Old Melodies ...


Old Melodies ...

Beat, Garage,Psychedelic... and much more in one place.

Embassy Records Classic Covers 1957-1962

Embassy Records Classic Covers 1957-1962

Embassy Records Classic Covers 1957-1962

Embassy Records was a UK budget record label that produced cover versions of current hit songs, which were sold exclusively in Woolworths shops at a lower price than the original recordings. The original label was active between 1954 and 1965, after which it disappeared when its parent company, Oriole, was taken over by CBS Records.

Later, between 1973 and 1980, CBS Records revived the Embassy imprint to release budget versions of albums in the UK and Europe by artists who were signed to its parent company, Columbia Records.

Embassy Records was the result of a contractual arrangement between Oriole Records and Woolworths, with Embassy's product being sold exclusively through the latter's stores. Between November 1954 and January 1965, Embassy released around 1,200 songs recorded by about 150 different artists and these releases were sold for half the price of a major label release of the era. The label's releases mostly consisted of double A-side singles that were cover versions of then-current or predicted UK Top 20 hits, and it was not unusual for different artists or contrasting pop styles to appear on either side of a record. Embassy can therefore be seen as a UK equivalent of U.S. labels such as Hit and (in its early days) Bell Records.

The label's product was recorded at the Embassy Recording Studios in New Bond Street, Mayfair, and manufactured by Oriole, who also licensed the material to many foreign outlets. The tight Embassy recording schedule required four different songs to be recorded in one three-hour session. Included in this standard three-hour session was the initial studio set-up time, before any actual songs were recorded, and a mandatory musicians' coffee break. This meant that on average there was a little over 30 minutes allowed for the recording of an individual song, which, in turn, meant that the artists who did the actual singing had to be first-rate professional singers who could enter a studio and record a song in very few takes. As a result, Embassy artists tended to be very experienced big band or session singers, who would also regularly broadcast live on BBC radio. Sometimes these musicians used their professional name when recording for Embassy, but very often they used pseudonyms. The recording sessions usually took place on a Thursday, so that the cover version discs could be rushed out into the stores by the following Monday to compete with the real thing.

As well as releasing covers of current hit singles, Embassy Records also produced EPs of trad jazz, children's songs, light classical music, and songs from musicals.

In late 1964, Embassy's parent label, Oriole, was taken over by CBS Records (Columbia Records in America). Following this purchase, the label was discontinued, with the final Embassy release of the 1960s being "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow the Sun)" by Paul Rich and the Beatmen (b/w "The Special Years" by Burt Shane) in January 1965. By this time, the concept of budget cover version releases of current hit songs had been imitated by other labels such as Cannon, Crossbow, Top Six, and Top Pops. CBS subsidiary Hallmark/Pickwick launched the Top of the Pops series of albums a few years after the demise of Embassy, but unlike Embassy's releases, no artists were ever identified on the records.

The artist whose name appears on the greatest number of Embassy recordings is Paul Rich, a singer with the Lou Preager Orchestra, who recorded for Embassy between 1957 and 1965. However, the artist who actually recorded the most songs for Embassy was Ray Pilgrim. Between 1960 and 1965 he recorded almost 150 songs for the Embassy label using the pseudonyms Bobby Stevens, the Typhoons, the Jaybirds, and the Starlings.

Mike Redway, who had been a singer with the Oscar Rabin Band, recorded for Embassy under the pseudonym Redd Wayne, in addition to appearing on many of the Typhoons, Jaybirds and Starlings recordings for the label between 1962 and 1965. Redway later sang the vocal version of the "Casino Royale Theme" over the closing credits of the 1967 Casino Royale film. Ken Barrie, who later became the voice of Postman Pat, recorded for Embassy under the name of Les Carle.

The girl singers who made the most recordings for the label were Jean Campbell, Joan Baxter, Maureen Evans and Barbara Kay, with all but the latter recording for Embassy under their own names.Maureen Evans went on to have a hit for Oriole with "Like I Do" and Barbara Kay was one of the members of the Carefrees, who released the novelty record "We Love You Beatles" in 1964. Barbara Kay, who was yet another singer who had previously been with the Oscar Rabin Band, was usually credited as Kay Barry on Embassy releases.

Instrumental recordings would feature whatever session musicians were booked for that day, so the names used for the label, such as Bud Ashton, the Beatmen and the Happy Knights, did not imply any particular participants. Similarly, the group names such as the Typhoons, the Jaybirds, and the Starlings did not imply any consistent membership and were generally made up of any musicians who were available on that particular day. Additionally, backing vocals on many Embassy releases were provided by the Mike Sammes Singers but usually went uncredited.

History 1973–1980

CBS Records revived the Embassy imprint in 1973, with the slogan "All the Best from Embassy", to release budget albums of out of print, unissued, or foreign material in the UK and Europe, which had originally been released by Columbia Records (or its subsidiaries). Initially, 39 albums were released by the label in October, 1973, including titles by Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Sly & the Family Stone, Fleetwood Mac, and Blood, Sweat & Tears, among others. Many other Columbia artists had albums reissued on Embassy during the 1970s, including Johnny Mathis, the Byrds, Andy Williams, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, and Spirit. CBS Records once again discontinued the Embassy imprint and ceased issuing albums in the UK and Europe in 1980. However, there are known to be some Mexican Embassy releases from much later on in the 1980s.


