Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Scarlets (Maxwell 56)

Happy New Year everyone. I would like to start the year off with this wonderful folk 45 from 1965, The Scarlets were from Wheeling West Virginia. Band members were Mary Kay Fedorovich (Drums), John Hill ( Guitar, Vocals), Greg Nowak (Lead Guitar), Ron Plecha (Guitar, Vocals) and Don Teachout (Bass)

I found this interesting story from band member and song writer Ron Plecha . He gives details for the inspiration behind both of the songs on this 45. I would like to present his story for you today.
  Ron Plecha
  Growing up in central/south Wheeling in the1960's, and being influenced by local performers such as Pat Garrison, Barry Manso, Gil Crochard and Don Teachout (a.k.a. Troy Onteare), created the spark that that lit the musical fire in John Hill and myself. Don was the owner of the Maxwell 56 record label, on which we eventually released our first record. (Billy D. and If I had a Girl).
  "If I Had A Girl" took me about 10 minutes to write, one day after school in 1962. "Billy D." was inspired by John F. Kennedy's famous Cuban missile crisis speech, which filled me with patriotism. That inspiration, together with my close friendship with John Hill, formed the first three verses of the song, which I feel came straight from the heart. When I had put those opening verses to a melody, I went right over to John's house, and played for him what I had. He quickly collaborated on the second half, and the song was complete!
  At that time, The Scarlets were putting some polish on "If I Had A Girl", and was preparing an instrumental piece called "Andromeda" for the "B" side. I'm not sure why we were going to use an instrumental for the "B" side. I remember as a kid, my friend Joe Yordan and I always liked instrumentals..... Anyway, when we got into the studio and successfully recorded "If I Had A Girl" to tape, it was time to record the flip side, "Andromeda". After about 12 tries, our recording engineer, Brent Walton (God bless him, the man must have had the patience of a saint), couldn't take it anymore, and asked, "Don't you guys have ANYTHING else you can do?", and thus, as fate would have it, the sad saga of "Billy D" was born. Sadly, Don Teachout passed away in 1999. We were truly a close-knit, great bunch of friends who enjoyed our time together, and were, in fact, blessed to be able to do what we did.

                                                                         The Scarlets - If I had a girl

                                                                                 The Scarlets - Billy D

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