Thursday, January 19, 2012

Please Look Back: From the Hey Baby Days, the unofficial release of the In-Men Ltd.’s live demo made for Curtis Mayfield (1968)

click on the image to enlarge

Get Ready to party ( for 20 minutes) Read the post and then click on title above and download the party with the In-Men Ltd.

In the late summer of 1969, the In-Men Ltd. of Burlington, North Carolina appeared in the Waycross City Auditorium for a show of which I was the promoter. In the image above the In-Men Ltd. are the tuxedo-clad musicians. It’s pretty easy to figure out who the other two sets of performers are by noting the Tam o' Shanters and the madras pants.

Rachel Settle a Waycross Georgia based artist did a wonderful depicting my memories of these performers as they appeared on that stage and her work has become the logo of the Hey Baby Days as used on the dust jacket and the web site. Unfortunately, the In-Men Ltd. show & dance (as we called them back then ) did not go real well from the box office perspective. You could have rolled a bowling ball down the center of the dance floor without even coming close to hitting anyone. My excuses for the bomb are detailed in an entire chapter in The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music called “Down in the Alley with the In-Men Ltd.” After one set, the band and I decided to turn the lights out and go bowling. This is just too bizarre to make up.

However, that one set of music offered by the In-Men Ltd. that night in Waycross, Georgia in 1969 made an impression that has lasted a lifetime… one that rates right up there with the night I first saw the Swingin’ Medallions at the Jacksonville Beach auditorium. These bands were all about horns and show!

Certainly the financial impact of a failed show wasn’t good for anyone, me, my creditors, the band , etc It also disturbed me that a great band with a ton of horns came to town and just a handful of people saw them . But today, we are changing all that thanks to Dr. Sonny Long of the In-Men Ltd. who has permitted me to share with you what you may have missed back then.

During the research phase for the Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music, I met a gentleman from Burlington North Carolina that had in his possession a demo tape that the In-Men Ltd. had produced for Curtis Mayfield who was apparently considering them for his Curtom label. Why wouldn't he? The In-Men Ltd. sounded like the Impressions as well as the Temptations . In fact the Temptations once asked them not to do any of their songs when they were on the same show. It was a compliment well earned !

The demo that you will be listening to was made on the spot in one take in the Copeland Studios in Greensboro, North Carolina . When Alan Brantley first played it for me back before the book was published, I told him that it sounded just like what I had heard back in 1969 in a lonely Waycross City Auditorium. One of the song clips in the medley is the In-Men Ltd.s cover of the Artistics, ”I’m Going To Miss You”. It was a must for the book’s companion CDs . Not many bands do this song, they don’t have a Mickey Combs who could hit the required high notes. When listening, make sure your crystal is safely stored.

When you hear the clip of "The Letter" it should stun. It was #1 for The Box Tops so it's hard to think anyone besides the Box Tops or Joe Cocker could make any substantial improvements on what we all agree were masters. May I submit another master version of "The Letter," one of the zillion songs written by Wayne Carson.

Thanks to Alan Brantley for his preservation effort .

Thanks for Sonny Long for allowing me to present this medley of music from the Hey Baby Days on the Hey Baby Days blog

Thanks to Tim Eaton for his editing, restoration and production.

Most of all thanks to the In-Men Ltd. who made this remarkable recording.

Before you click and listen, please read the following:

This is a 20 minute recording, once you click, prepare to listen to all of it and get in the mood of the Hey Baby Days, visualize the tuxedo- clad musicians you see in the image above sharing the stage with the Tams and Swingin’ Medallions. After all, they all shared the stage at “The Party To End all Parties” If you happened to have been a member of Kappa Alpha at UGA in the mid 60s, you don't have to visualize, you know what I'm talking about.

Members of The In-Men Ltd. through the years can be found at

The In-Men Ltd of Burlington , North Carolina premier show band during the Hey Baby Days of Beach Music

Pictured in the photo above: ( This line-up of the In-Men Ltd. recorded the medley and also appeared in Waycross in the summer of 1969)

Back Row l-r Mickey Combs, Sonny Long, Tommy Rogers, Howard Eaton, and Moose Smith
Middle Row: Tommy Burgess and Garth Hutson
Front: Freddy Owens

More photos of the In-Men Ltd. are available at several locations at the site

Now Ladies and Gentlemen “Please Look Back” at one the great show bands of the Hey Baby Days, The In-Men Ltd.

Click the post title and download the sound of the Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music starring The In-Men Ltd.

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