Monday, May 28, 2012
Sterling Cooke Isn't Jimi Hendrix, He's His Own Man
November 30, 1984|by CHERYL WENNER, The Morning Call.
With his shoulder-length, black, frizzy curls, tall, lanky build and casual all-black attire, Sterling Cooke looks out of place sitting in the cocktail lounge of the Allentown Hilton.
Though he may not dress for the role, Cooke, a textile chemist by day and heavy metal guitarist by night, is as ambitious and business-minded as the rest of the lounge's three-piece suit clientele.
For now, the 28-year-old Tamaqua native's business priority is that of booking and promoting his band, The Sterling Cooke Force, whose debut album of heavy-metal rock, "Full Force," dented the charts in England and around the world - even though the group rarely plays in the Lehigh Valley.
"I'd love to get the management responsibilities totally off my hands and just concentrate on writing and playing," he says, "but we just haven't been able to find the right people to take over the business end of things."
The Force, which includes Cooke, guitar and vocals; Michael Dutz, bass, and Albie Coccio, drums, was formed a year and a half ago.
Cooke's previous pop music experience included touring the South in a Top 40 cover band. Successful enough to draw enthusiastic audiences, Cooke remembers wanting the same energetic response for his own band and music.
After forming the Force, Cooke took a full-time chemist's position at a textile company to support himself and his wife Mary, who is due to deliver a bouncing, baby Cooke.
"My family has always been supportive," says Cooke. "When I was in high school, they encouraged me to pursue music, but I wanted to play sports. Later, when I came around to their way of thinking, they must have immediately regretted it because my band started rehearsing in their garage. I'm sure they silently took a lot of flack from the neighbors, but they never complained.
"Now my parents see the album in record stores and they say, 'Hey, that's my kid,' and my dad's office wall is papered with newspaper clippings. Still, they warn us to be careful . . . and they're right.
"This is a ridiculously risky business. People who have the right look and happen to be at the right place at the right time will always make it before the guy with real talent and no connections. It's a crazy field to get into . . . but its what I want to do."
A self-taught musician who started out as a bassist, Cooke thought a three-piece band would be the ideal vehicle for his primarily rhythm-oriented songs. When Cooke decided to switch to guitar, Dutz, a 31-year-old record store manager and music instructor from Hazleton, took over on bass. Drummer Coccio, at age 20, is the junior member of the Force.
The band's first record was a single on Cooke's own E.S.P Records, "Don't Need You Anymore." Cooke dedicated the single to his guitar hero, Jimi Hendrix, in a well-intentioned move that has pigeon-holed the band ever since.
"We're taking a lot of heat from critics for the Hendrix thing. We just got a copy of a review from Kerrang (a British heavy metal magazine). The guy really liked the album, liked the songs, said we played well, but at the end he wrote, 'If only they didn't try so hard to sound like Jimi Hendrix.'
"Honest, we don't purposely try to mimic Hendrix. I sing the way I sing and I play the way I play. Of course, it's a compliment to be compared to Hendrix. Let's face it, the guy changed the face of music.
"We still play a few Hendrix covers," admits Cooke, "because if we don't play them, people start yelling for them anyway, but we're not a tribute band."
Apparently, the group's sound impressed someone, namely Daryl Johnston, president of England's Ebony Records, a small independent label, who signed the band to a five-album deal and offered to produce the records.
"We've got a product that Daryl has faith in and he is extremely good to work with in the studio," says Cooke. "Some producers make you sound the way they want you to sound, but he works with the sound you give him. There's no whip cracking."
"Full Force" was released in Britain, Japan and Europe last July. It is distributed in the United States as an import by Important Records.
The group has taped a video featuring "Hit & Run," the British single that peaked at No. 10 in Melody Maker and No. 20 in New Musical Express's heavy metal listing.
"We made the Top 20 in Japan and have gotten good reviews everywhere except in Britain," he says, "Metal is on a downward turn over there. Also, it seems to them that the record companies favor American bands, so they've got a prejudice against American acts. It's 'Buy American' in reverse."
