45 Friday: WILMER & THE DUKES – Living In The U.S.A.

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

We covered Wilmer before – somewhat – without delving into the whole history of the band. Previously we focused on their first 45 “Give Me One More Chance” and its killer B-side “Get It!”; and their second 45 (“I’m Free”, B-side to “Heavy Time”). Today we’ll look at their third 45, “Living In The U.S.A.”.

I only touched on the early background of these guys in the past because their story is well-known and has been covered elsewhere. So I won’t write book here. The short backstory is that Wilmer Alexander Jr., Ronnie Alberts, and Ralph “Duke” Gillotte came together in 1957. All three were from Geneva (outside Rochester). Wilmer played sax and sang; Ronnie was the drummer; and Duke was the keyboardist (and sometimes organ). “Keyboard” in the early days meant “piano”, but as the band moved into the Sixties this came to be the favorite axe of jazz/R&B organists, the Hammond B3.

The early band was completed with Bob Egan on bass and Doug Brown on guitar. Doug also wrote “Give Me One More Chance”.  Later on horns were added to the lineup, though on their self-titled 1969 album, the band is presented as just the five core musicians with horns as guests. Incidentally, local heavies Chuck Mangione and Gap Mangione worked on the album too, as players and arrangers.

The band lasted from 1958 to 1974 but their ‘salad days’ were approximately 1961 to 1970. At first they played the Upstate and Central NY circuit, mostly colleges, frat parties, bars, Ski lodges, and lake resort clubs. Later they found residencies as house bands especially in Buffalo, first at The Inferno and later at the new club created by the same owners when The Inferno ironically burned down- Gilligans, in Cheektowaga.

Wikipedia describes those nights: ‘Every Wednesday night, long lines of fans formed through Glen Park and over the bridge on Glen Avenue, many waiting for hours to get into the sold-out Inferno. Wilmer & the Dukes would play such cover songs as “Reach Out” and “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops, “Shotgun” & “Road Runner” by Junior Walker & the Allstars, and “Baby Let Me Bang Your Box” by Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts. Acts they opened for included Wilson Pickett and Sly & the Family Stone.’

The Inferno had a regular R&B/ Soul day on Sundays, bringing in national acts on a regular basis, and the audience there was equally interested in Rock’n’Roll and Soul, which was perfect for Wilmer & The Dukes. And the fact that they were an interracial band doesn’t seem to have raised any eyebrows. This may not have been the case when they started though. In the late Fifities, when they were playing mostly Black clubs, the racial dynamic of the band probably stood out more – and may have been part of their novelty.

As I mentioned before, it’s seems to be more than just rumor that the screenwriter and producer of the movie Animal House (Ivan Reitman) saw Wilmer play gigs at The Inferno and was affected to the point that they became the inspiration for that film’s “Otis Day & the Knights”.

That brings us up to 1968. Buffalo-based Aphrodisiac Records released “Give Me One More Chance” which was a regional hit, placing moderately on the Billboard and Cashbox Top 100 charts. It also earned release in Canada, the UK, Germnay and France. And maybe other markets, for all I know.

The Steve Miller Band was San Francisco-based and considered part of the Fillmore/ hippie/ Frisco scene even though all members were actually from Texas or the Midwest. After a strong first album they released the even-stronger “Sailor” LP in 1968. “Living In the USA” was taken from it to be there second single and it entered the Billboard Top 100 on November 23, 1968. It never got much farther even though it was backed with the equally strong “Quicksilver Girl”.

Not long after the Miller album and 45 releases Wilmer and band picked up on “USA” and started playing it. They included it as a cut on their early 1969 album and released it as a followup single to “Give Me One More Chance” /”Get It” and “I’m Free”/ “Heavy Time” in the summer of 1969. It was a regional-only hit in upper New York state and a few scattered markets (apparently a top 40 in Detroit) but the only made it to #114 on the Billboard chart.

They weren’t quite done on record – one more single followed, pulled from the album – but there were no more singles after these four and no more albums until the CD era when the remaining members recorded as The Legendary Dukes.

In my opinion their album and all the singles are top-notch. They always put on a killer live show and it’s too bad they weren’t able to keep recording.

Living In The U.S.A. – enjoy!

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45 Friday: FRANK DeROSA & THE DE-MEN – Big Guitar

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

This is a busy week so I’m taking the easy way out, and posting about a record we touched on before! Back to Rochester for this one.

