Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's A Shame - Part 4

I know, I know ... we just DID a tribute to The Cryan' Shames ... but I can't let a subject line like "It's A Shame" go by and NOT feature something else by these guys!!! In fact, we'll make today's posting all about our Local Heroes!!! (Call it my OWN shameless promotion!!!)

This time around, we'll give you a GREAT album cut from their "A Scratch In The Sky" LP. It's called "Cobblestone Road" and it presents the band in a completely different light than we were accustomed to hearing ... in fact, it's got almost a bit of a folksy, country feel to it ... see what you think!

Next up, some more of your recent comments regarding some more local talent ...

I was laying down listening to the NCAA tourney on radio this afternoon and the commentators said something to the fact: "According to CBS Sports, we do know this. "Eye of the Tiger" has been played 138 times already during the tournament!" Hmm, I wonder if that means snippets have been heard on CBS 138 times and they are counting so they can pay royalties?? I have no idea. I searched their website to see if the info was on it. I did not find it, but found EOTT's lyrics on their website! Wonder if there are royalties being paid there??? The song has more than 9 lives -- 129 more and counting, it would seem!!! Sorry the Ides were not on Letterman on the Ides of March day. Maybe next year??? I passed this on to Jim Peterik. We'll see if he responds.
Hey, Jimmy ought to make money EVERY time that song is played ... for ANY reason!!! It's become a sports anthem AND a pop cultural anthem ... give the man his due!!! No matter WHO sings it ... The Ides ... Survivor ... Bo Bice ... or even Big Daddy!!! (kk)

>>>The last New Colony Six 45 titled, "I Don't Really Want To Go" is by far, my favorite later-day NC6 recording ... FANTASTIC "Power-Pop" tune that never had a chance on the charts in 1974. I think that it could have easily given a good run for their money on the charts if MCA would have given it the proper promotion. (Jerry Schollenberger)
>>>It's a VERY catchy track but I don't think I've EVER heard it played on the radio. Too bad because other MCA releases like "Long Time To Be Alone" and "Never Be Lonely" rank up amongst the very best tracks that the band ever recorded. It would appear that VERY little effort was ever put forth to promote their recent signing, however! Major label ... major blunder. (kk)
Actually, "I Don't Really Want to Go" was a Top 30 charter on WOKY Milwaukee when Art Roberts was on the air there! I have the chart. Both sides of the Sunlight single "Long Time to be Alone" and "Never Be Lonely" were A sides at different times as well. Too bad ... all deserved #1 IMO. (Of course, all 3 were #1 for 4 weeks on my personal charts when they were released!! I shoulda been a MD!)