"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

The Wizard of Oz (De Luxe Edition) 1939

The Wizard of Oz (De Luxe Edition) 1939

I Had to include This Superb De Luxe Edition of The Wizard of OZ Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture (1939).
As A child growing up in this Vast World of Learning, You Find in your mind Oh! i want to see this? You say to your Mother...Ok.. Mother Replies..Sit down and watch TV....Then the Black an white TV bursts into Light....And you sit in amazement while watching The Wizard of Oz. When it Finished..You think to yourself...Again! Again! i want to watch it Again...I was About 5-6 Years Old and i still Remember This little Episode in my life. So i'm Sharing This with you all out there in this Vast World. We All Have Brains, We all have a Heart and We all Have Courage....Enjoy.

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Chris Andrews Greatest Hits (FRA)

Chris Andrews Greatest Hits (FRA)

Chris Andrews Greatest Hits (FRA)

Christopher Frederick Andrews (born 15 October 1942) is an English-German singer-songwriter whose musical career started in the late 1950s.

Andrews was born in Romford, Essex, England, and by his mid teens had formed his own group, Chris Ravel and the Ravers. On 14 March 1959, he made his British television debut, performing on the Oh, Boy! show. He would later return in April to perform a cover of Cliff Richard's, "Move It".

For Adam Faith, Andrews wrote "The First Time" (No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart, 1963) and "We Are in Love" (No. 11, 1964), and then a string of hits for Sandie Shaw. They included "Girl Don't Come" (No. 3, 1964/65), "I'll Stop at Nothing" (No. 4, 1965), "Message Understood" (No. 6, 1965) and "Long Live Love" (No. 1, 1965). The latter remained a chart topper in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks. "Girl Don't Come" was covered by Cher on her debut album, All I Really Want to Do.

Also in 1965, Andrews as a solo artist, got to No. 3 in the same listings with "Yesterday Man", which peaked in Germany at No. 1 for four weeks; followed up with a No. 13 hit in the UK "To Whom It Concerns". The instrumental section of this song was used as the theme for RTÉ's long-running TV programme, The Late Late Show, until 1999, and a re-arranged version returned as the show's theme music in September 2009. As well as obtaining a high placing in the UK chart with "Yesterday Man", it also climbed to No. 1 in Ireland and Germany. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Later releases were not as successful, but his own hits are seen as early examples of bluebeat influenced white pop music. Although his chart appearances dwindled in Britain by 1966, his chart topping success continued in mainland Europe for a number of years, particularly in Germany, and Andrews often recorded in foreign languages. It is possible that Chris Andrews' huge success in Germany was connected to the fact that his two UK hits, at least, were rhythmically redolent of Oom-pah music (although not intentionally so; see above), thus making them more acceptable to older German audiences who would not have liked many of the other Anglophone songs which became hits there.

In South Africa, his later single releases proved particularly popular, with "Pretty Belinda" (1969), "Carol OK" and "Brown Eyes" (both 1970) all topping the charts there. "Yo Yo" reached No. 7 at the end of 1970.

Andrews remains active in his career as a singer-songwriter, working primarily in continental Europe and in the United Kingdom. He lives with his second wife Alexandra, who is also his manager, in Selm, Germany, and Mallorca. Because of the Brexit vote, Andrews obtained also a German citizenship in 2016.


As Requested by Nostalgia Forever..

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

The Moody Blues (Nights in White Satin/Peak Hour) 7" Single (SPAIN) 1967

Continuing The Singles Collection is.....

My Favourite Song of All Time is....

"Nights in White Satin" is a song by the Moody Blues, written and composed by Justin Hayward. It was first featured as the segment "The Night" on the album Days of Future Passed. When first released as a single in 1967, it reached number 19 on the UK Singles Chart and number 103 in the United States in 1968. It was the first significant chart entry by the band since "Go Now" and its recent lineup change, in which Denny Laine had resigned and both Hayward and John Lodge had joined.

When reissued in 1972, in the United States the single hit number two – for two weeks – on the Billboard Hot 100 (behind "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash) and hit number one on the Cash Box Top 100. It earned a gold certification for sales of over a million U.S. copies. It also hit number one in Canada.

Band member Justin Hayward wrote and composed the song at age 19 in Swindon, and titled the song after a girlfriend gave him a gift of satin bedsheets. The song itself was a tale of a yearning love from afar, which leads many aficionados to term it as a tale of unrequited love endured by Hayward. Hayward said of the song, "It was just another song I was writing and I thought it was very powerful. It was a very personal song and every note, every word in it means something to me and I found that a lot of other people have felt that very same way about it."

The London Festival Orchestra provided the orchestral accompaniment for the introduction, the final rendition of the chorus, and the "final lament" section, all of which were in the original album version. The "orchestral" sounds in the main body of the song were actually produced by Mike Pinder's Mellotron keyboard device, which would come to define the "Moody Blues sound".

The song is written in the key of E minor and features the Neapolitan chord (F).

The two single versions of the song were both stripped of the orchestral and "Late Lament" poetry sections of the LP version. The first edited version, with the songwriter's credit shown as "Redwave", was a hasty-sounding 3:06 version of the LP recording with very noticeable chopped parts. However, many versions of the single are listed on the labels at 3:06, but in fact are closer to the later version of 4:26.

Some versions, instead of ending cold as most do, segue briefly into the symphonic second half ("Late Lament") and, in fact, run for 4:33 (but are also listed on the label as 3:06). For the second edited version (with the song's writing credited to Hayward), the early parts of the song were kept intact, ending early at 4:26. Most single versions were backed with a non-LP B-side, "Cities".

