Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Oldies - Midnight Hour by The Heywoods


The lead singer on this record, Johnny Schott, passed away on 27 January 2012 at his home in Harrogate, Tennessee. He was 65. He had been working as a booking agent and promoter for local bands around Cincinnati, Ohio. Johnny only sang on this side of this single, the first one ever made by The Heywoods. Johnny had been a member of another Cincinnati-area garage rock group called The Radicals. Bea Donaldson, the emcee at a dance where The Radicals performed, approached Johnny and asked him to cut a record with a brand new garage rock group she was putting together around her keyboard-playing son, Bo Donaldson, who ultimately became the leader of Bo Donaldson And The Heywoods.

The other members of The Heywoods were Sonny James on drums, Phil Beard on guitar, David Flitner on bass, and Randy Jester on sax. Their theme song, Hey Hey We're The Heywoods, was borrowed from The Monkees. Drummer Sonny James sang on the flip side of this single, a cover of Hey Joe. The origins of that song, by the way, are shrouded in mystery. I'll do a nice long blog post about that soon!

Here's Midnight Hour by The Heywoods on Queen Bea 507 from 1966:



Queen B Records in Cincinnati was run by Buzz Cornelison, former keyboard player for The Exiles from Richmond, Kentucky, the band that became Exile (Kiss You All Over) in the mid-1970's. Johnny Schott suggested calling the label Queen Bea for the Heywoods record in honor of Bo's mother, who had a reputation for being, let's call it, somewhat assertive!

Here's the flip side, Hey Joe by The Heywoods:



The Heywoods in 1967

Billy Don't Be A Hero was one of those 1970's records that I personally liked very much, even though I didn't dare admit that to my harder-rock loving buddies.



This is yet another example of the Future Superstar songs you'll hear on MusicMaster Oldies. There are hundreds more where this came from, so stay tuned!

2 comments:

  1. Today I spoke with Bo Donaldson by phone and he gave me some new information, correcting a couple of things in this post. First, Phil Beard played sax, not guitar, and Randy Jester played guitar, not sax. I had them reversed, but so does every other source on the Internet, so I don't feel so bad. Second, Buzz Cornelison may have had something to do with the label, but not while the Heywoods made this single. The label was actually run by Bo's mother, Bea Donaldson. The first single featured gold letters on a black background, as pictured here. Since that was a bit difficult to read, Bea reversed it for later pressings, making them with black letters on a gold background. Bo's living in Los Angeles and putting together another tour. You can keep yourself informed by visiting this website: http://www.bodonaldson.net/shows.html

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  2. Thanks, Joe. I was a high school girlfriend of John's back in 1964-65. When I heard he passed, I looked on line and on youtube to see if there were any recordings of him. By coincidence or synchronicity, I looked up the Heywoods and found your recording of them with Johnny singing lead. What a gift! Thanks so much. Candy

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