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The Striders-Columbia Singles

The Striders-Columbia Singles

"While the Spiders, fronted by a teenage cross country runner named Vince Furnier (later Alice Cooper), crept about Phoenix during the mid-sixties, over in Albuquerque, the Striders swiftly sprung from the Duke City to the City of Angels. Being managed by promoter, producer, musician and wunderkind Lindy Blaskey certainly fast tracked the group’s rapid rise from University of New Mexico students to recording artists for Columbia Records. Their particular California Cinderella story resulted in three singles issued in the still resonating years of 1966 & 1967.  Their recorded repertoire was certainty intriguing as half of their songs were previously first done by more recognized acts.  It’s almost as if Columbia Records was trying to get additional mileage from material like “Sorrow” (McCoys, Merseys) “There’s A Storm Coming” (an enduring Dirty Water album cut by the Standells) and “When You Walk into the Room” (written by Jackie DeShannon and most associated with the Searchers).  Adjoining these covers, are a couple of songs written by the aforementioned Lindy Blaskey. "Am I on Your Mind" falls short in its emulation of the Troggs, Dave Clark Five, and Paul Reveve & the Raiders with its lack of punch, while “Say that You Love Me” is a pleasant mid-tempo number somewhere between the sweep of the Beau Brummels and the fragility of the Nightcrawlers. The Striders went out on a strong note as their last single was arguably their finest two minutes.  Despite the potentially misleading MC5-ish title of “Do it Now,” it sounds like early folk-rock Turtles with vocal harmonies galore elevating the cavalier "time to move on" lyrics. Numerous personnel changes and the seismic late '60s shift towards heaviness probably contributed to the demise of a group that has yet to be properly documented.  Overall, it's another unanticipated set of restored recorded remnants of the California pop dream from a determined group and manager from the perennially overlooked city of Albuquerque."
(http://wendy-city.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-striders-columbia-singles.html)


01. Say You Love Me (02:04)
02. Sorrow (02:09)
03. There's a Storm Comin' (02:11)
04. Am I On Your Mind (02:15)
05. When You Walk In the Room (02:21)
06. Do It Now (02:30)

****

Don McLean - American Pie (1971)

Don McLean - American Pie (1971)


"American Pie" is a song by American singer and songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was the number-one US hit for four weeks in 1972 and also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In the UK, the single reached number 2, where it stayed for 3 weeks, on its original 1972 release while a reissue in 1991 reached No. 12. The song was listed as the No. 5 song on the RIAA project Songs of the Century. A truncated version of the song was covered by Madonna in 2000 and reached No. 1 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. McLean's combined version is the fourth longest song to enter the Billboard Hot 100, at the time of release it was the longest, in addition to being the longest song to reach number one.

The repeatedly mentioned phrase "the day the music died" refers to the plane crash in 1959 which killed early rock and roll performers Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. (The crash was not known by that name until after McLean's song became a hit.) The meaning of the other lyrics has long been debated, and for decades, McLean declined to explain the symbolism behind the many characters and events mentioned. However, the overall theme of the song is the loss of innocence of the early rock and roll generation as symbolized by the plane crash which claimed the lives of three of its heroes.

In 2017, McLean's original recording was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant"



«American Pie» — фолк-роковая песня, написанная американским автором-исполнителем Доном Маклином для одноимённого альбома в 1971 году. Год спустя эта композиция поднялась на вершину американского хит-парада, где пробыла в течение четырёх недель. Композиция была переиздана в 1991 году, она не попала в американские чарты, но добралась до 12-й строчки в британском хит-параде. В песне поётся о «Дне, когда умерла музыка» — авиакатастрофе 1959 года, в которой погибли Бадди Холли, Ричи Валенс и Биг Боппер. Важность «American Pie» для музыкального и культурного наследия Америки была подтверждена проектом «Песни века», в котором композиция заняла пятое место. Некоторые радиостанции, ориентированные на песни из Top-40, изначально играли только вторую сторону сингла, но популярность песни в конце концов вынудила диджеев ставить её в эфир целиком. «American Pie» является визитной карточкой Дона Маклина.

На 15-й церемонии «Грэмми» песня была выдвинута на соискание награды в категории «Лучшее мужское вокальное поп-исполнение», но проиграла композиции «Without You» Гарри Нилссона. В 2017 году запись была отмечена как «культурно, исторически, и эстетически значимая» и внесена в Национальный Реестр Библиотеки Конгресса США.