Although it only had limited commercial success on its first release, the song has since garnered much critical acclaim, ranking number 36 in BBC Radio 2's "Sold on Song Top 100" list.

"Late Lament"

The spoken-word poem heard near the six-minute mark of the album version of the song is called "Late Lament". Drummer Graeme Edge wrote the verses, which were recited by keyboardist Mike Pinder. On Days of Future Passed, the poem's last five lines bracket the album and also appear at the end of track 1 ("The Day Begins").

While it has been commonly known as part of "Nights in White Satin" with no separate credit on the original LP, "Late Lament" was given its own listing on the two-LP compilation This Is The Moody Blues in 1974 and again in 1987 (without its parent song) on another compilation, Prelude. Both compilations feature the track in a slightly different form than on Days of Future Passed, giving both spoken and instrumental tracks an echo effect. The orchestral ending is kept intact, but mastering engineers edited out the gong (struck by Mike Pinder) that closes the track on the original LP.

From 1992 through the early 2000s, the Moody Blues toured with shows backed by live orchestras. When with orchestral accompaniment, they often took the opportunity to include "Late Lament" in the performance of "Nights in White Satin". On these occasions, Edge recited it himself, since Pinder was no longer in the band at that time.

False claim of authorship
In the late 1990s, the UK magazine Record Collector printed a claim that "Nights in White Satin" had not been written by Justin Hayward at all, but that in fact the Moody Blues' management had simply bought the song outright in 1966 from an Italian group called "Les Jelly Roll" and taken credit for it. This claim seems to have arisen from the discovery of a 7" single by the Jelly Roll which carries the words "This is the original version of Nights in White Satin" on the label.

"Les Jelly Roll" was a French band who did a cover version of the Moody Blues song, and had the opportunity to release it in Italy on Ricordi (an Italian record label), a few months before the original was released there. As a joke, they put the now-famous sentence on the cover.


Justin Hayward – acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Ray Thomas – flute, backing vocals
Mike Pinder – Mellotron, backing vocals, narration (on "Late Lament"), gong
John Lodge – bass, backing vocals
Graeme Edge – drums, backing vocals, percussion

Additional personnel

Peter Knight and the London Festival Orchestra – orchestral arrangements

Theme park attraction and other uses

The work was reinterpreted as the focus of Nights in White Satin: The Trip, a dark ride at the Hard Rock Park theme park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S.A. The attraction, which included 3D-black light and fiber-optic lighting effects and purpose-made films, was developed by Sally Corporation and Jon Binkowski of Hard Rock Park. Riders entered through a bead curtain and were provided with 3D glasses.

The attraction operated as "The Trip" for the single 2008 season the park operated as Hard Rock Park, but was rethemed as "Monstars of Rock" with the sale and retitling of the park as Freestyle Music Park; "park officials said the experience will be similar but the presentation will be changed." Freestyle Music Park would cease operations after its only season as such in 2009.

Nights in White Satin was the title of a 1987 film directed by Michael Barnard, and starring Kip Gilman and Priscilla Harris. The Moody Blues recording of the song was featured prominently in the soundtrack, particularly during a rooftop dance sequence.

Sandra version

"Nights in White Satin"
Single by Sandra
from the album Fading Shades
Released March 1995
Format CD single
12" single
Recorded 1995
Genre Synthpop
Length 3:35
Label Virgin
Songwriter(s) Justin Hayward
Producer(s) Michael Cretu
Sandra singles chronology
"Maria Magdalena '93" 
(1993) "Nights in White Satin" 
(1995) "Won't Run Away" 
"Nights in White Satin" is a pop-rock cover version of the selection written and composed by Justin Hayward, which was performed by the German singer Sandra. The song appeared on Sandra's sixth studio album Fading Shades (1995).

It was produced by Michael Cretu and received mixed reception from music critics. The song was released as the lead single in the spring of 1995 (see 1995 in music), although it failed to match the success of Sandra's previous singles. The song peaked at #1 in Israel (spending two weeks at the top), #17 in Finland, and #34 in New Zealand (Sandra's only charting hit there). In Germany it only peaked at #86, becoming her least successful lead single in that country to date. In the United Kingdom, it failed to enter the chart.

The music video, directed by Angel Hart, showed only close ups of Sandra's face as she was pregnant at the time. She even had to sit during the recording sessions of the album. (Note that the Fading Shades album cover was taken from the music video.)


"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"


The Moody Blues (Go Now!) EP (FRA) 1965

The Moody Blues (Go Now!) EP (FRA) 1965

The Moody Blues (Go Now!) EP (FRA) 1965

The Moody Blues are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick. The group came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music. They made some changes in musicians but settled on a line-up of Pinder, Thomas, Edge, guitarist Justin Hayward, and bassist John Lodge, who stayed together for most of the band's "classic era" into the early 1970s.

Their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music which established the band as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive rock. It has been described as a "landmark" and "one of the first successful concept albums".The group toured extensively through the early 1970s, then took an extended hiatus from 1974 until 1977. Founder Mike Pinder left the group a year after they re-formed and was replaced by Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz in 1978. In the following decade they took on a more synth-pop sound and produced The Other Side of Life in 1986, which made them the first act to earn each of its first three top 10 singles in the United States in a different decade. Health troubles led to a diminished role for founder Ray Thomas throughout the 1980s, though his musical contributions rebounded after Moraz departed in 1991. Thomas retired from the band in 2002. The band's most recent album was December (2003), a collection of Christmas music. They continued to tour throughout the first decade of the 2000s, and they still regroup for periodic events, one-off concerts, short tours, and cruises.

