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.