Don McLean - American Pie (1971)

Don McLean's second album, American Pie, which was his first to gain recognition after the negligible initial sales of 1970's Tapestry, is necessarily dominated by its title track, a lengthy, allegorical history of rock & roll, because it became an unlikely hit, topping the singles chart and putting the LP at number one as well. "American Pie" has remained as much a cultural touchstone as a song, sung by everyone from Garth Brooks to Madonna, its title borrowed for a pair of smutty teen comedies, while the record itself has earned a registered three-million plays on U.S. radio stations. There may not be much more to note about it, then, except perhaps that even without a crib sheet to identify who's who, the song can still be enjoyed for its engaging melody and singable chorus, which may have more to do with its success than anything else. Of course, the album also included "Vincent," McLean's paean to Van Gogh, which has been played two-million times. Nothing else on the album is as effective as the hits, but the other eight original songs range from sensitive fare like "Till Tomorrow" to the sarcastic, uptempo "Everybody Loves Me, Baby." American Pie -- the album -- is very much a record of its time; it is imbued with the vague depression of the early '70s that infected the population and found expression in the works of singer/songwriters. "American Pie" -- the song -- is really a criticism of what happened in popular music in the '60s, and "Vincent" sympathizes with Van Gogh's suicide as a sane comment on an insane world. "Crossroads" and "Empty Chairs" are personal reflections full of regret and despondency, with the love song "Winterwood" providing the only respite. In the album's second half, the songs get more portentous, tracing society's ills into war and spiritual troubles in "The Grave" and "Sister Fatima." The songs are made all the more poignant by the stately folk-pop arrangements and McLean's clear, direct tenor. It was that voice, equally effective on remakes of pop oldies, that was his salvation when he proved unable to match the songwriting standard set on Tapestry and this collection. But then, the album has an overall elegiac quality that makes it sound like a final statement. After all, if the music has died, what else is there to say?

The Guilloteens ‎– Action! Action! Action!

The Guilloteens ‎– Action! Action! Action!

The Guilloteens were an American garage rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1964. Much of the band's musical stance was distinguished for incorporating their homegrown Memphis influences with a hard-edged sound. Among the group's singles, the Guilloteens are most-known for their regional hit "I Don't Believe" and "Hey You". Although national success eluded the group, they are now considered one of the more accomplished garage rock acts to emerge from the era.


Laddie Hutcherson (lead vocals, lead guitar), an ex-member of local Memphis group the LeSabres, formed the Guilloteens with Joe Davis (drums) and Louis Paul (bass guitar, backing vocals) in 1964. The trio originally encountered one another as members of the touring version of the studio R&B session band the Mar-Keys, a group who produced the number three Billboard Hot 100 hit "Last Night". When the horn section and backup singers failed to appear for a gig, the three performed on their own, with the upbeat reception leading to them forming the Guilloteens. Reflecting on the formation of the band, Hutcherson recalls "We let our hair grow long and we started wearing English-looking clothes. We chose a name that sounded European since we were trying to cash-in on the Beatles".The Guiloteens subsequently earned a role as a house band for a popular Memphis teen dance club the Roaring Sixties, where they developed a sizable following among the area's pop audience.

Noticing the band's growing popularity, Jerry Williams, who managed fellow garage rock act Paul Revere and the Raiders, assumed the role as the Guilloteens' manager, and relocated the group to Los Angeles, presenting them on the television program Shindig!. In addition to Shindig!, the Guilloteens also made multiple performances on American Bandstand, Hullabaloo and Where the Action Is. The band's appearances on the shows made a fan out of Elvis Presley, convincing the singer to negotiate a spot for the Guilloteens at the Red Velvet nightclub in early 1965. While opening for the Byrds and the Turtles, the band also shared the stage with the Righteous Brothers, who helped the Guilloteens rehearse and polish some of their first compositions, including the Paul-original "I Don't Believe".







The Guilloteens ‎– Action! Action! Action! 2006

The Guilloteens ‎– Action! Action! Action!



They never struck the commercial success of their townmates the Gentrys or the Box Tops. But with their unique blend of blue-eyed soul, folk-rock and a good dose of British Invasion, the Guilloteens are considered by many to be the best band to come out of Memphis in the '60s. If ever a combo should have had a slice of the bigtime, it was those sharp young blades, the Guilloteens. Why they never really got their cut is a matter of strong opinion among group members and close observers, but the group's status in Memphis rock history remains strong today and their aura has not diminished. This 20-track collection presents for the first time in one place the titanic trio's complete output, along with rare related 45s and amazing side ventures by the band or various members. This CD captures and distills what the Guilloteens stood for during their halcyon three-year existence – Action! Action! Action!.

The Stained Glass - A Scene In-Between 1965-1967

The Stained Glass -  A Scene In-Between 1965-1967

Pop-rock trio Stained Glass formed in 1966, a product of the same San Jose, California music scene that also produced the legendary Syndicate of Sound, the E Types, and the Count Five. Bassist/songwriter Jim McPherson, guitarist Bob Rominger, and drummer Dennis Carrasco quickly evolved from Beatles covers to writing original material, even though upon signing to RCA, their debut single was headlined by the Fab Four cover "If I Needed Someone." The self-penned gem "My Buddy Sin" closed out the year, and in the spring of 1967 Stained Glass scored a major local hit with "We Got a Long Way to Go." "A Scene in Between" soon followed, but the group again proved unable to dent the national charts, and RCA terminated their contract. Stained Glass signed to Capitol, issuing "Lady in Lace/Soap and Turkey" in mid-1968. Early the following year, they issued their first full-length effort, Crazy Horse Roads. Rominger soon exited, and with the addition of new guitarist Tom Bryant they released Aurora, but when both albums were ignored by record buyers, the trio dissolved in November 1969. McPherson later resurfaced in Copperhead.




The Stained Glass -  A Scene In-Between 1965-1967


01. Walkin' Shoes (02:08)
02. She's Not Right (02:16)
03. How Do You Expect Me To Trust You? (02:51)
04. No Rhyme Or Reason (02:21)
05. Sweeter Than Life (02:27)
06. Such Good Friends (01:45)
07. Broken Man (02:38)
08. Lonely Am I (02:25)
09. If I Needed Someone (02:12)
10. My Buddy Sin (02:55)
11. Vanity Fair (03:01)
12. Revenge Is Sweet (02:07)
13. We Got A Long Way To Go (02:34)
14. Inside Ouch (02:14)
15. Too Fit To Be Tied (03:38)
16. Dollar Sign Friends (02:18)
17. Second Day (02:44)
18. Bubble Machine (02:55)
19. Mediocre Me (02:45)
20. A Scene In-Between (02:38)
21. Mr Martyr (02:21)
22. You Keep Me Hangin' On (02:54)
23. My Flash On You (02:59)
24. 2120 S. Michigan Avenue (05:28)


The Stained Glass were a group from San Jose, California who started out as a garage band with folk-rock leanings under the name the Trolls; they began exploring more adventurous and mature stylings as they evolved into the Stained Glass, and toyed with dandified psychedelia before they detoured into country-rock. With a story like that, the Stained Glass sound remarkably typical of a California band whose career stretched from the mid-'60s into the early '70s, but they were notably better than most of their peers. Primary songwriter and bassist Jim McPherson devised clever and catchy melodies that were more Baroque than most of his peers, along with smart, witty lyrics, and he and his bandmates -- lead guitarist Bob Rominger, rhythm guitarist Roger Hedge, and drummer Dennis Carrasco -- harmonized beautifully regardless of the direction that they followed at the moment. While a latter-day edition of the Stained Glass would cut a pair of albums for Capitol in 1969 and 1970, A Scene In-Between documents the group's output from 1965 to 1967, opening with six tracks from the Trolls (including the lone single the band self-released), 15 tracks from their tenure with RCA Victor (including six of the eight tunes the label released as singles, along with demos and unreleased tracks), and three numbers from a 1967 live gig that reveals they were a very powerful live act, with Rominger and Hedge showing their stuff as an excellent guitar combination. While there were plenty of bands from the Golden State that released the stray brilliant single in the mid-'60s, what set the Trolls and the Stained Glass apart is their consistent strength as well as their eclecticism; of the 24 tracks on A Scene In-Between, pretty much everything satisfies, regardless of where it lies in the combo's creative arc, and it's a shame RCA Victor didn't release a full album on the group, because it's clear they had the songs and the smarts to make things happen in the studio. This is a more enjoyable listen than the solid but less compelling LPs Capitol would release later on.


The Birdwatchers‎– South Florida's Birdwatchers (60's Sounds)

The Birdwatchers‎– South Florida's Birdwatchers  (60's Sounds)


EDDIE MARTINEZ: drums / JOEY MURCIA: lead guitar / BOBBY PUCCETTI: keyboards / JERRY SCHILLS: bass / SAMMY HALL: vocals

This long-lived group from Tampa, Florida produced mainly highly-derivative beat/pop fare, though enjoyable nonetheless. They recorded under several other assumed names, including two 45s with Duane Allman as The New Rock Band.
The 1980 retrospective LP collects most of their 45s from 1965 to 1967. The version of Mary Mary here is a different version to the 45. There's also two cuts - Hey Schroeder and Can I Do It - which the compilers imply were not released, but these could be the unconfirmed 45 No. 10 above.
Some copies of the Mary Mary 45 come with a paste-over label where the title is given as It's To You That I Belong. Ordered by a Miami radio station because of perceived marijuana connotations, this 45 variant is known as a "WQAM copy".
A Bobby Puccetti composition, Heard You Went Away, was recorded by the Proctor Amusement Co..
Joey Murcia went on to join Magic whose rare LP Enclosed has seen a reissue. Spirit fanatics should note the cover of Mr. Skin on the Geminix 45.
Sam Hall, who joined the band in 1966, was previously in The Mor-Loks and The Trolls. He became a Christian in the late sixties or early seventies and later toured as Sammy Hall and The Sammy Hall Singers. Jerry Schills was previously with Milwaukee's Legends.

              The Birdwatchers‎– South Florida's Birdwatchers  (60's Sounds)The Birdwatchers‎– South Florida's Birdwatchers  (60's Sounds)

The Birdwatchers‎– South Florida's Birdwatchers  (60's Sounds)

and 3 tracks from...

The Birdwatchers‎– South Florida's Birdwatchers  (60's Sounds)



All Of Thus ‎– All Of Thus (1966)

All Of Thus ‎– All Of Thus (1966)

All Of Thus ‎– All Of Thus (1966)


Don CORBIT — guitar, bass
Barry DALGLEISH — drums
Jerry HEUKENSFELD — organ, piano
John JOHNSTON — guitar, piano, organ

All Of Thus were a group of teenagers from the New York area who were still at school when their album was cut and pressed in a small quantity of only 200 copies making it a very rare and sought after disc. Rockadelic Records re-issued the album in 1993 .

