Tag Archives: New York

45: I’m Gonna Love You Too” b/w “Party Doll” by The Hullaballoos. Roulette R-4587. Recorded in London, UK, October 2nd and 3rd, 1964.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

The Hullaballoos were a British band, just in case the sleeve didn’t clue you in. Roulette was an American label, one of many smaller record companies based in New York City at the time. In order to compete, they had to exploit what was hot at the time. In 1964, nothing was hotter than The Beatles—and by extension, record executives believed, any other British foursomes that even vaguely looked the part.

This particular quartet started out as Ricky Night and the Crusaders, but new management meant a new name and a new look. In this case, that meant Carnaby Street duds and matching blonde hair-dos.  For a group from from a small, Northern city like Hull, that was a pretty radical change. Hull, by the way, was the home to future rockers like Mick Ronson of David Bowie’s Spiders From Mars, as well as 80’s groups like The Housemartins and Everything But the Girl. So as the first Hull group to make it in the States, The Hullaballoos could be seen as trailblazers of sorts.

Like the Beatles, The Hullaballoos cut their teeth on 1950’s rock and roll classics, such as this cover of Buddy Holly’s “I’m Gonna Love You Too.” Click here for Buddy’s version, and click here for a corker of a cover by Blondie.

Yep. That was the Hullaballoos on Hullabaloo. And yes, that was George Hamilton, mistakenly introducing them as a band from London, and thereby missing the real meaning of their name. Continue reading

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“Let It Blurt” b/w “Live” by Lester Bangs. Spy 003. Recorded in New York City, 1977.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.


It’a a bit of a challenge to write about Lester Bangs. He was a hugely influential rock critic who died young, and the people he inspired can be protective of his legacy. He was opinionated, sometimes to a fault, and not shy about telling people that he didn’t like them. He also had a real respect for rock music and its potential, that respect being driven by his love for music that came from the gut rather than the marketing plan.

Lester had written for Rolling Stone for a number of years but was fired by Jann Wenner in 1973 for giving a Canned Heat album too scathing a review; Detroit’s CREEM magazine was more receptive to his style. By 1976 he was freelancing and living in New York City, watching all those CBGB bands come up with their own rules. They had a similar energy to some of the 60’s garage bands that Lester so dearly loved. Over the next couple of years he would write about them for  Village Voice, Punk Magazine, and New Musical Express. He soon had enough connections and friendships had been made to tap some shoulders and get in the studio.

So what we have here is Lester’s first officially released single, released in 1979 but recorded in 1977. Jay Dee Daugherty (Patti Smith Group, The Church) produced and drummed, and Robert Quine (Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Lou Reed) played guitar. Mixing fell to Spy Records and Velvet Underground founder John Cale. Bangs and Quine were both enamored of The Velvet Underground (Quine’s bootleg recordings of VU shows would eventually be officially released on Polydor) so that was a pretty big deal. The result?

Interesting. Continue reading

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45: “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go” by Ronnie Spector and the E Street Band. Epic/Cleveland International 8-50374. Recorded in New York City, January, 1977.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Born Veronica Yvette Bennett in New York City, Ronnie Spector was the lead vocalist of The Ronettes, with her sister Estelle and cousin Nedra on backing vocals. They had some massive hits in the 1960’s, including “Walking In the Rain,” “Baby, I Love You” and, of course, “Be My Baby.” That last number is possibly the best known example of producer Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound”, a recording formula that incorporated multiple guitarists playing in unison, full string and horn sections, the unusually reverberant echo chamber of L.A.’s Gold Star Studios, and a band of the best studio musicians in the business—The Wrecking Crew. It all came together to create mono recordings that didn’t lose their grandeur, even when played through the tinny speakers of transistor radios. That sound would have a profound influence on the Beach Boys, The Beatles, and countless others.

Phil Spector was a genius, but a mad one. The Ronettes broke up in 1967 and Ronnie married Phil in 1968. It didn’t take long for his possessive, threatening type of madness to surface.  Continue reading

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78: “Basin Street Blues” b/w “No” by Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra. Okeh 41241. Recorded in Chicago, December 4, 1928.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

The casual fan of jazz could be forgiven for thinking that Louis Armstrong invented the musical form. His early recordings were so influential and his later recordings so popular that it just seems a given. While it’s difficult to be absolutely certain who invented jazz—though most historians give credit to Buddy Bolden, a fellow son of New Orleans whose band started playing the music in 1895—it is certain that Louis Armstrong’s combination of musical innovation and likability made him an ambassador for the music.

Armstrong’s earliest recordings were made with King Oliver’s band in Chicago, in the early 1920’s. This song was recorded in 1928, just before the now-divorced Armstrong had moved to New York City. Continue reading

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