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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

BOB CELLI TALKS ABOUT UPCOMING BOBBY VEE RELEASE

I would like to say that I was the all-time biggest Bobby Vee fan. However, I am not a guy who lies. I have to settle for the second biggest Vee fan. Who's #1?

His name is Bob Celli. He's the head of the Bobby Vee fan and collectors' clubs. He helps out with new releases - doing research, providing pictures, and writing informative liner notes.

As you may or may not know, a Bobby Vee "Rarities" 2CD set has been in the works for years, and will finally be released at the beginning of 2011. Mr. Celli played a big part in this project, going to the Capitol Tower in California to gather the previously-unheard material from the vaults.

I know you're dying for more information - so take a seat, grab a Coke, and read all about it as Bob Celli provides all the details!


(photo:Bob Celli at the Capitol Mastering Suite)




Kyler:How did the project come about?

BC:Well, I had been bugging Bobby since the early eighties about getting this stuff out. Our first thought was to combine the Vee/Crickets unreleased tracks with the Clovis session. We pulled the tracks and got some interest from EMI International but that soon died. A couple of years ago, I asked Bobby if I could approach EMI UK with the project and he gave me his blessings. Jon Wilson at EMI gave me the go ahead on it. One of the EMI/Cap people over here sent me pdf files of all the tracks that were in the vault, finished mixes and multi tracks. Bobby and I went over the lists and decided which tracks were worth getting. I was the logical choice for the one to make the trip as I knew the most about what was there.

Kyler:How many of the unissued tracks had you heard before and how many were new to you? Did Bobby remember the majority of the material?

BC:Roughly half if I were to make a guess, and half I hadn't heard. I think after Bobby listened to them his memory was sufficiently jogged!

Kyler:How were the tapes catalogued and were they easily accessible?

BC:The tapes were all bar coded so all I had to do was look at the pdf files I had and copy the bar code. Jack Arenas, the tape librarian at Capitol was given the list and they were all waiting for me when I arrived.

Kyler:Did you have to go through multiple takes to find the finished versions?

BC:The masters were usually marked, for example- Save A Love take 16C final. Sometimes I would liste to alternate takes. That's how I found that neat little version of "Foolish Tears"

Kyler:What was it like listening to the multi tracks?

BC:Very exciting! When the tapes are played for evaluation, they are automatically mixed, so you hear essentially what they will sound like finished. I remember the engineer staring at one of the speakers during "Party Doll". Sensing the queried look on his face I said "Cardboard Box!" He heard the unusual drumming sound of Jerry Allison playing a box instead of drums as they did on the original Buddy Knox record. One of the neat moments!


(photo: The former United Studio B, where Bobby Vee recorded many of his classic tunes)




Kyler:Can you describe some of the gems you found while you were there?

BC:There were several. I was anxious to hear "Stagger Lee" and "Party Doll" from the Vee/Crickets sessions. I was also most curious about a song title "I'd Sigh, I'd Cry". Bobby thought it was another tune that started out "I made you sigh, I made you cry" but it was totally different. It was a simple little demo that cried out for strings to be added, and they were back at RockHouse. I also wanted to find the single version of "Hickory Dick and Doc" which I did, and the studio version of the "Live On Tour" album. There will be three tracks from that lp along with the entire Nashville session that spawned "Hickory Dick and Doc"

Kyler:Any rarities from the set that you feel could have been A-Sides for Bobby in the 60s?

BC:That's a difficult question and very subjective. I like "Bittersweet" and "Heartache of Yesterday" as album tracks. Nothing jumps out at me as a major hit though, maybe "You'll Be Needing Me Baby"

Kyler:Were you anxious to find all of the previously mono-only material and mix it to stereo 40+ years after they had been out on 45s?

BC:Probably more interested in hearing those as some of the unreleased stuff. "Stranger In You Arms", "Pretend You Don't See Her" are two that jump out at me!

Kyler:How long did the transfers take?

BC:I was there for four days.

Kyler:During those four days, roughly how many tracks did you transfer?

BC:One hundred thirty.


(photo:Bobby Vee in the mid-sixties. Many of the tracks on the upcoming Rarities package date from this period.)




Kyler:Any problems with the tapes?

BC:I wanted to retrieve "Run To Him" to see if I could clean the noise up on the vocal. When we looked at it there were about a dozen splices. We did a few repairs , but seeing it was getting time consuming, I passed. There are a couple of clunks on it that I haven't been able to remove but since this had nothing to do with the project, the answer would be "No, there weren't any problems"

Kyler:Were the tapes transfered on vintage tube machines? I have heard that some studios do not use the proper equipment...

BC:The engineer used two, three and four track heads on the same machine and they were transferred to a portable hard drive. They also made several DVD copies of the tracks as a back up. The tapes sounded like they were recorded yesterday!

Kyler:Who mixed the multis into stereo?

BC:I rough mixed everything first and sent them up to RockHouse. Jeff Vee did the final mixing.

Kyler:Will the mixes be faithful to the original sixties style?

BC:Several things will be improved due to the mixing programs now available. Jeff was good at panning the tracks and had a good ear for filling in blank spots to make the tracks sound fuller.





I hope you have enjoyed this special interview! You can find the offical Bobby Vee website at www.bobbyvee.net and the Bobby Vee Collectors Club (run by Bob Celli) HERE.

"Rarities" by Bobby Vee, a 61 song 2CD set, is available for pre-order at the RARE ROCKIN' RECORDS ONLINE STORE. The set will be ready to ship on or about January 30, 2011.


To all the RRR blog readers, thanks so much for your support. We will see you next year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

LESLEY GORE - HITS AND RARITIES

A great new TEENSVILLE release - Lesley Gore, direct from the masters, with many tunes and versions you simply haven't heard before!

Hear LOOK OF LOVE, sleigh bells version, unfaded! TWO previously unreleased Gore tracks! Plenty more where that came from - It doesn't get much better, folks.




1. Look Of Love
2. All Of My Life
3. I Won’t Love You Anymore (Sorry)
4. We Know We’re In Love
5. Young Love
6. Treat Me Like A Lady
7. Summer And Sandy
8. Brink Of Disaster (stereo)
9. Magic Colors
10. Small Talk
11. He Gives Me Love (La La La)
12. I Can’t Make It Without You
13. 98.6/ Lazy Day
14. Summer Symphony
15. You Don’t Own Me (Italian)
16. Judy’s Turn To Cry (Italian)
17. If Our Songs Still Make (Why Can’t We?)
18. America’s Sweetheart

Pre-order now at the Rare Rockin' Records shop!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

BRITISH TEEN RARITIES 1960-1965

For those who have been anxiously awaiting new releases, the wait is only a little longer!

BRITISH TEEN RARITIES 1960-1965



1. PETER GORDENO - I'll Kiss Your Teardrops Away
2. JIMMY CRAWFORD - Thank You
3. JAN BURNNETTE - ‘Til I Hear The Truth From You
4. BRAD NEWMAN - I’ll Find You Another Baby
5. BRIAN WESKE - Where Does The Clown Go
6. THE KAYE SISTERS - Keep On Lovin' Me 
7. DEAN STEVENS - I've Just Heard
8. DAVID MACBETH - A Brother Like You 
9. JOSH HANNA - When I Love You
10. LANCE FORTUNE - Will You Still Be My Girl
11. LYNDA GRAHAM - You’d Better Believe It 
12. DANNY DAVIS - Rumours 
13. AL SAXON - Believe Me
14. TONY SHEVETON - Lullaby Of Love
15. SANDRA BROWNE - You'd Think He Didn't Know Me
16. DAVID MARTIN - Why Have You Treated Me This Way  
17. ANDEE SILVER - Sleeping Beauty
18. RUSS SAINTY - Unforgettable Love
19. PETER GORDENO - The Makings Of A Man
20. MIKE HURST - Any Chance For Me
21. BOBBI CAROL - It Doesn't Matter   
22. DEAN STEVENS - Let Me Show You Now
23. MARY JANE - Robot Man   
24. GERRY RENO - What Would You Do
25. SUSAN SINGER - Lock Your Heart Away
26. COL JAMES - Gonna Settle Down
27. MARK PETERS - Don't Cry For Me
28. GARY LANE - Start Walking Boy
29. THE AVONS - Once Upon A Summer’s Day
30. TIM CONNOR - So Long, Baby



Also, be on the lookout for a new CD from our favourite girl-pop legend LESLEY GORE featuring all new stereo mixes, some rare monos, unreleased and foreign tracks!!!!! You read that right folks.