The album is a must for garage fans with teen punk versions of 'Walk On By', 'Keep On Running', a unique treatment of 'Bells Of Rhymney' and group originals written by leader John Johnston.

One of the highlights is the pounding teen blast of 'It's Alright With Me' which absolutely slays the original by The Zombies. This barely controlled raver would have made a fantastic 45 with 'Bye Bye Baby' on the flip. All Of Thus never did release any singles and it's probably why they rarely get talked about.

All Of Thus ‎– All Of Thus (1966)

All Of Thus ‎– All Of Thus (1966)

All Of Thus ‎– All Of Thus (1966)


The Nomadds - Nomadds Originals (1965)


The Nomadds - Nomadds Originals (1965)




The Nomadds - Nomadds Originals (1965)


"The Nomadds, from Freeport, Illinois—that’s with two D’s, by the way—were the big deal where I grew up. They worked for years as a club band, originally doing Little Richard and Chuck Berry and Everly Brothers kind of stuff. Then when the Beatles hit in ’64, they suddenly became the hottest band in the area because they could do Little Richard songs and harmonize like the Everly Brothers, and it came out sounding like the Beatles. They also did a lot of original stuff, and they were just the best band I’d ever heard. They kicked butt live—I must have seen them 50 or 100 times live, every weekend. It was two guitars, bass and drums played through two amplifiers—one amp for bass and lead, and one amp for vocals and rhythm guitar—and it was the best live sound I ever heard, just like the records." (Rascalin, front man for OC reggae band Rascalin & the Roots Rockers from "Records That Changed My Life")
"...The LP opens most impressively with one of five Nomadd originals, the catchy, sublime and just plain great "You Can Fall In Love"; a simple melody hook baiting the listener into swallowing a sweet minor chord bridge before getting delightfully gutted by a brief tempo shift that these guys probably were alone in their zip code area to pull off. As far as 1964 beat sounds go, this is masterful. A flawless cover of "Shame Shame Shame" follows, done Cavern-style, which means an understated, subtle approach far from any unpleasant Roger Daltrey "rock" postures. I said I wasn't going to bring in the Beatles, but have to point to the Fabs' superb 1963 BBC recording of "Memphis, Tennessee" as a blueprint for this sound. The Nomadds then deliver another flawless original with "In Transit", an uncanny recreation of the best aspects of early Liverpool-mania, carrying the unabashed teen woes of 50s pop into the guitar band era. The vocals are superb, better than almost anything I've heard on a local LP from the era.
Two "rockers" follow, paying tribute to forefathers Little Richard and Chuck Berry respectively, flawlessly done with lots of little details that suggest a backbone of several months of rehearsal and club dates before the Nomadds worked up the nerve to cut their album. Side 1 closes with another band original, and another moody minor chord winner, the title being "There Is No More" and the band displaying their effortless grasp of tempo shifts and advanced verse-bridge-refrain structures like Brian Epstein might walk in the door any minute. Side 2 opens with the always popular "Just Like Me" which works up a bit of a frenzy and even some wild teen screams, suggesting briefly that the 'Madds (a nickname I just invented) were just another top 40 cover band gone haywire on asthma pills. The throbbing bass line and angular vocal harmonies that make up "Don't Cheat On Me" tells you that they weren't, the message being "garage" but the sound being all beat.
A slow, last-dance take on "Tragedy" reminds you that crooner ballads were still a mandatory ingredient on both sides of the Atlantic at this point, unless your last name happened to be Lennon. Speaking of John Winston I'm convinced he would have nodded in approval of the clear-cut 'Madds take on that old Neal Cassady favorite, "Love Potion #9", a song I wish more 60s bands would have done. The drug theme is expanded further on "W.P.L.J" a teen booze-hound favorite extolling the virtues of White Port and Lemon Juice, in case you weren't around at the time. It's a fine rendition, but like the two preceding covers, that unique Nomadds' touch doesn't fully carry over into the non-originals. Realizing the jeopardy they're in, the band slides back into your cortex with the supremely atmospheric original "Enter Into My Life", with a teen vocal so haunting that Gerry Marsden would have gone back to driving a milk truck if he'd ever heard it. A muffled, slightly reverbed guitar solo captures the timeless essence of the teen experience as skillfully as the organ solo on Phil & the Frantics "I Must Run", and when the guy starts humming along with the guitar towards the end you realize that this is the major league company in which the Nomadds belong, whenever they worked up the cojones to write their own songs. All five originals on this LP are truly great...." (REVIEWS #51 - 60)


Their only album has finally been reissued by Way Back Records on vinyl and cd. The Nomadds was originally released by Radex in 1965. They enjoyed quite a local following in Freeport and were Northwestern Illinois’ most popular teenbeat group bar none. The group’s lineup is: Lee Garner (lead guitar), Tony Cannova (drums), Greg Johnson (rhythm guitar, vocals), Denny Kuhl (bass), and Dean Kuehl “Stick” (vocals, harmonica – the big guy who stands center on the album’s cover).

