Raven, Stan & The Ravens, The Rising Sons, The Rivals, Tony Galla – the history of this group of Buffalo musicians can be confusing. I previously wrote part of the story when I covered the “There’s Nothing Going For Us” 45 by The Rising Sons.
Over the next couple weeks I’ll cover more of the story but for now, here’s the biggest ‘hit’ record out of that whole scene – at least, as far as Buffalo’s reputation overseas!
The Rising Sons started in the mid-1960s and included Jimmy Calire, Tony Galla and a very young John Weitz. They were well-acqainted with the premier band in their genre, Stan & The Ravens. Stan Szelest had even tried to lure Tony away from the Rising Sons to become their vocalist.
Along the way Tony hooked up with Joey Reynolds and cut this record for Swan in 1967, In Love b/w Guys Go For Girls. Some pressings credit Tony Galla only, some Tony Galla & The Rising Sons., but it’s likely studio players provided some of the backup.
A hit in some regional markets (the biggest perhaps being Philadelphia, and of course Buffalo), In Love failed to click nationally but along with lots of local radio play did raise their profile significantly. The Rising Sons became the house band at the legendary Glen Park Casino’s club, called the “Inferno”.
Tom Calandra and Gary Mallaber left Stan & The Ravens and joined the Rising Sons in time to cut their next record, I’m Feeling Down b/w There’s Nothing Going For Us for the local Upstate label. They eventually became ‘Raven’, got a major label deal, cut an album, and moved to New York City
I’ll talk about that subsequent history later. Today, let’s check out In Love. This track falls into the bag known as Northern Soul, although it’s a lot bluesier than most in that genre, which generally tends more to Motown-style sounds. If these are studio musicians, they sound just like the Buffalo guys – thumping bass and drums, piano and especially that Hammond B3 organ sound.
In Love was discovered by the Northern Soul dance crowd in the UK in the 70s and only became more popular as time went on, spreading to the rest of Europe, where it’s now considered a classic. In fact, it’s probably in the Top 30 of all-time favorite Northern Soul songs to connoisseurs. Locally it’s fondly remembered by their many fans and Tony still performs it!