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Rebels Top Pic 1
Rebels Top Pic 2
 

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 members were between 14 and 15 years old. They decided to assemble a band, and everybody picked an instrument. The Kipler's 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 both pictures above. In the 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, raises the prices on those nights!). "

WQAM Survey
Rebels WQAM Chart
Check out Number 7 on the survey. They were still the Rebels, before the change to Rockin' Rebels.
 
Russ Hallett Pic 1
Russ Hallett Business Card

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. Todaro and Shannon were partners in the music business, and Shannon visited the studio the day that the Russ Hallett Trio were recording. He asked them to compose a jingle for him and according to Russ Hallett, his trio "Wrote the words and music for the song", and "It got airplay every thirty minutes back then". You can listen to a portion of that jingle HERE, with lyrics sung by Russ Hallett. The original Jingle was much longer and had some repetition to it. The melody is the basis for what became Wild Weekend. Above are two great pictures of the group, including a business card as the Nomads on the right. Looking above at the promotional shot of the group, members included Russ Hallett - lead singer and rhythm guitar, pictured to the left, Aldo Brozzetti - lead guitar is on the right, and Jack Sinchaski - drummer, in the middle.

Russ Hallett Pic 2
Russ Hallett Pic 3

The Russ Hallett Trio had one record release called Frosty, issued on the PhiTom and the VIM label. It was originally an instrumental, but Tom Shannon over-dubbed his voice onto it, and credited himself prominently on the label. Blueberry Hill was the instrumental flip and according to Aldo Brozzetti, was song 13 of what they hoped would be a 12 track LP. This was the only released record by the group. The Russ Hallett Trio played mostly colleges and were the first rock group to play rock and roll at Dartmouth College. The Russ Hallett trio's theme song was used often by Tom Shannon on his weekend show, and he continued  with it even after he moved to weekdays. I have heard an air check from 1962 where he was still playing it. When Wild Weekend was released, the Russ Hallett trio was furious. Not at the Rebels for recording it, but at Shannon and Todaro for not giving them any credit for the words or melody. Their names were nowhere in sight. They tried to go back to the studio and get their original tapes, but the studio was gone. They continued to keep very busy with local gigs, until the band fell apart. Russ moved out of state, Aldo went into the family pizza business, and that was that. Or, maybe not? Aldo decided to create a jingle for his business based from the original jingle they wrote, that eventually turned into Wild Weekend. Changed just slightly, it became a really catchy tune. It makes me want to pick up the phone and get a pizza to go, but unfortunately it would be a long drive from California to Johnson City, New York to pick it up. Listen to it HERE!.

Three interviews are now available below, for your listening pleasure. All will stream in real audio. Big John Little recorded in September 2008, the other three recorded 6/2007

 

WKOP Survey

Above is a radio station survey for WKOP 1360 on your dial in Binghamton, New York. Above is the weekly survey for October 11, 1959. Number 48 is the Russ Hallett Trio's Frosty. Click on the survey for an enlarged view.
WKOP Survey 2
Shooting up the charts to Number 21 on the WKOP survey for November 8th, 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
News Article 1
News Article 2
Some assorted newspaper clippings are from local papers in the Johnson City area. They show the group actively performing in the area, and refer to them with upcoming record releases that never materialized. Click on the articles for slightly enlarged text.
News Article 3

Shannon's partnership with fellow DJ Phil  Todaro, produced several labels and a publishing company. Shan-Todd was one of the labels they created, and they had some early success with the release of the Graduates disc called "Ballad Of A Girl And Boy", in March of 1959. Peaking at number seventy-four, it blipped on the national charts for three weeks. In the same month, they scored a bigger hit with "Rockin' Crickets" by the Hot Toddys. Join me for a wild ride through the Rockin' Rebels history as shown through record label shots of the original recordings.

A page like this could not have been possible with the assistance from many people. In alphabetical order, I wish to thank Aldo Brozzetti, Claudia Crow, Dan Garvin, Russ Hallett, Mickey Kipler, Lyn Nuttall, and Bob Paxon
 

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Frosty on Vim
Blueberry Hill On Vim
Here is 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.
   
Frosty Phitom Blueberry Hill Phitom
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 fairly recent picture of Big John "T-Bone" Little. He will be turning 80 in 2009. He still performs quite a bit in the New Brunswick and surrounding areas. I would say he sounds as good today as ever has. A warm and gracious man, you can hear my interview with him further up the page. Starting below, we begin the journey of the many groups associated with the Rebels.
Big John Little Current Poster
   
 
Rockin Crickets Shan Todd
Shakin And Stompin Shan Todd
 
Starting the journey we begin with 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. The   name was changed for the recording. 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.
 
 
Rockin Crickets Corsican
Shakin And Stompin Corsican
 
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 6 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.
   
Rockin Crickets Barrel
Shakin And Stompin Barrel
Barrel records out of Toronto Canada released the disc locally in eastern Canada. It was later   released on the Canadian National label, Reo.
   
Rockin Crickets Barrel 2
Shakin And Stompin Barrel 2
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.
   
Rockin Crickets Pye Shakin Stompin Pye
From England, here is the Pye label release for Rockin Crickets/Shakin And Stompin. Shan Todd is credited on the label.
   
Bubbles The Wasp
Bubbles Boppin In The Barnyard
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.
   
 
Hot Toddys Hoe Down Promo
Hot Toddys Nan Je Di Promo
 
 
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 had a 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.
 
 
Hot Toddys Hoe Down
Hot Toddys Nan Je Di
 
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.
   
Look Out Sparton Promo Big John Country Boy Sparton Promo
Here 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.
   
Rudy Vincent Rockin Crickets
Rudy Vincent Five Points
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.
   
Spurline EP1 Spurline EP2
Here is a later recording by Big Bjohn 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 re-corded in the 1980's.
   
Big Jogn Little LP Cover
Big Jogn Little LP Label
Big John Little did record a at least one LP, as 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, likely 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. 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.
   
The same album by Big John and his Beetlers 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 40 total discs produced. Big John was based in Montreal. Both the Metro and the Rusticana labels are from there as well.
Big Jogn Little LP Rusticana Cover
 
Kicking off the Rebels story with record label shots, is the first record on the Marlee label. What you are looking at on the right, 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".
Marlee First Promo With Stamp
   
Wild Weekend Marlee 1
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Marlee 1
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 ).
   
Wild Weekend Marlee 1 Promo
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Marlee 1 Promo
Likely the second issue, now 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 previous is that had a hand stamped "Thanks from Phil and Tom".
   
 
Wild Weekend  Marlee 2
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Marlee 2
 
 
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.
 
   
Wild Weekend  Marlee 3 Promo
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Marlee 3 Promo
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.
   
 
Wild Weekend Marlee 4
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Marlee 4
 
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.
 
 
Donkey Walk Promo
Buffalo Blues Promo
 
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.
 
 
Donkey Walk
Buffalo Blues
 
Here is the regular red and white stock issue of Marlee 0095. Interesting that they used   the same colors as Swan recordings.
 
   
Donkey Walk  Quality
Buffalo Blues Quality
Here is the Canadian quality issue of the Donkey Walk and Buffalo Blues. The association with Swan, who actually distributed the Marlee release, is acknowledged.
   
 
Theme From The Rebel Marlee
Anyway You Want Me Marlee
 
"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 no association with Reco-Art or Swan.
   
Rebels Wild Weekend Swan Promo
Rebels Wild Weekend Cha Cha Swan Promo
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, 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".
   
Rebels Wild Weekend Quality
Rebels Wild Weekend Cha Cha Quality
Here is the first Canadian pressing of Wild Weekend on the Quality label. Swan is given label credit and it sold well.
   
Wild Weekend Autographed Quality
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.
   
Wild Weekend Reo
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Reo
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.
   
Wild Weekend Reo 2
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Reo 2
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.
   
Wild Weekend Reo Sleeve 1
Wild Weekend Reo Sleeve 2
Here is a sleeve that came with the release of the previous 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.
   
Wild Weekend Australia
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Australia
Here is the Australian press of Wild Weekend. It properly credits the Swan label, as they currently had the USA hit. Notice that the center piece is intact, as it was originally produced. The song charted at number 18 in Melbourne and number 23 in Brisbane, in 1962. There was no action at all for the record in Sydney. RCA did not issue the record shown above, though the familiar RCA dog "Nipper" is shown on the label along with :His Masters Voice"..This is an HMV issue.
   
Wild Weekend Australia 2
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Australia 2
A slightly later press from Australia now credits the group as the Rockin Rebels. Label information is otherwise identical.
   
Thunderbirds Wild Weekend WG
Thunderbirds Wild Weekend Cha Cha WG
If you were 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. 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.
   
Thunderbirds 1556 wild weekend Thunderbirds Yippee Hoedown
The Thunderbirds re-charted with "Wild Weekend" in 1963 to coincide with the reissue of the original on Swan. W&G records issued a new number on their label, 1103, instead of using the original number.
   
Thunderbirds EP Thunderbirds EP Record
A very cool EP was released in 1961 on W&G. This had both sides of the Wild Weekend disc and 4 other songs.
   