The Moody Blues' most successful singles include "Go Now", "Nights in White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon", "Question", and "Your Wildest Dreams". The band has sold 70 million albums worldwide, which includes 18 platinum and gold LPs. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Early years, Decca Records 1964–1966

The Moody Blues formed in 1964 in Erdington, a suburb of Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire. Ray Thomas, a young John Lodge and (occasionally) Mike Pinder had been members of El Riot & the Rebels. They disbanded when Lodge, the youngest member, went to technical college and Pinder joined the army. Pinder then rejoined Thomas to form the Krew Cats. Back from a disappointing spell in the Hamburg region a few months later, the pair recruited guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine and band manager-turned-drummer Graeme Edge. Pinder and Thomas initially approached their former El Riot bandmate John Lodge about being the bass player, but Lodge declined as he was still in college. They instead recruited bassist Clint Warwick. The five appeared as the Moody Blues for the first time in Birmingham in 1964. The name developed from a hoped-for sponsorship from the Mitchells & Butlers Brewery which failed to materialise, the band calling themselves both "The M Bs" and "The M B Five", and was also a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song "Mood Indigo". In an interview it was revealed that the band was named "Moody Blues" because Mike Pinder was interested in how music changes people's moods and due to the fact that the band was playing blues at the time. Around this time the band were the resident group at the Carlton Ballroom, later to become rock music venue Mothers on Erdington High Street.

The band soon obtained a London-based management company, 'Ridgepride', formed by Alex Murray (Alex Wharton), who had been in the A&R division of Decca Records. Their recording contract was signed in the spring of 1964 with Ridgepride, which then leased their recordings to Decca. They released a single, "Steal Your Heart Away", that year which failed to chart. They also appeared on the cult TV programme Ready Steady Go! singing the uptempo 'B' side "Lose Your Money (But Don't Lose your Mind)". But it was their second single, "Go Now" (released later that year), that launched their career, being promoted on TV with one of the first purpose-made promotional films in the pop era, produced and directed by Alex Wharton. The single became a hit in Britain (where it remains their only Number 1 single) and in the United States, where it reached No. 10. The band encountered management problems after the chart-topping hit and subsequently signed to Decca Records in the UK (London Records in the US) directly as recording artists. A four-track extended play release titled "The Moody Blues" featuring both sides of their first two Decca singles was issued in a colour picture sleeve in early 1965.

Their debut album The Magnificent Moodies, produced by Denny Cordell with a strong Merseybeat/R&B flavour, was released on Decca in mono only in 1965. It contained the hit single together with one side of classic R&B covers, and a second side with four Laine-Pinder originals.

Alex Wharton left the management firm, and the group released a series of relatively unsuccessful singles. They enjoyed a minor British hit with a cover of "I Don't Want To Go on Without You" (No. 33) in February 1965, while the Pinder-Laine original "From the Bottom of My Heart (I Love You)" produced by Denny Cordell (with a vocal choral sound towards the conclusion that anticipated their sound on "Nights in White Satin") was issued as a UK single in May 1965 and did a little better (No. 22). But then "Everyday", another Pinder-Laine song, stalled at No. 44 in October 1965 and no further British singles were released for about a year. The group was still in demand for live gigs, though, and they had chart success in the US and in Europe during those months when "Bye Bye Bird" (Decca AT 15048) was lifted from their album in December 1965 as an overseas single in France (No. 3).

In June 1966, Warwick retired from the group and the music business. He was briefly replaced by Rod Clark (born Rodney Clark, 23 November 1942, Surlingham, near Norwich, Norfolk), but in early October, Denny Laine also departed from the group, which made Decca release "Boulevard de la Madeleine" c/w "This is My House (But Nobody Calls)" (Decca F 12498, 1966) only a few days later, as the Moody Blues seemed to be disintegrating. Clark joined The Rockin' Berries.

In the November 1966 issue of Hit Week, Dutch interviewers Hans van Rij and Emie Havers presented their story, saying the Moody Blues had been in the process of recording their second album, Look Out, with Cordell producing. The album was not to be and "Really Haven't Got the Time" (released as a single c/w "Fly Me High" some months later) is the only song mentioned in the article but the authors say Laine had written all of the material, with Thomas, Pinder and Clark (still the bass player) singing lead vocals as well.

A final 'Mark One' Moodies single, Pinder-Laine's "Life's Not Life", was scheduled for release in January 1967 (Decca F 12543) c/w "He Can Win" even though Laine couldn't perform it live because the group had relaunched themselves without him a few months earlier. (This single's release is often listed as being cancelled; however, both promo and regular stock copies have been seen over the years.)

Arrival of Hayward and Lodge
The group re-formed in November 1966. By then, "Boulevard de la Madeleine" had made the Belgian charts and won them more fans, which came in handy when they relocated to Belgium for some time. The new members were John Lodge, their bassist from El Riot who was now finished with his education, and Justin Hayward, formerly of the Wilde Three. Hayward was recommended to Pinder by Eric Burdon of the Animals and was endorsed by famed UK singer Marty Wilde, the leader of the Wilde Three. Pinder phoned Hayward after reading his lead guitarist letter, and was impressed when Hayward played him his 45 rpm single "London is Behind Me" during their car ride to meet the other members in Esher.