One place where heavy metal never seems to falter is in the Lehigh Valley. Ironically, the Forcehas had trouble finding bookings here. The group has played in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, New York and New Jersey. On Dec. 14 and 15, the Force will open for guitarist Robin Trower in Brooklyn, and later that month, for Motorhead in Baltimore.
Sterling Cooke - Don't Need You Anymore
Sterling Cooke - Tomorrow Never Knows
Friday, May 25, 2012
ZZ en de Maskers is een Nederlandse beatband die vooral bekendheid genoot tussen 1963 en 1965 met zanger Bob Bouber, artiestennaam van Boris Blom.
De band ontstaat eind 1962 als Bouber de Apron Strings ziet optreden. Hij bedenkt het concept van Z.Z. & de Maskers, waarbij de complete groep (inclusief Z.Z.) met maskers optreedt. Later zal Bouber zijn masker afgooien. De groep richt zich aanvankelijk op Nederlandstalige rock met nummers als Dracula en Ik heb genoeg van jou. Daarnaast wordt een groot aantal instrumentale nummers onder de naam Z.Z. & de Maskers uitgebracht, hoewel Bouber daar geen bijdrage aan levert. Jan de Hont is de solist op deze nummers, waarvan La Comparsa een klassieker is geworden. Geïnspireerd door de Britse beatmuziek gaat de groep in 1964 ook Engelstalige nummers opnemen als Sloppin' in Las Vegas en Cheat cheat cheat.
In 1965 worden twee singles uitgebracht met Chubby Checker (Stoppin' in Las Vegas, een aangepaste versie van Sloppin' in Las Vegas) en Baby Baby Balla Balla. Kort daarop gaan Bouber en de Maskers ieder huns weegs. De Maskers hebben wat succes met singles als Brand New Cadillac en Three's a crowd, maar de band weet ondanks het aanwezige muzikale talent geen echt eigen stijl op te bouwen. Dit is mede te wijten aan de houding van platenmaatschappij Artone en producer Lion Swaab. Zo wordt een Nederlandstalige opname Groot schandaal in de familie afgewisseld met een single met twee Ray Charles covers (Unchain my heart / Georgia on my mind). Ook is er een tweede opnamesessie met Chubby Checker, waarvan My baby baby balla balla op single wordt uitgebracht. In 1968 begint het succes terug te lopen en wordt een samenwerking met Johnny Kendall aangegaan, die inmiddels zonder Heralds zit. Eind jaren '60 worden de Maskers opgeheven. Jaap de Groot begint een solocarrière als Mike Rondell en wordt later radiopresentator bij de NCRV, terwijl Ador Otting en gitarist Jan de Hont verder gaan met de groep September. De Hont oogst verder veel succes o.a. als lid van Neerlands Hoop Express met Bram Vermeulen en Freek de Jonge, The Magnificent 7 met Henny Vrienten en Fay Lovsky, Bram Vermeulen en de Toekomst, als sessiegitarist van oa The Cats, Jaap Dekker, Jan Rot en als begeleider van Boudewijn de Groot.
Midden jaren tachtig wordt De Maskers door Jan de Hont en Ador Otting nieuw leven ingeblazen. Ze spelen vanaf 1985 op diverse jaren-zestigfestivals. In 1986 wordt het album You Only Live Twice opgenomen en de single "Dreamlover" uitgebracht. Een doorslaand succes is de comeback niet. Dat lukt beter als de band in 2000 een nieuwe poging waagt met de gebroeders De Hont en Jaap de Groot in de gelederen. Ador Otting was inmiddels in 1997 overleden.
In december 2004 stuurt De Hont een brief naar de redactie van Vara TV Magazine, naar aanleiding van de tekst "Jan de Hont, gitarist van voormalig ZZ & De Maskers" in dit magazine. Hij schrijft dat hij nog steeds gitarist is van De Maskers, dat ze nog onlangs in Carré speelden, en dat de band nu een onderdeel is "van een package waarvan ook Sailor, The Rubettes, The Fortunes, Middle Of The Road en Shocking Blue deel uitmaken."
De Maskers - Batman
De Maskers - The Saint
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Last week i posted The Sensation Guitars Of Dan & Dale 45 and told of my Batman fandom. I also threatened to post more "Batman" related items that i have. Well, not that anyone asked but here is another funky little B-man record, inspired by the hit TV show from 1966. I can't tell you who Gate Wesley is as info seems pretty scarce on Mr. Wesley but this 45 features Billy LaMont on vocals, or so the 45 states...
Gate Wesley - (Zap! Pow!) Do The Batman
Gate Wesley - Do The Thing
Monday, May 21, 2012
The Louvin Brothers were an American country music duo composed of brothers Ira Lonnie Loudermilk (1924–1965) and Charlie Elzer Loudermilk (1927–2011), better known as Ira and Charlie Louvin. They helped popularize close harmony, a genre of country music. The brothers are cousins to John D. Loudermilk, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member.
The brothers adopted the name Louvin Brothers in the 1940s as they began their career in gospel music. Their first foray into secular music was the minor hit "The Get Acquainted Waltz", recorded with Chet Atkins. Other hits included "Cash on the Barrelhead" and "When I Stop Dreaming". They joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1955 and stayed there until breaking up in 1963.
Their songs were heavily influenced by their Baptist faith and warned against sin. Ira Louvin was notorious for his drinking, womanizing, and short temper. He was married four times; his third wife Faye shot him four times in the chest and twice in the hand after he allegedly beat her. Although seriously injured, he survived. When performing and drinking, Ira would sometimes become angry enough on stage to smash his mandolin; otherwise his style was heavily influenced by Bill Monroe.
As of 1963, Charlie was making enough money that he was able to start a solo career, and Ira also went on his own.
Ira died on June 20, 1965 at the age of 41. He and his fourth wife, Anne Young, were on the way home from a performance in Kansas City when they came to a section of construction on Highway 70 outside of Williamsburg, Missouri where traffic had been reduced down to one lane. A drunken driver struck their car head-on, and both Ira and Anne were killed instantly. At the time, a warrant for Ira's arrest had been issued on a DUI charge.
Country-rock pioneers The Byrds recorded the Louvin-penned "The Christian Life" for their seminal 1968 release Sweetheart of the Rodeo.
In 2001, the Louvin brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The tribute CD Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers, produced by Carl Jackson and Kathy Louvin released in 2003, won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Country Album.
Although the brothers are still remembered today for their musical talent, they are also remembered for the unusual cover used for their 1959 album, Satan Is Real. Designed by Ira Louvin, the cover features the brothers standing in a rock quarry in front of a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) plywood rendition of the Devil as several hidden tires soaked in kerosene burn behind them as fire and brimstone.
While some reviewers count this as being one of the "greatest iconic album covers of all time," the cover can also be found today on several Web sites celebrating unusual or bizarre album covers. The cover has also become an Internet meme on a number of Web sites such as Fark.com, where it has been posted in discussion threads as an example of religious views of the era.
The opening bars of the album's title track "Satan is Real" can be heard at the beginning of Hank Williams III's "Medley: Straight to Hell / Satan is Real", on his Straight to Hell album of 2006. It is also excerpted in Will Ferrell's 2009 one-man Broadway show, You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush.
The Louvin Brothers - In The Middle Of Nowhere
the Louvin Brothers - I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby
Friday, May 18, 2012
Johnny White - Lickety Split
Johnny White - Shakey
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The Accents, from Hollywood California give 2 great great Doo Wop tunes here w/ the "hit" being Wiggle Wiggle, a song that came out during the “sack” dress fad. The song was released in October, 1958, and contended that a girl didn’t have to be pretty, or wear good clothes; she just had to wear a “sack” dress, and “wiggle” where it showed the most...
