldisc label in 1960. The record was issued as by "Dee and Lee"

Nothing more is known about this record.  This is not the Swell label releasing The Humanoids "Space Walk/The Flight Of GT-5". And this is not the Echoettes on Train Records, who were Betsy and Laura.  

The other side is by Johnny and The Echoettes which can be heard on YT.  Johnny is possibly Johnny Pascale.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Your Feet's Too Big

Marty Roberts
And His Nightriders

ARC 8003

Born Martin Robert Schopp in 1918 in Chenoa (Illinois).

Marty Roberts got an early start to his radio career when he was appearing on WDZ in Illinois when he was only in his second year of high school.  At the age of 17,  he was the bass fiddle player with The Lone Pine Fiddlers, a bluegrass group led by String Bean Akeman, who became a longtime member of The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn. and a star of the long-running television show, "Hee Haw."

In 1937, he played bass with Ted DeLeon and his Mexican Caballeros, toured the country with the band by private train.

A year later, Roberts was playing with the Moon Mullins Dixieland Band in Greensboro, N.C., when he got his first big break.
"Three guys came in one night wearing cowboy hats. They needed a bass player. They said they were the Tennessee Ramblers and they worked at WBT in Charlotte, N C.   They had just made a movie with Gene Autry."  
The Ramblers were one of the biggest country music groups in the nation in the late 1930s and early 1940s.   Roberts, joined the Ramblers and with them made a movie with Autry ("Ride, Ranger, Ride") and with Tex  Ritter ("Riding the Cherokee Trail").   He also began recording with and without the Ramblers. He did some of the vocals for their Bluebird recordings.  He was also a member of the WBT Briarhoppers. During that time, Marty's name was Tex Martin. 

Around late summer of 1943, Marty was appearing regularly on The Breakfast Frolic show over radio station WJJD in Chicago when he got drafted by Uncle Sam to serve his country during World War II.   

In the mid-1950s, he was spinning Country and Western records with Nelson King on the mighty WCKY in Cincinnati, Ohio.   (WCKY could be heard throughout most of the eastern half of the United States, up into Canada and specifically into the southern half of the country and down into the Caribbean islands.)

At least 3 records were issued by Dome Records (1951-1953) and 4 on Coral Records (1953-1955) before the two singles recorded by Rite Records of Cincinnati and issued on their "in-house" ARC label. 

Marty passed away in November 2009 in St. Petersburg, Florida, survived by his two sons, Allen and Martin.

"Happy Tex" Martin, a.k.a. Marty Roberts

Friday, December 18, 2015

Crying In My Heart

Guitar Slim
Elton Anderson, D.J.E. Publishing BMI

Wheeler-Winter Productions

Diamond (Diamond Jim) 204

This is Johnny Winter.   On his association with the Diamond/Diamond Jim label see The Johnny Winter Story 
Johnny actually "cut his teeth" in Louisiana, and learned much from many of those artists. Johnny has always been kinda tightlipped on some of his real early session work, and understandably so. His guitarmanship with Burl Boykin, The Blues Kings, Elton Anderson and Margaret Lewis, shows some flaws. A rough lick here and there, as does some of his session work with Clarence Garlow. But it also shows is just how fast he became an accomplished guitarist. Most people think of 1962 as the earliest Johnny recordings, with the Jammer's 45 thrown in as a fluke for a 15 year old! That was hardly the case. Johnny was already working as hard as he possibly could at 15. Roy Ames tried to lay claim to taking Johnny to sessions when he was that young. Johnny was using every avenue available to him to fine-tune his skill, and actually Roy came along well after Johnny had been recorded many times. Still, in later years, Roy tried to claim Johnny's earliest works as "his doing". Claiming tracks like Geisha Rock, or Ice Cube were recorded even prior to Johnny and the Jammers, by him.  (

Diamond Jim Wheeler (1939-2010), owner of the label, was a lifelong musician and also worked as a pipefitter/welder with Local #195. 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hide And Seek

