Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Helping Out Our Readers

We got some pretty good response to our last edition ... so let's get right to it!    

>>>Who sang a song called "Chickawa Chickawa wa wa"? Not sure the spelling is correct. (Veeors) 
>>>Wow ... can't find a listing for that one. Anybody out there got any ideas??? (kk)
We got a few different answers to this one ... maybe Veeors can check these out and let us know which one of these he had in mind! (kk)

"Chickee Wah Wah" is a song by Huey & Jerry from 1958 (attached) ... found it right on Amazon and also there was a notation in Wikipedia: "In 1958, Vin Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records, released a popular single "Little Chickie Wah Wah" with Clowns singer Gerri Hall, under the billing of Huey and Jerry." However, I recall a different Chickee Wah ... went something like, "Chickee Wah ... Chickee wah wah wah ... ", which is the one I think your writer, Veeors, is looking for. Unfortunately that's all I can recall of the song.

And then ...

With a little help from my friends, I found the REAL "Chickee Wah" for your reader, Veeors. This is the one that I recall being popular in the 50s. Bobby Marchan was one of the "Clowns" in Huey 'Piano' Smith's band. Remember "Don't You Just Know It"?
By the way, I continue to seek just one more song from what began as a list of around ten songs I was looking for. I remember a lot of the song, which is what makes it so frustrating, because you would think any song that memorable would also be recalled by others, but no such luck so far. The words I recall are as follows:
" ... no time for tears my darling, no time to cry for the moon,
don't you know the good story of old? Most lovers dreams end too soon.
Take my hand and be glad to walk in the sun. We'll walk, we'll talk and our walk will be one.
Don't look back on the streets of tears. In time we'll learn to forget.
There is no time for tears, my darling. Take my hand and you'll never regret."
This could have been a regional hit to the DC Metro area around 1957, because I believe it was played on the Milt Grant Show, DC's answer to American Bandstand. It sounds so much like the Five Satins' "To The Aisle" that if I begin singing one of them, I end up segueing into the other one.
As you can see, I REALLY want to find this song. It is the ONLY one left of my list of ten and it would be so satisfying to find it. Please ... ANYBODY ... if you even have an inkling ... take a little time and give me a hand with this one.

I’d bet it’s “Chickie-Chickie Wah Wah” by Ray Stevens on Capitol (1958), prior to his hits on Mercury.  (This rip comes from my NM 45. I don’t think it’s been comped, but I may be wrong.)

Bobby Marchan - Chickie Wah Wah Wah - I think it was on the Ace or Specialty label. It was from the '50's however. I believe it was the original version if anybody else did it they covered it.
Al Kooper
Well, we've definitely come up with a few completely different songs here ... so let's see if Veeors writes us back to let us know if we've cracked yet another musical mystery! (kk)

>>>I have a favor to ask of you. Any chance you could check in with some of your rock n' roll pals and find out if anyone knows how to get in touch with Al DeCarlo from Bangers Flying Circus and Medura? I'd love to get in touch with him if possible. (Deb Yurica)
>>>Happy to run this by our readers (many of whom were part of the music scene back in the day) to see if we can help. (kk)
Hey, Kent,
A reader asked today about getting a line on Al Decarlo from Bangor Flying Circus and Madura. You may be able to do that in person Saturday night at Blues Bar in Mount Prospect. One of the guest artists slated to appear in celebration of Jim Sohns' 66th birthday bash with the Shadows of Knight is Dave (Hawk) Wolinski. Dave played the keyboard part on the Shadows' "Shake" and was a central figure in both Bangor Flying Circus and Madura. If you both end up there tomorrow, I'll introduce you and you can ask him personally about Al. The Madura website says both Al and drummer Ross Salamone left the music business after Madura's demise.
Rick Barr, New Colony Six/Shadows of Knight. (PS, I was a huge fan of Bangor Flying Circus and used to see them whenever I could, with Michael Tegza, from HP Lovecraft on drums, a monster player).
Hi Rick! As you know, we DID swing by the Jimy Sohns Birthday Bash ... and were impressed by just how many surprise guests stopped by to help celebrate Jimy's 66th birthday. (In fact, I invited Fred Glickstein of The Flock to come by, too, as he was the one who sent us the original inquiry on the whereabouts of Al DeCarlo.) We got to visit with quite a few people that night ... but did not have the pleasure of meeting Al ... so, if you can please pass this along to him, Fred (and a woman named Debbie Yurica) are trying to reach him. Drop them my email address is you like and I'll help to make the connection. Thanks! (kk)

