Fifteen tracks creating an entertaining mix of psychedelia and garage ravers
CHARLIE BROWN’S GENERATION – ’Fast Retreatin’ Female’/’Trash’ (Atco 45-6438) Sept 1966
A relatively unknown band from New York put together by funnily enough a guy called Charlie Brown. He originated from Columbus, Georgia but headed off to the Big Apple with some guitars to get into the music biz.
He formed his band Charlie Brown’s Generation sometime in ’66 and signed a one off deal with Atco Records to release this rather cool twin spin.
Diggin’ around the internet months ago I found online, a copy of a magazine called Teenstar ’69 and in among all the famous faces was a very small pic of Charlie’s band revealing that they consisted of three longhairs and a square.
There ain’t nothin’ square about this music though!…it’s got a fast pace with fuzz and has become a firm favourite of mine.
I def. share Westex’s enthusiasm for this one! Here are some add’l details I’m cutting ‘n pasting from research I did on this outfit several months ago:
Charlie actually got his start in Tokyo (yep, Japan!) with an outfit called The Teen-Tops. They were regulars on a live Far East Network Saturday morning radio show called Teenagers On Parade and even put out an album, Teen Tops On Parade, on Japan’s Universal label.
Back stateside in the mid-’60’s, Brown sat in with several combos in his hometown of Columbus, Georgia before making his way to the Big Apple, where he quickly landed a gig on staff at Atlantic Records doing session work on tracks by Solomon Burke, Barbara Lewis and The Drifters, among others.
In ’66 he put together Charlie Brown’s Generation and waxed the 45. He was quite a live attraction in NYC for a while–an early example of NYC’s odd hipster fixation with country twang, which was a pretty big facet of the early NYC punk scene (a fact that seems to grow more obscure with each passing year!)
Charlie formed a second aggregation called Players in early ’67, but exited to take a job as Musical Director for Van Morrison’s first post-Them tour, just as ”Brown Eyed Girl” was scaling the charts.
In the late ’60’s, Charlie landed a gig playing guitar in the Broadway production of Hair, and cut a couple of solo albums during that show’s spectacularly successful run on Broadway, ’68-’72. In ’73, he teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Eric Weissberg, who’d performed the music in the ”Dueling Banjos” scene in the film Deliverance.
That combo was called, yep, Deliverance, and they cut a moderately successful album titled Rural Free Delivery.
Since the mid-’70’s, Brown has stayed behind the scenes, doing advertising jingles, voice overs and the occasional studio gig.
He also sang ”Somebody To Love” on the movie soundtrack! That was how I first found out about him and his output seems very interesting the bits I’ve heard so far. (14/09/09)
THE REGENTS – ’Words’ / ’Worryin’ Kind’ (Penthouse 502) July 1966
From Bakersfield, CA. This group had four singles during their lifetime all on different labels. This was their third release, ’Worryin’ Kind’ is a catchy garage rocker with a hot guitar break.
The flip, ’Words’ was the first known release of the Boyce & Hart song made famous by The Monkees in 1967. Norm Ratner produced this disc and his name crops up on many noteworthy folk-rock and garage releases including singles by The Bees, The Hook, The Inrhodes, The Leaves, W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band and The Yellow Payges. I’m sure that there will be more.
Over the years ’Words’ has been compiled on Killer Cuts and Quagmire #6 whilst ’Worryin’ Kind’ can be found on Acid Dreams #3 and Quagmire #5.(21/05/14)
Since I wrote my Flower Power entries I have been contacted by former member Joe Rolison who kindly sent me the following information about his psychedelic group.
”The Flower Power formed in October 1967, I was 15. The band came together from members of popular local bands. Craig Ferguson, guitar and lead vocal from The Soul Survivors, Robert Weathersby, guitar and Gregg Giuffria, organ from The Telstars. David Mcintosh and Sandi Craig from Sandi and the Gang Band, Joe Rolison from The Varments on bass.
Our age was from 15 to 17 years old. We played local gigs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Soon after we met Tom and Paul Kaimser in New Orleans looking for gigs in the parking lot of WNOE Radio Station.
After hearing a demo tape we made they became our Managers, Tom’s father in law, Joe Banasak, owned Tune-Kel and we signed a contract with them in early 1968.
FLOWER POWER RECORDINGS
The first single,’Bye Bye’ was recorded at Cosmos Studio in Nola. The line up was the original as mentioned.
David Mcintosh left the band and was replaced by Johnny Rand from The Soul Survivors. Robert Weathersby also left and was replaced by Randall Currie also ex Soul Survivors.
The next two records were with this line up. We did a lot of shows as an opening act with the Krimser Management as a back up band for B.J.Thomas. We also performed shows with Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone and many others.
’Mt Olympus’ was recorded with this line up. Randall Currie left the group in August 1968 and was replaced by Ted Tierce from The Substantial Evidence who had a single called ’Death Angel’ and were popular in the region.
Johnny Rand left the band and was replaced by Dickie Burnet on drums early 1969. Ted Tierce left after 5 months and we decided to stay as a five piece.
In July 1969 we went to Houston. Texas to open for The Nazz, Todd Rundgren’s band.
On Sunday, August 31st we were the opening act at the first New Orleans Pop Festival, a two day event with Janis Joplin, Santana and The Grateful Dead plus many more.
