Rescue Me

Some songs are all by themselves, literally. They don’t have any albums by the original artist to call their home – sometimes not even a greatest hits record. Now while some definitely are in the ‘minor’ category, both in repute and quality, there are some that rise above meh-ness and stand out from the pack of forgotten singles and groups.

Then there are songs that rise about the dreck surrounding it – when the album is crap or the band somehow found itself for a brief moment. They’re rescueable too.

This is their story:

A-440 – “Torture”. This nihilistic garage rock song has somewhat melodic bridges in between snarled verses. It’s groovy, despite the theme.

A.A.B.B. – “Pick Up the Pieces One by One”. This is the J.B’s in the guise of the “Above Average Black Band” poking fun at the Average White Band. It’s funky in it’s own right.

The Aardvarks – “You’re My Loving Way”. There is a 60’s band named Aardvarks, but this is the UK garage band revival group from the 80’s and 90’s, though they could definitely have fit in the 60’s. The organ line makes this rather infectious.

The Accents – “Who You Gonna Love?”, “You Better Think Again”. Found on Chicago soul compilations, this vocal group had a funky backing, especially for 1965. Northern Soul junkies love this single.

Acid Green – “Nucleus”, “Frog”, “Buddy”. These songs were on some Indianapolis area compilations I got in the early 90’s. I think they may have self-released cassettes and have one 45 that seemed to go semi-national in the underground world. They were a sight to see, with music that is grungy / stoner metal (circa 1992) and Gym Stouffer, the singer, wailing like a madman and going through three octaves.

The Act – “Just a Little Bit”. A nice, if late, British beat sound highlighted this single, which was the last of four that were issued in 1967 and 1968.

Actress – ‘It’s What You Give”, “Good Job With Prospects”. Lots of UK bands had a deal where they’d release one single that was make or break. A lot of them broke after one hit. This had an interesting melody and neat cellos on the A-side, and a great psychedelic guitar on the flip. But CBS said, “nah”.

The Adrissi Brothers – “Time to Love”, “We’ve Got to Get It On Again”, “Slow Dancin’ Don’t Turn Me On”. These brothers had a long career full of a few hits and a few songs that made them their bones via other groups. (“Never My Love” for one.) They kind of chased trends instead of setting them, but still made some great fluff.

Adam’s Recital – “No Place for Lonely People”. I bet they’re French (no, wait, Belgian). They did a nice job, though with the whole garage / psychedelic rock sound and the bass is delectably mixed high and the nice little semi-drum roll at the beginning is groovy, too. (I’m sure there’s a technical name for that, but, I’ll go with that.)

Aerosmith – “Chip Away the Stone” – A single released to promote their live album, this was a studio cut (which was an odd choice to promo a live record). It probably should have made Night in the Ruts but I think the band was too out of it to consider that. This is the last studio cut worth their while until 1985.

The Afex – “She’s Got the Time” – A one single wonder, this is a fantastic bit of beat / mod wax. It wasn’t in vogue, and they rather much vanished. Still, if you can find it, it’s worth it!

Alabama Shakes – “Always Alright”, “Heavy Chevy” – Before releasing their debut, they put out these two tracks as stand alone singles. Smokin’!

Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias – “Kill” – A parody band that skewered some punk sensibilities in 1977. This was a Stiff Records thing and has an obsession with…liver. They had a lot of singles out there, and the only other one I really dug was “Gobbing on Life”.

The Aliis – “The Sound of Children”. They were Don Ho’s backing group from Hawaii, but once in a while got a chance to record their own stuff. This is a definite lost sunshine pop classic of a single that was a promo only and not featured on their 1968 album.

Davie Allan & the Arrows – “Blues Theme”. Allan was a fuzz guitar king that made his bones recording songs for teen and biker exploitation movies in the 60’s. You hear one, though, you’ve heard ’em all.

Alley Cats – “Nothing Means Nothing Anymore”, “Gimme a Little Pain” – This was a Dangerhouse Records single, and they parlayed that into an appearance on the fantastic URGH! A Music War documentary. They couldn’t capitalize on that, mainly because even if their sound wasn’t that harsh (more of punkabilly at times), their lyrics were dark, dark, dark.

The Allies – “I’ll Sell My Soul” – A minor single from the at-the-time home for Sunshine Pop, Valiant Records. I dug it.

Angel – “Good Time Fanny”. No, not Punky Meadows’ Angel, but a glam rock band from the UK. Any resemblance to Sweet is intentional, since two members of the band managed and produced them, and wrote this single.

Apollo 100 (featuring Tom Parker) – “Joy” – 1972 had a lot of weird hits, man.

Archie Bell & the Drells – “Tighten Up, Pt. 1” – They dance just as good as they walk.

Arrows – “I Love Rock N Roll” – This was kind of tossed off and a B-side (soon moved to an A-Side) for a UK group that was more television stars than serious recording artists. Joan Jett saw them perform it in 1976, recorded it first in 1979, then did the hit version in 1981. And Arrows went away as soon as their TV show was cancelled.

Art Guy – “Where You Wanna Go”  – A single that was 86’d when Valiant was sold. It’s typical farfisa and fuzz garage rock. That’s tasty for some.

The Art Movement – “I Love Being In Love With You” – A UK bubblegum-pop, led by horns and a catchy chorus. Didn’t hit anywhere. But better than you think!

Ashford & Simpson – “Found a Cure”, “Solid” – Since their compilation that’s streaming is mostly remixes and rarities (ugh), you need to pick and choose the ones you dig by this husband-and-wife songwriter team turned performers. Don’t forget to disco!

Avant-Garde – “Naturally Stoned” – A trifling bit of sunshine psych-pop that’s notable because Chuck Woollery was in the group. Yeah, that one.

Hoyt Axton – “Della & The Dealer” – Axton was a country-folk singer songwriter that struck gold as the writer of “Joy to the World”, “Never Been to Spain, “The Pusher” and “Greenback Dollar”, among others. He never could get much momentum as a performer. This track was featured on an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, but it’s rather ‘shy’, as it were.

Bad Brains – “Stay Close to Me” – The B-side of their incredible “Pay to Cum” single, this is more of a slower reggae-styled jam. It’ does show their versatility at such an early point of their career.

The Bad Roads – “Blue Girl”. All it takes for me is a razor sharp fuzz guitar and I’m hooked on a track. This Louisiana garage rock band had a big following down there, but only a couple of singles ever escaped to the public.

The Bad Seeds – “King of the Soap Box”. No, not Nick Cave’s group, nor the Texas band with a few singles on J-Beck, but a 60’s garage band from Northern Kentucky that had this single on Columbia, and pfft. Find it, though.

Yvonne Baker – “You Didn’t Say a Word”. While not QUITE copping from the James Bond theme – it definitely is a homage to that melody. Baker recorded a number of singles that didn’t go much of anywhere in the states, but were beloved by the Northern Soul clique in the UK.

Band Aid – “Do They Know It’s Christmas” – I can still identify each and every singer, even those that time forgot. And Bono’s gonna Bono.

Azzido da Bass – “Lonely By Your Side” – An earworm that coulda been huge. I still hear it around in some places, unexpectedly.

Bazooka – “Look at You Now” – A great unknown piece of pop found on an obscure collection or two.

The Bees – “Voices Green and Purple” – A weird garage single found on the Nuggets CD. It’s an example of Garage Punk, or a bunch of weirdos having fun.