Ben Morris And The Imperials
Vocal Vern Bennett

Hide And Seek
Paul Winley- Ethel Byrd
Reference BMI

BIM Records #1300
Likely a Quaker State one-off release.  "Hide and Seek" was first recorded by Joe Turner (Atlantic, '55) and covered by Ken Carson (Media, '55) and Bill Haley (Decca, '56).  I can't find evidence of any other recording by Vern Bennett. A pseudonym ?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Work It Out


Work It Out
John Kluska

Orlyn 502

Band named after the Plymouth Savoy model they drove to gigs in.  (The Savoy model itself was named, like the Plaza and Belvedere models, after an upscale hotel, the Savoy Hotel in London).  They had at least another record on Summit Records (out of Harley, Illinois) : "Can It Be" / "Now She's Left Me", songs also written by John Kluska.

The Orlyn label were named after its owner Oren Stembel and his wife Marilyn.

As one of the most intriguing and revered independent record labels from Chicago, Orlyn specialized in teenage garage-punk and psychedelic sounds.  The label existed from about 1965-1969 and it was an extension of the Records Unlimited Recording Studio located near Wabash and Lake Streets in downtown Chicago.

Gary Knaus, Graf Zepplin's rhythm guitarist, who recorded there in May 1968, recalls  :
The studio was quite an interesting place.  As I recall, Orie Stembel,
who ran the studio, was a cigar chomping bald headed guy with a
diamond pinkie.  He had a guy who did the mixing and the sound;
he was really good.  The engineer was great, he added a lot.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Answers From The Bottle

Little Leon Payne

 Geneni Records TG-003
 Arranged By Vic Lance
Producer T.V. Mikel's
  T.V. Mikel's Film Productions, Inc.
This is Albert Leon Payne, son of Dusty Payne, His father recorded two collectible rockabilly singles in 1956-1957.  Little Leon started recording when he was 9 or 10, toured, played for years and.retired from music around 2000.  "Answers From The Bottle" was previously recorded by Sonny Leonard for Radco Records (produced by Dusty Payne, 1963)

Little Leon Payne Discography
DACO 701 : History Of Love / King Of The Hills (1962)
RADCO 703/704: Cindy Lou / I Like Girls (1962, With The Playmates)
GENENI 003-004 : .Hard Row To Hoe / .Answers From The Bottle (1966)
BEN HUR 711  : Hard Roe To Hoe / Angel Judy (as by Leon Payne, date unknown)
Vic Lance, the arranger, had the only other record known on the Geneni label.  Born in 1939 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA as Victor Lewis Lance, he was an actor and composer, known for Weekend Lovers (1969), Lila (1968) and The Exotic Dreams of Casanova (1971).  See

Ted V. Mikels (born Theodore Mikacevich in 1929, in St. Paul, Minnesota) is a filmmaker primarily of the horror cult film genre. Movies that he has both produced and directed include Girl in Gold Boots (1968), The Astro-Zombies (1968), and The Doll Squad (1973).   One of his first movie, The Black Klansman (a.k.a. I Crossed The Color Line),  did well at the box office, and was successful enough for Mikels to start his own distribution company: Geneni Film Distributing.   Released in 1965 — a time when public interest in civil rights was at its peak — the film is about a black man who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan trying to learn who killed his daughter.   In true exploitation fashion, the film features plenty of interracial bed-hopping.

Billboard ad, 26 November 1966
Address of Geneni Records is the address of the MGM studios, where T.V. Mikels had an office

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mean Woman Blues

Skora Recording Company

No info.  The label certainly looks like these labels out of Arizona ?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Do The Kuryakin

Ann Boleyn
Do The Kuryakin
S. Holtzman - V. Holtzman, Langtry BMI
Mammoth Records 821
This was possibly recorded in Houston by Scott Holtzman and his wife Vivian.

Formerly operating in Los Angeles, Mammoth's vice-president and general manager James Wright moved his music label business to the less studio-competitive San Francisco in July 1962. There, the label recorded and released product to at least 1966.

Houston music columnist Scott Holtzman, whose weekly column, “Now Sounds,” in The Houston Post, gave invaluable print exposure to the city’s burgeoning music scene and youth culture.   Holtzman, with his wife, Vivian, would go on to produce and manage Houston’s psych/pop band, Fever Tree.