Monday, November 26, 2012

Your All-Time Favorite Garage Bands

After much delay, we are FINALLY able to publish the results of our popular All-Time Favorite Garage Bands survey, conducted just prior to the big Forgotten Hits Computer Crash and Burn of 2012!  

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be recapping the results ... so stay tuned to see where your favorites landed. 

And watch for details about an official radio countdown of The Top 20 Biggest ... coming soon to a radio station near you!

Special thanks to all of you who voted ... and to Mike Dugo of, who threw his support behind this project ... and even contributed short biographies on all of the winning bands!  (kk)

The Runners-Up:
Our original intention was to tabulate The Top 20 All-Time Favorite Garage Bands ... but once all the votes were counted, we found that we had thirteen additional artists who earned 100 or more of your votes ... so we decided to expand the list and feature these "Runner Up" positions as well, thus honoring and acknowledging every artist that received 100 or more votes. (Hey, if you guys felt a band was worthy of 100 votes or more, WE have to treat them as worthy, too!!! Simple as that!)

Therefore ... when all is said and done ... the list shapes up like this:

Hailing from New Jersey, these guys scored big on our Top 20 Favorite Psychedelic Songs Countdown several years back, too. (Their best known hit, "A Question of Temperature" ... also spelled "Tempature" on some early pressings of the record! ... ranked at #15.) 
Group member Mike Appel went on to write songs for The Partridge Family ... and later managed the career Bruce Springsteen! (How's THAT for some musical diversity?!?!?) Their signature song reached #37 on the national pop charts ... and burned its way all the way to #11 here in Chicago in the Spring of 1968 (where we clearly had Balloon Farm fever!) kk    

By far the most obscure group on the list (at least as far as the amount written on them), the Balloon Farm completely epitomizes the term “one-hit wonder.” ‘Question Of Temperature’ made Billboard’s Top 40 and was later immortalized by appearing on the Nuggets boxed set. The core members of New Jersey’s Balloon Farm also recorded singles as Adam and Huck Finn (as well as ‘Hurry Up Sundown’, the follow-up to their hit). Member Mike Appel found later success managing and producing Bruce Springsteen.
Mike Dugo /

Another One Hit Wonder, Five By Five (out of Arkansas) got noticed when they released a very credible cover of the Jimi Henrix rock classic "Fire". (Their follow-up hit, "Apple Cider", bubbled under on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart, but has proven to be a fan favorite here in Forgotten Hits due to its regional hit status in various parts of the country.) "Fire" reached #31 nationally but was a Top Five Smash here in Chi-Town. (We LOVED our Garage Band Groups in the '60's!!!)  kk

How about a group from Magnolia, Arkansas, making the list?  Five By Five had a minor hit with a cover of Jimi Hendrix' "Fire" in 1968 and also had some chart success in 1970 with "Apple Cider." If you haven't heard either song, you might be very surprised to learn that the group released eight singles on the Paula label, as well as a full album ("Next Exit", 1968).
Mike Dugo /

#31 - THEM
Chicago's very own Shadows Of Knight made "Gloria" THEIR  very own when it went Top Ten nationally in the Spring of 1966 ... and believe me, they earned their share of votes in this friendly little Garage Band Competition ... you WILL be seeing their name as we work our way closer to the top of this list! 
But "Gloria" originally came from the pen of Ireland-born Van Morrison (more than a few miles away from The Windy City), who'd go on to far greater fame as a solo artist in the late '60's and '70's ... and is STILL cranking out excellent music today. His '60's British Invasion Group Them recorded the original version of this tune ... and it earned them enough votes for a spot on our Runners Up List. 
"Gloria" didn't make much of an impact for Them, stopping at #71 on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart in its second release, attempting to steal some of the thunder caused by The Shadows Of Knight's version. (When it was first released in 1965, it stalled at #93, and was actually considered the B-Side of Them's version of "Baby Please Don't Go".  Despite never officially making Billboard's Hot 100, this track has also long been cited as a fan favorite.)  
Their biggest hit was the Morrison-penned "Here Comes The NIght", which reached #24 in 1965.  They would reach The Billboard Top 40 one more time with "Mystic Eyes" (#33, 1965) and then that was it. (kk)     

The history books will always note Belfast, Ireland's Them as being the group Van Morrison was in before he struck it big with "Brown-Eyed Girl" and embarked on his solo career, but they (Them?) was so much more. They were the group to first record Morrison's garage band staple "Gloria" and fans of '60's music should also be well aware of their classic "Here Comes The Night". In addition, "Baby, Please Don't Go" and "Mystic Eyes" have earned the group a status well beyond that of simply being Van Morrison's first combo.
Mike Dugo /