Friday, September 30, 2011

Tropical LP 104

Tropical 104
Box 1987, Ormond Beach, Fla.

10" LP

I'm Too Shy (Jack Dupont, Joe Pennypacker)
Got To Have A Little (John Morwin)
I Talk To Your Picture (Ted Vassos, Rex Bell)
The Dream Is Gone (Ray Pendergraft)
Who Who Who (Joseph McGovern)
I'm Gonna Help Myself (Cecil Burridge)

Angel In Blue (Leila Asies)
Golden Canoe (Chas. K. Livess, Harry Sokalis)
I'm A Freshmen (Ken Hughes, Joe Pennypacker)
Sinner's Sea (Emary S. Pack)
The Day That We Married (E Adeline Wright)
Picture Window View (Mark Winegar, Richard Mack)

December 1961

A song-poem LP sampler. One of the first release on Bob Quimby's Tropical label. No artist listed.

The only "familiar" name here is Joe Pennypacker who penned "Rockin' On A Reindeer" as sung by Harry Lee on Igloo (a label out of Alaska, owned by Hill Mathis).


Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Tip Tops feat. Shirley Jester on Huber

The Tip Tops Feat. Shirley Jester

CP-1337 - Safety First
CP-1338 - Satellite For Two

Huber 1004


Shirley Jester (1994)

Shirley Jester died in 2003.

From her obituary :

Raised in a musical family - her father played in Arnold's Jazz Band downtown - she was playing the piano by the time she was 5. She had the ability to play anything by ear - almost instantly.

While in high school at Our Lady of Angels in North College Hill, she began working part time as a staff pianist for WKRC-TV, going full time after her 1951 graduation.

There, she played music for locally produced television shows. She also met George Palmer, who was then working at the station as a news anchor. The two were married in September 1962.

At 25 she started playing in nightclubs, starting at the Coal Hole*, a popular club located in the now-defunct Sinton Hotel.

"Shirley did her homework. She made the Coal Hole a legitimate room," said Leo Underhill, former jazz disc jockey for WNOP.

Over the next 40 years, Ms. Jester performed solo and with jazz groups all over Cincinnati and nationally. She had gigs at The Top of the Crown, in the former Clarion Hotel; the Iron Horse Inn in Glendale and at Kenwood Country Club.

*Coal Hole : Named for the space it occupied where coal had been stored in the old Sinton Hotel before it was converted to another source of heat.

Jelly Bean Acres was one of WKRC-TV’s early-morning shows for young viewers. Mari Kay (left), Shirley Jester and Roy Starley read stories, sang, and talked with puppets.


The Meditations (Hob 117)

The Meditations
Laura Rundless leader

Under the direction of James Cleveland

CP-4825 - One More River To Cross
CP-4826 - His Eye Is On The Sparrow

HOB 117

111 Mack Avenue
Detroit, Michigan


Carmen Murphy established her House of Beauty parlour around 1948 and developed it into a well-respected and profitable establishment. In the late 50s she ventured into the music business when DJ-cum-singer Jack Surrell persuaded her to fund gospel recordings. She had a piano placed in the salon's basement, converting it into a practice room, and consequently became an unlikely pioneer of Detroit R 'n' B.

The first secular HOB label release was made around 1959 by one of Detroit's premier vocal groups, The Peppermints, whose members included Lee Rogers, Jesse Greer and Duke Browner.

The Meditation Singers
Back: Verlene Rogers, Ernestine Rundless, Marie Water
Front: Laura Lee, Donna Hammonds

Laura Lee Rundless

Born Laura Lee Newton, 9 March 1945, Chicago, Illinois)

Lee was born in Chicago, but as a child relocated to Detroit with her mother. After a few years, she was adopted by Rev. E. Allan Rundless, who had previously been a member of the Soul Stirrers, and his wife Ernestine, who led a gospel group, The Meditation Singers. Featuring Della Reese, they were the first Detroit gospel group to perform with instrumental backing. The group recorded on the Specialty label in the mid 1950s, appeared on the LP Della Reese Presents The Meditation Singers in 1958, and in the early 1960s recorded for Checker Records.

