19 December 2008

Al Turnage & the Turnpikes - wild Texas rock

I know of two 45's that Texas rocker Al Turnage recorded, and both are fantastic. One is called Hollywood Rock b/w Lonely Days. Original release was on Corsair 605, an obscure rockabilly label, probably 1963-64. Hollywood Rock was recently included in one of those great Buffalo Bop samplers, Rhythm Feet.
The other is Bad News b/w Honey Hush, a record released in 1965 on the Texas label JOX.

Who is this Al Turnage, did he record more?

Hollywood Rock sounds like an early 1960s rocker. Great wild sax and piano rock (sample). The singer's voice reminds a little of John Lennon in his best rocking performances. The music compares to other fantastic Texas sixties rock (early Doug Sahm doing Crazy Daisy, Sam the Sham's Wooly Bully). The song is a Bobby Rich composition.

Bad News has that pounding beat garage rhythm. The JOX-discography says it is from 1965. It sure sounds that way (sample). Al and his band turned from a rock and roll group into a beat group. Piano and sax have gone, Liverpudlian guitars, Starr-drumming and the acoustics of a garage make it a stomping record. The band here plays a cover of a 1964 Johnny Cash hit.

JOX-label is from Texas (San Antone), what makes me think this Al is from that state. There is an Al Turnage Sr. now who works in building designing in Texarkana TX. Is he the same man?? I mailed his company, but got no response so far.

12 September 2008

Lita Marino - one record wonder?

This girl recorded one 45 for Warner Brothers. That is all I know about her. Nothing more.

The record was released in the summer of 1962 on WB 5302. On the A-side was John Loudermilk's Big Daddy, the B-side was "Sittin' On A Train".
The record was a tiny local break out in the fall of '62. In Seattle, Washington, on the KJR Fabulous Fifty, Lita reached a #41-spot on October 1st, 1962.

Listen to a sample of Big Daddy.
She sounds a little like Sue Thompson (Sue actually covered the song 2 years later and reached a bubbling under Billboard's Hot 100 chart position).

Lita's song may have been released in Spanish countries, as a part of the WB sampler "Bailable".

I wonder if there is anybody who can tell me more about this Lita Marino...

Update Jan. 2011
Lita Marino herself gave a reaction to this blog!!! See Reactions below

12 July 2008

Bonnie Prater, Miami rocker

The track "Pass Around The Apples" was selected for a Various Artists CD Honey Doll. A fantastic CD with a bunch of great rocking unknown girl pop rock and roll.
"Pass Around The Apples" is one of the highlights. Very catchy, up tempo song, a haunting voice, wild, rocking guitars. Click to listen to Bonnie Prater's song.

Singer Bonnie Prater is one of these Rock and Roll mysteries. It seems to be impossible to find any information about her.
But I was lucky to get a mail from Kathleen, who happened quite accidentally upon an internet page of me where the track was listed. It was the song by her husbands Aunt Bonnie, who had passed away. She liked to have the song as it meant a lot to her husband, for Aunt Bonnie was a great influence in his life.
I sent the song to them and asked what more information there was about Bonnie Prater.
Here's the story of Bonnie Prater.

Bonnie Morris Prater was born with the given name of Bertha Louise Morris and called Bonnie all her life. She was born on November 28, 1941. She passed away from cancer on March 26, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Her singing debut was at age 11 on a local television show in Miami Florida called The Uncle Martin Show. She appeared on the Uncle Harv and Happy Harold shows with her older sister as The Morris Sisters. But when the promoter misunderstood the groups name and announced them as The Massey Sisters and they were a success, they kept that name.
As the Massey Sisters they had a successful career in the local area. Individually Bonnie went on to open shows for Faron Young, Buck Owens, Webb Pierce and other big names that came to the Miami area to perform. At Criteria Studios in Florida, Bonnie sang with individual stars and groups as a back up singer.

In the mid 60's she and her husband, Bill Prater (a studio musician and lead guitarist) started their own band called 'The Cruisers' and played venues in the south Florida area.
In 1968 Bonnie went to Nashville with King Houston to cut her single 'Pass Around the Apples' and back up on the flip side for Houston on 'I Struck the Match'. After hearing her performance Decca Studios offered Bonnie a contract, but she was already signed with Houston, who refused to release her from his contract.
Later Bonnie and Bill went on to do show work with Lee Irvin and the Kentuckians performing in and around the southern United States for several years.

Bonnie and Bill decided to start a family in the 70's and she devoted her time to her two children and husband, eventually leaving Florida and moving to Atlanta, Georgia where she became very successful in the banking business, but continued to entertain family and friends with her beautiful voice.
She is dearly missed by all.

Thank you Kathleen and Bonnie's family for all the information!

01 June 2008

Carol Hughes - pop singer ± 1960

Carol Hughes is a not uncommon name. There is an actress by that name who played in a Flash Gordon movie, there is a British writer, and many many more Carol Hughes'es around. That's what makes it hard to find more about that singer Carol Hughes who recorded from 1956-1962 on various US labels.

I have no personal information about the singer. She may be born around 1940 in the Los Angeles area (one of her songs figures on a soul compilation The Sound of East L.A). She's got a good, swinging, deep, powerful voice. She could be black.
Listen to her song Lover Boy

Below an autographed single release.



She has recorded quite some songs. She must have been known outside the US. The record on Mercury that I've got is a release printed in Norway.
That makes it extra strange that I haven't been able to find any other information about her.

