Grunion Run, The Hollywood Persuaders (1963)
Paul Buff was a Marine veteran who was making parts for guided missiles when he decided to go into the recording business. A multitalented musician and recording engineer, he needed a flip side for his band’s 45 of Tijuana Surf, so he contacted a 20 year old guitar player named Frank Zappa.
I Won’t Tell, Tracey Dey (1964) Very pretty song about a girl cheating on her boyfriend with his brother – her sister’s boyfriend – and lying to both of them.
Nora Ferrari (aka Tracey Dey) was a college coed when she recorded a demo tape that found its way to the ears of Bob Crewe, producer and songwriter for The Four Seasons and others. Dey released nine solo singles 1962 through 1966; several made the Billboard Top 100 beginning with Teenage Cleopatra.
Woodpecker Rock, Nat Couty & The Braves (1958)Born in Natchez, Louisiana on 6 October 1934, Nat Couty played in bands for most of his life, but only recorded one other song – Won’t You Come Along With Me (the flip side). He suffered a stroke in 1999 and died of a heart attack the following year.
I Go Into Orbit, Johnny Acey (1962)John Acey Goodelock (1925-2009) was an east coast R&B singer / pianist who began recording in 1953, and also recorded as Johnny Chef, Acey, J. Acey, and Johnny Acey And His Fingerpoppers. I was unable to find the lineup for this recording; the 45rpm credits Texas songwriter LaCharles Harper and it may have been the inspiration for Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Pride and Joy.
Walking Up A One Way Street, Willie Tee (1965)Wilson Turbinton (1944-2007), professionally known as Willie Tee, started out as a sousaphone player, became a member of The Wild Magnolias (a New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tribe) and had a successful career writing and performing early soul & funk. He was inducted into the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame (2005) and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame (2007). He succumbed to colon cancer just four weeks after diagnosis.
What Happened To Yesterday, Mr. Soul (1966)Al “Mr. Soul” Scott was a Northern Soul singer who recorded for Mac Avery Music / Genuine Records of New York City. The song was re-released in 1967 with the label changed from “Mr. Soul” to Al Scott as the artist; an original 45rpm copy is very rare.
Love Is Strange, Caesar & Cleo (1964)The Everly Brothers did a ska version of Mickey & Sylvia’s 1956 hit?
No, that’s Caesar & Cleo, aka Salvatore Bono & Cheryl LaPiere (nee Cherilyn Sarkasian), aka Sonny & Cher. Their cover of Love Is Strange was re-released in 1965 after I Got You Babe made the charts.
Run, Don’t Walk, The Ventures (?), year unknown.That song title is not a typo, and I can’t find any info on the origin of the recording. One source claims it was unreleased, but that seems unlikely; it’s possibly the work of a tribute band. The Ventures had a huge hit with Walk, Don’t Run in 1960, but you knew that.
The Stars, The Ocapello’s (1966 & 1972)A rare recording – a 45rpm in mint condition might fetch you $100. Little can be found about the group with the stray apostrophe except that they came from East Orange, New Jersey, and evolved from two other local groups (The Crowns and The Cameos), and that the lead singer may or may not have been Bobby Kline who may or may not have been black.