The Rebels, The Rockin' Rebels, The Buffalo Rebels, The Hot Toddys, The Russ Hallett Trio (Binghamton), the Jesters - These are just a scant few of the names that are related to some great instrumentals and rich history of Buffalo, New York, rock and roll from the late 50's and early 60's. Attempting to follow all the Recordings, Labels, and the first and second pressings of the records can be difficult at best. And then there are the recordings that say they are but really aren't the Rockin' Rebels or Buffalo Rebels. Enter groups like Big John Little and the Rockers, The Jesters, and Kathy Lynn and the Playboys. They all had name identification issues.
The Rebels formed from a neighborhood organization called the Panther club. The ages of the club members were between 14 and 15 years old. They decided to assemble a band, and everybody picked an instrument. The Jim and Mickey Kipler were the only two from the club that actually stayed with the plan. When they finally settled on the group members, they chose their name, the Rebels, patterned after Duane Eddy's backup band. They were mainly an instrumental band, playing hits of the day. They met Tom Shannon at Baker High School in Buffalo where they were playing a gig. They ended up in Shannon and Todaro's Buffalo recording studio, planning to lay down an instrumental called Short Shorts. Instead, they started fooling around with some riffs to Shannon's new jingle that was composed by the Russ Hallett Trio. Shannon liked it and asked the Rebels to record it. The tune was pressed and released in 1959, and titled Wild Weekend. It sold fairly well in the eastern US, and the Rebels got an appearance on American Bandstand. Through some coincidental circumstances, the record was released again in December of 1962, and became a monster worldwide smash hit. Canada, Africa, the UK, and Australia were a few of the countries that pressed the record due to demand. It truly was a worldwide hit. The Rebels also toured and played with the big name rock and roll entertainers of the late 1950's and early 1960's. The group made a couple of releases for Marlee as the Buffalo Rebels, though good, they didn't have the impact of Wild Weekend. Unfortunately, they terminated their relationship with Tom Shannon because they weren't getting paid. That occurred in 1961 according to Mickey Kipler, and that was before the record was released for the second time in late 1962. The Rebels are shown in three pictured below. In the bottom black and white shot, looking left to right on the bottom row is Jim Kipler on guitar, brother Mickey Kipler, sax, Paul Balon, bass. Tommy Gorman is on the drums. The color picture has the same group in a photograph that was taken in a house basement jam session. Check out the Rebels insignia on Tom Gorman's drum set.
An interesting note from Mike McCormack who went to the same high school as the Rebels: " The lads (Rebels) did not just start messing around with Shannon's theme in the studio. In fact, soon after Shannon started playing it as his theme, the boys adapted it to what we know as WILD WEEKEND. I know, I was there for it. Mick, Jim, Tom and I all went to Baker-Victory High School in Lackawanna together and I was a huge fan of theirs from the time they started the band. In fact, because I was on what was called "the Social Committee," which ran the weekly dances at the school, I got them booked for the monthly "semi-formal" which featured a live band or a local DJ. I had to beg Fr. Martin, the priest in charge of the Committee, the first time. But after he saw the huge crowds they drew, he had them back as often as he could (and, if memory serves, raised the prices on those nights!) Interviews: Big John Little Mickey Kipler Russ Hallett Aldo Brozetti
Top tunes, news and weather - this is the spot where things get better - on the, Tom Shannon show, KB radio, KB radio……
Those words were part of the Jingle new DJ Tom Shannon used for his radio show at WKBW 1520 AM in Buffalo, New York. As a new jock, he needed a catchy jingle, and after all, most DJ's did have one back then. But wait. You can't tell the story of Rockin' Rebels hit Wild Weekend without talking about the Russ Hallett Trio. They were from Binghamton New York, and through the years, also were known as Russ And The Rockets, and the Nomads. They had a booking agent, Bob Cullens, and he arranged for the trio to do some recording at the Phil Todaro studio in Buffalo, New York, in 1958. Todaro and Shannon were partners in the music business, and Shannon visited the studio the day that the Russ Hallett Trio were recording -Russ Hallett, Aldo Brozzetti and Jack Sinchaski. Shannon asked the boys to record a jingle for his new radio show on WKBW 1520 AM in Buffalo. According to Russ Hallett, his trio wrote the words and music for the song, and “it got airplay every thirty minutes back then." Tom Shannon and Phil Todaro credited themselves as the writers, leaving the Russ Hallett Trio with no recognition or financial rewards from the tune’s forthcoming success. Listen to a small snippet of the original Russ Hallet Trio Jingle here!
