45 Friday: LYNN TERRY – Boy Crazy

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Today’s 45 is a Pop/Pock female vocal effort out of New York City. As it turns out ‘Lynn Terry’ is actually Kathy Lynn of Kathy Lynn & Playboys.

Kathy Keppen worked under many names, and so did the group, including The LaSalles and The Buena Vistas. Like most of their later recordings the actual recording session personnel is unknown but in most cases one must assume the core group of Nick Ameno/ Kathy Keppen/ Carl Cisco was involved on each, as they are credited as writers on each.

Interestingly, Kathy’s actual correct name should be Kathy Ameno as by this time she was married to Nick Ameno! For completeness’ sake we should maybe call this bunch or Kathy Lynn Terry Keppen Ameno & The Buena Vista Playboys.

We’ve previously covered Kathy Lynn & The Playboys and the Buena Vistas so I’ll leave their full story alone for the most part.

This record was a one-off for NYC’s Rust Records. Based on some of the label information (Shan-Todd Publishing, A Magi Production) we can speculate on the discographical place for this 1966 release among their other releases. It came AFTER their work as Kathy Lynn & The Playboys on Swan, at approximately the same time as their early (1966) efforts as the Buena Vistas on Swan, but before their 1967-68 Detroit recordings as the Buena Vistas and The Antiques.

Based on a real close listen to their recordings my personal guess is that their convoluted recording history goes like this: Kathy Lynn & The Playboys 1963-65, recorded in Western New York (or maybe some in NYC); The Buena Vistas recorded in early 1966 in NYC followed by this mid-1966 one, on Rust, also recorded in NYC.

I think it was only after this that they moved to Detroit along with Tommy Shannon, and made their ‘Motown’ single on V.I.P. Records as the LaSalles. based on this record they’re often referred to as “the first white group on Motown records” though I’m not sure that’s exactly accurate.

In any case, that would be late 1966. Following that their associates (including Carl Cisco, who was at some points their manager) created a record label named LaSalle and the group revived the Buena Vista name for a LaSalle release. Other Buena Vistas 45s also came out, on related (and apparently unrelated!) labels.

These records sound unlike the previous Buena Vistas records, which supports the idea that those were earlier ones were recorded in NYC and these later ones in Detroit.

Just to confuse matters they made a couple 45s for LaSalle under other names. For one, they were The Antiques. On the other Kathy Lynn revived the Lynn Terry name for a one-off release in in 1967 or 68. This particular record is rare with very few copies in circulation. On both of these, the writing credits are again Nick Ameno/ Kathy Keppen/ Carl Cisco.

The A-side of Rust R-5109 is a cover of Jackie DeShannon’s “When You Walk In The Room” (also done by The Searchers). But today we present the B-side, their self-penned “Boy Crazy”. It’s a mildly-soulful effort, sounding like a girl group backed by a garage band. Enjoy!

45 Friday: THE TIGERMEN – Tiger Girl

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Here’s the rest of the story on the Tigermen. Last week I talked about how local collectors were confounded by their two 45s by the Buff record, and the fact that no one knew anything about the band or the label. Until 1985, when their Close That Door appeared on a compilation of Sixties garage punk. The liner notes to “Back From The Grave #5″ described them as being a 1965-1966 New York State band and suggested they might have been from the Southern Tier area. It also verified that their two 45s were recorded in Buffalo, all in one night’s session.

Almost ten years later (1994) another Tigermen track turned up on a compilation. Tiger Girl appeared on Scum Of The Earth. The scanty liner notes to it revealed nothing and in fact those compilers seemed to not know the info previously revealed on Back From The Grave.

Close That Door carried a catalog number of Buff B-1005. Buff B-1006 was Tiger Girl. In retrospect we’ve learned that Close That Door (Buff B-1005) was released in January 1966 and Tiger Girl (Buff B-1006) in June 1966.

In this interent age Information is now a lot easier to obtain, and now the rest of the story has been revealed. As it turns out, there is no dramatic secret.  They were simply a band from the Olean area. They which actually started in 1964. They worked the local Southern Tier area, sometimes branching out into northern PA or Central NY, and came to Buffalo just to record their songs. I don’t believe they ever played the specific Buffalo area otherwise, though it’s possible.

