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The Mystics - 16 Golden Hits

The Mystics - 16 Golden Hits

With sparkling productions and smooth, soothing harmonies, this white doo-wop group from Brooklyn created an array of classics. Here are 16: their 1959 hit Don't Take the Stars and their definitive Hushabye plus Blue Star; Again; Adam and Eve; So Tenderly; Over the Rainbow , and more!

The doo-wop quintet of lead Phil Cracolici, baritone Albee Cracolici, first tenor Bob Ferrante, second tenor George Galfo and bass Al Contrera, were one of the few such groups from the area to escape the clutches of producer Hy Weiss and his Old Town label. Instead their manager, Jim Gribble, hooked The Mystics up with Laurie Records of New York, run by Gene Schwartz and Allan I. Sussel.

At their first sessions late in 1958, the group cut a cover of Wimoweh, the 1952 hit by Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & The Weavers, and something called Adam And Eve (not the same song as the later Paul Anka minor hit). Feeling these weren't worthy of release, Schwartz and Sussel had the song-writing team of Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus write something new and suitable for group harmony, but when they came up with A Teenager In Love that was, instead, turned over to THE premier Laurie group, Dion & The Belmonts.

Back to the drawing board, the writers then produced Hushabye which was rehearsed, recorded and distributed as Laurie 3028 in the early spring of 1959 b/w Adam And Eve, and everyone marvelled as it rose to 20 Billboard Pop Hot 100 by June. Indeed, the ill-fated and renowned DJ/promoter Alan Freed liked it so much he began using it as his closing theme for his Big Beat Show. Unfortunately, that big hit was the apex of their recording career as the follow-up Don't Take The Stars could only manage a weak # 98 Hot 100 in October b/w So Tenderly on Laurie 3038.

It was around this time that Phil left the group and so, to maintain it as a quintet, Gribble added a 19-year-old named Paul Simon - destined for much greater things - for the sessions producing All Through The Night and (I Began) To Think Of You Again which, with no distinct lead, came out on Laurie 3049 early in 1960. Without impact on the charts. Then Simon left, and his replacement was John "Jay" Traynor - himself destined to have a huge hit in a couple of years as lead for Jay & The Americans - for the recording of The White Cliffs Of Dover and Blue Star, coupled on Laurie 3058 later in 1960. Again, with no chart success.



The Mystics - 16 Golden Hits

The Mystics - 16 Golden Hits
Label: Collectables Records 1991

The Mystics - 16 Golden Hits

Beryl Marsden - Changes - The Story Of Beryl Marsden

Beryl Marsden - Changes - The Story Of Beryl Marsden





Beryl Marsden is one of those names that diligent British Invasion scholars are likely to be aware of, but unlikely to actually have heard much or at all. She has footnotes in some history books as being one of the most popular woman vocalists in Liverpool in the early to mid-'60s, as well as for singing on a 1966 single by the early quasi-supergroup the Shotgun Express (who also included Rod Stewart and Peter Green). This has all dozen of the tracks she issued on Decca and Columbia from 1963-1966, as well as, less interestingly, three 1979-1981 recordings, and eight done just a few years prior to this 2012 compilation. It's one of those anthologies that doesn't really live up to the reputation of the artist, frankly, as Marsden was an OK singer, but not superb. Her '60s singles (there's also a live track from the At the Cavern LP) had serviceable covers of American soul and girl group-type songs that didn't match the originals, as well as some more Merseybeat-influenced pop tunes (including "Love Is Going to Happen to Me," co-written by a young Lesley Duncan with her brother). The orchestrated pop of the Shotgun Express single "I Could Feel the Whole World Turn Around," though not typical of her style, is actually the best song (a previously unreleased alternate take of the subsequent Shotgun Express track "Funny 'Cos Neither Could I" including her voice is also here, though the issued 45 did not include her vocals). The recordings of a more modern vintage are way too synth pop-heavy (even on the '60s soul/girl group covers) to be of much if any interest to those who are curious about her British Invasion-era recordings, though her voice remained in good shape. The compilation's for a specialized audience even by British Invasion collector standards, but the packaging's excellent, the lengthy liner notes including many recollections by Marsden herself.

