Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Your All-Time Favorite Garage Bands - The Runners Up, Part Two

The list continues today with five more "Runners Up"!

The first of FOUR Chicagoland Groups to make the list is The Cryan' Shames. While I'm not convinced that they were a "garage band" in the typical sense, their first chart hit "Sugar And Spice" has since been designated a "nugget", appearing on several various artists compilations over the years and becoming (for most music fans outside Chicago anyway) their best-known hit. A remake of The Searchers' tune, it ultimately hit #39 on The Record World Pop Singles Chart, their only National Top 40 showing. "I Wanna Meet You" (one of my faves) and "Mr. Unreliable" probably qualify for garage band status ... but after that, the impeccable harmonies for which the band was best known for here locally shone through on gems like the Beach Boys-esque "It Could Be We're In Love" (#1 in Chicago for four weeks in 1967) and their rendition of the Carole King classic "Up On The Roof". (Legend has it that King had The Cryan' Shames' version played at her second wedding!) 
"Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles David Smith and Jones" was the monster, hard-rock hit that shoulda been (but never was) and then they were gone ... from the charts anyway. Led by J.C. Hooke, the band still plays local gigs each summer, sometimes with as many as two or three original members onboard. (kk)  

Perhaps I’m going out on a limb when I unashamedly state that the Cryan’ Shames recorded the greatest song ever not to become a #1 smash. ‘It Could Be We’re In Love’ was far from a garage rock song, but ‘60’s pop doesn’t get any better. The group deserved far greater success than their excellent cover of ‘Sugar and Spice’ (and, to a lesser degree, Jim Fairs’ original ‘I Wanna Meet You’) afforded them. Chicago’s Shames could do it all, however, and ‘Ben Franklin’s Almanac’ is a fantastic representation of what garage rock is all about.
Mike Dugo / 60sGarageBands.com

"The Kings Of 'Bubbling Under'", Wisconsin's The Robbs "just missed" The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart five times ... adding insult to injury were additional failures (but HUGE fan favorites) like "Bittersweet" (a regional hit in several sections of the country ... but never enough at the same time to sustain a chart entry), "Cynthia Loves" and (as Cherokee, which was also the name of the studio they would found in the early '70's) "Girl, I've Got News For You." Best known here in Chicago was "Race With The Wind", a legitimate Top 20 Local Hit and "Rapid Transit", which climbed as high as #123 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Chart. We've devoted many pages to The Robbs over the years in Forgotten Hits, who were also taken under the wing of Dick Clark, who cast them as semi-regulars on the afternoon teenie-bopper classic "Where The Action Is". Although their faces were plastered on numerous teen magazines of the day, they STILL didn't catch on to enough of a mass audience to gain them a hit record. But OUR readers know who they are ... and cast 116 votes for The Robbs as one of their All-Time Favorite Garage Bands! (kk)  

If it wasn’t for their regular appearances on Where The Action Is and in the teen magazines of the day, Wisconsin’s Robbs would be probably completely forgotten today. After all, I have never heard a Robbs’ song on the radio, and I’ve been listening for over 35 years. What a shame. ‘Race With The Wind’, ‘Rapid Transit’ and ‘Bittersweet’ gained some chart recognition but deserved to be massive hits. Yes … they later recorded as Cherokee in the 1970s and opened Cherokee Studios in Los Angles, where many top acts recorded, but they accomplished enough as the Robbs to also be remembered for their ‘60s music.
Mike Dugo / 60sGarageBands.com

I don't know that I would have necessarily considered these guys in the Garage Band category ... surf rock maybe? Biker Rock? "Cycle-delic Rock"??? But they earned enough of your votes (117 as a matter of fact!) to land in one of the Runners' Up Positions. 
Their biggest chart hit was "Blues' Theme" from the movie "The Wild Angels", a #27 National Hit (and #3 hit here in Chicago.)
Davie has been an active supporter and participant in Forgotten Hits for many years now ... in fact, we've even given away a number of free, autographed CDs to some of our readers, as he's still recording new music all the time! (kk)  

