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The Crickets - Well... All Right (The Crickets Collection) 1992-3

The Crickets -  Well... All Right (The Crickets Collection) 1992-3


The Crickets were a group with two careers, one that lasted less than a year-and-a-half, and another that continued for decades. Originally formed by singer and guitarist Buddy Holly, drummer Jerry Allison, and bassist Joe B. Mauldin, the Crickets went from being Holly's backing musicians to a self-contained band when they re-recorded a song that Holly had already cut under his own name to avoid violating an earlier contract. The Crickets went on to a successful run of hits with Holly -- including "Maybe Baby," "Not Fade Away," and "That'll Be the Day" -- until his death in 1959. After that, the Crickets, joined by guitarist Sonny Curtis, went on to a long run recording on their own as well as backing other artists, most notably Bobby Vee and the Everly Brothers. Their first post-Holly album, In Style with the Crickets, included the original version of Curtis' song "I Fought the Law," but by the mid-'70s, they had walked away from recording and primarily performed live, especially after the 1978 film The Buddy Holly Story revived interest in their former frontman. The Crickets came back in 1988 with T Shirt, which was produced in part by longtime fan Paul McCartney, and 2004's The Crickets & Their Buddies found them covering their classics with help from Eric Clapton, Waylon Jennings, John Prine, Graham Nash, and many more.
The "Crickets" started out as a ruse. In 1956, Buddy Holly signed a contract with Decca Records, but after two sessions in Nashville, no one was happy with the results, and Holly and Decca parted ways. After finding a more sympathetic producer in Norman Petty, Holly, Jerry Allison, and Joe B. Mauldin decamped to Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico, and, among other things, cut a new version of one of Holly's Decca efforts, "That'll Be the Day." Coral Records was interested in Holly's Clovis recordings, but the terms of the Decca contract meant he couldn't re-record "That'll Be the Day" under his own name, so the new version was credited to the Crickets. The Crickets' "That'll Be the Day" became a Number One hit in 1957, and for the next 15 months, there were records by the Crickets and records by Buddy Holly -- which were virtually interchangeable -- and on-stage they were billed as Buddy Holly & the Crickets. By the end of 1958, however, the references to "Buddy Holly & the Crickets" were becoming valid in the worst possible way. Holly's shifting and expanding musical interests, coupled with his move to New York and marriage to Maria Elena Santiago, and the differing relationships that the three had with Petty, who was now their manager, led to a split between Holly and his bandmates in the months immediately prior to Holly's death in a plane crash on February 3, 1959.

The result of their split was a separate existence for the Crickets. Jerry Allison became the de facto leader of the group, and they were soon a quartet, with Sonny Curtis on guitar and Earl Sinks as lead singer. In 1959, still managed and produced by Norman Petty, they recorded "Love's Made a Fool of You" backed with "Someone, Someone," which failed to chart. Their next serious assault on the charts -- a version of Curtis' "I Fought the Law" cut for Coral Records -- vanished without a trace in 1959, and their rendition of "More Than I Can Say" also failed to find an audience for them, though it did wonders for Bobby Vee (and, by extension, for Curtis as its composer). They recorded a handful of singles for Coral Records, and later signed to Liberty Records with Jerry Naylor in the lead singer spot (sometimes switching off with Curtis), in addition to recording with Buddy Holly soundalike Bobby Vee.