The Nomadds is closer in spirit to early British Invasion records like Meet The Beatles or Gerry and the Pacemakers from their giddy 1963/1964 prime. For this reason interest may be limited: there are no fuzz guitars, walls of feedback, psychedelic freakouts, or shouting punk vocals; this album was recorded in 1964! That being said, the song arrangements are articulate and take interesting detours that most teenbeat/garage groups couldn’t handle. The Nomadds cut their teeth playing the bars and teen clubs of Illinois which would explain the accomplished nature of their performances.

You’re buying the album for the five great originals but some of the covers are pretty solid too. Standout covers to these ears are a rocking version of “Roll Over Beethoven,” a rollicking “W.P.L.J.,” Jimmy Reed’s “Shame Shame Shame,” and the ultimate teenage heartbreak of “Tragedy.” Excellent originals like “There Is No More” and “You Can Fall In Love” mix minor chords, folk-like guitars and rocking rhythms while other good tracks hit more of a tender, love song vibe. My favorite tune is “Don’t Cheat On Me”, a great performance with an interesting guitar intro and a marvelous vocal arrangement – this is teenbeat at it’s finest, really.

So while this LP may not be a definitive classic, it’s still very good and recommended to those who appreciate the British Invasion or very early American garage/teenbeat sounds.

01 You Can Fall In Love Again (02:22)
02 Shame Shame Shame (03:16)
03 I'm In Transit (03:20)
04 Lucille (02:44)
05 Roll Over Beethoven (02:51)
06 There Is No More (02:36)
07 Aint That Just Like Me (02:09)
08 Don't Cheat On Me (02:32)
09 Tragedy (02:40)
10 Love Potion #9 (02:06)
11 W.P.L.J (02:06)
12 Enter Into My Life (04:05)

The Nomadds - Nomadds Originals (1965)




Jay &The Americans - Livin' Above Your Head (1966)

Jay &The Americans - Livin' Above Your Head  (1966)




