A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 31, 2013

The Other Half - The Girl with the Long Black Hair (1967)

Note: This is The Other Half from Chicago, Illinois.
For The Other Half based in Oneonta, New York, click here.
For The Other Half based in Greenville, Texas click here.
For The Other Half based in Los Angeles/San Francisco, click here.


Originally known as The U.F.O.’s (but not to be confused with the all-female U.F.O.’s previously featured), this Northwest Chicago-based band was formed in 1965. Initially composed of Steve Moroniak (lead guitar), Fred Langworthy (rhythm guitar), and George Hancock (drums), the band first started performing at a local pizza restaurant, Scaccios, where a friend of the band had been working delivering pizzas. Eventually the band came across a sign in Chicago by a bassist looking for a band. Greg Madsen was added to the lineup and the band became complete. The band could frequently be found playing at private parties, not having much interest in the spotlight, playing at clubs, or playing at school dances. They made two local television appearances; one on the Spanish-speaking Raul Cardona Show and the other on The CET Amateur Showcase, a local talent program where they won first place. Although the band never officially split up, some members parted ways after deciding to move out of town or because they were starting new families. New members have been added over the years, but the original members of the group remain in contact to this day. Sadly, the band’s rhythm guitarist Fred passed away.

With lyrics written by the group’s drummer George and recorded by the band in 1967, this song was a demo recording laid down by the band at Chicago’s Recordings Unlimited. It wasn’t a commercial release, but more of a promotional single. George sang the lead and the entire group added harmony vocals in unison after the music and lead vocals were recorded. The band had three-hundred copies pressed to mail out. Although big venues like The Tonight Show politely rejected them, the single was well received by family and close friends.



A Special Edition post with Steve Moroniak,
George Hancock, and Greg Madsen of The Other Half!

The members of the Chicago-based band The Other Half were kind enough to recently submit exclusive stories from their times as musicians in the 1960s. After you've read their tales, be sure to listen to their song, "Girl with the Long Black Hair," below!
A Bit Like You And Me and readers,

Most bands have had their share of dealing with the "inebriated" types, especially at private parties, which we played more of; so here's two:

As recalled by Steve: The song we were playing was "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas & The Papas and if anyone's familiar with the song, there's a break towards the end with a pause, then they come back in singing, "Monday, Monday...". There was this guy who had way too much to drink, bugging me during most of the song, and he was very persistent trying to sing into my microphone. You get the picture. Nothing could ward him off. Finally, towards the end of the song, this break comes up with a long pause. I had enough and did something so unlike me: I straight-armed the guy. Nothing violent, but enough to push him away. The fellow was so far gone, he stumbled back a few steps, increasing his backward momentum, then fell on his butt in the middle of the dance-floor and slid a couple of feet. The room went silent, then suddenly erupted with applause. As if nothing happened, I came back in singing, "Monday, Monday...". The applause grew even louder. It was great!

As recalled by George: We were playing a private party in a hall above a bowling alley in Chicago and this guy who had a little too much to drink kept hitting my crash cymbal with a woman’s high-heeled shoe. I warned him twice to stop and the third time he hit it I jumped off the stage and chased him down the stairs onto the sidewalk, where he kept running, and could still be running today for all I know. When I got back upstairs, the guys were still playing so I got back behind the drums and finished the song with them.

We all love this one: A story about our very first public gig on July 13, 1966. At the time, we called ourselves "The UFO's". We changed our name to The Other Half prior to appearing on The C.E.T. Amateur Showcase in 1967.

Our drummer was delivering pizza's for Scaccio's on Fullerton Ave, in Chicago. They had a lounge downstairs and often had live entertainment. We put together a quick recording of some of our songs and presented it to the owner; and, you must remember we couldn't have been together for a year at this point. He liked what he heard, so a date was booked. We arrived and started loading in the front door. Our jaws dropped when someone noticed this huge sign in the front window: "In from Las Vegas, for one night only: The UFO's". This is the absolute ultimate "OMG". It's also the first time any of us sang in public, as most of our material was instrumental. "New Orleans" by Eddie Hodges was one that Steve attempted, but forgot a verse. Nice time to forget the words, huh? Those "pro's" from Vegas sure had short memories. Where's a drunk when you need one to sing into your microphone?

Sincerely,
The Other Half

I'd like to give a huge thanks to all members of The Other Half for taking the time to share their stories. They're a great example of it going to show that great music could be found in every city as long as you were willing to look for it.

To visit The Other Half's site, which features tons of information about the band, click here.
To watch The Other Half's television appearance on The CET Amateur Showcase, click here.
If you'd like to listen to the group's song "The Girl with the Long Black Hair," you can hear it below or watch their video on YouTube with accompanying pictures and narration.

And now that you've enjoyed this exclusive story, why not check out what other exclusive stories we've received?



album art

The Other Half - The Girl with the Long Black Hair (1967)

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Lyrics:

I loved a girl
The girl with the long black hair
She stands five-foot six
And her feet are bare

I’m going to take a trip
A trip across the sea
We’ll be together
Until eternity

I ain’t got no time
No time to lose
My shirt is pressed
And I just got done shinin’ my shoes

Yeah

I’m gonna take a trip
Far across the sea
And we’ll be together
Until eternity

I love the girl
The girl with the long black hair
She stands five-foot six
And her feet are bare

Now I ain’t got no time
No time to lose
My shirt is pressed
And I just got done shinin’ my shoes

Yeah

The long, long, long, long
Long, long, long black hair

The long, long, long, long
Long, long, long black hair

The long, long, long, long
Long, long, long black hair

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