Cast of Thousands – The Cast’s Blues

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Early Cast of Thousands,
Stevie Ray Vaughn (center), Stephen Tobolowsky (right)

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Listen/Download – Cast of Thousands – The Cast’s Blues

Greetings all.

This week I bring you a very groovy 45 by a band with an exceptionally unusual pedigree.

Years ago, back when I was first digging around for info about garage bands, but before the interwebs were up and running, I’d heard that Stevie Ray Vaughn had played with a band called Cast of Thousands.

Flash forward a few decades and I discover that the band in question was also home to ubiquitous character actor (and podcaster) Stephen Tobolowsky.

In between those two dots on the timeline, I happened to find a couple of 45s by the band, ‘Girl What You Gonna Do’ b/w ‘My Jenny Wears a Mini’ (both sides of which have appeared in Iron Leg mixes and poscasts) and the disc you see before you today, ‘Country Gardens’ b/w ‘The Cast’s Blues’.

As it turns out, SRV only played in (and recorded with) an embryonic version of the band that laid down two decidedly non-garage tracks.

The Cast of Thousands hailed from Dallas and had a series of 45s released on Tower, Amy and Soft (as well as the two SRV tracks released on a local comp) in 1966 and 1967.

‘The Cast’s Blues’ was the b-side of their final 45, and also featured Buggs Henderson before he joined Mouse and the Traps.

‘Cast’s Blues’ starts out as a slow, psyched out jam (with what sounds like electric sitar) before picking up the pace into a slightly harder-edged sound.

The a-side is an odd mix of folk rock, phased vocals and just a touch of psychedelia.

If you get the chance, head over to Music Life Radio and listen to a recording of Tobolowsky telling the story of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s time in the band.

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.

The Sound of the 4 Instants

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Clem Cattini

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Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Bogattini
Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Watermelon Man
Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Discotheque

Greetings all.

I have something rather groovy for you today.

A while back all-around pop-cult maven Kliph Nesteroff posted a Youtube vid on my FB wall, asking if I was familiar with the track in question.

I gave it a spin, and I was as clueless about the song/group as I was blown away by the track.

The group being the 4 Instants, the track a wild bit of noise entitled ‘Bogattini’.

So, naturally I set out in search of the record and information about the 4 Instants. The former proving scarce and the latter all but non-existent.

Then, a few weeks later a copy of the record popped up on Ebay from a UK seller and I was lucky enough to enter the high bid.

Flash forward a week or two later and the record popped through the mail slot, and I was very happy indeed to discover that the LP ‘Discotheque’ was no mere one-track-wonder.

The small bit of information I have been able to gather suggests that he 4 Instants were a group of studio musicians gathered together to record an LP’s worth of dance floor sounds to be sold to clueless teenagers eager to stuff their ears full of beat music.

Following the writing credits on the original tracks, the members of the 4 Instants included former Tornado and UK studio all-star drummer Clem Cattini, guitarist Mickey Keen, bassist Dave Winters and Michael O’Neill (who I’ll assume was playing the organ).

The LP includes three originals and covers of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Watermelon Man’, Carl Holmes and the Commanders ‘Mashed Potatoes’, Major Lance’s ‘Monkey Time’ (composed, of course by Curtis Mayfield), Jimmy McGriff’s ‘All About My Girl’, Booker T and the MGs ‘Outrage’, Duke Ellington’s ‘Caravan’ and the old stripper’s standby ‘Night Train’.

‘Bogattini’ is nothing less than a slice of madness, complete with odd sound effects (including a flushing toilet, thus the ‘bog;), heavy, nearly freakbeat guitar, buzzing bass and wild, unhinged drum solos by Cattini. It flirts with novelty, but the package taken as a whole is rather solid.

The version of ‘Watermelon Man’ is 100% unadulterated mod R&B, featuring the organ and some tasty guitar.

‘Discotheque’ is an upbeat, au-go-go number, sounding like it emerged from the soundtrack of a 1966 teen movie.

The bottom line is, there are several tracks on this album, that had they only ever been issued as obscure 45s, would have record collectors killing each other to get them.

As is, they’re all sitting on an equally obscure LP waiting for you (though the album has seen reissue).

