45 FRIDAY: BEN HEWITT – I Ain’t Givin Up Nothin’

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

We talked about Ben long ago – way back in the early days of 45 Friday a couple years ago. We covered his second 45 (Patricia June / For Quite A While) and the lone single by his guitarist Ray Ethier (Slave Girl). Both of these were issued on Mercury Records in 1959.

Ben had cut enough tracks at his first session to complete his first and second single releases. The first came out earlier in 1959: You Break Me Up/  I Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothin’.

The circumstances behind the session are simple. Ben was discovered at his regular gig at DeFazio’s bar and bowling ally in Niagara Falls by a Col. Parker-type fellow, and taken to New York City he to record for Mercury Records, accompanied by his longtime guitarist Ray Ethier. It sounds like they were high-spirited boys who really cut loose in the big city and had wild times. But in the studio they were made to knuckle down and work.

I believe the producer was Clyde Otis and the arranger Belford Hendricks. By the time of their third single Hendricks was credited as such on the labels. Ben got his self-composed You Break Me Up on the A-side which was as it should be. he was a prolific composer who in later years got his songs recorded by many R&R, R&B and (especially) Country music artists.

The B-side was I Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothin’ (If I Can’t Get Something From You) – which is the actual complete title.

This came to my attention again recently when I picked up a 1962 45 by Jewel Brown, who sang with Louis Armstrong’s small group in later years but also tried her hand in the Pop/R&B market. Maybe I should say, ‘her hand was tried’ by her producer Clyde Otis. The copy I found had a one side credited to Clyde Otis/ Brook Benton/ Belford Hendricks while the I Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothin’ side carried no writer credit. It wasn’t until I played it for someone else that we realized it was the same song as Ben’s!

My inclination was to believe some record company shenanigans had taken place and Ben was being robbed of some royalties. My first research showed it had later been recorded by Clyde McPhatter, also for Mercury (1960), in a session also arranged and conducted by Belford Hendricks, carrying the credit of Otis-Benton: Clyde Otis and Brook Benton.

Furthermore it was cut in slightly later versions by Rockabilly singers Sonny Wilson (for California’s Candix label) and Jimmy “Frenchie” Dee (for two tiny Texas indie labels). Both of these carried the Otis-Benton credit.

I went back to my copy of Ben’s record and found that even on his the credit was Otis-Benton. I still believed that it was probably Ben’s song and had either had the credit stolen or he’d made a deal to give up the royalties.

But finally with a lot more research I learned it had been recorded just a few months earlier (September 1958) by Priscilla Bowman for Abner Records, backed by the Spaniels. It was the B-side of A Rockin’ Good Way, her version of the Brook Benton hit, also written by Otis-Benton. Her session was almost certainly helmed by Clyde Otis too.

It does fit Ben’s style like a glove. Ben loved Elvis (and could imitate him perfectly) though his his idol and the model for his stage presence was Little Richard, whom he saw on a package tour (probably brought here by The Hound, a friend of Ben) – and later met at Buffalo’s Zanzibar Club!

Ben’s March 1959-issued version obviously shows a strong influence from Elvis’ 1956 Don’t Be Cruel in the vocal and vocal arrangement. Musically though it has much in common with local boy Ersel Hickey’s almost simultaneous (February 1959) Bluebirds Over The Mountain. I’m guessing Ben and Ersel knew each other and likely had shared a song or two.

So I Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothin’ was never a Ben Hewitt composition at all. Was it a case of producers pushing their own song on an artist as a way to increase their royalties? It’s so perfect for Ben that maybe it was his own suggestion. Perhaps he’d already been performing it during his marathon bar band shows where he was known as a human jukebox. Ben had wide-ranging taste in music and loved Rock’n’Roll, Rockabilly, Country and R&B. It’s definitely possible he’d heard the Priscilla Bowman song already.

In any case it’s a great track by the guy who many people thought was another Elvis Presley.

Friday 45: The FOUR EKKOS – Toodaloo Kangaroo

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Finishing up with the Four Ekkos we have their first release proper – the first issued under their own name. This comes in-between their 1957 (debut backing local Rockabilly singer Jerry Engler) and their last 45 on Buffalo’s Label Records.

“Toodaloo Kangaroo” b/w “My Love I Give” was released in 1958, credited to The Four Ekko’s [sic]. The writer of “Toodaloo Kangaroo” was Robert Genovese. I have speculated that Genovese and/ or his brother Sonny were members of the group. Regardless it’s almost certainly Genovese’s lead guitar on the break.

