Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mona Thomas - Lawrence Township School - 1963 - Reflections

 Had an interesting comment about "Mona Thomas" and her single on USA. Wasn't even on the radar, of course I was interested in the juicy details, let's roll!

Mona Thomas cut this 45 (USA 776 - There He Goes / Just in Between) in 1963. Mona was a student at either Lawrence Central or North High School, and this was her only offering.

Mona cut the 45 at a long defunct studio of Jan Hutchens in Indianapolis. Cut in the fashion of a Leslie Gore style "boys" tune, it went nowhere. But of course, there is more to the tale than meets
the eye.

Enter the Reflections, also of Indianapolis. The Reflections are the tasty background vocals on Mona's 45. The Reflections up-tempo version of  "In the Still of the Night" garnered some airplay on WLS and was on their charts in early 1964. Also recorded in Jan Hutchens studio. I've had this 45 for some time and it's always been rumored to be Indianapolis, but now it's confirmed. My next blog entry will feature the Reflections, it's a great story.

And wait, there's more! Mona's writer credits feature "B. Roth". Bernie / Bernard / David Roth (not David Lee Roth of Van Halen fame) has been spotted on three Indiana 45's so far. The Jads (not Jades) on the Ashley label, The Jokers (from Valparaiso) on Destination, and now Mona Thomas on USA. What's the connection?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spoon - Midnight Hour

 Where does Gaston end and Muncie begin?  Go back in time to Wes-Del Junior-Senior High School and you might witness the forming of the "Midnight Hour" band. You could be lucky enough to see the band compete in a "Battle of the Bands" at Indiana Beach. Keep watching and you would be privy to some of those lads morph into "Spoon".

Spoon - for quite some time I didn't know if this band was from Indiana or Ohio. But along came a couple of e*mails from daughters inquiring about "Dad's band". Luckily I had the 45 and could help them hear Spoon.

Spoon was a one 45 wonder, seems like late '68.  Members included:
Larry McCullough
Bill Harris
Marc Mitchell
Mark Coe
Larry Harness
Jerry McCullough

Airtown wasn't known for rock releases, as there are only a scant few on the label. The three I know of are pretty strong though.

So listen and judge for yourselves. "Can't Lose Them All" is the up-tempo party song, then catch "Don't Know What It Is" on the down side as it's the angst song.

Thanks for reading and listening - and stay tuned for the book news!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Excells - Muncie 1966

From the fertile musical grounds of Muncie, we present the "Excells". The photo is from the finest microfiche and hopefully we'll get a better representation.
Clocking in from March 1966, preparing for a fundraiser for graduating high school students at the Whiteley Community Center (one of 15 acts that day!).

Known members included:
John Miller
Carl Kizer
Calyer Fagin
Charles Dollison - Keyboards
Everett Richardson
Rodney Jones

My sources say Charles Dollison is still kickin' it on the keyboards, and the rest of the band is unknown at this time.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Hoosier Hotshots - a look back at the legend

A score and three years before the opening shots of "60''s indiana band szene" there was "Hoosier Hotshots". Quite frankly one of the most important, and least known, documents of the Indiana 60's musical landscape. Ron Simpson, I salute you!

In a stroke of genius, the album includes 8 pages of band bio (mostly correct too!), and chock full of newspaper ads of when local bands were playing. Teen dance at the "Southlake Roof" and "Dance at the Tippy" are just some of the 8 pages of artifacts.

But the money is always the music. Sadly no bands from south of I70 are represented, but that's ok, as it leaves me some fertile ground to cover.

What about the bands you ask? Here is the line-up:

XL"s - Terre Haute - two great 45's
Cirkit - Michigan City - one 45, and it's a doozy
Shooting Stars - Winchester -  two 45's - love them both!
Ferris Wheel - Winchester - one 45
Sir Winston & the Commons - Indianapolis -  no strangers to our    readers - two 45's -  two acetates and more......
Teen Tones - Muncie - three 45's
Blues Inc - Ft. Wayne - one 45
The Endd - La Porte - four 45's and one of my favorites!
Tikis - Syracuse - one 45
Wild Things - New Castle - one 45 and lots of tapes!
Backdoor Men - Goshen area college guys - line-up changed often - one 45
Dukes - Elkhart - at least two 45's and an acetate
Idle Few - Indianapolis - three 45's
Mere Image - Goshen - one acetate

Pretty stellar stuff, and a couple of 45's that I still don't have. Of course with time and the internet we are able to sleuth a bit more easily than Ron could in the early 80's. I cannot thank him enough for showing what can be done. I still see the LP for sale once in a while, but I don't know if it's in print or someone is booting it.  Maybe I'll share it someday.

And that brings us to the aborted Hoosier hotshots Two..........

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Reel Blues - where are you?

 Where o' where are the Reel Blues? The band has been on the radar for years, but I still haven't nailed down where the Reel Blues called home.

The Fabulous Flame Club is in Ft. Wayne, but the two pics come via Knox County, Indiana. Most probably Vincennes since that is where most of the band action centered. The most popular was "The World", as many of the best regional bands, and some bigger bands such as "Strawberry Alarm Clock" would play there.

Here's hoping that someone can identify the place the two pics were taken. Many people contributed pics and info over the years, but most of my handwritten notes prior to 2009 were lost in the flood that washed out the 60's indiana band szene central command. Thankfully, I'm pretty fanatic about digital copies and backups!

As the usual plea goes, any info about the Reel Blues, feel free to chime in!

And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Tyrone & the Upsetters - Ft. Wayne - Gateway Records

Ok, let's get back in the groove! I've been away for quite a bit, and even contemplated just erasing this whole thing. But what the hell, complainers be damned, full speed ahead.

Tonight we present "Tyrone & the Upsetters" from beautiful
Ft. Wayne. The only names I've ever found associated with the band are:
Don Ganaway
Thomas Brownlee ( I believe he is the second from left in the pic).

The Upsetters released a 45 on Gateway Records, which has Ft. Wayne listed on the label. I'm almost certain Gateway was a label promoted by a department store in the area. The Upsetters check in at #308 and I also have a 45 of the Impostors (sic) at #333. So could there be 33 or more releases on the label, or just some oddball numbering? We may never know........

So the fans are waiting for the tunes, right? Let's hear 'em now!

Running Hot - credited to the Upsetters
That's Not Love - Tyronne & the Upsetters

Tyronne is the spelling on the label, but the promo pic shows Tyrone. I'm just glad I can track it that far. Any other info gladly accepted!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Cavaliers - Greenwood

 From the files of "60's indiana band szene" Central Command, we find the Cavaliers of Greenwood.  I recently found a photo of the Cavaliers while looking thru yearbooks (a great way to find a few band photos!), in this case from Indian Creek High School 1965.

The Cavaliers were together for a few years - the yearbook shows a homecoming dance, so that would be late 1964.  Most probably some frat rock and early Beatles would keep the kids happy on the dance floor.

I can document the Cavaliers playing thru at least March 1967 - that would be from the Whiteland Barn ad. After that.......?

Members included (photo above):

Fred Kinnan - lead guitar
Allen Martin - rhythm guitar
Dick Tyndal - tenor sax

Mike Langford - bass
Gary Scott - drums
and later
Ed Weddle - hammond organ
Roger Craighead replaced Mike on bass
Sam Doolin - trumpet - vocals

 Special thanks to Gary for the band info!