Have a happy and joyous holiday season from Rare Rockin Records.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The True 'Rain' Man - JOHN GUMMOE

You may know the name, you may not. But you certainly know the voice. The Cascades had some of the greatest pop harmony records and of course one of the biggest selling singles in the early 60s. Please enjoy reading this interview with the one and only JOHN GUMMOE.




Kyler:To start off - is it really true that you guys got the name for your group from a box of laundry detergent?

JOHN:Yes, it's true. Actually it was dishwashing soap; still around today.

Kyler:How did you get the attention of Valiant Records?

JOHN:Our manager, Andy Di Martino took a demo tape to them and they played it, liked my songs and my voice. There were about 40 songs on it, some by me and some by others in the group.

Kyler:Were The Cascades pressured into recording Barry DeVorzon material because he was the head of the label, or did the group make the decision to record those songs?

JOHN:We were not pressured to record their songs. We liked them, but still wanted to record more of ours, but when you are young and inexperienced you go with the "suits" for fear of being let go or dropped for not cooperating?



Kyler:“There’s A Reason” was the first single and of course “Rhythm of the Rain” was the second. They are both classic hits. How did The Cascades deal with the sudden fame?

JOHN:We were excited as would be expected and our managers made many mistakes after our success. Mainly not booking us correctly. We should have been at all the major venues and cites across the world. Instead, we were doing one nighters in the midwest. The group, most of them thought we'd arrived and didn't realize that once you have a hit, you still have to fight to stay on top. I'd have to say we slipped out of the limelight due to mismanagement though.

Kyler:What were the circumstances behind the creation of “Rhythm Of The Rain” (the song)?

JOHN:Rhythm of the Rain unfolded over a couple of years starting with the title which I thought had a nice ring, then I began writing the lyrics which came a little at a time although even then I had a melody in my head. The idea came while sailing on the U.S.S Jason and it was raining and storming like crazy and that's when I began creating the song. I thought the idea of the rain talking to you was novel and later on the group and I recorded a demo of it.



Kyler:“Punch And Judy” is a standout track from the Valiant album that was never given single status. Any information behind that one?

JOHN:Punch and Judy was just one of the songs submitted by Barry De Vorzon's stable of writers. I don't think there's a bad song on that album. Barry and his guys had songs that were great for us and our sound, but again, we had some pretty good songs as well which finally came to light in 1997 when Taragon Records issued "The Very Best of the Cascades".

Kyler:Why did The Cascades leave Valiant for RCA?

JOHN:Valiant forgot to pick up our option on our contract and we were longing even more to do our own thing. Record our own songs and play on our own recordings. As many know, that first album was backed by studio musicians which included Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Glen Campbell and many other great musicians of the day. It's a great album, but as a group we wanted to grow and progress. We were a really good band as well as being a vocal group.

Kyler:You had many great releases for RCA. Just a few of them are “For Your Sweet Love”, “A Little Like Lovin’”, and “Cinderella”. I am baffled as to why The Cascades never had a huge hit during this time period. Was it due to lack of promotion or changing music styles?

JOHN: I wish I had the answer to that question. "Cinderella" did well for us in some of the Asian markets. "For your Sweet Love" a Jerry Fuller song, bubbled under the top 100, same with "A Little like Lovin". I never understood why our RCA releases were not put out as an album.



Kyler:I noticed that there were many unreleased (at the time) tracks from the RCA days. Did you and the group have a say in what went released and what stayed in the can, or was that the producer’s decision?

JOHN: We had no say in what was released on RCA. Our producer was Joe Reisman, great producer and a nice guy, but he was all wrong for us. Joe did people like Henry Mancini, he just didn't have the "chops" for a pop group like us.

Kyler:I have to ask about some records that don’t get much mention but are really fabulous. When you were at CRC-Charter records, you recorded a tune called “She Was Never Really Mine To Lose”, which was reminiscent of the early 60s Cascades sound. Were you going for a similar sound to try to rack up another monster hit?

JOHN: "She was never really mine to lose" is still one of my favorite Cascade songs and yes we were trying for another monster hit. CRC Charter had no clout in the business. It was our managers label and had poor promotion and poor distribution. Should have been a monster.

Kyler:Another obscure one that I really like is called “All’s Fair in Love and War”. It has such a great pop sound. Please tell our readers anything you remember about that one.

JOHN: All's Fair in love and War was written by Bob Stone who wrote "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" and we thought it was a good release, but again if you don't have the promotion and the right distribution, it just isn't going to happen.

Kyler:“Cheryl’s Goin’ Home” was written by Bob Lind – was The Cascades version the original?

JOHN:"Cheryl's Goin Home" and the flip side, "Truly Julies Blues" were songs we were very high on. The songs were submitted to us as demo's and "Truly Julies Blues" was headed for the charts when all of a sudden, Bob Lind released his version of the song and it really killed BOTH versions. It bubbled under but that was it.



Kyler:Do you have a favorite song (Cascades or otherwise) that you recorded throughout the years?

JOHN:I have several favorites. I love "The Last Leaf" and I've always loved, "Angel on my Shoulder". Shelby Flint, the composer of that one told me she was surprised at it's success as she wrote it as a children's song. I also love "She Was never Mine to lose"

Kyler:Finally, I bet our readers would love to know what you are up to these days.

JOHN: For all the fans of Cascade music and me let me just say that we just returned from a very successful tour of The Philippines. Just got over the jet lag. My next gig is at the Orleans in Las Vegas along with good buddy, Ron Dante and Filipino Diva, Imelda Papin. I will be at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in April 2011. Would love to invite the fans to download Cascade music from itunes and Rhapsody and check out my romantic version of "Rhythm of the Rain" on youtube. Do a search for "Rhythm of the Rain 2005" Our lastest CD is "All the Way to Yesterday" available on itunes.





I wish to thank John Gummoe not only for allowing me to conduct this interview, but for all of the great music he has given the world. UNtil next time, keep on rockin'!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Holiday from Rare Rockin Records!

Hello all - just a quick note to everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving to enjoy your holiday. There are several new things in the works in the future, including an interview with Cascades frontman JOHN GUMMOE. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pop From 'The Boolevards'

Think The Beatles. Think Jangly Guitars. Think Solid Three-Minute-Pop-Love-Songs. And you have The Boolevards.



The Boolevards are Hugh Murphy (guitar), John Nowik (bass), and Joe Nowik (drums). They have two super CD's out at the moment, "Real Pop" and appropriately enough, "More Real Pop".

REAL POP



'Real Pop' is The Boolevards sophomore debut. On this album the lads display a clean cut sophistication approach to the classic merseybeat sound. The Rickenbackers are loud n clear starting from the first powerhouse cut, "Tell Me Baby". Other standout cuts are the sunshiney "It's Great" and Searchers meets Herman's Hermits-esque "Wanna Meet Ya".


MORE REAL POP




'More Real Pop' starts where 'Real Pop' left off. Except this time The Boolevards have a little bite to their sweetness. The first cut, "Roxanna" (the longest ever Boolevards song - clocking in at over 4 minutes) sounds like it could be a lost Raspberries song from the early 70s. It's still insanely catchy stuff, but with a little more power pop to the merseybeat flavor. Whereas the shortest cut, "She's The One" is back with the pre-'64 Beatles sound - still a glorious thing! "Beat The Clock" is another great one that will please any fans of The Knack or The Romantics.


You can buy The Boolevards CD's at CDBaby.com. Get your Beatle Boots (I've got mine!), black suit, skinny tie, drainpipe pains, and relive the 60s with The Boolevards!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

DINING, DANCING, AND TALKING WITH MR. RICK RANDELL

There are some teen/pop artists from the 60s that are good. Then there are some that are great. But wait! There's another category - the elite - the outstanding, amazing, and the awesome. Rick Randell is truly all of the above and the Rare Rockin Records blog is proud to present an interview with this legend of music.

