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.
                                                                                          I Tried

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

                                                                         Never Change Your Mind  

                                                                  The Kids Are All Right

 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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A couple of 45's

Hello to all, I was hoping someone might have information on a couple of records. The first of these is a 45 that was released in 1967 by The Spyres with Mike Prewitt on the Vix label. The group does a very good version of "Baby let me take you home".  The flip has an original song that was written by Mike Prewitt called "Looking for a place". The second record is by Joe and Jeff. It has a crude folk/rock sound. The numbers on the A.P.T 10 label are also etched in the dead wax. I hope this will help to determine the year the 45 was released. I appreciate those who follow the blog and are able to provide feed back on some of these lesser known records. Thank you.

                                                                     The Spyres - Baby Let Me Take You Home
                                                     Joe and Jeff - I want to love you                                                  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Count V (BOB-KE)

Here is a good one by the Count V. This is not the San Jose, California's Count Five who had the hit "Psychotic Reaction" in 1966. These guys had a very different sound. More Mersey. The song writer of "Don't be afraid" is not listed on the label. It is thought by some of the experts that the Count V hailed from the southern Michigan area. The 45 was released on the Bob-Ke record label which was located in Wayne, Michigan. From the matrix numbers the Count V's record was released in 1966 as well. I'm sure this would have been a source of confusion back in day with both 45's being at the local record shop in the same year.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Night Raiders (Occidental)

The Night Raiders consisted of Vandy Holloway , Junior Mann , Roger Mann ,Gaylon Adams and Tommy Ellenbury. They were from Alabama and performed mostly in the southeastern area of the United States. The above photo of the group is from 1968. The band recorded two original songs that was released on Occidental records. As you can see from the labels the name of the group is different on each side. More info is needed to know why that is.  I'm guessing it was for the band member (Gaylon Adams and Roger Mann) who was the lead vocals on the particular song that was recorded. Not that it matters, both songs are good.

                                                          Gaylon Adams and the Night Raiders-While I Can

                                                           Roger Mann and the Night Raiders-This Time Again

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Losers (Teen)

Very little is known about the Losers except for this 45 the group released in 1966. Teen Records was located in Mount Healthy, Ohio which is in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky metropolitan area. The record label shows the writers of both songs was Don Skidmore, Bill Derossett and Jerry Yount. I am assuming they were the band members. I don't think neither song has appeared on any compilation album. I'm sure one day that will happen. Both songs was well done by the group.
                                                                           The Losers - Open Up Your Eyes

                                                                                       The Losers - I Told Her

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bob and Randy (Shawn)

Hi everyone. Happy New Year. I wish all the best. For myself last year was a good year spending time with my Grandson. I hope this year will be like wise. Alright, lets dig into a good 45 from Bob and Randy on the Shawn label. From the matrix numbers (Delta Triangle Symbol 67195) in the dead wax it looks like it was pressed at the Monarch record facility in the summer of 1967. The 45 has a psych/pop, maybe a slight Turtles sound. My favorite is side one "Gonna learn something new" but both songs have a catchy beat. If anyone can provide more details about the record that would be great.