***

Beryl Marsden - Changes - The Story Of Beryl Marsden

Beryl Marsden has footnotes in some history books as being one of the most popular woman vocalists in Liverpool in the early to mid-'60s, as well as for singing on a 1966 single by the early quasi-supergroup the Shotgun Express (who also included Rod Stewart and Peter Green). This has all dozen of the tracks she issued on Decca and Columbia from 1963-1966, as well as, less interestingly, three 1979-1981 recordings, and eight done just a few years prior to this 2012 compilation. It's one of those anthologies that doesn't really live up to the reputation of the artist, frankly, as Marsden was an OK singer, but not superb. Her '60s singles (there's also a live track from the At the Cavern LP) had serviceable covers of American soul and girl group-type songs that didn't match the originals, as well as some more Merseybeat-influenced pop tunes (including "Love Is Going to Happen to Me," co-written by a young Lesley Duncan with her brother). The orchestrated pop of the Shotgun Express single "I Could Feel the Whole World Turn Around," though not typical of her style, is actually the best song (a previously unreleased alternate take of the subsequent Shotgun Express track "Funny 'Cos Neither Could I" including her voice is also here, though the issued 45 did not include her vocals). The recordings of a more modern vintage are way too synth pop-heavy (even on the '60s soul/girl group covers) to be of much if any interest to those who are curious about her British Invasion-era recordings, though her voice remained in good shape. The compilation's for a specialized audience even by British Invasion collector standards, but the packaging's excellent, the lengthy liner notes including many recollections by Marsden herself.






Mersey Beats - Liverpool A Go Go (1965) and Canadian Beatles....

Mersey Beats - Liverpool A Go Go (1965) and Canadian Beatles....






LIVERPOOL A GO GO-mersey beats-ARC-1965 A850
Real nice and raw early cover version
on this Canadian only Comp. Unknown studio band with a gritty sound. 

Mersey Beats - Liverpool A Go Go (1965) and Canadian Beatles....


Wanted full LP
Canadian Beadles - Three Faces North (1964)

Mersey Beats - Liverpool A Go Go (1965) and Canadian Beatles....

Mersey Beats - Liverpool A Go Go (1965) and Canadian Beatles....


The Merseymen - A Visit to the Beatle Inn (1964)

The Merseymen - A Visit to the Beatle Inn (1964)


The Merseymen, featuring a young Dylan Taite (as Jett Rink) on drums, with their 1964 album A Visit To The Beatle Inn

Line-Up:
    Bob Paris (Lead Guitar)
    Mike Leyton (Vocals)
    Jim Newton (Bass Guitar)
    Dave Moan (Rhythm Guitar)
    Jett Rink (Drums)


To dislike The Beatles isn’t an opinion, Paul Du Noyer once wrote: it’s a stance. The arrival of The Beatles’ music in New Zealand required a response, whether you were for or against. Young musicians reacted quickly; if you didn’t comb your hair forward, suddenly you looked dated. Bands billed as an adjunct to solo vocalists now looked like clones of Cliff Richard and the Shadows, as old hat as last week’s dance; having a showpony out front implied you were a band but not a group (Ray Columbus and Max Merritt were too strong as personalities for this to be an issue, as were their bands.)
***
01. The Merseymen - Reelin' And Rockin'
02. The Merseymen - 5-4-3-2-1
03. The Merseymen - I'll Git You
04. The Merseymen - Sweet Little Sixteen
05. The Merseymen - Talkin' But You
06. The Merseymen - Rock Around The Clock
07. The Merseymen - Jambalaya
08. The Merseymen - You're Never Satisfied
09. The Merseymen - I'm A Hog For You Baby
10. The Merseymen - Rit It Up
11. The Merseymen - Heart Beat
12. The Merseymen - Roll Over Beethoven
13. The Merseymen - Somebody Told My Gal
14. The Merseymen - Memphis Tennessee

Mike Cotton Sound - News From Liverpool




Dave Rowberry, John Beecham, Micky Moody, Mike Cotton

In more than decade of activity from 1960 until 1971, the Mike Cotton Sound transformed themselves and their sound several times, starting out playing trad jazz (i.e., Dixieland jazz), switching to rock & roll and blues, then remaking themselves in the vein of Stax/Volt type soul, and finally ending up as a progressive soul band backing R&B/jazz veteran Zoot Money. In all of that time, ironically, the group only enjoyed one hit, "Swing That Hammer," a minor chart entry in England during 1963. That small statistic, however, is deceptive as a measure of the Mike Cotton Sound's influence and success. They were, for much of the '60s, one of the busiest bands in England, playing club dates of their own and also backing such visiting American performers as Solomon Burke, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, and Gene Pitney, and playing sessions behind other popular performers -- and more than a decade after the group's one hit, they were playing sessions with the Kinks. Additionally, members of the Mike Cotton Sound went on to play key roles in such outfits as the Animals and Argent.

Mike Cotton Sound - News From Liverpool

Mike Cotton had played trumpet in various trad jazz bands in the late '50s, and in 1960 he formed a group of his own with members of the Peter Ridge Band, who broke up that year. Their sound was pure Dixieland, with John Beecham playing trombone, Gerry Williams on the clarinet, Stu Morrison on banjo, Jeff King playing bass, Jimmy Garforth at the drums, and Maureen Parfitt (known as Little Mo) singing. Parfitt exited the Mike Cotton Jazzmen, as they were then known, after a one-month series of gigs at Germany's Storyville club and was succeeded by Jeanie Lambe, who lasted a year. The group lucked out by inheriting a recording contract originally signed by the Pete Ridge band with producer Dennis Preston and his Lansdowne studio which, in turn, had a licensing agreement with EMI-Columbia.

Mike Cotton Sound - News From Liverpool


The group got an amazing amount of work, playing as many as 300 gigs a year, primarily in clubs in the north of England, where they were best known. They also became veritable fixtures in live appearances on the radio and did their share of television performances as well. And they were sufficiently respected and successful to rate a performance onscreen in the 1962 dramatic film The Wild and the Willing, shot in the spring of that year.

The group also saw the first of a dizzying series of lineup changes in 1962, so they were a very different band by the time the movie opened in October of that year. Gerry Williams exited in early 1962 to be replaced by Nottingham-born John Crocker, and Derek Tearle took over on bass soon after, although he was replaced by Conway Smith following a serious road accident. Dave Rowberry was added to the lineup on piano in the summer of 1962.

Mike Cotton Sound - News From Liverpool


The group's sound evolved gradually during this period, as the audience for trad jazz gradually disappeared. By 1963, it was becoming plain that they needed something to boost their audience. The number 30 status of "Swing That Hammer" was a last gasp for trad jazz in a musical environment that was shifting radically. The arrival of the Beatles at the top of the charts with "Please Please Me" spearheaded an explosion of chart activity by rock & roll groups of all stripes, and heralded the end of the trad jazz boom. In response, the Mike Cotton Jazzmen shifted their sound and emphasis, adding more rock & roll and R&B in their repertory. They also changed their name, first to the Mike Cotton Band and then to the Mike Cotton Sound.

They got their first chance to show off their new sound in the wake of "Swing That Hammer" with their self-titled debut LP, which included covers of material by Bo Diddley and the Bill Black Combo. It was only a transitional work, being a little too jazzy for the rock audience that the group hoped might hear it, and didn't sell in serious numbers, but it opened up new musical territory and venues for the group. The result was a series of shows and tours backing the likes of Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, Solomon Burke, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Gene Pitney, among others, and the group performed on bills alongside Tom Jones and Dusty Springfield, even participating in informal jams and performances with them.