Rick's real name is Rocco Gaeta and he has some truly interesting tidbids behind the records you all know and love. Check it out!



Kyler:Rick, to start off let me just say that you are one of our all time favorite artists and it is a pleasure to be interviewing you. Where were you born and raised? Did you know you wanted to sing from an early age?

RICK:I was born and raised in Newark, NJ, in the Ironbound neighborhood. Still a thriving, vibrant area of Newark. The radio in our home was always on. My mother loved Country/Western music. I loved the sound of the steel guitars. My parents bought me a guitar when I was 9 years old. In the 8th grade my family moved to the suburb of Bloomfield, NJ where I attended Jr. High and High School.

Kyler:I have heard a recording from 1958 by “Rick Randle and The Rockers”. Is this in fact a Rick Randell recording and how did it come to be?

RICK:In Jr. High I started a band called “The Rockers”. This group lasted into High School where we would play for the HS dances. We also did Rock n Roll Sock Hops at Daley’s Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, NJ every Saturday for 2000 attending teens. The owners of ARC Records (Ed Danback/Joe DiMaggio – not the baseball player) heard us, liked us and signed us. We recorded “That Day” side A and “I’m Hurt” side B in 1959. We managed to be on the “Alan Freed” radio show, THE Rock n Roll number one show at that time. This is when “The Rockers’ became known as “Rick and the Rockers”.

Kyler:Tell our readers about “Rick and The Randells”. You had a really nice doo wop record with them called “Honey Doll”. Who were “The Randells”? Any history or insights?

RICK:People from ABC Paramount were interested in us from this first recording with ARC. So ARC let us out of the contract and wished us well as we signed with ABC Paramount. We recorded “Honey Doll” in 1959. That same year we recorded “Let it be You” for ABC. Since we were still in HS, permission from Parents and school district had to be obtained for Rick and the Rockers to go on a 2 month leave in order to tour the US and Canada. At this time we did an appearance on Dennis James’ Cerebral Palsy Telethon in NYC with such headliners as Connie Francis, Dwayne Eddie, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell etc… We were supposed to do 1-2 songs but the phones began to ring off the hook. We were the only performers to stay on live TV and continue playing for 45 minutes! The Rockers were Pete Schultz and Bobby Brown. We added Matty Ferrara and the 4 of us became “Rick and the Randells”.



Kyler:How did you get signed to Apt Records?

RICK:In 1960, ABC Paramount dropped the group, kept me (Rick Randell – Rocco Gaeta was too ethnic a name for the times) where I recorded for APT Records, a subsidiary of ABC Paramount.

Kyler:Out of your releases with Apt, which one did you think was the best? Among them are “More of The Same”, “Ring That Thing”, and “Mr. Butterfingers”.

RICK:My Favorite recording for APT was “Have You Ever Been Lonely”. It was a big production with full orchestra.



Kyler:How was it doing concerts and shows back then? Did you get to perform with any other 60s musicians, and if so, who were your favorites?

RICK:I was a regular at Palisades Park, NJ with host Clay Cole (a very dear friend ‘til today). I appeared with Joann Campbell, Leslie Gore, James Brown, Conway Twitty, Jackie Wilson, Joey Dee and the Starlighters, Everly Brothers, Jackie Wilson, The Shirelles, The Angels, Tommy James, Chubby Checker, Johnny Mathis, Tony Orlando (to name a few). These shows at Palisades Park were televised. My all time favorite performers and still close friends are Denise Ferri (The Angels) and Joey Dee. Although I appeared solo, I did still work with The Randells headlining 4 of NYC’s most famous nightclubs – Wagon Wheel, Metropole, Alan Freed’s Camelot and the infamous Peppermint Lounge.

Kyler:I would like to move on to your United Artists material now. What were the circumstances of signing with that label?

RICK:About 1962/3 ABC Paramount contract was up and United Artists made them an offer for me that they couldn’t refuse.

Kyler:There were two singles released on UA, which means four songs. Would you please tell us about each one and maybe any stories you have about them? For our readers - "Young At Heart", "Dining And Dancing", "Take My Name And Number" and "Stars" are the titles.

RICK:Permission had to be given to UA from Frank Sinatra in order for me to record “Young At Heart”. I had to sign a management contract with Al-Jill Enterprises (Al Schwartz/Jilly Rizzo). Jilly was very close friends with Frank Sinatra and owned one of NYC most famous night spots – “Jilly’s”. At this time “Dining and Dancing” was recorded. It is also one of my favorites. This recording received the most requests for air play from both coasts. “Stars” was a fun recording for me. Reaching these falsetto notes was never a problem – I had an extraordinary range. In 3rd grade in Newark, I won a talent contest by Yodeling – I still yodel pretty good today!



Kyler:Did you tour or do TV Shows to promote your UA releases?

RICK:I did the televised Clay Cole Show out of Palisades Park, NJ. I also did a nationally televised show (can’t remember the name) out of Baltimore with “The Big Bopper” – “Chantilly Lace”. The morning after this show, the Big Bopper and I were interviewed on Baltimore radio. After that interview, the Big Bopper boarded a plane with Richie Valens and Buddy Holly. The plane crashed – it was “The Day The Music Died”. Did tons of radio and dances to promote my recordings. Performed on a TV show “Upbeat” where James Brown was the guest host.

Kyler:In 1964 you signed with Decca and released a magnificent single called “Debbie”. It has been said Jay & The Americans do background vocals on it. Is this true?

RICK:Partly right. The Americans did do the background on “Debbie”. Jay was not part of this song. The connection to “Jay and the Americans” is that the writer of “Debbie” also wrote “She Cried” – a big hit for Jay and the Americans.

Kyler:Of course throughout the course of your career there were many other records released with your involvement. Did you ever record under a pseudonym? Are there any unreleased Rick Randell recordings still in the vaults from the 60s?

RICK:I recorded with Denise Ferri (the Angels) under the pseudonym of “Silky and Sage”. Joel Diamond produced us. In between all this, I always had a performing group for nightclubs with my dear, long-time friend Joe Pesci – called Pesci and Randell. In the late 60’s I signed with FTB Productions (Frankie, Tommy, Bobby) for MGM. These are 3 of “The Four Seasons”. I have been close friends with Joey and The Four Seasons for 50 years! We see each other all the time. Then Joe Pesci was signed using the name Jonathon Marcus. In 1973 Joey and I recorded “Mad About You Baby” and “What About Me”. I sing harmony and lead with Joe on both.



Kyler:Thanks for answering all these questions, Rick, our readers will really appreciate it! One last one, what are you up to these days and what do you think of when you look back upon the 60s???

RICK:I continued in the music business my entire adult life and made a good living with my group “Just Us” playing nightclubs in NY/NJ. I managed to get married and raise two beautiful daughters. This business is more than talent and looks – it is just plain LUCK! I enjoyed every single moment and I am so very pleased that my music is being appreciated by a new generation.

ROCK ON!!! Rick Randell




On behalf of Rare Rockin Records I would like to thank Rocco for taking the time to answer my questions and giving our readers a glimpse "behind the scenes"! Until next time, like Rick says, ROCK ON!

Monday, August 16, 2010

BUBBLING UNDER - OUT NOW!

The day you've been waiting, hoping, and praying for is finally here. You can now buy a copy of BUBBLING UNDER.

You may be asking, "why should I buy this compact disc?" or "what's so special about records that didn't even make the top 100?". Well, listen here, like I've said before, the best records didn't even come close to charting in the Top 100, and we've got 32 reasons to prove it!




WHAT YOU GET
_________________

-A CD packed with 32 tracks that bubbled under the Billboard Charts between the glorious years 1961-1964.

-32 page full color (or is it colour?) booklet jam packed with fabulous pictures of your favorite 60s stars and a very informative essay written by Mike Edwards.

-All tracks lovingly remastered by that character Johnny Gee from down in the dungeon of the Rare Rockin Records studio painstakingly discovering lost and rare audio gems.




VARIETY
_____________

When you buy the BUBBLING UNDER compact disc on RARE ROCKIN RECORDS, it's like buying an assorted box of chocolates with different flavors, so to speak. Check it out-

-Teen Idols (Dion, Del Shannon, Johnny Burnette)
-R&B superstars (Jackie Wilson, Johnny Nash)
-60s Child Actors (Johnny Crawford, Eddie Hodges)
-Doo Wop (The Five Satins, The Roommates)
-Girls! (The Murmaids, Linda Lloyd)
-Teen/Pop Vocal Groups (Barry & The Tamerlanes, The Cascades).

