A Bit Like You And Me Radio

March 24, 2017

The Mojo Men - Lost Love (1965)

In the late 1950s, cousins Jim Alaimo (1934-1992) and Steve Alaimo (b. 1939) were in an instrumental band in Miami, Florida known as The Redcoats. When the band broke up around 1960, Steve Alaimo went on to have a respectable career as a solo recording artist and quite successful career in the television industry. (Perhaps most notably, Steve Alaimo became the host and co-producer of Where the Action Is with Dick Clark.) Jim Alaimo, on the other hand, got together with Paul Curcio, Dennis DeCarr, and Don Metchick to form The Valiants, a band which would sometimes back Steve Alaimo on his solo recordings.

In 1964, The Valiants wanted to be where the music scene was blooming and therefore decided to move to San Francisco and change their band’s name; they became The Mojo Men. Out in San Francisco, the band signed with Autumn Records where they joined up with record-producer Sylvester Stewart (later known as Sly Stone) and recorded a bunch of early material that never got released. Finally, in 1965, the group released “Dance with Me” and made their first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.

Unfortunately for the band, Autumn Records closed shop and Dennis DeCarr left the band. They then signed up with Reprise Records, replaced DeCarr with The VejtablesJan Errico, and changed their sound to a more pop and folk rock style. In 1967, they released what would become their most popular song, a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “Sit Down, I Think I Love You.” It was the group’s only Top 40 hit. Metchick left the band in 1968, “The Mojo Men” became “The Mojo,” “The Mojo” became “Mojo,” and after failing to chart again, they eventually called it quits in 1969.

Below is a song from The Mojo Men’s early years, circa 1965, from the Autumn Records collection of material Sly Stone felt wasn’t good enough for release. The collection became available in 1995 on the release Whys Ain’t Supposed to Be by Sundazed Records, a label who specializes in releasing obscure and rare recordings from the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. This song was written by Paul Curcio, Don Metchick, and Jim’s cousin Steve Alaimo.

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The Mojo Men - Lost Love (1965)

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Lyrics:

Where is the love
I used to know?
Where is my lost love?
Where did she go?

I’ve been so lonely
Since she went away
I love her, only
She left me one day

What does it take
To make a love last?
We don’t know the future
Could it be the past?

I’ll keep on searching
Wherever I go
But will I find her?
Does anyone know?

All I can pray is
Someone above
Will help me search for
My long, lost love

What did I do?
How did I fail?
Why is my love such
A sorrowful tale?

March 20, 2017

Ellen Margulies - The White Pony (1968)

Ellen Margulies is an American singer who was briefly in the duo “Tom & Ellen” (with Tom Everett) which released the single “Too Many Things” b/w “My Up Is My Down” in 1966. It appears to be the only single released by the duo.

It also appears that Margulies recorded one more single, as a solo artist in 1968, before exiting the music industry for good. In ’68, Margulies recorded “The White Pony” b/w “Meditation.” “The White Pony” was written by Roger Joyce, Steve Steinberg, and Danny Secunda, while “Meditation” appears to only have been written by Joyce, who also served as producer, arranger, and conductor.

It’s rumored that Margulies was unaware of her songs being released until sometime after the year 2000, leading one to assume that she never saw any royalty money from her recordings.

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Ellen Margulies - The White Pony (1968)

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Lyrics:

Prague lee wing raindrops come down from the skies
Like crystalline tear drops, they roll from my eyes
I reach for the sunlight, the bright rainbow door
And chase the white pony through doomed skies once more

I’ll ride so high, where cotton clouds fly
And cellophane nightingales always sing
There I’ll seek worlds that could be
And I’ll know that I can do anything

Cross-legged, I sit in this cold, cloistered room
Trying to see if the flower will bloom
I’ll taste the sweet pollen and open my eyes
And ride the white pony through crumbling skies

I’ll ride so high, where cotton clouds fly
And cellophane nightingales always sing
There I’ll seek worlds that could be
And I’ll know that I can do anything

I’ll ride so high, where cotton clouds fly
And cellophane nightingales always sing
There I’ll seek worlds that could be
And I’ll know that I can do anything

March 15, 2017

Rosie and the Originals - Angel Baby (1960)

Born in Oregon in 1945 to a Mexican mother and American father, Rosalie “Rosie” Hamlin spent her youth living in Alaska and California before finally settling with her family in National City, California.

In 1958, at the age of thirteen, Rosie lied about her age and joined her first band as its lead singer. At the age of fourteen, she wrote her first song, based on her first boyfriend, heard below; and at the age of fifteen, Rosie and a group of her friends drove one hundred miles to the closest recording studio so that they could record her song.

After shopping their record around for a while, the group received an offer for a contract from Highland Records under the stipulation that David Ponci, the oldest member of the group, would receive the writing credits. By the time the song was receiving airplay, the members of the group still had not received their copies of the contract. Unfortunately for Hamlin, when she finally did receive the contract, she quickly learned that she would be unable to collect royalties from the song since she wasn’t listed as the songwriter. This, quite immediately, lead to the break-up of the group. And although Hamlin won the copyright to her music in 1961, decades of legal battles followed.

Despite credit originally being given to David Ponci, the song below was written entirely by Rosie Hamlin. It was released in November 1960 and featured the vocal talents of Rosie Hamlin when she was only fifteen years old. By January 1961, the song reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was later covered by John Lennon in 1973 (though not released until 1986), where Lennon referred to it as one of his "all-time favorite songs." In the song's intro, he also adds, "Send my love to Rosie, wherever she may be..."

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Rosie and the Originals - Angel Baby (1960)

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Lyrics:

It's just like heaven being here with you
You're like an angel, too good to be true
But after all, I love you, I do
Angel baby, my angel baby

When you are near me, my heart skips a beat
I can hardly stand on my own two feet
Because I love you, I love you, I do
Angel baby, my angel baby

I love you, I do
No one could love you like I do

Please, never leave me blue and alone
If you ever go, I'm sure you'll come back home
Because I love you, I love you, I do
Angel baby, my angel baby

I love you, I do
No one could love you like I do