Probably better known for recording surf and “biker music” (for countless ‘60s exploitation flicks), Davie Allan & The Arrows are another of the handful of groups we’re profiling in this special countdown.  The band had four national hits (and a few regional hits here and there.)  ‘Apache ‘65’ achieved some local (California) success and resulted in a national TV appearance on Shindig!. Although many different musicians comprised The Arrows throughout the years, Drew Bennett and Russ Viot were mainstays, and made TV appearances with Allan on both Get Smart and The Invaders.
Mike Dugo / 60sGarageBands.com 

Even though I had a few singles (the one hit was "Apache '65"), the major success of "The Arrows" came with the soundtrack work. There was only one official "Arrow" (besides me) early on and that was drummer Larry Brown. We did a short film titled "Skaterdater" with union musicians (Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborne, Al Casey and Jim Horn) that got the ball rolling for doing the soundtracks. The way the story goes is that Roger Corman saw "Skaterdater" and said something like" that's the sound I want for "The Wild Angels". I added the great Drew Bennett on bass plus Russ Viot on rhythm guitar replaced by Wayne Allwine (who became the 3rd official voice of "Mickey Mouse" in 1977). We did various trips and only one tour across the country (partly because we were recording almost everyday for about five years). Other notable soundtracks (of the two dozen or so) includes "Devil's Angels", "The Glory Stompers", "Born Losers" (that one introduced the character "Billy Jack").
Being called a "garage band" was ok. Later on my music was called "biker rock" and I've called it "melodic grunge" since the 90's. I still appear once in a while and since 2009 I've been recording my "Retrophonic" series. Volume 4 is due early in 2013 with new versions of "The Glory Stompers", "Ghost Riders in the Sky", "War Path" (it marks the first time I've re-recorded my first single) plus many new originals and cover tunes such as "Lullaby of the Leaves" and "Cara Mia".
-- Davie Allan

#27 - THE McCOYS:
The big hit, of course, was "Hang On Sloopy", a #1 Record in 1965 ... but The McCoys also did a great "garage band" cover of the old Peggy Lee torch song "Fever". (In fact, they made The Top 40 again with their remake of the Ritchie Valens song "Come On, Let's Go", too!) 
Guitarist Rick Derringer (then still Zehringer) went on to solo fame with "Rock And Roll Hoochie-Coo" and as part of The Edgar Winter Group. He has also recently toured with Ringo Starr. Another Midwest success story. (kk)  

Probably best known for being Rick Derringer’s teen band, the McCoys had a monster smash with ‘Hang On Sloopy’. The group was one of the few from Indiana that managed any type of chart success in the ‘60s. Although you would never know it if you believe their “one-hit wonder” classification, the McCoys released four albums, a dozen singles and recorded eight other songs that landed in the Top 100.
Mike Dugo / 60sGarageBands.com

Although they never had a hit record, The Chocolate Watchband are one of the "cult favorites" on our list, a quintessential garage band probably made more nationally famous some 40 years later thanks to all of the "nuggets" compilations that have included some of their releases. While I personally am not especially familiar with their work, their complete history (written in their own words!) appears on their website: Click here: The Chocolate Watchband - the official band website - History (kk)  

A “no-hit wonder” group? If any combo qualifies, it’s certainly San Jose’s Chocolate Watchband. While the band featured multiple line-ups and personnel on their recording sessions, their garage rock music catalog is as impressive as it gets. They are probably best remembered for their cover of The Grodes’ / Tongue Of Truths’ ‘Let’s Talk About Girls’, but their own songs — including ‘Misty Lane’, ‘She Weaves A Tender Trap’, ‘Sweet Young Thing’ and ‘Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In)’ — are every bit as amazing. They also appeared in two classic exploitation flicks: The Love-Ins and Riot On Sunset Strip.
Mike Dugo / 60sGarageBand.com

The countdown continues tomorrow in Forgotten Hits!