The group recorded for Liberty for four years, from 1961 through 1965, even doing their versions of several Beatles songs, but apart from a pair of minor hits, "My Little Girl" and "Please Don't Ever Change," were unable to generate any enthusiasm. One of Naylor's successors, David Box, died in a plane crash in 1964. They did find some lingering success in England, where they headlined shows as well as serving as a backing band for the Everly Brothers, and the group even managed to appear in two jukebox movies on either side of the Atlantic, Just for Fun (1963) in England (doing "My Little Girl" and "Teardrops Feel Like Rain") and The Girls on the Beach (1965) in America (doing "La Bamba"). By the end of the '60s, Mauldin had left music while Allison was singing lead; he and Curtis were also working as session musicians, and Curtis scored a huge success at the dawn of the '70s as the composer of "Love Is All Around," the theme song for The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Too Much Monday MorningAllison and Curtis were the core of the group in the early '70s, mostly working as a touring act rather than a recording outfit, though new records did appear on various labels, including Mercury and MCA. In the wake of the revival of interest in Holly's music at the end of the '70s, thanks in part to the 1978 movie The Buddy Holly Story, the Crickets re-formed on a steady basis, with Joe B. Mauldin returning to the lineup after more than a decade out of music. In 1986, Curtis left the fold to re-establish himself as a solo performer, and was replaced by Gordon Payne on vocals. In 1988, they recorded the single "T-Shirt," produced by noted fan Paul McCartney, which became a minor hit and led to the release of an LP of the same name from Epic Records. The British label Carlton Records issued Too Much Monday Morning in 1996, which included guest vocals from Texas country-folk artist Nanci Griffith. In 2004, the Crickets released The Crickets & their Buddies, in which they re-recorded a number of their Holly-era hits with notable guest stars, among them Eric Clapton, John Prine, Rodney Crowell, Graham Nash, Bobby Vee, and Waylon Jennings (whose contribution was recorded shortly before his death). After the death of Joe B. Mauldin in 2015 and the advancing age of the other Crickets, the band faded away from both recording and live work, but a steady flow of archival reissues and the group's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 kept their music and memory alive. In 2018, the British Not Now label issued The Crickets Story, which collected the group's complete recordings from 1957 to 1962

The Crickets -  Well... All Right (The Crickets Collection) 1992-3



Bobby Vee & The Crickets - Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets (1962)

Bobby Vee & The Crickets - Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets (1962)


Launching his career as a fill-in for the recently deceased Buddy Holly, Bobby Vee scored several pop hits during the early '60s, that notorious period of popular music sandwiched between the birth of rock & roll and the rise of the British Invasion. Though a few of his singles -- "Rubber Ball," for one -- were as innocuous as anything else from the era, Vee had a knack for infectious Brill Building pop, thanks to his ebullient voice as well as the cadre of songwriters standing behind him.

Born in Fargo, North Dakota in 1943, Robert Thomas Velline was still in his teens when he formed his first combo, the Shadows, with his brother Bill and their friend Bob Korum. The trio were playing around the area when their big break came, at the expense of one of Bobby's musical idols; the Winter Dance Party package tour, with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper were on their way to Fargo when their plane went down in Iowa, killing all three. The Shadows were scheduled to play the date instead of Holly, and several months later, producer Tommy "Snuff" Garrett supervised their first recording session and the release of the single "Suzie Baby" on Soma Records. Liberty/RCA picked up the single later in the year, and though it just barely scraped the pop charts, the label kept plugging with Vee as a solo act, recording him on Adam Faith's "What Do You Want?," which also failed to move.

With the collective might of the Brill Building behind him, though, Vee was guaranteed to make it; his third single, "Devil or Angel," hit the Top Ten in mid-1960, followed by "Rubber Ball" later that year. One year later, Vee's biggest hit, "Take Good Care of My Baby," spent three weeks at number one, followed by the number two "Run to Him." His fame appeared to wane after the 1962 Top Ten single "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," due in large part to the success of the Beatles and other English acts. Vee appeared in several movies (Just for Fun, Play It Cool) and briefly tried to cash in on the British phenomenon -- with the disappointing Bobby Vee Sings the New Sound from England! -- but also recorded songs by his early influences, including Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Vee continued to chart throughout the '60s, and even hit the Top Ten again in 1967 with "Come Back When You Grow Up," but after a brief attempt at more serious recordings, he hit the rock & roll oldies circuit. He died in 2016 at the age of 73.



Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets is a cross-over rock and roll album that brings singer Bobby Vee together with the Crickets. It was Vee's 6th album and The Crickets' second release following the departure and subsequent death of their front man, Buddy Holly. The album contains new versions of three songs written by or recorded by Holly—Peggy Sue, Bo Diddley, and Well...All Right—and a host of cover versions of 1950s rock'n'roll songs by artists like Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Originally released as an LP record on July 14, 1962, the album was re-released on CD in 1991, with bonus tracks not featured on the original album.


