By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon
A few weeks ago I wrote about the Buena Vistas and their “Here Come Da Judge”. This one is very similar in concept and origin.
The core group of Kathy Keppen and Nick Ameno dropped the Kathy Lynn & The Playboys name around the time they left the Buffalo area for Detroit, and began issuing records as The Buena Vistas on Swan (while also recording as The LaSalles for V.I.P., but that’s another story) . The previous Kathy Lynn singles had ranged from Rock ‘n’ Roll to Girl Group sounds. But after their 1966 move to Detroit the singles became almost completely Soul/R&B oriented. And they were a particularly funky form of Soul which – if not Funk per se – comes very close to it!
As we previously discussed, there were less band members and more studio musicians as time went on until at some point there recognizable sound of Detroit session men has completely taken over the recordings. And by the time of today’s featured single – 1968 – that process had long been complete.
Their first 45 as The Buena Vistas had an A-side (Hot Shot) which obviously heavily features the Detroit Soul session stars but the B-side (T.N.T.) has the older sound of the early 1960s instrumental craze and is likely played by Keppen, Ameno and their band in large part.
For what it’s worth the writing credit for Hot Shot is Shannon, Cisco, Ameno. That is radio DJ Tom Shannon, manager Carl Cisco and Nick Ameno. At that time Shannon was deejaying at CKLW out of Windsor, Ontario, hitting the Detroit audience. Buffalo-born and raised, he’s well-known to Buffalonians as an early 1960s radio personality here but had been co-managing Kathy Lynn & The Playboys and had taken them with him when he moved West.
Credit for T.N.T. is Cisco, Ameno and Kathy Keppen. Interestingly, T.N.T. is actually a (very) thinly disguised rewrite of Bobby Lewis’ Tossin’ And Turnin’, known also by Bobby Darin’s cover version. Tossin’ N Turnin’ = T.N.T.!
By 1968 Buena Vistas singles were coming out on the new Marquee label. We previously discussed the first – Here Come Da Judge b/w Big Red. As we said, Marquee was a partnership of Tom Shannon, Carl Cisco and Nick Ameno.
Today’s record, Soul Clappin’ (b/w Rappin’) followed about four months after Judge. Like it, Soul Clappin’ starts off with a spoken phrase. My guess is that Detroit Soul produced and personality Richard Popcorn Wiley again performed this duty.
Released on Aug 10, 1968, Soul Clappin’ / Rappin’ entered Billboard’s Bubbling Under (under the Top 100) chart, reaching number 126, but went no farther nationally.
Writing credits on both sides are; Shannon, Cisco, Ameno. I have to go with the general consensus and believe that the performers here are all Detroit session men, but still can’t help but wonder if the only part the Buffalo people played in this was writing it. And how did these Buffalo suburbanites learn to write such funky Soul music?