A Bit Like You And Me Radio

November 21, 2014

The Masters Apprentices - Wars or Hands of Time (1966)

This band was originally formed in 1964 under the name The Mustangs in Adelaide, Australia. Starting out as a surf outfit, the group transitioned into beat music after experiencing The Beatles’ June 1964 tour of Australia. Although members of the band would often be rotated out, the group managed to achieve immense popularity throughout Australia, making television appearances and regularly selling out concerts in neighboring cities. In late ’65, the band decided to rename themselves to “The Masters Apprentices” (sic), claiming to be the apprentices of legends such as Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry.

By 1966, the band was offered a chance at a record deal with Astor Records, provided that they submitted a four-track demo. Only have three songs, members Mick Bower and Rick Morrison wrote the track “Undecided” in fifteen minutes. With another fifteen minutes, the track was recorded and finalized, meeting the requirements of a demo put forth by Astor.

By August 1966, the band had made their way to beat-burgeoning Melbourne in an effort to expand their musical reach. It was a few months later in October that they released their first single, featuring “Undecided” as the A-Side and “Wars or Hands of Time,” the song heard below, on its reverse. Thanks to local support from radio DJs, the single became a huge success in the coming months of 1967.

Written by the band’s Mick Bower, “Wars or Hands of Time” was the first anti-Vietnam song released in Australia. It was inspired by the fact that Australia had recently begun drafting young males for the Vietnam conflict in 1965. Since its release, the song has become an Australian classic and sold well worldwide.

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The Masters Apprentices - Wars or Hands of Time (1966)

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Lyrics:

Though I have to go, I will be thinking of you
When I'm far away, try to remember what I said
The day I live, I’ll still be dreaming of your love

Wait for the clouds to pass your way
Wait for me; I'll be back some day

At dusk we said goodbye; you said you'd try hard not to cry
But I could feel a chill fall lonely on my shoulder
In the wind on the beach where someday I'll return

Wait for the clouds to pass your way
Wait for me; I'll be back some day

Wars or hands of time will not destroy our dreams of days
That are to come; our tears were shed with understanding
Don't be sad, I'll catch the wind on home to you

Wait for the clouds to pass your way
Wait for me; I'll be back some day

November 14, 2014

The Tokens - Tonight I Fell In Love (1961)

This doo-wop group was first assembled under the name the Linc-Tones in 1955 while its members attended Abraham Lincoln High School together in Brooklyn, New York. One of the original members was Neil Sedaka, who would go on to become a huge star in his own right; but, by 1957, Sedaka and nearly all of the other original members of the band had parted ways, leaving behind only Hank Medress as the sole original member.

In 1960, the group welcomed brothers Mitch and Phil Margo to fill the void. At the time of his acceptance into the group, Mitch Margo was only thirteen years old and already a multi-instrumentalist. By February 1961, the group released the song heard below, which had been co-written by the young Mitch Margo, his brother Phil, and Hank Medress. The song reached number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, and created the opportunity for the group to appear on American Bandstand. The popularity which they achieved from appearing on the television show provided the group with the opportunity to further their careers by recording what would become their most famous song: a cover of Solomon Linda’s “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

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The Tokens - Tonight I Fell In Love (1961)

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Lyrics:

(Tonight I fell in love)

Tonight, tonight I fell in love
I want the stars above
To know tonight I fell in love

Tonight, I gave my heart away
True love is here to stay
'cause tonight I fell in love

Oh, what a wonder
This magic spell I'm under
This feeling that I feel
Is it really real?
My heart beats so fast
I pray that it will last
'til the end of time

(Tonight I fell in love)

Tonight, oh, may it last forever
Forever and ever
Yes, tonight I fell in love
Yes, tonight I fell in love
Yes, tonight I fell in love

October 17, 2014

The Gants - Greener Days (1966)

If there was ever a small-time group that had the talent to hit the big time, it was these guys. Formed in 1963, The Gants had an impressive collection of original material and cover songs. Unfortunately for the members of the band, half of them were still in high school and under the pressure of their parents, making out-of-town performances and promotional appearances problematic. The other half of the band faces the same troubles, but for different reasons: they were enrolled in college and unable to drop out without facing getting drafted into the Vietnam conflict. When the band couldn’t make it to local promotions, the radio stations stopped giving them their local support. And when the support stopped rolling in, the band collapsed soon after.

Having been featured on A Bit Like You And Me two times prior, it’s no secret that this band has a lot of great songs. The song heard below was written for the band by their producer, David Gates, who would be a future member of the band Bread. Amid sending me an exclusive story via email, Sid Herring, the lead singer of The Gants, expressed to me that he was very proud of the way this song came out. When first released, it was backed with the B-Side “Just a Good Show.”

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The Gants - Greener Days (1966)

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Lyrics:

As I write this letter
I hope you’re feelin’ better
Than I am as I sit here
Fightin’ back a tear
‘cause my mind keeps shiftin’
Back in time, it’ driftin’
To the days when you were near

Those were greener days
That we knew
Just me and you
Sharin’ the world together
But as they came, they went away
And our days of green
Turned into grey

So, I watch the sunrise
Hopin’ maybe your eyes
Will be shinin’ down on me
To brighten up my world
Like it once was, glowin’
When your face was showin’
Me the way to find our love

Those were greener days
That we had
It’s kinda too bad
They didn’t last forever
But, we’ll go on
Our separate ways
‘cause our greener days
Turned into grey

I better close and sign my name
It’s getting late
But don’t forget our chance
To twist the hands of fate

So the greener days
Will return
Deeper they’ll grow
With every spring rain of love
Rainbows will shine
You will be mine
And our days of green
Will never turn to grey

They’ll never fade away
They’ll never turn to grey
They’ll never fade away…