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.


Anonymous said...

Yes it is the same man. My boss used to play with him and he was part of the band, playing bass for The Turnpikes. :)

Kees said...

Thank you Anonymous for the reaction!
Does your boss have more information about the band, may be photo's of the band in those days?

Rocky Lane said...

By any chance do you know the B-Side title of "Hollywood Rock"?


Kees said...

The other side of Al's Corsair-605 45 rpm must have been Lonely Days. The vinyl sold for $150 at eBay. Sorry - ain't got the music

Anonymous said...

Al Turnage is a personal friend of mine. He does live in Texas. He is now singing Gospel music and in 2008 won an award (Mail Horizon Artist of the Year)from the International Country Gospel Music Association (www.icgma.org).

Unknown said...

I'm the original drummer for the turnpikes.Been out of contact many years.Someone tell Al I'm looking for him. drdeano@gmail.com


Unknown said...

Wrong E-mail address.

correction drdeano024@gmail.com

dr deano

Unknown said...

Hi anonymous--I'm looking for the original bass man with Al Turnage & the Turnpikes. You mentioned your boss use to play with him. I'm the original drummer and want to get hold of him. Please let him know we are looking for him.Help me out please!!

Unknown said...

Well, now I did it. I'm looking for ALL the original members of Al Turnage & the Turnpikes. Help me out again..put the word out. I'm the original drummer looking for the rest of the band.

Unknown said...

Al Turnage can be heard on KJIC radio on the internet at www.kjic.org and in the Houston area at 90.5 FM. The only song we have by him is called Let Me Live. Yes he is singing Gospel Music these days.

Ted said...

Yes , it is the same person brother was William (Bill) mother and dad both pastors in church in Texarkana with I think 2 sisters if memory hasn't failed me again.