1959 - L to R: Jim Fleming, Larry Knechtel, Dick Gabriel, Brian Garfield, John Armstrong.
The Palisades (2) (Tucson, Arizona)
1960 - I Can't Quit / Close Your Eyes (Calico 113)
Brian Francis Wynne Garfield grew up in Arizona, earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Arizona. At the University of ArizonaHe he formed a five-man group vocal & instrumental called The Palisades consisted of Brian , Jim Fleming, Larry Knechtel, Dick Gabriel and John Armstrong. The five switched instruments all the time, though Garfield usually wound up playing either bass or lead guitar.
They have a contract with Calico and top-40 hit with "I Can't Quit". They appeared on “American Bandstand” and other programs. Along the way, they spent several months playing in a lounge where the owner had a policy of bringing in guest acts. One time they brought in a singer they just knew was going to make it big, and 10 years later he did. Lou Rawls.
The Palisades, however, reached a plateau about . $1,250 week and came to the collective decision that they'd never get any bigger. One member split for Los Angeles, another became the bassist most in demand for studio work on the West Coast Larry Knechtel. The world later knew Brian Garfield as a multi-million seller famous book author that included Death Wish which was made into a movie starring Charles Bronson with 4 sequels.
I Can't Quit Close Your Eyes
Gary Haines & The Five Sequins (Marine City, Michigan)
Gary Haines (Lead)
1961 - Tse Tse Fly / Another Girl Like You (Kapp 383)
Gary Haines had been singing before audiences since he was 3 years old with his Mom Edith as his first accompanist. As a child, he sang in churches and camp meetings all over the state of Michigan. He had grown up in the Detroit Bethel Church of the Nazarene, living with his mother and brother in the home of his grandparents. His interest and development with music continued as he honed his skill as a young musician. Early on, he became enamored with the swing music of the day and began experimenting with its rhythms and sounds. As a result, he organized his own group called "Gary Haines and The Sequins," a five-member band of singers and musicians that soon started to get radio play along with the demand to perform in high school dances and eventually clubs.
In 1961, they recorded "Tse Tse Fly" b/w "Another Girl Like You" released by Kapp Records. After the Sequins disbanded, Gary continued to sing solo in some of the best nightclubs in Detroit, and from all appearances, was embarking on a promising career. For the next 11 years, he enjoyed increasing fame and the so-called "good" life in a city that demanded the best by way of talent.
Tse Tse Fly Another Girl Like You
The Five Lords (Boothwyn, PA)
Sylvanius "Slip" Franklin (Lead Tenor, Tenor)
Harold Comegys (Scond Tenor)
Joseph "Joe" Pryor (First Tenor)
Elwood "Bunky" Robinson (Baritone)
John Walker (Bass)
1956 - Oo-La-La / Falling Tears (D&S 2078)
1956 - My Darling Caroline (D&S)
When Sylvanus "Syl" Franklin was a boy growing up in Lower Chichester, he wanted to be a famous vocalist with a big band. His dream sort of came true. In the mid-1950s, he and four other students at Chichester High School made up a singing group called The Five Lords. The others members were Elwood "Bunky" Robinson, Joe Pryor, Harold Comegys and John Walker.
The Five Lords cut three songs "Oo-La-La", "Falling Tears" and "My Darling Caroline" . "Oo-La-La" b/w "Falling Tears" was released on the tiny label D&S. They also could be heard on a local Chester radio station every week or so. The group broke up, but Sylvanius "Slip" Franklin & Elwood "Bunky" Robinson would later become members of Jim Jacono & The J's. Franklin continued with his music - this time as a pianist, and sometimes vocalist.
Oo-La-La Falling Tears
The "Hi-Tones" LeRoy Meadows and Dave First
Jack Wallace & The Hi-Tones (1) (Tucson, Arizona)
Jack Wallace (Lead)
Dave First (Tenor)
LeRoy Meadows (Bass)
1959 - I Think Of You / You Are The One (Zoom 001)
Jack Wallace, whose performance at a Catalina High School dance in early 1959 inspired Burt Schneider and Ray Lindstrom to create Zoom Records. A mere eight days later, they were in the studio with Jack Wallace and the Hi-Tones!. Jack Wallace was Tucson's Elvis! His deep vocals along with the doo-wop harmony of LeRoy Meadows and Dave First of the Hi-Tones are a real treat. This was the first Zoom Record and had the blue and silver label. Zoom Records was Southern Arizona’s first rock and roll record label. It was the creation of two 17 year old Tucson, Arizona, Catalina High School students, Burt Schneider and Ray Lindstrom.
Jack Wallace Burt Schneider and Ray Lindstrom
All the records were produced during a short 7 month period in 1959, but they capture the independent rock sound of the era.They were all recorded in Phoenix at Audio Recorders of Arizona, where Duane Eddy made all his big hits. Legendary engineer, and Grammy award winner, Jack Miller was at the controls. He was famous later for sessions with many top stars including the Rolling Stones. None of the records were giant chart busters, but they got heavy play and made the hit sheets in Tucson as well as a few other places in the US and Europe. They continue to be included on many US and overseas compilation releases featuring 50's American rock and roll and rockabilly.
I Think Of You You Are The One
The Playboys (4)
The Playboys (4) (Buffalo N.Y)
ref The Graduates (1) aka The Question Marks (2)
The Playboys (4)
1957 - Don't Do Me Wrong / Why Do I Love You, Why Do I Care (Mercury 71228)
The Graduates (1)
1959 - Ballad of A Girl And Boy / Care (Shan-Todd 0055)
1959 - What Good Is Graduation / Lonely (Corsican 0058)
The Question Marks (2)
1959 - Ballad of A Girl And Boy / Concerto rock (Inst. by The Tune Rockers) (First 102)
Johnny Holliday & The Graduates (1)
1963 - Goodbye My Love / Ballad Of A Boy And A Girl (Lawn 208)
In 1956, six guys decided to form a vocal group. They were frat members and high school students (mostly at Lafayette High School and Hutch Tech). Jack Scorsone, Ronald Page, Bruce,Hammond, Raymond Baunler, Harold Rogers and Anthony Mancuso called themselves The Rays. By 1957, they went to a Buffalo demo studio and recorded their one original song, Jack’s “Why Do I Love You, Why Do I Care”. Local DJ Frank Ward flipped when he heard it and immediately played it on the air. It got a great response so he called up somebody affiliated with Mercury Records, played it over the phone, and Mercury expressed an interest. A few days later the boys got an offer to come to New York City to record it. Two things happened as they set about recording - they learned of the already-existing Rays (soon to hit with “Silhouettes”) and had to come up with a name change.
A nearby copy of Playboy magazine gave them the inspiration. And they had to come up with a B-side. Jack Scorsone sat down and wrote “Don’t Do Me Wrong” off the top of his head. The group recorded it in two takes, with no chance to correct the couple bad notes that appeared! Back to Buffalo… the group was coming to grips with their whirlwind of success. In just a few short weeks they’d gone from demo to national label. Waiting for news of it they were asked to perform at a school assembly and were introduced as Recording Artists, to great adulation. And a few days later they started hearing “Why Do I Love You, Why Do I Care” on the radio.
Following the release of The Playboys' 45 membership changed and eventually settled into a lineup of Johnny Cappello, Bruce Hammond, Fred Mancuso and Jack Scorsone. They adopted a new name - The Graduates. DJs Tommy Shannon and Phil Todaro decided to issue a record on them, on their new label Shan-Todd (named for Shannon -Todaro). They'd previously hit with their first Shan-Todd release "Rockin' Crickets" by The Hot Toddys. The Graduates 1959 "Ballad of A Girl And Boy" came out as Shan-Todd 0055. Shan-Todd soon underwent a name change to Corsican Records, kept the same numbering sequence, in time for the next Graduates release ("What Good Is Graduation", also 1959).
They recorded this one at Buffalo Recording Service, scene of their first recording when The Playboys made a demo there. This time however it was a different group - John Cappello was now the lead vocalist. "Ballad of A Girl And Boy" made it on to the national Billboard Hot 100, at #74. The followup "What Good Is Graduation" did not make it onto the top charts, though it it hit the Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart at #110. If there were local charts I'm sure these achieved Top Ten status, especially with the push the DJs behind the labels could give them. They were definitely played often on WKBW, a local station but one that reached far up and down the East Coast.
1959 - (L to R) John Cappello , Jack Scorsone, Bruce Hammond and Fred Mancuso
Whether they got properly paid for the records is anyone's guess. Standard procedure back then was that artists would recieve little royalties but could expect the make money with live appearances. Some big shows in father cities had to be cancelled when the still-young members couldn't get time off from school to travel! But the group apparently had their largest-paying show close to home, when they received the then-astronomical sum of $1500 for a show at Rochester's War Memorial Auditorium. With no real management, member Bruce Hammond handled the money and they all got paid.
With some shows, some TV appearances, nothing was breaking for them, and the group drifted apart. In 1963 a new single appeared on Lawn Records coupling "Goodbye My Love" with "Ballad Of A Boy And A Girl". Now credited to Johnny Holliday & The Graduates, apparently most of the group was not informed of its release until after the fact. "Goodbye My Love" is actually a retitled version of "What Good Is Graduation" making this single something of a reissue - merely compiling their two former A-sides.
Nothing much happened with this 1963 release, but it's then-dated sound couldn't really compete in the year 1963 with the coming invasion. That same year the Beatles 45 was released on Lawn's parent company Swan Records. An interesting and curious side-note is that many years later the group became aware of a mysterious record using their recordings. In 1959 a record was released on the First Records label, aka Another First, which contained "Ballad Of A Boy And A Girl" but now credited to The Question Marks. This seems to be an out take from the original Graduates sessions.
Johnny Cappello with the Tune Rockers
The flip is also credited to The Question Marks but this is actually an out-take by The Tune Rockers ! Point of interest is that John Capello belonged to both groups, and Dick Lawrence - owner of First - had been involved in managing both groups. More interesting is the fact that the record doesn't seem to have been issued in an attempt to make a hit - the artists involved weren't informed, so there could be no promotion, and it was never distributed at all in their hometown!
(updated by Hans-Joachim)
The Playboys (4)
Don't Do Me Wrong Why Do I Love You, Why Do I Care
The Graduates (1)
Ballad of A Girl And Boy Care
What Good Is Graduation Lonely
Question Marks (2)
Ballad Of A Girl And A Boy / Concerto Rock
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