5/31/12

Vintage Musicians #9



Recognize these performers? Probably not.  They're the group "Square Root" and like most of the performers you'll see in this post, they weren't exactly headlining at Shea Stadium..... in fact, they were lucky to headline at the Holiday Inn.  But then, that's not necessarily an insult - all bands have to start this way.  The Beatles payed their dues at the Cavern Club, and Square Root probably played their asses off at plenty of local dives.

I can't help but wonder what ever became of Square Root and these other acts that, for whatever reason, never made it big..... if you happen to know information on them, please drop it in a comment.





Like Jo Mama, The Cates Gang doesn't strike me so much as a Holiday Inn variety lounge act, so much as a seedy bar, maybe even strip joint.  I imagine them sounding a lot like The Lovin' Spoonful.


Let me introduce you to Bill Skully and the Dyna-Tones.  Now we're talkin' some serious lounge.  I'll be they rocked every Howard Johnson they played.  Laugh if you will, but picture yourself listening to these guys at a candlelit table with a foxy lady, a pack of cigs, and an Old Fashioned.... that is the life I was meant to lead.


Are you allowed to have cocky expressions like this when you're still playing venues with buffets? Methinks Tea thought they were the next Traffic or Tull.  I'm betting at least one of these guys is a wealthy day trader who still pines for his glory days of rockin' out with his buds in Tea.

Apparently, these guys did enjoy some modest popularity, and even did their shtick at The Dunes.  I've never heard them, but I can guarantee it was corny.... and I can also guarantee I'd love it.


The Imperials were a pretty successful Christian/Gospel group.... but I'm not sure if these guys are those Imperials, or just another band with the same name.  Looking at their Wikipedia page, The Imperials had more lineup changes than Uriah Heep.

According to Wikipedia:
...Considered one of the three main Illinois-based folk singers in the 1970s, along with Steve Goodman and John Prine forming the "trinity of the Chicago folk scene.". Koloc was the least successful of the three, but her material did sell modestly.


According to Wikipedia:
Although he never gained wide commercial success, he influenced other artists, especially British singer-songwriters such as Elvis Costello, Elton John and Phil Collins, all of whom are self-declared fans of Ackles. After Ackles's death Costello said, "It's a mystery to me why his wonderful songs are not better known.

Ronnie Barron was a successful session musician. But session musicians are basically like stuntmen - they do the dirty work anonymously so the big names can get the glory.  I'm sure Ronnie got tired of being the talent behind the curtain, but alas his solo venture was not very fruitful.


Haven't the faintest idea who Giorgio is.  Pretentious hack or underrated genius? We may never know.

This promotional photo says it's for the Mike Riley Trio.  Where's the other two?  By trio do they mean Mike Riley, his mustache, and his awesome head of hair?


Singers David Rowe and Wally Kaye...... Bowie and Eno they are not.


This is the band "If"........ as in, "If only they had sold records."

"Bossa Rio" is Portuguese for "we still haven't paid off the loan to buy our instruments".

....and a few more for the road...

37 comments:

  1. That is the Christian group The Imperials, and yes, they've had plenty of line-up changes. Usually I see them with 4 members. They are all vocalists, Gospel quartet stuff, but some of it is more progressive than traditional.

    Seems like I've heard of Catherine Jacoby, but all the others are a strange country to me.

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  2. Wiki Carolyn Hester, verrrry interesting...

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    1. It is indeed. Married the guy that wrote "Turn Down Day" of all people.

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    2. Paul DucaJune 03, 2012

      After being married to Richard Farina, who divorced her to marry Joan Baez's sister Mimi when she was just 17--and died on the verge of success, in a motorcycle accident on Mimi's 21st birthday.

      Hester was the performer expected to bring folk music into the mainstream in the early 1960's, only to be eclipsed by Joan Baez. She was first recorded by the man who recorded Buddy Holly (and he was one of her first fans).

      I suggest the book "Positively 4th Street" by Richard Hadju, to find out more about Joan, Mimi, Richard, Carolyn, and Joan's main squeeze, Bob Dylan.

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  3. Oregon is a very well-regarded jazz and world fusion ensemble that's been active since 1970, with a brief hiatus in the mid-80s. They are what I call a "musician's band:" musicians respect and admire their work & talent, but the general public doesn't hear much of them.

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    1. Sort of the "anti-Nickleback" I gather.

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  4. Sandler and Young were actually kind of huge in the sixties mainstream music world. They were on all the variety shows and even had specials of their own. Tony was suave and French (or Belgian) while Ralph was a gruff New Yorker. The two did funny schtick and harmonized beautifully together.

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  5. AnonymousMay 31, 2012

    I guess Giorgio surname is Moroder.

    http://thisismyfavoritesong.tumblr.com/post/18021430764/son-of-my-father-by-giorgio-moroder-from-son-of

    http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giorgio_Moroder

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    1. It is Giorgio Moroder, who made "I feel love" for Donna Summer "I was made for loving you" for Kiss, "Rush Rush" for Debbie Hary and lotsa more great tunes. He does not belong in the listing above.

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    2. AnonymousJune 19, 2012

      That rat Ba**ard still owes me money!

