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May 25, 2016

The Gypsy Trips - Rock & Roll Gypsies (1965)

The Gypsy Trips were a musical duo composed of the then-romantic couple Terrye Newkirk and Roger Tillison. For performances and marketing, Newkirk used the stage name “Terrye Tillison.” The duo had traveled to Los Angeles from Oklahoma, attempting to make a name for themselves musically. They were signed by Liberty Records and released one single, featuring the A-Side heard below, and the rocking B-Side “Aint’ It Hard,” which would later be covered by a handful of others ‘60s and ‘80s acts.

Perhaps more notably, Roger Tillison co-authored “You Don’t Have to Paint Me a Picture” for Herman’s Hermits, which would become a hit for Gary Lewis and the Playboys. While in Los Angeles, Newkirk and Tillison befriended many famous names, such as Leon Russell, Levon Helm, and J.J. Cale. The Cale friendship led Newkirk and Tillison to be a part of Cale’s brief, pseudo-band, The Leathercoated Minds.

Written by Roger Tillison, the song below was released in December 1965 on the only single released by The Gypsy Trips. The single was released on World-Pacific, a subsidiary of Liberty Records, and was produced and arranged by Leon Russell. Besides influencing a few other acts to cover the song over the years, the single unfortunately did not garner much response.

album art

The Gypsy Trips - Rock & Roll Gypsies (1965)

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Lyrics:

To the faraway faces and friends
Of the people and the places I’ve been
I’ll sing you a song, but I won’t keep you long
For the tambourine’s playing
The carnival’s calling you home

And the rock and roll gypsies are riding tonight
In the carnival light they stay
And the golden earrings laugh at the lies
That life is more than a play
For tomorrow will soon be yesterday

To the motherless children who ride
On the shadowless highways of night
It’s all just a game; it’s all just the same
For the winner takes nothing
The loser gets all that remains

And the rock and roll gypsies are riding tonight
In the carnival light they stay
And the golden earrings laugh at the lies
That life is more than a play
For tomorrow will soon be yesterday

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