The Bellamy Brothers – “Let Your Love Flow” – Country / pop schlock, sure. But my 10-year old self dug it.

The Benders – “Can’t Tame Me” – One of those great 60’s garage rock one off singles that seemingly were in every city in the US. This bunch from Wisconsin had a hot A-side with this number, including the requisite burning fuzz guitar solo. The B-side was lame, and they drifted off to do whatever teenagers and 20 somethings did in 1966. Probably went to Vietnam or college.

Brook Benton – “Rainy Night in Georgia”, “It’s Just a Matter of Time” – A decade apart, these two tracks showcased the best Benton had in him. The material failed him otherwise.

Dave Berry – “Don’t Give Me No Lip Child”, “This Strange Effect” – An English pop singer / teen idol that recorded one of the tracks that made punk rock history when recorded by the Sex Pistols (“Don’t Give Me No Lip Child”). The other track that I dug was written by Ray Davies. Nothing else clicked for me, as I wasn’t a tween in 1960’s England.

Big Black – “He’s a Whore”. This is the only single by Big Black that’s streaming (a couple others were bonus singles in records, etc.). It’s a twisted version of the Cheap Trick song, and it rocks like the original.

The Birds – “Say Those Magic Words”,  “No Good Without You Baby”. They were cursed by bad name luck (they were originally the Thunderbirds, but shortened it, and welp, that American group came over to the UK) and a manager that tried to sue the Byrds instead of promote the group. It’s a shame, because they had a great sound, a little raw like the early Who. Ronnie Wood was in the group and later joined the Creation and then Jeff Beck after this bunch blew apart. You may remember them in The Deadly Bees on MST3K.

Black Haze Express – “Pretty Soon”, “Won’t Nobody Listen”. Singer Sam Dees, who never really made it as a performer, tried his hand at leading a funk band and released this funky little single in 1971 to as much success as he had before. It’s a shame, because this is a groovy cut. Dees later found success as a songwriter, but nothing was as funky as this.

The Blendells – “La La La La La” – The term used for groups such as the Blendells was ‘brown-eyed soul’. This is on enough compilations that people know it. They never really got another chance.

Blood, Sweat, & Tears – “Go Down Gamblin'” – The last gasp of the bloated horn-based rock group rocked harder than some of their other fare, but after this no one cared, and they drifted off into fusion obscurity and endless road work.

The Blow Pops – “Cleveland”. There are some eras where the transition of formats left some bands behind. The move from vinyl to CD in the mid-80’s, and the move from CD to MP3 and streaming in the 2000’s. Independent artists sometimes lost out in those moves, and the Blow Pops’ great 1990’s power pop CDs aren’t streaming now. Keep an eye out. I thankfully had someone send this infectious tune to me.

Blowtorch – “C’Mon & Get It”. A hard rockin’ B-side that’s thankfully archived on some compilations. I don’t know anything about this band, who released one single in 1971 on Paramount Records.

The Bluestars – “Social End Product”. Even New Zealand had groups embracing the garage rock style. Three singles were all they got, but if this track is any indication they must have been burning up the club scene.

BMX Bandits – “Kylie’s Got a Crush on Us” – This great power-pop ode to Kylie Minogue isn’t streaming, maybe due to issues with rights to Creation Records. It’s fun, and should be out there.

Bob & Earl – “Harlem Shuffle” – You know it’s a great 60’s tune when almost every 60’s band tried to cover it.

Bo-Jac – “Everybody. Somebody” – Bubblegum was waning, but that didn’t mean record companies didn’t try to trot out faceless ‘bands’ and get a hit. This is damn catchy.

Daniel Boone – “Beautiful Sunday”. The guitar hook, the chorus with the tom-toms, and the jaunty melody – all the perfect recipe for a 70’s hit. Oh, and the modulation at the end didn’t hurt, either. He had a few hits in the UK, two songs that scraped the very bottom of the Hot 100 in the US, and faded away. What’s streaming now are re-makes, unfortunately.

The Boots – “Gaby”, “But You’ll Never Do It Babe” – A German beat group that was a cut above other European bands of the same ilk, and with “Gaby” got an all timer for early psych / harder rock.

Boss Hog – “Red Bath” – Refugees from Pussy Galore (notably Cristina Martinez and Jon Spencer) formed their own band that wasn’t as extreme as their previous band despite their best efforts (and Martinez’ nudity). Thank goodness – it’s listenable and produced some great tracks. Another one from the Amp Rep Dope, Guns, and Fucking in the Streets great compilation.

The Brains – “Money Changes Everything”. A hit when Cyndi Lauper covered it, it caused few ripples in 1980 when it was released. They had a great pedigree, well regarded and a Steve Lillywhite production. But this seems all that is left, and you gotta really dig to find it.

Billy Bremner – “Loud Music in Cars” – The guitarist in Rockpile (and for Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, etc.) released this single and got some good notices with hit. He’s really more of a sideman, and a good one at that.

Alicia Bridges – “I Love the Nightlife (Disco ‘Round)” – This song had a lot of acccc-shun. There’s a compilation, but why?

The Brighter Side of Darkness – “Love Jones”. I wonder if more people know the Cheech and Chong parody “Basketball Jones” instead of this one? The lead singer who sang the chorus was 12-year old Darryl Lamont. High schooler Randolph Murph did the monologue, and they soon became afterthoughts, unfortunately.

The Brogues – “I Ain’t No Miracle Worker” – This found its way on the big Nuggets CD collection and some other comps. The actual A-side was “Don’t Shoot Me Down”, which reminded me of Mouse & the Traps more than anything. The released another single that wasn’t as cool.

Brute Force – “King of Fuh”. An Apple Records release (not to be confused by the funk band from 1970) that was just an excuse to say “Fuh King” on the radio. It didn’t fool anyone. The initial Apple Records single is worth beaucoup buckaroos.

Bulldog – “No”. I scandalized Mrs. Linn’s class in first grade at New Market Elementary by bringing this song in as part of a K-Tel album, as the lyrics contained “hell” in them. Oooooh! The drummer and guitarist for the Rascals were part of the band, and produced this, which seems to be the only thing anywhere by them. With a band name like that, and a song title like that, Googling them on the interwebs ain’t easy.

Bulldog Breed – “Paper Man”. Musicians from various bands found their way together and formed this short lived UK psychedelic rock band, right on time for the genre to be out of favor. This is a catchy bit of fun from their only album that’s long gone.

Bullet – “White Lies, Blue Eyes” – A vocalist helped a pair of songwriters out and sang this track. Viola, a top 40 hit. A band was put together to capitalize on it, but only released two more singles and no albums. But they were on American Bandstand.

Burning Sensations – “Belly of the Whale”. This was an MTV hit in the early days, and while the album stiffed and to my knowledge was deleted from the catalog and never released on CD, the song lives on thanks to some New Wave CD comps. It’s just a catchy earworm and showed the power of the medium that a relatively obscure and unknown song could become a video hit.

The Bush – “To Die Alone” – A heavy, heavy guitar intro and some unique slide sounds led into a regular ol’ garage band track. Somehow the intro from 1966 is heavier than the OTHER Bush.

C & The Shells – “You Are the Circus”. A B-side from an obscure R&B vocal released in 1969? Sure, why not. Sometimes lightning strikes. Sometimes the effect of the lightning isn’t felt until later. Thanks to the Beg, Scream and Shout box set from Rhino, many were struck by this almost perfect single. The A-Side was decent enough. They should have flipped it, though.

