Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Christmas In Frogville

Leappo (The Frog)

Christmas In Frogville

Look Before You Leap

Del-Ray Records DR 213
A Stayton-Lawrence Production
1963 or 1964?

Previous release on Del-Ray was "The Hep Old Frog" by Jimmy Stanton.   Del-Ray was a subsidiary of Blue Hen Records.

On Blue Hen Records see : Searching for Blue Hen Records

On Jimmy Stayton see RAB HoF

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Gran'Ma Doing The Bird

Four Roses And A Thorn

Gran'Ma Doing The Bird (part 1)

O-Job-Co Records 001/002

Composers are Oletha and Benny Curtis. The song was published by Titanic Music, a publishing company owned by Rudy Harvey, Los Angeles disk jockey (KGFJ and KDAY)

Born in Dover, Oklahoma in 1929, Oletha Jane House married Curtis B. Oliver in 1951. They came from Wichita, Kansas to Los Angeles in 1957 . She was a florist and was working as the secretary of the All American Youth Foundation of which she was co-founder.   She died in 1985.

Curtis B. Oliver, also known as Benjamin Curtis Oliver, recorded as Benny Curtis for Bridges, Soul Galore, Dynamite and Resist, and as Benny C. Oliver with The Mellow Men on his own Ojobco label.

Lead vocalist on this record is possibly Oletha.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Staten Island Baby

Don Roberts & The Islanders

Staten Island Baby
Roberts, Island Music BMI

Plaza Records 103
Distr by Island Music

Don't expect exotic tropical rhythms from these Islanders.  These Islanders called home Staten Island, the New York City less populated borough. 

Leader was probably this Donald Roberts who died in 2008.

He was VP of Construction for Shearson Lehman Hutton and Macy's NYC, and was Director of Construction for Consentini Associates. He managed and oversaw construction for many Hi Tech buildings all over the world.

He was also a successful leader and musician in the Don Roberts Orchestra, where he sang and played guitar in many of the Metropolitan area establishments. Later, he played with his son, Willy, as the Continental Duo/Don & Willy.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Baby, Baby, Baby (You're Too Young For Me)

Floyd Wilson

Baby, Baby, Baby
(You're Too Young For Me)

RCA Victor 47-6188


From his second recording session at RCA Victor Studio in Nashville, in March 1955.

Floyd Fisher Wilson was born in 1925.  Tennessee songwriter and performer whose name is mentioned in print between 1953 and 1956, and then nothing...

Floyd Wilson penned one of Darrell Glenn's best recordings,"I Think I'm Falling In Love With You" (Valley Publishers) and Carl Smith had a hit with his song "Go, Boy, Go".  Other well known artists such as Martha Carson, Cowboy Copas, Homer and Jethro recorded his songs.

I wonder if he also the same Floyd Wilson who later produced records in Nashville for Omar Records in the late sixties (recording artists : Bobby Parrish, Carroll Dyer, Linda Cassady)

A Floyd Wilson discography can be found here    Not listed by Praguefrank is a record issued as by Babs (Barbara Cross?) And Floyd on RCA in 1956. (Do You Love Me?)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

My Little Girl

E.S. Saunders and The Spades

My Little Girl

E. Saunders, G. Gaertner
Field House Pub. Co. BMI

Echo RAM 45 64131
Produced by Austin Custom Record
Austin, Texas

It looks like Austin, Texas had a high concentration of bands named The Spades in those days.  You heard about The Spades renamed The Slades (Domino Records) or about The Spades on Zero (Roky Erickson's first group), but you may never heard of this one before.  Even more amazing, the three bands all recorded sometime or another at the Roy Poole recording studios !

Friday, October 7, 2016

Busy Bee Buzz Buzz Buzz

Ray Paul Trio
Finger Ride
Nilda Dale
Busy Bee Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

DES 45-301

The mastermind behind this record was a Rhode Island songwriter named Louis Anthony Des Granges.   On the flip  Busy Bee Buzz Buzz Buzz (also known as Busy Bee Buzz Buzz Buzz Buzz Buzz)  is sung by Nilda Dale, whose real name is Nilda Des Granges born in 1925 and still alive not so far ago and still living in Providence, Rhode Island, wife or sister of the composer, I reckon.

