ROCK-A-BILLY RIDES AGAIN
HANK MIZELL’S high chart placing has taken many people by surprise, although it was forecast by this page several weeks ago.
His ‘Jungle Rock’ has been selling at the rate of 20,000 copies in just London and the South-East alone!
The record meant nothing in the States when first issued on King in about 1959, and it only really came to attention when included on a Starday Nashville compilation LP called ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’, about four years ago.
It then appeared on a Dutch bootleg LP, this time two years ago, at which stage demand began to build for it via the Rock ‘n’ Roll disco circuit — where it was ideal for dancing the Bop.
Around the end of 1974 a British counterfeit copy of the King single became widely available and sold like crazy for £1.50, prompting at least three record companies to try. for the legitimate UK rights. Charly Records automatically acquired these through their catalogue deal with Shelby Singleton, current owner of King as well as Starday and Sun.
Prior to its issue by Charly, ‘Jungle Rock’ had become one of the most played records on Capital Radio’s ‘Cruising’ show, first being used two years ago on the London commercial station’s oldies programme. DJ Roger Scott was thus well disposed to it when it finally came out here, but even so was amazed when it went on to win his ‘People’s Choice’ vote – and then to maintain a consistently high daily placing in his ‘Hitline’ phone-in feature.
The success of this relatively obscure Rock-a-Billy rarity has now naturally inspired other record companies to satisfy the previously unheeded demands of the Teddy Boy fraternity.
MCA are rushing out Don Woody’s ‘Barking Up The Wrong Tree‘ / ‘Cast Iron Arm’, President are pressing Chan Romero’s ‘Hippy Hippy Shake‘ / ‘My Little Lucy’, and Charly themselves are readying Warren Smith’s ‘Pink Cadillac And A Black Moustache‘. Chiswick (one of the earlier bidders for Hank Mizell) already have Vince Taylor’s ‘Brand New Cadillac‘ (available through Lightning, London, and Selectadisc, Nottingham), and also still available are Jerry Byrne’s ‘Lights Out‘ (Speciality) and Johnny Kidd’s ‘Shakin’ All Over’ (EMI).
SPARKS: ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ (Island WP 6282)
Treated as a quaveringly sung full-blown emotional ballad, the Beatles’ old bubble-gummer is now worthy of Shirley Bassey and screamingly funny. Alternatively, it’s like Smokey Robinson with a head cold! Good short-term MoR.
PETER FRAMPTON: ‘Show Me The Way’ (A&M AMS 7218)
Out here already, here’s the Face of ’76 bending his guitar via a Talkbox connected with his mouth, thus producing an immediately grabbing sound that makes this happy toe-tapper a pure delight.
BAD COMPANY: ‘Run With The Pack’ (Island WIP 6263)
Title track of their album, it’s a medium paced thunker that drags through some slow bits which prevent it from being a total disco delight.
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL: ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ (Fantasy FTC 128)
Dramatically edited from their marathon old album track to now match the Marvin Gaye length, which misses the point — the shambling album version was a nice extended groove (useful for DJs who wanted to take a walk!), but no way was it as punchy or concise as Marv.
BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘Movin” (UA UP 36090) (mentioned in Billboard column 1/17/76, Billboard chart debut 1/24/76)
The whole point about Brass Construction is that they just go on and on which means that you’ve GOT to get their album for the full-length version of this disco smash.
CARPENTERS: ‘There’s A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World)’ (A&M AMS 7219)
Herman’s Hermits oldie gets a typical light jogalong treatment that’s naturally just right for the old folks.
LES HUMPHRIES SINGERS: ‘Day After Day’ (Antic K 11525)
Immediately appealing Easy Listening quickstepper, with lovely melody and harmonies — it should have been the A-side.
SWEET BLINDNESS: ‘Cowboys To Girls’ (Quality QUPS 1)
The Canadian label bows in with a great new fast hustling treatment of the Intruders’ lovely oldie, which retains much of the original’s flavour thanx to the soulful group’s singing.
RODGER COLLINS: ‘You Sexy Sugar Plum (But I Like It)’ / ‘I’ll Be Here (When The Morning Comes)‘ (Fantasy FTC 132)
Two goodies from the ‘She’s Looking Good’ guy, the top side having synthetics and panting while the slip features clucking chicken guitar, both with strong bouncy soul beats and Al Green-ish singing.
JOHNNIE TAYLOR: ‘Disco Lady’ (CBS 4044) (Billboard chart debut 3/20/76)
A US chart sensation, the ‘Who’s Making’ Love’ man’s biggest for years is surprisingly far removed from the current “disco” sound . . . which probably proves something. A subdued rhythm jiggler, really quite subtle.
KEITH NICHOLS: ‘Mardi Gras’ (EMI 2435)
Brassy goodtimey rumpty-trumpty Charleston-ish fun, from the new musical show. Good for MoR parties.
SPARROW: ‘House Of Swing’ (Bronze BRO 24)
With the blue lights shining on the swinging hips, here’s a slick harmony pastiche of all the Forties sounds you’ve come to know and love. Almost fantastic, but ultimately shallow.
SOUND 9418: ‘Stranger On The Shore’ / ‘Everyone’s Gone To The Moon’ (UK 127)
Pure Easy Listening, with steel guitar instead of clarinet, this once again goes into a reggae section — which while making it different, also messes up whatever groove the dancers are in. The even slower and lusher flipside reading is kept perfectly straight, for middle-aged smoochers!
