Archive for the ‘Hullabaloo’ Category

Larry Williams

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

larrywilliamsshortfat, Larry Williams, Johnny Guitar Watson, London American, Northern Soul

Listen: Short Fat Fannie / Larry Williams

Larry Williams is seldom respected as an original bad boy of RnR, but he should be. Legend has his underworld activities stretching back prior to these initial recordings. He eventually bit the bullet, literally, a victim of a suicide, although street legend claims otherwise. Having served time in the early 60′s for drug dealing, he hooked up with Johnny Guitar Watson upon release to sleaze out in late night Hollywood, which admittedly may be my self fulfilling fantasy, and also make some of the most authentic Northern Soul tracks known to mankind for Okeh.

I was excited when The Mooney Suzuki, who I looked after while at Columbia, recorded in the same studio on Santa Monica Boulevard that he and Johnny had. I literally thought about it constantly while there. I was pissing in the same toilet as the dynamic duo. No one else seemed to apprciate my excitement.

Prior to all that, he wrote ‘Bonie Maronie’, ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, ‘Slow Down’ and ‘She Said Yeah’, my favorite, as recorded and performed by The Rolling Stones on HULLABALOO:

‘Short Fat Fannie’ goes back to pre Northern, pre Johnny Guitar Watson and pre jail time. It was actually one of his hits (#31 RnB / #35 Pop) in ’57 and comes courtesy of the Tony King Collection.

Original post: August 19, 2009.

The Hullaballoos

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

DID YOU EVER / The Hullaballoos:

Side 1:

Listen: Did You Ever / The Hullaballoos

Listen: Wouldn’t You Like To Know / The Hullaballoos

Side 2:

Listen: Beware / The Hullaballoos

Listen: Who Do You Think You’re Fooling / The Hullaballoos

Lord knows I was crazy about The Hullaballoos from that very first appearance on HULLABALOO. And no, they were not the house band, nor were they named after the show.

They were English and that was enough to grab every American kid’s attention during the British beat group boom. But with shoulder length hair, bleached blond, well The Hullaballoos out did The Pretty Things in some ways. They were Buddy Holly instead of Bo Diddley influenced admittedly, still I didn’t even know that bit. The hiccup vocal was pure Hullaballoos to we youngsters. Basically, none of us were even aware of Buddy Holly’s records then. Music as we knew it went back maybe two years, everyone still in their single digits age-wise.

My eyes were peeled to the TV GUIDE as soon as it arrived in the post weekly, pawing through the listings, checking if a small handful of bands, The Hullaballoos amongst them, were scheduled on the various pop music programs we got over three, yes three, TV channels. Remember, this was 1965. Color TV was barely around, forget about cable.

‘Did You Ever’ was their second single and BILLBOARD entry (#74). The band performed it and the B side ‘Beware’ on their third HULLABALLOO appearance.

Years later, I was put in touch with Harry Dunn through the band’s website. We exchange emails on occasion. If I’d have ever thought as a kid, while pulled up close to the TV, pulse racing with anticipation, that one day I’d be in contact with any member of this band, I’d have left our house in a hearse.

A Band Of Angels

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Listen: Invitation / A Band Of Angels

A Band Of Angels are possibly the most unique of any British Beat group. You see, they actually managed a national US television spot, yet never achieved a domestic release. Not even one single in America. True.

In early ’65, they were on Brian Epstein’s black and white UK segment of HULLABALOO, a weekly installment positioned as a live feed direct from England. It didn’t last long, but I recall a barefooted Marianne Faithfull, also interviewed post song and a bunch of suit/tied Merseybeat acts getting similar looks. Parallel with his management roster, he was very safe, dare I say, white. So forget about seeing anything with a blues or RnB influence in said segment. Never happened. Still, A Band Of Angels were a real treat to this little kid.

I’d seen their photo in 16 MAGAZINE, and was itching for a listen. They performed ‘Not True As Yet’, even crazier given the track was a B side of ‘Me’, a colossal UK flop on United Artists. One listen on that program, and I sang it for years to follow, almost ten, until I landed a copy for myself. That’s both how much I wanted to retain it and how strong the song’s hook was.

Jump forward to summer ’66, and the band’s recorded peak, ‘Invitation’, gets a UK release. The single has become more appreciated through the years, slowly revered in the Northern Soul clubs and deemed as one of Mike D’Abo’s best lead vocals ever. Now that’s saying something, given his later hits with Manfred Mann, like ‘The Mighty Quinn’ and ‘Semi Detached Suburban Mister James’ particularly.

Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Listen: Game Of Love / Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders

At this late night moment, other than Dave Dee, Dozy. Beaky, Mick & Tich’s ‘Hold Tight’, I can’t think of any other song with a more powerful intro. Well hold on, there’s Inez & Charlie Foxx ‘Count The Days’ and The Cramps ‘Human Fly’ and….

Regardless, no one can deny ‘Game Of Love’. Doesn’t matter what genre you prefer. This single is absolutely top. Admittedly overplayed for thirty odd years but now almost as scarce on the airwaves as the US picture sleeve above, ‘Game Of Love’ also challenges David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ for most perfect use of a metallic tambourine as a no turning back now arrangement accelerator. When that moment occurs at 0:14, the song and the whole world just elevates up a notch. Fact.

Marianne Faithfull

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Listen: Go Away From My World / Marianne Faithfull

If you watch early Marianne Faithfull clips on SHINDIG or HULLABALOO, there’s often a sole, seated acoustic guitarist accompanying her. That’s Jon Mark, or Jon-Mark as the name appeared on his solo single, later of The Mark – Almond Band, one of the highest calibre musicianship outfits of their day.