After financial misfortune and a confrontation with an audience member, the band soon realised that their style of American blues covers and novelty tunes was not working, and decided to perform primarily their own material. (However, as appearances on French TV show, they continued to do two covers through at least the first half of 1968: the Hayward-sung "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", and "Bye Bye Bird", with the vocal and harmonica formerly done by Denny Laine now performed by Ray Thomas.) They were introduced to Decca staff producer Tony Clarke, who produced a recording session which saw Justin Hayward's "Fly Me High" and Mike Pinder's older-styled "Really Haven't Got the Time" (Decca F12607) as the 'Mark Two' Moodies' first single released in May 1967. These picked up both radio airplay and favourable reviews, but failed to chart in the UK. However, the sound gave clues about the direction in which their music would evolve. Their new style, featuring the symphonic sounds of Pinder's mellotron, was introduced on Pinder's song "Love And Beauty" (Decca F 12670) which was issued as a single c/w with Hayward's rocker "Leave This Man Alone" in September 1967. This too was not a UK hit, but further established their "new" Moodies identity. Ray Thomas's flute had been in evidence earlier ("I've Got a Dream") on their debut album; however, it became a far more featured instrument from this point onwards as they started incorporating distinct psychedelic influences, which was later developed in a concept album revolving around an archetypal day in the life of everyman.


"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

The Spike Drivers 1965-68 + Booklet Scans

The Spike Drivers was a band from Detroit, Michigan and played from 1965 to 1967.

The Spike Drivers began by working in various coffeehouses and clubs in the Detroit, Michigan folk rock music scene. Their music was rooted in folk, blues, and classical music. The band name was suggested by its vocalist Marycarol Brown, originating from a song about John Henry by Mississippi John Hurt called the Spike Driver Blues. The band shared the stage with performers such as Joni Mitchell and Del Shannon.

The band traveled to New York City and landed a recording contract with Warner Brothers Reprise Records where they put out two 45's featuring "Strange Mysterious Sounds" with "Break Out The Wine" and "Often I Wonder" with "High Time." The band was showcased at many clubs in the New York area with the high point occurring when they opened for Eric Burdon and the Animals at the Rheingold Central Park Music Festival in 1966.

Ted Lucas and Richard Keelan left the band in 1967 to record as the Misty Wizards. They were replaced in the Spike Drivers by Marshall Rubinoff and Ron Cobb. After both groups dissolved, Lucas released a self-titled solo album, Keelan relocated to Canada and performed in the Perth County Conspiracy, and Sid Brown released albums as part of the music collective, Peace, Bread & Land Band, who had four LPs between 1969 and 1978. Former member Steve Booker came to be known as Muruga Booker and still records and performs today. Rubinoff, who was married to actress Lin Shaye, relocated from Detroit to San Francisco after his attempts to form another band following the dissolution of the Spike Drivers failed; he died there in a motorcycle accident on July 7, 1968, a few days past his 24th birthday.

Founding Members
Marycarol Brown - vocals
Sid Brown - guitar
Ted Lucas - guitar, vocals
Richard Keelan - bass, vocals
Steve Booker - drums
Larry Cruse - drums (replaced Steve Booker in late 1965)



Bubble Puppy (A Gathering of Promises) 1969 + Bonus Tracks

Bubble Puppy (A Gathering of Promises) 1969 + Bonus Tracks

Bubble Puppy (A Gathering of Promises) 1969 + Bonus Tracks

Bubble Puppy (also known as The Bubble Puppy) is an American psychedelic rock band originally active from 1967 to 1972. They are best remembered for their Top 20 hit, "Hot Smoke & Sasafrass".
Bubble Puppy was formed in 1966 in San Antonio, Texas, by Rod Prince and Roy Cox who had previously performed together in the rock group called The Bad Seeds. Looking to form a "top gun rock band" based on the concept of dual lead guitars, Prince and Cox recruited Todd Potter, an Austin, Texas, gymnast, saxophonist and guitarist. With the addition of Danny Segovia and Clayton Pulley, the original line up of Bubble Puppy was complete. The name "Bubble Puppy" was taken from "Centrifugal Bumble-puppy", a fictitious children's game in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Bubble Puppy's live debut was as the opening act for The Who in San Antonio in 1967.

After a few line-up changes (drummer Clayton Pulley being replaced by Craig Root, and the departure of Danny Segovia), the final roster for Bubble Puppy settled at Rod Prince and Todd Potter on lead guitars, Roy Cox on bass guitar, and David "Fuzzy" Fore on drums. In the spring of 1967, Bubble Puppy moved to Austin, Texas, and signed a recording contract with Houston-based International Artists, home to the 13th Floor Elevators and the Red Krayola.

The band appeared and toured with many notable artists from 1967-1971. These artists include: The Who, Grand Funk Railroad, Canned Heat, Steppenwolf, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Seger, Johnny Winter and Janis Joplin.

The use of dual lead guitars was pioneered by Bubble Puppy's Prince and Potter, as exhibited in live performances as early as 1967. Two years later, English counterparts Wishbone Ash and the USA's Allman Brothers Band would begin using the same technique with great success.
Bubble Puppy scored a US Top 20 hit in 1969 with their single, "Hot Smoke & Sasafrass". The name was a misheard line lifted from an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. The single peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and number 15 on the RPM chart in Canada. The song also had local successes, for example, reaching number 6 on WLS. The song was also covered internationally by MGMT, a popular American psychedelic rock band, and by The Mooche in the UK. Cleveland, Ohio, classic rock trio "Pagan Club Orchestra" opened their live shows with a cover version of Hot Smoke and Sasafrass ('our favorite song'). Audiences who had heard the original Bubble Puppy hit were typically ecstatic; one concert-goer raved, "I've been waiting 20 years to hear that song!"

In 1969, Bubble Puppy released their first full-length album, A Gathering of Promises. However, despite Bubble Puppy's early success with the "Hot Smoke & Sasafrass" single, they parted ways with the label in 1970.
Signing Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf as a manager, Bubble Puppy moved to Los Angeles in 1970. Their name was changed to Demian (after Hermann Hesse's 1919 novel at the suggestion of their manager's wife). This was to avoid contractual difficulties with their previous record company but also because the former name appeared to link them with bubblegum music.

The group signed to ABC-Dunhill Records and released one self-titled album in 1971, but its failure to perform on the charts led to financial difficulties with the label and the group's breakup in 1972.

Later years
The members of Bubble Puppy continued to be active in the music industry after the band's demise. Potter and Prince played with Sirius during the 1970s, and Fore drummed with the Texas punk rock band, D-Day, co-writing their cult hit, "Too Young to Date".

When Demian disbanded in 1972, Potter stayed in California, working as a session player, before joining and touring with Rusty Wier's Fabulous Filler Brothers.

Prince bounced around in different bands including Deadhorse Puppy, Manbeast, and The Prince Trio. With the addition of drummer Mark Evans and bassist George Rarey in 1979, Potter and Prince reunited in Sirius.

In 1984, the original Bubble Puppy lineup reunited for performances and recordings, and they released their second LP, "Wheels Go Round" in 1987.

Roy Cox founded The Blues Knights and released two CDs: "Before I Go" in 1999, and "Road To Freedom" in 2001. He formed the NYC Outlaws in September 2007 in New York City, along with Tony Saracene on guitar, Dan Curley on guitar, Cody Willard on guitar, Evan Hammer on bass, and Billy Brooks on drums. Cox died on 2 April 2013.

Reunion and 2011–2018

On March 19, 2011, three of the original members of Bubble Puppy reunited for the first time in 25 years for a performance at The Austin Music Awards. The band also added Mark Miller (guitar) and Jimmy Umstattd (bass) to the line-up. David Fore met the two while playing in Austin cover band the Kopy Kats. Fore and Mark also played together in the mid-1970s in another Austin cover band, Zeus. In April 2013, Gregg Stegall joined the line-up taking Todd Potter's place in the band. Stegall has a long-standing musical affiliation with Mark and Umstattd dating from the early 1970s. David Fore is currently taking a leave of absence with Randall Maxwell on drums since the summer of 2018.

Bubble Puppy's live performances have included appearances at the Texas Legacy Music Awards in San Antonio, Texas (4 September 2011); the Saxon Pub in Austin, Texas (30 December 2011); and Antone's Nightclub in Austin (13 July 2012), and numerous appearances at Threadgill's World HQ in Austin. 2012–2017 finds the band booked in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Corpus Christi on a rotating basis. The line-up of Rod Prince, David Fore, Mark Miller, Jimmy Umstattd, and Gregg Stegall remains intact. Summer & Fall of 2017 has the band playing in San Antonio in June, Austin & Houston in July, 2 more shows in Austin in August, and back in San Antonio in Sept. for the Psych del Rio music festival. Spring and Summer of 2018 finds the band back in full swing with dates in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, multiple dates in Austin, and Houston in late summer. The band's 50th show, since reformation, will be May 18, 2018 in San Antonio. 2019 again looks promising with 6 shows already booked, including an Austin appearance at the Saxon Pub on Jan. 26th and an appearance at the SWSX music festival in Austin this March.

Band members

Original members

Rod Prince ‒ lead guitar, vocals
Roy Cox ‒ (died 3 April 2013) bass guitar, vocals
Todd Potter ‒ lead guitar, vocals
David Fore ‒ drums, vocals
Current members
Rod Prince ‒ guitar, lead vocals
Mark Miller - guitar, vocals
Jimi Umstattd ‒ bass, vocals
Gregg Stegall ‒ guitar, vocals
Randall Maxwell - drums, groove


"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

PJ Proby (Believe It or Not) LP 1968

PJ Proby (Believe It or Not) LP 1968

PJ Proby (Believe It or Not) LP 1968

P.J. Proby (born James Marcus Smith, November 6, 1938) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He has also portrayed Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison in musical theater productions. The stage name P.J. Proby was suggested by a friend, Sharon Sheeley, who had a boyfriend of that name at high school.

Proby recorded the singles "Hold Me", "Somewhere", and "Maria". In 2008, he turned 70 and EMI released the Best of the EMI Years 1961–1972. He still writes and records on his own independent record label, Select Records, and performs in the UK in Sixties concerts.

Proby was born in Houston, Texas, United States, and educated at San Marcos Military Academy, Culver Naval Academy, and Western Military Academy. After graduation he moved to California to become a film actor and recording artist. Given the stage name Jett Powers by Hollywood agents Gabey, Lutz, Heller, and Loeb, he took acting and singing lessons and played small roles in films. Two singles, "Go, Girl, Go" and "Loud Perfume" appeared on two small independent record labels. Proby was brought by Sharon Sheeley to audition at Liberty Records in 1961 and he recorded a number of unsuccessful singles. In 1962 he began writing songs and recording demos for artists such as Elvis Presley, Bobby Vee, and Johnny Burnette, who had his final UK chart success with Proby's "Clown Shoes" (credited to his real name James Marcus Smith).

Success in Britain

Proby travelled to London after being introduced to Jack Good by Sheeley and Jackie DeShannon. He appeared on The Beatles' television special in 1964. Under Good, Proby had UK top 20 hits in 1964 and 1965 including "Hold Me" (UK Number 3), "Together" (UK Number 8), "Somewhere" (UK Number 6), and "Maria" (UK Number 8); the latter two songs were both lifted from the musical West Side Story. He also recorded the Lennon–McCartney composition "That Means a Lot", a song The Beatles attempted to record before giving it away.

Proby's UK career lost momentum after controversial live concert appearances including two trouser-splitting incidents at shows in Croydon and Luton in January 1965 that scandalized the British press and public and led to bans on Proby appearances by the ABC theatre chain, its TV namesake and BBC TV. Minor hits in 1966 were followed by flops, and in March 1968 "It's Your Day Today" gave Proby his last UK chart entry for nearly 30 years.

Back in the U.S.

In 1967 Proby scored his only Billboard Hot 100 Top 30 hit with "Niki Hoeky". In September 1968, he recorded Three Week Hero, released in 1969. A collection of country-style ballads mixed with blues, it used The New Yardbirds, later to become Led Zeppelin, as backing band. The album was produced by Steve Rowland.


In 1971, he appeared as Cassio in a rock musical of Shakespeare's Othello, Catch My Soul. He performed in cabaret and nightclubs, singing 1960s ballads and rhythm and blues.

In 1977, he appeared as a contestant on the UK television talent show Opportunity Knocks. He wore an eye-mask and was billed as "The Masked Singer".

Signing with Good again in 1977, he portrayed Elvis Presley in Elvis – The Musical, winning a Best Musical of the Year award.

In 1978, Proby recorded Focus con Proby with the Dutch rock group Focus. He then returned to singing in clubs, before a change of direction.


In 1985, Proby recorded Gloria Jones's "Tainted Love" for Savoy Records, followed by covers of "Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Anarchy in the UK", Prince song "Sign o' the Times", "In the Air Tonight", and "Garbageman".

In 1987, his Savoy Records single "M97002 Hardcore" credited Madonna as "Second Vocal (Special Guest)", although this was untrue.


In the early 1990s Proby released an EP, "Stage of Fools", and an album, Thanks. They were issued by J’ace Records, distributed by BMG. Granada TV featured Proby in a documentary.

A heart attack on holiday in Florida in 1992 curtailed his activities until the following year. Then he reappeared on stage as himself in the musical Good Rockin' Tonight, followed by playing Roy Orbison in Only The Lonely. A year later Proby returned to a new production of Elvis – The Musical, and made the album Legend. It had songwriting and production from Marc Almond, and Neal X from Sigue Sigue Sputnik. A single, "Yesterday Has Gone", a duet with Almond, reached 58 on the UK Singles Chart at the end of 1996.

In 1997, Proby toured with The Who in the United States and Europe, performing as 'The Godfather' in the road production of Quadrophenia.After Quadrophenia, Proby played the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.


In 2002, Van Morrison recorded a song for his album Down the Road entitled "Whatever Happened to P. J. Proby?".

In August 2004, Proby toured in Australia. From February until May 2006, He appeared with the 'Solid Silver Sixties Show 2006' – and went through six road managers/drivers – throughout much of the UK, ending at the London Palladium.

In November 2008, Proby celebrated his 70th birthday. EMI released a 25-track retrospective, Best of the EMI Years 1961-1972. This featured his singles, eight rarities that debuted on the CD format, and two unreleased recordings (Les Reed and Barry Mason's "Delilah"; and Jim Ford's "I'm Ahead If I Can Quit While I'm Behind"). Reed wrote "Delilah" for Proby's 1968 album Believe It Or Not, but it was omitted and became a hit for Tom Jones. Proby wrote and recorded a Christmas single entitled "The Bells of Christmas Day" with guitarist and producer, Andy Crump.


In 2010, Proby toured in 'Sixties Gold' another revival series of shows.

In 2011, Proby was charged with nine charges of benefit fraud. He was cleared of all charges at Worcester Crown Court in 2012. To celebrate, Proby recorded "I'm PJ." and "We The Jury" (which Proby wrote).

In 2015, he performed in a duet with Van Morrison on the album, Duets: Re-working the Catalogue, singing "Whatever Happened to P.J. Proby".


"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

The Valentines (Peculiar Hole in the Sky) 1967-68

The Valentines (Peculiar Hole in the Sky) 1967-68

The Valentines (Peculiar Hole in the Sky) 1967-68

The Valentines were an Australian pop band active from 1966–1970, chiefly noted for their lead singers, Bon Scott, who later went on to great success as lead vocalist with AC/DC; and Vince Lovegrove, who subsequently became a successful music journalist and manager of Divinyls.

The band was formed in late 1966 with the amalgamation of Perth groups The Spektors and The Winstons. They capitalised on the success of both the former bands, plus the interest created by having two lead singers in Scott and Lovegrove. Inspired by The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and local stars The Easybeats, they enjoyed considerable local success and released a few singles.

In late 1967, The Valentines moved to Melbourne in search of greater success, and soon toured other major cities. With a development towards the popular Bubblegum sound late in 1968, the band became more in demand, particularly among teenage girls. However as the fashion for bubblegum music wore off, The Valentines struggled to retain their musical credibility despite a turn towards rock music. With differing opinions within the band concerning musical direction, and a much-publicised drugs bust in September 1969, group stability began to suffer. Although they still had a strong fanbase in certain areas of the country, especially back home in Perth, The Valentines decided to disband amicably in August 1970.