Louis A. Des Granges seems to have been a reasonably active composer since at least the end of the forties, using various pseudonyms, such as Lou Granges,  Des Louis or Lou Granger :

Deep In My Heart (1947); Love Alone (1949),  Jumpin ' Jack (1963) Mister And Missus (1964), Would You Mind (1968, recorded by Buddy Arden Dot Records), Cleo, The Funny Bunny (With The Funny Yellow Tail) (1969 and 1977)  and If I Should Ever (1970)

Surely, it may be only a coincidence, but I've found a charming " Cleo, The Funny Bunny" sung by Cathey Conte on the website of The Fabulous Gabriel "a self contained singer/song writer who has been performing his original songs for years throughout this country and abroad." 
The Fabulous Gabriel was born in 1948, he is a graduate with a masters degree in music and history from (incidentally) Rhode Island College.  The Fabulous Gabriel has recorded in 1988 "Somewhere Elvis Is Smiling" and wrote more recently "Marilyn Monroe The Lost Diary"   But that "Cleo, The Funny Bunny" surely it's a different song.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

An Old Wolf Whistle

Jack Butler

An Old Wolf Whistle
Mel Butler, Butler Publications BMI

Decoy 7105
Decoy Records
600 Beaman St.
Clinton, N.C.
Also on Sparton (Canada), 1959

Jack Butler had started out in music when he was seven years old.  In 1951, he won the $100 first prize in the North Carolina Annual HIllbilly Contest and even made a couple guest appearances over WLAC in Nashville, Tennessee. He was then 11.  Jackie Butler and his Playmates were heard each week on Saturdays and Sundays on WRRZ out of Clinton, South Carolina.  There was at least two records on the Decoy label in 1951-1953.  According to,group members  in 1953 included  Jackie Butler, 13 years old, guitar, vocals, Wade Hargrove, age 12, steel guitar, Pam Luter, age 10, tenor guitar and ballads, "Snodgrass" Carter, age 12, washboard and comedy and Ciana Dawn, age 8, ukulele and novelty songs.

Owner of Decoy Records was Mel Butler, father of Jack/Jackie. Composer and publisher, Mel Butler had written songs with Shep Sessons (59 songs published in 1945!) before organizing a five-piece hillbilly outfit, the Mountaineerfuls in 1947.   

According to the Billboard issue dated November 3, 1958, Mel Butler re-activated the label with Bruce Earp as A&R man.  Jack Butler was (indeed) signed to the label, and Tony Valero and the Goshen Four as well.

Bruce Earp snagged the Canadian distributing rights to the Decoy record of "An Old Wolf Whistle" and also signed Larry Cotton to the label (Billboard Feb. 23, 1959). There was also a second release by Jack Butler on Decoy in 1959 (Sunshine Street b/w Make Believe Ballroom).  

Decoy, "The label that lures plenty of lucre" 1951

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

You Are My Sunshine

Les Travellers

You Are My Sunshine

Columbia (France) EP

This is Ian and Jonathan Bennetts from Yorkshire, England, two buskers, or “street singers” as they call themselves.  They began playing on the streets of Paris, France in 1957.

There is an interesting (and amusing) interview of the two brothers by Country Dave found HERE

Excerpt :
Jonathan :
.... in the old town of Geneva for instance, (there) was a super five-star restaurant and I’d sing in there and I’d put like a twenty franc note on the silver collection tray, and I’d score around about $200 in one show, ‘cause they were very, very wealthy, and I spoke to them in French which helped a lot.   

There was a king called King Farouk, and he used to go into this place regularly. He lived in Geneva when he was in exile, and he was in there one night when I was singing, and he said “Do you know anything Arabic?”, he spoke in French, and I said ”Yeah.”    
There’s a song called Moustapha that was a very popular song by an Algerian singer, so I sang that, I figure he’s gonna give me at least fifty bucks, anyway (he) went up to the collection, and he pulls out a purse and he takes out a ten centieme piece, it’s like five cents, he clinked it on my tray. I picked it up, and looked at him and I said “Your Majesty, I understand you’re in exile, and things must be very hard for you, so I think you need this more than I do” (laughs), and I gave it back to him. He went berserk, so the owner of the place threw me out. He said “We’re terribly sorry, Your Majesty”, (then) threw me out, and he winked at me and he said “Come by tomorrow”.

