A Bit Like You And Me Radio

October 31, 2013

The Surfmen - Ghost Hop (1962)

California native Ray Hunt and his friends formed a surf rock band in 1960 called The Expressos. After a short period, the band renamed themselves The Surfmen and signed to a local label, Titan Records, which primarily dealt with instrumental and surf rock acts. The band featured Ray Hunt on lead guitar, Nick Drury on rhythm guitar, Randall Anglin on bass, Tim Fitzpatrick on drums, and Armon Frank on saxophone. As “The Surfmen,” the band’s most popular song was probably “Paradise Cove,” released in 1962. The same year of that song’s release saw Ray Hunt part ways with the group, which abruptly had a domino-effect on the remaining members. Hunt was replaced with Jim Masoner; Nick Drury left the band and was replaced with Ed Chiaverini; Randall Anglin was replaced with Ron Griffith; and finally Armon Frank, who left to join Dick Dale & The Del-Tones, was replaced with Joel Willenbring. Since the band’s drummer Tim Fitzpatrick was the only remaining original member of the band, he and his newest bandmates decided to rename themselves to The Lively Ones.

Heard below the featured story is the flip side to The Surfmen’s “Paradise Cove.” Released in the first half of 1962, the record featured the original lineup of The Surfmen: Hunt, Drury, Anglin, Fitzpatrick, and Frank. The song was written by Ray Hunt and released on Titan Records.



A Special Edition post with Jerry LaFavor of The Expressos!

Today's exclusive story comes from Jerry LaFavor, the drummer of the surf band The Expressos. Jerry was kind enough to submit a bit of backstory about his band, which would eventually evolve into The Surfmen and The Lively Ones.
A Bit Like You And Me and readers,

Here is how I remember it when I was there. We started with a band called The Emeralds, pictured below on a business card. The musicians in that group and pictured there are: Jerry LaFavor (me), drums; Ray Hunt, lead guitar; Nick Drewry, rhythm guitar; and John Blankenship, keyboard. As an aside, Ray Hunt was the best man at my first wedding.


We added a bass player, Del Ward, later on, changed our name to The Expressos, and released a record called "Teenage Express," which you can still hear if you Google the band/song. Our name was changed by our Manager, Aki Aleong, who arranged to get our song pressed and also got us on TV shows like The Wink Martindale Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party. Below is a picture from the Wink Martindale show we did from the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium. My friend took this picture off his TV the evening we were performing. Frankie Avalon and Della Reese were also on this same show. You can Google Aki Aleong and see his long list of musical/acting credentials.

Jerry LaFavor, drums; Del Ward, base; John Blankenship, piano; Nick Drewry, rythum guitar; and Ray Hunt, lead guitar
Note: Wink is hiding behind the piano thinking he is out of the camera’s view…

I left The Expressos to work with an R&R group named Tommy Winters and The Del Reys. I knew Ray went to The Surfmen, but I [mistakenly] thought he moved on to The Lively Ones (which I thought of only as a name change). I played with Eddie Day Chiaverini in those days and I know he was with The Lively Ones. In fact, I have tried to get a hold of him in recent weeks, but to no avail.


Seen above is our sax player, Lewayne; Jerry LaFavor (me) on drums; Larry Carlton on lead (who, today, October 30, 2013, is one of the top ten jazz guitarists in the world); and Tommy Winters. I did not see or hear from Ray Hunt after this [point in time].

Below is an article from the October 2013 Issue of Vegas Voice about me and my band, Age Restricted. Think about this: I started playing drums in my high school band at fourteen and today, at seventy-four, I am still doing the same thing. And you know, someday I might even get it right.

Click to enlarge.

A big 'thank you' to Jerry for taking the time to share his memories with us. Thank you very much, Jerry!

To listen to Jerry's group, The Expressos, check out this video on YouTube.
To listen to Jerry's current group, Age Restricted, check out Jerry's YouTube page.

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



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The Surfmen - Ghost Hop (1962)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

October 25, 2013

J. K. & Co. - The Times (1968)

Remember the episode of The Simpsons where Homer realized he didn’t actually know what his middle initial stood for? Homer J. Simpson? As it turned out, the “J.” stood for “Jay” and Homer tried to become a hippie. In a similar fashion, J.K. & Co. was created around the talents of a fifteen year old artist named J.K., which stood for – ready? Jay Kaye. Kaye, who had been raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, had gone to Vancouver to work on an album with the musical arranger Robert W. Buckley, a fellow teenager. There wasn’t really a band when Kaye’s album was made, so “& Co.” was used to encompass all of those involved with its production.

The album they collectively worked on was titled Suddenly One Summer and released in July 1968. In a very strange decision, the track chosen to be released as a single by the record company, White Whale, was the opening instrumental intro, which was only thirty-six seconds long. Naturally, the song didn’t garner much attention nor help in getting the album circulated.

Fortunately, the album did receive a little attention on the underground radio stations in California. Attempting to feed off of that success, Kaye assembled an actual band together to go out to California and perform live. Although they were on the California scene during the height of the late ‘60s, Kaye and the band never recorded any material and they called it quits by the end of the ‘60s.

The song heard below, written by Jay Kaye, is the tenth track on the Suddenly One Summer album.

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J. K. & Co. - The Times (1968)

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Lyrics:

I’ve been thinking of all the times
That have gone and are yet to come
The days, they’ll be a’changing
And with them, so will I

To look at nature’s beauty
And feel each drop of rain
To watch 'em here with laughing
As they lap against the shore

To be playing in the snow
Or dancing through leaves in the spring
Or walking down a deserted street
In the late, late warm summer eve

Playing with the yo-yo
When I’ve got nothing to do
Watching TV quite late at night
Or just being here with you

Watching other people
As they go ‘bout their way
Spending some hours in the green grass park
Or maybe even a day

These times I will remember
As I move along
Although they’re gone, I’ll remember them
And think of times to come

October 08, 2013

The Toys - A Lover's Concerto (1965)

This female trio met in high school and got their big break when they were discovered at a talent show in their home state of New York. Coming from Jamaica, New York, the trio consisted of Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt, and June Montiero. Vince Marc, who was given the credit for their discovery, paired the girls up with the songwriting team of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. Linzer and Randell would be responsible for the writing credits of nearly all of the girls’ songs, including their number two hit single below. They toured with Gene Pitney; appeared on Shindig!, Hullabaloo, and American Bandstand; and had a cameo in the 1967 beach movie It’s a Bikini World. When the group’s cover of “Sealed with a Kiss” just barely managed to chart in 1967, the girls decided to pursue other endeavors and finalized their dissolution in 1968.

Written by the girls’ songwriting team of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, this song was first recorded and released in 1965 by The Toys. Released as a single, the song went to number two on the Billboard charts in the United States as well as reaching number five in the UK. The melody was based on the classical “Minuet in G major,” which at the time had been thought to be written by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was deciphered in the 1970s that, more than likely, “Minuet in G major” was probably written by Christian Petzold. The song also appeared on the girls’ sole album The Toys Sing “A Lover’s Concerto” and “Attack!” in 1966, as well as making an appearance in the 1995 film Mr. Holland’s Opus.

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The Toys - A Lover's Concerto (1965)

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Lyrics:

How gentle is the rain
That falls softly on the meadow?
Birds, high up in the trees
Serenade the flowers with their melodies

Oh, see there beyond the hill?
The bright colors of the rainbow
Some magic from above
Made this day for us just to fall in love

Now, I belong to you
From this day until forever
Just love me tenderly
And I'll give to you every part of me

Oh, don't ever make me cry
Through long, lonely nights without love
Be always true to me
Keep this day in your heart eternally

Someday, we shall return
To this place upon the meadow
We'll walk out in the rain
Hear the birds above singing once again

Oh, you'll hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true
Everything will be just as wonderful

You'll hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true
Everything will be just as wonderful

You'll hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true
Everything will be…

October 07, 2013

The Art of Lovin' - Daily Prayer (1968)

Coming out of Newton, Massachusetts, this five-piece band was composed of high school kids who managed to stay together long enough for the release of one album. They were composed of Gail Winnick (vocals), Paul Applebaum (vocals, guitar), Johnny Lank (bass), Sandy Winslow (drums), and Barry Tatelman (saxophone). Although the band drew comparisons to the San Francisco Sound and received generally positive reviews, they were forced to split apart when its members decided to go off to college. You’d have to think their choice to go off to college was also a sure way to avoid being drafted into Vietnam.

