1/7/12

Vintage Musicians #6


Recognize the ladies pictured above? Probably not.  They're a singing group called Unusual Me - one of the many lounge acts that played in hotels across our great land in the 1970s.  I've bemoaned the loss of the lounge many times on Retrospace, so I won't waste your time with another grouchy complaint.  Suffice it to say, there was a particular magic in these darkened smoke filled lounges.  Call them cheesy if you want; I say Ho Jo lost its mojo when it converted their lounges to business conference rooms.

So, enjoy another round of publicity shots of lounge acts (and other small venue performers). If you're interested in more of the same, check out my previous post on the topic. Enjoy.




The Brothers & Sisters seem more like a cult than a musical group. Judging by the men's ascots, their cult leader must be Mr. Furley.


It looks like one member of Shimmer is a young totally stoned Christopher Knight.  And, is that Gary Sinise in the back? The dude on the left has to be wearing a fake Castro beard. No way that's real.

 Alvino Rey & The King Sisters

Karen Karsh
Bamboo

Better Than Ever


21 comments:

  1. Dan Hicks has had his moments -- he was in the Charlatans in the 60s and the Hot Licks got on Ed Sullivan (or the Hollywood Palace or something similar.) He's still around today.

    Alvino Rey and the King Sisters started out in the 50s and had a summer replacement TV show for a few years.

    forgotten-ny.com

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  2. Ahhh....Dan Hicks!
    Did some great stuff. My favorite is the "Strikin' It Rich" album.

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  3. Sweet memories! Among many other gigs, I well remember the tour of Holiday Inns my parents' band embarked on in the summer of 1975. I was 11 and spent every moment I could in the pool(s) recreating the opening scene from "Jaws"! Pretty sure we ran across a few of these folks on our travels. Good times.

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  4. I guess I am #3 to be amused that I know who one of these people in the photos are. I first became aware of Dan Hicks when Thomas Dolby covered his song ''I Scare Myself'' on the album ''The Flat Earth.''

    We had supper clubs in my home town when I was growing up and if I am not mistaken they, too, occasionally had a lounge singer perform. I was too little at the time to care but looking back now I think it's too bad we don't have this sort of thing on this scale anymore.

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  5. Yeah, but for every "good" lounge act we had five that emulated Bill Murray doing his "Star Wars" lounge act!

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  6. Fingers Akimbo looked like they might have been fun to smoke up with.

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  7. The Brothers & Sisters? Clearly, a cult. How could any seventeen-member act stay together splitting their meagre earning seventeen ways?

    Three queries:
    1) Are The Diamonds remnants of the quartet that sang "Little Darlin'"?
    2) Was Tapestry named after the Carole King album?
    3) Why is it that the only group I recognize, Dan Hicks and His Hot LIcks, has the cheapest publicity photo?

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  8. Dan Hicks doesn't belong in this category. He was never a Holiday Inn type "lounge act". In the 60s and 70s with the Charlatans and then Hot Licks he was a major label artist and played theaters and other concert venues. He is still playing now in smaller venues like coffeehouses and clubs, but he was never a lounge act.

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  9. Fingers Akimbo........LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. There's a motel in Palm Springs, CA that still has a lounge with live music. I don't remember if it's Hotel California or the motel next door to Hotel California.

    I too bemoan the loss of the lounge act but for slightly different reasons. I'd be happy to be performing in a HoJo's lounge. As long as I was singing, even if there was no fame and fortune, it still would be better than people blaming me for their over due fees at the library.

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  11. What, no "Murph and the Magic Tones"?

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  12. The pic of Karen Karsh shows why wireless mics quickly became universal when they were introduced in the early '80s.

    (Well, everywhere except The Price Is Right, where Bob Barker stayed wired until his retirement, constanly tripping the unfortunate contestants.)

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  13. I wish there were still lounge acts (and piano bars)! Some of these look like they would be fun to watch. Big Al and the HiFis look quite wacky, and I'm just dying to hear the far out groovy sounds of Fingers Akimbo. Tapestry looks like some kind of poor man's small town Abba. I'd expect them to sing things like "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and "Year of the Cat," as well as anything off of Carole King's Tapestry album, of course.

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  14. Actually, the King Sisters go back even further, appearing in early '40s movies with stars like Buddy Ebsen and Bert Lahr. They are in a totally different league than these mostly mysterious, obscure performers. Heck, one of the King offspring was Tina Cole, who was in the 1960s series My Three Sons!

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    1. Even farther back than that . . . the King Sisters (originally a trio with Maxine, Luise and Alyce) first appeared in the 30s with the Horace Heidt and then Alvino Rey (Luise's husband)orchestras. They became a foursome as Donna and Yvonne replaced oldest sister Maxine, with youngest sister Marilyn joining the group when Donna retired. Starting in the 30s, Luise and Alyce were part of the group from the beginning until they stopped appearances in the 80s. Only Marilyn survives today at age 82. The four of them in the 50s and beyond possessed the most intricate and sophisticated harmonies offered by any of the female groups (the Andrews, the McGuires, the DeCastros, et al), before or since. I miss being able to see them, but I have their music still . . . may they rest in peace.

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  15. I've actually heard of Fingers Akimbo. I wonder why and how.

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  16. Did Marty Robbins get his start in "Bamboo"

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  17. I love how Big Al & the Hifi's are "wacky"

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    1. Hi,
      Just came across this web site that includes Big Al & the Hi-Fi’s….My old band.

      I am pictured 4th from the right between Big Al and Bosco Lilywhite.

      My stage name was Skunk Lickanipple. I was the Hi-Fi’s drummer. I also sang lead & back-up vocals and would switch out from drums to guitar several times a night.

      My real name is Neil Jones
      I currently live in Phoenix Oregon.
      I would love to hear from any of the our fans.
      Drumjones@yahoo.com
      DW Drums (“Second String” endorsement drummer, Bentleys Drum Shop for DW Drums. (Dana Bentley is one of the top 3 largest dealers in the world. It is where the real super stars shop.)
      Owner: All Access Auto in phoenix.

      Would love to hear from anyone who enjoyed this one of a kind band,
      Skunk

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  18. I wonder what ol' "Railhead" Campbell is up to these days...

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  19. My favorite current lounge-type act is Rick K. and the Allnighters. They are largely known for their drummer, Steve "The Mad Drummer" Moore, who even made an appearance on The Office this season, no doubt from his YouTube fame/infamy. :)

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