And really, there is so much more. It's totally worth it. Just buy it. Do it. Please. It's good. Really good. Honestly. I wouldn't lie to you. Or would I? Naaaah, I wouldn't.

You can purchase this compact disc direct from Ash @ RRR if you click RIGHT HERE

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DENISE FERRI - THE JERSEY GIRL BEHIND IT ALL

You might not know Denise Ferri by name. But you know her by voice. She sang on some of the most iconic records of the 1960s. We were fortunate enough to talk to her about those times and are proud to publish her interview below.








Kyler:Your first group was The Delicates and you made several records with them. Can you pick a favorite? Maybe you can share some experiences or memories you had with them?

Denise:My favorite record was “Black and White Thunderbird”, it was on the Unart label.We recorded it in 1958 while still in grammar school, we also wrote it. We toured a lot with that recording and it became a big hit on the east coast. It made so much noise that as a result we were invited to appear on “American Bandstand” .Lots of groups have covered that song over the years, and Disney/Pixar chose it to be part of the CD “Lightning McQueen’s Fast Tracks’ inspired by the film “Cars”. We are very proud of that song.

Kyler:As The Delicates, you were the official dancing girls for the infamous Murray The K. What was he really like??

Denise:Murray was a no nonsense guy, and a good friend. We became very close to him and he invited us to appear everywhere with him. We were the “original” dancing girls, and appeared on his 1010 Wins New York Radio show many times. We also wrote and recorded his radio show themes .including “the Swingin’ Soiree” Red, Hot and Blue” theme and the ever so popular “Submarine Race Watcher’s Theme.



Kyler:Also, while in The Delicates, you got a chance to perform back ups live for many of the stars of the day including Jackie Wilson, Bobby Rydell, Connie Francis, and many more. Would you appear onstage or behind the curtain? How did you like working on those types of shows.

Denise:Some were backstage in the wings at the Brooklyn Fox, and Paramount Theaters…I remember we backed Bobby Vee singing “bouncy bouncy” to his wonderful “Rubber Ball”. We also did a lot of studio work .making .demos and major recordings. I loved working those stage shows ..five shows a day for 10 days straight, with an incredible roster of stars. We were blessed to work on the Clay Cole Christmas Show at the Brooklyn Paramount. That show broke all exsisting records.

Kyler: You did many studio sessions as a background vocalist singing on so many records we here at Rare Rockin’ Records can’t count!! Would it be OK if I mentioned some of the artists you sang with in the studio, and then you could tell me a little bit about each session/person??

Denise:Absolutely!!

Kyler:OK, here we go. I was fascinated to learn that you sang on some of Allan Vallone’s records…..while he wasn’t a big star, we just love his music! Can you tell us more?

Denise:Allan Vallone, great singer, great guy. We recorded “The Hurt Goes On and On”..he had something very special and should have been bigger than he was. It was a fun session. I just recently found the song on Youtube, I haven’t heard it in over 40 years it sounded great!

Kyler:How About Patty Duke? Her biggest hit at the time was “Please Don’t Just Stand There”.

Denise:Patty Duke was wonderful. The nicest person you could ever meet, you would never know she was a huge star and an Academy Award winning actress. We did sessions with her that lasted several days. We recorded at least five songs for an album. She was so down to earth and treated us like old friends. We were all in the same recording booth so we had lots of time in between takes to chat and shared lots of laughs...That was an experience I will treasure forever.

Kyler:Next -The Jersey Boy – Frankie Valli. Which records did you back him up on?

Denise:Our relationship goes back almost fifty years with Frankie. We came from the same hometown of Belleville New Jersey. We worked a lot with the Four Seasons, especially with my lifelong friend Tommy DeVito, doing tons of recordings. We backed Frankie on three of his solo hits. “The Proud One”, “Cry For Me” which is featured in Jersey Boys, and “You’re Ready Now” which became a hit all over again in the UK. It is now considered a Northern Soul Anthem. We see Frankie often, he looks great and is still a great entertainer.

Kyler:Finally, the man himself, Lightnin’ Lou Christie! Your “buppee ahh ooos” and various girl group sounds made some of Lou’s MGM records some of his biggest hits and best songs. What were those sessions like? From the looks of some of the pictures, you guys had a ton of fun!




Denise:We had a ball and what can I say about Lou?? Only that he is one of the nicest human beings on the planet. Working those sessions with him was a great experience. It took months of rehearsals and recordings. We even helped Lou create some of the back up words and sounds. Lou and his writing partner the late Twyla Herbert wrote the best songs. they were ahead of their time. “Rhapsody in the Rain “was banned because Lou sang “we were makin out in the rain, and in this car our love went much too far” So we had to go back in the studio and record it over again to tone down the meaning, those were the 60’s. Lou is a very talented artist. Today Lou sings his hits in the same key he did back in the day. Singing with Lou was magical, I loved the blend we had together. .I think we were on all but one tune on his “Lightning Strikes ‘ album., along with many singles. Last December we appeared with Lou in a show at the Maltz Jupiter Theater in Florida….we sang “Lightning Strikes”, and it rocked!!!! ”BUPPY AH OOH”

Kyler:Of course I missed many! What are your other favorite records you sang on?

Denise:One was our very first backup experience. It was with the late, great Al Martino, a song called “Journey To Love”., written by Teddy Randazzo and produced by the great Don Costa. Working with Teddy was so special, at the time he was a teen movie heart throb. girls our age got to dream about him, and we got to meet and work with him.

Another very special recording was one where. we didn’t sing at all, but clapped.
It was an instrumental called “I’ll Walk The Line” by Don Costa. It was a big hit
It was after one of our own sessions with Don when he decided to add clapping to his track so he asked the Delicates and my mom and two brothers to clap!!!! It was sensational, and I get quite a feeling when I hear that recording ..it’s truly a family affair.


Kyler:Thanks Denise for taking the time to do this interview! The final question is, what feelings to you have when you look back at all the great work you did, on stage and on record, in the 60s?

Denise:That I was truly blessed to be there at the best time in Rock and Roll history . There will never be another time like it.

Doing this interview was my pleasure. Thank you!!




You can find out even more by heading to jerseygirlssing.com. Check it out!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"BUBBLING UNDER" coming soon!


Great news! A new RRR release is coming your way very soon. BUBBLING UNDER compiles 32 fantabulous tracks from 1961-1964 that didn't quite make the Top 100.

The track listing can be found below:

Track Listing
Rick Nelson - There's Not A Minute
Bernadette Castro - His Lips Get In The Way
Curtis Lee - Just Another Fool
Del Shannon - I Won't Be There
Teresa Brewer - She'll Never Never Love You (Like I Do)
Barry & The Tamerlanes - Roberta
Johnny Burnette - I Wanna Thank Your Folks
The Murmaids - Heartbreak Ahead
Dion - Somebody Nobody Wants
Tommy Boyce - Along Came Linda
Annette - Dreamin' About You
The Cascades - A Little Like Lovin’
Conway Twitty - Sweet Sorrow
Skeeter Davis - Let Me Get Close To You
The Tokens - Tonight I Met An Angel
Eddie Hodges - Halfway
The Elektras - All I Want To Do Is Run
Johnny Crawford - Cry On My Shoulder
The 4 Evers - Say I Love You (Doo Bee Dum)
Tim Yuro - Permanently Lonely
The Fleetwoods - You Should Have Been There
Johnny Nash – I’m Leaving
The Majors - Your Life Begins (At Sweet 16)
Doris Troy– Tomorrow Is Another Day
The Five Satins – The Masquerade Is Over
Ray Peterson- I'm Tired
Linda Lloyd - I'm Gonna Love That Guy
The Roommates - Band Of Gold
Jackie Wilson – Baby That’s All
Robin Ward – Winter’s Here
Kenny Chandler – Drums
Linda Brannon - Don't Cross Over


I would also like to mention the fact - just because it didn't make the Top 100 doesn't mean it's not great!!! Sometimes, lack of promotion or changes of style would prevent a record from being a hit. The compilation will prove that some awesome records didn't chart.

Pre-order at the Rare Rockin' Records Store.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Want to Find Rare Records From the 50s and 60s!

Welcome to Rare Rockin’ Records where “Obscurity is our Specialty”!

Rare Rockin' Records started out as a passion and as a hobby but has grown to something a little more. We are collectors of rare records from the 1950’s and 1960’s specialising in the rare, oddball and obscure recordings between the late 1950s and into the 1960s. Early in the Year 2000, after helping out other associates with compilation CDs, we decided to begin our own reissue label and thus the official Rare Rockin' Records label was born.

Our Collections

While focusing on 1950s and 60s rare records, we predominantly involve ourselves with the “Teen Sound”, the “White Sound”, the “Group Sound”, and the “Girl Group Sound”, and of these three sub-genres alone there are many, many thousands of records. So our specialty in terms of years are from 1958 – 1965. We have approximately 6,000 45rpm records in our collection and around 2,000 LPs.

About the Store

We have spent a long time re-organising our store, however as you browse through its categories you will see a heap of interesting information – in a lot of cases you can link to sound samples of various tracks on CDs before you purchase.

Check out the store as it will be updated every week with lots of new releases.

If you don't see a CD you are looking for please email and let us know and more than likely we’ll be able to get it in for you.  Our website now offers a number of ways to purchase your products securely – via Credit Card, PayPal, Direct Deposit, or by Check/Money Order.

We hope you enjoy your experience at Rare Rockin Records – always be sure to let us know your thoughts and suggestions as this site is for you, the oldies lover and collector!

So jump to our website right NOW and indulge your passion for the rare records for the 50s and 60s.  See You There!

http://www.RareRockinRecords.com



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Where can I get Rare Records from the 50s & 60s?

Welcome to Rare Rockin’ Records where “Obscurity is our Specialty”!

Rare Rockin' Records started out as a passion and as a hobby but has grown to something a little more. We are collectors of rare records from the 1950’s and 1960’s specialising in the rare, oddball and obscure recordings between the late 1950s and into the 1960s. Early in the Year 2000, after helping out other associates with compilation CDs, we decided to begin our own reissue label and thus the official Rare Rockin' Records label was born.

Our Collections

While focusing on 1950s and 60s rare records, we predominantly involve ourselves with the “Teen Sound”, the “White Sound”, the “Group Sound”, and the “Girl Group Sound”, and of these three sub-genres alone there are many, many thousands of records. So our specialty in terms of years are from 1958 – 1965. We have approximately 6,000 45rpm records in our collection and around 2,000 LPs.

About the Store

We have spent a long time re-organising our store, however as you browse through its categories you will see a heap of interesting information – in a lot of cases you can link to sound samples of various tracks on CDs before you purchase.

Check out the store as it will be updated every week with lots of new releases.

If you don't see a CD you are looking for please email and let us know and more than likely we’ll be able to get it in for you.  Our website now offers a number of ways to purchase your products securely – via Credit Card, PayPal, Direct Deposit, or by Check/Money Order.

We hope you enjoy your experience at Rare Rockin Records – always be sure to let us know your thoughts and suggestions as this site is for you, the oldies lover and collector!

So jump to our website right NOW and indulge your passion for the rare records for the 50s and 60s.  See You There!

http://www.RareRockinRecords.com

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CHATTING WITH ED RAMBEAU

I had the opportunity to ask a couple questions to Eddie (now Ed) Rambeau. Of course, all readers of the RRR blog know that he was involved in some of the best pop records of the 60s. I hope you all enjoy some of Ed's memories about some of his biggest and best records and productions.



Kyler:How did you get into the music business? When did you realize that you could sing?

Ed:I can't remember NOT singing. As for how I got into the biz....a DJ named Jim Ward got me an interview with Swan Records after I sang at his record hop with only piano accompaniment and got a better reaction to many artists who lip synced to their records.

Kyler:You got signed to Swan Records in 1961 and recorded some great teen material for them, notably “Skin Diving” and “My Four Leaf Clover”. Can you tell us more about those songs and your Swan Records days?

Ed:My days at Swan were happy days. Skin Divin' was written by the same 2 guys who wrote "Poetry In Motion" and we all thought it was gonna be a smash, but it just made it territorially. I wrote My Four Leaf Clover Love with Bud Rehak driving back to Philadelphia in the car from my hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

Kyler:There is quite a story behind your third Swan release, “Summertime Guy”. Could you inform our readers of what happened with that one?

Ed:Summertime Guy was written by Chuck Barris (who also wrote Palisades Park for Freddie Cannon). He was an ABC exec at the time so my record was pulled from all ABC affiliates (both radio and TV) as a result, because it was considered a conflict of interest. They didn't catch Palisades Park, but they caught mine. Just my luck.



Kyler:You wrote some major hits for Diane Renay and also one of the best album tracks by the Four Seasons, “Only Yesterday”. Did you do your writing for specific artists, or did you just write the songs and pitch them to whoever you could find?


Ed:Sometimes I wrote for specific artists and other times I just wrote songs and pitched them. It was kinda both.

Kyler:My favorite record of yours is entitled “Come Closer”, which was released in 1964 on the 20th Century Fox label. The B-Side is awesome as well, entitled “She’s Smilin’ At Me”. I’ve always wanted to know more about these great songs. Do tell!

Ed:Bob Crewe (my producer) went to England and came back with these 2 songs. I fell in love with them immediately and recorded them. I was surprised they didn't do better chart-wise, but they just didn't get the airplay we had hoped for.

Kyler:On that record, The Four Evers (one of our favorite vocal groups here at Rare Rockin’ Records) backed you up. Any memories of those guys?


Ed: I can honestly say I don't recall who backed me up, but I seem to recall it was The 4 Seasons. My memory eludes me on this one.


Kyler:Your biggest hit of the 60s was most definitely “Concrete And Clay”. How did you come across it? Who’s version was first – yours or Unit 4+2?

Ed: Bob Crewe returned from England with a demo written by The Unit Four + 2. My record was released and two weeks later London put out the demo of the Unit 4. The rest is history. We got split play across the country.

Kyler:During the time of your hits, you did some major TV Shows like Shindig and Where The Action Is, not to mention touring, all the while writing for other artists doing for your own records. How did you keep up at this incredibly busy time?

Ed: was young and full of spit and vinegar and enjoyed what I was doing, so it was easy for me. When you have a love for something, you become indefatigable.



Kyler:The B-Side of “Concrete…” is another one of my favorites called “Don’t Believe Him”. It almost has a Gary Lewis & The Playboys sound. Is that what you were going for on that tune?

Ed:Actually I thought it was more along the lines of Gary and Pacemakers, but I suppose everyone sees and hears things differently. Again, this song was written on a drive from my hometown to New York City by both myself and Bud Rehak. Bob Crewe loved it immediately.

Kyler:The follow up to your biggest hit was a catchy, upbeat number called “My Name Is Mud”, which sounds very close to “Concrete And Clay”. Were you and Bob Crewe consciously trying to capture the sound of your earlier hit?

Ed: I have to give all the blame to Bob on this one. I wasn't crazy about going for a similar sound. I preferred a few other cuts from my Concrete and Clay LP as a follow-up, but Bob was insistent, and always got his way. After all, he did own the company.

Kyler:Amazingly, you found time for a full, fourteen song album!! It was released in 1965. There are some amazing pop-teen gems on it, including “It’s Not A Game Anymore”, “Look For The Rainbow”, and “I Just Need Your Love”. Any remembrances about the LP?

Ed:One of my favorite things about "I Just Need Your Love" was when I first sang it for my arranger/producer Charlie Calello. I sang it without accompaniment and when I hit the key-change which went down instead of up, I thought Charlie was gonna go crazy. He loved it. He kept saying "That's never been done before, and it sounds incredible". We recorded the entire LP in one afternoon because I had to go on the road for Klondike Days in Alberta, Canada where I was booked as the headliner for the entire week.

Kyler:What are the favorites of the songs you wrote and recorded in the 60s?