Ken Records was a small Rochester-based label but they hit twice, both times with instros. As with many instrumental records of the times, they crossed over from Rock’ n ‘Roll into Rhythm & Blues, Rockabilly into pre-Surf music. Both “Big Guitar” and Chuck Alaimo’s “Leap Frog” feature a rockin’ rhythm and a greasy wailing sax, though “Big Guitar” lives up to it’s name with a extra helping of raunchy six-string.

I’m pretty sure both records were actually recorded at Rochester’s legendary Fine Recordings studio, Ken Records having no studio.

Something else the two have in common is both of them were picked up by national labels after local success. MGM picked up “Leap Frog” and went on to issue three more 45s by Chuck Alaimo. Dot Records picked up “Big Guitar” but alas, it was a one-off release for them, even though it WAS a moderate hit. It became an even bigger hit when covered by Owen Bradley’s Quartet (on Decca, in 1958).

We should note that the group on Ken is THE DE-MEN while on Dot it was changed to THE D MEN. It’s supposed to have been a play on DeRosa’s name, which gets lost in the Dot credit. Maybe that thought DeMen was too much like Demon?

DeRosa, like Chuck Alaimo, was a tenor sax player. Besides DeRosa, the group included Robert Genovese and his brother Sonny Genovese, aka Bobby Geno and Sonny Geno. Bobby is the prominent guitarist on this 1957 track.

Bobby and Sonny may also have been members of The Four Ekkos. They were involved on Ekkos recordings in any case.

Sonny Geno had a later 45 ( which features Bobby on guitar) on the local Rip Records, which also had a Four Ekkos release. Bobby Geno later had a 45 on the First Records label, owned by Buffalo radio station DJ and program director Dick Lawrence. On this record, the label credit is “Bobby Geno – Mr. Big Guitar”!

The B-side of  “Big Guitar” was “Irish Rock”, a typical piece of Irish-sounding music which was probably based on an existing tune which I can almost place but not quite… generic ‘irish’ music I guess. Both sides are credited to DeRosa and Genovese.

The single got a release in England on London Records, and also on a London EP alongside Pat Boone and the Fontaine Sisters. In 1960 The Tielman Brothers (a Dutch/ Indonesian group of brothers) reworked “Big Guitar” into “A.A.A.” and had a European hit with it.

Sonny Genovese passed away around 1990. Until recently Bob Genovese had a regular music gig in Las Vegas. I don’t know what ever happened to Frank DeRosa but I hope he went out or goes out wailing, like his wild sax.

45 Friday: THE BUENA VISTAS – Hot Shot

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Kathy Lynn & The Playboys started in 1963 and were based in Buffalo, or more accurately the Tonawandas. Original members were Kathleen Keppen (Ameno) – vocals & guitar; Nick Ameno – guitar; and Jack ‘Buddy’ Ferraro on drums. When a new club called The Peppermint Stick opened in North Tonawanda this trio was asked to play at the opening. Carl Cisco was managing the club. Spotting the potential in the group, he brought in his friend Tom Shannon to form a management team.

The Peppermint Stick concept – a teen club with Rock’n’Roll, no alcohol and proper behavior – took off. The original club sprouted two more locations on Grand Island and South Buffalo. Kathy Lynn & The Playboys settled into a gig as house band at the original Ward Road location. but played at all of them, performing weekly and backing up the national stars that also played these clubs – people like Freddie Cannon, The Four Seasons, Johnny Cymbal, and The Angels. They filled out their sound by adding Denny Vallette on bass guitar. I wonder if has was related to guitarist Gary Vallette of Buffalo’s Quarter Notes?

The group had a varied sound but for their first 45 they chose two surf-sounding guitar/ instrumental tracks. As the labels boasted, “Rock City” was recorded ‘Live at The Peppermint Stick’. Shannon was not only a popular DJ at powerful WKBW radio (powerful in both signal strength and business clout) but also a local record mogul, coming off his success with The Rockin’ Rebels. He was able to get them signed to The Rebels’ label, Swan. “Rock City” became a local Top 10 cracked the national Top 100 chart. I have heard that Eddie Bentley joined the group to play guitar on this recording but I don’t know if that’s true.