Hi, Kent,
I enjoyed seeing Jerry Schollenberger’s post on Pete Wright’s Sunlight label. Most of the handful of singles issued on Sunlight, apart from the three New Colony Six 45s, are very tough to find. (The Ral Donner release goes for around $200.)
I tracked down most if not all of them some time ago. The 45 Jerry refers to by Chicago DJ Eric Stevens was actually issued under the name Jan Erik Stevens. The A-side, “Training Wheels,” was written by none other than Jim Peterik!
Michael Thom
Well THAT would be an interesting one to hear ... can you send us a copy? (kk)

>>>I've never quite understood the criteria for induction into The Iowa Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... The New Colony Six were inducted years ago ... but they're from Chicago. Meanwhile, it's great to see Tommy Roe (who was born in Georgia!!!) earning his spot. (Huh???) kk
Perhaps this line from their website will explain national groups being inducted into the Iowa Rock Hall:
"This year's Out of State honoree is the incomparable Tommy Roe." Looks like maybe one "out of state" group or person gets the honor each year.  

re: SOUNDS LIKE ... :
>>>To this day I don't believe that George Harrison intentionally copied "He's So Fine" when he wrote "My Sweet Lord". They called it "subconscious plagiarism" (kk) 
I am not sure these days on the above, but I still think Lennon's "Happy Christmas" sounds as much like Peter, Paul & Mary's traditional version of "Stewball" as "My Sweet Lord" / He's So Fine". In fact, Peter, Paul & Mary's version sounds hardly ANYTHING like this old Woody Guthrie version from two decades earlier!
Or how about this one from Leadbelly where the American version started:
The horse was foaled in 1741, and originally owned by Francis, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, and later sold. His name has been recorded as "Squball", "Sku-ball", or "Stewball". He won many races in England, and was sent to Ireland. The Irish turf calendar states that he won six races worth £508 in 1752, when he was eleven years old, and was the top earning runner of that year in Ireland. His most famous race took place on the plains of Kildare, Ireland, which is generally the subject of the song of the same name. The early ballad about the event has Skewball belonging to an Arthur Marvell or Mervin. Based on the horse's name, Skewball was likely a skewbald horse.
Maybe my Irish ancestors bet on him!! They did have money then!!
For more interesting info on the horse and the song:
I never thought "My Sweet Lord" sounded all that much like "He's So Fine" and, had it not been pointed out to me, I doubt that I would have EVER found a similarity on my own. A completely different story regarding "Stewball" and John Lennon's "Happy Christmas", however ... they're literally note for note the same song  ... something else I wasn't aware of at the time as I wasn't familiar with the Peter, Paul and Mary tune and didn't discover it until years later, well after the John Lennon Christmas standard was etched in my brain. Incredibly, HE got away with it (maybe because it was such an old standard, dating back to the 1800's, almost to the point of public domain.) I've always felt George got burned on this one. (You'd think if ANY similarity existed, Phil Spector would have said something or pointed it out at the time ... after all, it was Phil who personified the whole girl-group sound back then! And he produced the #1 George Harrison hit!) kk

>>>As part of another series we did way back when, we officially disproved the oft-repeated rumor that Redbone was the only all Native American band to score a hit record on the American charts ... the then "disappointing" revelation was that the Vegas Brothers were of Mexican decent ... but dressed in Indian garb to help promote the myth. (kk)
Maybe it's time to clarify something for the people who have spoken with such authority on the matter.
It's true that one member of Redbone was of the stereotypical types that lived in teepees, beat tom toms and are reminiscent to the cast of "Dances With Wolves".
The other guys being of Mexican descent are also Native American Indians in the truest sense of the word. Most Mexicans, myself included, have Yaqui Indian heritage.
This indigenous tribe occupied southern parts of Arizona and northern Mexico and were here long before the white man showed up. Just because a line was drawn from the southernmost tip of Texas to Tijuana by a new breed of cat does not change the fact. So the Spaniards, the French and the Crackers played post office with the Yaquis and thus we have this new breed on the scene.
The Yaquis wore the same rags the Apaches and Cheyenne wore but with more airholes due to being in a hotter climate. So I feel Redbone can be classified as a Native American Indian band. Shit , Lolly Vegas looks just like the cast member in Dances With Wolves who took Costner's hat. We say Mexicans because that is what it has become, but in reality it's also Indians we be. Many out there who are white Americans are, in reality, Cherokee , Choctaw, Cree, Comanche, and whoever else your grandpappy was banging, so let it do what it do.  
Alex "2 dick dog" Valdez
woop woop woop
Far be it from me to argue with your heritage ... although I cannot help but wonder how many people of Mexican decent offer up anything other than that nationality as part of their own heritage. I get the semantics of what you're saying ... but the generations who have followed that were born and raised in Mexico are most certainly referred to as Mexicans ... just as those of us born three or four generations later here in The States are now full-blooded Americans. Our only point with our Redbone series way back when was to dispel the rumor that they were an authentic Indian / Native American band ... a myth they (and the record label) helped perpetuate by dressing them in full Indian garb for their appearances. Clever gimmick, yes ... authentic? Not so much. (kk)