Bobby Vee & The Crickets - Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets (1991)

Bobby Vee & The Crickets - Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets (1962)

The reissue of this enjoyable album includes ten bonus tracks, including alternate takes, unreleased songs


The Arkay IV - When We Was Younger... Than Yesterday

The Arkay IV - When We Was Younger... Than Yesterday


The Arkay IV is the best known "unknown" band in the history of Rock and Roll. Their recordings have been a hot items with collectors for more than 30 years. The 1996 Tom Hank's movie That Thing You Do! set in Erie, PA during the early 1960's is loosely based on the Arkay IV. 

The group was started in Erie, PA in 1963 by Skip Niebauer, Bill Arnold & John Nicotra. After graduating from High School Bill left for military service and was replaced by Bob Sustak who was soon drafted into the army and was replaced by Dave Massello and Tom Brocki. This formed the core of the group from 1964 to 1969. 

The group went through several personal changes due primarily to the military draft for the Vietnam War. Besides those mentioned above the players included: Bill Adleff, Mark Fainstein, Vil Stomers, Bill Kirby, Jon Ims, Mike Redicliff and Doug Phillips.

During the 1960's the Arkay IV was one of the top regional acts in the Cleveland-Buffalo-Pittsburgh triangle.

The original Arkay IV broke up in 1971.

The Arkay IV - When We Was Younger... Than Yesterday

The Arkay IV - For Internal Use Only (1966-68) / Essential Arkay IV (2011)

The Arkay IV - For Internal Use Only (1966-68) / Essential Arkay IV (2011)


The Arkay IV is the best known "unknown" band in the history of Rock and Roll. Their recordings have been a hot items with collectors for more than 30 years. The 1996 Tom Hank's movie That Thing You Do! set in Erie, PA during the early 1960's is loosely based on the Arkay IV. 

The group was started in Erie, PA in 1963 by Skip Niebauer, Bill Arnold & John Nicotra. After graduating from High School Bill left for military service and was replaced by Bob Sustak who was soon drafted into the army and was replaced by Dave Massello and Tom Brocki. This formed the core of the group from 1964 to 1969. 

The group went through several personal changes due primarily to the military draft for the Vietnam War. Besides those mentioned above the players included: Bill Adleff, Mark Fainstein, Vil Stomers, Bill Kirby, Jon Ims, Mike Redicliff and Doug Phillips.

During the 1960's the Arkay IV was one of the top regional acts in the Cleveland-Buffalo-Pittsburgh triangle.

The original Arkay IV broke up in 1971.

http://arkayiv.com/about.php

Arkay IV - For Internal Use Only (1966-68)

The Arkay IV - For Internal Use Only (1966-68) / Essential Arkay IV (2011)

This is one of the most sought after records among collectors. Recorded between 1966 and 1968 only 100 copies were pressed and were sold by subscription. It has been reissued twice - once on vinyl in 1988 and as a CD in 1993.

Song Titles: 
Seems To Be The Thing, 
Surprise Love, 
Hear Me My Friend, 
You're The One, 
When I Was Younger, 
Another Way, 
Demotion, 
Down From # 9,
 Little Girl, 
Girl (You've Got A Lot Of Things To Learn), 
A Crawlin' Man ,
I'll Keep On Trying

The players: Dave Massello, Skip Niebauer, Tom Brocki, John Nicotra, Bill Adleff, Bob Sustak & Vil Stomers

Arkay IV - Essential Arkay IV (2011)

The Arkay IV - For Internal Use Only (1966-68) / Essential Arkay IV (2011)

This collection includes the best of the original band plus tracks from the Arkay IV revival band of the 1980's and the band's latest recording  Playin' That Rock 'n' Roll.