PLUTO: ‘Ram Goat Liver’ (Opal PAL 8 / Trojan TR 7978)
Two labels, same record. Older than ‘Dat’, dis is about a bus driver who eats the liver of a goat he’s run over, only to find it’s an aphrodisiac!
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: ‘Mr. Brown’ (Trojan TR 7979)
Freaky deep toned organ and powerful wailing from the Wailers make this slow funker fairly remarkable.
CARRIE HAUGHTON: ‘Rock Me’ (Cactus CT 87)
Carrie’ll probably plead a speech defect, but the first few times she sings the title line it sounds more like another four-lettered word! Thus this gentle reggae slowie is sure to find fans.
WAR: ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?’ (Island WIP 6289) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/26/75)
Slow-ish reggae rhythm changer, a bit boring.
STEPHANIE MILLS: ‘This Empty Place’ (Tamla Motown TMG 1020) (Billboard chart debut 11/29/75)
Bacharach & David review their early Dionne Warwick hit for the 16 year old ‘Wiz’ kid, who makes it a bluesy thumping cymbal schlurper.
James’ Top Ten
1 HAMP’S BOOGIE-WOOGIE, Lionel Hampton (London LP)
2 NEW YORK CITY, Tabou Combo (Decca LP)
3 HORS D’OEUVRES, Sid Phillips (deleted HMV LP)
4 FUNKY WEEKEND, Stylistics (Avco)
5 I LOVE TO LOVE, Tina Charles (CBS)
6 IT’S ONLY A PAPER MOON, Paul Whiteman (RCA LP)
7 YOU SEE THE TROUBLE WITH ME, Barry White (20th)
8 BLUEBERRY HILL, Fats Domino (UA)
9 STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT, Bette Midler (Atlantic)
10 DO IT WITH FEELING, Michael Zager’s Moon Band (London)
1 CONCRETE AND CLAY, Unit 4 + 2 (Decca)
2 SPANISH WINE, Chris White (Charisma)
3 HAROLD AND ME, ‘Mrs Wilson’s Diary’ Original Cast (Parlophone)
DJ Hot Line
THE BEATLES are back, and in a big way! . . . most positive reaction comes from the North-West (which resisted Swing), with ‘King’ Rod Schell (Twisted Wheel, Carlisle), Colin MacLean (Acas Club, Hamilton) and Jay Jay Sawers (Hotel De Croft, Dairy) reporting incipient Beatlemania . . . Jay Jay is even running a ’60s revival night every fortnight . . . others charting various Beatles singles include Jeff Davis (Sound Machine, Welwyn), Willy Cash (Untouchables Disco, Appleby), Alan Gold (Brighton), Dave Watkins (Shacksounds Discos, Cardiff) and Mike McLean (Strathdisco, Glasgow) . . . daring Dave MacRae (Primitive Disco, Seaham) tips from 1925 the Jack Hylton Orch ‘Yes Sir, That’s My Baby‘ (EMI World LP) amongst the usual Swing things, and he’s first voter for Brotherhood of Man ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’ (Pye), which MoR jocks will doubtless be segueing with Dawn’s old ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon’! . . . Colin McLean joins Steve Day (Chingford) for Salsoul Orch ‘Tangerine‘ (Epic), and Steve joins Mark Rymann (South Wales clubs) for Pioneers ‘Feel The Rhythm‘ (Philips) . . .
Mark flips for Crystal Grass ‘Lemme See Ya Gitchyer Thing Off, Baby’ (Philips) too . . . Fats Domino ‘Blueberry Hill’ (UA ) popular for Les Aron (Farm Club, Bognor Regis).
DISCO NORTH GETS OFF WITH A BANG!
DISCO NORTH began with a bang! Soon after the NADJ’s disco exhibition opened on Monday at Liverpool’s Centre Hotel, the fuses began to blow and the records all ground down to a halt. As the power was gradually restored to different areas of the impressively filled exhibition hall, so the individual stands came back to life. The main effect of this problem was fine visually for it meant that the only illumination in the room came from the colourful disco lighting of those stands that were lucky. With constant plugging on the local Radio City, the show looks like being a great success in the long run.
UK Disco Top 20 – March 27, 1976
01 01 Tina Charles – I Love To Love – CBS
02 05 Billy Ocean – Love Really Hurts Without You – GTO
03 03 Fatback Band – Spanish Hustle – Polydor
04 02 Four Seasons – December 1963 – Warner Bros.
05 10 Barry White – You See The Trouble With Me – 20th Century
06 13 Gallagher & Lyle – I Wanna Stay With You – A&M
07 07 M. & O. Band – Let’s Do The Latin Hustle – Creole
08 RE Eddie Drennon & B.B.S. Unlimited – Let’s Do The Latin Hustle – Pye
09 08 Glitter Band – People Like You – Bell
10 09 20th Century Steel Band – We’ve Got To Work To Stay Together – UA
11 04 Stylistics – Funky Weekend – Avco
12 14 Brass Construction – Movin’ / Changin’ – UA
13 NE Pioneers – Feel The Rhythm – Philips
14 06 O’Jays – I Love Music – Philadelphia Int’l
15 NE Beatles – Yesterday – EMI
16 NE Rod Stewart – It’s All Over Now – Vertigo
17 NE Salsoul Orchestra – Tangerine – Epic
18 11 Status Quo – Rain – Vertigo
19 16 Trammps – Where The Happy People Go – Atlantic
20 NE Sailor – Girls, Girls, Girls – Epic
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry