Monday, August 31, 2009

Featured Artist: The Fleetwood Combo

Here's a group I know almost nothing about, except that it's damn good music from 1965. The top side is called Clowning Me Around, and it's a song that transcends the boundary between angry and moody garage rock and teener angst from the classic "Frankie" guitar riff opening to the falsetto run at the end that sends chills up the back of teener lovers like me! As far as I can tell, this is an original tune written by band member James Berkley (with vocals credited on the label to Jimmie Bee). This tune was a custom pressing on Century 21700, a label known for "vanity" pressings. There are no publisher credits. I can't find ANY information about this group anywhere on the InterWeb, so I'm 110% sure nobody will mind my posting it here for you to enjoy. If you WERE a member of this band, or if you KNOW anything about this band, PLEASE contact me! I'd love to know more about these guys.

The FLIP side, Reverend Jones, is yet another slice of excellent garage rock. It's essentially a cover of Farmer John, but with all new lyrics. Composer credits for this side also go exclusively to James Berkley, even though he really should have added creds for Terry Harris who wrote the original version back in 1958 for Don And Dewey on Specialty 659. Farmer John, of course, being covered by many over the years including the Premiers, Tidal Waves, Monsters Four, Searchers, Lexington Avenue, Bobby Fuller, and a ton of others. The melody was also borrowed by others as the underlying theme of many a rock song through the past 50 years! You'll hear all these songs on MusicMaster Oldies!

And, for reference purposes, the original version of Farmer John by Don And Dewey:

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