Robert Genovese was known professionally as Bobby Geno. He’d been the guitarist in Rochester’s Frank DeRosa & The De-Men. He played on their 1957 recording “Big Guitar” / “Irish Rock” on Rochester’s Ken Records label. This was picked up by Dot and “Big Guitar” became a moderate hit, though it was dwarfed by 1958’s cover version by Owen Bradley Quartet.

Geno turned up next on a 45 that was owned by Buffalo radio station DJ and program director Dick Lawrence. First Records 101, “The Shawnee” (a Geno composition) b/w “Little Rock Getaway” was credited to Bobby Geno but he was noted as “Mr. Big Guitar” on the labels! The label’s logo actually reads ‘Another First’, leading some collectors to question the actual name of the company; but to me it appears to be actually First Records. Not much is known by local collectors about this label but Lawrence at one time managed both The Graduates and The Tune Rockers, both Buffalo groups.

Bobby Geno’s brother Sonny Geno was also a member of Frank DeRosa’s band. He had one single under his own name – also on Rip Records. Sonny’s 45 “Blue Skies” / “Just Be Good” gave a writing credit to Bobby who is featured on guitar.

That brings us back to today’s record. The Four Ekkos’ “Toodaloo Kangaroo” and Sonny Geno’s “Blue Skies” are the only two releases of which I’m aware on Rip, apparently a local label. Since Bobby Geno has a writing credit on both, and had probably just left the DeRosa group, I have a feeling he was a member. Aside from that, and the K. Reinhardt who wrote the other side of the Rip Records 45, I have no clues as to possible membership of the Ekkos. After their next (and last) release in 1959, nothing was ever heard fom them. I’m also not aware of any further activities of Bobby Geno. Sonny Geno ended up later in Patsy Cline’s band – playing pedal steel guitar!

Anyway, “Toodaloo Kangaroo” is a decent R&R record with an interesting feature in the middle- a vocal buildup to the guitar solo.

I welcome any further info about the Four Ekkos or the Genos, especially any other involvement in the Buffalo music scene. And any info on Rip Records, Label Records or First Records.

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: THE TWEEDS – We Got Time

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

 

A few weeks ago we talked about the Tweeds and their first 45. I planned to finish their story and cover their second 45, and then I remembered that someone had already done some research on them, long ago. So I contacted Jim Duffey, longtime local record collector and historian. He generously sent me a copy of his article as it appeared decades ago in Discoveries Magazine, a now-defunct collector’s publication. It shed some light on what we already covered and I’ll be drawing on it for the rest of the story.

The short story: Kenmore teens Paul Varga (drums), Ted Connor, Alan Shaw & Dave Constantino (guitars) formed a band when they were all no more than 14 years old! Shaw left and James Dunnigan came in, completing the group with a bass guitar. This is the best-known Tweeds lineup. After playing in local dances and teen clubs, they won a Battle Of The Bands at WKBW’s annual Fun-A-Fair. They were rewarded with the to record in a New York City studio, toward a possible major label contract. A Thing Of The Past / What’s Your Name was released in the Summer of 1967.

This brings us up to 1968 and today’s record. But first a few additional facts to fill in the gaps with what I already wrote and inform the rest of the story.

— Varga was a student at Kenmore West but the Connor, Constantino and Dunnigan all attended Kenmore East.

— 1967 was the first year for WKBW’s Fun-A-Fair event. It was co-organized by Maury Bloom, area promoter for Decca Records. The contest prize is unclear – apparently a “chance” at a contract with Decca. There was some kind of further acceptance process which included an audition. I’m not sure if they had to pass an audition first before being allowed to record, or if the recording session served as the audition. In any case it was recorded at Decca’s NYC studios and released on Decca’s affiliate label Coral.

— I believe The Rogues, Caesar & His Romans, The Rockin Paramounts and The Vibratos all performed at the Fun-A-Fair. Not sure if they were only performers or actually competed. Two bands that did compete were The Druids and The Cavemen. Though they didn’t win they may have gotten noticed there- both bands got to release a 45 around this time.

— Dave Constantino wrote Thing Of The Past specially for the session. Credit for this (and the other three Tweeds sides) was shared with all members for the sake of unity but Dave was the main writer.

— They used the same Decca studio where things like Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock (a Decca release) was recorded. Mike Jacobs produced and Paul ‘Green Tambourine’ Leka helped.

— Thing Of The Past never cracked the Billboard Top 100 though it sold 30,000 copies over time, peaking at #2 on the local charts.

 

In February of 1968 The Tweeds returned to the Decca studio to record their second 45. Mike Jacobs – son of Coral artist Dick Jacobs – again produced. I Want Her To Know / We Got Time came out also on Coral. Since they had done well with the ballad A Thing Of The Past, I Want Her To Know was similarly intended as the ‘plug side’. But some radio station DJ’s were pushing the rocker side We Got Time. This hurt the momentum of the single.