This exchange appeared in Bob Lefsetz's newsletter recently after I responded to a Donovan / Jimmy Page query posted earlier. Interesting to see that the facts have changed yet again ... really makes you wonder how much people remember from back then ... especially when you consider the number of recording sessions they were involved with (and the drugs of choice they may have been using at the time.)
We similarly disproved the long standing, oft-repeated story that guitar virtuoso Jimmy Page played the lead guitar riff on Herman's Hermits big remake hit "Silhouettes", finding instead that studio whiz-kid Vic Flick actually handled that role. (Page DID, in fact, play on a number of Hermits' hits ... but NOT the lead on this one.)
My original sources for the "Hurdy Gurdy Man" story were a couple of Jimi Hendrix biographies ... AND commentary from Donovan himself (who, obviously, ALSO would have been at this session) ... so it's interesting to see that John Paul Jones ... another guy in the studio that day ... remembers it differently. (Just goes to show you why it's so difficult sometimes narrowing down "the most accurate truth"!!! lol) 

Read on ... 

>>>For the record, it was SUPPOSED to be Jimi Hendrix playing lead guitar on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" ... in the end, three-quarters of the future Led Zeppelin appeared on the track ... yet amazingly, even so, Jimmy Page did NOT play lead guitar on this cut! This comes from our Jimi Hendrix piece published a few years ago  (kk):

HITS AND MISSES: HENDRIX probably missed out on another Top 20 single in 1968. DONOVAN wrote his #3 smash HURDY GURDY MAN for JIMI to record but, when JIMI failed to do so, he agreed to play guitar instead on DONOVAN's version. When those plans ALSO fell through, DONOVAN went ahead and recorded it on his own (with ALLAN HOLDSWORTH on lead guitar.) Amazingly, also present in the studio that day were JIMMY PAGE on guitar, JOHN PAUL JONES on bass and JOHN BONHAM on drums ... three-quarters of LED ZEPPELIN a full year before they joined with ROBERT PLANT and launched their own hard-rock career!
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits
In the booklet notes of the 2005 EMI UK rerelease of Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man album, John Paul Jones is quoted as saying the guitar on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" is Alan Parker, not Jimmy Page or Allan Holdsworth, who has also been credited for that part. As Jones played the session for sure, I think we can take his word on this.
-- Michael Tearson

It was Allan Parker on Hurdy Gurdy Man.
I was there.
Peter Noone

>>>Most of us are familiar with the Beatle tribute songs that came out after the boys hit the states in '64 (and continued forever after): "We Love You Beatles" by the Carefrees, etc. ... BUT were there any tribute songs to other British Invasion artists? A song about Herman's Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers, etc?
I know there are songs written about the Rolling Stones, for example, but not in the same vein (novelty?) as those Beatles songs. (Gene Laufenberg)
>>> Great question, Gene! And you're right ... The Beatles and Rolling Stones songs are most familiar ... but I wonder if there WERE any other songs written about the British artists invading our shores at the time. I can't think of any off the top of my head ... but maybe some of the MAJOR British Invasion Fans on our list can shed some light on this. (Even cooler would be if you could send in a couple of examples so that we can share them with everybody else!) kk
Hey I'm a MAJOR British Invasion Fan, but you are making me go into the inner depths of my 'way-back' (a little Dr Peabody there) brain for this one. The We Love You Beatles tune was used interchangeably with other groups when the names worked. For instance We Love You Herman, which was used at an airport scene in 'Hold On' (movie starring Herman's Hermits). The almost dead part of my way-back brain is telling me there were local attempts (for me that would be Niagara Falls, NY and all of Connecticut) I heard on the radio, to tribute the bands in song. But even if these were released for sale, they were primarily attempts by local groups and never reached country-wide popularity. I hope someone proves me wrong on this one. I would like to hear some.
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
And then ... before we could even respond ...
Memo to self: Check sources before answering questions. Just popped Hold On into computer and the airport song is We Want You Herman. It has a decidedly different melody from the 'Bye Bye Birdie' tune. And as Meatloaf has pointed out to us, there is distinction between 'wanting' and 'loving'. This tribute was never recorded except for soundtrack, though.