Ed:"Navy Blue", of course, cause it was my biggest hit. Also, "Kiss Me, Sailor" (the follow-up). "Only Yesterday" by the 4 Seasons. "Don't Believe Him" is one of my favorites as well. I also liked "Hangin' Onto My Baby" recorded by Tracey Dey.




Ed is still singing timeless tunes and you can find more information about him at his website, edrambeau.com.

You can also hear a full length radio interview with Ed with the great Ronnie Allen at Ronnie's Radio Page.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TEENAGE MEMORIES VOL 1....OUT NOW!!!

Yes, you've all been waiting for it, the release of TEENAGE MEMORIES is finally available to buy.

It features thirty tracks from the early to mid 60s, and there is a little bit of everything. It is sure to please!

It comes with a great color booklet (with some brief notes written by yours truly), and also pictures of the artists and some label scans. Oh yeah, and It sounds great too!

A little "teaser trailer" video will be uploaded soon, so hang on!

You can check out the full tracklisting and buy it direct from RRR HERE

-Kyler

Monday, April 12, 2010

NEW RELEASE COMING SOON:TEENAGE MEMORIES VOLUME 1




Are you ready for another great Teensville Records release??? I thought you were!

I have had the opportunity to hear some of TEENAGE MEMORIES, VOLUME 1, and I am blown away not only by the sound, but by the actual music. This is going to be one of the finest teen music releases ever on compact disc. And I am proud to announce that there will be a few tunes that come directly from the master tapes. I can't tell you which ones, you'll just have to order and find out!

Click HERE to go to the Rare Rockin' Records shop to view the tracklisting, and pre-order if you like. If you pre-order now, you will also get a free bonus CD!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Interview With The Legendary LENNY WELCH

Have I got a treat for you!!! I am proud to announce an interview with the one and only Lenny Welch. Lenny took the time to call me on the phone, answer my questions, and talk with me about his music and experiences in the 60s.



Kyler: Lenny, when did you start singing and decide to dedicate your full time to be a performer and recording artist?

LENNY:I went to high school in Asbury Park, NJ, and I started singing there. Then I moved to New York City and was fortunate enough to get a recording contract.

Kyler:Some of your earliest recordings were for the Decca Record label in the late 50s. One of the songs you recorded was “My One Sincere”, a great doo wop styled ballad. Did you choose the song to record or did someone at the label? It sounds tailor made for your voice!

LENNY:“My One Sincere” was written by a friend who lived in my home town. I sang it with my group in high school. I was signed to Decca in 1958 and that was my first release. The B-Side was “Rocket To The Moon”.

Kyler:How did you get signed to Cadence Records?

LENNY:I had two managers. One was a lawyer and the other was a DJ. My manager who was a DJ took me to Cadence records to audition. I auditioned for Archie Bleyer, who was the owner. He signed, recorded, and wrote for many Cadence artists such as Andy Williams, The Everly Brothers, and The Chordettes. I auditioned for him and he signed me the same day.



Kyler:What was it like the first time you recorded for them? Your first single was a great one, “You Don’t Know Me”.

LENNY:The next week after I auditioned and got signed, Archie introduced the song to me. He played piano and I sang. The week after that, we recorded it in the studio.

Kyler:One of my favorite songs of yours is called “It’s Just Not That Easy”, from 1962. There isn’t a lot of information about it, but it is simply a masterpiece. Any info or comments on this track?

LENNY:I wrote it- I had just broken up with my girlfriend, and that inspired me to write “It’s just not that easy to forget about someone that you love”. In fact, I go to a gym where there are a lot of younger guys who don’t know about my music. One of them looked me up on Youtube when he got home and told me that his favorite of my songs is “It’s Just Not That Easy”.

Kyler:Your next single was a big hit called “Ebb Tide”. It is a great, classy ballad, and has been recorded by many artists. Your version tops them all, in my opinion! Any remembrances on that one?

LENNY:That was actually one of the first songs I recorded for Cadence. It was put on stand-by. After that, it was on my album “Since I Fell For You”. A DJ named Bertha Porter played it off the album and it started getting a lot of airplay. Archie Bleyer said it was a proven hit so we released it as a single.

Kyler:The B-Side of “Ebb Tide” is another great doo-wop ballad called “Congratulations Baby”. Most people only know the A-Side, but I think that “Congratulations Baby” is one of the finest records in the doo-wop genre to ever be recorded. Do you feel that “Ebb Tide” overshadowed it?

LENNY:That song was actually recorded by a group before I did it. I think what happened was, the producer of that group came to Archie Bleyer looking to place the record with Cadence. Archie probably said, “I think I’d rather have Lenny Welch record this” So what they did was, wiped off the lead singer’s voice from the tape and dub my voice in.

I’ve gotten lots of calls and letters about “Congratulations Baby”, and someone told me that the group might have been a “studio group” who backed other artists up.

The same thing that happened with “Congratulations Baby” (being overshadowed by the A Side), happened with “You Don’t Know Me”, which had a flipside called “I Need Someone”. They started playing it in Philadelphia, and it became a big hit there. Archie told them to stop playing “I Need Someone” because it would hurt the sales of “You Don’t Know Me”, Now every time I play in Philadelphia I have to sing “I Need Someone”!


Kyler:Your version of “A Taste Of Honey”, recorded in 1962, was the blueprint for The Beatles’ version in 1963. Do you remember what you thought when you first heard their version?

LENNY:Archie Bleyer brought me the song. I had never heard that version before. I was surprised that The Beatles were listening to my music!

I found out about it in the 1970s when I went over to the UK. My piano player at the time was teaching Paul McCartney’s wife Linda how to play. He mentioned to Paul that he was working an American singer named Lenny Welch, and Paul said “I know who Lenny Welch is. We used to perform his record A Taste Of Honey!”.


Kyler:Your biggest hit was “Since I Fell For You” in 1963, which went all the way to #4 in 1963. How did it feel having one of the most successful records on the charts at that time?

LENNY:Fantastic! It started becoming a hit in California. It moved across the country. By the time it hit New York City, it was already Top Ten in the national charts. DJ’s were calling it a “pick hit of the week”, but it was already a hit!!!

I used to perform “Since I Fell For You” with my doo wop group in Asbury Park, NJ. We learned it from the version that Willie Winfield and The Harptones recorded. When I met Willie, I told him, “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have had my biggest hit record!”.

"Since I Fell For You” was actually written in the 40s by Buddy Johnson, and when I met him, he told me he was sure glad I recorded it!


Kyler:One of your last recordings on Cadence was a song entitled “Father Sebastian”. It’s the story of a guy who has lost his girl, and goes to a church to try to get his pain off his chest. The cool thing about the tune is, most of it is sung in the 3rd person. What is your opinion of this neat track?

LENNY:Once again, Archie Bleyer picked the song. We rehearsed it and recorded it! I’ve gotten a lot of comments about that track.

Kyler:After recording for Cadence, you moved to Kapp Records, where you recorded several singles and albums’ worth of top notch material. Do you have any recollections of this era or any favorite songs from this time period?

LENNY:Yes I do. I moved to Kapp around 1965. I now wonder if that was the right choice. I could have gone with Reprise Records. At that time, I had a meeting with Reprise and they promised me that if I signed with them, I would work with Burt Bacharach. I met him too. But at that time, Kapp wanted me and they offered me more money. So I went with Kapp. But I still wonder if I made the right choice.

My first song for Kapp was “Two Different Worlds”, which I had already rehearsed with Archie Bleyer at Cadence, so I just took it to Kapp and we released it.

“Darling Take Me Back” was another good song that I recorded for Kapp. It was written by Larry Weiss, a writer for Kapp at the time. At the session, they wanted me to record a song that I didn’t want to do. It almost got ugly. But then the producer said, “hey, let me play you this other song. And it was Darling Take Me Back. And I said, Yes!”. That record was big in New York City, I think it made the Top Five or Top Three. But in Philadelphia, they played a version by Ray Pollard, so my version wasn’t a hit there.

“Rags To Riches”, that song I got from my good friend Jackie Wilson. He used to do it, so I just took a similar arrangement to Kapp and recorded it. Another thing I did around this time was the theme song to “Coronet Blue”, a popular TV show at that time.




Kyler:I’ve seen you in concert, and you put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen! Is it still a thrill to perform all around the world???