As Laura Lee Rundless, she replaced Reese in The Meditation Singers in 1956, and over the next few years toured widely around the country. In 1965, as Laura Lee, she launched her secular solo career as an R&B singer in clubs in Detroit, although she also continued to record occasionally with The Meditation Singers. She first recorded solo for Ed Wingate's Ric-Tic Records in 1966, with "To Win Your Heart".

Source : Wikipedia

According to Dan Nooger :
"The tough, independent women performers of today owe a strong debt to Laura Lee, who paved the way with such women's liberationist anthems as Rip Off, Wedlock Is A Padlock, Love and Liberty, and of course the song with which she will be forever associated, "Women's Love Rigghts. The toughest and raucnhiest of the Hot Wax ladies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tim Whitsett on Rim 4105

Tim Whitsett

9105 – Sweet Jelly (Carson Whitsett-T.Whitsett)
9106 –Mash-Ville (T.Whitsett-J.Hodo, Gulfway-Bomac

Rim 4105

Jackson, Miss.



Tim Whitsett


Don Peachey on Domino

Don Peachey and his orchestra

CP-2967 – Last Chance Polka (Arr. by Michael Marks)
CP-2968 – Forsaken Love Waltz (traditional)

Domino Records 135
Burnett, Wisconsin


Hometown for Don Peachey is Burnett, WI (just a nice little town waiting to be discovered) located about an hour from downtown Milwaukee and an hour from downtown Madison.

From left. Jane Peachey, Ken Jacobs, Ron Meitner (bass), Kootie Jambura,
Jiggs Mannigel, Don Peachey, and Rose Giedlinski.

The Don Peachey Band played their first public dance in June of 1951 and released their first recordings in 1957. Except for 2 years in the army, the Orchestra has kept a busy schedule playing for many loyal fans mostly in Wisconsin but they make a yearly tour to Texas and have played in 11 states.

The Don Peachey Story



Friday, September 23, 2011

Sounds Of Soul on Top-flight (2)

Sounds Of Soul
Lead Selma Kirkendall

37457 - Don't Move The Mountain

37458 - What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Top-Flight Records
2365 Pennsylvania St.
Gary, Indiana 46407


Lead singer Selma Kirkendall was born July 17, 1932 in Carruthersville, Missouri. Her family moved to Gary and she attended Roosevelt High School, graduating in 1950. She was a member of a female group, The Echoes of Eden, who recorded for Vee-Jay Records.

After her stint with the Echoes of Eden, Selma Kirkendall worked with another gospel group, the Belton Kirk Singers. In the 1970s and 1980s, she managed and sang with the Sounds of Soul. She also had a radio show on WWCA, where she was known as "The Gospel Lady."

Selma Kirkendall died in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

The Sounds of Soul were previously on the CLB label in 1970.


The Ghosters on Ghost

The Ghosters
Don, Mike, Guy, Lance

20491 - (Just Like) Romeo And Juliet
(B.Hamilton, F. Gorman, Jobete Music BMI)

20492 - A Taste Of Honey
(B. Scott, R. Marlow, Songfest Music ASCAP)

Ghost Records 832G-7101


Second pressing. First was pressed by RCA Custom Records.

Romeo and Juliet - first pressing
(Virgil listed as band member)

The Ghosters
Don, Mike, Guy, Lance

21517 – Hey Lover
(J. Berry D. Covay, Roosevelt Music)

21518 - Drums, And Them Some
(D.Jobe, W.Nelson)
Instrumental drum solo by Don Jobe

Ghost Records 832G-7103


Again, the Rite pressing is a second pressing.

The leader of the Ghosters was Don Jobe. The other Ghosters were Lance Nelson, Mike Lewis, Guy Berley, and Virg Callendar.

Don Jobe :
The name actually came from a club we formed in high school. The term "Ghoster" was an expression used by soldiers in the Viet Nam War. Soldiers who didn't want to work hid when the sergeants came around for work details. These guys were referred to as "Ghosters" because, like ghosts, they disappeared.
60s: What were the circumstances leading to The Ghosters recording?

