Saturday, October 29, 2016

Midnite Sun Band

Hello to everyone. I have a record by a group called the Midnite Sun Band that I was hoping those who follow this blog might be able to provide some information. I believe I found this gem on a trip to Tampa Bay, Florida earlier this year. Looking at the label it's a private pressing with the bands name at the top and has 1975 as year it was released below. The group's song "You've Got To Have Music" has a real nice early ZZ Top sound. If you can provide more details about the band that would be great.
                                                              Midnite Sun Band - You've Got To Have Music

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Double Spin from 1967

Hi to all. I decided to highlight two lesser known bands from 1967. The Canadian Legends who were actually from Louisiana released a couple of 45's. The record featured today was groups first release in April 1967. "Just One Girl " has a catchy sound similar to The Outsiders "Time Won't Let Me". The Huntingtons from Hoquiam, Washington release there one and only 45 in May 1967. Both songs on the 45 are good. "You Better Mend Your Ways" has a garage sound . The group changes it up on flip side with the ballad "I Told The World".  All comments and information to help better remember these groups are welcomed.
                                                                    Canadian Legends - Just One Girl

                                                                     The Huntingtons - I Told The World

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Beautiful Apollo (Barra-Donna)

The Apollo’s Apaches from Chicago, Illinois  released their debut 45 in February 1966. Both sides of the 45 have appeared on compilation albums and the group's "Cry me a Lie"has become a garage classic. The song would later be picked up and released on the  Barra-Donna record label in April 1967.

The Apollo’s Apaches change their name to The Beautiful Apollo and release two more records on
 Barra-Donna. The 45 featured  on the blog is the second release as the The Beautiful Apollo. It has the bubblegum sounding song "Spring Timey". I think it came out in 1969 but more info is needed to know for sure. The song writers for the song are original band members Ray and Richie Mallow. One more thing , the ending of "Spring Timey"is a little different.

                                                                    The Beautiful Apollo - Spring Timey

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Crimson Shades (Cinemasound)

The Crimson Shades were from Toledo, Ohio. In late 1964 the band released their only record on the Cinema sound label. "Don't Chase Me Away" and "I Wrote My Love A Letter" are original songs by the group. Both have a swirling organ sound. Nice record.
                                                            The Crimson Shades - Don't Chase Me Away

                                                       The Crimson Shades - I Wrote My Love A Letter

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Ghost Riders (Newland)

The Ghost Riders were from Indianapolis, Indiana. The record was release in 1971. The group does a faster rock cover of Mel Tillis's  1966 song "Mental Revenge". The flip "Ghost Rider Theme" is the band's version of the Ramrods "Ghost Riders In The Sky"
                                                                  The Ghost Riders - Mental Revenge

                                                                  The Ghost Riders - Ghost Riders Theme

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Checkmates ( Audio Recording)

Hello and happy new year. I wish you all the very best. I would like to start off 2016 with a instrumental record by a group called The Checkmates. The band recorded a couple of cool songs. "Work Song" has a Mod/Garage beat and the flip "Blue Star" has a really nice surf sound. Looking at the dead wax numbers it seems that the 45 was released in 1964. I think the group might have been from Canada , but more info is needed to know for sure. I don't think either song has appeared on a compilation album but I'm sure someday that will happen.
                                                                       The Checkmates - Work Song

                                                                       The Checkmates - Blue Star

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The 1960's Sound

The 1960's was a great decade for Rock 'n 'Roll. So many different sounds and types of music to enjoy. This month as always I would like zero in on some of those lesser known bands that had their part in making the music of the 1960's so interesting. Your Comments are welcomed.
                                                                              The Pretenders -You Don't Fool Me

                                                                         The Spartas- House Of The Rising Sun

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Newcomers (Gigolo)

The Newcomers were from New York City. In 1965 the group released this record on Gigolo Records. Both songs are great. "Alladins Lamp" has that moody garage sound . On the flip side the groups "She Was There" rocks with a crude Mersey  garage beat.
                                                                       The Newcomers - Alladins Lamp

                                                                       The Newcomers - She Was There

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Steve Robbins (Lemco)