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  6. "Ronnie Barron was a successful session musician." It looks like he may have also been a successful bird trainer.

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    1. A horse hitching post, a raven, and a wicker chair.... what could it all mean? There's a hidden truth to these props. (Paul McCartney is dead, maybe?)

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  7. AnonymousMay 31, 2012

    Sandler and Young were famous, and had great voices.

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  8. I for years thought that Sandler and Young were just goofy characters made up for SCTV. I was surprised to find they were real people.

    The Cates Gang was the original name of the Cates Brothers band. They were from Fayetteville, Ark and had at his in 79 called "Union Man." They were friends with the Eagles, The Band and Booker T and the MGs.

    I have a song by Gladstone on a CD. They were a one hit wonder with a song called "Piece of Paper." They kind of sounded like a cross between Crosby Stills & Nash and Zager and Evans.

    Mike Riley had a hit called "1927 Kansas City." I think he had a connection to the Smothers Brothers and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band someway.

    Enough with useless trivia about music. I have to point out that Ronnie Barron looks like the hippie Edger Allan Poe from the moive Gassssssss!

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    1. Wow. You actually uncovered the enigma that is Mike Riley. His hair haunts my dreams.

      Your info, as well everyone else's contributions, are what make blogging so damn awesome. Thank you.

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  9. I have a vinyl LP by a band called Colours called "Atmospheres". I don't know it it's the same band pictured here, though. And by the way, I would play good money to see The Carolyn Hester Coalition, with a pretentious name like that, they have to be good.

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  10. I believe that Carole King toured with JoMama during the 1970s - you'll note that they had a major label contract

    Sandler & Young were huge, especially in Canada. They were together as an act for 18 years before Sandler, much the older of the two retired at age 65. He lived to be almost 90.

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  11. Georgio is Georgio Moroder, who got rich prroducing Donna Summer';s records, and had a few hits himself like 'Son of My Father' and 'The Chase' from Midnight Express.

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  12. AnonymousMay 31, 2012

    Giorgo Moroder, Kraftwerk & Wendy Carlos were hugely responsible for the whole 80's music synth sound. Hell, even hard rockers like Van Halen, Rush, The Who, etc used synths. I think an apology is in order for implying he'd ever play the Holiday Inn bar & lounge :D

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  13. Uriah Heep and Nazareth came to my little town in Bavaria this month. Didn't know they left the seventies.

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  14. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

    If was a jazz-rock group and Greenslade was a prog-rock outfit. Both bands were English and released several albums in the early and mid-'70s, though neither group achieved wide commercial success outside of prog circles. Interestingly enough, keyboardist Dave Greenslade (founder and leader of Greenslade) also played in If.

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  15. Yep, Greenslade are one of those bands that were on the cusp of being well known...especially in the UK and Europe. They're a band that a lot of people will have heard of rather than having heard their music. Dave Greenslade (it was his band) was a keyboard player with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and then went on to be keyboardist for Colosseum...who were massive but for only 3 years before "creative differences" played their part. In the mid-90s Colosseum reformed, with Greenslade again on keyboards, and have been touring and releasing new albums on and off since then. A lot of musicians will rate Colosseum as the best technical (ie, they can really play) band ever.

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  16. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

    Joey Van must be Jack Nicholsons younger brother, that is the one who did´nt really make it.

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  17. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

    I gotta say the group ICE looks pretty funky...

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    1. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

      Ok just looked up ICE and they had song played on Soul Train back in the 70s , so they might have been pretty well know or maybe a one hit wonder.

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    2. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

      http://youtu.be/LJQydFxfVhE

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  18. this is one of my favorite features. love it.

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  19. "they weren't exactly headlining at Shea Stadium"

    They weren't even headlining Ché Stadium! ;)

    SCTV spoofed Sandler & Young once on "The Sammy Maudlin Show." Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPJAkRui-wM

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  20. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

    Check out "Square One" video #101. They have a band called the "Square Roots" (ala Blues Bros.) I know it's 80s, but there you have it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E07owREetJU

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  21. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

    I wonder "If" "Ice" ever opened for "Tea"?

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  22. Can someone get Eileen Patrick a sweater? She looks cold. Great post Gill, can I suggest a follow-up with a few tracks?

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  23. Jo Mama put out two LPs and had quite a line-up most notable for:

    Ralph Schuckett: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Schuckett and
    Danny "Kooch" Kortchmar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Kortchmar

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  24. I remember Greenslade, I think they got airtime on WMMR in Philly in the eary 1970s.

    I actually own an album by David Ackles. I had probably heard him on WMMR as well. He wrote some great songs, like "Road to Cairo" that got covered by others.

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  25. AnonymousJune 03, 2012

    All I can saw is at least these people performed in front of someone or committed to making recordings, not like the poser garage band I wasted far too much time with back in high school. *****Tony, you know I'm talking about you and Scott.*****

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  26. That is for realz my cousin Paul playing oboe for Oregon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_McCandless

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  27. AnonymousJuly 10, 2012

    "...playing oboe for Oregon."

    Not a phrase you see very often.

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  28. Giorgio is Moroder. He wrote I feel love with Donna Summer and is one of the founders of electronica.

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