Old Melodies ... | category: Psychedelic


Old Melodies ...

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

Willie & The Red Rubber Band ‎- Willie And The Red Rubber Band (1968) & We're Coming Up (1969)

Willie & The Red Rubber Band ‎- Willie And The Red Rubber Band (1968) & We're Coming Up (1969)

Willie & The Red Rubber Band ‎- Willie And The Red Rubber Band (1968) & We're Coming Up (1969)

Willie & The Red Rubber Band ‎- Willie And The Red Rubber Band (1968) & We're Coming Up (1969)

Willie et al came out of west Texas and remind me of a cross between a jug band and the 13th Floor Elevators, or maybe Zappa if he went country, or, The Fugs if they went country. They have nothing in their oeuvre to compare to fellow Texan Roky and his 13th Floor Elevators but they are interesting as a time capsule of the era and they were certainly "playing" in the same "mind" park as Roky.
 Drums – Conley Bradford
Engineer [Recording] – Al Pachucki
Guitar – John Buck Wilken*, Lanny Fiel
Guitar, Bass – Glen Ballard (2)
Organ, Piano, Cello – Charles Addington
Photography By – Bill Berger
Piano – Begie Chruser
Producer – Chuck Sagle, Duke Niles (tracks: B6)
Vocals, Guitar – Willie Redden

The band is off the wall with a melting pot of styles which is slightly endearing. Willie et al came out of west Texas and remind me of a cross between a jug band and the 13th Floor Elevators, or maybe Zappa if he went country, or, The Fugs if they went country. They have nothing in their oeuvre to compare to fellow Texan Roky and his 13th Floor Elevators but they are interesting as a time capsule of the era and they were certainly playing in the same mind park as Roky. Trying to find anything on this band is near on impossible – but they must have had a career as this is their second album and they are on a major label (RCA). The music is a mix of rock, blues, country and soul with a dash of the avant-garde underground.  Mary Jane is their best song of their first album and Chicky – Chicky Boom Boom their greatest acid dancing hit from their second LP

Willie & The Red Rubber Band ‎- Willie And The Red Rubber Band (1968) & We're Coming Up (1969)

Willie & The Red Rubber Band ‎- Willie And The Red Rubber Band (1968) & We're Coming Up (1969)

John "Bucky” Wilkin, the son of Marijohn Wilkin (author of the country classic “Long Black Veil”), is most noted as a session guitarist on numerous country and rock records of the 1970s, particularly outlaw country releases by Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Kinky Friedman, and Jessi Colter. He was also a songwriter and put out a little-known solo LP. Prior to his solo album, Wilkin had been in Ronny & the Daytonas, famous for their 1964 hot rod hit “Little GTO.” Wilkin was also in the American Eagles (not to be confused with the much more famous Eagles), who also included keyboardist Chuck Leavell, and put out a single in 1969.

The Purple Gang - Purple Gang Strikes ( 1968)

The Purple Gang - Purple Gang Strikes ( 1968)

The Purple Gang were more '60s jug band revivalists than they were anything else, but they have sometimes been lumped into the psychedelic scene due to the company they kept. Formed in Stockport Art College in England in the mid-'60s, they found a deal with the British folk label Transatlantic, who referred them to producer Joe Boyd. Though American, Boyd was already a mover and shaker in London as a budding producer (with early Pink Floyd), a representative for Elektra Records, and a co-runner of the legendary underground rock/psychedelic club the UFO. Boyd produced their 1967 single "Granny Takes a Trip," which, despite one word in the title, was not about acid. In reality it was a pleasant jug band tune with a morsel of pop/rock influence. The BBC, however, felt otherwise and banned it from its airwaves. 

This setback contributed to the Purple Gang breaking up after just a couple of singles and one album (which included those singles), Strikes. Actually, much of the LP was standard good-time jug band music, rather reserved even by the standards of '60s jug band revivalism, though it was entirely comprised of original compositions. The only psychedelic thing about the Purple Gang was their milieu. They found their largest audience, for whatever reason, in the underground rock crowd, including the one at the UFO, where the "Granny Takes a Trip" single would often be played. 

The Purple Gang did reorganize in the late '60s in a more electric incarnation, but could not get a record deal. Purple Gang founder Joe Beard re-formed the band in the late '90s with three new members, recording a CD and playing live gigs.