The pictures above are of the Nomads, AKA the Russ Hallett Trio. Also show is the original business card for the Nomads with Russ Hallett's and Aldo Brozetti's names on it. The middle picture above is one article from a paper than can be enlarged to read.
Shooting up the charts to Number 21 on the WKOP survey for November 8th, 1959, it shows just how popular the record was locally. They were competing with the Drifters, Johnny Mathis and more! Click on the survey for an enlarged view. Also a couple of newspaper clippings that you can enlarge.
Starting the record label journey we begin with the Russ Hallett Trio recording on the Vim label from October 1959. "Frosty" is the plug side that combines the trio's instrumental recording along with Tom Shannon's vocals dubbed over the top. The flip is a recording of "Blueberry Hill". Vim was distributed by Clock records, which had a variety of artists. This could have been the first label, before Phitom. It is interesting that both labels are pink and look similar, According to Aldo Brozzetti, he got copies of both record labels at the time of release.
Here is the release on Phitom. Notice this release shows the Russ Hallett Trio, and the VIM issue has the Russ Hallett Rockets. Both copies show the ZTSP-60828 which is a Columbia products press on the east coast.
To the right is a more recent picture of Big John "T-Bone" Little, from a 2008 poster created for him. Now in his mid 80's, he still performs quite a bit in the New Brunswick, Saint John, and surrounding areas. His roots were in Niagara, and he currently resides in the Maritimes. Check him out on facebook.
He still has the authentic sound and the engaging personality. Big John Little goes back to the mid 1940's and had his start with country music. These days he can sing most anything, but is an exceptional blues man and play with anybody on stage. Big John Little is a warm and gracious man, and you can hear my interview with him HERE
. On the left is a vintage picture of Big John Little and his Hot Toddies from 1963. They recorded several songs in the late 1950's and early 1960's, some of them are featured on this page.
Here are the Hot Toddy's. This is the original release of "Rockin' Crickets". It's on the newly formed Shan-Todd label that belonged to Tom Shannon and Phil Todaro. "Shakin And Stompin" was the original flip of the record. This is their only release for the Shan Todd label, named after Tom SHANnon and Phil TODaro. Released in March of 1959, it climbed it's way up to number 57 on the Billboard charts. The group was really Big John Little and the Rockers out of Ontario Canada, and featured Bill Pernell on Sax. Pernell was apparently originally from Belleville, Ontario, a small town east of Toronto on the lake shore. On the top of the label you can see that there was a distribution deal etched with Masters Releasing of Buffalo. That helped get the word out on this recording in many other markets.
Shortly after the Shan Todd release, the record label name was changed to Corsican. On the label it says Formerly Shan-Todd. Everything about the label looked the same, from the basic color to the design. The Corsican label released about six records, including the Graduates, Rhythm Stars, Chip Allan & The Chipettes, Tom Shannon & The Relatives and Hernando. The record number on the label even stayed the same as the Shan-Todd issue. Oddly enough, they started with 0056.
Barrel records out of Toronto Canada released the disc locally in eastern Canada. It was later released and shown on this page, on the Canadian National label, Reo.
Here is a second variation on the Barrel label out of Canada. The main difference is the removal of the "Head Office Toronto Canada" statement. Both issues show the arrangement with Shan-Todd.
It's a little hard to read, but this is from England, and the Pye label release for "Rockin Crickets"/"Shakin And Stompin". Shan Todd is credited on the label.
This record has a very interesting history. Melodisc records was a respected in dependant label in England, circa 1959/1960. They started to tap into the emerging West Indian music created by the arrival of colonials from Jamaica, Trinidad etc. into Britain from the early 1950s onwards. Record label owner Emil Shallit created several labels to produce and issue the sound. Those labels included Blue Beat, Limbo, Kalypso, Chek, and Duke. "The Wasp" and Bopping In The Barnyard" were examples of the pre-ska movement by producer Trenton Spence. Often, Shallit had his records mastered with Decca, but in this case, it appears Pye was used instead. Pye had just released the Hot Toddys single of Rockin' Crickets, and can you guess what happened next? Yep. They accidentally pressed some of the Hot Toddys records using the Bubbles label. Once it was discovered, they stopped the presses, and corrected the mistake. However, no records seem to have been recalled, so 45's with both sets of tunes can be found. The only way you can tell the difference, besides listening to the record, is to look at the matrices which are slightly different: The Hot Toddys version is DK-1001A and DK-1001B, the proper Bubbles version is DK1001A1 and DK1001B1.