Thunderbirds Oriole Thunderbirds Oriole Cha Cha
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 thhe Oriole label.
   
Wild Weekend S Africa
Wild Weekend Cha Cha S Africa
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.
   
 
Rebels Wild Weekend Swan 2
Rebels Wild Weekend Cha Cha Swan 2
 
 
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.
 
 
Rebels Wild Weekend Swan 3
Rebels Wild Weekend Cha Cha Swan 3
 
This is the first of at least three 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 necessary to avoid confusion with Duane Eddy's band.
 
 
Rebels Wild Weekend Swan 4
Rebels Wild Weekend Cha Cha Swan 4
 
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.
 
 
Rebels Wild Weekend Swan 5
Rebels Wild Weekend Cha Cha Swan 5
 
No parenthesis on this version, and smaller font size. S2 in the dead wax, but no Audio Matrix or NS.
 
 
Rebels Wild Weekend  Swan 6
Rebels Wild Weekend Cha Cha Swan 6
 
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. All information remains the same, no additional dead wax markings. Additional   releases will follow in chronological order.
 
   
casino label Casino Cha Cha
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
   
Sophistikats LP Cover 1
Sophistikats LP Cover 2
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. Click HERE for a bigger picture of the back cover.
   
Rockin Crickets Promo
Hully Gully Rock Promo
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 standup 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.
   
 
Rockin Crickets
Hully Gully Rock
 
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.
 
   
Rockin Crickets Reo
Hully Gully Rock Reo
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.
   
Rockin Crickets Stateside
Hully Gully Rock Stateside
The Great Britain 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.
   
 
Happy Popcorn Promo
Another Wild Weekend Promo
 
"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.
   
Happy Popcorn
Another Wild Weekend
Here's the stock copy of the Swan release.
   
Monday Morning Promo
Flibbity Jibbit Promo
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.
   
Monday Morning
Flibbity Jibbit
The Swan label black stock copy of the record is shown above.
   
 
Bongo Blue Beat Promo
Burn Baby Burn Promo
 
 
A Release on Stork records gave us "Bongo Blue Beat" backed with "Burn Baby Burn". It   is the same Rockin' Rebels group (Jesters) as 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.
 
 
Bongo Blue Beat
Burn Baby Burn
 
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. 1964
   
Bongo Blue Beat Arc
Burn Baby Burn  Arc
Here is the Canadian issue on Arc, which had their own numbering scheme. No reference to the Stork label is credited on this release.
   
Rock City Kathy Lynn
Rockin Red River Kathy Lynn
The first of three releases 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.
   
I Got A Guy Kathy Lynn Promo
My Special Boy Kathy Lynn Promo
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. I look forward to finding their other releases. The Promo is shown.
   
I Got A Guy Kathy Lynn
My Special Boy Kathy Lynn
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.
 
 
 
 
 
Wild Weekend 4248 Promo
Donkey Twine 4248 Promo
 
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.   Kathy Lynn and the Playboys had three of their own releases on swan. This promo was released   in 1966.
   
Wild Weekend 4248
Donkey Twine 4248
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.
   
Wild Weekend Itzy
Wild Weekend Cha Cha Itzy
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 Cha Cha" was also used.
   
You Done Me Wrong Diamond Disk
Settle Down Diamond Disk
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.
   
Wild Weekend LP Cover
Wild Weekend LP Label
This is 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.
   
Wild Weekend LP Label Reo
Wild Weekend LP Cover Reo
Here is the LP from Canada, on the Reo label. All appears the same on the cover, except for the logo branding of Reo. The record has the same songs as the Swan issue.
   
To the right is a picture of the Rockin' Rebels Promo LP label. Obviously Swan knew it was a good idea to send out some promotional albums to the stations, to ensure some airplay for the hit, and maybe get some additional tracks played. A very limited production disc.
Wild Weekend LP Label Promo
   
Wild Weekend Sweden Cover
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. For a larger picture, click the sleeve to the left.
   
Wild Weekend Sweden Label 1
Wild Weekend Sweden Label 2
This is the record that goes with the sleeve above. This has the same two sides of "Wild Weekend" and "Wild Weekend Cha Cha". It was issued on blue vinyl. For a bigger picture of each side, just click the pictures.
   
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.
   
Where are they now? 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.
   
 
Gone Missing: The Swan 4161 release of "Monday Morning" and "Flibbity Jibbit" as a stock   issue.Also, the Hot Toddys Strand label release with the "Holiday" flip, along with misc. Canadian releases.
 
 
 
 

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