The Purple Gang - Purple Gang Strikes ( 1968)

The Purple Gang's sole record is an oddity, not comfortably fitting into any of the scenes -- folk, folk-rock, psychedelia -- with which some historians have associated it. Actually, it's moderately engaging, moderately modernized jug band music, quite mild even compared to the better revivalists of the style in the 1960s, like Jim Kweskin or Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band. There's little hint of electric rock or psychedelia, and one's left with the feeling that you had to be there to get hip to what made them hip, or that they wouldn't have been that interesting even if you were there. Tossing expectations aside and just judging what's on the platter, it's OK jug band revival music, albeit with wholly original material. It's also pretty restrained, almost to the point of gentility, in its fervor and humor. A bit of the hippie acid-folk vibe seeps into one of the better and more mysterious cuts, "The Wizard," which actually does have a trilling electric guitar. A wee bit of British pop-psych bonhomie also colors "The Sheik," "Kiss Me Goodnight Sally Green," and their most famous track by far, "Granny Takes a Trip" (which is still jug band-based, despite the psychedelic implications that some read into the title). Ultimately, though, it's surprisingly tame and ordinary.

VA - Marshmallow Skies (60s Pop Stars Flirt With Psychedelia)

VA - Marshmallow Skies (60s Pop Stars Flirt With Psychedelia)

"Turn the time machine back fifty years for a groovy 80 minute trip: Marshmallow Skies is a turned-on look into established 60s pop artists’ forays and experiments with the psychedelic music scene. Listen as stars of sixties flirt with psych instrumentation coupled with lyrics about peace and love. It’ll blow your mind in 28 different pieces, man."
Check out Teensville Records in NSW, AU they have put together some great 60's records!

VA - Marshmallow Skies (60s Pop Stars Flirt With Psychedelia)

The Cryan' Shames - Sugar & Spice (1966)

The Cryan' Shames -  Sugar & Spice (1966)

The Cryan' Shames actually were a big deal in Chicago in the mid- and late '60s, when a bunch of their singles hit the local Top Ten; some of them were small national hits as well. The biggest of these was "Sugar and Spice," a cover of a Searchers song that made the Top 50 in 1966 and was later featured in Lenny Kaye's renowned Nuggets anthology of '60s garage bands. In their original incarnation, the Shames leaned toward the pop end of garage. Borrowing heavily from the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Yardbirds, guitarist James Fairs wrote a clutch of energetic guitar pop/rockers with sparkling harmonies. After 1966, the group pursued an increasingly mainstream pop direction featuring saccharine arrangements and material. In this respect they uncannily mirrored the devolution of local rivals the New Colony Six, who also shifted from tough pop/rock to MOR in their bid for national success. But the Shames' appeal endures, partly through the efforts of reissue/archival labels such as Sundazed Records, which have kept their music available into the 21st century, and some of the original members, who have kept the band alive as a performing outfit from the 1980s onward.

They actually started out in Hinsdale, IL, as the Prowlers, a trio formed by Gerry Stone (rhythm guitar), Tom "Toad" Doody (vocals), and Dave Purple (bass, keyboards), who added guitarist James Fairs and drummer Dennis Conroy, both late of a local band from Downers Grove called the Roosters. The quintet became the Travelers, specializing in R&B and rock & roll covers, though Fairs was starting to write originals as far back as 1964. They became a sextet with the addition of Jim Pilster, a one-handed tambourine player whose artificial extremity got him dubbed "J.C. Hooke." Included in their ranks were four singers who were capable of handling lead vocals as well as harmonies, and as they already had their rock & roll and R&B sound down, they emerged as a heavyweight outfit on the local band scene, equally adept at covering the Beatles, the Byrds, or the Rolling Stones, among others. Additionally, as they discovered, Pilster's presence lent them some novelty/publicity value as "the guys with the hook," an attribute that would also benefit the Barbarians around the same time, who sported a member with a replacement appendage. According to biographer Clark Besch, they were making upwards of $180 a gig (albeit split six ways) in 1966, a good fee for a group that had never recorded. They also attracted the attention of manager Bob Monaco, who was associated with the local Destination Records label, and hoped to rectify that gap in their biography in short order.