The Hot Toddy's released another record in 1959 on the Strand label. Shown is the promo version of "Hoe Down" and the flip of "Nan-Je-Di". The Strand label had a previously released big hit with Larry Hall's Sandy, and had other artists like Don Cherry, Ken Karen, and Bird Rollins. This recording appears to have no connection to Tom Shannon and Phil Todaro.
Here is the regular stock copy of the record. This was actually released with two different flip sides. The "Nan Je Di" was the most common, and the first to be released. It was later renamed "Holiday Rock."
This is Big John Little on the Sparton label out of Canada. This was issued late 1964. "Look Out" is backed with "Country Boy's Blues." A nice two sided record for T Bone. These sides could also be found on the two LP's featured below. The promotional issue is shown.
From the Montaigne label of Pembroke Ontario, Big John Little and the Hot Toddies had this 45, likely issued around the same time as the LP's that follow soon. "Let's Twist It" got top billing on the first LP, amd the great "Mojo" was on the flip. "Vocal by Big John" is shown on the label, and this label.issue was a Canadian only release.
We will return to the Hot Toddy's momentarily. Here is an interesting item from 1959, a version of "Rockin' Crickets" by Rudy Vincent Jr. on the End Label. It is the same song as the Todaro and Shannon composition, and Vincent calls his back-up band His Rockin' Crickets! "Five Points" is on the flip of this two sided instrumental.
Here is a later recording by Big John T-Bone on the Spurline label. He has a couple of songs with Fern Dauth, a new take of his original record "Look Out" (With Fern) all in stereo playing at 33RPM. This looks like it was recorded in the 1980's.
There were at least two LP's recorded of Big John Little's work, the first is shown above. Big John Little and the Hot Toddies had this twist LP on the Metro label of Canada. Twelve rocking tracks with lots of vocals by Big John Little. I date this disc from the early to mid 60's. Heck, everyone was doing the twist and pressing twist based records then. Looking at the cover, Mr. Big John is the one laying down in front. Denny Fox, the guy on the far left in the picture was originally from British Columbia, and was at one time a member of The Devilles, who had a 45 on Apex (Jerden in the US).Then from left to right, Richard Jordan, Billy Cardner, and Pierre Lavike.
These are both of the labels to the Big John Little LP. You probably have noticed by now that the group name was shortened to just Toddies. Based on this LP, Big John Little and his band were a party waiting to happen! Another person that played with Big John was Big Joe Burrell.
Above is the same album by Big John and his newly named back up group, the Beetlers, and was also issued on the Rusticana label in Canada. It had all the same tracks as the previous Metro release, and they used the same picture as well. Rusticana was a budget label that had mostly French artists on it's roster,with a total of around forty total discs produced. Big John was based in Montreal at the time. Both the Metro and the Rusticana labels are from there as well.
These are both of the labels for the Beetlers LP. You know, the Beatles were popular so they had to try and attempt to cash in on the similar name. It apparently was a bit of a surprise to Big John, too. The track list is identical to the Metro LP release previously shown.
Here is one of actually several surveys from 1960 that show the Rebels as the group name and show Marlee as the record label. This is from KDWB from Minneapolis-St. Paul, color channel 63 on your dial. The record run seems to have really started February or March of 1960, and I can track it to September of 1960 on station CFRA in Ottawa. I have seen surveys from early 1960 on stations like WKBW in their hometown of Buffalo, and WVET in Rochester New York. Wild Weekend took a slow but steady rise and fall on the charts, and that was likely the biggest reason it never charted nationally. It had plenty of local success, but not enough at one point in time, to have the sales needed for inclusion in Billboard. CHUM in Toronto was amongst the stations it charted the highest, peaking at number four. It came back with a vengeance in 1963, charting on radio stations all of the USA and abroad, and landing on number eight on the Billboard charts.
Kicking off the Rebels story with record label shots, is the first record on the Marlee label. What you are looking at on the left, is the very first pressing, actually a promotional record of Wild Weekend. The first copies that were sent to the radio stations for airplay had the first Mar Lee label variation with a stamp in green ink that says "Many Thanks Phil & Tom". They did not show "promotional copy" or "sample copy", not for sale, on the label, as many of the later releases did.
Here is the first stock release of the Rebels "Wild Weekend". The flip is "Wild Weekend Cha Cha". Best I can tell, the label was originally from Trumansburg New York. Some non-Rebels Mar Lee releases show that address. The record pictured I believe to be the first issue with a Buffalo address. Released in 1959. They were sent out locally, and initially in small quantity, but that changed quickly. The Marlee label was named after the girlfriends of owners Tom Shannon (Marva Hoffman) and Phil Todaro (Lee Howe ).
Likely the second issue, now shown as MARLEE with no space. Notice Shantood publishing in the middle left of the record, which was a typo. The Buffalo New York address is gone, as are the parenthesis around the Corsican statement under MARLEE. 3/19/60 was etched into the dead wax and the delta number 34815, which corresponds to the etched date. Shown is a recently discovered promo of the record, and was probably the first promo for Marlee, that was printed on the label as "Sample Copy, Not For Sale", as opposed to the the record shown back two previous lines, is that had a hand stamped "Thanks from Phil and Tom."
Here is the stock copy of the second Marlee issue. All label and information placement is identical to the promo, except that the lettering is in the normal red.
Here is the third Marlee Issue. The promotional copy is shown above. I believe this to be the first Marlee record that actually said "promotional copy" on it for the Rebels. Back at the beginning of the Marlee labels, the promo was marked by a stamp. Somebody used a pen to mark the Rebels as Buffalo. If this was truly at a radio station, then they may have done that after the release of Donkey Walk, which is the first record to show the group as the Buffalo Rebels.
This is the most common variation of Marlee, and on the strength of an appearance on American Bandstand, this was a good sized regional seller. "A subsidiary of Corsican Records Inc" still appears on the label - which is another of the labels owned by Shannon and Todaro. Shantodd is now spelled correctly and all one word.
The Rebels had a group identification problem. They named themselves after Duane Eddy's group, so a change was in order. In fact, when they were on Bandstand, Dick Clark referred to them as the Buffalo Rebels, so that a differentiation could be made. They kept the name and this was next in line as Marlee 0095. "Donkey Walk" backed with "Buffalo Blues" was a nice two sider, and the latter is a really hot instrumental. This is an odd press that was distributed by Swan. To my knowledge, Swan had not entered the picture yet. They did need a national Distributor to promote their records if they were to become national hits, according to Dick Clark. This is the black print and white background promo. It was pressed at Reco-Art in Philadelphia, and had numbers in the dead wax that were stamped.
Here is the regular red and white stock issue of Marlee 0095. Interesting that they used the same colors as Swan recordings. The Swan Distribution is still listed on the above stock copy.
Here is the Canadian Quality label issue of "Donkey Walk" and "Buffalo Blues." The association with Swan, who actually distributed the Marlee release, is acknowledged.
"Theme From The Rebel" and "Anyway You Want Me" was Marlee 0096. This is a custom press that shows a subsidiary of Corsican, all still under Shannon and Todaro. This disc was also recorded in 1960. Trying to follow up on the success of Wild Weekend was becoming a tough task. Dead wax information on this 45 was hand etched, and had no association with Reco-Art or Swan.
Jumping ahead to late 1962, another DJ from Buffalo moved to a station in New York, and started using the Rebels Wild Weekend as his theme song. The DJ was the late Jimmy O'Brien and the radio show was on WNDR 1260 AM in Syracuse. Jimmy O'Brien had a very popular afternoon show. Swan record label head Bernie Binnick cruised through town, heard the show and he really liked Wild Weekend. Enough apparently that he wanted it for the Swan label, and had to find Shannon at the Fort Dixon army base to get the rights to release it. With Swan behind the promotional engine, it took off and was a huge hit the second time around. Here is the original promo release as they went with the original name of the "Rebels".
The stock release, showing the Rebels. Sometimes when a name change is needed, they will correct it after the promo, and the stock releases will reflect that change. In this case, many stock issues using Rebels were pressed. The record actually entered the Billboard charts charts in December of 1962. In March of 1963, they made their debut on the R+B chart listings.
This is the first of at least three original issues under the name of the Rockin' Rebels of "Wild Weekend", with noticeable lettering changes on the labels. I'm sure there are more, but these caught my eye. This has the song titles in Quotes and has the titles of the songs spread out quite a bit. Also there is an Audio Matrix" stamped in the dead wax. The name change to the Rockin' Rebels was finally necessary to avoid confusion with Duane Eddy's band.
This variation also uses the parenthesis, but the lettering is compacted and bolder. NS is stamped in the dead wax and no Audio Matrix stamp.
No parenthesis on shown this version, and it reverts to the smaller font size. It has also lost the boldness of the previous issue. S2 is in the dead wax, but no Audio Matrix or NS.
Though released a bit later, this version has the black label. Some Freddy Cannon releases showed up on the Black Swan label, and certainly the Beatles release was on both the black and silver, and other swan variations. All information remains the same, no additional dead wax markings.
On to some International pressings of the Rebels/Rockin Rebels. Here is the first Canadian pressing of Wild Weekend on the Quality label that shows just the Rebels. Swan is given label credit and it sold well.
Although I am not an autograph collector by nature, I run into them during my travels and record buying trips. Some of those trips are to the physical stores, others through the paths on the Internet. This has all four of the Rebels signatures on it. Paul's is the weakest on the mid left. One of them wrote Buffalo Rebels on the bottom, so it was probably issued shortly after the Rebels named was dropped for the Buffalo Rebels. That would be before the Rockin Rebels! Chris was the owner from Weston Ontario.Her name is on the top of the label. Certainly an interesting item and a conversation piece at the least. Click on the label for an enlarged view.
Quality records had a two other labels associated with themselves - Reo and Barry. It's often hard to tell why certain records came out on Quality and Reo, but since they were all part of the same organization, there was no change in Canadian rights, just another release. This also shows just the Rebels.
From the UK, the Rockin Rebels "Wild Weekend" showed up on the Stateside label, SS 162. Shown above is the promotional copy, with the deep red color showing the plug side. Swan and Shantodd are credited.
Here is the black stock copy of the Stateside UK press. Both of these Stateside labels have their middle section in tact. That was sometimes broken out if the owner had an insert they wanted to use.
Another Stateside record, but this one is HSS 1064 and was from Holland. It also shows the just the Rebels. Swan records is appropriately credited.
Australia pressed their share of the record. Their disc was on the RCA label, EA-4524. This one shows the group as just the Rebels and credits Swan on the label.
It sold well enough that when the Rebels changed their name to the Rockin Rebels, Australia followed suit with a second press with the new name. Otherwise, the labels are identical.
South Africa certainly issued their share of records by American artists. The "His Masters Voice" label is shown above with the now familiar pairing of Wild Weekend. This is shown as the Rockin Rebels, and it is hard to tell if it was ever issued as just the Rebels in South Africa.
The Rockin Rebels record was so popular, there were so many countries that pressed it, and they all got creative. This EP was from France. The cover was artsy, a combination of a guitar, maybe fireworks, or possibly just neon trails. They but both sides of the record on the EP and added two others.
These are the companion labels. The record is shown as Columbia 1470. France had a tendency to release some really great EP's in the day. Sometimes they had two different artists on the same EP.
This is a nice vintage issue from Sweden. It's the big hit of "Wild Weekend" with a picture sleeve. Fine picture of the group on the cover. Or is it? Actually, it is Tony DiMaria there, without his glasses; Lee Carroll aka Lee Markish, Eddie Jay, and Kenny Mills. That is the Jesters! They are the same Jesters that recorded as the Rockin' Rebels mentioned previously on this page. It was truly an International hit, anyway. The back of the sleeve is blank, as shown.
These are the record labels that go with the sleeve above. This has the same two sides of "Wild Weekend" and "Wild Weekend Cha Cha". It was issued on blue vinyl.
If you were living in Australia, you might have heard a local group called the Thunderbirds, as their version of "Wild Weekend" peaked at number 13 in Melbourne, in 1960. This would have been nearer to the time the Rebels version first was issued on Mar Lee. Their version takes a few (nice) liberties, and has a bit more of a surf sound to it. "Theme From The Rat Race" is on the flip. Issued on the local W&G label, it even lists the names of the Thunderbirds group members on the label, in the box in the left middle.
The Thunderbirds re-charted with "Wild Weekend" in 1963 to coincide with the reissue of the original on Swan by the Rockin Rebels. W&G records issued a new number on their label, 1556, instead of using the original number 1103.
A very cool EP was released in 1961 on W&G. This had both sides of the first Wild Weekend disc and four other songs by the Thundersbirds. It has a great group shot on the cover, and some info about the group on the back.