Some of their gigs included a Battle Of The Bands at Olean High School and regular gigs in the Cuba Lake resort area. I’m guessing they probably played the teen club at Alleghany State Park. There was also a teen club in Olean  – like the Peppermint Stick clubs in Buffalo and North Tonawanda and the Sandsabarn in Perry – which partnered with WKBW in holding sock hops with KB deejays. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was there where they got in contact with a KB jock who got them into that Buffalo recording studio in October 1965.

Tom Consedine and John Farrell are the two members whose names appear in the writing credits. The other members were  Jeff Todd and Tim Stavish. Their short run ended in the summer of 1966 when the band was split up the conflicting demands of college and the draft.

Their records were produced by Art Detrick. Art and his brother Rusty Dedrick were jazz musicans and music educators and the Buff label was their creation. In fact a couple of the Buff releases are credited to the Dedricks as performing artists. The next generation of the Dedrick family was Art’s children, the siblings who comprised the hit-making group The Free Design. The Dedrick family was from Delevan NY – not TOO far from Olean.

Art Dedrick studied music at Fredonia State and, after working as player and arranger with lots of the big bands and serving as staff arranger forWGR and WBEN in Buffalo, returned to teach in the music department there. In 1954 he started his own publishing company, Kendor Music, to issue his big band charts for school groups (he was initiators of the school jazz ensemble movement). I believe he started Buff Records originally to release instructional big band records. Clearly, no one would mistake the Tigermen records for one of THOSE.

That’s the story. And here’s their GREAT second record, Tiger Girl. By the way, the only photo I’ve seen shows them in regular suits. But rumor has it they has special tiger-striped suits too. I’d LOVE to see a photo of that!

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Some of this info comes from Chris Bishop’s article in the great blog Garage Hangover – check it out at http://www.garagehangover.com/tigermen/

45 Friday: THE TIGERMEN – Close That Door

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Here’s another record which was a mystery for years, though most of the story is know known. If you read my article last week on Rebel & The Jaguars you probably already know where this is going! If not you’ll have to wait until next week for “the rest of the story”, as Paul Harvey used to say.

  This is all collectors had to go on for years: two 45s turned up in the Buffalo area by The Tigermen on Buff Records (Buff #1005 and Buff #1006). Although few copies turned up, they DID turn up locally. Collectors assumed Buff was a local label and the group was a local group although – in a familiar story – no one could remember them.

When the book Fuzz Acid & Flowers (at the time, a semi-definitive guide to American 60s underground groups – Garage Rock and Psychedelic) came out, it contained an entry for The Tigermen but little info was revealed. It was stated that the group drove a distance to Buffalo to record, cut two singles worth of tracks (four ‘sides’), climbed back into their car and disappeared into the night. back to from whence they came.

No one seemed to KNOW from whence they came, and if the studio owners knew no one thought to ask them. It’s not even known at which studio they recorded though I’d guess it was Howell Studios in downtown Buffalo. Interestingly, unlike bands like Rebel & The Jaguars who recorded elsewhere and merely got a local company to make their tape into records the Tigermen definitely DID cut their tracks in a Buffalo studio.

Although the record labels gave no clues to the band’s origin or even an address for the label, there were other records on labels called Buff which seemed to be loosely from Western New York – though to be specific, those with addresses suggested the Rochester area and the Southern Tier. There were no similarities between the Tigermen’s Buff label and these others and in fact none of the Buff records looked the same as far as design, logo, label info or pressing plant info.

In 1985 one of the tracks made an appearance on a compilation when Close That Door appeared on “Back From The Grave #5”. The liner notes were lacking in much hard info though obviously someone had tracked down the band or someone who knew them. Although we were not told who they were or from where they came, the band was described as a high school project beginning in 1965 and ending in 1966 due to college and the draft, and the band was said to have played around New York State with The Invictas, Ollie & The Go-Gos and Peter & The Wolves. None of these were true Buffalo bands though Rochester’s Invictas recorded and played in Buffalo and the others were from the Southern Tier area.