Two more Swan singles followed. “He’s My Special Boy” and “He’s Gonna Be My Guy” did moderately well. Both showed more of a Girl Group/ Pop sound heading towards the smoother danceable Northern Soul/ Motown sound. Early on, they showed a good grasp of Black music styles – a sign of things to come.

They continued playing, appearing around the Northeast, landing a high-profile gig opening for The Dave Clark Five at the Buffalo Aud. But the Dave Clark Five’s biggest rival was changing the whole music scene around. Swan Records had the Beatles (for a short time) and the American group was put on the back burner. American groups in general were getting put on the back burner, except for the Motown Sound – the Detroit Soul sound.

Conveniently, Tom Shannon was offered a radio job in Detroit. Carl Cisco saw some opportunities with the Detroit indie recording scene. Kathy Lynn & The Playboys decided to move to Detroit with their managers. Apparently a lot of planning and dealing took place. Shannon sold his recording studio (equipment) to Detroit’s Golden World production company and record label, Cisco went to work as a producer/ engineer for them, and Kathy and the group began recording for newly-created Golden World subsidiary labels Marquee and LaSalle.

Incidentally, the old Shannon studio equipment is what had been used to record hits in Buffalo like “Wild Weekend”. And in Detroit it was heavily used and can be heard on hits like “Just Like Romeo & Juliet” by The Reflections.

Before the move Denny Vallette left the group and Ed Bentley took over on bass. Once in Detroit, a bewildering number of recording dates and personnel combinations took place. I don’t know the order of the changes but at various times records were recorded or released by The LaSalles, Lynn Terry, The Buena Vistas, The Antiques, Eddie Bentley, and Jimmy Satan (actually Bentley).

The two most important identities were The LaSalles and The Buena Vistas. The LaSalles put out a couple records and came to the attention of Berry Gordy, who gave them a one-off record deal with Motown subsidiary V.I.P. Records. “La, La, La, La, La” was a minor hit, and they were supposedly the first White artist signed to any Motown label. Gordy wanted to sign Kathy to a solo contract, but she decided to stay with the group and with Cisco & Shannon.

As The LaSalles (sometimes spelled as La Salles, and often credited as Lynn Terry & The LaSalles) they played around Detroit and various parts of the USA. At one point, their lineup was listed as Lynn Terry (Kathy Lynn) – vocals; Nick Massi (who I assume is Nick Ameno) – guitar and brass; Jimmy Brandon – sax & flute; Ralph Tracey – drums.

But it was in their other studio identity, as the The Buena Vistas, that they were most prolific, with seven releases on four labels, and three of them gaining foreign release on other labels. Actually there’s more – but it’s complicated!

Most of these were on the Cisco / Shannon labels Marquee and LaSalle including the minor hit “Here Come Da Judge” on Marquee. Interestingly the label on the NEXT Marquee release – “Soul Clappin’ ” – bears the statement ‘from the album “Here Come Da Judge” ‘. No such album was ever released.

But two Buena Vistas 45s were on Kathy Lynn’s old label- Swan. These seem to be the first Detroit-era releases by the group.

There’s a bit of controversy about who plays on the Buena Vistas records. The Kathy Lynn website states that ‘Nick wrote and recorded the track “Here Come Da Judge” under the name The Buena Vistas’. Some foreign Soul ‘experts’, apparently having trouble believing it could be non-Detroiters, much less White musicians, have assumed they’re simply Detroit session men and not a ‘group’ at all. At least in part, in some cases. Tom Shannon has stated – at least once – that it was session men.

This is where we have to make some assumptions. We could say that Tom Shannon’s most famous group – The Rebels/ The Rockin’ Rebels – were session men. He owned the name and concept, and after the original band was split, he used other musicians to work under that name. The “Wild Weekend” album was mostly recorded by guys who weren’t the original Rebels. But they weren’t really session men, they were a real band – The Jesters.

If you look at the writer credits on every one of the seven Buena Vistas records, each has some combination of the names Keppen and Ameno as well as Cisco and Shannon. It’s hard to imagine canny music business veterans giving away potential royalties to people who weren’t involved.

Therefore, my belief is that the core Buffalo musicians were always involved, and earlier 45s (Swan) were entirely the work of the original Buffalo group, and as time went on (“Here Come Da Judge”) more outside musicians contributed.