The group parted company with Preston in an effort to completely reinvent their sound, abandoning their jazz roots in favor of a headfirst plunge into R&B. By 1964, concerts by the group featured their versions of songs by Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, and Howlin' Wolf, a repertory at which they came to excell. More lineup changes accompanied this transformation, as Stu Morrison (who later joined Chris Barber's jazz band) gave up the banjo for the bass and, with Cotton, handled the vocals; Dave Rowberry switched from the piano to the Vox organ, and exited the group in 1965 to join the Animals as the successor to Alan Price; among the musicians who auditioned (and were rejected) for his spot were Reginald Dwight (aka Elton John) and Joe Cocker, before Eric Delaney, later of the progressive jazz/rock outfit Sky, became their keyboard player. Jimmy Garforth left the music business in 1966 and was succeeded by Bernie Byrnes, late of the Mindbenders, and Morrison was later succeeded by Jim Rodford.

the Mike Cotton Sound were signed to Polydor in 1965 and cut a very respectable single of "Harlem Shuffle," which was as clear a sign as any of the changes that had taken place. By then, they'd transformed their sound once more, away from Chicago-style blues and R&B into more of a Stax/Volt vein, facilitated in part by the arrival in the group's lineup of an American vocalist. Lucas (aka Bruce MacPherson Lucas), born in Cleveland, OH, was a former GI living in England. His presence helped boost the band's credibility as a soul-based performing unit.

They were also lucky enough to sign with Pye Records and find a producer in Mike Raven, who could help them come up with a commercial sound on their records. "Soul Serenade" b/w "We've Got a Thing Going, Baby" rose to the Top 30 on the British R&B charts, but they were never able to follow it up properly. Meanwhile, ex-Cheynes and future Camel leader Pete Bardens passed through the lineup, as did Derek Griffiths, formerly of the Artwoods, on guitar, and Rodford exited in 1969 to link up with Rod Argent, a relative, in the formation of Argent.

The group held together long enough, however, to be engaged by Apple Records as the backing band on Mary Hopkin's Postcard album. Music was continuing to change with the roster of musicians, and another name change seemed in order. the Mike Cotton Sound became Satisfaction, and got to record an album in a more progressive vein for England's Decca Records, which attracted little notice. By 1971, after a brief hookup with Zoot Money, the group finally split up, although Mike Cotton and his fellow brassmen from the band were recruited by the Kinks for some notable mid-'70s recording sessions.

In the years since, most of the members have remained active in music in some respect. Cotton has remained active as a session musician, and in the '90s played with the 100 Club All-Stars, while Rodford and Griffiths continued to play soul music, and Mick Moody, of one of the last lineups, moved into heavy metal and has been involved with the group Whitesnake. the Mike Cotton Sound's name periodically surfaces in more thorough histories of the British trad jazz and beat booms, and is often mentioned obliquely in histories of the Animals, thanks to Dave Rowberry's presence in both groups and his continued musical activity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Cotton_%28musician%29

01. Mike Cotton Sound - I Don't Wanna Know
02. Mike Cotton Sound - Soul Serenade
03. The Mike Cotton Sound - Beau Dudley
04. The Mike Cotton Sound - Chinese Checkers
05. The Mike Cotton Sound - How Long Can This Go On
06. The Mike Cotton Sound - I Got My Eyes On You
07. The Mike Cotton Sound - Like That
08. The Mike Cotton Sound - Pills
09. The Mike Cotton Sound - Round And Round
10. The Mike Cotton Sound - Watermelon Man
11. Mike Cotton Sound  ( Feat Lucas) - Ain't Love Good ,ain't Love Proud
12. The Mike Cotton Sound ( Feat Lucas) - Jack And The Beanstalk
13. The Mike Cotton Sound ( Feat Lucas) - Step Out Of Line
14. The Mike Cotton Sound ( Feat Lucas) - Harlem Shuffle
15. The Mike Cotton Sound - This Little Pig

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Masters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year Apprentices

Masters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year Apprentices




The Master's Apprentices started out in the mid 60s as the Mustangs. ...