So dig the sounds,and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #46

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Attack – Colour of My Mind (Decca)
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart – Sometimes She’s a Little Girl (A&M)
Boyce & Hart Coke Commercial
Living Guitars – Out and About (Camden)
Shotgun Express – I Could Feel the Whole World Turn Round (Columbia)
Timebox – Gone Is the Sad Man (Deram)
Silver Jade – Fly On Strangewings (DJM)
Ravi Shankar Anti-Drup Radio Spot

Rod McKuen – A Boy Named Charlie Brown (Columbia)
Rod McKuen/Anita Kerr – My Mother Wanted Me To Play Mozart (WB)
Rod McKuen/Anita Kerr – Mud Kids (WB)
Beach Boys – Wake the World (Brother)
Incredible String Band – No Sleep Blues (Elektra)
Paul Williams – Someday Man (Reprise)
Curt Boettcher Levis Commercial

Jackie Cain & Roy Kral – Fixing a Hole (Capitol)
Jackie Cain & Roy Kral – Lady Madonna (Capitol)
Cats – Magical Mystery Morning (Rare Earth)
Classics IV – Stormy (Imperial)
Don Agrati – Protoplasm Blues (Elektra)
Bill Anderson and Jan Howard – Someday We’ll Be Together (Decca)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #46 – 135MB/256kbps

 

 

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode (#46) of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This time out we have some groovy new arrivals, pay tribute to the late Rod McKuen, and groove on the psychedelic jazz pop of Jackie and Roy.

I’ve come up with a new method of recording/assembling the show, so the tech problems from last month should be taken care of.

As always I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Don and the Goodtimes – Little Sally Tease

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Don and the Goodtimes, Jim Valley, center

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Listen/Download – Don and the Goodtimes – Little Sally Tease

Greetings all.

A while back I featured a very groovy PNW garage nugget, that being the Kingsmen doing ‘Trouble’.

I made mention of the PNW standard ‘Little Sally Tease’ in that piece (covered by the Kingsmen and the Standells down in LA), after which I realized (I was both shocked and stunned) that I had never featured the original version of that song here at Iron Leg.

That version, by Don and the Goodtimes is – in my opinion – the finest of them all.

This has something to do with the presence of the song’s author, Jim Valley.

Valley is as close as you get to a PNW ‘Zelig’.

He got his start recording with the Viceroys, went on to join Don and the Goodtimes and then joined Paul Revere and the Raiders,  before recording as a solo artist!

‘Little Sally Tease’ was first released by Don and the Goodtimes in 1965 on Jerden, and it was picked up for national release by Dunhill.

The group – which also shared members with the Kingsmen (Jack Ely) – laid down some of the grittiest PNW garage, before evolving into something of a sweeter pop sound during their Epic years.

‘Little Sally Tease’ is one of those records that sounds as if the entire group were recorded inside the bass drum.

The record opens with a couple of thunderous snare drum shots, before being joined by the combo organ , guitar and bass and of course the wailing vocals.

It is a masterpiece of 65/66 garage, and the kind of 45 that sets the dance floor on fire as soon as the needle drops.

So dig it.

I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Associated Soul Group – Don’t Think Twice / Wild Times

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Hubba Hubba…

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Listen/Download – Associated Soul Group – Don’t Think Twice

Listen/Download – Associated Soul Group – Wild Times

Greetings all.

Here’s something crazy for you.

I picked up the Associated Soul Group LP a while back because a friend had posted their version of ‘Are You Experienced’, mainly because it included a drum break.

I’m always game for exploito/covers, so when the chance presented itself, I grabbed myself a copy of the album.

What I discovered was that in addition to a couple of groovy instrumentals, there are a couple of excellent garage/psyche tracks as well.

The history/provenance of the the Associated Soul Group is largely lost to the ages, since there probably never was an actual group by that name, and the fact that the music included on the album in question may very well have emanated from more than one source.

The tunes I bring you today, my faves from the LP are two great slices of 66/67 garage called ‘Don’t Think Twice’ and ‘Wild Times’.

‘Don’t Think Twice’, which opens with a very groovy guitar line has the slightly polished sound of 66-era Sunset Strip to it.

‘Wild Times’ works a similar vibe, adding in a touch of Paul Revere and the Raiders. Interestingly enough, this very song, (sounding like the same group, though a different recording) was released as a 45 by the Id, of ‘Boil the Kettle Mother’ fame.

‘Don’t Think Twice’ also appeared under the Id name, as well as appearing on an LP by the ‘Projection Company’.

I have (and have heard) a bunch of similarly intended albums, and what sets these tracks apart is how good they are, so much so as to be too good (if you know what I mean). It pains me to think of some anonymous bunch of longhairs having offered up their best material, only to have the songs recycled/renamed and stuffed into supermarket and gas station record racks until the record company had managed to squeeze the last drop of musical blood from the stone.

There are some names tied to these sounds, namely Jerry Cole and Paul Arnold (at least as far as writing credit is concerned) but the list of groups in this particular orbit – including the Animated Egg, T. Swift and the Electric Bag, Associated Soul Group, Firebirds, Projection Company – only serves to muddy the water.