The California Gold Rush – “Let’s Get It on Today”. This is probably a studio group. The A-side of this single was called “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” which was a cover of something that hit in the UK and the world in 1971 by the band Middle of the Road. That didn’t break the states,  though. The B-side, this track, it…well..awesome. Not really bubblegum at all but great pop / rock with a funky beat and neat things going on all around. It needs to be found again; I got this from a madman who gave me about a zillion mix CDs.

Captain Groovy & His Bubblegum Army – “Captain Groovy & His Bubblegum Army”. A perfect piece of bubble gum music, this was the theme song for a cartoon show that never made it past the drawing board. The same production team that did the Ohio Express, 1910 Fruitgum Company, etc. were the masterminds behind this.

Cargoe – “Feel Alright” and “I Love You Anyway”. I was tempted to put this on my missing in action list, since these two tracks were on the Ardent Record collection. They’re pretty perfect power pop. All that’s out there is a live album and a 2010 recording. These are from 1972, and if Ardent had any distribution these guys and Big Star would have been all over the radio. The harmonies from these guys make my knees quiver. Someone needs to cover “Feel Alright”, and I mean NOW!

Johnny Carroll – “Hot Rock”. He was actually Johnny Carrell, but there was a misprint on the single, and, well, there you go. Carroll was a rockabilly singer that had some good cuts, but no traction, and no compilation. This is the best of what I’ve heard on various artist things.

Johnny Cash – “The Sound of Laughter” – As many albums that Johnny Cash put out in his lifetime, they missed some tracks. This was unreleased (and sounds unfinished, needing another overdub in the bridge it seems) but was on a few comps – most notably Murder.

The Castaways – “Liar Liar”. A #12 hit for a bunch of teenagers from Minnesota. The organ riff is incessant, the falsetto vocals intriguing and annoying, and the instrumental break leading to the solo surprising. The drummer, Denny Craswell, was later in Crow, another one-hit wonder. And yes, some version of this band is still trodding out there.

The Cattanooga CatsCattanooga Cats Theme – They’re doing their thing, whatever that is.

The Cedars – “For Your Information”. Back in the day, Beirut was a popular hangout for the rich and famous and this group sprung from that time of peace and opulence. They wound up in London and recorded a couple of singles that did combine some middle-eastern sounds with typical 60’s British rock.

Bruce Channel – “Hey! Baby!” – What would pep bands do if this song didn’t exist? What would they replace it with? FYI – That’s Delbert McClinton on harmonica.

The Champs – “Tequila”, “Limbo Rock” – Their most famous hit was a throwaway intended for a B-side. Funny how that happens. There were a lot of people you wouldn’t expect that passed through this band in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

Changing Colours – “Da-Da-Da-Da” – An intriguing bubblegum miss, probably released for tax reasons. Or recorded for tax reasons. I thought there was an official release but now I’m not so sure about it.

The Charlatans – “Number One”,  “32/20”- Not the UK band, but the first “San Francisco Sound” band. They actually made their name as a band in a saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. For whatever reason, they never really recorded properly, and only have a live album streaming (even though there’s a CD comp of their stray tracks). Historical, really.

Charlie – “It’s Inevitable” – Did you realize Charlie had been at it since 1971, and their only Top 40 single was from their SEVENTH album, and FIFTH album to chart in the US? I. Did. Not.

Cheetah – “Bang Bang” – They only released one album, recorded in Australia with Vanda & Young. This track was on MTV a lot in the early days, much to my teenage content.

Chickasaw Mudd Puppies – “Do You Remember” – An Athens band that had the Michael Stipe seal of approval, but were basically ignored. Their records aren’t streaming.

The Chips – “Rubber Biscuit” – Much better than the Blues Brothers version. By a factor too high to count.

The Choir – “It’s Cold Outside”. Cleveland’s finest in 1967. They released some singles, and this one was a minor hit. Later, they combined with fellow Clevelanders Cyrus Erie, which featured Eric Carman. Thus, the Raspberries were born. This is another band hard to find, mainly because of their name.

Chords – “Sh-Boom”. Before it got totally whitewashed by some Canadians and much better known by them, this doo-wop group from The Bronx hit #9 on the pop charts and #2 on the R&B charts. This was it by them – but some say they had the first rock record so there’s that.

Dee Clark – “Raindrops”, “Hey Little Girl” – “Raindrops” was a #2 hit, and “Hey Little Girl” hit #2 on the R&B chart. They should be remembered, even if his career fizzed.

Otis Clay – “That’s How It Is (When You’re in Love)” – This Chicago R&B singer had a couple of national hits, and one full album is streaming. Alas, this one isn’t.

Willie Cobbs – “You Don’t Love Me”. A blues harpist, Cobbs wrote this song (simiar to a Bo Diddley track) and recorded it in Memphis. It hit #1 in Memphis, then was leased to Vee-Jay records. But there were copyright issues based on an instrumental track that one of the producers took credit for when he recorded it with another band. Two people say they did the distinctive guitar part, which is the juciest part of the song. The song died on the vine thanks to legal issues, but blues freaks have kept it somewhat alive.

Cock Robin – “When Your Heart Is Weak”.  I don’t quite understand why this has been so hard to find online. I got a digital copy somewhere, but it’s not streaming, at least not the original album. It may be on a compilation buried deep in the bowels of Google Play or Spotify. They were big in Flemish Belgium, so that’s something!

Code Blue – “Face to Face”. A perfect song for this concept. Definitely a song that has fallen from memory and the album isn’t streaming, but it’s a perfect early 80’s power pop track.

Roger Collins – “She’s Looking Good”. Collins is active to this day, and what’s streaming are re-makes and his later effort. This blast of Oakland soul had a great stamp of endorsement, as the great Wilson Pickett covered it.

Chi Coltrane – “Thunder & Lightning”. Every female blues-type singer was ‘the next Joplin’ much like any folkie with a guitar and harmonica was ‘the next Dylan’. Coltrane was hyped, but didn’t do much besides this Top 20 hit.

Brian Connell & the Roundsound – “Just Another Wedding  Day”.  A single by a group who may have had more success in the Netherlands than anywhere else. They gigged around and had this one record released in the UK. It’s a jaunty track with some neat harmonies, a time signature change, and trumpets. Find it if you can.

Bill ContiGonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) – Everytime you hear this, no matter where you are, you want to put your arms in the air like you just ran the stairs in Philly.

Coven – “One Tin Soldier” – How did the band go from recording actual black masses to this piece of pop? One symbol – $.

Billy Dee Cox – “Special Lady” – Waffle House actually produced a CD for use in their jukeboxes (they have a couple of more now) in 1999. This was the highlight, and it’s a pretty good country track extolling the counter waitress at those ubiquitous houses of breakfast food. At 3:30 AM, she is amazing. Anything is.

The Crawdaddies – “I Can Never Tell”. Not to be confused with a current band from the East Coast, this was a garage revivalist band formed in San Diego in the 70’s. This is from an EP, and was collected on the Children of Nuggets collection by Rhino. It sounds like it came from 1965 or so.

Billy Ray Cyrus – “Achy Breaky Heart” – Yeah, he’s a hack. And yeah, it’s not an original. But you haven’t lived until you’re on the 16th green of a golf course waiting to putt out when a country band playing at the county home is covering this, and everyone breaks into a little dance instead of holing out. Now that’s culture!

