Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Springs Music

Springs Music is a 1981 Colorado Springs local artists compilation, designed to unite the two dominant music genres prevalent around the Pikes Peak region.

Interestingly, the producers of this recording decided it would be best to segregate the bands - rock on one side, country on the other. 

The "rock" side:

Falling in Love Again - Lightkraft
Tony Davich, Jamie Townsend, Rocky Porter,
Tiny Barge, and Tim Wall

Stay with Me - Acee Acee
Acee Acee and Rob Perks

Weekend Warrior - The Heroes
Scott Harrison, Larry Larson,
Ken St. Germain, and Skip Turnbaugh

I Remember You - Pete Howard Band
Pete Howard, Randy Norris, Doug Van Dette,
Randy Block, and Bruce Bandy

Mixed Feelings - Alliance
Rob Lawe, Greg Normand, Roni Ziemba, and
Glen Ziemba

Apple Pie - Uptown
Becky Higgins, Steve King, Rob Lewis, Guy
Duford, and Dave Hemersbach

Obvious observation, according to the liner notes, only half of the rock bands including Acee Acee, Uptown, and The Heroes are actual Springs bands - the other three are from elsewhere (Lightkraft - Indiana and Minnesota; Pete Howard Band - New York and Kansas; Alliance - Los Angeles).

Lots of milquetoast here. Coming from someone who lived in the area in 1981, I know there had to have been harder rock coming out of the Springs.

Alas, Lightkraft is breezy saxophone yacht rock, Acee Acee has a mellow Michael McDonald vibe, same thing with Pete Howard, and Alliance has a smidge of rock, but mellow vocals.

Only two songs on the "rock" side hold true to the descriptive - but just barely. 

The "country" side:

Sleepin' With My Pride - Mountain Flyer
Joe Bevans, Lewis Mock, Steve Cormey,
Dan Williams, and Gary Hotchkiss

Give Me a Chance - Cindy Wheeler
Cindy Wheeler (Johnny O'Brien, piano;
Tom Gregor, drums; Rob Perks, synths;
Dan Williams, guitar; and Steve Davidson, pedal steel)

Sycamore Street - Loco Pony
Jerry Williams, Steve "Houndog" Hoke,
Todd Jarrell, and Tom Cook

Two Mules and 100 Miles - The Glenda Roberts Band
Glenda Roberts, Timm Meyers, and Tom Bryan

It's Snowing - Stewart Miller
Stewart Miller (Cindy Wheeler on backing vocals)

Utah Sky - Potlach
Greg Smith, Ron Land, Ron Lyman, Dan Mahnke,
and Rick Starkey

Minus Poltlach (from Kansas), all of the country performers are Springs folk.

Lots of stand-out selections on this side.

Cindy Wheeler is more sweet folk than country,  I can't help but compare Glenda Roberts' "Two Mules" to "Ghost Riders in the Sky," Stewart Miller had to have been a jingle singer (I mean that as a compliment), and Potlach has the bar band sound down pat.

All of the songs were recorded October-November 1981, at Startsong Studios in Colorado Springs.
A portion of the sales went to the Pikes Peak Humane Society.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Randy King

Another sift through my Colorado 45 collection reveals an inordinate number of singles (on several different labels) from Randy King.

As always, if you have anything to add, contact me through the comments section.

To track down information on Randy King, you have to first start off in Texas, at least in the early stages of his recording career.  His sound most definitely bordered on rockabilly back in those days, on the San Antonio TNT label (with the Westernaires):

1954 – TNT 108 "Crazy as a Loon" / "Tied and Bound"
1957 – TNT 9009 “Be Boppin Baby” / "Whispering Wind"

1957 – TNT 9022 "Thanks for Walking Out" / "You Was'nt Here" (with Gene Merritts)
1957 – Whiz 1501 – "Since You Came Back to Me" / "Blue and Lonesome"

In 1961, Randy (and Gene Merritts) released the Bozo Darnell penned "It's Me Again" and the flip "The Last Show" on the Darnell Jaybo label (2485). Interesting note, while the label clearly shows "Denver Colorado," Billboard lists it located at "1004 Eleventh Place, Big Spring, TX").

According to Brandan Cook, who runs the outstanding Odessa, TX-based Lone Star Stomp blog, there is another label variation of "It's Me Again" (with a Nashville address on the Jaybo label), Bozo Darnell's second wife offered him some explanation:

On the record label - this was a partnership between Bozo and a guy by the name of James something -that lived in your area (Odessa). They took the Ja put in a "y" and then Bo (yes for Bozo). "End of the Hunt" (a Bozo Darnell release) was cut in Denver and Bozo was  playing Wyoming so they used Jeffery City as a return address for anyone wanting  to order records.  Later on Bozo and James dissolved the label, as if I recall what Bozo said that, James was no longer interested and it was not a profitable thing. 

So when we married the label became J-Bo (kept the same color of label) and since Bozo had been on Jaybo it sounded the same on the radio.  The J is for my first name which is Jo.

About that time Randy hooked up with Colorado country music promo queen Gladys Hart of Country Music Enterprises / C&W Record Promotion, out of Denver.  Gladys founded the Colorado Country Music Foundation, and in 1962 hosted the the first Country Music Festival, which would go on to be celebrated every year in Denver until she passed away (she was inducted in the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003).

Gladys' home address (1263 Zenobia, Denver) is noted on Randy's Radco release (and another Bozo Darnell penned song) "In Your Arms Again" (Radco 101).

Randy kept ties with his West Texas and Big Spring friends with the 1962 release, "Fool The World," again written by Bozo Darnell (the flip was was the re-release of "Hearts Entwined" - Enterprise 104). Both the Enterprise and the Radco releases also note Gaylo Music - Gaylo was a Big Spring label/publishing company owned by Ben Hall (In 1959, "Hearts Entwined" was released by Bozo Darnell on the same Jaybo [J-Bo] label which released King's "The Last Show").

In 1963 King would then move on to the prolific Band Box label, releasing five singles over the next few years (while also apparently managing the Sultan's Table nightclub in Denver):

Band Box 270 – “Columbus Stockade” / “It’s All Over Now”
Band Box 271 – “I Can’t Stop Loving You” / "The Last Show” (with Gene Merritts and the Country Rhythm Boys)
Band Box 340 – “Merry Christmas”/ “Legend of Little Orphan Joe”
Band Box 368 – “I Don’t Want to be With Me” / I Hope My Conscience Doesn’t Show”  

Included in his Band Box discography is a two-sided John F. Kennedy memorial disc -  the spoken word “A Day of Infamy” and the folksy “In The Summer of His Years” (Band Box 348).  The label indicates that the song was written for a BBC tribute.

King's affinity for jumping to new labels continued, as noted in a 1965 Billboard, which indicated that he had moved on to Cheyenne Records, and released "Gitar Picker's Lament" / "That's Tarzan" (4466).
However, he must of kept his ties with Band Box, because a Feb. 11, 1967 Billboard ad (below) touted him as a “Promising new addition to the growing Band Box family of fine country artists.

Sometime in the 1970s, King started his own label, Rival.  He released (at least) five singles and an LP of his own, along with a couple from Stan Pulliam:

Rival 29233 (LP) - Randy King and the Country All Stars Live
Rival 3167 - "Don't Wait for Me" / "The Nashville Special" (with Hardrock Gunter)
Rival 3168 - "Memphis" / "The Prisoner's Dream"
Rival ???? -  "Laugh a Little"/ ??
Rival 6171 - "To Save My Heart" / "When Your Memory Comes Up" (produced by Bill Goodwin)

Rival 7274 - "One Last Kiss" / "Hall of Fame" - Stan Pulliam
Rival 7275 - "Watergate, Like it Is" / Country Blues - Stan Pulliam

Found confirmation that King also owned the Club Corners nightclub, in Denver.

That's it. That's all I have on Randy King.

Paul Romero

NOTE: See update on this story HERE.

I've had Paul Romero's record "Sit and Cry" for years, and had tried in vain to find any information I could about this Pueblo single.

Then three years ago, I located Paul.

He was living in Texas with his wife, who had moved him into their daughter's home, so he could be cared for.  She wouldn't elaborate on his condition.

Every few months I would call her back to check on him, and see if I might be able to ask him a few questions about his singing career, and his time in Pueblo.  She always told me, "Not today, maybe later."

Sensing a reluctance to share his life with me, or his wife's fear that the conversation would tire him, I respected their wishes, and finally gave up.

That said, this single is too important not to share - with, or without the history behind it.

Released in 1962, the soulful "Sit And Cry" features the Rudy Gutierrez Orchestra.

While the single garnered airplay on Pueblo's KDZA radio, it did not receive much notice beyond Colorado.  A 1962 Billboard column said it had "limited sales potential," and that was that.

No idea what happened to Paul over the next several years, but he would resurface on the Rudy Guiterrez Orchestra single, "Coqueta" (audio sample in Rudy Gutierrez Orchestra story).

The rest remains a mystery.