•  The Firesiders aka The Vel-Tones (2) aka The Impacts (3)

     The Firesiders (Niagara Falls, NY)
    aka The Vel-Tones (2)
    aka The Impacts (3)


    Personnel :

    Calvin 'Cal' Briggs

    Neal Davis

    Ernie Vendetti

    Emilio Giondomenico

    Discography :

    The Vel-Tones (2)
    1958 - Playboy / Cal's Tune (Coy 101)
    1959 - Playboy / Cal's Tune (different take) (Kapp 268)

    The Firesiders
    1961 - (I'll Remember) One And All / No Ones Cares For Me (Swan 4074)

    The Impacts (3)
    1964 - Take My Love / Where Are You Going (PEH 7345)   


    Biography :

    In 1958, the thought that there could one day be a "Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame" couldn't be anything but a teenage joke. Except for Elvis Presley and a handful of others, R&R was played by kids, for kids, and no one expected it to be more than that. Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry were great but existed in another world - on the radio or TV. The way youngsters experienced R&R was through the local teen combo. Every town or high school or parish had its band. Some were better than others, some could be local stars for awhile after they'd performed at a dance or hop - but for the most part they were just kids from the neighborhood, whose celebrity quickly faded.

    If you lived in Niagara Falls in the late 1950s the Vel-Tones were that group. Though their story is a little different. They may not be well-remembered now but they were able to have records released on two national labels and have a career that carried them through the glory days of R&R. Another thing that was unusual was their interracial makeup which is reflected in their eclectic mix of R&R, R&B, DooWop and Rockabilly sounds. Calvin 'Cal' Briggs, Ernie Vendetti, Neal Davis and Emilio Giondomenico recorded two sides in 1958 that were released on the Coy label. Coy was a label in name only - actually put out by Fine Records of Rochester, a legendary name itself to many collectors. Playboy is a greasy teen ballad that is exactly the type of lowrider doowop that Frank Zappa loved to parody, while Cal's Tune is a rocker.

    (L to R) Emilio Giondomenico, Ernie Vendetti, Calvin Briggs & Neal Davis

     In 1959 these were leased to Kapp Records but the versions released by Kapp are completely different - Cal's Tune had its guitar and piano solos replaced with an sax solo, and both are more tame. The original version of Cal's Tune is highly-regarded by Rockabilly fanatics, to the point that it's recently been reproduced on vinyl. Following this they returned in 1961 as The Firesiders on Swan Records with two genre-bending sides that widen their palette to include influences of country pop and even pre-soul! The rest of their story is mostly unknown, except that they managed to change styles again and issue one more record. Under another name, of course. As The Impacts (on PEH Records) they achieve a typical mid-Sixties garage sound. They will never be in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame but if you were there a the right time in the right place, they may have been your Rock 'N' Roll.


    Songs :

    The Vel-Tones (2)

    Playboy                            Playboy (Kapp)                Cal's Tunes

    The Firesiders

    (I'll Remember) One And All    No Ones Cares For Me

    The Impacts (3)

    Where Are You Going


    1 comment
  • The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes

     The Legends (1) (Manhattan, New York)
    Ref : The Kartunes

    Personnel :

    Marshall Samples (Tenor vocals)

    Ron Warwell (Baritone vocals)

    Bobby Weinstein (Tenor vocals)

    Dominick Fleres (Piano)

    Richard "Chico" Brunson (Tenor)

    Sampson Reese (Bass)

    Discography :

    The Legends (1)
    1956 - The Eyes Of An Angel / I'll Never Fall In Love Again (Melba 109)
    1957 - The Legend Of Love / Now I'm Telling You (Hull 727)

    The Kartunes
    Singles :
    1957 - Raindrops / Will You Marry Me? (When We Graduate) (M-G-M 12598)
    1958 - Willie The Weeper / Dedicated To Love (M-G-M 12680)
    Unreleased :
    1958 - Ringalivo (M-G-M)
    1958 - Victim  (M-G-M)


    Biography :

    Bobby Weinstein grew up in New York City, and attended the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan. While there, he formed a vocal group, The Legends, with fellow students Marshall Samples, Ron Warwell, Richard "Chico" Brunson, Sampson Reese and Dominick Fleres. The group won a talent contest at the Apollo Theater in 1955.

    The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes    The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes
    Morty Craft                                                                                                                                         

    Around June of 1956, the guys decided the time was right for getting the Legends sound down on wax, They just walked in to Morty Craft's Melba label (at 1674 Broadway) and auditioned for him, Craft was impressed and set up a session. Melba released "The Eyes Of An Angel" b/w "I'll Never Fall In Love"  around September 1956.

    The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes  The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes  The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes  The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes
           Bobby Weinstein                      Dominick Fleres                        Ron Warwell                   Richard "Chico" Brunson

    In late 1957, they had another go at recording. This time, they went down the block from Melba, to Hull Records, at 1595 Broadway. Again they walked in cold, and auditioned for Bea Caslon (owner of Hull, along with Billy Dawn Smith and William Henry Miller). Bea signed them on the spot. At Hull, the Legends recorded  two songs: "The Legend Of Love" and "Now I'm Telling You" .  The record sold moderately well but some internal problems triggered the separation of the group. Bobby Weinstein  and  Dominick Fleres joined the Kartunes  with Vincent Cassaro , Paul Rubenstein and Bill Barbaris. The Kartunes recorded two singles released by MGM.

    The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes  The Legends (1) Ref : The Kartunes
    Bill Barbaris (The Kartunes), Don Costa & Bob Weinstein  (The Legends & The Kartunes)                                                      

     In 1957, Bobby Weinstein began writing songs with Teddy Randazzo, who had sung in another vocal group, The Three Chuckles.  Their first major hit as co-writers was "Pretty Blue Eyes," recorded by Steve Lawrence and produced by Don Costa, which reached no. 9 on the pop charts at the start of 1960.


    Songs :

    The Legends (1)

    The Eyes Of An Angel                     I'll Never Fall In Love Again

    The Legend Of Love                       Now I'm Telling You

    The Kartunes

       Raindrops                                      Will You Marry Me?

    Dedicated To Love                       Willie The Weeper




    your comment
  • The Monarchs (2)
    The Monarchs (2) (Manhattan, New York)

    Personnel :

    Arthur Allen

    Arthur Kemp

    Fred Wells

    Robert Galloway

    Robert White

    Discography :

    1956 - Pretty Little Girl / In My Younger Days (Melba 101/Neil 101)
    1956 - Always Be Faithful / How Are You (Neil 103)


    Biography :

    The Monarchs, from Manhattan, made their debut (with "Pretty Little Girl") on Neil Records, owned by Morty Craft and Jack Angel (who also owned Melba Records).

    The Monarchs (2)

    The Monarchs had a regional with "Pretty Little Girl." It had exceptional play in the Boston area, and was a great uptempo recording. The group consisted of Arthur Allen, Arthur Kemp, Fred Wells, Robert Galloway and Robert White.

    The Monarchs (2)

    They pour their hearts out on the flip side "In My Younger Days ". The group recorded that same year "Always Be Faithful " and "How Are You? ".

    Songs :

    Pretty Little Girl                            In My Younger Days

    Always Be Faithful                                   How Are You 



    your comment
  •  The Martiniques  

    The Martiniques (Detroit)
    aka The Martineques

    Personnel :

    Bobby Martin

    Hershel Hunter

    Andy Alonzo

    Robert Walker

    Buford (Fab) Glanton

    Discography :

    The Martiniques
    1962 - Tonight Is Just Another Night / Unknown Love (Danceland 777 / Roulette 4423)
    1962 - Broken Hearted Me / Evertything Will Be Alright (Danceland 779)

    The Martineques
    1965 - If You Want To Call Me / My Baby She Can't Dance (Me-O 1002

    Biography :

    The Martiniques were Bobby Martin, Hershel Hunter, Robert Walker and Buford (Fab) Glanton. Andy Alonzo joined the group in 1960 when Bobby got into a bad auto accident and couldn't perform and the record was about to be released so Andy Alonzo replaced him. For their first single, Danceland recordings  were made at United Sound and The Martiniques have a hit record on the charts with "Tonight Is Just Another Night". Danceland was a long-time Detroit label, starting with 78s in 1949.


    Thurman Hollis was The Martiniques' manager. Robert Walker also left the group and was replaced by Flecher Sawyer. When Bobby got better he got back in and Buford left so The Martiniques became a trio. "Broken hearted me" b/w "Evertything Will Be Alright" and "If You Want To Call Me" b/w "My Baby She Can't Dance"  on Me-o  were recorded at Specialty studio in Detroit . Me-O was located in Toledo, Ohio.


    Songs :
    (Thanks to Hans-Joachim)

    Tonight Is Just Another Night                     Unknown Love             

        Broken Hearted Me                          If You Want To Call Me



    your comment

  • The Idols (3) (Lodi, California)

    Personnel :

    Lionel Handel

    Mike Marmon

    John Lops

    Larry Westgate

    Discography :

    1961 - Tell Me / We Dined By Candlelight (Camelia 100-38/39)
    1961 - The Stars Will Remember / Tell Me (Galaxie 77)


    Biography :

    The Lodi vocal combo known as "Idols" have announced they vill release their second recording on the Galaxie label. The young, musicians who have been featured on radio and teleision are Lionel Handel, Larry Mike Marmon, and John Lops. 


    The latest composition is Stars Will Remember" with a re peat of tell The Idols ( an anagram for lodi ) was formed four years while the singers were still atending Lodi Union High School, and all were members of the school band. "The idols" first recording "tell me" written by mike harmon and "We dined by Candlelight" a composition of Lodian Mrs. Helen Allrich, was released shortly after christmas of 1960.
    "Lodi News-Sentinel - 18 mai 1961"

    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    The Stars Will Remember                                Tell Me                  

    Tell Me / We Dined By Candlelight



    your comment

    Follow articles RSS
    Follow comments' RSS flux