Posts Tagged ‘Buddy Holly’

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.

Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs / The Fireballs

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Listen: Sugar Shack / Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs
Sugar Shack / Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs

I’m guessing this was submerged into my childhood DNA, because I seem to remember it vividly despite having peaked at #1 in ’63. I can only assume my cousin Peggy played it a lot while babysitting. I get transported back to whenever each time I listen.

Certainly, the obvious similarities with Buddy Holly’s signature sound appeal to me greatly. Given this was recorded at Norman Petty’s Clovis, New Mexico studio, where Buddy Holly had previously launched his career, explains the similarities. But those are all positives.

What kind of keyboard is that anyways? Regardless, ‘Sugar Shack’ makes use of it as the song’s biggest asset, instead of the thousand and one US garage bands from the 60′s that should have been exterminated for just the opposite.

Listen: Bottle Of Wine / The Fireballs
Bottle Of Wine / The Fireballs

Dropping the Jimmy Gilmer moniker, but not Jimmy Gilmer himself, the band signed to Atco and in ’68, released a killer cover of Tom Paxton’s ‘Bottle Of Wine’, complete with finger on the pulse contemporary swagger, swing and sneer.

The Cryin’ Shames

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Listen: Please Stay / The Cryin’ Shames
Please Stay / The Cryin' Shames

The Cryin’ Shames ‘Please Stay’ was also from the haul that brought the Marsha Gee record into my collection. Unlike hers, this song I knew about and had a UK copy of. But finding a US pressing was quite an event.

The Drifters had a hit with ‘Please Stay’ in ’61, and their version of this Burt Bacharach classic is indeed great. This one however, has the added ambience of Joe Meek’s production.

Much has been deservedly written about Joe Meek, one of England’s first independent producers. In those days, late 50′s / early 60′s, all the producers were on the label staff. They did their job, and got their pay check. But it all began to change around ’63 and Joe Meek was a catalyst. This of course meant that, because he had built his own studio, he would not only produce the records but own the masters too. The labels didn’t like not owning their catalog, as Joe Meek and the other independent producers would license titles to the majors for a certain time period only. So he was always given terrible treatment.

Get one of the books about him. He was fascinating. And he had a real thing about other worlds. His huge international hit, ‘Telstar’ by The Tornadoes had his signature, haunting extra-terrestrial, almost frightening sound to it. Pretty much all his other recordings did too. You can certainly hear it on ‘Please Stay’, his last ever UK chart entry. Lead vocalist, Charlie Crane, had an amazing voice. One quite perfect for his Meeksville sound as well as this track.

For some time the Dick Clark footage had been embeddable via youtube. Now disabled, but still there. Go direct.

Listen: Nobody Waved Goodbye / The Cryin’ Shames
Nobody Waved Goodbye / The Cryin' Shames

Joe Meek claimed to be possessed by the ghost of Buddy Holly, and on the anniversary of his death, February 3, 1967, he took his own life, along with his landlady’s. Horribly demonized by a lawsuit that left him penniless, his Tornadoes royalties tied up in litigation, one of the last records he made was by this same band: The Cryin’ Shames, titled ‘Nobody Waved Goodbye’. Yikes.