Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Ten-Of-Us" on Wil-Met


14983 - Wild Yellow Flowers
T.L. Butler W.T. Curtis Rite Music BMI

14984 - Sally, Oh!
T.L. Butler Rite Music BMI
5-57X9 AMP

Dayton, Ohio


Founded by 11 Centerville High School seniors. A musical group that performed folk songs.
Picture & soundfiles credit : The Ten Of Us

"The Ten Of Us"
Pictured In Front Of Sandy's In Kettering

"Ten-Of-Us" reunited, July 2003
From Left to right and on the top: Denny Dutcher, Jim Dunn, Bill Curtis,
Terry Butler, & Ken Reed. Front row left: Joyce Marberger, Ginny Pulos,
& Janet Scott. Not pictured: Patsy Bair & Jennifer Griffiths.
(Sally Mowry, original member, died in 2001)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ronnie Moore on Teen's Choice

Ronnie Moore

CP-4341 ~ Time For School
CP-4342 ~ Sweet Shop Doll

Teen's Choice 7

Billboard October 17, 1960

onnie Moore, bassist and singer from Birmingham, Alabama. He was the previous year on Stomper Time Records in Memphis. Bassist of The Stompers, Eddie Bond's band.

Later bassist of The Gentrys ("Keep on Dancing", MGM Records).

Leon Bowman co-wrote "Sweet Shop Doll".

There was a Ronnie Moore who recorded for Major Bill Smith in Fort-Worth, Texas (records on Le Cam and Jaro), but probably a different artist.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ken Idaho on Fame

Ken Idaho
Featured With
The Jimmy Heap Orch.

CP-2337 ~ From Loving You
Wm. E. Taylor, Mel-Mat Music BMI

CP-2338 ~ School Of Love
K. Aderhold, Mel-Mat Music BMI

Fame 506

Billboard, November 2, 1959

Fame Records and Mel-Mat Music were owned by Jimmy Heap and located in Taylor, Texas.

Ken Idaho, performing in 1963

Jimmy Heap (interviewed by Ray Campi) : "Ken took Perk Williams' place when Perk left. He was from South Carolina. When we started playing Las Vegas we found out we had to do a lot of show, comedy stuff, and Ken wrote and performed a lot of comedy. He ended up becoming associate editor of a joke magazine called "Sex-To-Sexty." He writes jokes for the magazine "

From (edited) Jim Linderman's blog FORGOTTEN VINTAGE SLEAZE ARTISTS :

Jimmy Heap , an old time Texas swing and twangster, recorded for decades and turned in at least one standard, the mournful "Wild Side of Life" which includes the immortal line "I didn't know God made Honky-tonk angels." Somewhere along the way, his songs became stale as the beer smell in a Texas honky-tonk, so to spice things up he added a comic to his act. Ken Idaho was a singer and sax player in the band, but he had a talent for bawdy humor, opening act style, so Ken would warm up the audience with some "Hey, how you doing, is that your wife or your mistress" humor. Umm...which came first? The chicken or the chicken wire in front of the stage?

Ken Idaho was actually Ken Alderhold, brother of steel-guitar Slim Idaho (real name : Dewey Hubbard Alderhold Jr.).

Somewhere along the beer trail, Jimmy Heap and his country boys decided a party record would sell more than just another "weeper" so they hooked up with the Sex to Sexty guys! Sex to Sexty is the putrid periodical of dirty humor which had a good run in the 1970s. Sex to Sexty was itching to expand their sleazy publishing empire into the lucrative recording industry

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gary Hamilton And The Northernaires on Capitol Star Artist

Gary Hamilton And The Northernaires

18339 – Forever Is A Long Time
Gary Hamilton, Red-Pol Music Co., BMI

18340 – Country Music Rock
Frank Ellis, Red-Pol Music Co., BMI

Capitol Star Artist
67 Chesnut Street, Rochester, N.Y.

Produced by Fine Studios, Rochester, N.Y.


Label owned by Donald L Redanz (1927 - 1999)

The Northernaires is a band still active today, and is now led by Dick Jopson of Hemlock on vocals and rhythm guitar. Dick started his professional music career in 1957 with the Rhythm Riders before joining Gary Hamilton & the Northernaires as second vocalist. Gary’s departure to Florida in 1971 saw Dick taking charge of the band, which in coming years would open for Sonny James, Stonewall Jackson, Tommy Cash and the Hager Brothers, and serve as the house band at the Dansville Moose Club.


The Sensational Stereos At the Martinique

The Sensational Stereos
Vocals by Tommy Knight

11901 – Memphis - I Go Crazy - Try Me

11902 –Good Lovin' - Bewildered -Lost Someone

Martinique Nite Club Presents
EP 17

Recorded live Easter 1964
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Produced by Bill Sauls


Lee Hazen
Back in the early-mid 60's I used to carry my Ampex 960 2 track recorder around to clubs and record groups playing live.