Sugar & Spice Their new name was imposed upon them when they were notified that another band had a prior claim on "the Travelers" -- as they told Besch, the situation was described by one of the affected parties as "a cryin' shame," and that became their new name. The group and Monaco intended to make their recording debut with George Harrison's "If I Needed Someone" -- a new Beatles song not yet available in the U.S. -- but were thwarted, as the Beatles' publisher wouldn't allow the release. Instead, they grabbed up another, older British Invasion-spawned original, "Sugar and Spice," written by producer/composer Tony Hatch (under the pseudonym "Fred Nightingale") for his client group the Searchers. The number had been in the repertory of another local band, the Riddles, and they got their version out through MG Productions on a tiny local label. The resulting single, which included a proto-psychedelic Fairs original called "Ben Franklin's Almanac," became a Top Five hit locally in Chicago, and attracted the attention of Columbia Records, which bought up their contract and put the record out nationally. It easily made the Top 50 and Columbia wanted more -- the band duly obliged with "I Wanna Meet You," another Fairs original, which only made the Top Ten locally and number 65 nationally. Columbia was still interested in an album, however, and the group delivered the 12-song Sugar & Spice long-player. It was a fairly good record of its kind, mixing covers and Fairs' originals and, as it was done on a tight budget -- basically Columbia accepted the record as delivered, according to Pilster in an essay by Besch -- it also included all four single sides, plus their proposed debut of "If I Needed Someone." Although the album barely cracked the Top 200 nationally, the single and the long-player between them helped raise the band's fees more than fivefold in just a matter of weeks.
A Scratch in the Sky It all wasn't a bad beginning, and might have led to better things for the band, if it hadn't been for the Vietnam War and the military draft, which cost the Shames the services of Gerry Stone. Lenny Kerley, late of the Squires, was his replacement, and was soon partnered up as a songwriter with Fairs, generating a third single, "Mr. Unreliable," which made the Top Ten in Chicago. The Cryan' Shames continued to enjoy immense success locally in Chicago, without parallel sales in the rest of the country -- fortunately, they were not costing Columbia a great deal, and the Chicago music marketplace was important enough to keep the label interested. Their fourth single, "It Could Be We're in Love," recorded and released in the late spring of 1967, topped the local listings, without breaking through nationally. There were some lineup changes around this time, as guitarist Isaac Guillory came in on bass, taking over for Dave Purple, who was drafted that year. And a second album, entitled A Scratch in the Sky, issued in December of that year, actually sold somewhat better than their debut LP, reaching number 158 nationally; in contrast to the mix of garage punk, British Invasion, and folk-rock sounds on Sugar & Spice, A Scratch in the Sky was an ornate sunshine pop/psychedelic work, reminiscent of the Association or, perhaps, the Left Banke. The group saw a string of departures in 1968 and 1969, most notably that of James Fairs, and although the Cryan' Shames continued to record and perform with a new lineup -- featuring Saturday's Children alumnus Dave Carter on guitar and former Squires/Boston Tea Party member Alan Dawson on drums -- a lot of continuity was sacrificed. Dawson also left in late 1968, though not before contributing to their final album, Synthesis. They broke up in the last month of 1969. Since then, there have been reunion performances by various members and the formal reactivation of the group in the late '80s, which continued as of 2009.

The Cryan' Shames -  Sugar & Spice (1966)

The Cryan' Shames' debut album was typical of the more thrown-together rock LPs of the era: both sides of their first two singles and a bunch of cover versions. The singles, actually, were pretty good, including their most well-known song, "Sugar & Spice," a cover of a Searchers hit that actually was more memorable and imaginative than the original. Its B-side, "Ben Franklin's Almanac," was a respectable original with shades of the Byrds, the Yardbirds, and California harmonies; the second single, "I Wanna Meet You," was a decent meld of Beatles-Byrds jangle with Beach Boys harmonies; and its flip, "We Could Be Happy," was an OK soft rock number. Throw in the sole original composition not from a single, "July" (one of the better 1966 Byrds sound-alikes), and you have half a decent (though not great) period pop/rock album. The problem is, though, that the cover versions that fill out the record -- including songs written and/or popularized by the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Animals, along with "Heat Wave" -- are neither too creatively done nor even imaginative selections. "Sugar and Spice" and all four of the originals appear on the Legacy compilation Sugar & Spice, which makes this album superfluous if you already have that anthology. The 2002 CD Sundazed reissue is bolstered by six bonus songs: their 1967 single "Mr. Unreliable" (different from the LP version) and its laid-back B-side "Georgia," a cover of the Beatles' "You're Gonna Lose That Girl," and three previously unreleased 1969 tracks that found them going into a mellow folk/country/soft rock direction.

Lazy Day: The Pop Songs of Tony Powers & George Fischoff 1965-1968


Lazy Day: The Pop Songs of Tony Powers & George Fischoff 1965-1968

Lazy Day: The Pop Songs of Tony Powers & George Fischoff 1965-1968

Two of the Brill Building's finest writing teams get an extensive overview on Teensville Records' Lazy Day: The Pop Songs Of Tony Powers & George Fischoff (1965-1968). The compilation features 21 songs the team collaborated on including versions of hits like the title track, Ain't Gonna Lie and 98.6. It also features 9 tracks co-written by Powers or Fischoff with other penmans of the day. Song styles span sunshine pop, R&B, girl goodies and brit beat. Included is a full colour booklet featuring full track annotations and special participation pieces from Tony Powers and George Fischoff's daughter, Lisa.