DJ : Fortunately, the right people happened to hear us at a performance and offered us a one record contract. Our record was recorded for T & R Records in Chicago. It sold pretty well, but we didn't realize much money for ourselves. That's when we decided to incorporate and licensed our own label, Ghost Records. Our first five records were recorded at RCA Studios in Chicago.
60s: Who were these "right people"?

DJ: The "right people" wanted to be anonymous then, and I assume they still do. They were not directly in the music business, but had good contacts. They wanted to make an investment in us after hearing us at a performance hosted by a WLS Chicago disc jockey. They paid for our studio time at RCA studios in Chicago, and their connections hooked us up with T&R.

Don Jobe died in 2006 (his obituary)

Further reading : Don Jobe interview.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Jerry & Johnny and the Buttermilk Biscuits

Jerry & Johnny
and the
Buttermilk Biscuits

34753 - Country Rock And Roll

34754 - Baby Baby Where You Been So Long

Tropical 205

DeLand, Florida

Jerry Rucker, a tech for the Space Shuttle program, came to fame in 1981, after his song 'Blastoff Columbia' was used to wake up astronauts John Young and Robert Crippin on their first morning in space during the very first Space Shuttle mission. Jerry followed the song up with 'America, Look Up', which was released in time for the second mission for Space Shuttle Columbia.


Richard Narrell And The Corvaires

Richard Narrell And The Corvaires
CP-3181 - Nothin' To Do (But Cry) P-4111

The Corvaires
CP-3182 - Little Rock (Instr.) P-4112

Pod 45-55782

The unusual release number would fit perfectly in the Smitty label discography and would precede the first Shelby Smith release on the label (55783). Moreover, Bluff City Music -- owned by Slim Wallace, head of Fernwood Records in Memphis -- is the same publisher on both labels. The Pod sides, if we needed a confirmation, was certainly a Fernwood custom recording.

Pod Records was from Memphis or from Little Rock (where Richard Narrell has been seen recently as the pianist of The Little Rock Bop Club Band )...


Ronnie Byrd & The Nashville Echos

Ronnie Byrd & The Nashville Echos

31229 – I Don't Love Her Anymore
wr. Helen Cockran & Pam Stump

31230 - Hickory Tea
wr. Ronnie Byrd

Both published by Powhatan Music

Dominion Records

Produced by Dominion Records and C. & M. Talent Agency , Inc . Salem Va.



Saturday, September 17, 2011

King Tut on Starline

King Tut

7593 - Twisting at Little Big Horn
7594 - Shorter Hours In School

Starline Records #1001

359 Warren St.
Flint, Michigan


Starline Records was owned by Robert L. Cloud.

Bob Cloud previously had two labels in Flint, Michigan : Deal (The Dealers, 1958) and Colt 45 (1959). He also owned Mayflower Publishing.

Jerry Tuttle played organ, piano, steel guitar or saxophone on many Nashville sessions, on records by Joe Tex ,Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison,Jerry Lee Lewis,Tony Joe White. He was also a songwriter and producer : Monumental Funk (Grand Funk Railroad). He was in the seventies in studio bands recording hits of the day by the score on Spar Records (The New Generation) and probably many others.

February 1957 : Jerry Tuttle backed the Campbell Trio on the custom Van label.
Jerry Tuttle, Hawaiian Accomp. says the label
Picture credit : Malcom Chapman

Narvel Felts band
Jerry Tuttle, second from left

Missourian Jerry Tuttle played saxophone and piano in Jerry Mercer's band, the Roving Cowboys, in 1956. Narvel Felts later joined playing upright bass when he wasn’t singing. After Mercer married and quit the music business the band was renamed Narvel Felts and the Rockets.

