Tag Archives: The Beach Boys

Rare and Cool 45 rpm from 1962…

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I have a friend named Dave.  He owns a business called “College Hunks Hauling Junk”.  When Dave finds records in the junk he hauls off, he brings them to me.  My wife calls him my “Dealer”.   Recently Dave came to a party at my house.  He came bearing gifts.  He had pulled a bunch of 45 r.p.m.’s from a hoarders house.  They were filthy.  Some were broken.  Many of the artists were totally unknown to me.  It took me a while, but I cleaned the records up in my amazing “Spin Clean” record cleaner.  Then I created a data base of them and started listening to them.  That is when I ran across this very interesting and cool record.  This record grabbed me the minute I dropped the needle on it.

There are several cool things about this 45.  The record is from a group called Shank & Maydiea.  Side A is called “Bye, Bye Baby” and side B is called “Why Don’t You Tell Me”.  The record is on Flip Records.(Flip 361 released in 1962) Flip is the label that Richard Berry recorded for when he released the original version of Louie, Louie. (Flip 321 released in 1957)  This record was one of the very last records recorded at Flip. The record label  went out of business after they released Flip – 364 in 1963.

So who were Shank & Maydiea?  Shank was Ed Wells. I believe that “Shank” was his nick-name in High School.   Maydiea was Maydiea Wells Cole. (Ed and Maydiea were siblings)  Ed Wells founded a do-wop group in 1955 called The Six Teens.  Six teenagers performing do-wop music together.  Ed wrote all of their music.  Their songs were light and innocent.   They were moderately successful until one day when fate intervened.   In 1956 they released a single with the A-Side called “Teen Age Promise” and the B–Side called “A Casual Look”.  Hunter Hancock, an L.A. disc jockey, played the b side instead of the A Side.  A Casual Look immediately became record of the week.  It eventually topped out on the charts at #25.  All total Ed wrote and recorded 20 songs with The Six Teens. The Beach Boys recorded A Casual Look and also turned the song into a hit record.  The Six Teens were never paid a dime and received no credit for composing the song.  The Six Teens didn’t even know The Beach Boys had recorded the song until they heard it on the radio…

By 1961 The Six Teens had run their course and disbanded.  Ed Wells felt that his songs were on the naive and immature side.  He wanted to take one more stab at getting it right.  He formed Shank and Maydiea and began working on new songs in 1962.  In July of 1962 he released this 45.  It is anything but naive and immature.  This is spooky and cool music.  It grabbed me immediately.  I like side A better than side B but both songs are great and have a very cool vibe for 1962 or 2014 for that matter.  So give the songs a listen and let me know what you think.  After you hear the songs I will tell you the rest of the tale.

Side A

Bye, Bye Baby

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Side B

Why Don’t You Tell Me

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After the release of this 45 the sales were not good.  Ed Wells became disillusioned with the music business.  He had plowed all the profits from the songs of The Six Teens right back into the group. He never received any compensation for other musicians covering his songs, and the Shank and Maydiea single did not sell well enough.   In 1963 Ed Wells quit the music business for good.  He left L.A. and moved to San Francisco where he became a very effective social worker.  He spent the rest of his life helping others.  In 2001 Ed Wells died of Throat Cancer.  I think these songs are proof that he still had a bright future in music if he had decided to stick it out.  As it turned out, he impacted the lives of countless other people by his public service.  I couldn’t find any information on what has happened to Maydiea.  Another tale from the turntable…

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Posted in 45 RPM, Vinyl | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Kat Edmonson the next Cole Porter?

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My Wife’s birthday resulted in the discovery of an amazing new musican. My wife wanted to get out of town for her birthday so we planned a weekend trip to Fort Worth. It just so happened that a new live music venue was opening up that weekend and my wife found an article in the weekend guide of The Dallas Morning News promoting a concert there the same weekend. The performer was a singer/songwriter from Austin named Kat Edmonson.  We had never heard of her, but the article described her as follows:  “that beautifully gray area that separates Americana from Jazz, country from folk”. Well that was enough for me.  We bought tickets.   She was performing at a new venue in Fort Worth called The Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge.  This is a great new place on the south side of Fort Worth.  It has an outstanding restaurant, a rooftop bar with an incredible view of Forth Worth, and a Music Hall that seats a little over 200 people.  The entire menu in the Lounge is also available in the Music Hall.  Pretty cool!

Our experience at the Lounge was first class.  The food and wine selection was excellent.  After dinner we went into the music hall and enjoyed the concert.  The opening act was Luke Wade.  He is a local artist from Fort Worth.  He was late because he had just played a private fundraiser for President Obama that was hosted by Bill Clinton.  The guy came in through the main entrance for the public, ran up on stage, and asked for two minutes to get ready. He performed on guitar with a fiddle player.  He put on a very enjoyable show.  He sounded too much like John Mayer to me.  That should tell you that he could sing and play at a very high level.

After a brief intermission Kat Edmonson sang and was accompanied by a acoustic guitar player.  Her guitar player was a French Canadian and he was a spactacular musicain.  She performed every song from her latest album and covered a song by Ella Fitzgerald (Champagne) and also Brian Wilson (I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times.)  Her cover of the Brian Wilson song was easily one of the highlights of a very magical night.  She infused the song with a pathos that exceeded the brilliant original song by The Beach Boys

Kat Edmonson was raised in Houston by her Mother and Grandmother.  She grew up listening to their LP records. (This is this story’s link to my blog..)  She especially loved her Grandmothers LP’s.  She grew up listening and loving The Great American Song Book.  Her songs are full of amazing lyrics.  She is also a very effective and interesting live performer.  She understands subtlety and technique like very few performers I have seen recently.  I picked up her latest CD “Way Down Low” and I cannot stop listening to it.  The CD features a duet with Lyle Lovett.  The lyrics are a great example of her work:

The Long Way Home

I’ll take the long way home tonight Please don’t wake up I’ll be alright Going about my usual day, I had no idea Cupid and friends had other plans for me, now i see And so, before I call it a day I’m making stops along the way Well I’ll be laughing with the moon in sea of delight and thinking every little bitty star in sight When I, take the long way home tonight I’ll take the long way home tonight Please don’t wake up I’ll be alright, going about my usual day, I had no idea Cupid and friends had other plans for me, now i see And so, first, before this day is through I’ve got some things I’ve gotta do Well I’ll be laughing with the moon in sea of delight and thanking every little bitty star in sight When I, take the long way home tonight Well I’ll be winking to the (? wise one?) who always knew And babbling with the brook about my love for you
When I, take the long way home tonight, tonight When I, take the long way home tonight.

If you can’t hear the Soul of Cole Porter in those lyrics then you must not have ever heard a song by him…

Check out Kat Edmonson.  She just recorded an episode of Austin City Limits with Willie Nelson.  Here is the link to her site:  Kat Edmonson.  Her music and lyrics are fantastic.  The ghost of Cole Porter lives!

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Posted in CD Picks, Country Music, Jazz Music, Life Events, Live Performance Reviews, Rock Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments