RIP Gene Thomas of Gene & Debbe

Greetings all.
I just found out that Gene Thomas, of Gene and Debbe has passed away at the age of 74.
Thomas had a long career before – and after – Gene and Debbe.
‘Playboy’ is one of my all-time favorite country pop records (originally posted here in 2008), so I thought I’d repost it in his memory.
I hope you dig it.
Larry

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Gene & Debbe

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Listen/Download – Gene and Debbe – Playboy

Greetings all.
Today’s selection is one of those tracks from what I like to refer to as the Second 20, i.e. the tunes that were Top 40 radio hits in their time, but never really broke through the Top 20 in a significant way. As a result, and thanks in large part to the hegemony of homogenized “oldies” radio, they are all but forgotten by all those who didn’t have their ears glued to the radio when they were first released.
Back in the day, probably 15 or so years ago one of the local FM stations suddenly spent an entire weekend playing nothing but ’96 Tears’ by Question Mark & the Mysterians, punctuated only by the sounds of hammers and saws (really). As it turns out, they were undergoing yet another format change (having been country and Top 40 in the past).
Once Monday arrived, naturally curious I tuned to the station and discovered that they were now working a syndicated oldies format, which seemed (due to the kind of unusual things that were thrown into the mix with the same 40 or 50 songs you hear on every oldies station) to have originated somewhere in the South.
I spent a lot of time listening to the station, and appreciated hearing a lot of unusual cuts, as well as several tunes that were new to me.
One of these was today’s selection.
The first time I heard ‘Playboy’, I was sensing a little bit of a Nino Tempo/April Stevens mixed with Sonny & Cher vibe, but knew that it was neither of those duos. As is often the case, I followed up with some research and discovered that the performers were Gene & Debbe.
Huh?
Despite spending most of my waking hours since the age of 12 listening to and/or reading about music, I had NEVER heard of Gene & Debbe. When I started to dig – eventually picking up a copy of their LP ‘Hear and Now’ – I discovered that Gene & Debbe were another one of those examples of an artist who hovered around the charts for a few years, hit it big once and then promptly dropped out of sight.
Gene, was Gene Thomas, a singer/songwriter who recorded a number of unsuccessful 45s during the early 60’s only to retire from performing and concentrate on a career as a Nashville-based tunesmith. He formed a duo with Debbe Nevills (or Neville, depending on the source) in 1965, and they began recording for the TRX label in 1967.
They released a couple of 45s that grazed the charts, finally hitting the Top 40 with ‘Playboy’ in 1968.
‘Playboy’ is great example of the kind of pop records that were coming out of the country music capital in the 60’s, that had a perfect mix of pop and the Countrypolitan sound to get them on both charts, but not enough of either sound to limit their appeal to either audience (a la efforts by the like of the Everly Brothers and Rick Nelson from the same period).
Interestingly enough, ‘Playboy’ was a big enough hit to inspire rip-offs. During my most recent dig I picked up a 2-EP ‘Pickwick’ style set of pop and soul covers(no artists credited) that included – alongside covers of ‘Tighten Up’ and ‘Mony Mony’ – a version of ‘Playboy’.
That said, I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you next week with a new mix.
Peace
Larry

The Rattles – I Know You Don’t Know

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The Rattles

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Listen/Download – The Rattles – I Know You Don’t Know

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well, and that you all had a chance to download and listen to last week’s edition of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

The record I offer up today is something that I grabbed, sight unheard at a record show a few years back.

I knew of the Rattles, but mainly in their earlier, R&Beat incarnation, of which I had seen old bootleg videos back in the garage/mod days.

I had also heard their biggest hit ‘The Witch’, which made it into the US Top 40 in 1970.

By that time, all of the old-school Rattles had been shed like so much dead skin and replaced with a hairier, scarier bunch led by singer Edna Bejarano (maybe the only heavy rock singer named Edna EVER??).

When I picked up the 45 of ‘I Know You Don’t Know’ I assumed that the 1971 date on the 45 put it in a heavier bag, but I (really) had no idea.

When I got it home, expecting I know not what, I was genuinely shocked when the needle hit the record and something akin to early, heavy glam came shooting out of the speakers.

Both sides of the 45 are similarly constructed, with almost-heavy metal guitars and drums backing Bejarano’s just this side of shrill wailing.

‘I Know You Don’t Know’ gets started with a decidedly more ‘good-timey’ vibe than it ends up with which is cool because what they end up bashing out is quite tasty indeed.

If you get a chance, check out some of the early-70s stuff by the Rattles on Youtube. The dudes in the band look like they just rolled out of the North Sea Mud and Leather Festival, but Bejarano is a trip, especially in the promo clip for ‘The Witch’, in which she is suitably witch-like.

That said, I hope you dig the track, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio #16

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Hawkshaw/Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
13th Floor Elevators – You’re Gonna Miss Me (International Artists)
New Colony Six – Let Me Love You (Sentar)
The Strangeloves – Night Time (Bang)
British Walkers – I Found You (Try)
Buffalo Springfield – Mr Soul (45 Mix) (Atco)
Curtis Knight – Fancy Meeting You Here (RCA UK)
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich – He’s a Raver (Star Club)
Raspberries – Go All the Way (Capitol)
Moby Grape – Omaha (Columbia)
Moby Grape Radio Spot