Though they had a bunch of hits across the 1960s, Jay & the Americans were a throwback to a previous era in their doo wop-influenced vocals, neatly groomed, short-haired appearance, and mix of pop/rock with operatic schmaltz. Built around the neck-bulging upper-register vocals of David Blatt aka Jay Black, their biggest hits -- "She Cried," "Cara Mia" (which you could, in the second half of the 1970s, just imagine Eddie Mekka's Carmine Ragusa, aka "The Big Ragu," singing on Laverne & Shirley), "Come a Little Bit Closer," and "Let's Lock the Door (And Throw Away the Key)" -- came off as sort of hit parade versions of West Side Story. The group also relied on outside songwriters for its material, drifting into MOR covers of oldies by the end of the '60s, and was generally a sort of textbook of unhipness during a time when self-contained rock bands were becoming the norm.
In a sense, Jay & the Americans were the original "oldies" act -- organized at the transition of the 1950s into the 1960s, the group sounded like a throwback to that earlier decade, at a time when harmony vocal groups -- at least those without some guitar wattage accompanying them -- were already becoming old hat. Yet, somehow, they competed with the likes of the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, and the Four Seasons, among homegrown rivals, and remained a major presence on radio even during the British Invasion, and lasted long enough to meet up -- like a glider catching a brisk, sustaining wind -- with the oldies boom at the tail end of the decade. They seemed out of place for most of the 1960s with their short hair, neat clothes, and dedication to schmaltzy pop, but by the end of the decade were perfectly positioned for the so-called rock & roll revival.
The group actually coalesced out of the Mystics, a Brooklyn-based harmony vocal group (best remembered for "Hushabye"), which had taken on John Traynor (aka Jay Traynor) as lead singer at the very end of the 1950s. Traynor chanced to cross paths with Sandy Yaguda (aka Sandy Deane) and Kenny Rosenberg (aka Kenny Vance), who were part of a vocal trio working behind a female singer on a Clay Cole-sponsored tour at the time. Traynor got together with Vance and another friend, Howie Kerschenbaum (aka Howie Kane), after leaving the Mystics in 1960, and they started singing together, with Sandy Deane joining to make it a quartet. It was on the strength of their demo of an old Five Keys number, "Wisdom of a Fool," that they were signed by producers/songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller to a contract -- Leiber & Stoller gave the group a name, the Americans, and got them a recording contract with United Artists, the newest in a wave of record labels spawned by movie companies, and eager to grab a piece of the rock & roll action of the period.
A recording of the Bernstein-Sondheim song "Tonight" from West Side Story -- a United Artists film release, in which the parent company had an interest in the publishing as well as in publicizing the movie -- came out both better and different from the way it was expected, featuring Traynor out in front as lead singer rather than an ensemble vocal at its center. Leiber & Stoller decided that the group would be better off with a lead singer's name in front and, after some attempts to turn the name into a joke, settled on Traynor's lifelong nickname "Jay" as the front name -- hence, Jay & the Americans were born. Released in the summer of 1961, "Tonight" performed well in New York City -- where the group was based, in the borough of Queens (later made famous by Archie Bunker and Kevin James' sitcom The King of Queens) -- and a few other cities and regions, but never charted nationally. Its sales were limited to around 40,000 copies, and were overshadowed by those of a rival instrumental recording by the piano duo of Ferrante & Teicher (also on United Artists), who scored much bigger. It was once they broke away from tie-ins with current movies and chose some fresh, unique material that the group's fortunes took off, with their second release, "She Cried." Originally a B-side, this was the record that broke the group nationally -- six months after the single was released with "Dawning" as its A-side (and did absolutely nothing), a DJ in San Francisco flipped it over and began playing "She Cried," which started working its way east, hitting number one successively in a dozen major cities from the West Coast to the East Coast over the next few weeks and months, and number five nationally.
The group lost momentum after this unexpected break, however, when a trio of attempted follow-ups, including their version of a Ben E. King song, "Yes," spread between a pair of singles, failed to perform nearly as well. Their future hit a seeming crisis point, however, when Traynor angrily left the quartet after a fight with Sandy Deane. Suddenly, the group was without a lead singer -- while Traynor went off to a professional liaison with Phil Spector that didn't take, and a few solo sides that never sold, the Americans found a replacement in one David Blatt, who'd sang lead with a group called the Empires and, after some coaxing, came aboard as "Jay" Black. A "new" Jay & the Americans was spawned that year, expanded to a quintet with the addition of Blatt's longtime friend, guitarist Marty Kupersmith (aka Marty Sanders) -- with his addition, incidentally, the Americans, with whatever "Jay" was fronting them, were starting to look a lot like the Coasters and the Drifters, both vocal groups associated with Leiber & Stoller who kept their own respective guitar players on tap. The resemblance wouldn't end there, where the Drifters were concerned.
The new group's first two singles disappeared without a trace in early 1963, but in July of that year, they roared back up the charts with a single called "Only in America" -- Leiber & Stoller had intended it for the Drifters, but with the civil rights movement raising everyone's consciousness, and the streets of urban and southern America getting too hot to handle, it was impossible for a black vocal group to release so seemingly optimistic an ode to the U.S.A., even if it was laced with irony; the risk that the irony would be missed was too great. But in the hands of Jay & the Americans, who didn't seem topical or serious, it just worked, and got the group back onto the radio and to number 25 on the charts. Alas, their next record, "Come Dance With Me," didn't do nearly as well in the fall of 1963. But in the summer of 1964 -- right in the middle of the British Invasion, with American acts dropping from the charts like flies in the winter time -- they were back in the Top Ten with "Come a Little Bit Closer." The product of what seemed like an unfinished session, the Wes Farrell-authored record, produced by Artie Ripp, was released without Black's knowledge and roared to number three, their biggest hit since "She Cried." They followed it up with "Let's Lock the Door (And Throw Away the Key)," an adenoidal romantic anthem (also authored by Farrell) that peaked at number 11. They tried for a chart hat trick with Farrell's "Think of the Good Times," but it fell short.
And then came "Cara Mia" -- if Roy Orbison hit a defining moment with "Only the Lonely," and Del Shannon had his with "Runaway," then Jay Black's was "Cara Mia." And he had to fight to get it released -- one of those odd pop/rock songs displaying an operatic intensity (like "Only the Lonely" or "Runaway"), it just wasn't what the group seemed to be about, completely different from their recent hits. It was finally released after a performance on The Tonight Show yielded thousands of cards and letters requesting it -- as a B-side, which was flipped over. The resulting number four hit in mid-1965 maintained the group's stubbornly high profile, amid the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, et al. The follow-up single, "Some Enchanted Evening," reached number 13 in the fall of 1965. The hits slackened off somewhat in 1966 and 1967, as "Sunday and Me," released late in 1965, peaked at number 18. They still had an audience, however, especially in New York City, where a lot of kids loved the fact that the girl who ran their national fan club had her mailing address -- her house in Whitestone, Queens, no less (those were such innocent times) -- listed on their albums, and that it was right there in the city.
They wouldn't chart another hit that high for three years -- their version of Roy Orbison's "Crying" reached number 25, but nothing else made the Top 50 -- but there was still plenty of work, doing commercials and touring. There were also some interesting LPs: Jay and the Americans (1965), Sunday and Me (1966), Livin' Above Your Head (1966), and Try Some of This (1967). The group's sound did somewhat cross over folk-rock and sunshine pop -- "(He's) Raining in My Sunshine" from Try Some of This even displayed some elements of psychedelia. "Livin' Above Your Head," authored by Sanders, Vance, and Black, was a much bigger European hit for the Walker Brothers, considerably better than the group's own single, which peaked at number 76. They also crossed paths with a pair of young musicians from the New York area, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, who became regular session players and increasingly prominent in the group's work. By that time, the quintet was also using more than one producer on many of their records, including Leiber & Stoller, Gerry Granahan, Jeff Barry, and Arnold Goland, and just as many arrangers -- needless to say, consistency wasn't a hallmark of their sound during this period, and their chart positions suffered for it, especially as they tried to sound up to date à la 1966-1967.
Jay & the Americans returned to the charts late in 1968 and the first half of 1969, when they adopted a new strategy. Instead of trying to assimilate psychedelia and other contemporary sounds, they turned back to the songs that they'd known in the 1950s and early 1960s. The resulting album, Sands of Time, was accompanied by "This Magic Moment," a number six hit (selling twice as many copies as the Drifters' original single). Two more singles, "Hushabye" (harking back to the Mystics, Jay Traynor's group) and "When You Dance," lit up the airwaves. By that time, American popular culture had splintered into competing and often seemingly opposing camps -- psychedelic music (especially in England) was generating offshoots like art rock and progressive rock, while artists associated with acid rock were delving more deeply into such forms as blues and jazz, and somewhere in the midst of all of it arena rock was starting to coalesce. Meanwhile, some listeners, either those in their thirties who'd never quite gotten used to musicians using (and endorsing) drugs, or the resulting music, or younger ones who just didn't know what to make of all the noise -- and the fighting in the streets, and the open political warfare on the airwaves -- were turning backward to a simpler time and its music.
Jay & the Americans found that audience, and never lost it. Sands of Time was a confirmed hit as an LP, and was followed up with Wax Museum, which wasn't as well executed but yielded a hit in the form of the Phil Spector co-authored "Walkin' in the Rain." The group was back on track, but for some reason, at this point, United Artists Records tightened up on their recording budgets and became careless with the group's recordings and the way they were treating the members. By the early '70s, the quintet had parted company with UA, after ten years of success. By then, each member had a good idea of what he wanted to do, and mostly it didn't involve Jay & the Americans as they'd been known.