That said, I do dig these songs a lot, and I hope you do too.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #45

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Move – Fire Brigade (A&M)
The Move – Walk Upon the Water (A&M)
The Move – Flowers In the Rain (A&M)
The Move – Here We Go Round the Lemon Tree (A&M)
Tom Northcott – Blackberry Way (UNI)
The Fortunes – Fire Brigade (UA)

Jennifer – Close Another Door (Parrot)
Jennifer – Sunny Day Blue (Parrot)
Jennifer – Chelsea Morning (Parrot)
Jennifer – I Am Waiting (Parrot)
Jennifer – Places Everyone (Parrot) Fargo
Jennifer – The Park (Parrot)
Jennifer – Saturday Night at the World (Parrot)
Jennifer – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Parrot)

Jennifer Warren – PF Sloan (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Empty Bottles (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Sand and Foam (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Be My Friend (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – These Days (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Magdelene My Regal Zonophone (Reprise)

Hoyt Axton – Double Double Dare (VeeJay)
Hoyt Axton – I’ll Be There (VeeJay)
Peddlers – Song For the Blues (Philips)
Peddlers – Whatever Happened to the Good Times (Philips)
Lee Mallory – Take My Hand (Valiant)
Lee Mallory – The Love Song (Valiant)
Summer Snow- Flying On the Ground (Capitol)
Summer Snow – Your Thoughts Have Wings (Capitol)
Velvet Underground – Jesus (MGM)
Velvet Underground – I’m Set Free (MGM)
Velvet Underground – I’m Beginning To See the Light (MGM)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #45 – 203MB/256kbps

 

NOTE: There were some problems with sound  dropping out in this edition of the podcast. I reassembled the file from scratch and remixed it. The link above should work fine. If it doesn’t, please let me know.

Thanks – Larry

 

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode (#45) of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Thanks completely to aforementioned health issues, this episode comes to you a little late, yet no less groovy.

There are all kinds of goodies this time out, especially two sets of very interesting, little-heard early work by the vocalist Jennifer Warnes.

I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

RIP Trevor Ward Davies (Dozy, of DDDBM&T)

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Dave Dee and the rest of the gang…

 

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LISTEN/DOWNLOAD – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich – He’s a Raver – MP3</b>

Greetings all.

As I have been unexpectedly in the hospital for most of the last week, my work schedule has taken a hit. I have a new Iron Leg Radio Show ready to go but it hasnt’t been tagged or uploaded and I can’t get it from here, so hopefully next week.

That said, while I was sitting here staring at the walls I noticed a link that the man that played one of my favorite bass lines, on one of my favorite records had passed away.

The record: ‘He’s a Raver’ by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky , Mick and Tich

The bassist: Trevor Ward-Davies

Davies, whose heavy bass was a big part of the group’s sound  passed away at the age of 70 last week.

I thought it might be nice to send him off this way.

So dig the rave up, raise a glass to Dozy, and with any luck I’ll be back here next week.

Peace

Larry

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Originally posted 2010

I hope you’re all well, since I’m sitting here with what feels like a migraine headache.
Fortunately it’s fairly quiet here, so I figured I’d get some blogging in before I try to nap the pain away.
The tune I bring you today is something that I have coveted for a long, LONG time, and only just scored a copy (at a nice price, natch) in the last month.
I’ve been a big fan of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (known henceforth as DDDBM&T) since I first heard their music about 25 years ago. There was a point at about that time where I scored almost all of their cool 45s at various discount prices (I’m not sure anything of theirs, aside from oddball foreign issues, is actually ‘rare’), but the tune I bring you today eluded me.
Now, there are those that will tell you that DDDBM&T had probably the worst name in 60s pop, but even the briefest survey will reveal that although it is quite akward, their name is surpassed in pure stupidity by any number of US-based hippie bands.
DDDBM&T are one of those rare groups who were clearly being sold to their audience as teen-dream, bubblegum, candy-floss, yet managed to transcend those labels.
They were handled, and provided with much of their material (most of their hits) by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley (who also worked their magic with the Herd), and though much of their catalog could be labeled formulaic, it was a good formula, matching razor sharp pop hooks with an aggressive, Freakbeaty vibe that got them 14 Top 40 hits in the UK (and almost as many in Germany and New Zealand) between 1965 and 1970.
This is not to say that they didn’t have their lame moments, but their best stuff is not to me missed.
The tune I bring you today, ‘He’s a Raver’ is in my opinion the best thing they ever did, a freakbeat masterpiece and interestingly enough, penned by the band.
It was the b-side to the much less interesting ‘Okay’ in 1967 and was a Top 10 hit in the UK and Germany (thus the Star Club issue of the 45).
‘He’s a Raver’ sounds like the intersection of the pilled-up Mod sound and the frilly-cuffed Carnaby Street vibe of ’67.
The lyrics, concerning a wealthy scenemaker who ‘lives in a castle in the country’ and ‘buys the finest clothes’ who’s hair is so long ‘people stop and stare’.
It’s propelled by heavy guitar, throbbing bass (that sounds about twice as loud as anything else on the track) and a very groovy organ break halfway through the tune.
I can just imagine the crowd at the Tiles (no doubt including several people who fit the description from the song) losing their shit when this came over the speakers.
I know I do and I hope you do too.
Psyche out baby!

 

 

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners too!

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