A Bit Like You And Me Radio

August 26, 2014

KAK - Lemonaide Kid (1968)

In 1966, high school students Gary Lee Yoder and Dehner Patten were first introduced to one another when Patten replaced Bob Daigl in Yoder’s band, The Hideaways. In that same year, The Hideaways had dissolved and Yoder and Patten started a new band, The Oxford Circle. Although The Oxford Circle was primarily based in Davis, California, they managed to travel all around northern California for live shows. They even made it to San Francisco, where they opened for acts such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin.

When The Oxford Circle disbanded in late 1967/early 1968, it was the father of Yoder’s writing partner, Gary Grelecki, who gave Yoder and Patten their next big shot. Working for CBS, Grelecki’s father persuaded the boys to record a demo with their new bandmates Joseph David Damrell (bass) and Chris Lockheed (drums). With that new demo and a single by The Oxford Circle, Grelecki’s father had enough material to persuade his connections to get the boys signed to Epic Records. They called themselves KAK and relocated to San Francisco.

Together as KAK, Gary Lee Yoder, Dehner Patten, Joseph David Damrell, and Chris Lockheed only recorded one album. It was recorded in Los Angeles at CBS Studio over the span of two days. Although a few low-level partitions were used, the album was primarily recorded like a live album, with little to no overdubs being involved. The album, self-titled, was released in 1968 and sold poorly. A large reason for the lack of sales was the reluctance of the record label to promote the album or even the band itself. Besides two half-page ads in Rolling Stone magazine, the band had been given virtually no promotion.

With no manager to guide them, the members of KAK weren’t sure what steps to take after the release of their album. They performed about a half dozen more shows, all booked by themselves, and then disbanded.

After the split, Patten and Lockheed would go on to perform in a band called Cherry Jam, amongst many others, until Patten settled down in Oregon where he still lives today. Yoder released a solo album for Epic before joining Blue Cheer, with which he remained from 1969 to 1972. All members continue to play, separately, to this day.

The song heard below was the last track on the band's only album, released in 1968.

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KAK - Lemonaide Kid (1968)

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Lyrics:

Life’s road is not clear to me
No, the mapwork has not been laid
I thought I’d take a little detour
And go sit in the shade
Well, I got to take it easy, babe
I better watch out what I do
I saw the lemonade kid on the peppermint sticks
He had a mind-blowing kitty
He said he’d set it aside for you

Lemonade and I went walking
We met a man down the path
He said he was Donk, the feast-giver
Ooh, this can’t last
Oh, no- yes it can
Due to the kid’s luck
You know the feast was good
Well, we drank our fill and we ate until
The sun went down and the moon stood still

Here’s the road again
Oh, no, we can’t be sold
Just when things were getting good
The kid had to go
“Well, I’ll see you later”
“I hope you can make it back again someday”
“Got a lot more tricks to show you”
“And I’ve got a lot more places where we can play”

Life is just a play
And the world is its theater
Do you want to have a bit part
Or do you want to be a leader?
You’ve got to think for yourself
Don’t want to put any notions in your head
‘cause the only one that counts is watchings inside ya
And the way you act, he might as well be dead

July 15, 2014

The Apollas - I'm Under the Influence of Love (1967)

In 1961, five young women brought their voices together and began calling themselves The Apollos. Over the next four years, the members in the group came and went as they released singles for the likes of Galaxy Records and Tiger Records, using group names like The Apollos, Leola & The Love Joys, and The Love Joys. None of their material during this time charted.

By 1965, the roster of the group had been solidified to include Leola Jiles, Ella Jamerson, and Billie Barnum. Leola Jiles and Ella Jamerson had come from Louisiana and Georgia, respectively, while Billie Barnum was the sister of pianist and child actor H. B. Barnum. The girls also made the final decision to use the name The Apollas.

The girls were signed to Loma Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records, which had been opened the previous year in 1964 to combat with the success of Motown. Loma tried to promote the girls, but the general public didn’t seem to notice because record sales were quite poor. Despite having wonderful talent and vocal power, the girls never managed to chart a single one of their many songs.

In 1968, The Apollas made their last recording for Loma and folded soon after. In the same year, Loma was absorbed into their parent company, Warner Bros. Records. All three members of the group continued their careers by becoming back-up singers for acts such as Van Dyke Parks, Lionel Richie, and others. As of the date of this post, all three members still reside in California.

The song below was released by The Apollas in 1967. It was written primarily by Barry White, with help from Paul Leo Politi. The song was produced by Dick Glasser of Loma Records and notably arranged by Gene Page, who had been responsible for arranging songs for countless big acts of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s.

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The Apollas - I'm Under the Influence of Love (1967)

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Lyrics:

Walking on a cloud
Feeling high
It happens every time
Whenever I’m with my guy

I’m tripping on love
And it feels so good
I can’t help myself
And I wouldn’t if I could

‘cause he’s got that certain touch
That I’m a addicted to
Love’s really got a hold on me
And there ain’t nothing I can do

I’m under the influence of love
And I know there ain’t no doubt about it
I’m under the influence of love
And I know I just can’t live without it

I need another dose
Can’t get enough
I’ve just got to have
All of my baby’s love

And when I’m alone
Feeling sad and blue
He gives me a shot of love
And I’m as good as new

Helpless as I am
Ask me if I don’t care
His tenderness is what I miss
Whenever he’s not here

I’m under the influence of love
And I know there ain’t no doubt about it
(Yeah, yeah)
I’m under the influence of love
And I know I just can’t live without it

There ain’t no other guy
Who can bring out the love in me
So many guys have divine
He’s the only one I see

I’m under the influence of love
And I know there ain’t no doubt about it
(Yeah, yeah)
I’m under the influence of love
And I know I just can’t live without it
(Baby, yeah)

I’m under the influence of love
And I know there ain’t no doubt about it
I’m under the influence of love
And I know I just can’t live without it
(Yeah, yeah)

I’m under the influence of love
And I know there ain’t no doubt about it
(Yeah, yeah)
I’m under the influence of love…

July 11, 2014

The Lemon Pipers - Everything Is You (1968)

The Lemon Pipers, as previously mentioned, were victims in a never-ending struggle between what they wanted to play versus what their record company wanted them to play. They wanted to be a rock outfit infused with psychedelics; their label, Buddah Records, wanted them to record what would later be called bubblegum pop. To get their foot in the door, the band recorded a song given to them by their label, “Green Tambourine,” and it shot straight to number one. Not happy with their new pop label, the success of the song led the band toward being faced with an ultimatum: to either record more money-making bubblegum pop music, or get dropped from their label.

With their backs to the wall, the group agreed to record more bubblegum pop singles. However, there was a little victory for the band when it came time to record albums. With a bit of pleading, the band was sometimes able to put a little bit of their own rock and psychedelic flavor into some songs, or even able to record some of the songs they had written themselves. Unfortunately, the bubblegum songs that were handed to them were generally the more favorable tracks with the public.

The song heard below was one of the songs given to the band to record. It was written for them by Paul Leka, the same man who had co-written “Green Tambourine” for the band. Leka was a prominent song-writer and arranger, having also notably written “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” for Steam. Although the song below didn’t top the charts like “Green Tambourine,” it’s still considered one of the band’s (and Leka’s) more notable tracks.

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The Lemon Pipers - Everything Is You (1968)

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Lyrics:

I don’t need the sun to shine on me every day
All I need is your love to brighten up my way
You don’ have to say the words “I love you” every day
As long as you stand by my side, I know you’re here to stay

I no longer live in dreams, since I have found “everything” is you
You gave me life to change my world, since I have found “everything” is you

Now and then, I need your kiss- temptations all around
But most of all, I need you near when I’m feeling down
You make me smile; you make me laugh; you’re my favorite clown
I treasure nights we spend together, making silent sounds

Now I no longer live in dreams, since I have found “everything” is you
You gave me life to change my world, since I have found “everything” is you