Masters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year Apprentices
Original Line Up (Adelaide)

• Mick Bower – rhythm guitar (1965–1967)
• Jim Keays – vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1995; 1997, 2001–2002)
• Rick Morrison – lead guitar (1965–1967)
• Brian Vaughton – drums (1965–1966)
• Gavin Webb – bass guitar (1965–1968)
2nd Line up (after move to Melbourne)
• Rick Harrison – rhythm guitar, replaced Bower (1967)
• Jim Keays – vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1995; 1997, 2001–2002)
• Tony Sommers – guitar, replaced Morrison (1967–1968)
• Steve Hopgood – drums, replaced Vaughton (1967–1968)
• Gavin Webb – bass guitar (1965–1968)
3rd Line up
• Peter Tilbrook – rhythm guitar, bass guitar, replaced Harrison (1967–1968)
• Jim Keays – vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1995; 1997, 2001–2002)
• Tony Sommers – guitar, (1967–1968)
• Steve Hopgood – drums, (1967–1968)
• Gavin Webb – bass guitar (1965–1968)
4th Line up
• Peter Tilbrook – rhythm guitar, bass guitar, (1967–1968)
• Jim Keays – vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1995; 1997, 2001–2002)
• Doug Ford – guitar, replaced Sommers (1968–1972 1987–1991, 1997, 2001–2002)
• Colin Burgess – drums, replaced Hopgood (1968–1972, 1987–1991, 2001–2002)
• Glenn Wheatley – rhythm guitar, bass guitar replaced Webb (1968–1971, 1987&1988, 2002)
5th Line up
• Peter Tilbrook – rhythm guitar, bass guitar, (1967–1968)
• Jim Keays – vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1995; 1997, 2001–2002)
• Doug Ford – guitar, (1968–1972 1987–1991, 1997, 2001–2002)
• Colin Burgess – drums, (1968–1972, 1987–1991, 2001–2002)
• Denny Burgess – bass guitar, replaced Wheatley (1972)
6th Line up
• Roger Faynes – guitar, keyboards (1988–1991)
• Jim Keays – vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1995; 1997, 2001–2002)
• Doug Ford – guitar, (1968–1972 1987–1991, 1997, 2001–2002)
• Colin Burgess – drums, (1968–1972, 1987–1991, 2001–2002)
• Wayne Mathews – bass guitar (1988–1991)
7th Line up
• Peter Farnan – keyboards, guitar (1997)
• Jim Keays – vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1995; 1997, 2001–2002)
• Doug Ford – guitar, (1968–1972 1987–1991, 1997, 2001–2002)
• Tony Day – drums (1997)
• John Favaro – bass guitar, backing vocals (1997)
8th Line up
• Jim Keays – vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1995; 1997, 2001–2002)
• Doug Ford – guitar, (1968–1972 1987–1991, 1997, 2001–2002)
• Colin Burgess – drums, (1968–1972, 1987–1991, 2001–2002)
• Tim Wheatley – bass guitar (2001–2002)

Masters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year Apprentices
Masters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year Apprentices
Masters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year ApprenticesMasters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year ApprenticesMasters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year Apprentices
Masters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year Apprentices


If the Easybeats were considered the Beatles of Down Under than the Master’s Apprentices were surely Australia’s answer to the Rolling Stones. They released 5 records during their 65-72 heyday, including their classic hard rock album, A Toast To Panama Red. In between this period the group released a few unfocused but interesting lps and several good singles. The Mick Bower era (65-68) is usually considered the group’s highwater mark, even though Panama Red is an excellent progressive hard rock album.

