Tuesday, January 17, 2012
More Music From The Hey Baby Days of Beach Music featuring Dan Greer, Mayer Hawthorne, Kurt Harris, Motherlode, Pieces of Eight & Hourglass
Here's a collection of names you rarely see grouped together in a Beach Music posting: Dan Greer, Mayer Hawthorne, Kurt Harris, Motherlode, The Pieces of Eight and Hourglass ( Allmans) but read on and click on the links to music that you may or may not be that familiar with:
A 1970 creation that sounds like mid 60s ala Hey Baby Days
A 2011 release that has the classic Beach Music sound but is lyrically suspect
A Northern Soul classic that should have been on every UGA juke box in the 60s
Canada’s contribution to the Beach Music world Beach Music sound
It's only 5 Men-Its to the Hourglass
In 2010, I went to Jim Russell’s a fascinating record store on Magazine Street in New Orleans hoping to find some additions to my collection. You don’t have to download everything…they still make turntables. I especially like the retro turntables that enable you to make digital files so you can download on to your IPOD so you can maintain the file so that when you lose your IPOD which I frequently do, you’ll have a backup. After having such an exotic piece of equipment for two years unused, my son, the musician, finally showed me how to use it.. he said I needed to download some software… what Audacity he has… but I did find the right free Audacity software so now I’m in business, maybe
After giving the store owner an idea of what I was looking for I was directed to a 45 RPM by Willie Tee that I did not have, “The Man That I Am ” on the Gatur label. It’s great soulful ballad by the Beach Music icon. I had never heard this Willie Tee song but found it to be a great soulful ballad. The shopkeeper suggested that I might like another record as well so I bought it without hearing a note, glad I did. So I bought I bought “Curiosity Killed the Cat” by Dan Greer. I noticed that on the label it had the production company listed as Waycross Music. Now Waycross, Georgia is my hometown but I don’t remember a cat by the name of Dan Greer, curious or otherwise, but I liked his song and his voice. This cut sounded like it might have been recorded during the height of the hey baby days maybe around 1967 but it was apparently recorded just outside the HB zone in 1970. It has the two essential qualifiers for my taste: uptempo and horns.
Check a snippet of it out from a clip I found on line. Click on arrow to activate sound and be sure to read the comments associated with the link. CAUTION: a very scratchy start: ( copy and paste the following link in your browser as I have not yet mastered the art of making it easy to click and listen)
A new beach Music sounding record getting huge national exposure.
Not sure Mayer Hawthorne has ever heard the term ”Beach Music” and if so, he may think Beach Boys. Some pundits think he has created a new Motown classic but “not so” says my son, the professional musician. Wise, before his time at 32, he said that he has heard people refer to “The Walk” as new Motown. He says “they just don’t know the difference between the classic sound of Motown and the classic sound of Beach Music. I agree with him that the “The Walk” by Mayer Hawthorne has the classic sound of Beach Music however the great lyricists of both genres were a bit more discrete with their wording. The subtle difference between Motown and Beach Music is a little vague for the commoner. lol
We offer two versions of “The Walk” found on line. If the first one is a little too violent, switch to the next one which is one of the band's live television appearances.
If this link is a bit much for you, try the next one . ( copy and paste the links in your browser)
The Emperor of My Baby’s Heart recorded by Kurt Harris in 1964 and in recent years covered by Paul Craver of Beach Music fame was a Northern Soul classic that would have been on any juke box at UGA had we known about it… or maybe we were not paying attention. Check it out …
Researching a bit, it appears that Kurt Harris may have had origins in the coastal Georgia counties Macintosh and Glynn counties. When we find out more, maybe he too will be added to the honor roll of great R&B ers from South Georgia that includes many …Jesse Boone, Ray Charles, Little Richard, etc. JB hails from north of the gnat line!
Just at the very end of the Heeey Baby Days of Beach music in 1969, a song appeared in American Top 40 that again has the great sound of Beach Music. I am not sure I first heard the original version on the radio or at a Beach Music revival as performed by the original Bits& Pieces which were formerly the Original Second Pieces of Eight. It does not matter though, they were great in any form and are still out there today doing both, “Lonely Drifter” and “When I Die” as the original Second Pieces of Eight. Here’s the original ‘When I Die” by Canada’s Motherlode, some of whom were friends of my friend Peter Whatmore of London Ontario. I was not able to find the Pieces of Eight’s version of “When I Die” on Youtube but their cover is a great one ! Melodic as Bamie would say !
O Canada !
It's Only 5 Men-its to the Hourglass
Finally, a cut that appeared on a 1968 Hourglass album that has a great Beach Music sound ... You wouldn't suspect after listening to this cut that a couple of years after Hourglass made this recording for Liberty records, they would become synonymous with Southern Rock as the Allman Brothers. But before all of that happened , two sets of good old boys from Alabama and Florida ( the Five Men-its and the Allman Joys) got together as Hourglass and created a little soul music !
Like any of the selections above ? yes, no, maybe , I'll get back with you, or "if I had a dime, I'd play the jukebox."