Daddy Dewdrop – “Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It) – My first and second grade self would definitely rescue this. Later, the real truth of the song came out. The truth being Daddy Drewdop was gonna get laid.

Roger Daltrey – “Free Me”, “Without Your Love” – These two tracks from the McVicar soundtrack are among his biggest solo hits. For some reason, the solo albums by Daltrey and Entwistle are hard to find anywhere, and not really online for the most part. That’s odd to say the least. It’s the Who after all.

Dantalion’s Chariot – “The Madman Running Through the Fields”. Holy shit, this is great, and obscure! Zoot Money and Andy Summers were featured in this psychedelic band that had a great light show, a great look (wearing all white robes and kaftans), and one solitary single credited to them. They were dropped after this (Zoot Money was supposed to play jazz and R&B, you know, not this psychedelic crap). Another company signed them, rejected the album (an archival release says this probably was a wise business decision), and released older tracks as a Zoot Money album later, and that’s it, with Summers then joining the Animals. You need to hear THIS song – THIS is what the psychedelic London movement was in one little package.

D-Day – “Too Young to Date” – Holy fuckin’ cow, this song. It could never, ever, ever be released now without getting howls of protests. It’s catchy, and has a couple of good lines, but man this makes is right there with Bow Wow Wow.

The DeFranco Family – “Heartbeat (It’s a Love Beat)”, “Abra-ca-Dabra” – Hey now, they had THREE Top 40 hits. (The other was a cover of “Save the Last Dance for Me”, which…meh). Their stuff was recorded by the Wrecking Crew, including Larry Carlton and Hal Blaine, in case you wondered why the backing sounded so great.

The Denims – “I’m Your Man” – A bunch of kids from Queens adapted English accents, and released this stormer of a garage tune. They never had another one in them, But hey, this is worth a dozen or so streams!

Teri DeSario – “Yes I’m Ready”. This is a great 70’s era ballad duet with KC (of Sunshine Band fame). In reality, she was a disco singer for the most part, but then wanted to be a rock singer and that record bombed.

Detroit Sex Machines – “The Stretch”. High-school kids from Detroit blazed some funky soul on an obscure 45 that was dug up and re-issued for us all on a great collection called Cold Heat. The groove is tight, and the sax solo is actually interesting. The record may have a couple of pops in it, but who cares if it’s this outta site!

Don & Juan – “What’s Your Name?” – The eternal question, and hopefully you are provided with the correct answer, or you hear it correctly. Else that could be embarassing!

Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods – “Billy Don’t Be a Hero”, “Who Do You Think You Are”. Copping two songs from UK groups (Paper Lace and Jigsaw, respectively) gained them their only successes. They then went away, slowly. By the way, Donaldson led the band but wasn’t the singer, in case you needed to win a bar bet.

Charlie Dore – “Pilot of the Airwaves”. The accapella intro is so memorable, it overshadows everything else.

Duck Sauce – “Barbara Streisand”. Even if you won’t admit it, you know this song and like this song.

The Elastik Band – “Spazz”. Political correctness ain’t new. This great garage-rock single was a victim of well-meaning folks who thought the term spazz would be offensive to the developmentally challenged or hyperactive. So, this is about all that’s left of them. It’s great and catchy, and on the Nuggets box set. NOTE: There’s an Welsh group from the same vintage called the Elastic Band. Not the same.

The English Congregation – “Softly Whispering I Love You”. What Kazentz and Katz were to the US market, Greenway and Cook were to the UK, forming bands out of ‘thin air’ to record various singles. This was a cover of a song that Greenway and Cook put out in 1966 with their band David and Jonathan. It hit big everywhere, but they never had a followup in this incarnation and sales for their albums were low.

Episode Six – “Love Hate Revenge” – This UK band’s ultimate claim to fame was bequeathing Ian Gillan and Roger Glover to Deep Purple. Before then, they were a band that trend-hopped. This was part of their psychedelic phase. Episode Six has an EP streaming that doesn’t include this spacey pop tune.

The Essex – “Easier Said Than Done” – A group of Marines recorded this classic bit of early rock. But since they were active duty, followups and appearances became quite difficult.

The Exciters – “Tell Him” – A great slab of girl-group goodness. They had no success after this, but this track is one of all-time classics in any genre.

The Eyes – “When the Night Falls”, “I’m Rowed Out” – A mod beat group from the UK that had a few tasty singles, but didn’t quite hit the big time. “I’m Rowed Out” has a riff eerily similar to “I Can’t Explain” by the Who.

Darrow Fletcher – “Improve” – This soul singer never released a proper album, but had a lot of singles released in his career. Ace released two career-spanning compilations, but only one is streaming, and this song is on the one that is not.

DJ Snake w/ L’il Jon – “Turn Down for What”- DJ Snake is a producer and a sampler and releases singles and tracks featuring other artists. This was the first collaboration where he was a featured artist, and well, you know the rest. Infectious and tremendous.

David Essex – “Rock On” – In the US, this was basically it, one of the best one-hit wonder tracks ever. In the UK, he was a legend (he’s got an OBE, for cripes sakes) and has many hit singles and albums to his credit, as well as a big deal on the London stage.

The Fans – “True” – From a very obscure comp called Squares Blot Out the Sun (good luck finding it), this is a Georgia power-pop band that had one good track in ’em!

Bill Fay – “Methane River” – I really don’t know how I got this. It’s not streaming. But damn this is powerful. Find it, and listen to it.

The Fe-Fi-Four Plus Two – “Mr. Sweet Stuff” – One of the most obscure bands to have a multi-paragraph Wikipedia entry, this New Mexican garage rock band released two singles. This is the B-side of the second. It’s great, but then the draft came, and them’s the berries.

First Class – “Beach Baby” – Best Beach Boys rip / tribute ever.

5 Miles Out – ‘Super Sweet Girl of Mine” – Obscure funk from a Nashville label. There were a lot of good to great funk / soul bands around this time, recording singles on small labels and bringing down the house locally. Sometimes they hit it big, like the Ohio Players from Dayton. Sometimes…not.

The Fortunes – “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again”, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” – BEWARE! Re-recordings afoot! There are legit versions of these two songs on various artist packages, but most everything are re-recordings that sound way too crisp and clean and sterile to be recorded in the 60’s.

Frankie Ford – “Sea Cruise”. An iconic New Orleans late 50’s track, complete with “OO-WEE” and the sound of a cruise ship. This was a vocal overdubbed on a Huey “Piano” Smith track that Ace released because Smith already had a record on the charts and he was on the road. Pretty lucky for Ford.

The Gentrys – “Keep on Dancing” – Just a simple song with a simple message that hit it big. This was all they had in them, really, but kept at it until 1972 or so. Their 1970 record is somehow still streaming, while this track is hard to find in a non-re-recorded form.

Giorgio – “Son of My Father”. Giorgio Moroder went by his first name when he was a solo artist in the 60’s and 70’s. He was a pioneer in electronic music and production, but his songs were mostly puerile and juvenile. This one, though, has a great synthesizer hook and is a great pop confection. It hit #46 in the States and is on some non-streaming collections if you are inclined. If you’re British, you know this song due to Chicory Tip releasing a very similar version.