01. Tinkerbell's Fairydust - Lazy Day

02. April Young - Run To My Lovin' Arms

03. Peter Kastner - I Just Can't Get Over You

04. The Bushmen - You're The Girl

05. Jamie - The Priceless Gem

06. The Galaxies - Aint Gonna Lie

07. Darin D. Anna - We Were Lovers

08. Kiki Dee - With A Kiss

09. Chris & Peter Allen - A Baby's Coming

10. Parrish Broxton - Be There Baby

11. The Present - Many's The Slip Twixt The Cup And The Lip

12. Gerri Thomas - Look What I Got

13. Keith - Sweet Dreams (Do Come True)

14. Michael J. James - She Needs The Same Things I Need

15. The Bystanders - 98.6

16. Mer-Lyn - Promise

17. The Beatstalkers - Rain Coloured Roses

18. Nooney Rickett - A Man Needs Love

19. Buffalo Nickel - Hard To Be Without You

20. Betty Everett - In Your Arms

21. Steve Leeds - Midsummer's Night

22. Tony Liss - I Hope He Breaks Your Heart

23. The Truth - Who's Wrong

24. The Quiet Five - Ain't It Funny What Some Lovin' Can Do

25. The McGuire Sisters - Foolish Heart

26. The Richard Kent Style - No Matter What You Do

27. Peter Kastner - Time Out

28. The Trends - Not Another Day

29. Trendsetters Ltd - You Sure Got A Funny Way Of Showing Your Love

30. Lenny Welch - I'm Dreaming Again


Ty To yahwehfrk For this Comp

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

The Land Of Sensations & Delights: The Psych Pop Sounds Of White Whale Records, 1965–1970

The Land Of Sensations & Delights: The Psych Pop Sounds Of White Whale Records, 1965–1970


The Land Of Sensations & Delights: The Psych Pop Sounds Of White Whale Records, 1965–1970

This double LP compilation features alternative '60s hits and rarities from the catalog of Los Angeles' great lost White Whale label, including such artists as Jim Ford, JK & Co, The Clique, Nino Tempo & April Stevens, Lyme & Cybelle and more.


01 Professor Morrison's Lollipop - You Got The Love

02 Todd Anderson - I'll Be In

03 Smokestack Lightnin' - Got A Good Love

04 The Odyssey - Little Girl, Little Boy

05 XL’s - We Must Find A Way

06 The Everpresent Fullness - Darlin' You Can Count On Me

07 Kris Jensen - I Can’t Get Nowhere With You

08 Lyme & Cybelle - Song #7

09 Laughing Gravy - Vegetables

10 The Motives - The Chair

11 The Bears - Goin' It Alone

12 Kenny O'Dell - Sunshine Dreamin'

13 J.K. & Co. - Land Of Sensations & Delights

14 The Clique - Superman

15 Bazooka - Look At You Now

16 Dalton & Montgomery - All At Once

17 Bobby Lile - Time To Be A Woman

18 The Brothers - Love Story

19 The Committee - If It Weren't For You

20 Mournin’ Do - Summer Dream

21 Horses - Cheyenne

22 Rainy Daze - My Door Is Always Open

23 The Reivers - Constantly

24 Buster Brown - The Proud One

25 The Rockets - Won't You Say You'll Stay

26 Triste Janero - In The Garden


Ty to yahwehfrk For this Comp

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


VA - The Upside Down World Of John Pantry (2009)

VA - The Upside Down World Of John Pantry  (2009)

Prior to his conversion to Christianity in 1972, singer/songwriter and studio whiz-kid John Pantry had been the brains behind numerous late 1960s UK psych-pop masterpieces, writing and recording under such aliases as the Factory ('Try A Little Sunshine', 'Red Chalk Hill'), the Bunch ('Spare A Shilling') and Norman Conquest ('Upside Down') as well as leading his own groups, Sounds Around and Peter & the Wolves. This astonishing 53-track 2CD set - a heavily expanded version of Tenth Planet's acclaimed 1999 vinyl-only release - assembles every Pantry recording that survives from 1966-71, including those aforementioned seven-inch marvels as well as a plethora of demos, many of which have been taken from a hitherto-unknown-to-exist 1968 demo album. The Upside Down World of John Pantry is not only the definitive early career anthology of this fascinating figure (now a vicar in Kent), but a Holy Grail item for anyone who loves intelligent, melodic, Bee Gees-inspired late 60s British pop.