Song Titles: 
Playin' That Rock 'n' Roll, 
Little Girl, 
You're The One,
 A Crawlin' Man, 
Another Way, 
Way Back Home, 
Surprise Love, 
Down From #9, 
When I Was Younger, 
Seems To Be The Thing, 
Demotion, 
Politician, 
Central Data Bank, 
She Was Cool, 
Monday, 
I'll Keep On Trying, 
Feelin' Good Tonight,
 Every Morning,
Git It, 
Chocolate Pudding, 
Fallin' Angels

Songs by Dave Massello, Skip Niebauer & Sam Hyman

Principal Players: Dave Massello, Skip Niebauer, Tom Brocki, John Nicotra, Bob Sustak, Bill Adleff, Vil Stomers, Bill Kirby, Bernie DiNardo, Sam Hyman, Tim Ely, Kevin McCleary, Skip Carnes, Steve Young , Mickey Steinbaugh & Kevin Bort


Johnny Restivo - Oh Johnny

Johnny Restivo - Oh Johnny




    
Johnny (John Charles) was born in the North Bronx, New York September 13, 1943. He enrolled in Cliffside Park Junior High School, New Jersey and was graduated in June of 1958.

Johnny and his 9 year younger brother Gerard were sons of Jack and Jeanette Restivo. In 1959 Johnny was discovered by Joe Mulhall and Paul Neff and in June 9, 1959 he recorded "The Shape I'm In" and "Ya, Ya" at RCA only 15 years old with Paul Simon (aka Jerry Landis) playing his guitar. In 1960-1961 Johnny was on tour in Australia. He played in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth as well as many other places while there. From there he also had engagements in South America, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Belgium. While in Argentina he hosted his own variety television show called "The Johnny Restivo Show". The program was on the air for 3 years from 1961-1963 and was sponsored by the Coca Cola Company. Between 1962-1964 even while doing the television program Johnny found time to play at the South American "Copa Cabana" club in Rio and the Waldorf in Santiango, Chile. He also performed in Uruguay and Brazil.

Johnny went on tour beginning in 1963. His first country of this multi-country tour was South Africa. He visited Kenya, Southern Rhodesia and Johannesburg. This part of the tour lasted about 6 months. While in Johannesburg during 1963-1964 he recorded an album on the RCA label entitled "Spotlight On Johnny Restivo". In 1965 he went on to London, England, where he performed at the London Palladium as well as many other venues. During the years of 1965-1966 London became Johnny's home base for the next leg of his tour. From there he spent 2 months touring Israel. One of the places he performed at was the Caliph Club in Jaffa. He also had engagements in Eilat. Then it was on to Italy for a multi-city tour working through the "Johnny Pangazio Agency". After completion of the Italian segment of his tour he went on to Paris, France, for a short stay. In 1967 the final leg of the tour took him back home to the USA. Once back home in New York City Johnny was represented by many different agencies including the William Morris Agency. He mostly worked nightclubs, resorts and cruises throughout the USA.

In 1969 Johnny was drafted into the United States Armed Forces. He did his basic training in South Carolina and Advanced Infantry Training in El Paso, Texas. He was then stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. He inquired about Special Services, auditioned and was accepted into the 7th Army Soldiers Chorus. Touring again but now for the US Army. He visited Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium and Italy.

In 1971 Johnny took a European discharge and remained in Europe for the next 6 months, after which he headed back home to the USA. In that same year Johnny and Gerard began working together, Gerard as his drummer and musical director, as he attempted to get his career back on track. They did primarily club dates, hotels and resorts throughout America. They also travelled to Mexico and Puerto Rico as well as playing cruises in the Caribbean. During many of the recording sessions that were done in New York City, Gerard was allowed to stay in the recording studio with Johnny or sit with the drummers where he quitely would watch, listen and learn about show business and the recording industry. It was in those very early years that Gerard decided he was going to be in show business and more importantly that he was going to work with his brother making music.

In 1978 Johnny formally ended his career in show business after a performance at the Nevelle Hotel in the Catskill mountains town of Ellenville, New York. During these years and beyond, Johnny has been married and divorced 4 times and has 3 children from oldest to youngest: Kelli Hope, Darin and Brandon. He has been in business for himself since 1981 with "Rockland Mattress", which sells bedding, headboards and beds. And now in 2002, Johnny finds himself preparing to retire and move permanently to the state of Florida (he always wanted to be in a warm climate). He now spends most of his time playing golf and winding down.

I'm in great debt of gratitude to John and Gerard Restivo for all supports indeed.