Lemco records out of Lexington , Kentucky released many recordings of lesser known artist. This record by Steve Robbins is one those, it was released in 1970. I like his tribute to astronaut Neil Armstrong with the song "Armstrong". The flip side "Natural to be gone" has a slight Glen Campbell sound accompanied with heavy banjo.
                                                                           Steve Robbins - Armstrong

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Worthy Finds

Hello, after looking thru the stacks of vinyl, I decided to feature a couple of artists whose music has fallen thru the cracks over the years that are worthy to be heard again . The first of these is by a group called The Swivel Hips. They recorded a version of the Ventures "Walk Don't Run" on the Top Hit Tunes record label. Top Hit Tunes records were sold mostly in the Woolworth's five and dime stores. They featured six low budget recordings of the popular songs from the day performed by different artists. As far I could find this was the only song the group recorded. My guess is that this was a studio group. The second song is by Jack Fraley. He wrote and recorded  two songs "Trust in Me" and "Wanderer" on Westland Records in 1966. I highlighted "Wanderer" which was the B side of the 45.  It's a catchy ballad. I think for the time period it certainly had the potential to be a hit.
                                                                        The Swivel Hips - Walk don't run

                                                                          Jack Fraley - Wanderer

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Mopptops

The Mopptops were a rock-n-roll group that resided in the Hawaiian Islands. The band recorded several very good 45’s and was extremely popular locally, but for the most part their music was isolated to that region of the United States. I was pleased when Jesse Morgan, the lead singer of The Mopptops, contacted me and was gracious enough to provide photos and to share his memories of the time he spent with the group. Thanks Jesse.
Ronny Payton      Michael Payton       Jesse Morgan
Michael Nakasone 

  The Mopptops originated in the mid 1960's in Honolulu, Hawaii and rocked the Hawaiian Islands right into the early 70's. For many years the Islanders favorite Rock/RB band, and the longest lasting local rock group in Hawaii. Originally when the Mopptops began there were three members already assembled when I was asked to join the band as lead singer/front-man: Michael Payton (Drums), Ronny Payton (Bass Guitar/Tenor Sax), and Michael Nakasone (Piano/Alto Sax). The three of them just recorded an instrumental 45rpm on Teen Records “Flipper” and on the flip side “Mop Top”. The band was looking for a singer to complete the group and that was me.
  There were many good bands in Hawaii back then. However, most of the groups would not last long, for some maybe a year or two before disbanding or disappearing from the music/band scene. Most of the bands back in the day catered to local people's interest in music and cover songs played on the radio stations. The Mopptops were different from other local bands of that era, we played more progressive long hair rock/r&b and moved around on stage with lots of energy that produced a show that would captured the audience's attention, The band was more in with the mainland style of music. Typically the pop music scene in Hawaii lagged behind what was a year ahead on the mainland and around the world. The Mopptops were an alternative to the other groups on the Island, and because of this, it took longer for us to reach our own audience. Our biggest followers consisted mostly of people from the mainland and those serving in the military; the military presence in Hawaii was very large due to the many military bases throughout Hawaii. The original MOPPTOPS fame grew because of the band’s zany showmanship on stage, our long hair, drums on fire and me dancing the latest moves on stage was helpful. We couldn’t even go to the grocery store without getting mobbed by fans. Once I joined the band, Michael Payton and I collaborated to write most of our songs. . The Mopptops recorded mostly original material and very little cover songs. The Band worked the nightclub circuit, enabling us to make a living at what we love doing. The group’s second record featured a couple of songs that Michael Payton and I wrote “I Want You to Stand by Me” and “I Tried”. The record was released on the Dee Jay record label.

The Mopptops performing at the Honolulu International Center in 1965
  Our music got air play from the local radio stations, and The Mopptops were always considered first to perform at the HIC (Honolulu International Center) concert arena to either open or perform alone with the well-known recording groups coming to Honolulu to perform back then. The bands we performed with were all major recording groups and/or artists from around the world. After the first 2 record releases ran their course, Ronny Payton and Michael Nakasone decided to leave the group and pursue their education. Years later Michael Nakasone taught music at the University of Hawaii, then he later was tapped as music conductor for Hawaii's prestigious Royal Hawaiian Band (what an honor). Shortly after, Randy Aloya joined the band replacing Ron Payton on Bass. Randy was already a friend of mine. Then we asked Randy’s cousin Bernard Deseo to join and play lead guitar to replace Michael Nakasone. The next generation of The Mopptops consisted of: Michael Payton (Drums), Randy Aloya (Bass Guitar), Bernard Doseo (Lead Guitar) and myself (Lead singer/Rhythm Guitar).  This line-up recorded the Who’s song “The Kids Are Alright” and “Never Change Your Mind “. It was released on a record label called Fantastic Records.