Dudes aint changed a bit since the dawn of time
James Jackson (Lead)
Israel Goudeau (Tenor)
Robert Drapper (Tenor)
Bobby Armstrong (Baritone)
Billy Hood (Bass)
The Accents - Wiggle, Wiggle
The Accents - Dreamin' And Schemin'
Saturday, May 12, 2012
This one goes out to my boys who at the time of hearing this for the 1st time had no idea this was a guy singing to a girl and took it literally and would miss me when i was away.... To this day they both still ask me to play this one in the car and both asked for it in their iPods.... It's a good one.
Here is the wiki info:
Shep & The Limelites was an American doo-wop group of the early 1960s. They are best known for their 1961 hit recording, "Daddy's Home".
James Sheppard ("Shep") and Clarence Bassett, both from Queens County, New York, and Charles Baskerville, originally from Virginia, organized a group in Queens in 1960. This was billed initially as Shane Sheppard And The Limelites, but quickly became Shep and the Limelites. All three had previous experience in other groups: Shep with The Heartbeats (notable for "A Thousand Miles Away"); Bassett with The Five Sharps and then, with Baskerville, in The Videos.
Shep & The Limelites' recording sessions for Hull Records started in August 1960. They recorded the original version of "Daddy's Home" on February 1, 1961. "Daddy's Home" reached no. 2 on the Billboard popular music chart in May, and was covered by Jermaine Jackson (1972), Toots and the Maytals (Funky Kingston 1973), and Junior English. Later songs were not as successful as "Daddy's Home", but still sold well; among these were "What Did Daddy Do", "Ready For Your Love" and "Our Anniversary".
Kahl Music, publisher of "A Thousand Miles Away", an earlier song written by Sheppard, sued Keel Music, publisher of "Daddy's Home", for copyright violation. Keel eventually lost, and this resulted in the end of the Limelites and Hull Records in 1966. Bassett joined The Flamingos and Baskerville joined The Players and then The Drifters. Sheppard re-formed the Limelites in the late 1960s, but died on January 24, 1970. He was found dead in his car on the Long Island Expressway, having been beaten and robbed. Baskerville died, at age 58 on January 18, 1995 in New York. Bassett died on January 25, 2005, at age 68 from the complications of emphysema, at his home in Richmond, Virginia.
Shep and the Limelites - Daddy's Home
Shep and the Limelites - This I Know
Thursday, May 10, 2012
First off let me say that I've been a Batman fan since birth.... (See picture below: 1966)
My dad liked the TV so growing up so i would watch it with him and then later on my geekdom continued as i bought and read many a Batman comic book. (See the other pic below of my 80's Frank Miller T-shirt which i still have in a tattered state) Sadly most of all the 80's and 90's movies sucked big wang... But i hung in there for a while w/ the comics. But that pretty much ended when i had my own kids. But they now dig reading my old comics. The geek chain continues....
So yeah, i have a few Batman related things and a few Batman records... This one is pretty cool. A ROCKIN' version of the Batman theme on the A side, but man the B side rules! Its a really swinging and funky tune called Robin's Theme with some strong and powerful soul vocals and some ripping guitar leads. Both of these tunes are on the full length album "Batman and Robin - The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale" which has gained some notoriety by the fact that Sun Ra and some of his Arkestra members played on it, as well as rock band "The Blues Project". Seems that someone along the way talked these players into performing on this album in hopes of cashing in on the big Batman craze going on back in 1966. I doubt it worked very well but we have a pretty cool little novelty piece of musical history because of it. I think I'll post a few more Batam related things over the next few posts....
The Sensational Guitars Of Dan & Dale - Batman Theme
The Sensational Guitars Of Dan & Dale - Robin's Theme
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
More twist action with Identical melody of "I Like it Like That" (Let Me Show You Where it's At) from 1962.... Trying to "cash in" on the twist fade this 45 didn't do much.... still a cool little nugget of early 60's R n R.....
Chris Kenner -Let Me Show You (How To Twist)
Monday, May 7, 2012
Hands off she's mine, better try to resist, or you'll find your chin at the end of my fist!
Twisting teenage anger awesomeness!
The Classmates - Teenage Twister (She's My Twistin' Date)