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Today’s 45 is from 1966 (one source says 1965), the first on Swan under the name Buena Vistas and probably the first Buena Vistas release. “Hot Shot” is a great Soul instrumental, kind-of prefiguring Funk, somewhere in between Booker T. & The MGs and The Meters.

It of course gets more complicated. The original Rebels put out a side titled “Donkey Walk”. This was the ORIGINAL group, pre-Rockin’ Rebels, but on this one they were called the Buffalo Rebels. The Donkey was a dance and the music imitates a braying donkey. After “Wild Weekend” hit big – the second release – and the original Rebels were no longer, they were replaced MOSTLY by The Jesters.
But for one side of one single, they were replaced by – Kathy Lynn & The Playboys. Or The Buena Vistas, if you will. A track was issued called “Donkey Twine”. It was basically a rewrite of “Donkey Walk” but a little more funky, more soulful. And with another dance name tacked on (The Twine). The writing credit is to Shannon, Cisco, Ameno. The Buena Vistas’s “Hot Shot” is basically a further rewrite of “Donkey Twine”. The writing credit stayed the same.

The flip of “Hot Shot” is “T.N.T.” which turns out to be basically an instrumental version of the hit “Tossin’ N Turnin’ ” (T-N-T, get it?). Writing credit here goes to Cisco, Keppen, Ameno. “T.N.T.” is great in it’s own right, but a little old-fashioned compared to “Hot Shot”.

This single was issued in the UK on Stateside at the time of original release. It  got some notice then, and became a favorite among the Mod Soul fans at legendary clubs like the Twisted Wheel. If you’re splitting hairs, this is a classic Mod sound – as differentiated from the Northern Soul sound.

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The band continued to play various places in the USA until they came back to the Buffalo in 1974 and became Angel Baby & The Daddyo’s. Kath and Nick later joined Solid Grease. Ed Bentley eventually joined Solid Grease. Kathy Lynn & The Playboys were inducted into the Buffalo Museum Hall of Fame in 2010 and since that time the original three – Kathy, Nick and Buddy – have been performing together again.

45 Friday: BROKEN ARROW & THE TOMAHAWKS – I Get Rainy River Blues

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

What would a local record story be without a mystery or two, and a lot of missing information? I don’t know, because I almost never have those!

Except for a minority of records – the most common ones – there isn’t much information on a lot of these. I’ve bemoaned that fact before here, and talked about the reasons for it. The main reason is that it was expected that no one would really ever care. Especially about “also-rans” and “misses”, not hits.

But WE care. And so today we venture into the politically-incorrect world of 1960 & 1961, with a record (and a couple of its fellows) that probably would not be made today, but that at least it showed a sympathy for the plight of the Native American.

The background to it is the Kinzua Dam project begun in 1960 and completed in 1965. This involved building a dam to control the Allegheny River. In the process a lot of land on the Pennsylvania/ New York border had to be flooded and buried under water forever. 10,000 acres of that land was part of the Allegheny Reservation given to the Senecas in the Treaty of Canandaigua by President Washington. This not only forced relocation of the Senecas, it took away ground now considered sacred, ground which held the remains of their ancestors.

Naturally this led to considerable opposition to the dam by the Natives. But the Federal government used its power of eminent domain. President Kennedy refused the Seneca’s appeals. Lands were evacuated. 600 Seneca families forced to relocate. The towns or hamlets of Elko, Kinzua, Onoville and Quaker Bridge were all lost. Some of the land was added to Allegany State Park but much ended up under the Allegheny Reservoir.

Stan Johnson was from the Southern Tier area.  I don’t know exactly where but Jamestown and Salamanca are equally good guesses. He later recorded across the border, in Ohio. I also don’t know if he was of Native American descent but I believe so. In 1961 he recorded this gem. It’s both a serious lamentation of the relocation (he would rather die than be relocated away from his deer and beaver and his ancestors) and comedy/novelty -the water swept away his mother-in-law!

This kind of novelty was common enough that’s there’s at least two full compilation CDs of rockabilly-genre Native American-themed rockers and novelties. And many of them have the exact same elements this one has: the Indian drum rhythms, the chanting, the alternation of ethnic-sounding sections with straight Rock’n’Roll sections.