We recorded a lot of material in Houston, Texas, nothing released and the songs were never mixed but there was some test pressings on vinyl. Sadly, I don’t have one. The Flower Power rolled on into 1970 and played the second Atlanta Pop Festival in Georgia that July. This was the last gig we played together.
I played locally until 1985.
Thanks for your interest in my old band. There’s lots of crazy stories that i could tell.” (Joe Rolison, 2013)
THE FLOWER POWER DISCOGRAPHY:
’You Make Me Fly’ / ’Sunshine Day’ (Tune-Kel 608) 1968
’Mississippi Delta’ / ’Bye Bye Baby’ (Tune-Kel 611) 1968
’Trivialities’ / Mt. Olympus’ (Tune-Kel 612) 1968
’Don’t Burn My Wings’ / ’Sailing Around The Sun’ (Tune-Kel 613) 1969
’Stop! Check It’ / ’Orange Skies’ (Tune-Kel 614) 1969
THE STAINED GLASS – ’A Scene In Between’/’Mediocre Me’ (RCA Victor 47-9354) Oct 1967
The band were dropped by RCA Victor after the release of my favourite Stained Glass song of all time, namely the ultra cool psychedelic masterpiece ’A Scene In Between’. I recall hearing this song for the first time back in the 80s on a ’Psychedelic Unknowns’ comp and thought it was by an English band.
The very trippy production by RCA staff producer Rick Jarred, the ’turned on’ lyrics and soaring harmonies over the acid drenched guitar makes ’A Scene In Between’ one of the very best and somewhat unique psych records from America. Like I said earlier, very few American bands captured the English psych sound as well as The Stained Glass.
’Mediocre Me’ is another standout out but the acid drenched drone of ’Scene’ is replaced by their usual folk rock vibe whilst retaining a small dose of lysergia. Both songs are credited to Phil Stumpo (a pseudonym for Jim McPherson)..(25/10/09)
expo, thank you for most of the kind words and post.. thanks also to jingle jangle… but I thought you should know.. Phil Stumpo was a pseudonym used by jim mcpherson.
Hi Expo67, you´re doing such great job here! Just a little note: The name of the composer is Cynthia Weil (you spelled it ”Wells”). Mann and Weil were composers for the Brill Building, one of their greatest achievements of course being ”You´ve Lost That Loving Feeling”.
Barry Mann had a hit with ”Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” in 1961. We know where that lead to…I wouldn´t want to leave this as a comment. But maybe you´d like to include the information. Best regards, Axel
A LITTLE BIT OF SOUND – ’Incense And Peppermints’/’I Want You To Know’ (Carole Records 1002) October 1967
Carole Records, a division of Sidewalk Records were a small Los Angeles label distributed by GNP Crescendo but who & why & where obscurities A Little Bit Of Sound came from is unknown. Perhaps they were a studio based group of hipsters put together by L.A songwriter/producer Jerry Styner.
Mr Styner’s usual line of mischief involved working with Mike Curb on movie scores for exploito flicks put out by Sidewalk Productions and producing records for the likes of The Second Time, Boston Tea Party and this combo.
I did a random search on google and his name appeared as a born again Reverend out in some Californian desert area. Talk about a career change!
’Incense And Peppermints’ is a loose and rougher version of the big hit in the Summer of ’67 by Strawberry Alarm Clock. It certainly doesn’t have the same polish as the original but who cares cos this less refined punker with a cheapo organ break is killer.
The flip ’I Want You To Know’ has plenty of fuzz but maybe could have done with that cheapo organ sound instead of what sounds like a beat up bontempi. Still coolsville though.
update from Billy Goodnick:
Billy Goodnick here, drummer for A Little Bit of Sound. We did win the Pepsi Boss Battle of the Bands, but our contract was with Uni Records and it never amounted to anything. They were not required to negotiate the stock contract and we decided to pass.
Jerry Styner ”discovered” our band playing a backyard party at Dale Korngold’s house in Sherman Oaks. He lived up the block. He asked if we wanted to do a recording and ’Incense and Peppermints’ was the result.
The instrumental track was waiting for us when we got there – Hollywood heavyweights link Hal Blaine on drums had already laid down the tracks.
We learned the lyrics, made up the harmonies and recorded the vocals in one day. Then we did the B-side, written by the band (no time to go upstairs and look at the vinyl).
Other group members were Steve Diamond (now a multi-grammy-winning song-writer), Ron Ziskin (creator of the original American Gladiators TV show and now a film producer), Scott Whitman and Mike Abramson. We all went to Van Nuys High School together and played for about 3 years. (10/10/10)
THE KING BISCUIT ENTERTAINERS
I am in contact with Scott Ashley, co-leader of the King Biscuit Entertainers — formerly of the Seattle area, he is now based in Nashville where he continues to play professionally.
He only recently became aware of renewed interest in KBE music, and is now working to remaster all their tapes in digital format for possible CD reissue.
The band began as ”Genesis”, with one single “Window of Sand” / “Get Me To Chicago” released under that name before they discovered that at least two other groups — including the Peter Gabriel lot — were also recording under that name.
They thus became ”King Biscuit Entertainers” and then the abbreviated KBE. Scott tells me that he still wishes they could have remained ”Genesis” as he says ”I just liked that name”.