So I walked back in there the next night, and all the waiters and the chef came out and applauded me, they said “Fantastic, Jonathan”, gave me a beautiful dinner, and they said “This bastard’s been stiffing us”, he’d get a bill for $1000, and he’d leave a $1 tip”. (laughs). So I was popular for a long time in that place.

Ian and Jonathan Bennetts in 2010

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hey Little School Girl

Artie Lewis

Hey Little School Girl

arranged and conducted by
Richard Wess

Atco 45-6169

Probably the son of Artie Lewis, one of Miami Beach's affluent hotel men and cabana owners, Artie recorded this single in 1959 but for some reason it was issued only one year after its recording.

In 1958, Artie Lewis got his recording start on Oklahoma Records, a short-lived subsidiary of Hollis Music , a New York BMI publishing house run by Howard S. Richmond.   In 1959, around the same time as his Atlantic session, there was "Alone, All Alone / Why Don't They Believe Us" on Fling Records (a Fury Records subsidiary), songs also issued the following year on Kenco Records.

At the end of 1960,"16-year old  Artie Lewis of Drexel School," was in very low budget movie directed by Joe Rodero titled Bandstand Idol.   Also starring in the movie were Bill Wyler, Blanche Deveraux, George Florido, Candi Scott (aka Candi Casino)  and the South Florida band, The Flying Tornadoes.  There is VERY little information about this movie around the internet.

Later In the sixties, he was Arty Lewis on Hawk Records (Left Over Lovin' / What's A Fellow Gonna Do), Artie Lewis again on  Rust Records (Ain't that alright / I Wonder, 1964) and Loma Records (Falling (In Love With You) /Ain't No Good) in 1967.

For a picture of young and good looking Artie Lewis, see the picture sleeve of his Fling record HERE

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Makin' Whoopee!

Joanie Sommers
with Neal Hefti and his orchestra

Makin Whoopee!
Kahn-Donaldson, Bregman, Vocco & Conn, Inc. ASCAP

Warner Bros 5507

Joanie Sommers
(from the cover of her first WB LP)

In 1959, Joanie Sommers was put under contract by Warner Bros. records. She was put to work singing with Edd Byrnes (replacing Connie Stevens) of the TV series 77 Sunset Strip (1958) and guested on the show. Her first single with Byrnes was titled "Kookie's Love Song" and it was followed by her first solo album, 'Positively The Most', that same year. Critics embraced the jazz-influenced album and she was dubbed "the greatest singing discovery of the last 15 years". She was eighteen years old.

Joanie Sommers, sang Pepsi's jingles on radio and TV from 1961 through '67.  Here is one to the tune of "Makin' Whoopee"... for those who think young....


Witches Rock

George Vee
The Nephews

Witches Rock

Pink P-1011/1012

Penned and arranged by Norman Helfant and Jerry Luongo (© Norman A. Helfant & Gerald J.Luongo)
One-off 1959 label from New Jersey.  Real name of artist is George Vishnesky.

Mr. Luongo later served as mayor of Washington Township since 1989.  He also served 13 months in jail (2002-2003) :
In April 2002, Luongo was sentenced to serve 13 months in jail for his role in misusing campaign and community program funds for personal use, which included rent and mortgage payments, car payments, credit card bills, vacations and restaurant celebrations.. He was ordered by U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to make restitution of nearly $15,000, along with fines in excess of $20,000, which in total equal the amount that Luongo misappropriated as stipulated in his plea agreement.

During his 11 months at Federal Prison Camp, Eglin, Luongo wrote the book Surviving Federal Prison Camp: An Informative and Helpful Guide for Prospective Inmates, which was published in February 2004

Surviving Federal Prison Camp: An Informative
and Helpful Guide for Prospective Inmates

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gonna Put You Down

Barry Wilson
and The Camelots

Gonna Put You Down

Dot 45-16462
March 1963

On this record, an article published by Billboard (in its April 20, 1963 issue) has the following details :


BOSTON - Out of a new dance known as the Bug has come a new record produced by the sales representative of highbrow music radio station WCRB, which will, of course, not air his record.