I [...] have great recordings of "The Stereos" at the Martinique in Daytona with Tommy Knight singing a James Brown style show one night. Jim Matherly played lead guitar .

Bill Sauls a.k.a. Bill "Sweet William" Saul

Bill Hileman, Stereos drummer :

In 1964, [I] was drafted by a hot local band called, “Sweet William & The Stereos.” And wouldn’t you know it? They were from the same high school Bill attended in Knoxville! They played Florida, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., for years, including a 4-month stint in 1965 which Duane Allman was their fill-in guitarist. Later, Duane went on and formed a band called ‘The Allman Joys,’ with his brother, Gregg, and a drummer which Bill had personally tutored. The Joys improved enough by Spring Break that year that they were able to play during Sweet William’s musical breaks.

Shortly thereafter, Sweet William started playing back-up band to the main attractions at the Martinique in Daytona including Dee Dee Sharp, Lou Christy, Sam & Dave, Bo Diddley, Del Shannon, Jackie Wilson, The Marvelettes, The Angels, Ray Stevens and The Dovells.

In 1966, Sweet William recorded their first album at R.C.A. Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Their first single made it to 123rd on the Billboard charts without any promotional backing. The band’s success enabled them to open for the Rolling Stones and a Ray Charles sound-alike “as of yet unknown” Ronnie Millsap in Knoxville, and also, for Roy Clark at Chilhowee Park.

Bluegrass mandolinist Sam Bush :

Now, looking back, I'd probably be scared of a lot of the people we were hanging out with. Right down the street was a house band called Sweet William & The Stereos. Sweet William was a really big guy. They did R & B and rock & roll of the day and there were topless dancers there. Basically, the only people down there in those days were rock bands, strippers and hookers! (laughs)

Tommy Knight

Probably not a regular member of The Stereos, from Knoxville, Tennessee. The vocalist here came from New-York and relocated to Florida.

I found several mentions of Tommy Knight, soul and RnB singer on the internet. Not sure if all are refering to the same Tommy Knight.

In 1961, came two Kim productions, one on the Gold Eagle label (That's All I Ask / There's No Pain ) and the other on Atlantic's subsidiary Atco (It's Real / Say You Do).

In 1964, there was a release on San Francisco's Emerson label in 1964 (Yes Yes Go On / Ha Ha Ha And Oh Oh Oh)

Mid sixties? : two acetates have surfaced : Don’t Bring Back Those Memories sent to Eddie Singleton's Shrine Records, a Washington D.C. label and "Baby My Love" (Abtone studios recording).

Tommy Knight was certainly one of the artists who recorded under aliases in the Ed Chalpin's Studio 76 in New-York. One of these aliases was Slim Pikins.

Mike Rashkow, who worked there, has thus described the Ed Chalpin enterprise :

When I worked at Studio 76 [Ed Chaplin] business was something I had never heard about, nor knew existed. It was the reason he had a studio and the reason we had 10 track, as bad as it was. Basically, the business was making quick, down and dirty (and I would guess unlicensed) covers of bulleted chart movers, and then leasing them out to labels in foreign countries. He had ongoing business relationships with a group of labels all over the world. These independents, with which he regularly did business, would get the covers on the street before any major label even realized they had a hit or could get someone in their legal department to draw up a contract.
You can hear "Tighten up" HERE. (released on the german Vogue label in 1968 and probably on other labels).

In 1981, Tommy Knight and the Mighty Knights were the featured artists on the Babette Bardot Revue at the Kings Inn Motel in Daytona Beach.

Babette Bardot (born 1940) is the stage name of a buxom Swedish actress (and burlesque dancer) who appeared in Russ Meyer's films, including Common Law Cabin and Mondo Topless.

Wendell Holmes (The Holmes Brothers) :

"We used to work with Tommy Knight, the band was called Tommy Knight and the Mighty Knights, and we would gig mostly in Harlem and at private dances," said Wendell Holmes. "We used to play at a bunch of different clubs in the 1960's. There was a lot of night life in Harlem and it was exciting. We played more soul stuff and top 10 than straight-up blues, even though I'd rather play blues and gospel, but that wasn't really up to us. But all that scene just vanished.

Guitarist Wild Jimmy Spruill, tired of session work, formed an East Coast nightclub trio in the mid-sixties, with singer Tommy Knight and drummer Popsy Dixon

Finally, mentions of a Tommy Knight Trio in some New-York venues are made in seventies newspapers.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tommy Long And The Varatones on Bellwood

Tommy Long And The Varatones
Music By "The Commanders)

10409 - D.J. (Disck Jockey) Joe
(Geo.Moore, RalTip Music BMI)

Tommy Long
Music By "The Commanders

10410 - High School Heart
(Tommy Long, RalTip Music BMI) )

Bellwood Records 635N10
PO Box 3572
Richmond, VA


Both sides arranged by Geo. Moore

sample from groovy_grooves who has one copy for sale.