LENNY:Of course! Most of my work is on cruise ships, where I have a good time. I sing one night, and the rest of the time I get to enjoy the cruise! I also do oldies-but-goodies shows like the one you saw me at. I’m going on a cruise to Tahiti and have some dates for New Jersey and Nova Scotia coming up.




I'd like to thank Lenny for a great interview and for being such a kind and gracious guy. You can visit his website HERE.

Until next time, from the Rare Rockin' Records blog to your door....keep on rockin', rollin', and doo woppin'!

-Kyler

Friday, March 26, 2010

THE EARTH ANGELS - STREET CORNER STYLE (REVIEW)

The Crystalairs from Germany. The Roomates from England. And now The Earth Angels from Spain.



Sitting here in the USA, it seems that the best vocal groups come from far-off lands. Must be something in the air over there....

While The Roomates and The Crystalairs are seasoned pros, The Earth Angels are newcomers to the doo wop world. They have just released their debut album, Street Corner Style, which will soon be regarded as one of the harmony classics, right up there with Lost On Belmont Ave and The Whole Wide World.

The Earth Angels are Jordi, Christian, and Joan. They dress like doo woppers. They look like doo woppers. And most important of all, they sing like doo woppers!

Before I get to the actual music, I just to note that this CD comes with a full 32 page booklet crammed with biographical information, pictures, and all the lyrics to the songs contained within.

The mix is just right, the simple combo of bass, drums, guitar, and sax are not to overpowering. The lead vocals of Jordi are crystal clear, and you can't miss Joan and Christian singing the tra la las and doo be doos.

OK, now on to the actual music. There are 17 songs on Street Corner Style. I'm proud to say that there isn't a stinker among them. While I could write a brief description for each song, I would rather write in detail about three of my favorites.

TOMORROW

This is the song that opens the disc. I have known the original by The Decoys for years. On that version, the sound is crude and raw, yet there is something compelling about the melody and theme.

What The Earth Angels have done here, is take away the crudeness and rawness, and polish it up to it's full potential. Jordi's opening lines, "Tomorrow, will you love me? As you loved me, loved me tonight?" bring thoughts of The Shirelles, and it wouldn't be hard to imagine The Shirelles singing this song. I'm not sure they could have done as well with it as The Earth Angels have though! It's simply a great way to open their debut album.

WEAKNESS

This is the only original composition on the disc. I am sure glad they included it!!! It's written with love and care, and is true to the doo wop sound. It's instantly catchy and I consider it the "single" off of the CD. If you like The Belmonts, The Earls, or any of the New York Doo Wop groups, you are bound to love this.

And the best part is, there are TWO versions on the CD! Track 4 contains the version with instruments, and Track 17 features The Earth Angels singing their original song accapella, street corner style.

JUST ONE MORE CHANCE

One way that I like to judge new, modern vocal groups is to see if their remake of a song lives up to the original.

Just One More Chance by The Demensions is very close to my heart. I remember when I first heard it. It was on the local station that plays doo wop every weekend. I can still imagine when I heard the falsetto and the trademark white doo wop sound. I just had to have it! But, the station DJ never announced who the artist was. I figured I would never find out who it was. But then, a month or two later, I purchased a various artists Doo Wop CD. When I played it, I found out that "my" song was there! And it has remained one of my favorites ever since.

I was never aware of any other versions until I heard The Earth Angels sing it. It just blew me away. The falsetto, background vocals, and production are true to the original, yet still in a unique style, now to be known as the Earth Angels Sound. Now I have trouble deciding which version I like more!!




You can buy The Earth Angels - Street Corner Style CD direct from Rare Rockin' Records HERE. Enjoy it - it's a great one!

-Kyler

Thursday, March 25, 2010

JOHNNY MAESTRO




Guys and gals, it's been a very sad day. Johnny Maestro, legendary lead of The Crests and Brooklyn Bridge, has passed away at age 71. I had the chance to see him in concert twice, and saw one of his last performances in December. He sang as heavenly as ever.

We all will miss the Maestro of Doo Wop, so let's play his music loud so he can hear it in Heaven!!

Calling all angels.....

Besides all of his magnificent hits with his groups, listen to some of Johnny's under-rated solo work. HERE, HERE, and HERE

-Kyler

Monday, March 15, 2010

TALKING WITH GINNY ARNELL...






I, on behalf of Rare Rockin' Records, am delighted to bring you another great interview with a 60s pop icon. We are talking about the stuff of legend here!! You all know her hit records like "Dumb Head" and "I Wish I Knew What Dress To Wear". Yes indeed, it's Miss Ginny Arnell!! I was thrilled when Ginny allowed me to ask her questions about her recording career and songs from the glorious 1960s.

Just a little background information before we begin: Ginny was born Virginia Mazarro in New Haven, Connecticut on November 2, 1942. When she started her recording career, she was still a student at East Haven High School.

Let's begin!

Kyler:Ginny, you first started your recording career recording as a duo with Gene Pitney under the name of “Jamie & Jane”. What is your favorite “Jamie & Jane” record, and what was it like working with Gene?

GINNY:My favorite Jamie & Jane record is “Strolling Though the Park”. It was fun working with Gene. He never went anywhere without his guitar. He was always thinking about new songs to write. He was a very slim, aggressive, handsome and talented young man who was going to achieve success at any cost.


Kyler:A very good song of yours that got lost by the wayside is called “Tell Me What He Said”, from 1960 on Decca Records. It was written by the legendary Jeff Barry. Do you have any remembrances or opinions on that one?

GINNY:Yes, “Tell Me What She Said” was a very exciting song to sing. I remember singing it with a lot of passion with great back up singers and a super arrangement.



Kyler:Skipping ahead to your MGM years, the first single you recorded for that label is one of my favorites, entitled “I’m Crying Too”. Any info behind the recording or song?

GINNY:“I’m Crying Too” had a unique sound. We recorded in a New York studio later in the evening. We had quite an orchestra come in but the most exciting part was seeing them bring in the beautiful Harp. It added a beautiful sound to this great song. Two other great songs I recorded in NYC were “Carnival”, the classic, and Neil Sedaka’s “Mr Saxophone”, vintage Sedaka.

Kyler:Your biggest hit came next, “Dumb Head”. It went to #50 in Billboard and went higher in a lot of local charts. What was it like for you during those times knowing your record was being played and bought around the country?

GINNY:It was like a dream come true! I remember driving with my Dad when it came on the radio. We pulled over and screamed with delight – like we never heard it before. I was a teenager and all I wanted to do was sing. Just to know that kids all over the country were listening to my records was a beautiful feeling. My Mom, Dad, and Sister were so very excited for me. Could this really be happening??? But they never let me forget that School came first, and it did!



Kyler:The B side of “Dumb Head”, called “How Many Times Can One Heart Break”, is an excellent pop song as well. We would love to know any info or opinions about this great track!

GINNY:“How Many Times Can One Heart Break” was a very good song, too good to be a “B” side. I didn’t have any songs in the “can” so everything I did was released.

Kyler:You appeared on American Bandstand when “Dumb Head” was in the charts. What was it like?? Maybe you could tell our readers about the funny incident that happened during the taping.

GINNY:American Bandstand was a highlight in my career. I was a big fan of the show. A funny thing happened when I was getting ready to lip sync the record. They put on a Bobby Rydell record, Wild One, instead of Dumb Head. So I stood there, smiled and waited for the producer to put on the right record. We all laughed about it and moved right along. I’ll never forget it. I also recorded “Dumb Head” in Japanese where it was released and was a big hit. You can hear this cut on the CD released on Poker Records.




Kyler:“I Wish I Knew What Dress To Wear”, the follow up to “Dumb Head”, is one of the best girl-pop records ever made, in my opinion. Although it was not as big of a hit, it is still remembered today as one of your best recordings. Please tell us anything you remember about this iconic record.

GINNY:Yes, “I Wish I Knew What Dress To Wear” was one of my best recordings. The record company believed it was going to be a big hit too. They put a beautiful colored sleeve on the 45 with my picture on it. That was another highlight of my career. I was fortunate to get really good material but it did pose a problem, my A&R men said I never made a bad song so therefore it was hard to pick a “B” side.