I don’t know why it’s the “Rainy River Blues”, as the only Rainy River even close is on Ontario. I also don’t understand the whole “I Get Rainy River Blues” title. But it’s clearly about the Kinzua situation. The record is on the Salamanca Records label (though it has a Jamestown address). It’s credited to Broken Arrow And The Tomahawks, which may just be a coincidental use of a Native term – but a broken arrow is the sign of a broken promise, a broken treaty.

This was a one-off for Stan Johnson who never used the Broken Arrow name again. But it’s almost certainly Johnson singing, and he wrote both sides (the flip is “You’re A Million Miles Away”). This was pressed by Rite records in Ohio and released in 1961.

And that’s almost the whole story. But there’s a couple other seemingly-related records, though I’m not sure of their relevance.

Billboard Magazine’s listing for Oct 16, 1961 lists one more record on the Salamanca label and it’s the only other Salamanca I’ve heard of. Roger Smith released “I Get Rainy River Blues”, also in 1961. I don’t have a clue who Roger Smith is and don’t have this one, have never heard it. But its likely the same song, possibly even the same version re-credited. This time it’s backed with “Land Of Liberty” which may or may not be concerned with local events.

The other record is one credited to Red Arrow & The Braves. “The Last Days Of Kinzua” is about the same events, and it namechecks Cornplanter in the lyrics. This 45 came out on the Kinzua label and was issued twice, one as a two-sider (Part 1 and an instrumental Part 2) and again as “The Last Days Of Kinzua” b/w the “Red Skin Rumble”. There’s several mysterious angles to this record. It’s connected to both Olean and Rochester.

Clyde Dickerson, Southern Tier sax played and arranger, was behind the Red Arrow & The Braves records. Maybe we’ll talk about “The Last Days Of Kinzua” next week. What’s relevant today is that I have a suspicion that it’s his sax we hear on the “Rainy River Blues” track.

If that wasn’t enough, it seems “Rainy River Blues” was released by Salamanca twice! Once with a different catalog number on one side, but otherwise identical. Most likely, only to confuse record collectors in the future.

45 Friday: NANCY LEE – Xmas Dream

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Merry Christmas!  Here’s a Seasonal item – a little unwrapped gift from Buffalo’s cool low-budget but prolific (and musically tasty) 1970s Soul label Mo Do Records.

We covered Mo Do Records in the past somewhat, and some day we’ll do an in-depth feature on them. But here’s a little bit of background. William Nunn, Sr. (aka Billy Nunn) lived in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood. In the late 1960s he decided to start a record label and put together his own recording studio. Thoughts of chart success didn’t really figure in the plan – it was mainly for fun and as a possible way to keep neighborhood youths off the streets.

Mo Do 101 came out in 1967. Bob & Gene’s You Gave Me Love/ Your Name was an effort by Billy’s son Bobby Nunn and his friend Eugene Coplin. In 1968 Mo Do 102 was issued – Hipper Than Me by The Four Andantes.

The label’s run of singles releases ended with Mo Do 128, the last of the six Bob & Gene 45s. If you’re keeping score that’s 28. But two of the catalog numbers are unaccounted for, either unused numbers or unknown releases. And Mo Do also released two LPs.

 

Even that isn’t entirely accurate though, because in the 2000s a collector tracked down Billy Sr. and gained access to his stock and masters. This led to the release of a ‘new’ Bob & Gene single followed by an album including their singles sides and previously unreleased material. Ultimately two of the Bob & Gene tracks found their way onto motion picture soundtracks.

A few of the people who got their start at Mo Do went onto to success in the R&B world. Levi Ruffin Jr, Bobby Nunn and Billy Nunn, Jr. all attained success in the music business.

Not so for Nancy Lee. In fact, I’m sorry to say I know nothing about her. No info has come to light and she seems to have disappeared completely (at least from the music world) following her two releases here. Sandwiched in between two Bob & Gene platters came Mo Do 126 (X-Mas Dream / X-Mas Commercial Blues, in 1971) and 127 (No Words For Love / In My Dreams, in 1972). Though that last Bob & Gene record has a later catalog number I have a feeling it was recorded earlier and Nancy’s records were the last two recorded at Mo Do.

X-Mas Commercial Blues is an uptempo Soul to Jazz track, lamenting the commercial side of Christmas. It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that would likely make the charts in 1971. But in 2013 it was considered good enough to be reissued on a CD compilation (and corresponding digital download) titled  “Santa’s Funk & Soul Christmas Party Vol 2”, on Germany’s Tramp Records.