Johnny Restivo - Oh Johnny


Thanks to Hedson La Playa

Lee Hazlewood - The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes & Backsides (1968-71)

Lee Hazlewood - The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes & Backsides (1968-71)



Lee Hazlewood might just be proof of the fact that in popular music being very good at many things can only make it more difficult to gain recognition amongst the pop pantheon. It's the curse of the multi-talented, leaving behind a body of work that defies easy summary or pigeon holing.

He was the man who put the twang in Duane Eddy's legendary guitar sound by using a grain tank as a primitive reverb pedal; just listen to Eddy's 'Rebel Rouser' to hear that distinctive tone and one which prevails in alternative music up to this day, now mainly in the guise of the adjective 'Lynchian'.

As a pop songwriter he asserted Girl Power a good 30 years before The Spice Girls management team with Nancy Sinatra's 'These Boots Were Made For Walking'. Fine, forward thinking pop music all, yet because of his background role in his most famous contributions to the popular music canon he remains, almost five years after his death, quite the enigmatic figure. Where as Jonny Cash left us with his funereal cover version of 'Hurt' (with its moving if somewhat self-aggrandizing video), Lee Hazlewood's final album was poignant, but bore the mischievous, Eddie Izzard inspired title Cake or Death. It's not the sort of final statement that sells scripts for biopics.

Lee Hazlewood - The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes & Backsides (1968-71)


Typically, posthumous reissues and compilations - especially rarities ones - exist to fill in the blanks (to varying degrees of success) or act as timely cash-ins. In contrast The LHI Years gives a surprisingly comprehensive overview of Hazlewood's talents even while focussing on output from just three years on his own Lee Hazlewood Industries label. There are even compelling reasons to recommend it as an entry point for newcomers for two main reasons. Firstly, it's hugely accessible whilst touching on different bases of his musical styles and sounds, but also distinctively the work of Hazlewood. Opener 'Califia (Stone Rider)' sees him in full cowboy-horseback mode, but the string-drenched passages in which Suzi Jane Hokom taunts “Your rocks and grills, mountains and hills, they won't last” are as exquisitely smooth as those accompanied by harpsichord and woodwind on the decadently baroque 'What's More I Don't Need Her'.

There are several duets in the lineage of Nancy & Lee, but Suzi Jane Hokum's other appearance, 'Nobody Like You', is the least typical,an enjoyable psuedo-psychedelic wig out with Hazlewood's submerged in a watery sound effect. Ann Margret's contributions are uniformly enjoyable; 'Sleep In the Grass' shifts from appropriately laconic verses of hazy strings and tinkling glock to ecstatic chanting, Margret brings an irresistible country lilt to 'Victims of the Night's fleet-footed folk-pop and a siren wail to match the mariachi vengeance of 'Chico'. The duets from the Cowboy In Sweden album flirt dangerously with novelty (especially 'Hey Cowboy'), but on 'Leather and Lace' Nina Lizell provides a perfectly seductive foil.

However, the main reason for checking out The LHI Years is the depth of quality that compliments the stylistic breadth. Hazlewood can be as emotionally devastating and intimate as any singer-songwriter whilst still flexing the pop tune chops of a master stylist. 'The Night Before' rides on a funky swagger enveloped in velvet strings reeking of smoke and remorse. Jarvis Cocker was surely making notes circa 1998. Best of all is 'The Bed', a deceptively upbeat acoustic number replete with operatic female backing vocals, slide guitar, organ, but with lyrically pining over a lost love, most climatically when Hazlewood exclaims “Here in this nightmare of darkness I remember the day we wed” over swooning strings. Lyrical and musical emotions are more closely aligned in the thrillingly malevolent folk of 'Bye Babe' (“I guess you sold me down the line when my money went down the drain/I can see you smiling now as my tears come down like rain”) with Hazlewood's baritone in suitably weary tone. 'Troublemaker' on the other hand is a humorous Glen Campbell-esque number portraying Jesus as a no-good beatnik.

In truth at 17 tracks The LHI Years is a bit too long with a couple of forgettable moments ('Come On Home to Me', 'If It's Monday Morning'). However, in covering just three to four years of Lee Hazlewood's less readily available material The LHI Years mines a rich seam of individualistic pop genius, even the rump of which betters that found within the entire back catalogue of many artists.