Kyler:Once again, the B Side was just as good as the A Side! “He’s My Little Devil” was the song you heard if you flipped “I Wish I Knew What Dress To Wear”. It sounds almost like the type of song Gene Pitney would write. Do you think that “He’s My Little Devil” should have been saved for a future A-Side instead of being relegated to the flip side of “I Wish I Knew….”??

GINNY:Yes, “He’s My Little Devil” should have been saved for a future A-side. The DJ’s didn’t know which side to play and in the long run, it hurt “My Little Devil”.

Kyler:My favorite record of yours is called “Let Me Make You Smile Again”. It has all the elements of a great 60s pop recording!! I feel that it should have been a major hit. What do you think?
GINNY:“Let Me Make You Smile Again” was a powerful arrangement and I sang it with meaningful passion. It had a great set of lyrics too. Any of my records could be released and enjoyed today as well as they were 46 years ago. I believe my records are timeless and unforgettable once you hear them a few times. Hope I’m not being toooo partial!!



Kyler:Your album, “Meet Ginny Arnell”, was released in 1964. It contained your hit singles and some new recordings. It is quite sought after today. Do you have a favorite song from the album, or any memories recording it?

GINNY:Yes, I recorded this album in Nashville in a morning recording session. The musicians and backup singers were the same people that worked on Elvis’ sessions. The Jordinaires, Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer to mention a few. They all couldn’t believe that I could sing like I did so early in the morning. They forgot that I wasn’t out drinking and smoking all the night before like they were!!!!!!! I think “Yesterday’s Memories” was a favorite cut of mine.

Kyler:Your next single, “Just Like A Boy”, makes me think of the Motown sound, Mary Wells in particular. Is that what you were going for when you were recording it?

GINNY:The Motown sound was hot and we certainly wanted to get on that bandwagon. I thought we had a great sound that could compete with anything that was out then.



This concludes our interview. Thanks once again to Ginny for answering all the questions and for being a geniunely great person. Until next time folks.....keep on rockin', rollin' and doo woppin'!!!!

-Kyler

Friday, March 5, 2010

AN INTERVIEW WITH TRADE MARTIN!




Ladies and gentlemen, you are in for a treat! RRR presents an interview with the great, legendary, TRADE MARTIN!!! Trade is a great guy, and I think all you 60s music lovers will enjoy the questions and answers.

Here we go:

Kyler: How did you get into the music business?

TRADE: I was introduced to my first manager, lyricist, Ed Miller who wrote, "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck"...., he heard some early demos of mine.and I started by singing Elvis demos for him.

Kyler:You recorded The Earls and many other doo-wop groups in the early 60s for Rome Records. How was it working with all those groups?

TRADE: Not many, just a few. My partner Johnny Power and I first discovered the Earls and they were initially released on our own record label "ROME".

Kyler:Moving onto your Coed Records period, how did you get noticed and signed by Coed?

TRADE:Through my manager, Ed Miller. Before that, he got me a deal as a solo guitarist on Roulette.



Kyler:Your first record for Coed, “That Stranger Used To Be My Girl”, is one of the best teen/pop records of the 60s. Do you have any remembrances about the recording or anything in general about the song?

TRADE:Yes......, I didn't write or arrange it, but it was my specific idea to have a tuba solo in it.

Kyler:You appeared on American Bandstand when “That Stranger” went Top 30. How did it feel to be on that classic show?

TRADE:Of course it was exciting performing there and going over to the famous autograph table.. Dick Clark is a nice fellow. A few months later, I appeared on his syndicated radio show in a guest panel with Nancy Sinatra and Jimmy Dean.

Kyler:On many of your Coed sides, I can hear touches of Dion. How much did he influence you during this time period?

TRADE:Dion's great and a good guy too. I recall playing guitar on one of his albums (none of his hits) when I was a prominent New York studio guitarist. Vocally, I didn't sound like Dion at all...., it's just that my recordings did have the same 'hand-clapping' feel that was very hot in those days.

Kyler:One of my all time favorite songs of yours is one you did in 1962 called “Strategy”. Any info behind that?

TRADE:I liked that one too. We put a tuba solo in it. I didn't write it either...., a fine Coed staff arranger & friend, Fred Weismantle arranged it like he did my 'Stranger' hit.



Kyler:In 1964, you released “Spend Your Life With Me”. It has a classic Wall of Sound style backing. We love it! Were you going for a Phil Spector sound on this track?

TRADE: Yes, I was...., but I didn't want it to be over bearing...., so I kind of went, "wall of sound" 'lite. You know.I was a studio guitarist on many of Phil's sessions in New York and I was part of, and actually witnessed the secrets and the 'construction' of his "wall of sound."

Kyler:Your last release for Coed was “Joanne”, your most doo-wop sounding record. It was released smack dab in the middle of the British Invasion. Was it hard competing against all the British groups?

TRADE:It sure was...., radio stations were swarmed with those very commercial records at the time, and it made it very difficult for some American artists like yours truly. But we had to accept that the 'British Sound' was the new trend. The really weird part of it was that all of our early rockabilly & bluesy rock n ' roll records had greatly influenced their British sound invasion.

Kyler:You played guitar on many classic 60s productions. Do you have any favorites?

TRADE:Yes, the original Twist & Shout by the Isleys & "Cherry, Cherry" by Neil Diamond.

Kyler: Finally Trade, what are you up to these days?

TRADE: Kyler, I write and record my own stuff 24/7. I have a number of new CDs on Amazon and lots of downloads on I-Tunes. Once in a while I produce a major artist like the legendary B.B. King. I'm currently working on a few great original duets that I sing back & forth with him. They will be released soon. Please check out TRADEMARTINMUSIC.COM & my YOUTUBE videos


We hope you enjoyed the interview! I would like to give a big, heartfelt thank you to Mr. Trade Martin for kindly answering all the questions. And please check out his website and music, he is simply one of the greatest!

-Kyler

Monday, March 1, 2010

PATTY DUKE - THE TEEN RECORDINGS



Patty Duke was born in 1946. She had a pretty rough childhood, which you can read about in various places on the world wide web.

Primarily an actress, Patty Duke stepped into the world of 45s and 33s during the second season of "The Patty Duke Show". The show involved Patty playing dual roles as herself (Patty Lane) and also as her cousin, Cathy Lane. Guys and girls, if you've never watched this show, I urge you to go track down the DVD's, it's like stepping back into the 60s!

The show became a major success, and United Artists signed her up to make some records. They knew because she had a popular show on TV, that she could definately make UA some money by releasing at least a single or two.


Her producers wanted to give her a Lesley Gore styled sound, and her first release was exactly that. "Don't Just Stand There" was pretty much a carbon copy of "You Don't Own Me", but nevertheless, the song went all the way to #8 in 1965.

Luckilly, many videos of Patty performing her songs were saved, so HERE is Patty doing her thing.

The B Side was also a light teen pop recording, called "Everything But Love"

Along the way, Patty recorded a version of Christine Quaite's "Tell Me Mama". This was one of the songs that went unreleased on record by Patty. Actually, it still is, and you can't buy it on 45, LP, or CD. However, it was recorded just for Patty's show, and the clip still exists. Although the vocal on this (and all of Patty Duke's other recordings) may be considered weak, there is a certain charm in the teenage, cutesy vocals. Anyway, here's Tell Me Mama


The next single was another great one, called "Funny Little Butterflies". This might be my favorite teen recording by Patty, although it did worse than the first single, only making #22. Check out the performance clips from Shindig! and also Patty's own show.

The B Side, Say Something Funny, was a take off on Patty's first single, Don't Just Stand There. A performance clip can be viewed at the click of a mouse. Patty

Patty's hits slowed down, and while she still released some terrific 45s (like the one below), they went un-noticed by the public.





Patty had two albums, both containg a mix of mainly cover versions and also some original songs. Like I said before, she also continued to release many other 45s and then decided to focus on her acting. Many of her recordings from the mid 60s, including the ones mentioned here (and many other fabulous ones that were not!), can be found on a CD entitled "Just Patty", but it's Out Of Print and can be costly. It's noted for it's audophile stereo sound straight from the master tapes.

And for a bit of fun.....PATTY SINGS HERMAN's HERMITS

Hope you enjoy it!

-Kyler