Boneyard Media

Archive for April, 2009

Sunday Service/Song ID: The Rance Allen Group – “Up Above My Head” (1971)

Sunday, April 26th, 2009


There’s a loosey-goosey sort of deism going on here that I can’t help but nod at. “I really do believe there’s a god somewhere,” the always-red-hot Rance Allen Group sings in this spirited cover of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Yes, he/she may be a Star Trek prankster in a laurel wreath and toga, and he/she may be 1 out of 47, but I know he/she is up there. Somewhere.

The Rance Allen Group – “Up Above My Head”

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Sesame Street – “A Clown’s Face”

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Dennis Allen from Laugh-In is the sad sack doing this SS clip. OK, I’m sending the VW on its way now.

Song ID: Split Enz – “Sweet Dreams” (1976)

Friday, April 17th, 2009

This isn’t one of the more memorable songs by these New Zealand weirdos, but you can’t look away. Singer Phil Judd loses his hair before the first minute’s up and the eye-rolling drummer participates only halfway.

Song ID: Leo Sayer – “The Show Must Go On” (1973)

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

From the VW door of clown rockers emerges Leo Sayer. Here he does his very first hit, which peaked at #2 in the UK. We know it better in the US as a #4 hit for Three Dog Night from ’74.

Song ID: The Klowns – “Lady Love” (1970)

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Decidedly more bubblegum than their rivals the Hello People, the Klowns were an experiment hatched by pop song institution Jeff Barry who, fresh off the Archies, clearly had preteens on the brain. The group featured actor Barry Bostwick (perhaps best known for his role as Brad Majors in Rocky Horror) and they hosted one of those single-installment-only TV variety shows we saw countless versions of in the ’70s (Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis, Jr. were the big ticket guests). Hear their only charting song above and imagine their painted countenances rolling by repeatedly as though you were riding a nightmare carousel.

Mark Fidrych R.I.P.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009


He looked like Big Bird, talked like the kids from Zoom, and as far as I’m concerned, was baseball itself. Thanks for ’76, Bird.

Song ID: The Hello People – “Let’s Go Hide in the Forest” (1968)

Monday, April 13th, 2009

A spooky 1968 non-album single by these clown rock pioneers. Their appearance on Teen Time (thanks to the YouTube poster) has so many curious things about it: the local-yokel teens (all African-American during the opening title sequence but all Caucasian during the actual taping); the telling facial expression on the host just before the band goes on; and the blissed out performance by the band which is already a bit disturbing even before you realize that they’re singing about Armageddon.

Sunday Service/Song ID: The Hello People – “(As I Went Down to) Jerusalem” (1968)

Sunday, April 12th, 2009


This single (which peaked at #123) kicked off the unique run of late sixties/early seventies mime rock outfit the Hello People. “Mime rock” is a misleading term because they didn’t mime at all, although their white face paint and somewhat exaggerated movements made them look like they were. Hence the weird allure. Notwithstanding my own affection for this single, their overall sound never quite jelled into anything especially singular, but their stage presence made for some memorable TV appearances (stay tuned).

Update (7/11): Whatever prompted me to claim with assurance that the Hello People were not really a mime rock group has been refuted by Richard Gagnon (see comments) who says they would mime on stage in between songs. This makes perfect sense – I sure wish I could have seen this one-of-a-kind band live.

The Hello People – “(As I Went Down to) Jerusalem”

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The Sonobeat website’s a class act

Saturday, April 4th, 2009


Some time ago I went poking around for more information about a mysterious, hard-to-forget folk track I’d come across which featured a vaguely familiar Texas-fried voice singing sixties hipster poetry. The song was “Silly Rhymes” by Lavender Hill Express, and it turns out that the voice belonged to Austin legend Rusty Wier, who I’d once actually had the good fortune to back up on bass. But it was the source of this info that was my other big discovery, which is something I’ve been meaning to get off my chest for a while – the Sonobeat Records website. This is easily one of the most lovingly maintained, well-executed label history sites you’re likely to trip over.

A crucial part of the Austin music story, Sonobeat – during its lifespan of 1967-1976 – pumped out early records by Johnny Winter, Mariani (featuring teenage guitar monster Eric Johnson), the Conqueroo and Shiva’s Headband, to name a few. The late Bill Josey Sr., station manager of Austin’s KAZZ-FM, co-founded the label with his son Bill Josey Jr., who was also a DJ at the station, and the website does them both proud. Loaded with well-organized textual content that’s bejeweled with photos and soundclips galore, the website demands you to stop dead in mid-surf and read, read, read. It really does show us how it’s done and I hope more than a few web music biz historians around the world will look and learn. There’s no indication on the site about who’s behind it, but the level of detail and occasional use of the first person causes me to assume it’s someone with the last name of Josey. Whoever it is, though, please consider yourself much appreciated.