Here are both labels from the EP. Shown on the label "Recorded in Australia" and a box showing Leeds Music.
From the UK, the Thunderbirds were released on the Oriole label locally. This has the center removed on it. Click on the Wild Weekend label and see a picture of the colorful sleeve for the Oriole label.
The Thunderbirds record was successful enough in Australia, that it was issued on the Melbourne label in the USA. This would have been based on the second Thunderbirds single (1556) shown previously.
From 1964 or 1965 on the Casino label, this is a reissue of the Rockin Rebels "Wild Weekend". This looks to be the same Casino records that started in Philadelphia in the later 1950's, but has a different address. This 1300 series had several reissues including the Dreamlovers and the Cobras. All were from successful Swan label recordings.
Here is a sleeve that came with the release of the record on Reo. The front is custom made to list the Rockin Rebels, and the flip shows the different artists that are available on the Golden Treasures series. You can click on the back side of the sleeve for a closer look.
This is actually a later issue on the gold Reo label, which was a reissue from 1967. Both sides intact, as Reo continued to sell the record due to it's popularity.
Although the Rockin' Rebels ended their association with Tom Shannon, and eventually were unable to use their own name, that didn't stop them from recording a local LP as by the Sophisti-Kats. The LP mentions the fact that they were the Rebels and their hit of Wild Weekend, on both the front and back covers.
Here are pictures of both sides of the Sophisti-Kats record labels. The label itself was the same as the folks that recorded it, Dynamic International Inc, located in Buffalo New York. Makes sense because the group was from that area. Six songs on both sides, they performed many of the hits of the day.
The next Rockin' Rebels release was Swan 4140, "Rockin' Crickets". Sound Familiar? It is the Hot Toddy's release from 1959! Big John Little and the Rockers had another shot at fame, though few people knew it was them. Shannon and Todaro put a different song on the flip because the original "Shakin And Stompin" was a bit dated for their taste. Instead, a Buffalo group called the Jesters was used for "Hully Gully Rock". Tony DiMaria on drums, Eddie Jay on sax, Lee Carrol on Guitar and Kenny Mills on bass, made up the Jesters. Other members included Roy Gage on stand up bass, Junior Shank on lead, Lee Markish on Rhythm. Clyde Dickerson also blew the sax. This record peaked at #87 on it's second run on the charts. Released in 1963.
The stock red and white release now shows "A Dice Production". Also, the "B" side has publishing from Juarez Music, for the first time on the Rebels and related issues. Hully Gully Rock was the first original 45 RPM record issued by the Jesters, going under the name of the Rockin' Rebels.
The Canadian issue of Rockin' Crickets and Hully Gully Rock, on the Reo label. Swan records is credited, but like most of the Canadian issues, the production from Shan-Todd is not.
The UK release on the Stateside label is shown above, for "Rockin Crickets" and "Hully Gully Rock." Swan is credited on the middle left of the label.
I mentioned Junior Shank in the Swan label release of "Rockin Crickets." Here is the Junior shank and the Jesters release on Madison records from Chicago. They covered Gene Vincent's "Be Bop A Lula" and di a great job with it. The flip is "Locked Out" and this was pressed in 1960.
"Happy Popcorn" tried to pick up on the cricket sound for their next release. Flipped with "Another Wild Weekend", it failed to dent the charts. "Another Wild Weekend" took a few of the original riffs, and is not a bad record. This is the promo version.
Here's the stock copy of the Swan release. This was issued in 1963.
The next release on the Swan label was "Monday Morning" and "Flibbity Jibbit" on Swan 4161 and released in 1964.The record was not a big seller, but as you will see, the Rockin' Rebels continued to issue more recordings, looking for the next giant hit.
The Swan label black stock copy of the record is shown above. Notice it is arranged by Tony DiMaria, who played drums on several releases including "Rockin Crickets."
A Release on Stork records gave us "Bongo Blue Beat" backed with "Burn Baby Burn". It is the same Rockin' Rebels group (Jesters) and Shannon shows writers credits on the Burn Baby Burn side. Shown is the promo version. As with most of the records after Wild Weekend, we see Carl Cisco's name appearing on the writers credits. He worked with a bunch of groups that are outside the scope of this page, with the exception of Kathy Lynn And The Playboys.
Here is the pink stock copy. It is a nice instrumental by the group. Stork was based in New York City. The Pin Ups, the Classics and the Themes were the other groups on that label. Released in 1964
Here is the Canadian issue on Arc, which had their own numbering scheme. No reference to the Stork label is credited on this disc. It does credit Dice productions like the Stork label did.
The first of three releases (Two shown on this page) by Kathy Lynn and the Playboys. From 1964, "Rock City" is backed with "Rockin' Red River". Rock City was recorded live at Peppermint Teen Club in Buffalo New York, and both sides are good instrumentals for the time period. Something about live recordings on a phonograph record makes for fun listening. Besides Kathy Lynn (Keppen), - Carl Cisco and Nick Ameno played on some of her recordings.
The previous Kathy Lynn and the Playboys may have been fun listening, but this issue is a two sided rock and roller. Both are great records from 1964 and they smoke. "I Got A Guy" is my favorite, and "My Special Boy" is no slouch either. The promo is shown above.
Here is the black swan label stock copy. Even though "My Special Boy" may have been the plug side on the promo, as indicated by the X on the label, it is really just a great two sided monster.
Swan released their final Rockin' Rebels record with record number 4248. "Wild Weekend" was the same hit recording, even though the label shows 2:18 instead of 2:15 of running time. The flip side is "Donkey Twine". This was a variation of the earlier recording of Donkey Walk. The group on "Donkey Twine" is actually Kathy Lynn and the Playboys. This promo was released in 1966. Just like the with the two Kathy Lynn/Playboys records, production credits go to Carl Cisco.
Here is the stock copy of the later issue of "Wild Weekend" and "Donkey Twine". Issued on the stock black Swan label, this didn't sell nearly as well as the original.
Itzy records decided to reissue "Wild Weekend" in 1966. Itzy was a label that took some great records, especially tunes that were popular in the Pittsburgh area, and released them on 45's. Itzy even released an album. The original flip of "Wild Weekend", "Wild Weekend Cha Cha" was also used.
Under the "This is not the same group" department, Ray Fournia and the Rocking Rebels recorded this on the Diamond Disk label. The "A" side is actually a nice ballad called "You Done Me Wrong", while "Settle Down" is an up tempo rocker. There is definitely no connection to the Buffalo group.
Promotional copies were made to showcase the Rockin Rebels LP. It had twelve songs on it, and an introduction by Dan Leonard. He was a DJ at WNDR in Syracuse, NY. This copy belonged to a radio station that was serviced by Swan.
Here are the white labels for the promotional Rockin Rebels LP. As you have looked through my page, you can see that the black and white labels were normally used for the promos..
This is the stock copy of the LP issued by Swan records, to showcase the Rockin' Rebels. Of course, they asked the Hot Toddys, Kathy Lynn and the Playboys, the Jesters to help out. Well, maybe they didn't ask. But they are all in there! As far as I know, it was originally released only in mono.
The familiar white label with red printing for Swan. They laid out the information on the label a little differently, and had Rockin Rebels Wild Weekend in the middle of the label.
Canada also released the LP on the Reo label. The front and back covers were the same except for the Reo logo.
These are the turquoise Reo labels for the LP. All the song selections are the same and in the same order.
This is a reissue LP from Citadel records. They used the original cover art from the front cover of the original LP, on the back. The front cover is nicely done with a great picture of the Rockin Rebels. It is pressed on 180 Gram vinyl and features the same twelve tracks as the original LP. I was fortunate enough to supply the liner notes and many of the pictures used inside the gatefold cover.
These are the labels from the Citadel label. The LP was released in 2008, and you can see their full line of music at their Foothill Records site
Updates: There you have it, most of the issues, but never all of them. The history was a bit complex, but this should help to visually follow the progression of recordings. If you see any errors, let me know with the correct facts.
Mickey and his twin brother Jim Kipler continue to perform in the Buffalo area as the Kipler Brothers. They stay very busy with their music, and Mickey travels around to companies in a training capacity with his "Other" job. Both Tom Gorman and Paul Baylon have passed away. Russ Hallett works within the Real Estate business in Florida, Aldo Brozzetti can be found at the family pizza business in Johnson City, NY. Jack Sinchaski was a high school chemistry teacher and is now retired. Other members that passed through the Russ Hallett Trio included Drummer Gerry Turock who replaced Jack Sinchaski, and Wayne Hawley, who played bass guitar. He was in the construction business and has since passed on.
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