With the exception of the band’s cover of a song by Tim Hardin (“(How Can We) Hang On To A Dream”), each of this group’s songs were written by Paul Applebaum. The song heard below, featured on the band’s only album, The Art of Lovin’, was featured as the sixth track. If you enjoy listening to it, I highly recommend getting a copy of The Art of Lovin’. The entire album is a real joy to listen to.

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The Art of Lovin' - Daily Prayer (1968)

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Lyrics:

All the words come flashing by me
Watch the letters fly
And the sequence, as an ember
Burning so high

Causes spaces far between us
Dealing with our minds
Thinking only to talk in letters
That can only rhyme

And we follow in our blindness
And we read the daily prayer
And we walk the streets of kindness
Frozen by the stares

Of a young man who’s lost the language
Looks behind their eyes
And the thoughts of danger
Are all thoughts of surprise

Thinking only of frozen pathways
Banked by hidden lies
Follow through the twisted causeways
Of the empty skies

And we follow in our blindness
And we read the daily prayer
And we walk the streets of kindness
Frozen by the stares

And we follow in our blindness
And we read the daily prayer
And we walk the streets of kindness
Frozen by the stares

October 04, 2013

Mountain - To My Friend (1970)

Before creating this band, Leslie West had been in the Long Island R&B group known as The Vagrants. In 1969, West was approached by ex-Cream collaborator Felix Pappalardi who wanted to help West put out a solo album. With the help of N. D. Smart, West’s album, titled Mountain, came out on July 1969. Soon, West, Pappalardi, and Smart decided to create their own band and named it after the solo album they had all worked on together. One of their first gigs, before having released an album as a band, was playing at Woodstock in late 1969. Unfortunately, there was no video recorded capturing the bands performance, nor was any of their set released on the Woodstock audio albums.

Shortly after their Woodstock performance, N. D. Smart was replaced with Corky Laing, a drummer previously affiliated with the band known as Energy. Filling out their lineup was the keyboardist Steve Knight. Together with West and Pappalardi, the band put out their first album Climbing!, released on March 7, 1970. The song heard below, written by Leslie West, was released as the album’s sixth track. It was entirely overshadowed by the album’s opening track and the band’s most famous hit “Mississippi Queen.”

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Mountain - To My Friend (1970)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

October 03, 2013

The Beau Brummels - Just a Little (1965)

As mentioned in the previous post featuring this band, The Beau Brummels were eternally honored by being animated as The Beau Brummelstones for an appearance on The Flintstones, singing their first hit song “Laugh Laugh” in its entirety for an episode. More than that, the band also appeared in the 1965 movie Village of the Giants and the 1966 movie Wild Wild Winter. The band made a unique screen appearance once more in 1994, when Village of the Giants was chosen as the subject for an episode of the satirical comedy show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Since the mid-1990s, the band has performed at San Francisco’s Baypop Festival and Summer of Love Festival in 2000 and 2002, respectively. In March 2013, the living original band members released an album titled Continuum, using drum recordings of the band’s drummer, John Petersen, who had passed away in 2007 from a heart attack.

When the band’s first hit “Laugh Laugh” halted at number fifteen on the charts, the band themselves blamed its stalling on their label’s lack of ability to effectively distribute their material nationally. With the release of their second single, heard below, the band was able to climb a little higher on the charts. Written by the band’s guitarist, Ron Elliott, with his friend Bob Durand, this song reached number eight on the American charts. It was produced by Sylvester Stewart, later to be known as Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone.

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The Beau Brummels - Just a Little (1965)

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Lyrics:

I can’t stay, yes, I know
You know I hate to go
But goodbye; love was sweet
Our worlds can never meet

So, I’ll cry just a little
‘cause I love you so
And I’ll die just a little
‘cause I have to go
Away

Can’t you see how I feel
When I say love’s unreal?
So goodbye; it’s been sweet
Even though incomplete

So, I’ll cry just a little
‘cause I love you so
And I’ll die just a little
‘cause I have to go
Away

Every night I still hear
All your sighs very clear
Now love’s gone, gone away
As I once heard you say

Now I’ve cried just a little
‘cause I loved you so
And I’ve died just a little
‘cause I had to go
Away