Saturday, February 01, 2020

The Fake Sixties, Part 2--Kind of a Drag, Dawn, See See Rider, Martian Hop, more!







When Hit Records decided to credit Kind of a Drag to the "Buchanans," I'm sure that there was no intent to deceive, despite the mild linguistic similarity between the Buckinghams and the "Buchanans."  Of course, "Buckinghams" was meant to sound British (so listeners would think they were hearing an Invasion band), while the "Buchanans" naturally sound American, since our 15th president was James Buchanan.  Further proof that there was no intention to fool anyone.  And it's too early in the morning for me to think clearly.  (That's always a good excuse.)

There are five "anon." credits in today's playlist, which means there was no credit on the record.  Sometimes that's best, as there are a number of other credits which may as well have been blank--Grand Knights (Premier), Peter Pan Pop Band and Singers (Peter Pan Records), and all the fake names on the Update Records LP, 16 Top Hits of the Week, Vol. 2--The Jumpin (no apostrophe) Jacks, The Chavelles, The Indigos, The Elektras, the Marshmallows.  Okay, which of those five names did I just make up?  The other four were made up by Update Records, but I tossed one in.  Of course, I don't think anyone can possibly top Stumpy Andersen and His Stompers, over at the Evon label.  Stumpy Andersen and His Stompers??

Stumpy Andersen and His Stompers???  (Wait--I just typed that.)

Poor Stumpy gets one credit on Discogs--the LP I have (Let's All Do the Twist).  A record devoted to the twist, and the band is called the Stompers.  No logic to this stuff, I'm telling you.

We get two Be My Babys, though that's the only dupe title--this time, anyway.  I almost added another Mrs. Brown, but one is enough in any playlist.  It's hard to describe my feelings about Mrs. Brown.  One part of me likes the tune and considers it well-conceived, whereas the other part despises the number, though not as much as everything by Salt-N-Pepa.  I'm not making this up, but years back I was watching TV, and on comes an ad for Target (?), and a bunch of kids are dancing around to Push It, that Salt-N-Pepa hit with subtle sexual overtones. I mean, they're there, if you really listen.  The song sort of beats around the bu....  Er, never mind.  Anyway, these pre-teen kids are dancing around the store, and one of the girls says, "My boyfriend likes to push it."  Seriously.  I must have sat there with my mouth open for about five minutes, hoping that I'd hallucinated.  Never saw the ad again.  I have a feeling the station's phone lines were flooded for the next week or so.

I don't think I'm pushing it by calling this ad one of the most ill-conceived in TV history.  And is it possible that somewhere, on some cheap CD or cassette tape, there's a fake version of Push It?  We can only hope not.

Bet you never thought you'd hear a fake version of Spinning Wheel.  Bet you never thought to think of such a thing.  But here it is--by "Grand Knights."  Surprisingly good playing on the track.  A rushed session, obviously, but not the disaster I'd have expected.  Our two surf numbers--Surf City and Do It Again--are awful (first title) and pointless (second).  Normally, I wouldn't include an adult pop cover of a rock number, but Beach Boys covers are surprisingly hard to find, and to find such a cover of Do It Again--priceless.  So here it is.  The song is one of the slightest numbers to come from the BB, so nothing is ruined by the EZ treatment.  In fact, it's kind of nice.  Surf City is a Song Hits wipe-out, and if your session singers aren't even on the level of Jan and Dean... then, good Lord.  Two singers who can't sing as well as two singers who couldn't sing.  Now, that's fake.  Whatever I just typed.

I forgot to mention that this Kind of a Drag fake is perfectly decent--an example of Hit Records hitting the mark.  Some of the vocal harmonies from that outfit were passable, while others were on the level of the Song Hits Surf CityRonnie is an example of the latter--dreadful singing, but the song (imo) is so good, it's likable, anyway.  The Four Seasons were my very first favorite group as a kid, and Dawn (covered here by "The Chellows"--yeah, right) takes me right back to the day.  Hit Records' Dawn has bad harmonizing, too--not quite as bad as Ronnie, though the singers lose the chords a number of times.  Yet both fakes have a kind of Four Seasons patina--it's as if we're hearing the Four Seasons doing demos while doped or desperately in need of sleep.  The fall-apart ending of Ronnie is a classic fake-hits moment--the singers merely have to go up half a step, but that takes them out of their range, which must reside within a quarter-tone.