Back From The Grave’s liner notes also mention the Tigermen’s recordings all being done in one night in October 1965. It’s now known that, although all recordings were done in one session they were issued months apart.

More coming next week when we’ll feature their great second single “Tiger Girl”, released on June 1966. But for today here’s their garage-rocking-est Close That Door, a January 1966 release.

45 Friday: THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND – On The Way Home

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Last week we talked about the Tweeds, and how they won a contest in 1967. That was a Battle Of The Bands, part of WKBW’s annual Fun-A-Fair. Sponsors for the show included Wink (the soft drink) and the Battle was ‘presented’ by Fender Musical Instruments, with drums provided by Kubera’s, the much-loved local music store. The prize the Tweeds won was a recording session and release on Coral Records. I don’t know if the bill was footed by Coral, KB or some of the other sponsors but that was a big prize to win!

1968’s Battle Of The Bands included thirty bands. The Fun-A-Fair itself lasted eight days and there was constant Rock’n’Roll and Teen music with five to eight performances a day. Some of the Battle contestant bands also performed often (multiple times) as part of the entertainment. These included The Rogues, The Mellow Brick Rode (pre-The Road), Caesar & His Romans, The Twiggs, The Tweeds, The Union Gap (local, not the famous one), The Vibratos ‘with Miss Toni Castellani’, and Wilmer & The Dukes.

There were also some national acts performing, who were not currently chart toppers – like Roy Orbison, Josh White Jr, and Ray Stevens (‘backed by The Vibratos’). Delevan, New York’s The Free Design was given ten performance slots. I’m guessing they weren’t in competition, as they already had a contract. In fact by this time they were well into their career. Their hit ‘Kites Are Fun’ 45 and album had come out in 1967 and their second ‘You Could Be Born Again’ album was due out at this time. I don’t now if they were at this time (or ever) considered a local act by Buffalo-area people, but I’m curious to find out – did they ever play around town otherwise?

Info on the outcome of the 1968 Battle is sketchy. I’ve been told it could have been semi-unknown local band The New Breed. They did release a scarce 45 around that time but the label it’s on seems to be their own label. So if they did indeed win the prize must have been a recording SESSION only, and they used the tape from it to make their own record.

If another band won either they didn’t put out a record, or I just never realized a record I’m already aware of is the result of this process! Information, as always, is need and help is appreciated.

1969’s Fun-A-Fair took place at the Pepsi Center in Amherst – I THINK. Previous ones were at either the Aud or the Armory. The Battle Of The Bands that year was sponsored by Amherst Cable Vision, a fledgling and visionary attempt to get people to pay for something they were used to getting for free- Television! They needed all the help they could get and they worked this event for some name recognition here.

The Subconscious Mind were a six-man band from Cheektowaga. I regret to say that any info I found on them – names and instruments – currently is avoiding capture! What I do know is that they don’t seem to have been particularly active. Their name doesn’t appear in any local club ads I’ve ever seen, and other musicians never mention them as a band with a presence on the scene. Maybe most of their gigs were High School dances.

In any case they weren’t expected to win. I’ve heard two stories about that. One was that other bands were played better that night, but Subconscious Mind packed the place with their fans. The other is that the second place band was considered by local fans to be a better band, but on that night everything just clicked for Subconscious Mind. Voting was close, but they won.

The prize was a recording date and it took place at Audio Recording in Cleveland. Local music maven Richard Sargent produced it, Cleve technician Arnie Rosenberg engineered, and it came out on the Vintage Records label. As far as I know this was a one-shot ‘label’, with no other releases and no connection to any other labels. It was probably pressed at Rite or Queen City in Ohio as a custom job.

The band chose to record two cover versions for the single. “On The Way Home” is the Neil Young song which he recorded with Buffalo Springfield, while “No Fair At All” is by The Association. Both of these are very good folk/rock with a heavy vocal presence. I’m guessing two of the members were vocalists only, in the style of The Association – who were BIG in 1969. The Buffalo Springfield were of course always popular locally, with The Road doing two Springfield covers on their first album.

So here it is – Buffalo teens doing their take on Neil Young. Enjoy!