Scott had built a strong reputation as a powerful vocalist and soon joined Fraternity, and later AC/DC. Lovegrove found success as a music journalist, and guitarist Wyn Milsom became a sound engineer.


Bon Scott – vocals (1966–1970)
Vince Lovegrove – vocals (1966–1970)
Wyn Milsom – guitar (1966–1970)
Ted Ward – guitar (1966–1969), bass guitar (1969–1970)
Bruce Abbott – bass guitar (1966–1968)
Warwick Findlay – drums (1966–1968)
John Cooksey – bass guitar (1968–1969)
Doug Lavery – drums (1968–1969)
Paddy Beach – drums (1969–1970)


"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

The Breakaways And Friends (Thats How it Goes) PYE Anthology

The Breakaways And Friends (Thats How it Goes) PYE Anthology

The Breakaways And Friends (Thats How it Goes) PYE Anthology

The Breakaways were the premier providers of female backing vocals for mid-'60s British pop, working closely with Tony Hatch backing his stable of singers as well as with most of the big names like Burt Bacharach, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Jackie DeShannon, Joe Meek, Shel Talmy, and Andrew Loog Oldham. It might be easier to list who they didn't work with! They were the U.K. equivalent of the Blossoms or the Sweet Inspirations in the U.S. Like those bands, the Breakaways attempted to make it as artists in their own right but never made much of an impact. On this collection there are a handful of excellent singles released under the Breakaways name, but the majority of the disc features them as backup singers to artists like Jackie Trent, Petula Clark, Jimmy Justice, and Tony Jackson. The closest thing the group had to a hit was the stomping "That's How It Goes," which marries their brash unison vocals to a Wall of Sound production and a glorious hook. The rest of their singles are very solid; "Your Kind of Love" is a sultry ballad that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Dusty in Memphis (musically anyway, as their vocals are nowhere near as strong as Springfield's), "Here She Comes" is a loud teenage girl group rocker, "He Doesn't Love Me" is a rowdy girl group blast of attitude. (Stereo versions of "That's How It Goes" and "He Doesn't Love Me" are included for collectors.) Their backup work on this disc is limited to Pye recording artists and mostly falls within the range of straightforward U.K. girl group and male pop sounds, much of it quite obscure. The girls always provided wonderful backing in whatever setting they worked in, but did their best on big dramatic ballads like Sandra Berry's "We Were Lovers (When the Party Began)," Sharon Tandy's "Now That You've Gone," and Julie Grant's "Watch What You Do With My Baby," as well as girl group groovers like Tammy St. John's "He's the One for Me," Simone Jackson's "Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya," and Jan Panter's absolutely huge "Put Yourself in My Place." The Breakaways are among the hidden heroes of '60s British pop, and it is about time they got some recognition. Lucky for listeners that Castle did such a fine job and made this anthology so much fun. Now they need to get cracking on an anthology that covers the group's work with a wider range of artists.

1 –The Breakaways That's How It Goes 02:28
2 –The Breakaways He Doesn't Love Me 01:59
3 –The Breakaways Here She Comes 02:27
4 –The Breakaways 4 That Boy Of Mine 02:09
5 –The Breakaways Your Kind Of Love 02:59
6 –The Tony Hatch Sound Live For Life
Featuring – The Breakaways
7 –The Breakaways He Doesn't Love Me (Stereo) 02:09
8 –The Breakaways That's How It Goes (stereo) 02:27
9 –Sandra Barry We Were Lovers (When The Party Began) 02:18
10 –Sandra Barry Question 02:27
11 –Petula Clark I Know A Place 02:44
12 –Petula Clark Il Y A Tellement De Filles 02:40
13 –Sharon Tandy Now That You've Gone 03:10
14 –Joe Brown A Satisfied Mind 02:54
15 –Mark Wynter Running To You 02:28
16 –Yvonne Přenosilová When My Baby Cries 02:33
17 –Julie Grant Watch What You Do With My Baby 02:16
18 –Julie Grant Every Day I Have To Cry 02:27
19 –John L. Watson & The Hummelflugs Lookin' For Love 02:54
20 –Jimmy James & The Vagabonds Red Red Wine 02:56
21 –Tawny Reed You Can't Take It Away 02:44
22 –Jackie Trent Love Is Me, Love Is You 02:16
23 –Jackie Trent Send Her Away 02:52
24 –Tammy St John He's The One For Me 02:02
25 –Simone Jackson (2) Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya 02:27
26 –Mally Page The Life And Soul Of The Party 02:51
27 –Tony Jackson & The Vibrations Bye Bye Baby 02:31
28 –Jan Panter Put Yourself In My Place 02:56
29 –Jimmy Justice Tell Her 02:09
30 –Kenneth Cope Hands Off, Stop Muckin' About 02:20


"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Embassy Records Classic Covers 1957-1962The Wizard of Oz (De Luxe Edition) 1939Chris Andrews Greatest Hits (FRA)The Moody Blues (Nights in White Satin/Peak Hour) 7" Single (SPAIN) 1967The Moody Blues (Go Now!) EP (FRA) 1965The Spike Drivers 1965-68 + Booklet ScansBubble Puppy (A Gathering of Promises) 1969 + Bonus TracksPJ Proby (Believe It or Not) LP 1968The Valentines (Peculiar Hole in the Sky) 1967-68The Breakaways And Friends (Thats How it Goes) PYE Anthology

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