Archive for the ‘Fraternity’ Category


Friday, November 12th, 2010

Walk Tall / 2 Of Clubs

Listen: Walk Tall / 2 Of Clubs 01 Walk Tall.mp3

Another favorite from Cincinnati’s Fraternity label, 2 Of Clubs fall right in line with previous Marc Bolan/Gloria Jones and Jackie DeShannon posts by mimicking the Brill Building songs. Or maybe they were just a normal reflection of the period’s Girl Group sound. Either way, they were great.

All their singles are worth owning, ‘Walk Tall’ being particularly memorable as it got a lot of play in my hometown. Oddly it never became more than a regional hit, peaking at #93 on the Billboard chart in March ’67. By then, this sound was becoming passe, even The Shangri-Las were struggling for hits.

Bubbling Under The Hot 100 - 12.31.66

‘Walk Tall’ really hung in there though, first appearing on Billboard’s Bubbling Under The Hot 100 (click to enlarge) in the last week of ’66. Most of the time, that Bubbling Under chart was more interesting to me than the actual Top 100, with barely a single listed that I didn’t end up adding to my collection.

Lonnie Mack

Friday, September 11th, 2009

lonniemackwhamuka, Lonnie Mack, The Move, Fillmore East, Crosby Stills & Nash, Fraternity, Stateside

Listen: Wham / Lonnie Mack LonnieMackWham.mp3

lonniemacksuzieukb,  Creedence Clearwater Revivial, Lonnie Mack, The Move, Fillmore East, Crosby Stills & Nash, Fraternity, Stateside

Listen: Suzie Q / Lonnie Mack LonnieMackSuzie.mp3

Often lumped with Duane Eddy and Link Wray, contemporaries of the day, Lonnie Mack’s musical distinction is the blues as opposed to a rockabilly instrumental slant. Not surprisingly, he’s widely regarded as a ground-breaking rock guitarist, whose artistic impact far outreaches his commercial accomplishments, although he had a few massive records. His first, ‘Memphis’ hit Top 5 in early ’63 on both Billboard’s Pop and RnB charts.

Things were clearly different in those days. It’s not the first time that a record, recorded quickly during some down time, post a proper session, somehow got released without the artist knowing, and ended up a hit – again to said artist’s surprise. Such was apparently the case with ‘Memphis’

‘Wham’, a followup, has significance for (a) being another unlikely instrumental success and (b) for actually describing a sound both unique and original at the time in it’s title. The culprit, a whammy bar, in reality a Bigsby tremelo arm. To further enhance the vibrato on his tunes, Lonnie Mack employed a variant of Robert Ward’s distortion technique, using a 1950s-era tube-fired Magnatone amplifier to produce a ‘rotating, fluttery sound’. Hence, the blues guitar revolution began, at least according to some.

Either way, this is a great double sider. Adults and children alike should own a handful of his 7′s for when the appropriate party moment occurs at one’s home.

I was quite excited back in September ’69 when Lonnie Mack was on the bill at The Fillmore East as main support to headliners Crosby, Stills & Nash. Opening that weekend: The Move. I just sent away for two tickets and announced to my Dad that he was either taking me or I was hitch hiking. Mind you, we lived in Syracuse and NYC was a good 300 miles away. To be honest, this was all about seeing The Move, but planning to stay long enough to gawk at Lonnie Mack and his wire-fire fingers.

Sadly, The Move never did play New York, so I exchanged my seats for another weekend’s triple header: Spirit / The Kinks / The Bonzo Dog Band. A life changing tradeoff, I can assure you.


Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

A Public Execution / Mouse

Listen: A Public Execution / Mouse A Public Execution.mp3

I think it was Lenny Kaye who said something about Mouse doing Bob Dylan better than Bob Dylan. But in local towns across American during ’65 – ’66, all the garage bands mimicked some favorite. Occasionally it would be so good, you didn’t care. Such was the case with this first Mouse single, which became a real cult record even then. The three singles that followed came out as Mouse & The Traps and were all over the place musically. But the biggest success, reaching #122 in Feb ’66, was indeed the debut, ‘A Public Execution’. Actually the local Ohio label that issued it, Fraternity, was always of interest. Pressed on shiny, thick vinyl with a standard orange or more common, maroon label; their releases had a collector’s feel from the get go. A favorite from them that almost took off nationally, 2 Of Club’s ‘Walk Tall’, was a super girl group track that I’ll post soon. Meanwhile their biggest seller was Lonnie Mack, and who can hate that idea.