Posts Tagged ‘Roulette’

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.

The Sandpebbles

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Listen: Love Power / The Sandpebbles

Clocking in at just over two minutes, ‘Love Power’, like The Flirtations ‘Nothing But A Heartache’, could qualify as one of the greatest Motown tracks never to be issued by Motown.

Instead, the independently owned soul label, Calla Records out of New York, distributed by Roulette, released ‘Love Power’ in late ’66, and by the end of winter ’67, it was both an RnB and Pop hit (#14 / #22).

Nate McCalla was the guy, keeping his company active from ’65 to ’77 . Originally being both a bodyguard for and associate of Morris Levy, Roulette Records legendary owner, connects the dots to the label’s distribution setup and supposedly Nate’s execution style demise in ’80.

Calla Records was a rather unsung entity, and Nate McCalla certainly seemed to have an ear. In addition to The Sandpebbles, his roster included J.J. Jackson, Little Jerry Williams (aka Swamp Dogg), Jean Wells, The Emotions, The Fuzz, Lonnie Youngblood, The Persuaders and Betty LaVette. Not shabby.

‘Love Power’ was one of many greats written, and in this case produced, by Teddy Vann. Revived years later by Luther Vandross and made into an even bigger hit meant Teddy finally achieved a long awaited Grammy for such a powerful track.

The Sandpebbles may be little known. Still, lead vocalist Calvin White along with his two musical partners Andrea Bolden and Lonzine Wright, can always put claim to their performance on ‘Love Power’, one of soul’s best records ever.

I know, I sprang an entire week’s allowance for it, and my single still has the original price sticker to prove it.

The Choir

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Listen: It’s Cold Outside / The Choir ChoirCold.mp3

Tis the season to be…..playing songs about cold weather. ‘It’s Cold Outside’ peaked at #68 in Billboard in early June ’67 and proves all this nonsense about lyrics fitting the season is hollow. Actually, I recall the record picking up airplay ever so slowly when initailly released in December ’66, so I guess the intention was a wintertime hit.

Despite it’s revered spot in garage rock history, it’s more a sentimental memory for me. I used to light up when it came on the air that winter, as it got played quite early in the upstate New York area. The looser WOLF jumped on it straight off, and by spring/summer slow poke WNDR was on board.

Summer ’67, repeated again in ’77 and even ’87, represents many a fantastic single. It was hard to keep up with all the hits and new releases.

But you gotta love this naive, sloppy garage band performance – despite it currently residing a bit too comfortably in the power pop catagory, a genre that usually has me running in the opposite direction.