Despite the label misspelling, ‘Go Away From My World’ was his composition, and indeed seems tailor written for her, it’s doom ridden mood unknowingly predicating a fifteen year marketing treadmill for both her personal and musical direction. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

This US only single, in it’s seldom seen picture sleeve above, was her last to ever chart on the BILLBOARD Top 100 in late ’65 at #89.

With thankfully another birthday a few days away, I’m always reminded of my 37th, when Marianne organized an Indian dinner for Corinne and I and some friends, then while cutting the cake, sang me a bit of ‘The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan’, adapting the “at the age of thirty seven….” lyrical line to the occasion. How’s that for a birthday present?

The Hullaballoos

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010


Listen: I’m Gonna Love You Too / The Hullaballoos

Do not mistake this British band as the resident pop group on the US HULLABALOO show from ’65 – ’66. They did appear, six times to be exact, but were only coincidentally sharing a similar name. Admittedly their second album, THE HULLABALLOOS ON HULLABALOO would confuse even the most attentive. Alas, the band’s name was indeed spelled differently than the program’s. So no – they were not the house band.

As with just about every group in those days, we saw their pictures way before getting to hear the music. I was too young to be aware of all the Buddy Holly similarities they shared, so to me, they were completely original. I vividly remember seeing the sleeve to ‘I’m Gonna Love You Too’ in a local shop and being instantly smitten. Bleach blond, all four – this was even more radical than The Pretty Things, who had the longest hair yet. Hullaballoos’ drummer Harry rivaled any member of The Pretty Things to date, not only in hair length but color too, hence out doing them in my book. My parents were aghast to find I planned to bleach my hair as well. It never happened – not yet that is.

Despite endless stories of infamous thievery directed toward Roulette Records, they did get their singles distributed and heard. ‘I’m Gonna Love You Too’ got played a bunch initially.


Listen: Did You Ever / The Hullaballoos

The followup, ‘Did You Ever’ was played slightly less, but performed more than any other song on US television.


Listen: Learning The Game / The Hullaballoos

Unfortunately, ‘Learning The Game’, my favorite of the four, was not played at all in my hometown. The single made it to the Bubbling Under Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #121 during a short two week run, so some play obviously was achieved. Once I got my copy, I cherished it all the more.


Listen: I Won’t Turn Away Now / The Hullaballoos

The very hard to get fourth single and sleeve, ‘I Won’t Turn Away Now’ is classic British beat. Little Steven played The Hullaballoos recently. I was in the car and thought, justice after all these years. God bless Sirius.

In the early 80′s, when I started working at Elektra, the lure of free phone calls to the UK were too much to pass up. I called Hull directory information, and secured two of the four Hullaballoos’ phone numbers. Ultimately, I only spoke with Andrew Woonton. Initially our conversation proceeded as follows:

“Hi is this Andrew Woonton?”

“Yes, who’s calling?”

“My name is Kevin, from Elektra Records in New York and I was wondering, were you once a member of The Hullaballoos?”

“Uuuuuum, aaaaah, yes why?”

I launched into being a fan, but later in the conversation he revealed his initial hesitation. Turns out he was still getting calls from creditors wanting payment for hotels, vehicles and other expenses obligated some 20 years prior by Roulette on behalf of The Hullaballoos.

Did this band get what they deserved in any way. No. In fact, their youtube footage recently had the audio removed, apparently by the song publishers. Come on, cut these guys a break.

And I’m still miffed at not seeing the shows they shared with The Zombies and The Nashville Teens back in ’65 at the Brooklyn Paramount.

Below my postcard from their fan club:


Otis Redding

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

OtisPain, Otis Redding, Volt, Atco, Steve Cropper, Upbeat, The Rolling Stones

Listen: Pain In My Heart / Otis Redding

Leave it to The Rolling Stones, they turned all us really young white kids on to the great RnB and Soul that was right here at home. Yeah it’s the oldest story in the book, but 100% true. I for one, was completely oblivious to Otis Redding until they came along. And so I started to ask for his records at WMCR, the little adult station near my parent’s house that gave me all their unusable Rock and RnB singles. Unfortunately, most of the labels only serviced them with non-RnB stuff, logically as they were playing Eydie Gorme, Dean Martin and such. Atlantic was an example, so I had to buy the occasional one, if I’d find it that is.

The first time I saw The Rolling Stones, see my Alvin Robinson post, they played this. Can remember it like yesterday. I needed this original and within days….it was mine.

OtisDirect, Otis Redding, Volt, Atco, Steve Cropper, Upbeat, The Rolling Stones

Listen: Direct Me / Otis Redding

His last known TV performance was on Cleveland’s UPBEAT, a weekly pop show that rivaled any national counterpart, in fact preceeded both SHINDIG and HULLABALOO as well as outlasting them (’64 – ’71). Seems everyone passed through town, probably intentionally to get the coverage. I’ve mentioned the show in previous posts, and without question, even a partial list of performers is pretty impressive.

Well it’s hard to forget seeing that episode, watching Otis Redding, knowing what had just happened asit was never broadcast live) Despite being endlessly respected and always name checked, he’s seldom heard. Oldies radio overplaying ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ is almost an injustice. Despite all his classics, ‘Direct Me’ comes in as my favorite. Co-written with Steve Cropper, it may have been a castoff, but I don’t care. Got it in one of those ten for a dollar boxes. Despite the B side status (‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ was the A), the single just holds a memorable place in time for me. Woolworth’s, summer ’69.

There wasn’t a bad record in that box, which also included The Pretty Things ‘Cry To Me’.