In the split, Jay Black kept the group name -- which, after a court settlement with Jay Traynor carved out a way for each to make a living through their status as one of the group's "Jays," he still uses -- and kept recording into the 1970s and beyond. Marty Sanders began writing songs (and enjoyed a recent hit, in collaboration with Joan Jett, on "Bad Reputation" from the movie Shrek) in addition to playing and recording, and Sandy Deane became a producer, while Kenny Vance became a recording artist in his own right. In the 1980s, an archival live album of concert recordings from the tail end of their history, augmented with some Jay Black solo sides and outtakes of both lineups, delighted fans and won the group some new admirers. In 1990, Come a Little Bit Closer: The Best of Jay & the Americans from EMI (successor company to United Artists) solidified their chart legacy in a coherent fashion. And BGO's reissues of their LPs on CD in the 21st century have resulted in there being more Jay & the Americans material in print at once than at virtually any time in history.

01. Livin' Above Your Head (02:45)
02. The Grass Will Sing (For You) (03:22)
03. Two Many Times, Diana (From Howie To Diana) (02:47)
04. Over The Mountain (02:26)
05. I'll Remeber You (02:47)
06. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore (02:55)
07. The Reason For Living (For You My Darling) (02:34)
08. Monday, Monday (03:10)
09. Baby Come Home (02:12)
10. Stop The Clock (02:48)
11. Look At Me, What Do You See (02:26)

Jay &The Americans - Livin' Above Your Head  (1966)

This was a surprisingly ambitious album for Jay & the Americans, featuring three strong originals among its 11 numbers, which included covers of such contemporary pop hits as "Monday, Monday" (done with astonishing depth by Jay Black) and their version of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore." This is very much a pop release more than a rock & roll album, with the orchestral arrangements dominating and a certain smoothness keeping the group from ever showing much of an edge. What they do display here is an urgency of expression and a perfection in the singing that make Livin' Above Your Head a delight to hear, even if it does seem like they are moving dangerously toward Lettermen/Sandpipers territory. Think of it as their Sgt. Pepper's and it works as a display of what Jay & the Americans could do removed from the need to perform what they were recording.


The Magicians ‎- An Invitation To Cry (The Best Of The Magicians)

The Magicians ‎- An Invitation To Cry (The Best Of The Magicians)

The Magicians ‎- An Invitation To Cry (The Best Of The Magicians)




lthough they're rather mistakenly thought of a '60s garage band due to the inclusion of their fine 1965 single "An Invitation to Cry," on the original Nuggets compilation, the Magicians were an all-around pop/rock group that also drew from folk-rock, blues, and soul. They had a pretty intricate history for a short-lived act that only managed to put out four Columbia singles between 1965 and 1967. Drummer and songwriter Alan Gordon was playing in an interracial band, Tex & the Chex, in Greenwich Village when they were discovered by record producers Bob Wyld and Art Polhemus. Gordon had written "An Invitation to Cry" with Jimmy Woods (who was not in the band), which Gordon recorded with Tex & the Chex, which then included guitarist Mike Appel (who managed Bruce Springsteen for a while during the Boss' early career). The producers wanted a better singer and enlisted Garry Bonner to do the vocals. The resulting recording, "An Invitation to Cry," was superb moody pop/rock with a touch of blue-eyed soul, enhanced by an imaginative production highlighting ominous distorted guitar riffs, graceful tempo shifts, accomplished vocal harmonies, and Bonner's anguished lead vocal.

The group, renamed the Magicians, got a deal with Columbia, but reorganized their personnel, with Appel and bassist Everett Jacobs leaving, and Village folkies, Allan "Jake" Jacobs and John Townley coming in as replacements. The Magicians gained a following in New York by taking over as house band from the Lovin' Spoonful at the Night Owl club. In fact, Felix Pappalardi, future Cream producer and Mountain man, wanted to join them as bassist. They never did come up with another song on the order of "An Invitation to Cry," though, on their two 1966 Columbia singles, which showed an eclectic group conversant with both folk-rock (covering two songs by David Blue) and sophisticated pop/rock. They managed to get a segment on the local CBS television program Eye on New York -- unusually heavy exposure for a group without a hit or album -- but the follow-up singles stiffed. They made some unissued recordings in 1966, but the band never did put out an LP, and around mid-1966, Townley and Jacobs both left the band.

One subsequent flop single did appear on Columbia in early 1967, with some other musicians helping Bonner, Gordon, and Townley (who played guitar on the A-side, although he was no longer officially in the group). Bonner and Gordon were at this time becoming successful pop/rock songwriters for other artists, particularly the Turtles, for whom they composed "Happy Together," "She'd Rather Be with Me," "You Know What I Mean," and "She's My Girl." A Magicians CD, containing the four singles and some unissued demos and outtakes from the '60s, appeared in 1999.

The Magicians ‎- An Invitation To Cry (The Best Of The Magicians)

Stained Glass - RCA Singles

Stained Glass - RCA Singles


Stained Glass was an American pop band from San Jose, California.

Stained Glass - RCA Singles


Trolls in 1965, became Stained Glass when signed with RCA. L to R: Dennis, Bob, Roger, Jim
The band was formed in 1964 by guitarist Roger Hedge, bass player Jim McPherson, guitarist Bob Rominger, and drummer Dennis Carrasco.[1] The band was initially named "The Trolls." All four members were vocalists, and, for its time, the group had an impressive vocal capability. This enabled them to not only sing accurate covers, but to create unique and melodic vocal arrangements on original material, setting them apart from most of their competition.[citation needed] Hedge put the group together, invested personal funds for equipment and promotion, and was the leader and business manager for the first couple of years. They performed in and around the San Jose area, releasing on their own, a McPherson tune, "Walkin' Shoes" which sold out in a matter of weeks in San Jose.

They were soon scouted by an A&R man from RCA, and subsequently signed to that label towards the end of 1966.

Their early material was written mostly by McPherson, some written by Hedge, some by Rominger, with Carrasco co-writing a few. The songs were partially a mixture of rock, folk, blues, and Merseybeat, but had a distinctive original sound they planned to exploit for long careers. Some of their recordings met with minor success in northern California.

RCA changed their band name to "Stained Glass". They had them record a Beatles tune, "If I Needed Someone",[1] that was thought would not be released by the Beatles in the US. The record got enough play in late 1966 to justify a short tour of the East Coast a while later, with the group playing a few gigs, and doing some recording at the RCA studios in New York City. However, The Beatles released the track on their album, Yesterday and Today.

In April 1967, the band scored a big hit record in San Jose with "We Got A Long Way To Go," written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Later that year, Hedge was removed from the band for differences in musical direction. Their recording contract was taken over by Capitol in the Spring of 1968, issuing three singles, one of which was the non-LP song "Lady In Lace" written by McPherson and backed by "Soap and Turkey" written by Rominger. An LP, Crazy Horse Roads, was released in 1968,[1] and had some controversial album art, in what appeared to be a photograph of the three of them all hanging by the neck from the branch of a tall tree.

In 1969, Rominger was replaced by Tom Bryant for musical differences. A second album, Aurora, was released in 1969, which did not sell any better than the first one. Despite positive critical reviews, the singles nor the albums made any commercial impact, and the group disbanded in November 1969.[1]

Roger Hedge is a full-timer in a motorhome, travels around the country, and spends a lot of time in the San Jose area. Jim McPherson, who later co-wrote Jefferson Starship's song "Jane", died on June 24, 1985.[2] Dennis Carrasco lives in the San Jose area, and is still an active musician. Tom Bryant lives on the East Coast. Bob Rominger, after a career flying fighters in the USAF, lives in Newnan, Georgia and is a flight instructor at Delta Air Lines.

Today the group is regarded as one of the most underrated groups of the era, in what was a vibrant musical area of California in the late 1960s and early 1970s

Stained Glass - RCA Singles

Stained Glass - RCA Singles

Stained Glass - RCA Singles

Stained Glass - RCA Singles

Stained Glass - RCA Singles

The Striders-Columbia SinglesDon McLean - American Pie (1971)The Guilloteens ‎– Action! Action! Action!The Stained Glass -  A Scene In-Between 1965-1967The Birdwatchers‎– South Florida's Birdwatchers  (60's Sounds)All Of Thus ‎– All Of Thus (1966)The Nomadds - Nomadds Originals (1965)Jay &The Americans - Livin' Above Your Head  (1966)The Magicians ‎- An Invitation To Cry (The Best Of The Magicians)Stained Glass - RCA Singles

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