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




Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)

Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)

The Centuries [N.Y.C.]  »  aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries & aka The Shoestring   


"The common link is Tommy Falcone (producer, composer and guitar player).
The Tommy Falcone & The Centuries single will, based on the cat#, be circa 1960.
The group name was then shortened to The Centuries.
Some years later The Centuries single "Jack 23" (released on Cleopatra Records) was reissued on 20th Century Fox as by The Shoestring and renamed "Shoop-De-Hoop-Twine" (publishing credit on 20th Century Fox re-issue to Cleopatra Pub Co)."


"From a basement in New Jersey, Tommy Falcone remade  himself into a "Phil Spector"... From 1962 to 1970, he founded and ran Cleopatra Records, discovered and mentored young Garden State talent, wrote songs and produced wild studio effects, and quit his day job to promote it all himself. Trained as an accordionist, Falcone had a whirlwind imagination and an omnivorous approach to genre, expressed through acts like the Centuries, the Tabbys, Johnny Silvio, the Inmates, Bernadette Carroll, the Hallmarks, Vickie & the Van Dykes, the Shandillons, Eugene Viscione, the Shoestring, and more. Cleopatra became a time-capsule of every 1960s pop style imaginable—garage rock, psychedelia, surf, girl groups, soul, novelties, exotica, even a crooner—a kaleidoscope of sound in search of the ever-elusive hit record"


"Tommy Falcone was active in New York City throughout the sixties, foremost as a music arranger and producer. Well, active is maybe an overstatement since only a handful of recordings surfaced. On the other hand, some of those, like Like Weird, are unearthly remarkable. Like Weird did not stir much commercial commotion when it was released in the summer of 1961 and it did not get much help from Billboard either that listed it as with “moderate sales potential”.

Other projects that occupied Tommy Falcone included diverse and experimental recordings as The Shoestring’s Candy Andy (bubblegum pop about a child molester), The Cracker Rapper’s first recording (doo wop), Polynesian Paradise as The Centuries (check out the B-side instrumental, Outer Limits), New Jersey garage band The Inmates and the spaced out single Heavenly with Bernadette Carroll.

For some reason, but not very surprising, Tommy Falcone’s musical career did not take off. He seems to have made a part of his living as a teacher at Red Bank School of Music. Just before he died by a heart attack back stage aged only 40 years (circa 1968), he was reported to stack records at a record store. An occupation as good as anyone."



The Centuries

Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)

The most resonant room in the Newark Public Library in 1958 was the locker room where Gary Swangin practiced his singing. Swangin, a high school student who worked part time at the checkout desk, would often sneak away during breaks to hone his technique and work on an original song, “The Promise of Love”—until he got caught. 

When coworker Salvatore Girgenti heard it echoing off the tile and steel, he was so taken that he suggested they play together. With Girgenti on rhythm guitar, they recruited the D’Amato brothers, Charles, who played drums standing up, and Peter on lead guitar. 

D’Amato’s neighbor Francis Corragio brought virtuosity to their nascent band, at first playing an amplified upright bass. Corragio had started playing at eleven years old, and by the time of the Centuries he was taking lessons from members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. 

The library would prove crucial in another way. Swangin checked people’s books and bags as they exited the building, bringing him into contact with a wide range of folks—including Cleopatra Records’ Tommy Falcone. 

By 1960, Swangin’s education at Rutgers University was taking priority and his musical ambitions were expanding.He went on to Columbia University and performed in the Greenwich Village folk scene with a far-ahead-of-its-time fusion of modern lyricism with African rhythms. 

With Swangin gone, the band took a sharp turn into new waters rough with surf—losing lyrics but compensating with invention and melody. The Centuries transformed into an instrumental rock group inspired by the space race and Polynesia, becoming Falcone’s very own version of the Ventures with whom to explore the then-burgeoning sounds of surf rock and exotica. 


The Centuries has been played on NTS in shows including The Numero Group, featured first on 26 July 2018. Songs played include Like Weird and Beach Umbrella World. 


Founded in 2003 as an archival record label by Tom Lunt, Rob Sevier, and Ken Shipley, Numero has evolved into a multi-format media company, devoted to dragging brilliant recordings, films, and photography out of unwarranted obscurity. 


"We’re on a dirty, labor-intensive mission... and it’s urgent as all hell. Time kills off precious bits of passed-over sound, story, and ephemera every day, just as fast as we can haul this sprawling archive of under-heard recordings—along with the musicians, writers, and entrepreneurs who created them—out of exile."

Like Weird ! - 1961 - 1964 singles

Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)





Kings Verses - "Grail" - The Lost Album (1966)




Kings Verses -

Kings Verses -

Very worth never issued before album by a good 60's  band. Sound excellent, and , much rare to be pointed out : 2 tracks live from 1966 !! (Kyno Batle of the bands)Most compositions are great : "Lights", "Balad of lad Polo" (wich is not really a ballad in fact !), "A million faces", "Mind rewind" with its superb farfiza... tend to prove that the Fresno (calif.) King verses should have been serious concurents to bands like Love if their album went released.
One of my favorite album in the (my) 60's garage/punks lp collection.


Bass – Bill Kufis
Drums – Bob Melchor
Engineer [Original Recordings] – Bob Melchor
Guitar, Keyboards – Lloyd Bell
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Jim Baker (5)
Lacquer Cut By, Mastered By – RJ*
Liner Notes – Jud Cost
Written-By – Kings Verses
All tracks recorded 1966.

The first  tracks are unreleased studio recordings.
14 and 15 were recorded live at KYNO Battle Of The Bands - '66.
music emporium  October 20, 2017 :
Very worth never issued before album by a good 60's garage band. Sound excellent, and , much rare to be pointed out : 2 tracks live from 1966 !! (Kyno Batle of the bands)
> Most compositions are great : "Lights", "Balad of lad Polo" (wich is not really a ballad in fact !), "A million faces", "Mind rewind" with its superb farfiza... tend to prove that the Fresno (calif.) King verses should have been serious concurents to bands like Love if their album went released.
One of my favorite album in the (my) 60's garage lp collection.
Reup :


The Association - Renaissance (1966)

The Association -  Renaissance (1966)

The Association - 1967 

Renaissance was a difficult album for the Association to record. Coming in the wake of a serious hit album (And Then...Along Comes the Association) and two huge hit singles ("Along Comes Mary," "Cherish") and at a time when the group was experiencing more bookings than its members had ever dreamed possible, Renaissance was rushed out under pressure from the band's label. Alas, Renaissance bore little resemblance to its predecessor. For starters, the Association had lost the services of producer Curt Boettcher, who was the architect of the earlier album's extraordinary sound. Additionally, Renaissance was comprised entirely of original material, much of which had been written while the group was touring. These songs were competent and showed some flashes of inspiration but, apart from "Come to Me," nothing here offered anything even remotely as catchy as either of the band's two previous singles. With Association rhythm guitarist Jim Yester's brother Jerry Yester producing, Renaissance has a more stripped-down, conventional folk-rock feel. Apart from lead guitarist Gary Alexander and wind player Terry Kirkman, none of the other members played on this album, but Alexander is a delight, mixing melodic folk-rock picking and strumming, throwing in a few high-energy licks on one or two numbers, and even using a koto for the album's single, "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies." The latter, despite having a grotesque title when following up a single like "Cherish," is a prize piece of pop psychedelia, all gorgeous harmonies and spaced-out sensibilities backed by a bracing beat. Renaissance wasn't a bad album, but was a more routine, predictable recording than its predecessor and, without a hit single to help push sales, it never reached audiences in remotely the same numbers.

The Association -  Renaissance (1966)


The Association -  Renaissance (1966)





The Crickets -  Well... All Right (The Crickets Collection) 1992-3Bobby Vee & The Crickets - Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets (1962)The Arkay IV - When We Was Younger... Than Yesterday The Arkay IV - For Internal Use Only (1966-68) / Essential Arkay IV (2011)Johnny Restivo - Oh JohnnyLee Hazlewood - The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes & Backsides (1968-71)Bergen White - For Women Only (1970)Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)The Association -  Renaissance (1966)

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