The tracks I bring to you this fine day are a stellar example of East Coast folk/pop.
The Shillings (of which there were many, but these cats were from Eastern, PA) released several 45s on labels like Fontana, Virtue and Three Rivers in 1966 and 1967.
They hailed from the Allentown area and played local ten clubs like the Mod Mill and King Arthur’s Court.
The record you see before you was released in 1966.
‘Children and Flowers’, written by Jackie DeShannon, had already been a minor hit for New Jersey’s Critters in 1965.
DeShannon recorded – but did not release – her own version, which later surfaced on the CD reissue of the ‘Laurel Canyon’ LP.
The Shillings version takes the Sunset Strip folk rock sound and dials it down a notch, softening it up with a dose of AM pop.
The flipside of the 45, ‘Lying and Trying’ (written by group member Tom Ross) was actually a regional hit, charting in the Top 20 in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
‘Lying and Trying’ follows the same basic formula, with just enough jangle and drums to be taken seriously, but poppy enough to keep the teenyboppers interested.
I especially dig the guitar solo.
The Shillings broke up in 1968.
You can pick up a collection of the Shillings recordings, entitled ‘Hoagie Shop’ (including these two songs) in iTunes!
I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll see you next week with a new episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.