The Glimmer Stars – “One Glorious Moment”. A sweet power pop track that is on a hard-to-find record (except on Bandcamp, and that may go away). Dig it when you dig it up.

The Glory Rhodes – “Can We Go to the City”. A New Orleans band that released four or five singles over their lifetime. This one was bequeathed to me on a bubblegum mix and is poppy, yet a little more sophisticated than bubblegum. I’d try to find it and more by them.

The Goatdancers – “Patches of Dust”. Memphis wasn’t just about soul and the blues. Ok, it mostly was until Big Star came along, but somehow the town produced the Goatdancers, a psychedelic rock outfit that hit the recording studio a few times, but never released anything on vinyl. This track is definitely a trip, man.

Art Grayson & the Graysettes – “Bad Dreams”. A Birmingham R&B singer that released a few singles here and there. This definitely should have broken out somewhere besides his hometown, for the funky organ if nothing else.

Binky Griptite & The Mellomatics – “The Stroll, Part 2”. Outtasite track from the great Daptone Gold compilation. Griptite is the guitarist for the Dap-Kings, so he’s got legitimacy. It’s too funky.

Guitar Junior – “The Crawl”  – Sometimes tracking bluesmen is confusing. This is Lonnie Brooks, who went by Guitar Junior in the south and came up with this great, infectious song. Then he moved to Chicago and found that Luther Johnson, Jr. was “Guitar Jr.” up there, so he just became Lonnie Brooks. Mind you there are other Luther Johnson’s in the blues game as well. At any rate, just find this version of the song somehow, because it’s good for you.

Arthur Gunter – “Baby Let’s Play House” – Elvis covered this, but the original has a real authentic Delta / Memphis blues acoustic blues feel and Gunter has a surprisingly smooth voice.

Haysi Fantayzee – “Shiny Shiny”. This f-n earworm came to us via the UK and MTV. It’s puerile, vapid, and catchy as hell. Somehow this hit #74. Somehow you can’t find a damn thing by them streaming.

Helen Shields – “My Ride”. Another one from Indy comps. They were a fun band, coming together from early Indy legends Jot and Bitch Head. They really needed more recordings.

Elvis Hitler – “Live Fast, Die Young” & “Green Haze, Pts. 1 & 2” – A punk rock psycho-billy band (they coined the term “Hellbilly”, fine, whatever guys) had one great idea (singing the theme of Green Acres to “Purple Haze” – though others may have done that too). The other song I have was the only other song that was worth keeping around. Their stuff isn’t streaming as far as I can find, but to be honest I really didn’t break the search engines for it.

Mark Holder & the Positives – “Whatever’s Fair”. What’s not fair is that they basically disappeared after waxing this one song. In fact, from what I found, the single has the same track on either side! I think it’s the same Mark Holder that released stuff on his own label around that time, but nobody’s saying a word to me about it.

Eddie Holland – “Leaving Here” – A huge favorite for the British beat bands, this scorcher from Holland, part of the famous Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting / production team, should have established him as a performer. The drums on this cut are outstanding.

Eldridge Holmes – “Pop, Popcorn Children” – Holmes was a New Orleans native that tried his hand on many singles in the 60’s and 70’s. Some of his various tunes are streaming, and so is this, collected on a fantastic Rhino collection.

Honey Cone – “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show” – For the life of me, I don’t get why there’s a dearth of great soul from the early 70’s streaming. Invictus – Hot Wax must be owned by something or other, right? Stream ’em!

The Hoods – “You Keep on Lyin'” – A San Diego combo from the early 90’s that had a retro 60’s surf(ish) sound and a great album title in Gangsters & Morticians. I think this is all that’s out there right now. Sad face.

The Hudson Brothers – “Rendezvous”, “So You Are a Star”. They really tried to become stars. No dice except for a few stray hits here and there. I think the big problem is that they tried to be both comedians and musicians, and their TV shows weren’t popular enough to move the needle on their records (and vice versa). Catchy hits, though.

The Iketttes – “I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)”. This song was written by Ike Turner to fill studio time, and Tina Turner helped arrange it. The Ikettes did a spirited performance for their only hit as a stand-alone trio, and it spawned a great deal of covers.

It’s a Beautiful Day – “White Bird”. All of a sudden…poof. Columbia or Bill Graham Productions or someone has yanked their stuff off of streaming. At least I snagged this on a comp and downloaded it.

It’s OK! – “Wishing”. From the Freedom of Choice compilation, something still in print, where 90’s bands covered 80’s songs. Groovy fuzzy bass work from Ellen Rooney (who later joined the reunion-ed Bangles and Go-Go’s replacing their reluctant bass players).

Deon Jackson – “Love Makes the World Go Round”. A number 11 hit in 1966, this was his only real US hit. He had a lot more success in the UK, but nothing else is streaming here.

Jimmy James – “A Man Like Me”. His group The Vagabonds were popular in the UK during the late 60’s and early 70’s in the soul genre, packing houses wherever they went. However, that didn’t translate to record sales. This was a solo effort released in late 1971 that is just fabulous, if not a bit retro even for 1971. Still, crickets.

Davy Jones & the Lower Third – “You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving”. Yeah, it’s Bowie, trying a psychedelic pop sound. I’ve heard worse, even from him.

Gloria Jones – “Tainted Love”. By now, everyone knows the song, and her version of it has gotten a lot of run as a great lost soul classic. It is, for sure. However, it was hidden on a B-side on original release back in 1964, and discovered years later by UK Northern Soul hipsters.

Kazentz – Katz Super Circus – “Quick Joey Small”. A prison break tune that’s just such an earworm. It was a bubblegum song that sounded like the Ohio Express, mainly because Joey Levine also sang lead for that ‘group’ in the studio. I had at least two 45s of this growing up – as I loved it so much.

Ace Kefford Stand – “For Your Love”, “Gravy Booby Jamm”. Ace Kefford was the bassist for the Move, but left after a panic attack brought on by LSD spooked him. He tried to record an album, but left the sessions after a breakdown. In 1969, he formed this heavy, heavy combo with Dave Ball, Dennis Ball, and Cozy Powell, and recorded this single. It sounded promising, but he was suffering from bipolar disorder and nothing really materialized.

Kenny & the Kasuals – “Journey to Time”. A bunch of Texans get trippy with their garage rock, and then a lot of ’em got their ass drafted.

The Knight Brothers – “Temptation ‘Bout to Get Me”. They really should have more represenation on Chess, since they made a lot of singles for the label in the 60’s. This is their $$ song, since it charted well on the R&B chart and charted on the Hot 100 (way too low). The Rascals purloined it a couple years later, but this original is the hot one. PS – They weren’t brothers.

Lucky Laws – “Who Is She”. A Chicago soul release on One-derful! Records (I dig the label on their 45’s) that looks to be a) very rare and b) one of two releases for the not-so-lucky Mr. Laws. It’s definitely worth finding on a comp.

The Leaves – “Hey Joe”, “Too Many People”, “Dr. Stone”. “Hey Joe” was THE song to cover in LA, and they were first out of the gate with their version. But, besides a couple of great follow-ups, they blew apart in 1967 when their second album sunk. Unlike other bands that had a whiff of success during this era, they’re not streaming.

The Looking Glass – “Silver & Sunshine”. No, not the band that did “Brandy”, but a sunshine pop act featuring two sisters and one of their husbands from Sacramento (as 45Cat says) that released one single on Valiant (and released an earlier one as the West Winds).