Following a shakeup at Coral they were given a new producer, John Simon, who promised to cut an album if the single did well. With this motivation, Tweeds’ members personally tried to intervene to get DJs to stick to the I Want Her To Know side. Their manager George Constantino (Dave’s father) tried to contact Coral/Decca for help too. But nothing came of it. DJs continued splitting the play and the single stalled.

Ultimately I Want Her To Know / We Got Time only sold about half as many copies of the first record. So no album would be recorded.

I chose the ‘Rock’ side We Got Time for today’s feature. Unlike the Beatles/Beau Brummels sound of their other tracks, this one has a harder sound, like the British Invasion sound of The Who as filtered through an American teen garage band sensibility. Note that it has TWO guitar breaks- unusual. It’s interesting also to note that the members were 14-16 years old at the time of the first recording, and half a year older at the time of the second! Bear that in mind when listening.

Jim Dunnigan left the group not long after this, as he was preparing for college. Tim Murphy came in on bass but soon Ted Conner also left – drafted – and the Tweeds became a trio consisting of Constantino, Varga and Murphy. When Murphy left Billy Sheehan came in and they continued for awhile as The Tweeds, but eventually became Talas.

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: THE TWEEDS – A Thing Of The Past

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

In the 1960s it was pretty easy to start a band. Minimal equipment was needed. A guitarist could use a one-piece Fender amp. If that was too expensive Sears had the flimsy but loud Silvertone series. A band just starting out could even plug several instruments or microphones into it!

Teen bands could put together a repertoire of pretty easy songs – Louie Louie, Mustang Sally, Wipeout, some early Kinks and Rolling Stones. Beatles too, though that required MORE chords, and voices that could harmonize.

But it wasn’t that hard to do. And if you saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and heard all those girls screaming, it was something you might want to do!

Every town had quite a few groups of teens trying to get their act together, alongside slightly older, more experienced youngsters who may have cut their teeth on pre-Beatles Rock’n’Roll. The Tonawanda had one such group who were clearly in the first category. Judging from their pictures none of The Tweeds were older than 16 when they started playing High School and CYO dances.

Ted Connor, Paul Varga, Alan Shaw & Dave Constantino were the four clean cut young men in question. With Varga on drums, Shaw, Connor and Constantino all played regular electric guitars. Mr. Constantino started off on the the right foot with a decent but low-level Gretsch guitar – while the others made due with cheapo models. This was good enough for places like The Teen Corner in Tonawanda. Short hair and suit-and-tie were the order of the day.

As 1966 turned into 1967 they must have realized that a bass player was the next step to professionalism. Alan Shaw was out, and James Dunnigan was in. Soon the Silvertone amps were placed with topnotch (for the time) Fender Twin Reverbs and Constantino traded up to the top of the Gretsch guitar line, the Country Gentleman. That may not mean anything to you, but it’s impressive gear for a 16-year-old to own and even better, that’s the stuff the top bands would use. George Harrison played a Country Gentleman.

Now they were playing places like the Boulevard Cave on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Still all very young, they entered the Battle Of The Bands at WKBW’s annual Fun-A-Fair. As many as 30 bands participated: The Rogues, Caesar & His Romans, The Rockin Paramount, The Vibratos. Playing against all the great local bands of the day – many of them comprised of ‘seasoned veterans’ (with 3 or 4 years of R&R performance under their belts)  – the Tweeds beat them all.

Their prize was a chance to cut a record in a real recording studio. So they traveled to New York City. Being still young (mostly 17) Dave’s father went wih them. Anyway, he was their manager too!

They cut two tracks, both written by all four members- A Thing Of The Past and What’s Your Name. I’m not sure which was the intended A-side but Thing Of The Past was the side that got radio play locally and became a Western New York hit in the Summer of 1967.

I don’t know if their Battle Of The Bands prize included the release on Coral Records, or if it was pitched to Coral who thought it had potential and put it out. Either way, it was issued along with promotional copies and distributed around the country. It must have sold fairly well because it’s not rare, and The Tweeds got asked to cut a second recod for Coral in the Spring of 1968.

As most of you know The Tweeds picked up a bass played named Billy Sheehan, also from Kenmore/ Tonawanda, and gradually became Talas. That’s a story for another day.

For today, here’s A Thing Of The Past. While What’s Your Name is medium tempo, upbeat mood folk/rock, Thing is a different thing – a heartbroken teen ballad which sounds surprisingly jaded and world-weary coming from such young men. But I guess there’s no age limit on getting a broken heart.