The Master’s Apprentices started out in the mid 60s as the Mustangs. This group played raucous RnB, covers of 50s rock standards, a few originals and some instrumentals. Eventually the group would develop into something more original, under the leadership and guidance of guitarist/songwriter Mick Bower and vocalist Jim Keays. In 1966 the group released their debut Astor 45 Undecided/War or Hands of Time. The A-side was a powerful, raw RnB track that had cruching guitar riffs and a unique chord progression. As great as Undecided was, War or Hands of Time was even better. This unique anti-war track captured the original group at their peak with a powerful, reverberating guitar intro, hard hitting drum fills and a fractured acid solo. Even today most Aussie rock aficionados agree that this was one of the most exciting singles to ever come out of Australia. Their next Astor 45, released in 1967, was Buried and Dead. This was another classic single and one of the most explosive acid punk numbers ever recorded. Mid way thru there’s a strong punkoid psych solo although it should be noted that the flip side, featured on their debut album, is rather weak.
The debut, made up of Bower originals and a handful of covers was released in 1967. Admittedly there are five weak tracks - She’s My Girl, the feedback laden Beatles’ cover I Feel Fine, Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode, My GIrl, and Don’t Fight It. The rest of the album is rock solid and full of driving garage rockers and early psychedelia. Undecided, War or Hands of Time and Buried and Dead are all featured on the lp though Theme For A Social Climber and the raga influenced But One Day were strong psychedelic numbers too. Hot Gully Wind is a razor sharp bluesy garage rocker that recalled Ireland’s Them while Dancing Girl featured some slightly freaky guitar work that made it a worthy tune. The good tracks (7 of them) were great, so based on this, the Master’s Apprentice lp comes highly recommended. 

Masters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year Apprentices
The Masters would release two other classic 45s during the Mick Bower era. In 1967 Astor released one of their biggest hits, Living In A Child’s Dream. This single hit the Aussie top ten and is often considered one of the greatest psych singles of all time. There are no guitar freakouts or wild solos (though Rick Morrison’s guitar solo is tasteful and imaginative), it’s a mellow, spacey pop tune with flower power lyrics and a radio friendly sound. The single’s B-side, Tired Of Just Wandering was another great Bower penned psych track. In 1968 the group released Elevator Driver. By then both guitarist Rick Morrison and Mick Bower had left the group. Bower leaving the group was equivalent to Syd Barrett exiting the Floyd: nobody thought the Masters would recover such a devastating blow. Against all odds they released their last great early 45 and to these ears it may edge out Child’s Dream as the better single. Elevator Driver was originally titled Silver People and is another ace psychedelic track with vocal distortion and a good guitar friendly arrangement. Ascension released a great cd back in 2000 that combines the Master’s first lp with all their early singles. True, there are a few weak tracks and the disc is rather hard to find but it’s a great buy from one of rock’s lost bands.~ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=45723554129



The Merced Blue Notes - Get Your Kicks On Route 99


The Merced Blue Notes - Get Your Kicks On Route 99



The Merced Blue Notes' career lasted about a decade and a half, but it resulted in few recordings, though apparently it did supply a whole lot of fun for live crowds in central California who wanted to groove to basic, energetic blues, R&B, soul, and rock & roll. That's what the band played on its handful of rare singles, on an assortment of labels, between 1961 and 1966. The group's music was in the stock R&B/blues-influenced rock & roll style, on both vocal and instrumental material, often putting organ and bluesy guitar to the fore, sometimes punctuated with sax and harmonica. In their later days they got into funkier grooves, in the manner that big acts such as Booker T. & the MG's were updating their sound, though they didn't possess the originality to gain a national audience.

