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.