Hey, Kent!
Thanks for the mention of “I Don’t Really Want to Go” the other day. That song is the reason I joined the New Colony Six, and I think it’s terrific in so many ways. Skip Griparis had put me in the running during auditions to replace departing Billy Herman. I’d worked with Skip in Trilogy, and had played the band track for “Roll On”, which did very well nationally. Skip sent me a demo of “I Don’t Really Want To Go” and I loved it, and took him up on the offer of an audition. He really helped coach me on what The Colony needed to see, and I got the job and worked with them through 1973 and 1974 as a result. The session for “I Don’t Really” took place at Paragon, with Barry Mraz at the board (Styx, Ohio Players). I remember to this day the scene with keyboardist John Cammelott sitting on the control room floor with his Moog synthesizer — new at the time — adding on the one of the key lines — he looked like Schroeder in the Peanuts comics . Little known fact --- we had a female singer at the time named Yvonnee. But on “I Don’t Really”, the high harmonies are Skip — he’s singing over Yvonnee right throughout the song. Skip was blessed with a true 4 octave range and if you listen REALY HARD, you can hear his distinctive voice on top of the female voice. It’s Skip’s great voice on harmony on “Someone, Sometime”, too. What a great talent. Thanks for the mention. Hope to see you this summer season.
Rick Barr
The New Colony Six
Hi Rick! Good to hear from you!
I knew about the female vocalist there at the end before The NC6 called it quits ... had tried to get more info on that when I was doing my FH / NC6 Series a few years back but by this point both Ray and Ronnie were gone from the line-up and I didn't really have a source to discuss this period in the band's history. (I was told that Gerry Von Kollenburg would be the ONLY guy who could accurately discuss it and at that point he was flat-out refusing to talk to ANYBODY about the band ... maybe now that he has a better idea of who I am and what I do, he'd be more open to the idea ... who knows!!!) I had the chance to interview Skip Griparis but just never followed up on it ... by then the series had run its course and it all seemed too "after the fact." What would REALLY be cool would be to get in touch with ALL of the various members over the years and get more details on all these different phases, since it seems that ONLY Ray and Ronnie are ever interviewed ... and I sometimes wonder if they can't help but feel like they've both talked it to death at this point. It could be REALLY interesting to see things from some new perspectives ... and tell the DEFINITIVE story of the band!!! (Honestly, Jerry Schollenberger should write a book!!!)
Anyway, I'd LOVE to get more info ... is anyone still in contact with Yvonne? How long was she with the band? What was the overall sound you were going for at the time? (I've heard it was almost a "Rufus-thing"!!!) Was Pat McBride gone by then, too, or was he still around?
I was surprised to hear about "Roll On" ... didn't Billy Herman WRITE that song?!?! Was he NOT on the record??? (Ronnie told me the song was ORIGINALLY about marijuana but that it was all changed at the last minute in an effort to make it more commercial!!!)
Maybe when you've got some time, put some of your thoughts together on this era ... I think Bruce said that he sat in on some of the latter-day sessions, too, but was never credited. It might be interesting to do a follow-up piece ... something to kind of spotlight the "Post-Mercury" Days ... and feature some of the stuff that NOBODY ever hears. Those Sunlight tracks are amongst the best the band ever recorded ... yet they went virtually unnoticed.
Let me know your thoughts!
(How are bookings looking for this summer??? Be sure to let us know so that we can help to spread the word.) kk

Stay tuned for more on this story ... meanwhile, here's ANOTHER great over-looked New Colony Six song ... "Someone Sometime" "bubbled under" at #109 in Billboard in 1972 ... but went to #19 on the WCFL Chart that year.