The Merced Blue Notes formed in high school in Merced, CA, in January 1957, and would undergo numerous lineup changes over the course of their career, the constant element being singer/songwriter/guitarist Kenny Craig. They actually made their first contacts with the record industry back around 1958, when they auditioned for Specialty Records, with a young Sonny Bono in the control booth. Specialty only wanted to record their singer Roddy Jackson, however, Jackson making three flop 45s for the label in the late '50s. A couple of obscure singles came out on the Merced label in 1960, and they'd intermittently record over the next half dozen years for other companies, including Accent, Tri-Phi, Mammoth, and the Fantasy R&B subsidiary Galaxy. None of the singles caught on in a big way, though their 1961 Accent 45 "Rufus" got enough airplay in Detroit to get them some concert and recording work (the latter for Harvey Fuqua's Tri-Phi label) there in 1962.

With little success on record and a sound that was getting outdated by changing trends in rock and soul music, the lineup that recorded for Galaxy in the mid-'60s broke up in early 1966. Kenny Craig kept the group going with other musicians and continued playing live under the band name for several more years. The member of The Merced Blue Notes with the highest profile in subsequent years was Bobby Hunt, who recorded with the Seven Souls and also formed the trio Head West with fellow Seven Souls musicians Henry Moore and Bob Welch, playing keyboards with the group on several tours while Welch was in Fleetwood Mac in the early '70s.

The Merced Blue Notes - Get Your Kicks On Route 99

 With ten tracks from rare 1961-1966 singles, three cuts that only appeared on a compilation, and 13 previously unreleased recordings (one of them a previously unissued alternate take of their single "Bad, Bad Whiskey"), this is a more comprehensive anthology of this obscure group than anyone could have envisioned. As exhaustive as the archivism might be, it's fairly routine early-'60s-styled R&B-rock (even on the mid-'60s recordings), anchored by bluesy riffs and a small combo organ-grounded sound on both vocal and instrumental numbers. In some ways it's similar to the energetic (if oft-unimaginative) grinds churned out by numerous Northwest bands in the same era, though the Merced Blue Notes leaned perhaps a bit more to the more modern, funkier grooves being opened up by groups like Booker T. & the MG's. Were these guys funky? Sure -- they spin out tough bluesy guitar licks, penetrating organ, occasional blues harmonica, and (on the non-instrumentals) raw vocals. Did they have interesting material? Not so much -- the tunes were often elementary and derivative. They shine brightest when the organ gets most assertive and the singing lets loose in a fashion that many rock and soul labels would have toned down, as heard on the unissued fast shuffle "Greyhound" or the 1966 instrumental "Rufus," where the Booker T resemblance grows. Booker T. & the MG's, however, to take one point of reference, had far better riffs and arrangements, and to be harsh it's not too much of a surprise that these cats didn't break out of their region, as much entertainment as they must have provided at local shows and dances.

Dean Martin - Dream With Dean (1964)

Dean Martin - Dream With Dean (1964)

A profile of a rugged Dean Martin by the fireplace with a cigarette adorns the jacket of this very interesting concept album. As Stan Cornyn's liner notes explain, "his longtime accompanist" on piano, Ken Lane, with "three of Hollywood's most thoughtful rhythm men" -- those being drummer Irv Cottler, bassist Red Mitchell, and guitarist Barney Kessel -- do create a mood, Dean Martin performing as if he were a lounge singer at 1:15 a.m. as the Saturday night crowd is dwindling. His signature tune, "Everybody Loves Somebody," is here in a laid-back style, produced by Jimmy Bowen, who would go on to produce Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, and so many others, also the same man who was behind the 1964 number one smash. This album with the original Martin recording was released after the hit single version and on the same day as the Everybody Loves Somebody LP, but how many times does the audience get a different studio reading of a seminal hit record? Not only that, but the version that preceded the hit. The backing is so sparse it is almost a cappella, with Kessel's guitar noodlings and Ken Lane's piano. The bass is mostly invisible, coming in only when needed. It's a slow and sultry version that caps off side one. There is a rendition of Rodgers & Hart's "Blue Moon" that strips away the doo wop of the Marcels' number one 1961 remake, and a run-through of the Bloom/Mercer hit for Glen Miller, "Fools Rush In," which Rick Nelson had launched into the Top 15 in 1963. Martin is just crooning away, and if the album has one drawback, it is that the 12 songs are incessant in their providing the same atmosphere. The backing quartet does not deviate from their job, nor does producer Jimmy Bowen add any technique, other than putting Martin's voice way out in the mix. But Dream With Dean was no doubt excellent research and development as Bowen landed 11 Top 40 hits with the singer from 1964's "Everybody Loves Somebody," which evolved out of this original idea to 1967's "Little Old Wine Drinker, Me." It sounds as if they tracked the album in one afternoon, and it is not only a very pleasant listening experience, it shows what a tremendous vocalist Dean Martin truly was.

 1. I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) (03:16)
2. Fools Rush In (03:04)
3. I'll Buy That Dream (03:16)
4. If You Were The Only Girl (03:03)
5. Blue Moon (03:07)
6. Everybody Loves Somebody (03:11)
7. I Don't Know Why (I Just Do) (02:36)
8. Gimmie A Little Kill Will Ya Huh? (02:17)
9. Hands Across The Table (02:18)
10. Smile (02:58)
11. My Melancholy Baby (02:45)
12. Baby Won't You Please Come Home (02:17)

 http://www51.zippyshare.com/v/74623060/file.html

Mickie Most - Mickie Most

Mickie Most - Mickie Most

In addition to forming his own label in the '70s, RAK, British producer Mickie Most is credited with the discovery of the Animals and the Nashville Teens, while his production credits include Donovan, Lulu and Jeff Beck.

Born Michael Hayes in Aldershot, Most moved with his family to North London and, as a teenager, became entranced by the burgeoning British rock & roll scene. He became friends with Terry Dene and Wee Willie Harris and formed a band, the Most Brothers, along with Alex Murray (who later produced the Moody Blues). Yet, success eluded Most, and in 1959 he married a South African woman and emigrated there. While in South Africa Most had success as the frontman of a rock group who covered U.S. hits. Though this sort of arrangement would never make Most an international star, it did walk him through the process of recording, and he amassed 11 consecutive number ones on the South African charts.

Returning to Britain in 1962, Most found himself in the middle of an R&B revolution and, looking for a group to produce, discovered the Animals in a Newcastle club. He had them record "Baby, Let Me Take You Home" and "House of the Rising Sun," the latter becoming a worldwide smash that catapulted the group to stardom and Most to credibility. He produced "I'm Into Something Good" for Herman's Hermits and "Tobacco Road" for the Nashville Teens and, in 1966, Most produced Donovan's widely acclaimed Sunshine Superman album. After producing Jeff Beck in the late '60s, Most decided to form his own label, RAK, in 1969. Though its roster never held any critically acclaimed acts, the RAK label was quite successful at releasing chart hits. Staff writers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman made acts such as Suzi Quatro and Mud successful for a short time. In the '70s Most worked with the English funk group Hot Chocolate, helping them score their only two Top Ten hits. Most's profile lessened considerably in the '80s. He sold his RAK label and concentrated on managing the publishing catalog he had amassed from the numerous productions he helmed over the years. On June 30, 2003, Mickey Most succumbed to cancer, passing away quietly in his London home at the age of 64.

Mickie Most - Mickie Most
The Mystics - 16 Golden HitsBeryl Marsden - Changes - The Story Of Beryl Marsden Mersey Beats - Liverpool A Go Go (1965) and Canadian Beatles....The Merseymen - A Visit to the Beatle Inn (1964)Mike Cotton Sound - News From LiverpoolMasters' Apprentices - From Mustangs To Masters / First Year ApprenticesThe Merced Blue Notes - Get Your Kicks On Route 99Dean Martin - Dream With Dean (1964)Moral Code - Slavonic DancesMickie Most - Mickie Most

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