Captain Beefheart – Diddy Wah Diddy (A&M)
Question Mark and the Mysterians – Can’t Get Enough of You Baby (Cameo)
Toys – Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby (Dynovoice)
Mickey Newbury – Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) (RCA)
Gosdin Brothers – Sounds of Goodbye (Capitol)
Love – She Comes In Colors (Elektra)
Artie Wayne – Automated Man (Smash)
Music Machine – Masculine Intuition (Original Sound)
Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters – Head Inspector (Verve)
Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters – New Dreams (Verve)
Paul Revere and the Raiders – Louie Go Home (Columbia)
Paul Revere and the Raiders Radio Spot

Peggy Lee – I Think It’ s Going To Rain Today (Capitol)
Randy Newman – I Think It’s Going To Rain Today (Reprise)
Randy Newman – Living Without You (Reprise)
Paul Williams – Just and Old Fashioned Love Song (A&M)
Paul Williams – Someday Man (A&M)
Paul Williams – Trust (A&M)
Bugsy Maugh – In Limbo (Dot)
Tom Northcott – Iron Pines (Uni)
Tom Northcott – I Think It’s Going To Rain Today (Uni)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 16 – 162MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.

It’s time once again for the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This month’s Iron Leg Radio Show brings you another diverse, lovingly selected helping of sounds.

You get lots of garage punk (Elevators, Capt Beefheart etc), some beat, psychedelia and a long set of gentler, more introspective pop by the likes of Randy Newman and Paul Williams.

As always, I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back next week with something groovy.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Sir Henry and His Butlers – Pretty Style

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Sir Henry and His Butlers (and a P/S I do not have…)

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Listen/Download – Sir Henry and His Butlers – Pretty Style

Greetings all.

It wasn’t that long ago, during one of the many short-form digging expeditions – that seem to be the lay of the land these days – that I came to an important conclusion.

That conclusion was – having a brain that gathered and held on to facts like static ridden sock in a dryer – is sometimes a good thing, especially when digging for records.

It was four years ago that I sat down to write about a track by the Gentrys by the name of ‘Don’t Send Me No Flowers’.

It was a song that I knew via (what turned out to be) the original version by the Breakers, but discovered that it had been covered a number of times, including by a Danish band called Sir Henry and His Butlers.

I was unable to track down the Sir Henry version, and to be frank, didn’t give it another thought, until that day recently, when what should I pull out of a stack of 45s, but the disc you see before you.

The name of the group rang a bell, and the names on the 45 sounded Scandinavian, so I tossed it on the keeper file and went about my business.

So, I get the record home, and play the A-side of this 45, entitled ‘Camp’.

To say that it was awful, as well as awfully weird, would be a pure statement of fact.

The song is a bizarre, good-timey bit of Euro-oddity, in which the lead ‘instrument’ was a comb covered in tissue paper.

It was – in a bizarre yet somehow predictable twist of fate, a sizable Euro/Scandinavian hit when it was released in 1967, eventually being used in a chocolate commercial.

Naturally, when I heard it, I though my ship was sunk.

What was I going to do with a record like this?

Flip it over, of course!

Good thing I did too, because the B-side ‘Pretty Style’ is a decidedly far out, trippy bit of psyche. It has sitar, chanted, Yardbirdsy vocals, and – after about two minutes – some wild, soaring guitar and a much heavier sound, with the vocals taking a detour into bad-trips-ville on the way.

Sir Henry and His Butlers followed a well-worn path, trod by so many bands before them. They got their start as an R&B-based beat group, moving on into psychedelia and slightly heavier things in a career that lasted nearly a decade (including a few name changes).

I’m not sure how this particular 45 got a US release, but I think it’s likely that the overseas success of ‘Camp’ probably caused the ears of some enterprising record biz cat stateside to perk up, and that, as they say, was that.

Either way, ‘Pretty Style’ is pretty trippy, and I hope you dig it.

I’ll see you all next week with a new edition of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Wayne Logiudice – Come On Everybody (Let’s Get Some Action On) b/w Ow! Boogaloo

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Wayne Logiudice

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Listen/Download – Wayne Logiudice – Come On Everybody (Let’s Get Some Action On)
Listen/Download – Wayne Logiudice – Ow! Boogaloo

Greetings all.

Welcome to another week at Iron Leg.

The tunes I bring you today are two sides of a very hot 45 that I’ve been hanging onto for a long time.

I forget where I first heard about Wayne Logiudice, but I suspect it was an an appearance on a 45 sales list.

The 45 in question has been described as ‘soul on one side, garage on the other’, and that’s a pretty good call.

Wayne Logiudice (with a name so improbable that the record company felt the need to spell it out phonetically on the label!?) was a Georgia-based R&B singer who toured widely, first with the Kommotions, and then as a feature act, all through the black clubs of the South and all over the country in the 1960s.

Logiudice and the Kommotions were part of a wave of largely white R&B bands that rose up out of Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas during the 60s, like the Swinging Medallions, Pieces of Eight, Tim Whitsett and the Imperials, Tempests and many others.

The garage side, ‘Come On Everybody (Let’s Get Some Action On)’ is a groovy, slightly sinister killer that opens with a great guitar/bass riff. The tune, delivered in a ‘jerk’ beat has some cool horns in the background and a great vocal by Logiudice.

The more soul-oriented side (actually the A side) ‘Ow! Boogaloo!’ has a Wayne Cochran/James Brown vibe to the vocals (makes me wonder about the motivation behind masking tape with the word “white” pasted to the label) , an expecially hot lead guitar and once again, a tight horn section.

As far as I can tell, despite a heavy touring schedule – which included sharing stages with the likes of the Impressions and a backing band that would become the Winstons – Logiudice only ever recorded this one 45. I wish there was more because I’d certainly like to hear what Logiudice sounded like in a more soulful context.

I’m also curious of the producer is the same Bobby Robinson of all the NY-based R&B/soul labels.

I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll be back next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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