Monday, October 15, 2012

Roy Cary and The Rocky Mountain Ramblers

Another puzzler.  Here's what I have on this country/hillbilly-vibe gem:

"You're The Only World I Know" / "Roll On Buddy" (RDC 6691).

Was able to date the band as late as 1970, with two references to this group in the Greeley newspaper, (headliners for a local dance).

Discovered that a musician named Roy Cary was born in 1928, and passed away in 1979, in Denver. Found a reference to another Roy Cary, also from Denver (born in 1919), who was paralyzed due to polio.  That Roy Cary played the accordion.

Found this random picture of the Rocky Mountain Ramblers, but nothing else associated with it. Quite possible that it's an Ohio/Pennsylvania/Indiana-based group of the same name.  No date.

I did see a reference of another single by Roy Cary and the Rocky Mountain Ramblers, "Standing at the End of My World" / "Lazy Day," (JSP 6672).

In spite of the mysteries, Roy and the Rocky Mountain Ramblers live on in the 1994 rockabilly CD comp Honkin' Billy, where you will find "Roll on Buddy" included.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Skiing the Rockies

Skiing The Rockies
(GrAMM SKI1001 - 1974)

Side One:
Park City
Jackson Hole

Side Two:
Crested Butte
Winter Park
Steamboat Springs

I'll let you in on a little secret. I don't know how to ski.

Well actually, I've attempted to ski three times. In each attempt, it was a miracle I didn't break anything, or worse.

So I now get my thrills watching Warren Miller DVDs, or the winter Olympics, from the comfort of my couch, and live vicariously through those with more athletic ability than I.

From the folks at the Great American Music Machine (GrAMM) out of Denver, Skiing The Rockies is a collection of songs about...skiing the Rockies.

Recorded at Summit Studios in Denver the LP features the GrAMM duo of Ralph Harrison and Tim Schumacher (you'll see those names more than a few times in this blog, as they were pretty prolific).

All of these songs are pretty mainstream, and sound like instant jingles for each resort.  I guess in an attempt to appeal to a wide audience, they're all pretty generic.  Not a whole heck of a lot of personality here.

This album is a very special and exciting collection of outstanding original musical works reflecting the living image, mood and personality of eleven of the world's greatest skiing areas! You will quickly recognize the brilliant work of the artist group as they portray for you, the beauty and excitement of this High Western Land! - Liner notes
Lots of names credited on this album, including Margaret Andersen, Ralph Harrison, Rich Currans, Doug McKee, Craig Donaldson, Tim Schumacher, Connie Ellisor, and Dean Tellefson.

Highway Robbery

Rob Stokes interview conducted March 2012.

Rob Stokes found his way to Durango, via Louisville Kentucky, after he joined up with several friends who moved to town to be ski bums.

 "I moved out there with that wave and was working one day a week at the ski area. I was playing guitar in some bands in Kentucky (the rock band Live Bait), and I wanted to see if I could play here. I thought I could make money doing music."

 "They were having an open mic night at this bar in town, and that's where I met up with R.B."Stoney" Stone. He was playing there, we hit it off, and thought we could get a band together. So we hired a bass player and then we were a trio. Then we hired a drummer and it took off."

 It was Rob Stokes who came up with the name of the band. "We were sitting around thinking about what we going to call ourselves, and I thought of it--because it had “Rob” in it. And it stuck."

 Stone took charge as the band's leader, booking gigs, and writing songs for the group, which would include Jeff Boyden on drums, Jimmy Candelaria on rhythm guitar, and Andy Janowsky on bass. After several months of playing around town (mainly at the local Sundance Saloon), the group decided to record an album.

 (Click on photo to see entire band)

"We went up to Paragon Sound in Fort Collins, mainly because it was inexpensive."

They titled the LP Keep on Ridin' (Wild Stallion Records 12237 - 1984).  The cover art was taken from a painting by Durango artist Jeff Ellingson.

The group's co-producer, Steven D. Geier provided liner notes:

Highway Robbery, a group of talented men who have chosen music as their life, their beginning.  These men have done so with the need to give you happiness, a smile, that distant tear, and a longing in your heart to hear more..."

 "It had some local airplay and somebody took my song (the instrumental "Joseph M. Jones"), and used it for a radio advertisement for a Farmington muffler shop. We had a little fan club, and we'd sell the album at gigs."

 Highway Robbery would go on to open for Charlie Daniels, when he came though town, but they never achieved fame outside southwestern Colorado. Soon tensions arose between band members.

 "It was a little bit intense because I owned the P.A., and I got a little extra money for that. That always seemed to upset some members of the group, and one of the guys got so pissed off that he took a swing at me, and that was it. I quit."

The band would only be together two years.

 According to Stokes, Stone still performs around town.  Andy Janowsky went on to be a policeman, and plays bass in the band High Rollers, while Jeff Boyden works with his family in Montrose.  He said Jimmy Candalaria passed away.

Stokes would find success as a sound engineer, working for Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas, in Nashville.

 "Being in Highway Robbery--that was just one chapter of my musical life."