"Can there conceivably be a better name for a British '60s pop/psych icon than John Pantry? The warm, homespun, busy and frankly tasty connotations of the word "pantry" seem entirely apposite for this inexplicably overlooked one-man cottage industry of the genre. Tellingly, Vivian Stanshall nailed the essential difference between agit-prop American and quaint English psych archetypes with the memorable declaration "KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER… and they had marmalade and kicked the pantry out into the street, and lived happily ever after." Prior to this, my knowledge of Pantry's work was pretty much limited to my prized demo copy of the 'Little Girl Lost And Found' single by Peter & the Wolves - one of a great many ensembles and artistes whose work bore the John Pantry imprimatur somewhere along the line. Now, however, I am fully up to speed thanks to this vastly expanded double-CD version of '99's limited edition vinyl-only compilation, and its characteristically fascinating and painstakingly thorough sleeve notes from David Wells. The first thing that strikes you is Pantry's bulletproof quality control when it came to songwriting. This pop polymath, who alternated hats as an IBC Studios engineer and the keyboardist/vocalist with hard-working Essex hopefuls Sounds Around, rapidly developed an all-too-rare ear for an unusual, heart-tugging melodic motif and a picturesque lyric. Between '66 and '71, Pantry simply haemorrhaged the good stuff, and The Upside Down World… collects together his entire output - near as dammit - from the period in question. Included among the 53(!) tracks are reams of Pantry's own demos - generally banged out with immense conviction on piano and sung in his appealingly unadorned high tenor - and it is these which provide concrete proof of the innate quality of his songs from the ground up, whether it be the Bee Gees-style soft focus intensity of 'Marigold', the soulful, Todd Rundgren-prefiguring verticality of the title track or the tumbling Gilbert O'Sullivan phrasing of 'Smokey Wood Air'. Elsewhere, you'll find good-natured proto-glam ('Birthday' by the Bunch), swooning superpop perfection ('Jewel' by Wolfe), fiercely compressed airborne psych ('Try A Little Sunshine' by the Factory) and, best of all, the sweetly affecting and suitably lambent 'Lantern Light' by Peter & the Wolves; one of the great lost singles of '68." (Shindig!)

"Steeped in the sounds of the psychedelic '60s, engineer John Pantry lent his touch to cuts by everyone from the Beatles to the Bee Gees. He also used the BBC's famous IBC studio to record sunshine-laden tunes from his own songbook. Released earlier this year, Wooden Hill's 2CD set The Upside Down World of John Pantry digitises his entire 1966-71 personal discography. This nugget isn't just for nerds. While many of these songs were released under one-off names like Peter & the Wolves and Sounds Around, about half of Pantry's output never emerged. "Overlooked classics" may primarily appeal to deep diggers, but Pantry's tunes are A-grade all the way. The spectre of golden-era McCartney is everywhere. Both as a singer and a songwriter, Pantry pays spot-on homage to one of pop's biggest princes. It's almost like discovering a compilation of unearthed Beatles b-sides. It stands up next to other impressive influences. Songs like 'Red Chalk Hill' and 'Two People' are doppelgängers for Revolver-era Beatles; 'Spare A Shilling' rivals the Zombies; and 'Birthday' toes the line between the Small Faces, the Turtles and the Monkees." (Flavorpill)

"Southend-on-Sea's one-man psych-pop treasure trove... What a thrill it must have been for the crate-diggers at Tenth Planet to first get wind of the far-flung joys of bands such as Peter & the Wolves, Sounds Around, Wolfe, the Bunch, Norman Conquest and the Factory - then to string together the clues and the astonishing truth that they were all vehicles for the eccentric pop talent of one inimitably English, quintessentially 60s talent. His name is Pantry - John Pantry. Now a vicar in Kent. Before his 1972 conversion to Christianity, however, he was the Bee Gees' recording engineer, a major label songwriter and recording artiste, and DIY demo-maker. The Gibbs aren't a bad compass point on Pantry's tinkling singer-songwriterdom. This is innocent, dreamy, summery pop without the constant fear of flinching buttocks. Think Tony Hazzard, Graham Gouldman, Ray Davies. In terms of impact, this extended double-CD set adds little to the dense Pantry best of, first issued on vinyl in 1999. What's best? The driving psych of the Factory's 'Try A Little Sunshine', the insanely catchy B-side 'Birthday', the Lennon-ish 'Red Chalk Hill'…and 50 more." (Record Collector)