No info on Tommy Long or on the Varatones (who are only on the A-side) or on the Commanders.

The label was probably owned by Geo Moore (George Henry Moore) also owner of RalTip Music. Geo Moore issued at least two other records on Bellwood. See listing here.

Mr Moore was also a songwriter. He copyrighted several songs in the forties (Blessed Jesus, 1946).


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Original Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi on Marathon

The Original Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi

CP-2420 ~ A Weeping For A Mighty Long Time
(Harvey-Duckworth, Calvin Brown, BMI)

CP-2421 ~ Take Your Burdens To Jesus
(Harvey-Brown-Duckworth, Calvin Brown, BMI

Marathon 182-1

November 16, 1959 (Billboard review)

Writers of both songs are Dr J. Gerald Harvey and Pauline Duckworth who wrote and/or produced for Calvin Brown, the owner of Marathon Records, at least two other records : the secular Rich McQueen & his Rhythm Rockers (Marathon Records) and gospel James Anderson (Electro Records).

One of the few gospel groups to make the R&B charts, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi were a powerful aggregation who were known to have influenced Ray Charles, among others.

The Piney Woods School, near Jackson, Mississippi, was one of the pioneer establishments in education for blacks and it had a separate teaching for blind children. Some blind students began singing there, on of the school grounds in 1936. They were called the Cotton Blossom Singers.

In the mid-1940s, they began calling themselves the Five Blind Boys.

In the late fifties, the health of their lead singer, Archie Brownlee, deteriorating, the owner of Peacock Records, Don Robey, for whom they recorded extensively since 1950, probably had no intention of re-signing them and sent them on their way.

That's when they recorded for Calvin Brown's tiny Marathon Records, not a Checker subsidiary as I've seen written. The single was also released subsequently on Checker Records [#953, May 1960].

In 1961, they recorded a very successful album for Checker called "I'll Go". According to one source, Just Moving On, This was not to Robey's liking. While on tour in Houston, Robey paid them a visit. "Chess has a lot of money," he said, "why don't you tell them you're still under contract to me, and we'll sue them for big bucks!" ...

The group has seen numerous personnel changes, as it's quite normal for a such long lasting aggregation. Also, they were not always five... They were not always all blind... They were not always all from the Magnolia State... But.. boys? are you going to ask. Wait.

According to a review of E. Patrick Johnson’s Gays and Gospel: A History
of Sacred Music
”, "One of the more interesting asides is that a member of the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi was found to be a “she” after his death in 1994."

It's interesting to see how some reviewers are going right to the important.

God works in mysterious ways

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tony Bowens And The Soul-Choppers

Tony Bowens And The Soul-Choppers

21181 – Don’t Be So Mean
21182 - Boilin’ Water

Tony Bowens


Recorded in NY Bell studios.

One of the most popular bands in Hartford, Connecticut.

Bertha Lee ``Glass'' Bowens, Tony's mother, managed the Soul-Choppers band formed in 1967 around Tony. In 1968 they won amateur night at The Apollo Theatre in NYC. The band recorded one other single 'Do you feel it' pts 1 and 2.

Leader Tony played sax. Lt. Tony Bowens was killed in Vietnam in 1970.

Guitarist was Eli. Eli is originally from Savannah, GA. After his move to Hartford in 1967 Eli played with, "Tony Bowens and the Soul Choppers". Eli was the only black guitarist in Hartford playing in a 'punk' band, "The Repels". Later known as XY Eli.

Rob Fried was the drummer [1]. Another member was Sharon Clay Watson, who had already recorded with the Daydreams, a female singing group she had formed.

Hartford musician Roland Carter remember Tony Bowens in an interview :

Man, Hartford was burning hot during that era. I guess music was the commonality of that generation, huh?

I have a cousin in N.C. (North Carolina) named Joe that was born blind. Joe was considered to be a musical prodigy because he could not only play almost any kind of instrument; he was a fantastic singer as well. I took Tony Bowen and The Soul Choppers' 45(record) "Don't Be So Mean" down with me and he freaked out on how good Tony and the group sounded. He played that song over and over. He called Tony the best sax player he had ever heard. That song became the yard stick around here by which all of the up and coming sax players were measured.
from Roland Carter interview HERE

[1] Not the drummer ? : see Funkman53 in comments

A copy is currently auctioned at eBay. Five copies are archived in popsike, in the 150-415 $US range.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Pilgrim-Aires on Process

Lead By Sonny Motley

11713 - God's Saints

Lead By Melvin Johnson

11714 - I Trust In God

Process 114


black gospel


Melvin Johnson recorded also as the leader of The Barnett Harmonizers of Washington, D.C. (Lark Records).