The Knight Brothers – “Temptation ‘Bout to Get Me”. They really should have more represenation on Chess, since they made a lot of singles for the label in the 60’s. This is their $$ song, since it charted well on the R&B chart and charted on the Hot 100 (way too low). The Rascals purloined it a couple years later, but this original is the hot one. PS – They weren’t brothers.

Lucky Laws – “Who Is She”. A Chicago soul release on One-derful! Records (I dig the label on their 45’s) that looks to be a) very rare and b) one of two releases for the not-so-lucky Mr. Laws. It’s definitely worth finding on a comp.

The Leaves – “Hey Joe”, “Too Many People”, “Dr. Stone”. “Hey Joe” was THE song to cover in LA, and they were first out of the gate with their version. But, besides a couple of great follow-ups, they blew apart in 1967 when their second album sunk. Unlike other bands that had a whiff of success during this era, they’re not streaming.

Dandy Livingstone – “Rudy, A Message to You” – Re-done by the Specials, the originals is a bit more understated and has a quiet force building through the track.

The Looking Glass – “Silver & Sunshine”. No, not the band that did “Brandy”, but a sunshine pop act featuring two sisters and one of their husbands from Sacramento (as 45Cat says) that released one single on Valiant (and released an earlier one as the West Winds).

The Loot – “Try to Keep It a Secret”. Six different singles were released, and no albums legitimately released. It could be a nightmare to gather all of the rights for their records since they were on at least four labels in the UK. This, though, was their last gasp, and shows why they should have been bigger.

Love & Kisses – “I’ve Found Love (Now That I’ve Found You)”, “Thank God It’s Friday”. You know the movie theme for Thank God It’s Friday?  Well, now you know who performed it. Their first “album” was two songs, including “I’ve Found Love”, extended to about 17 minutes each.

Barbara Lynn – “I’m a Good Woman” – She had a big hit with “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” back in ’62 and had moderate success for a few years afterwards. She wrote songs, played guitar, and sang – an unusual combo for a female soul singer. This was a great track forgotten by time, and certainly forgotten in 1966 (it hit #129).

Barbara Manning – “Joed Out” – Gifted to No Alternative, this is a nice piece of updated folk-rock with a haunting cello.

Ernie Maresca – “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)” – More of a songwriter (he helped Dion pen some classics) and later a record company executive, Maresca penned and sang this one that is still an oldies favorite for those of a certain age.

Ellen Margulies – “The White Pony”. To me, this is the stellar track from Rhino’s Hallucinations collection. It has the entire psychedelic folky kitchen sink thrown at it, yet the song shines through, and Margulies’ vocals are haunting.

M/A/R/R/S – “Pump Up the Volume” – The ultimate one-hit wonder. This was a one-off collaboration between A. R. Kane and Colourbox on 4AD Records. It was a world-wide smash, and both acts went on to do other things.

The Marauders – “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” – A nice piece of garage rock from 1966, released and the forgotten. According to Discogs, several other groups used that name, but this is present on a few garage rock comps so it may be easy to find.

Bobbi Martin – “For the Love of Him” – Definitely a Countrypolitan classic. All that’s streaming on Apple are re-recordings under her name, but there may be the original lurking somewhere on a comp.

Mashmakhan – “Days When We Are Free” – I don’t understand why their albums aren’t streaming, but here we are. Mashmakhan was a Canadian group that opened up the Festival Express tour, and was in the movie. They were reasonably popular, and made catchy fusion-y tunes.

Maurice & Mac – “You Left the Water Running”. They were Chess Records Sam & Dave, except they didn’t get a hit record for some reason. However, this song is an absolute scorcher. Wilson Pickett was among the first to release a version, and Otis Redding also recorded a demo that was later released. But this is probably the version to find, if you can.

MC2 (or MC Squared, or whatever, dig it) – “My Mind Goes High”. A bunch of studio folks, including hot-shot Jim Keltner, record a bunch of sunshine pop / psychedelic pop tracks for Reprise and then goes about their business. This track, a B-side, was on a great Nuggets sunshine pop collection. MC2 are the initials for two of the members, which is not that clever when you think about it.

Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” – Good for a karaoke session or five.

Ronnie Molleen – “Rockyn’ Up”. Yeah, it’s spelled like that on the label of the King single. This 1960 smoker is a Little Richard rip or tribute, complete with “whooos”. It’s not as fiery as Little Richard, but it’s good enough to cause a small conflaguration.

Alanis Morrisette – “My Humps” – Hi-freakin’-larious!

The Motions – “For Another Man”. Some nice Beatle-esque sounds from this Dutch band. The Netherlands were hot spots for beat music, and many bands were great emulators.

The Motorcycle Abilene – “(You Used to) Ride So High” –  A ‘band’ in name only. It was a moniker used by Warren Zevon and Bones Howe to record demos early in their career. I don’t know if was actually released or just was a promo or only a demo. Still, it’s groovy.

Mouse & the Traps – “A Public Execution, “Maid of Sugar – Maid of Spice” – The first track is a garage rock favorite, but the second, I think, is superior, since it’s not directly aping Dylan. There was a big collection streaming, but it’s all gone now. Fortunately, I snagged these two songs in other ways.

The Munx – “Our Dream”.  One of those singles that just sounds great no mattet what mood you’re in. This is a great piece of psychedelic sunshine pop that was popular enough to get them a national distribution, but didn’t give them a sustainable career. It was 2 1/2 minutes of magic, though.

David Naughton – “Makin’ It”. He was poised to be a big ol’ deal with this hit song, his Dr. Pepper commericals, and later his performance of “An American Werewolf in London”. But he never released another track, and his career devolved into guest star roles and direct to video movies. It’s a living.

Cyril Neville – “Gossip” – The youngest of the Neville Brothers, he recorded this solo side before joining Aaron in the band Soul Machine, then jumping to The Meters, before finally coming back to a solo career much later.

The New Breed – “Want Ad Reader”. Hanna-Barbera formed a record company mostly to release music from their cartoons, but they released some obscure garage-type singles as well. This Northern California band sounded a little like the Seeds crossed with the Beau Brummels or something like that.

October Country – “My Girlfriend Is a Witch” . Maybe it was a bit too late in the psychedelic garage craze to be a big national hit, but this is probably the perfect example of how great that sound could be. Great fuzz, fantastic bass, intriguing organ, and a chorus that has some neat syncopation.

The Only Ones – “Why Don’t You Kill Yourself” – They followed up Special View, which had some great singles, with a good album that stiffed, and then on their third, this nihilistic gem. It’s like they kind of gave up already, in a sense.

The Orange Humble Band – “Fanclub Requiem”. They were (are) an Aussie power-pop band with links to the Lime Spiders and other revivalists down there. This is so good, so delicious – it’s a shame this isn’t here on the US services. They reformed in 2012 and released an album, but they still qualify here since I don’t normally cotton to revivals.

The Outcasts -“I’m in Pittsburgh (And It’s Raining). Another group with a name shared by a jillion other bands, and it seems kind of generic garage rock until the guitar solo, which kicks it into another dimension, but it’s too short! Ah, well.

The Oxfords – “Don’t Be a Dropout”. It may be a corny sentiment for a rough, tough garage band, but they do some nice harmonies through the song.