“Upon gaining employment at IBC Studios in 1965, John Pantry worked under producers like Shel Talmy and Glyn Johns, and over the next few years engineered, among other notable recordings, the Bee Gees’ first three UK albums. In addition to providing an invaluable education, the job also afforded Pantry free studio time here and there, of which he and his group Sounds Around took full advantage. Sounds Around cut two singles for Piccadilly that failed to ignite, but independent producer Eddie Tre-Vett sensed their potential, and in the years ’67-’69, the group would become something of Tre-Vett’s house band, with the gifted singer/songwriter John Pantry a virtual one-man Denmark Street. Under various guises, including Peter & the Wolves, this studio aggregation would record a number of well-played, lyrically clever and exquisitely melodic pop singles for MGM and CBS (it’s a complicated story, but David Wells does a commendable job of sorting it all out in the liners). Pantry would abandon secular pop in 1972 (now a vicar in Essex, he’s been active on the Christian music scene for decades), but left behind an extraordinary body of work from the previous five years, much of which never made it beyond demo form. In 1999 Tenth Planet issued its vinyl-only Pantry retrospective. This expanded CD edition is bolstered by Pantry demos from a recently-discovered thirteen-track acetate, and should be of genuine interest to anyone with a fondness for late ‘60s English pop craft. Pantry’s songs are seldom predictable; they almost always go in interesting and unexpected directions. Even more bubblegummy numbers, like Sounds Around’s ‘Red White And You’ or the Peter & the Wolves flipside ‘Birthday’, which nicks freely from the Move’s bag of tricks, are twisty-turny rollercoaster rides. Among the more musically ambitious sides Pantry & co. released in this period are the Peter & the Wolves A-side ‘Lantern Light’, one of the best period specimens of Brit-pop this reviewer has heard in ages, and ‘Woman On My Mind’, which sounds for all the world like the great lost Merry-Go-Round single. Also well worthy of mention is the Factory’s land of a thousand psych-guitars extravaganza ‘Try A Little Sunshine’. The pleasures to be found among the demo recordings here are too numerous to mention, but certainly include the evocative numbers ‘Red Chalk Hill’, ‘Glasshouse Green, Splinter Red’ and ‘Pitsea Pub’. There are also the quite magnificent, perhaps Smiley Smile-inspired ‘ Mississippi Paddle Boat’ and ‘Salt’. Later recordings display a more ‘70s songwriter approach, while tracks like ‘Wash Myself Away’ point to the spiritual crossroads at which Pantry was soon to arrive.” (Ugly Things)

 The Upside Down World Of John Pantry - John Pantry Featuring Peter & The Wolves,The Bunch , Norman Conquest and The Factory 

VA - The Upside Down World Of John Pantry  (2009)
LP back cover 199 album

VA - The Upside Down World Of John Pantry  (2009)

VA - The Upside Down World Of John Pantry  (2009)

Liners from  1999 LP

"An essential release for fans of '60s UK psychedelia. Contains all the great works by the songwriting genius John Pantry - plus a horde of wonderful demos. The double CD version has even more tracks. John Pantry had a sophisticated writing style that elevated him above his peers.... from the super-charged thrust of Try a Little Sunshine and Spare A Shilling... to the brittle and melodic acid ballads like Red Chalk Hill and Smokey Wood Air. 
A song like Upside Down has a hymnal style to it. Listen to the chord changes... almost funereal. Pantry eventually rejected the rock n roll lifestyle and is now a vicar in Essex. You can hear him on Premier Christian Radio... but that's another life and another story. I had some cassettes of his recent hymns (he's still composing) - but 99.9% of all trace of psych has, unsurprisingly, been washed away. Funnily enough though - even though i found his hymns uninspiring... there was a tiny lingering vestige of his former sound..."

VA - The Upside Down World Of John Pantry  (2009)

The Factory ‎– Path Through The Forest (2008) + 11 tracks from Comlete Story !

The Factory  ‎– Path Through The Forest (2008)  + 11 tracks from Comlete Story !

The Factory was a very young British psychedelic band that put out a couple of singles in the late 60s that never took off. Their guitarist was 17 and their drummer only 16. This is a compilation of their recordings, which has a great combination of heavy psych, psych-pop, psych-folk and some very lo-fi recordings. "Path Thru the Forest" was their first single that came out on MGM in 1968. It's excellent heavy psychedelia with great lead guitar, feedback, and distorted vocals. There are two versions of this song included, one with a weird intro of monkeys howling and additional psychedelic effects that are well integrated. Their second single was "Try a Little Sunshine" which was written by John Pantry, a friend of IBC engineer Brian Carrol who helped get the Factory started with his colleague Damon Lyon Shaw. This is also an excellent song with great lead guitar and vocal harmonies. The compilation has two covers, including Fairport Convention's "Mr. Lacey" and Family's "Second Generation Woman," neither of which I've heard the original version. Overall, it's a great compilation despite annoying inconsistencies in volume between tracks.


JACK BRAND vcls, bs A 
BILL MacLEOD drms A 
IAN OATES ld gtr A 

1 Path Through A Forest/Gone (MGM MGM 1444) 1968 
2 Try A Little Sunshine/Red Chalk Hill (CBS 4540) 1969 

Originally known as The Souvenir Badge Factory, this band's two 45s are classic slices of British psychedelia. They scored a deal, when studio engineer Brian Carroll met 17 year old Ian Oates at a party. Path Through A Forest, their first recording, started life as an acoustic folk demo, by an unknown writer and is unusual for its distorted vocals and great guitar. In fact, the band had intended to include a barrage of weird sound effects on the single, in a similar manner to Pink Floyd, but the 'suits' at the time said no. 

On their second 45, Try A Little Sunshine the vocals are more poppy and it again features some great guitar work, but with it's suggestive lyrics ('Sunshine' was slang for L.S.D.) resulted in a BBC ban, and like it's predecesor it failed to happen commercially. Both 45s are now very sought-after by collectors of psychedelia and you can expect to pay in excess of £100 for either. Gone, the flip to their first 45, was a cover of a track from a Paul Revere and The Raiders album. Both sides of their second 45 were written by studio engineer John Pantry. 

Try A Little Sunshine can also be heard on Perfumed Garden, Vol. 1 (LP & CD) and Electric Sugar Cube Flashbacks, Vol. 4 (LP) compilations and Path Through A Forest has resurfaced on Chocolate Soup For Diabetics, Vol. 3 (LP), Chocolate Soup (CD), Beat It (3-CD) and Artefacts From The Psychedelic Dungeon (CD). There's also a demo version of Red Chalk Hill on the CD compilation Circus Days, Vol. 6, although according to Brian Carroll, this was written and perfromed by John Pantry without the involvement of the band. Other compilation appearances have included:- Try A Little Sunshine and Red Chalk Hill on The Upside Down World Of John Pantry (LP); Path Through The Forest (two versions), Gone, Mr. Lacey, Try A Little Sunshine, Red Chalk Hill, Second Generation Woman on Hard Up Heroes, Vol. 6 (CD). 

The Factory  ‎– Path Through The Forest (2008)  + 11 tracks from Comlete Story !

The Factory's only other single, "Try a Little Sunshine," was written for them by John Pantry (a songwriting friend of Carroll), and issued by CBS in late 1969. It sounded a little like a mating of the Who and the Moody Blues (in the best sense of that combination), with its crunching guitar chords and catchy, wistful vocal harmonies. Like its predecessor, it was heard by few, and the group disbanded shortly afterward. That was too bad, as they had considerable promise considering their youth and the quality of their two 45s. Both sides of their two singles, as well as a couple of unreleased demos, were assembled for the Path Through the Forest mini-CD in 1995. 

The Factory  ‎– Path Through The Forest (2008)  + 11 tracks from Comlete Story !

Both sides of their two singles, plus demo covers of Fairport Convention's "Mr. Lacey" and Family's "Second Generation Woman" (the latter of which is in very rough fidelity), comprise this six-song mini-CD. "Try a Little Sunshine" and (to a lesser degree) "Path Through the Forest" are among the better nuggets of obscure late-'60s British psychedelia, and have appeared on several collector-geared anthologies. Also very good, though, is the B-side to "Try a Little Sunshine," "Red Chalk Hill," an affecting psych-folk ballad that, like "Try a Little Sunshine," was written by John Pantry. A mini-LP on the Heads Together label has identical contents to this CD, with the addition of an alternate, more psychedelic mix of "Try a Little Sunshine."


08 Little Girl                                              
09 Lantern Light-Break Up Break Down                        
10 Woman On My Mind                                         
11 The Old And The New                                      
12 Julie                                                    
13 Birthday                                                 
14 Two People                                               
15 Upside Down                                              
16 Spare a Shilling                                         
17 Looking Glass Alice                                      
18 Spare a Shilling         

The Factory  ‎– Path Through The Forest (2008)  + 11 tracks from Comlete Story !

Bergen White - For Women Only (1970)

Bergen White - For Women Only (1970)

Although best known for a long and successful career as a Nashville arranger, Bergen White also recorded one of the Holy Grails of soft pop: 1970's lush, melancholy For Women Only, a minor classic of its genre. According to Steve Stanley's comprehensive liner notes published in Rev-Ola's 2004 reissue of For Women Only, White was born in Miami, OK, in 1939, the son of a Baptist minister who regularly moved his family from city to city throughout the southern half of the U.S. The Whites finally settled in Nashville when Bergen was 14; there he befriended fellow music fans Bobby Russell and Buzz Cason, with whom he later recorded a single credited to the Todds. After college, White taught math and science for two years before Russell persuaded him to resume their musical collaboration, this time as staff vocalists with Bill Beasley's sound-alike label Hit Records, an imprint infamous for cutting carbon-copy knockoffs of chart hits that were commonly sold in supermarkets and priced to move. Hit not only offered White an opportunity to hone his vocal skills, but he was also allowed to compose original material for release via the B-sides of the label's singles.
In time, White was taken under the wing of Nashville producer Bill Justis and offered the chance to begin arranging recording sessions. He also joined the Justis-sponsored hot rod group Ronny & the Daytonas as a vocalist -- best known for their pop smash "G.T.O.," the band's ranks later included White's old schoolmate Buzz Cason as well. With a growing number of session dates now under his belt, in 1967 White signed to Monument to record his first solo single, "If It's Not Asking Too Much" -- an exquisitely melancholy slice of string-sweetened pop, the record earned little commercial attention, and its creator resumed his work behind the scenes. In 1969 he agreed to record a full-length LP for Shelby Singleton's SSS label, enlisting the assistance of noted session guitarist and engineer Wayne Moss, owner of Nashville's legendary Cinderella Studio. The resulting For Women Only appeared the following year -- an ornate and elegant work of richly detailed harmony pop, both the album and its lead single, "It's Over Now," failed to chart. After issuing a gospel-influenced non-LP single titled "Spread the Word," SSS terminated White's contract.

Even as his recording career faltered, however, White's session career was reaching critical mass -- his work on Tony Joe White's 1969 Top Ten hit "Polk Salad Annie" brought him to the attention of no less than Elvis Presley, who wanted Bergen to arrange a version of the song for him to perform in his Las Vegas show. He went on to arrange several Presley sessions in the years to follow, on occasion contributing backing vocals as a substitute Jordanaire -- White's résumé would later include country luminaries such as Dolly Parton, Ronnie Milsap, the Statler Brothers, the Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. In the meantime, in 1975 he signed to the Private Stock label, issuing a cover of the Del Vikings classic "Come Go with Me," soon followed by the David Gates-penned "Have You Taken a Good Look Lately." White's third effort for the label, a rendition of the Gene Chandler perennial "Duke of Earl," began to accrue some commercial momentum, but touring behind the single would have forced him to turn down some studio projects -- when he balked at hitting the road, Private Stock cut its promotional funding, and for all intents and purposes his pop career was over. In 1980 White did release a gospel LP, Praise the Lord -- in 1998, he also resurfaced with a seasonal effort credited to the Bergen White Christmas Singers.

Bergen White - For Women Only (1970)
Bergen White - For Women Only (1970)

Bergen White was a member of Ronny & the Daytonas during the Nashville-based hot rod group's last days, when the band was shifting away from Beach Boys-styled hot rod and surf tunes and developing its "softer" side after finding some success with a ballad hit, "Sandy." In 1969, when the group finally did break up, White remained in the Nashville area, where he recorded his first album, For Women Only, which was released on producer and mini-mogul Shelby Singleton's SSS-International label. White wrote or co-wrote several of the tracks himself ("Now" was co-written with Bob Tubert, who wrote several hits for Eddy Arnold, Sonny James, Roy Clark, and others), but many of the highlights are his soft pop renditions of material penned by other notable composers. "She Is Today" is a faster-paced, more upbeat version of the Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil song that had previously been recorded by the Vogues, who were also on SSS at the time. White covers the Lettermen's harmony pop arrangement of Little Anthony & the Imperials' "Hurt So Bad" (a Top 20 hit from September 1969) and Townes Van Zandt's gorgeous "Second Lover's Song." There are a couple of David Gates tunes too, the sublime "Gone Again" and "Look at Me," which appeared on Bread's debut album that same year. Incidentally, during this same time, White provided vocals (along with Daytonas' group leader Buzz Cason and Bobby Russell) and string arrangements for several so-called "supermarket" knockoff records that were released by the budget sound-alike Hit Records label. One of these recordings was the Bergen White-Russell-penned Beach Boys knockoff "We Built a 409," credited to "the Roamers" (aka Ronny & the Daytonas). Singleton was listed as the producer on these records. White continues to have a thriving career as an arranger/producer in Nashville.

Bergen White - For Women Only (1970)

Bergen White - For Women Only (1970)

Thanks a lot to Cor

Willie & The Red Rubber Band ‎- Willie And The Red Rubber Band (1968) & We're Coming Up (1969)The Purple Gang - Purple Gang Strikes ( 1968)VA - Marshmallow Skies (60s Pop Stars Flirt With Psychedelia) The Cryan' Shames -  Sugar & Spice (1966)Lazy Day: The Pop Songs of Tony Powers & George Fischoff 1965-1968 The Land Of Sensations & Delights: The Psych Pop Sounds Of White Whale Records, 1965–1970VA - The Upside Down World Of John Pantry  (2009)The Factory  ‎– Path Through The Forest (2008)  + 11 tracks from Comlete Story !Bergen White - For Women Only (1970)

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