Friday, November 25, 2011

V.A. - Live! From The Grooveyard (1967)

It's hard to believe that New Westminster could be the heart of the R&B Scene, but there it was, the mid 60's, and IKE AND TINA TURNER were on the bill! The former Hollywood Bowl, under new ownership of Les Vogt and the management of Douglas Miller, became the short lived Grooveyard, and took its rightful place in local music history. MARVIN GAYE, ETTA JAMES, LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER, THE SPINNERS, and BO DIDDLEY performed there, as well as hot Northwest groups THE KINGSMEN, PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS, DON AND THE GOODTIMES, and even THE SONICS. Most importantly, The Grooveyard gave some of Vancouver's hottest acts a stage and, on some very special evenings, you could see up to ten live bands and dance 'til you dropped. It just didn't get any better. The original album was the brainchild of Les Vogt, band manager, concert promoter, rockabilly performer, and owner of the Grooveyard. He thought the album would generate more publicity for the club and the bands in his management stable. He took his idea to musician and song writer Tom Northcott and local entrepreneur Jack Herschorn at their offices, where they operated New Syndrome Records.
All the songs on the album were recorded and engineered by Robin Spurgin at his studio. [..] The songs were not really recorded live in the club, but were actually played live in the studio with no added overdubs. Oddly, the crowd noise that was added to the background was recorded at the Arctic Club (a Vancouver Jazz venue) and not at the Grooveyard.
[..] Recorded in 1966 and released in 1967, the originals pressing of the double album was only 1000 copies (making it one of the most sought after albums in Vancouver record collector circles). Doug Cuthbert, the original drummer for the Night Train Revue, did the original cover design.
(taken from the liner notes)

Neptoon Records was responsible for this re-issue (Neptoon 005 / 2004) and as one might expect it consists mainly of Soul and R&B covers. Not a bad album, all bands are competent and the music has a special Northwest sound. The Stags for instance did a fine cover of The Wailers' "Out Of Our Tree" as well as an innocent version of The Byrds' "It Won't Be Wrong", The Shockers could easily find place on any "Northwest Battle Of The Bands" volume and The Shantelles' cover of "Have Love Will Travel" leans more towards to The Sonics than to the Richard Berry original (but in a smooth way). Live! From The Grooveyard is surely an artifact but also a hipshaker and quite good listen through.

1. Epics - It's Growing
2. Epics - Knock On Wood
3. Night Train Revue - Letter Song
4. Night Train Revue - 99-1/2
5. Soul Unlimited - Get Out Of My Life Woman
6. Soul Unlimited - Choo Choo
7. Kentish Steele & The Shantelles - Have Love Will Travel
8. Kentish Steele & The Shantelles - Land Of 1000 Dances
9. Kentish Steele & The Shantelles - Leaving Here
10. Kentish Steele & The Shantelles - Mercy Mercy
11. Stags - It Won't Be Wrong
12. Stags - Out Of Our Tree
13. Shockers - You Don't Love Me
14. Shockers - It's You Alone
15. Nocturnals - Mustang Sally
16. Soul Unlimited - Little Joe
17. Soul Unlimited - Something You Got
18. Night Train Revue - Sometimes I Wonder
19. Night Train Revue - You Don't Know Like I Know
20. Epics - Cleo's Back
21. Epics - If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time
22. Shockers - Don't Bring Me Down
23. Shockers - You Better Run
24. Nocturnals - Slow Down
25. Nocturnals - You Make Me Feel So Good
26. Nocturnals - Get On Back
27. Stags - Drive My Car
28. Stags - Everybody Knows (I Still Love You)

Jayson Hoover (vcls)
Jim Harmata (gtr)
Bob Kidd (bs)
Bill Gibson (keyb'ds)
Gunther Klaus (sax)
Dave MacPhail (drms)

Chuck Flintroy (vcls)
Sy Risby (vcls)
Suzanne Cliff (vcls)
Chuck Cliff (organ)

Carl Graves (vcls)
Bob Nahirnak (gtr)
Wayne Pealo (bs)
Robbie Buchanan (keyb'ds)
Al Lynch (trumpet, vcls)
Bruce Norris (trombone)
Ken Bronsch (sax)
Stan Williamson (drms)

Kentish Steele (vcls)
Paul Dean (gtr)
Brian Pulham (bs)
Brian Tingle (organ)
Gary Greensword (trumpet)
Warren Clarke (trumpet)
Stu Meadows (trombone)
Brian Tansley (sax)
Glen Gish (sax)
Jim Patterson (drms)

Lloyd Manuel (gtr)
Pete McKinnon (bs)
Dan Hunt (organ)
Norm Stacey (drms)

Keith Foreman (vcls)
Mike Wilson (gtr)
Carl Erickson (bs)
Ed Coppard (keyb'ds)
Dave Jonsson (drms, vcls)

Ron Henschel (gtr)
Wayne Evans (bs)
Chad Thorp (organ)
Roger Skinner (sax)
Carl Erickson (sax)
Bill McBeth (drms, lead vcls)

Band origins:
Vancouver (British Columbia/Canada)

Get it here (Artwork included)

Listen to The Stags - Out Of Our Tree

Listen to The Shockers - You Better Run


ComadrejaPep said...

Really a fantastic post. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

.. very nice (and quite rare) find, thanks for sharing!

cheers from Italy!


ms. xtro said...

totally amazing! a great selection of material, really boss bands, and impressive recording quality for the era. i cannot get enough of this battle of the bands-style 60s music. thanks for a great listening experience!

Anonymous said...

Hi Men

I'm Fifo. I would try to ask you if you have "Palace Guard", the group with Emitt Rhodes. Gear Fab reprinted them on cd and also if you have the West Coast Consortium "looking Back" cd (Castle record).
Thank you


Anonymous said...

Great post! I currently manage the building that was once the Hollywood Bowl and then later became the Grooveyard. I also had the pleasure of assisting with The Grooveyard Revisited Reunion back in 2010!

Now known as The Metro Hall and Events Center, I'm seeking out stories, and copies of old posters, ticket stubs, and any memorabilia that I may be able to put in our lobby as a tribute.

Many thanks!


Anonymous said...

can you have another link please.