Bobby Parker – “Watch Your Step” – The song that launched “Day Tripper”, “Moby Dick”, and others. Parker wasn’t given his due.

Pauls Collection – “Man”. Kind of a mix between the garage rock era and psychedelic pop, this Belgian outfit wrote this song ‘about a funny little man in the crowd’, which was a gnome. Or a person they saw while tripping in Antwerp.

Danny Pearson – “What’s Your Sign Girl”. An all-time classic soul song, no matter the era. This was somehow ignored by the pop markets in 1978 (it wasn’t disco, perhaps) but hit pretty well on the R&B chart. I heard Alex Chilton cover this, and loved it, so I needed to find the original. Pearson sings like an angel, and Barry White’s production is impeccable. It’s sad he didn’t get another chance.

People In The News – “Color Me”. Indianapolis had a pretty decent local soul / funk scene in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This is an example – a socially conscious funk single on the Knap-Town label that never escaped the 45 bins on Indiana. It’s a shame; it was worthy.

Pink Nasty – “Mordecai”. Three albums have all disappeared. Her real name is Sara Back, but there’s another singer by that name.

The Poets – “Some Things I Can’t Forget”, ‘That’s the Way It’s Got to Be”. Compilations float in-and-out of print, and none are streaming, for this Scottish band that was managed by Andrew Loog Oldham. Somehow, he couldn’t perform magic and most all of their singles died a quiet death. The bass part on “That’s the Way It’s Got to Be” is a lot more rumbly and fuzzed than most singles of that time and place.

Portrait – “Sh-Sh-Sheila”. This Portrait was a UK bubblegum group that had this moment in the sun (relatively) with a song good enough for it to be comped 40 years later.

The Precisions – “You’re the Best (That Ever Did It)”. A wonderful R&B vocal group side that happened to be the last they cut (and it was a B-side to boot). They had a few R&B hits but I don’t think ever got an album deal, and only show up on comps exploring unknown 60’s soul.

Adrian Pride – “Her Name Is Melody” – Would someone named Bernie Schwartz be a convincing psych / sunshine pop singer? No? Well, how about Adrian Pride? Sure.

Quicksilver Messenger Service – “Who Do You Love” (outtake) – There’s a lot of live albums of the classic Quicksilver lineups, but there’s also some studio outtakes (they never were much of a studio band and they went through a lot of takes). One such collection was a double CD of live and studio recordings that had this version of the Bo Diddley classic. An extended version of this was the centerpiece of their second album. This collection isn’t streaming, and this take isn’t streaming, either.

The Radiants – “Voice Your Choice”. Forming in 1960, this vocal quintet had a few scattered regional hits before imploding. Two members added a third and in their last ditch effort to get some career momentum, released this song and grabbed a national R&B hit. It’s got a different vibe than many vocal groups of that era.

The Rationals – “Feelin’ Lost”. Kicking around Detroit for years, they started recording in 1965 and went through Beatle-type sounds (this one), Kinks-type, fuzz psychedelic, and hard-ish rock. Nothing really found success, not for lack of trying.

Chris Rea – “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” – A Top 20 hit here in the states with a sophisticated adult-contemporary sound, Rea found greater success later in the UK. This is still my highlight. Watch for re-recordings.

The Rhine Oaks – “Tampin'”. The Meters + a horn section and Allen Toussaint. A slow funk with a wah-wah guitar and what appears to be a clavinet played all slow and weird. Some say this is “On Broadway”, done all slow and weird and inverted. Yeah, baby.

Roger & the Gypsies – “Pass the Hatchet” – Sometimes, New Orleans musicians recorded under different names to put out a single. This is renown New Orleans player Eddie Bo and his combo. This thing is tight and funky and absolutely groove-tastic. Everyone is in the pocket, but I wouldn’t expect less from seasoned New Orleans players.

Bobby Russell – “Saturday Morning Confusion” – This is still quite true. The more things change…

Paul & Barry Ryan – “Glad to Know You”. They were a brother act for a while, then Paul got stressed out and became more of a songwriter. This was on the B-side of one of their singles and somehow I lucked into this. It’s a bit late (1973) for psychedelic bubblegum but it works all the same!

The Salt – “A Whole Lot of Rainbows” and “Lucifer” – A studio group that was formed just to get a song out there, “Rainbows” is a great psychedelic sunshine pop single that has fuzz guitar, groovy harmony vocals, and a weird bridge that changes the entire tone of the song. “Lucifer” is just as trippy in its own way. Oh, the 60’s.

Freddie Scott – “Hey Girl” – He’s so underrated as a soul singer. It’s a shame his catalog is kind of messed up. This was a #10 slow jam in 1963 and dang, it’s hot and cool.

Kevin Seconds – “A Random Thought” – Better known for his work in the hardcore band 7 Seconds, Kevin Seconds has another career as a more acoustic singer-songwriter. This, from his solo album Stoudamire, is a catchy tune that someone sent to me. The record, though, isn’t streaming.

The Seeds – “Two Fingers Pointing on You” – From the soundtrack to the hippie exploitation movie Psych-Out came this interesting blend of garage rock and oom-pa band. You heard me. The movie itself starred Dean Stockwell, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern, and Jack Nicholson. Dick Clark produced the movie, so you know it’s got to be…something.

Dave Seville – “Witch Doctor” – For the technology of the time, it was a pretty impressive trick. And Alvin & the Chipmunks made a good cartoon. But it got old pretty fast.

Shahid Qunitet – “Invitation to Black Power (Parts 1&2)”. Spoken word poetry with a jazz combo packing them. This seems to be a very small pressing, and the goal was not revolution, but to convert people to the Nation of Islam instead of rioting. I don’t know how it was found, and put on a compilation, but it’s here and it’s definitely interesting.

Pat Shannon – “Candy Apple Cotton Candy”. A nice piece of psychedelic sunshine pop from a brother of a Warner’s staff producer. It didn’t hit, and he decided to do something else. This is a confection!

The Sharpees – “I’ve Got a Secret”. One-derful Records was a cross between Motown and Stax, with some harder edged horn-based soul that still had a definite Chicago edge. The Sharpees didn’t quite have the success that others did, but it’s still a darn good group.

The Show Stoppers – “Ain’t Nothin’ but a House Party” – A minor hit in the US, and a big hit in Europe, this Philly vocal group never recorded an album or had another sizable hit. This cooks, though.

Sir Mack Rice – “Mustang Sally” – He was a member of the Falcons with Wilson Pickett, and wrote “Mustang Sally” and many other 60’s soul hits. This was the only recording of his that got any action, and it’s worth it to seek it out.

David Soul – “Don’t Give Up on Us” – Yeah, it’s cheesy. I mean, HUTCH singing. But he had a career as a singer (in a unique way on the Merv Griffin show). And I’m not going to have you disrespect the lead in Salem’s Lot.

Soul Brothers Six – “Some Kind of Wonderful”. A self-contained R&B / Soul music group had one song in them.  Most everyone knows the Grand Funk version, but the original has a grit and drive that only a hungry group can deliver.

The Soul Children – “It’s All in Your Mind”. This is the Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee”) in another guise. They hadn’t had a hit since 1960, and while this was a funky slice o’ New Orleans Soul, they didn’t get one in 1969.

Soulful Dynamics – “Madiemoiselle Ninette”. Not a hit over here (I don’t believe) but big in Germany and Austria in 1970 – this is a catchy tune sung by a band that originated in Liberia.  It’s just a pop song with a little soul.