The Gators on Dot Records

On Dot Records, under his own name, he had a release in 1960 : Tweedle-O-Twill / Bop Goes the Weasel (Dot 16093) and, as member of The Gators, another release in 1961 : Sunburst / Canadian Moonlight.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Gales of Joy on CLB

Lead : W. Crawford

RR-42190-A Trouble Will Be Over
RR-42190-B I Don't Want To Be Right

C.L.B. 2329 Ohio Street
Gary, Indiana



Gales of Joy
Gary Indiana
Members have included William Crawford, Otis Sibley, Benjamin H. Davis


Friday, September 9, 2011

Dave Cox and the Sharptones

(Stock copy is yellow/green print)

Dave Cox and the Sharptones

CP-3351 - Skateland Bounce
CP-3352 – Silly Tillie

Golden Leaf 105


The Golden Leaf label out of Cleveland, Ohio was founded in 1959 by a group of radio men and woman. Execs were Ted Lawrence, I.H. Gordon of WABQ, Gerry Lee, and Don Lorenzen of WNOB. A&R. head for the label was Hugh Tompson. (Billboard, Nov. 9, 1959)

Dave Cox & the Sharptones
(picture credit : George Shuba)
RIP Dave Cox
Dave Cox died Saturday (September 3, 2011) after a massive heart attack.

Dave Cox, an African-American backed by the white rock-n-roll combo the Sharptones. Dave Cox goes back to the early days of Cleveland rock and continued into the 60s, maintaining a big draw in the area nightclubs. The group recorded three 45s on Golden Leaf, Dollee, and Whirl. The Sharptones personnel changed regularly and included many veterans of the Cleveland scene. Cox continued to perform into the 1990s with backing band the New Sharptones.

Sources :

Dave Cox obit

Rock 'n' roll and the Cleveland Connection, book by Deanna R. Adams


Saturday, September 3, 2011

We Together in Concert

We Together Singers

We Together in Concert
Recorded live at the University of Notre Dame Stepan Center - May 6th, 1973

32191 Side One
Love's A Comin' / Open The Door / Give A Damn / Rocky Mountain High / In The Ghetto / Narration / I Believe In Music

32192 Side Two
Day Is Gone / Sunshine On My Shoulder / Look And See / When The Morning Comes / My Cup Runneth Over / Hope, Pass It On

The group’s founder, Tom Downs, was youth director for the Catholic churches in the area and a graduate student at Notre Dame. He left for Davenport, Iowa, one year after the formation of We Together.

Now living near Orlando, Fla., Downs, 73, who formed similar groups in three other cities, credited the assistance of Don and Rosemary Clifford, who still live in South Bend, in the creation of We Together.


Toni Dunlap, of South Bend, was a sophomore at Adams High School in 1978 when she joined the group.
She said the group’s size ranged from 50 to 80 members, ages 14 to 20.
“We sang at churches, nursing homes, parades, ethnic festivals, Camp Millhouse and even the Stepan Center (at the University of Notre Dame),” she said.

Along the way the group recorded six vinyl albums

From Encore from We Together singers, article by Kirby Sprouls, published in the South Bend Tribune, August 7, 2011

From the back cover, credited singers and musicians are :
Carmella Adamo
Pat Adamo
Alan Blasczyk
Michele Blasko
Terri Buton
Bonni Carter
Kathy Conners
Sur Crassy
Sally Dawson
Jan DuBois
Becky Echard
Frank Ellis
Jim Flahaven
Jerri Garth
Lu Gerstbauer
John Gibney
Ed Goerke
Colleen Haggenjos
Mark Haggenjos
Colleen Hall
Russell Hatcher
Maureen Helmer
David Hill
Kathy Jackimiak
Pam Jackimiak
Jill Jump
Pam Kalamaja
Beth Keefe
Tina Kintz
Brenda Kiser
Mary Kowalski
Carol Lowe
Denisa Lynk
Kevin McGraw
Chuck Mueller
Peggy Myers
Bob McNeir
Mary Nowacki
Bridig O’Hara
Dan Pedtke
Michele Pfeiffer
Anne Ritter
Bill Ritter
Mary Ann Roberts
Ruth Roberts
Leigh Ann Robison
Brian Strebinger
Marcia Strebinger
Mark Strebinger
Paul Strebinger
Larry Tobolski
Giselle Urruti
Judy Vanderheyden
Steve Verleye
Bob Ward
Jim Ward
Douglas Watkins
Kurt Wearner
Kathy Weiss
Tom Williams
Frank Wiltrout
Ann Wolz
Car Wolz
Tom Wroblewski
Nancy Xaver

Keving Bland
Michael Elliott
Judy Gisnewski
Marion Huke
Dan Jones
Keving Kellogg
Bobby Miller
Betty Jane Muellner
Michael Muellner
Kevin Sherbun

Bongo Larry Lehner

Maracas Julie Gerschoffer

Tambourine Steve Rodick

Stepan Center is Notre Dame's most versatile multi-purpose facility. The 21,000 square foot venue is located on the northeast corner of campus, north of Flanner and Grace Halls on Stepan Drive.

Built in 1962, the facility was constructed as one of the first geodesic domed facilities in the nation -- to date, it remains one of the most unique structures in the world.

While you will not find very many geodesic domed facilities these days, you will also rarely find a facility with such flexibility as hosting events like: major concerts, ethnic festivals, sporting events, sports club winter training, service club recreation area, ROTC training, and Mass. Stepan Center also serves as Notre Dame's largest available venue for academic exams.


Friday, September 2, 2011

The Del Rios on Bet..T

The Del Rios

CP-4977 ~ Heavenly Angel
CP-4978 ~ Dangerous Lover

Bet..T Records

(Memphis, Tennessee)


The Del Rios, one of Memphis, TN's pioneering vocal groups, started in the '50s. Different guys came in and out, but one constant was William Bell. They performed on shows with Phineas Newborn, a Memphis jazz legend, and found regular employment in clubs. The initial Del Rios single dropped in 1956 on Meteor Records, a small label in Memphis; the single "Alone on a Rainy Night" b/w "Lizzie" increased the group's popularity locally but that's about it.

William Bell : "We would do two gigs on the weekend. We would play for the college kids at the Plantation Inn in West Memphis, right across the Mississippi river in Arkansas.owned by Betty Berger and her husband, which was like a high energy dance club, and then we had a later set at the Flamingo Room. Betty Berger was during that time a night club owner. She and her husband owned the Plantation Inn in West Memphis We recorded that single for her.”

Del Rios biography by Andrew Hamilton
Soulexpress article

Owner of Bet..T Records Bettye Berger was born in 1930.

In 1955, Bettye started to work on WHER, the worlds first all womens radio station created by Sam Phillips :
Crammed into an 18-by-35-ft. studio in a Holiday Inn in Memphis, WHER was the nation's first "all-girl" radio station—not that you couldn't tell from the decor. There were plush pastel carpets, walls painted aqua and pink and doors marked with colorful names like DOLL'S DEN and GIRL FRIDAY. "It was like walking into Disney World—and the girls were beautiful and sweet," recalls Berger more than 40 years later.
Through her connections with Sam, she meet the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. She only went on a few dates with the king. She wrote a ballad called 'Please Convince Me That You Love Me' that Elvis wanted to record at and speed it up in to a Rock n Roll style song and she refused. She laughs now by saying what a fool she was for not allowing Elvis to record it. (The song was recorded by Buddy Cunningham and issued on Phillips Int'l 3516 in November 1957.)

In 1959, she is credited (as Bettye Maddox) as the co-writer of several songs released on the West Coast American International label : "Campus Raid" (The Nighthoppers), "Headless Ghost" (the Nightmares) and "We Love The Dodgers" (Jimmie Maddin).

When she was 35, she joined a booking agency for musical artists. She was the only female agent the company had ever had. When a man did not pay her $1800 dollars for a booking, because she was a female and he thought that a woman shouldn't have that much money, she quit the firm that she was working with and created her own.

Her first client was Charlie Rich. Soon after word of her success spread, more and more artists became aware of the new, small, agency. Willie Mitchell, a trumpet player and an influential producer also joined her roster. At one point, her agency had outdone the national agency that she had previously worked for.

A entire chapter (by Laura Helper-Ferris) of "Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times", a book edited by Sarah Wilkerson Freeman and Beverly Bond, is devoted to Bettye Berger.

Another release on the same label. The address (201 S.Cleveland, Memphis) was also the address of Bettye's Continental Artists Inc., her booking agency.