Jesse Morgan       Michael Payton        Bernard Deseo        Randy Aloya

                                                       The Mopptops - Never change your mind 

  Later on Michael Payton left the group and pursued his education at the University of Hawaii and was replaced by Bert Dejesus. The Mopptops next lineup included Bert Dejesus (Drums), Randy Aloya (Bass Guitar), Bernard Doseo (Lead Guitar) and myself (Lead singer/Rhythm Guitar). This lineup was more about the music and getting our own sound. We recorded two 45’s; one on the Fantastic Label and Lemon Tree Records. There was another lineup of Mopptops that I was not part of and included no original members. I’m unsure who was in the band. I think Bernard and Bert were members of this group. They recorded one 45rpm record and the songs were “Rule of My Mind” and “Our Lives”. All the Mopptops 45’s were released on local Hawaiian record labels (Teen, Dee Jay, Lemon Tree and Fantastic Records). I don’t recall which record was the biggest seller, we did have one of our singles in the top 10 in Hawaii. I do know that none of them charted outside of Hawaii. With the exception of the first record, I mostly was involved in the productions and writing of all the group’s records. In 1969, I released a solo record, a song I wrote called "I Gotta Get Back". It has recently been reissued by Tramp Records a German record label. Since then I’ve went on to record several more singles and an album, and most recently came out of a five year contract with Universal Music Publishing Group Library & Film division, and now with Tramp Records out of Germany. I’m still active in music, and can be reach at my web page: or for updates and latest activities. Living in Los Angeles, Ca. and writing music (Words & Music). Hope you enjoyed this short story of the The Mopptops Band from the mid 60’s – it was a great time for all of us that remember.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bob London and the Bobbies (GEE - BEE)

Featured on the blog this month is a obscure record by a group called Bob London and the Bobbies. The matrix numbers on the record shows that the 45 was released in 1966. The group was talented, both songs are very good with nice vocals."Times in my life" is exceptional with it's jangle folk garage rock sound. It certainly had the potential to become a hit. So far I have not found any information of where the band might have hailed from. It is a mystery. I'm hoping that someone might have information/ knowledge about the group that would help to better remember them.
                                                          Bob London and the Bobbies - Times in my Life

                                                    Bob London and the Bobbies - Don't know where to start

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bill Poe (Dean)

I was reading various stories recently about the Vietnam war and the people who fought in that conflict. When I was growing up in the 1960's the war was on the TV most every night. It was on everyone's mind. My friend Joe served and was severely injured in 1968. Although missing half a leg from those injuries he has rode motorcycles for years. Last year Joe took a long road trip on his motorcycle to encourage and support other disabled Veterans. He is an amazing person. I say all this because it leads to the latest record posted on the blog. In 1967 Bill Poe from Martinsville, Indiana wrote and recorded the song "Twenty Brave Men". The song was released on the Dean record label. It is a powerful and haunting ballad about war.To say the Vietnam War had an impact on the music scene in the 1960's would be an understatement. I hope you enjoy the record.
                                                                           Bill Poe- Twenty Brave Men

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Staff (Tennalaga)

Tennalaga records released different genres of music in the late 1960's. Some of these records are highly sought out by collectors such as The Expressions and The Peabody Hermitage. Nothing like that today but I would like to feature a band called The Staff. It came out in 1968. The groups "outside interference" has a cool folk rock sound.
                                                                    The Staff - Outside Interference

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Alan and the Weekenders (Mohawk)

 I like the old timey rock and roll beat on this 45 by Alan and the Weekenders. The writer for both songs is Alan Naclerio. The matrix number looks like the record was released in 1965.
                                                              Alan and the Weekenders - Don't cry no more

                                                                   Alan and the Weekenders - Party Invitation