The Sparkles – “No Friend of Mine”, “Hipsville 29 BC”. There were a lot of garage bands from Texas that recorded some great singles in the 60’s. The former is their best, a tough, tight piece of fuzzed out heaven.

The Spencers – “Make Up Your Mind”. One of those hidden gems, where it would just be lost to the mists of time if not for the fact that the great Clarence White played guitar on the track. There’s some great picking from White, a dandy fuzz something-or-other, and close country harmony. What’s not to love?

Squeeze – “Disco Kid” – Orignally known as “No Disco Kid No”, this was to be the B-side for their first single, which was pulled before release as BTM Records went pfffft. Rescued on a compliation CD of older kinda punk tracks. It’s serviceable Squeeze and  would have been a decent fit on their debut.

The Starlets – “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman”. Or is the Bluebelles (with Patti LaBelle). There’s a big ol’ story behind this, and mostly it’s half told. Basically, they allegedly slapped the Bluebelles name onto this song that was recorded by the Starlets, which happened on occasion. This time, it caused a stir and the Starlets career went pffft.

The Street Corner Society – “Summer Days / Summer Nights”. An obscure, but near perfect, sunshine pop single from 1967. Brian Hyland wrote and produced this for Jubliee Records, so it may be him as a pseudonym since he was on Dot Records at the time.

The Stereo Shoestring – “On the Road South”. Yeah, they may have copped a song by the Pretty Things, but no one checked on those things, especially when a small band out of Corpus Christi recorded their lone 45. The guitar sound is pretty rad, though, with a lot of fuzz and distortion.

Amii StewartKnock on Wood” – The disco success formula was there. Take a great old track, disco-fy it, and let an unheralded singer sing it. It didn’t work with “Light My Fire”. She’s released about 15 albums after this though, thanks to fame in Europe.

Crispan St. Peters – “The Pied Piper” – A pleasant ditty with a refrain that burns into your skull, St. Peters didn’t have much success anywhere after this. He was a songwriter, but the only real UK or US hits he had were covers.

The Sugarman Three – “A Lover Like Me” – Featuring Binky Griptite from Sharon Jones’ band, this is a modern soul burner from Daptone Records. It’s a smokin’ track.

Billy Swan – “I Can Help” – You don’t need to grab the bloated (I mean BLOATED) 32 track Essential Billy Swan. Just find the original of this, with the cheesy organ and great guitar lick.

Tad – “Habit & Necessity” – Now a bonus track on Salt Lick, this scorcher was given to Amp Reps’ great Dope, Guns & Fucking in the Streets singles program. It’s about smack, which being from the Pacific NW the band was familiar with (not having done it, but seeing friends do it to their detriment).

Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers – “Does Your Mama Know About Me”. A 1968 slow jam (that sounded like it came from 1965, though) co-written by Tommy Chong, who was the guitarists. By 1969, the band was in chaos and basically splintered, leaving Taylor to a solo career and Chong to, well, Cheech.

The Teen Queens – “You Good Boy, You Get Cookie”. I tried to resist this 1958 minor single by two Los Angeles sisters and anonymous backing singers, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.

Three Hour Tour – “Valentine’s Day”. A Illinois-based power pop band, they released a few singles that were collected into a CD in the 90’s. I got this from a massive mix someone sent me, and it’s definitely a keeper thanks to the melody and harmonies (as is usual with power pop).

The Third Rail – “Run, Run, Run”. A quirky single put together by three studio musicians that would later be part of the Ohio Express bubblegum empire. This is like a litany of crap someone that works for the MAN has to go through to make a buck, when you should just chill out, and let it all hang out. At least that’s the subtext I get from it.

Jeff Thomas – “Straight Aero”. I found this on a limited edition Rhino collection. It’s half sunshine-pop, half-psychedelic, and surprisingly all square in the lyrics. It’s a gas, man.

Tin Tin – “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”. This group sounds like Marmalade at times (oh, irony). A one-hit wonder EVERYWHERE, they released two albums and nine singles with only this to show for it anywhere. It’s a sunshine / psychedelic pop near-classic.

Johnny Tolbert & De Thangs – “Take It Off (Part 2)” – Tolbert and his group had a couple of singles out on Atlantic subsidiaries, and didn’t click with the marketplace. It’s still a fun, funky groove with bongos and congas accenting everything.

Titus Turner – “Do You Dig It” – Another southern R&B singer that had some success, and kept trying well after the hits dried up. He wrote some notable songs in the early 60’s (like “Leave My Kitten Alone”) but when this was released he was trying, without chart success, to update his sound.

Uncle Sound – “Beverly Hills”. Seals & Crofts had several different groups and names before they hit it. This was one of them, a group that included the girl group the Day Sisters. This has a neat fuzzy guitar sound, and if you listen hard you probably could pick up that it was Dan Seals. Maybe

The Unknowns – “Not My Memory”. A great power-pop song sung by Bruce Joyner in a quirky kind of hiccup in some places. It’s just an intriguing blend of basic guitar lines played on the lower strings (giving the song a bass heavy menacing kind of sound), old-style farfisa-esque keyboard and a bass and drum line propelling the song. They didn’t release much, and nothing is really available.

Wa Wa Nee – “Sugar Free”, “One and One (Ain’t I Good Enough)”. “Sugar Free” scraped into the Top 40 in 1986. It’s catchy pop-funk sunshine with a surprising hard guitar, coupled with swoony band members, no doubt contributed to that placement. In Australia they had four charting singles from their debut. Most of the rest is just generic synth pop, which doesn’t move me. And it didn’t move anyone past 1986, either. They have a comp, but I’m keeping them in this list. That tells you something.

The Wallace Brothers – “What-cha Feel Is What-Cha Get”. There were two soul acts going by the Wallace Brothers moniker in the 60’s. This was a group from Columbus, OH that used a funky bassline, and an incessant horn chart to great effect.  There’s a whistle, too. I feel like the records calling a foul or something.

Willie West – “Fairchild” – A New Orleans singer that was in the soul and funk orbit with producer Alan Toussaint. Some stuff is streaming, but not his earlier, outstanding grooves. Right on!

Jack Wild – “Takin’ It Easy” – Somehow I received this nice album cut from the kid actor who played The Artful Dodger and was also the main human on the acid-trip for kids that was HR Pufnstuf.

Wimple Witch – “Save My Soul”. Definitely a band that should have anthologies at the ready. Maybe they are streaming in the UK. This is a heavy tune moving between beat and psychedelic, and I love the guitar line in the solo/bridge/coda.

John Wonderling – “Man of Straw”. The B-side of a one-off 1968 single is a definite sunshine / psychedelic pop track full of goodness and space. Somehow, this was put on his 1973 solo record too. Good luck finding that one.

John Paul Young – “Love Is in the Air”. In Australia, he was a big enough star to get an Order of Australia medal, but everywhere else, this is it. It’s a good pop nugget, but the fact that nothing else is streaming for him may tell you something.

The Zipps – “Kicks & Chicks” – The Dutch had quite the scene, and the Zipps were quite the scene makers, dragging the Netherlands from Beatles’ beat music to psychedelia. Their slogan “Be Stoned! Dig: Zipps Psychedelic Sound”  is quite memorable. This single wasn’t on their CD that’s streaming (though an alternate version and a live version are).