By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon
Here’s another mystery group. All I know for sure if that they were definitely from Buffalo and the writer of both sides was group member J. Testa. He was joined by H.York on the uptempo flip side with the curious title Twist Enos Twist.
I once found a small bit of info on the net which has since disappeared along with my notes. That info was a few sentences from one of the members, of which all I remember is that they played McVan’s and rubbed shoulders there with a few stars.
This record came out on the Whirl label, whose Cleveland address has placed them as an Ohio group in some discographies. That’s not unusual all the way around, as it’s an easy mistake to make. Many Buffalo artists made the trip down the lake to record there. There was little in the way of recording studios in the Western New York area. And there were NO pressing plants, so the two large plants in Ohio (Rite and Queen City) got most of Buffalo’s record pressing orders. The Page-Boys record may have been recorded in Buffalo and merely pressed in Ohio for all I know, but Whirl was a real (though obscure) record label, with multiple releases, mostly of Country and Rockabilly.
The label lists ‘The Page-Boys with The Starfires’. Starfires or Star-Fires was a common name back then, but there was a popular Starfires from Cleveland (forerunner of The Outsiders, of Time Won’t Let Me fame), so maybe they were joined in an Ohio studio?
The side I’m presenting here today is a group vocal ballad, on the ‘teener’ side. I’ve seen I Got The Blues Again labelled as doo-wop – but it ain’t. It is catchy though. Nice.. a good period piece.
I’d LIKE to present the rocking flip side for you, but no one has uploaded it to YouTube yet. And I don’t have a copy of this one to record. I do need a copy -hint hint.
I have heard Twist Enos Twist before and it was definitely Rock’n’Roll, definitely a good one! It even appears on two compilations of Twist music (“Twistin’ Time Vol. 1”, and “60s Party Dances”).
So who or what was Enos? I have to assume it was Enos the chimpanzee – the first chimpanzee launched into Earth orbit.
Enos completed more than 1,250 training hours before his adventure, with special emphasis on weightlessness and higher G-force resistance. Enos flew into space aboard Mercury Atlas 5 on November 29, 1961, making him a perfectly timely celebrity for this 1962 record.
According to Wikipedia, “Enos was scheduled to complete three orbits, but aborted after two due to improper attitude. Observers witnessed Enos jumping for joy, running around the recovery ships’s deck, and enthusiastically shaking his rescuer’s hands.” Maybe the Page-Boys believed the chimp had the proper fun-seeking attitude to be the subject of a R&R song, or maybe the life of a Twist Party.
Trying for find a novelty angle for a record to jump on a trend wasn’t unique to the Page-Boys. Their track is preceded on the Twistin’ Time comp by one with the promising title He Won the Purple Heart (For Doin’ the Twist) by Herbie Jay
Besides outer space and satellites, the Twist was the biggest fad going at this time. If you were old enough to be aware then you know.. if you weren’t, there’s not cultural trend today to which I can compare it. It was a dance, the subject of jokes, a social event, a scandal, it presented a very mildly risque movement to places where dancers of different races sometimes even danced together! (you didn’t have to touch each other to do it), and both Black and White artists played the music with equal success – though it WAS an R&B-based music. Church groups banned it, movies celebrated it, and everyone was talking about it.
So the Page-Boys were wise in combining two strands of pop culture here. Unfortunately, the Twist died out while Enos just DIED (of natural causes) on November 4, 1962 – not long after this record came out. Whether because the Beatles and British Invasion was right around the corner, or in sadness over the chimp who would never Twist again, the Page-Boys’ career seems to have ended there.
I’m not aware of any further release, or subsequent activities by any members. If anyone knows anything, I’d like to get some info. Enjoy!