It grew out of a new twist dance popularized in this area by the trio of Barry Wilson, Bob Prunier and Mo Burnham.  Gene Kilham of WCRB produced the record, had it published by Famous Music Corporation, New York and sold to Dot.  "The Bug" is backed with "Gonna Put You Down."

The group was backed by four Framingham businessmen who were instrumental in getting the trio started on the dance in the Camelot Lounge in Framingham.  The dance is now spreading to other parts of the country and is popular in New England areas.
Barry Wilson led several local bands The Orchids, among others, and was the vocalist of The Lundon Fog (until 1973).

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Let's Stay Home

Alan Dean

Let's Stay Home

Panama Artists, Inc.

Alan Dean
Morris Levy was his personal manager since 1951

Billboard, December 29, 1951

Alan Dean, born in East Ham, London in 1924, was voted the UK's most popular male singer in the Melody Maker 1949-50 popularity poll and retained that position until 1952.

By mid-1951 Alan realised that he had achieved all he could possibly achieve in Britain. He had kept in touch with pianist George Shearing, a colleague from his days with Frank Weir's band, and whose career had taken a great leap forward in America. Shearing advised Alan to "come on over". Then Barry Ulanov, the eminent music critic and editor of Metronome magazine, met Alan in London, heard him sing and gave him the same advice.

Encouraged by his support, but remaining cautious, Alan decided to 'test the water' on a short holiday in New York, but so quick and positive was the reaction there that he was unable to return to London until 1957. 

In the USA, there was records on London, Roost, MGM (1952-1956), Rama (1956-1957), Roulette (1957) and Panama (1959). 

Composer of "Let's Stay Home" is Denise Norwood (or Dennise Haas Norwood).  Se wrote among others "Garden Of Eden" (Joe Valino, Vik Records, 1956), Teenage Blues (Roc LaRue With The Three Pals, Rama Records, 1957),   and House Of Heartache  (Cathy Carr,  Fraternity  Records, 1957).
Dennise Norwood recorded herself a single for Glory Records in 1959 (Bring On The Rain b/w House Of Heartache) and a concept album titled " In The Skin With Me"  "an audio-musical with scenes and action in sound selections and story line" issued in 1962 on Dennise Records.  She died in 1999 in Florida.

Monday, September 26, 2016


The Barrons


KRCO 101

Quite probably a Beaumont, Texas group.  Composers of the songs, Byrun Portor (?) and Doyle Coody, were possibly members of The Barrons.

Vocal with a Bo Diddley rhythm. This is by far their best track for my taste.  All their other songs are in a doo-woopish vein.  The KRCo single was leased (or sold) to Westminster Records, a budget record company and issued later that year in 1959 on their Whitehall subsidiary.

Also probably part of the Westminster deal were four songs issued later on Guest Star,  another budget label. 

Guest Star 1481 track list

On the 10-tracks album, apart the two "4 Seasons" songs, The Barrons are credited on eight songs.
But only four tracks are really by "our" Barrons.  The four other Barrons tracks are actually by The Crescendos, the Nasco recording artists (track 2, 3, 4 and 6).

KRCo (Ken Ritter Company) was owned by the nephew of the cowboy star Tex Ritter.  During his stint in the military, Ken Ritter worked in Armed Forces Radio, and upon returning to Beaumont affiliated with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).   In 1956, he was granted the first music-publishing license here, and at the time it was among the earliest in the state.  In 1958, his first major success came when he co-produced the recording that took J.P. Big Bopper Richardson to national fame. With two novelty songs back to back, the Chantilly Lace side became a huge hit and sold in the millions.  He also discovered the talents of brothers Johnny and Edgar Winter of Beaumont and produced some of their early recordings.   Ken Ritter was elected mayor of Beaumont in 1970.

King Of The Blues

Al Berry
and The Furness Bros.

King Of The Blues
w &  m Max Dickman & Marilyn Israel

Melmar 115

Only "featured" on the previous record on the same label — Furness Brothers Featuring Al Berry — Al Berry is promoted here as the main artist.  He was a member of the New Furness Brothers at least until the early sixties.

Businessman and songwriter Max Dickman started the Melmar label in Broomall, Pennsylvania, named after his son, Melvin, and his wife, Marilyn.  The first three releases on the label were by Bonnie Davis & The Piccadilly Pipers [See Marv Goldberg's website HERE)