X-Mas Dream – a Holiday ballad – has a timeless Soul sound with an unusual vocal approach. I certainly never could have pinned it down to 1971 just from listening.

Backing is by Al Johnson & The Soul-jers and their name is somewhat familiar but at the moment I’m drawing a blank on them too!

Maybe more will be revealed on Ms. Lee in the future. Meanwhile, here’s something to enjoy with your eggnog!

 

45 Friday: LENNY O’HENRY – Mr. Moonlight

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

 

Last week we talked about Danny Cannon in his one-off identity as L. B. Wilson, recording in 1963 for Bob Crewe’s Vivid label. Today we’ll cover his equally short stay with the big-time Smash Records label. It lasted for just one release, but it’s a great record!

Danny came to Smash having already been renamed ‘Lenny O’Henry’ by Crewe, and having made two singles for the powerhouse ABC-Paramount label . There was still some confusion though, because the first copies of Smash 8200 – the promotional copies – called him ‘Lenny O. Henry’.

Crewe got Lenny signed to Smash at the same time he was recording him under another name for his own Vivid label. As we said previously the reasons for that aren’t clear. But it made for two nice releases for Danny in 1963.

His Vivid single “Don’t” had a pronounced Latin aspect to the Soul sound. But his Smash “Mr. Moonlight” has a more subtle Latin sound, mainly in the rhythm. It’s the same kind of Latin influence that Atlantic was using so successfully on records by The Drifters (“Up On The Roof”, “Under The Boardwalk”), Ben E. King and others. “Mr. Moonlight” takes it to another level though, building to a crescendo worthy of Roy Orbison.

There was another famous “Mr. Moonlight” but it has no relation. Or almost no relation. Performed by Dr. Feelgood & The Interns, it had been written by the band’s guitarist Roy Lee Johnson earlier but recorded by them for Okeh in 1962. Dr. Feelgood & The Interns have their own great story. Dr. Feelgood was previously known as Piano Red (though really named William Lee Perryman), under which name he’d been playing and recording Blues on piano since the 1930s. The Dr. Feelgood identity was his attempt to get back into music, this time in R&B, after having left the musician life for Radio DJ work.

Did the Feelgood track influence the Lenny O’Henry track of one year later? Well, it has a Latin rhythm (maybe it’s supposed to be a Calypso rhythm). Some of the lyrical ideas are similar. But I guess it’s likely two random songs that personify ‘moonlight’ are going to have similarities regardless.

Incidentally, most people know Dr. Feelgood’s “Mr. Moonlight” from it’s John Lennon-sung cover by The Beatles.

 

Danny, er, Lenny’s record is a Big Production number with lots going on. It starts out sparsely. Instruments are slowly added. Backing vocals come in – the first part is done by The Four Seasons. Then after the violins become more pronounced, female studio singers are added. Leading to a big finish and some great lead vocal moves.

“Mr. Moonlight” was first written by Danny, who cut a demo of it and brought it to Crewe who took it, made some changes and brought it back to Danny. He found it hard to sing since the words didn’t fit the meter so well anymore, but in the end it was Bob’s call and that was how it got cut. This is why the writing credit is to Cannon/Crewe. A cynical person might wonder if Crewe made the changes only to take credit, but he doesn’t seem to have been that type of person. He already had successful songs solely written by himself, with much a more extensive and lucrative catalog to follow.

In any case Danny regretted the changes and felt the song would have been better as he’d written it, and could have been a big hit. It did do moderately well. But it took the Europeans to really pick up on it, and as the Popcorn scene developed on the Continent, the song became more and more popular through the Seventies and into the Eighties.

Popcorn is a kind of Soul/ R&B music that has it’s own cult following in Europe. The more uptempo Northern Soul music found its biggest home in England, but the epicenter of the Popcorn Soul music scene is Belgium. In fact, it’s often called Belgium Popcorn. The records tend to be older (early 60s) than the Motown-inspired later 60s tracks popular in the Northern scene, and many have just this type of Latin rhythm. “Mr. Moonlight” is an almost perfect example of Popcorn and it’s considered a classic in that scene.

After this lone Smash release Danny found himself signed to the main exponent of this type of sound, Atlantic Records. Well, Atlantic subsidiary Atco Records. But that is another story,