Discography:
1956-57 on Mercury:
Merc 70986 Fancy Dance/ Mine all mine (Oct. 1956)
Merc 71095 My Big Brother's Friend/ Lover Boy (Apr. 1957)
1957-58 on Roulette:
Roul 4032 Pick Another Baby / Never Go 'way (Oct. 1957)
Roul 4041 Lend Me Your Comb/ First Date (Jan. 1958)
1958-59 on Dot
Dot 15863 The Bass/ Don't forget I love you (Nov. 1958)
Dot 15923 Bobby/ Sholem Aleichem (March 1959)
1959-60 for RCA-Victor
RCA 7605 Staying Young/ Going to the dogs (Sept. 1959)
RCA 7617 It's me, it's me, it's me/ I must have done something wonderful (Oct. 1959)
RCA 7665 Let Me Go Lover / When Did I Fall In Love (Jan. 1960)
RCA 7726 Creation/ Love, Kisses and Heartaches (Apr. 1960)
RCA 7763 I Can Tell/ Congratulations (June 1960)
For Corby
Corby 212 Let's Get Together Again/ Don't Turn Your Back
year unknown; some 1965-67 Corby releases exist, but 1960 could also be possible
1961-62 for Carlton
Carlton 571: Hello Heartbreak/ She's right for you (end 1961, early 1962?)

No information of recording after 1962.
Any help...?

Update Nov. 2009:
Picture of Carol found!
Paper (1956) says: "...a 14 years old, sophomore at West Oranje (NJ) high school, singing since the age of 2, TV experience in Athur Murray Dance Party and the Dean Martin Show...."

04 April 2008

Sophie Pascal - Yé-yé girl from Belgium/ artiste belge?

Sophie Pascal, a 1964-1965 recording artist, probably from Belgium.




Je manque toute information personnel sur Sophie Pascal. Tout que j'ai, sont les titres de ses disques, et une CP avec photo.
Ses disques sont lancés par Palette, maison de disques belgique. Alors, je devine, elle est belge. Ces disques ont été paru en Hollande aussi, en 'picture sleeves'.
Elle a été bien connu, années 1964-65.
Où est madame Sophie maintenant? Elle a renregistré d'autres disques? Quelqu'un peut me renseigner?

Ecoute Sophie: Je ne frapperai plus à ta porte. Disque début, avec l'orchestre Willy Albimoor (1924-2004), un flamand bien connu. C'est une translation de "I ain't gonna knock on your door". Pas la chanson de Eddie Hodges d'ailleurs. Les 'covers' de Sophie sont toujours des disques qui, en version originale, sont restés obscure aux pays d'origine aussi.
Peut-être Sophie faisait sa texte lui-même: la chanson "Plus la même" c'est l'adoption d'une composition de Chip Taylor, texte de Pascal (=Sophie?).
D'autres textes sont fait par Nelly Byl et Van Aleda, des noms fort connus en Belge de 1965.

Discographie:
1964:
Palette 40184 Je ne frapperai plus à ta porte (I ain't gonna knock on your door/ Tant pis pour moi (I don't care anymore)
Palette 40206 Seule sous la pluie / Plus la même (He's my little devil)
1965:
Palette 40230 La petite grive (The little grave) / Les larmes aux yeux (Linda with the lonely eyes)

EP Palette 7256: Seule sous la pluie / Tu es là / Plus la même / Ne te moque pas de moi

26 January 2008

Pamela Law - Oklahoma rocker on Boyd?

She recorded, as far as I know, 4 vinyls for Boyd records. An Oklahoma City label, of Bobby Boyd, some releases with an Indian's chief head depicted on a brownish label.
These were her 4 45-rpm records:

Boyd-1985 (Jun 1960) When The Band Plays The Blues b/w Not Like It Was With You
The A-side is a fantastic rockabilly rocker, with a hammering honky tonk piano. The song was composed by John D. Loudermilk and originally recorded by Hank Locklin on RCA one year before. The B-side is probably a cover of the Mel Tillis song, recently unearthed by daughter Pam Tillis on her 2002 cd.

Boyd-1986 (Nov 1960) Just Like You Like It (click to listen) b/w What Did You Do
This record probably was Pamela's biggest seller, though 'big' is of relative notion. The song was penned by a Robert Riley (not likely to be the nowadays Alabama governor!). The B-side was a Walker/ Wilkins song.

Boyd-3036 (May 1961) End of the Line b/w Bingo
Both Robert Riley songs. The seller who labelled the record 'Northern Soul' probably preferred to fool ignorant buyers over giving an accurate description. "Bingo" is a great, fast rocking song, hear it!.

Boyd-119 (Apr. 1962) Naturally / Secret
Again, 2 Robert Riley songs.

Who can tell me who and where Pamela Law (sometimes misspelled as Pamala Law) is, or add other information?


Update Apr. 2010:
I now found more information:
Pamela was born on May 20, 1944 in Davidson County, TN. Her first recording was when 15 years old. Billboard magazine wrote "a Gallatin Tenn. youngster, high school sophomore, frequent guest at Noel Ball's show".
Pam married Joe Lewis Blankenship in 1963 (date explains the end of her recording career).
She was a substitute teacher and later a secretary at Union Elementary and a member of West End Missionary Baptist Church in Gallatin, TN.
Pamela passed away age 58 in 2002.

Still, no more information, no artist photo, ... help!