I hope all is well in your part of the universe.
The tune I bring you today was the final piece of a puzzle that ended abut 20 years of confusion.
Back in the olden days, when there were no internets to speak of and we all had to rely on record guides, fanzines and whatever first-hand/old-time stuff we could lay our hands on, we often had to rely on (often faulty) word of mouth when it came to researching music.
I remember picking up a 45 by Tony’s Tygers called ‘Little By Little’, and making the assumption that whatI had was a recording by the early Hunt and Tony Sales (sons of Soupy) band.
I labored under this assumption for a long, long time.
Then, a few years back I saw the 45 you see before you on a friend’s sales list, picked it up on his recommendation and dug it.
Though it was very poppy, seemingly rising from the conventional end of things, there was enough sonic coolness to pique my interest.
So I stepped out onto the web and before long I discovered two things:
First, these Tygers were the same band as Tony’s Tygers.
Second, they had nothing to do with the Sales brothers, having come from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
As it turns out, these Tygers (who competed locally with another band called the Tigers) recorded a handful of 45s and an LP for the local Teen Town label, before ‘Little By Little’ started to generate enough heat that A&M picked it up and re-released it nationally.
The vibe here is leaning in the direction of bubblegummy AM radio pop, yet seems to be drawing from the same stew of UK power pop, like the Who and the Move that their slightly southern neighbors the Choir were working with. There are times where the Tygers sound to me like the New Colony Six evolving from their earlier garage sound to their pop years.
Tony’s Tygers’ A&M deal didn’t go past that one single, but they continued to record and release stuff for Teen Town all the way to 1971.
Following the break up of the Tygers, Tony Dancy would move west and go on to write songs for Hanna-Barbera cartoon shows.
I hope you dig the track, and I’ll see you next week.