I was listening to AM radio in 1963, but I absolutely do not remember Mr. Bass Man.  A very Ray Stevens sound to the thing.  The bass singer was obviously pushed past his count-keeping limit here, and I'm guessing the original was far more professionally done, but I have no desire to hear it.  The Hit Records Batman Theme--no credit for this ripped-from-an-LP edition, though the single would carry one--is very, very good.  Amazingly good.  How is that possible?  Maybe a fake Hit Records did it.  Which would make this a fake fake hit.

One of these days, I'll find a fake Martian Hop.  I may have to scour the solar system.  Er, wait a minute--there's one in the playlist!  My search is over.  Yay!  To the fakes....





DOWNLOAD: The Fake Sixties, Part 2






Kind of a Drag (Jim Holvay)--Buchanans (Hit Records 277; 45 4pm)
Israelites--Grand Knights (Premier 1008; LP)
Be My Baby--The Chavelles (Update Records 101; LP)
Stuck on You--Stumpy Andersen And His Stompers (Evon 351; LP)
Spinning Wheel--Grand Knight (Premier 1008; LP)
Martian Hop--The Elektras (Update Records 101; LP)
Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter--Peter Pan Pop Band and Singers (Peter Pan N 8054; LP)
Ronnie (Crewe-Guadio)--Anon. (Current Hits Volume No. 15; Hit Records 415)
Batman Theme--Anon. (Modern Sound 568; LP)
I'm Henry VIII, I Am--Anon. (Modern Sound 544; LP)
Never My Love--Anon. (Nashville Sound 1011; LP)
Wham--The Jumpin (sic) Jacks (Update Records 101; LP)
Dawn--The Chellows (Hit Records 106; 45 rpm)
The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget--The Indigos (Update Records 101; LP)
Mr. Bass Man--Anon. (Trans World Co. TT 670; LP)
If You Wanna Be Happy--Anon. (Trans World Co. TT 670; LP)
See See Rider (Raney)--Ed Hardin and the Cadets (Hit Records 268; 45 4pm)
Be My Baby (Spector-Greenwich-Barry--The Georgettes (Hit Records 83; 45 rpm)
Surf City (Berry-Wilson)--Anon. (Song Hits 24; 45 rpm)
Do It Again--Ronnie Aldrich (Pianos) w. the London Festival Orch. (Phase 4 90003; 45 rpm; 1968)



Lee



26 comments:

Buster said...

I have no interest in hearing a cover of Spinning Wheel - no interest in the original, actually; David Clayton Thomas, ugh - but the Martian Hop I can get behind!

I don't think Mr. Bass Man was a hit around this part of the country. Like you, I don't recall hearing it when it came out. I did acquire the single somewhere along the line, though, so some people must have liked it.

A man for whom Christ died said...

Lee,
Haven't downloaded the folder, but saw this and just had to comment on Mr. Bass Man. The first place I ever heard that song, was on a Muppets album, which this video isn't from BTW.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnieQ7hUcN8

HMMM, this here one, might be the one I had as a kid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u0gwQ2-ttE

Thanks for the memories, love and prayin' for ya!

Romans 11:33-36 KJB

Josh
Podcast: http://www.jeremiah616.sermon.net
Callcast: (563) 999-3967
Blog: http://www.brojoshowens.wordpress.com
Google Group: http://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/preacher-friends

Buster said...

Some of these aren't half bad - including Mr. Bass Man, The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget and especially Be My Baby.

The Grand Knights manage to do both a credible Israelites and an awful Spinning Wheel.

The Four Seasons get what they deserve, in my view.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I think the "Spinning Wheel" band was good, but I agree the track is awful. Not a Frankie Valli fan, eh? I think the FS are an acquired taste, but their productions were terrific, I think. Perfect for AM radio (in terms of sonic punch, not narrow freq range). Whatever I just typed....

Buster said...

Yes, I can attest that they sounded good coming out of a transistor radio, which we carried around everywhere, much like today's phones. But I never did like Frankie - all that screeching.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

But pre-Brian Wilson, he was the star rock falsetto. At least in my memory. The group's misfortune is that it came between the doo wop revival of the early 60s and the rock to come. The FS became dated very quickly.

Buster said...

That's true, but he still screeched. They were kind of a hold-over doo-wop group, I think. Their kind was killed off in the British Invasion.

The real stars of the Four Seasons were Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, the songwriters.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

That's true--those guys were the force behind the fabulous Freddie Cannon sides, too, right? I like the loud, full sound they achieved. Never, for one moment, got all the fuss over Phil Spector, who was dubbed a genius for turning the echo knob all the way up. Ray Conniff had already done that, and far more effectively. Conniff knew how to use echo to enhance, not muddy up, the sound.

I thought the vocalists supporting Valli were quite good. His voice is a bit much to take, but good material, production, backing vocals. Maybe an anti-Valli filter would help when listening.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Josh--Well, it was popular enough for the Muppets to cover it! Their version is much better than this one, even with the Kermit voice singing lead. Thanks!

Ernie said...

If you wanna hear Spinning Wheel, go find Sammy Davis Jr.'s version!

Lee Hartsfeld said...

That's a song tailor-made for Sammy! Great singer, though I guess I never liked his hip (hep) cat style.... One of the all-time multi-talented performers. Singing, acting, dancing. A multi-instrumentalist, too.

Buster said...

I love Sammy. Saw him live - he was incredible. But I don't want to hear him or anyone else sing Spinning Wheel.

Lee - My sense is that Crewe wrote with Bob Gaudio for the Four Seasons and with other people for other artists, including Cannon.

A man for whom Christ died said...

Lee,
I don't believe that was Kermit, either Floyd or Scooter, whichever one sang the Lead LOL! Come to think of it, speaking of the original, I heard it on our local Oldies station the other day, while it was playing at the plant.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Buster--Ah. So Crewe was a one-man production machine, sort of. (That could be taken as dirty....)

Josh--Small world!

A man for whom Christ died said...

Yeah, our local secular station (WXMZ, Hartford, KY and all of Ohio County) is mainly an Oldies station, but they aren't one to stay with the typical playlist, which isn't a bad thing IMHO, even though there's is limited itself. The biggest thing they have going for them, is their Lunch Time News/Call-in/Contest show, Lunch At The Z. They do air some local cults and religious broadcasters, but I do my best to tune them out, if they're on in the plant. 'Til later, love and prayin' for ya!

Romans 11:33-36 KJB

Josh
Podcast: http://www.jeremiah616.sermon.net
Callcast: (563) 999-3967
Blog: http://www.brojoshowens.wordpress.com
Google Group: http://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/preacher-friends

RecordHunter said...

Just finished #1 (I have to listen when my mind is not engaged) and along comes a gift of #2. Wow. I grew up and lived in Pittsburgh (Yey) for many years and Mr. Bass Man received lots of air-play back then. I don't know if that was a good, or bad thing. Saw another commercial with "Push It". Thought it was a joke but my wife said it was a real? song and the original artists? were in the commercial. I still can't unsee that.
Thanks very much, Gary

Lee Hartsfeld said...

"Push It" is abominable in every regard. When did you see the other commercial featuring it? Yes, it's an actual song. "Push it in--real good, real good." But those folks who complain about obscene lyrics in pop music are totally deluded, of course....

Verse and Rhyme said...

Thanks for Kind Of A Drag - I've got to hear that one. Jerry

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Jerry,

One of my favorite Buckinghams singles, and I only recently got my hands on the Hit Records version. Wasn't sure what to expect, but I think it's unusually good for a knock-off. Much better than I expected.

Timmy said...

I like the way you post these for what they were actually intended to be at the time of their release: FAKE. Thanx for another fine bunch.

Apesville said...

chellows Hit 115 ? Ronnie 415 ?

Apesville said...

I'm Henry VIII, I Am--Anon. (Modern Sound 544; LP) The Cords Hit (TN) 45 - 216 (1965) ?

Apesville said...

Never My Love--Anon. (Nashville Sound 1011; LP) = Chellows Hit (TN) 45 - 305 (1967)

Apesville said...

Mr. Bass Man--Anon. (Trans World Co. TT 670; LP) = Tim Reynolds & Al Todd : Twin Hits (Australia) 45 - 007 (1963) + (Juke Box (Sweden) EP - 5514 V/A)

Apesville said...

Mr. Bass Man--Anon. (Trans World Co. TT 670; LP) also issued as John Logan (1963) Yes (NJ) 45 - 29

Apesville said...

If You Wanna Be Happy--Anon. (Trans World Co. TT 670; LP) = (1963) Herma Keil & The Keil Isles : Viking (NZ) 45 - 124