I just got this request from FH List Member Marlene O'Malley on behalf of author Dean Milano ... if anybody can help out by locating some of the photos he's looking for, please drop him a line before his latest book heads off to the publishers!!! Thanks, Gang! (kk)
Hello again folks -
Well, it's the traditional Last Call For Alcohol.
This may be the last email I send regarding the book I am writing for Arcadia Publishers on the Chicago Music Scene of the 1960s and ‘70s.
I’m now getting my materials ready to organize and submit to the editors. However, this will probably take a month or more, so any last minute photos that come in can probably be inserted into the layout. In other words, if you’ve been thinking of submitting a photo but have been putting it off, you still have some time. Not much, but some.
Again, this is a pictorial history covering musicians who were based in Chicago, so the only way an artist can be included in the book is if I have a photograph to use. And it needs to be a photo from the 1960s or ‘70s. This is also NOT an encyclopedic work, as that would be huge, including thousands of artists and would take many years to complete. I'm hoping someone eventually writes that book as I will be the first one to buy it. I'm hoping this work will allow it's readers a decent sampling of what those two decades were like.
I have more than enough material for the book, so I have stopped soliciting photos at this point. However there are still some key people that need to be included in the book and I have not been able to locate photos of some of them. Please check out the lists below and if you know or have contacts with any of these folks, please let them know about this project.
In some cases, I do have a photo, but it’s not of the quality I would like to use, so if you think you have a really great photo of someone, please let me know. I may substitute your photo for the one I already have.
I can get some pictures from the Internet, but it's very risky to simply take images off the Net without permission, so I need as many photos as I can get, sent directly from the artists. High Res photos can be sent to me through e-mail as long as they are scanned at least 300 dpi and 8 inches width.
I imagine many of you are probably becoming annoyed with these little "reminders", but when the book comes out, I'm hoping my perseverance will have paid off! Everyone will get credit in the book for any contributions they make.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to see the caption I've written for your photo, or if you'd like to read the opening paragraphs for any of the five chapters, send me an email and I'll send you the text. I'd love to hear your comments.
Thanks again for your support.
Dean Milano
Chicago Music Scene: 1960s – 1970s
This is the story of the Chicago music scene of two decades - the 1960s and 1970s, an incredibly vibrant period in urban and suburban music scenes across the country and throughout the world. And Chicago, thanks to an abundance of highly credible musicians and bands, was a major player throughout those decades. It was a time when Jazz, Rock & Roll, Country & Western, Folk, R & B, Blues, and just about every type of music imaginable flowed through the streets of Chicago and the surrounding area.
Much has been written about the national and international talent of that time, but not enough has been written regarding local music scenes.
This story will focus on the city of Chicago along with its suburban club scene and the homegrown performers who made it one of the most electrifying and memorable periods in music history. Some of them went all the way to “the big time”, while others made their mark and disappeared. But they all made a difference in their own way and for those who were there, it’s a time they will never forget.
(Be sure tocroll to the bottom of the page to see some of the sample pics. And remember, this is only a sampling of what will be in the final book.)
Photos I still need:
Blues: Chicago Slim; Jimmy Davis; Dells (R&B, soul); Hound Dog Taylor; Joe Kelly Blues Band;
Freddie King; Major Lance; J.B.lenoir; Magic Sam;
Simtec and Wylie; Tom Tom Washington
Folk: Jody Alis; Fleming Brown; Dennis Cahill; Fred Campeau; Sally Fingerett; Carolyn Ford; Peggy Ford; Kendall Kardt; Jimmy Keane; Dave Lazer; Megon McDonough; Kathy O’Hara; Bill Quateman; Tary Rebenar; Rosehip String Band; Peter Madcat Ruth; Dave Samuelson; Veluscha
Amy Wooley
Jazz: Jimmy Atlas; Bill Porter Big Band; Bob Stone Big Band; Anthony Braxton; Oscar Brown, Jr.;
Bobby Christian; Dave Major & the Minors ; Denise Osso Ensemble; Ears / Bobby Lewis; Ezra Quantine Ragtime Memorial Band; Guy Fricano; Von Freeman; John Gabor; Ghalib Ghallab; Eddie Higgins; Vicki Hubly; John Klemmer; Karen Mason; Buzz Moten; Larry Novak; Eddie Piccard; Roger Pemberton Big Band; Bobby Schiff; Ira Sullivan; Marshall Vente; Joe Vito
Rock: Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah; Aorta; Bangor Flying Circus; Chaka Khan; Friend and Lover; H.P. Lovecraft; Ides of March; The Knaves; Buddy Miles; The Mob; Off Broadway; Pez Band; Phil N the Blanks; Redwood Landing; Rotary Connection; Rufus (Ask Rufus); Spanky and Our Gang; Styx; Vanessa Davis Band; The Vectors / Joe Kelly; Virginia Klemmens Band
Country: Bitter Creek Newgrass Band; Red Blanchard; Baraboo; Jimmy Nichols & the Nashville Cats; JJ Dickens and His Black Cowboys; John Burns Band; Jump ‘n the Saddle; Northshore ; Bluegrass Revival; Phlagg Williams & the Road Rangers; Prairie Union Bluegrass Band; Ray Garrison & Windy City Country; Red Ratliff; Loyd Reinking; Stuart Rosenberg; Shari Lynn & Her Singing Chauffers; Cal Starr; Tom Thady; Hayden Thompson; Unity Bluegrass Band; Walter Williams Band
Sample Photos Below: