28 Little Bangers From Richard Hawley’s Jukebox.

Label: Ace Records.

Format: CD.

Release Date: ‘26th’ May 2023.

28 Little Bangers From Richard Hawley’s Jukebox is the first volume of the Sheffield-born singer-songwriter’s favourite singles. These are singles he’s collected during crate-digging expeditions as he’s travelled the globe. This includes singles he’s discovered in thrift shops and second hand shops. They’re joined by some that were recommended by friends and family others that previously found in pub jukeboxes. The result is an eclectic and explosive collection that includes familiar tracks, hidden gems, rarities, obscurities and instrumentals where the emphasis is on quality. 

Opening 28 Little Bangers From Richard Hawley’s Jukebox is Hornet’s Nest by Curtis Knight and The Squires featuring Jimi Hendrix. It was produced by Jerry Simon and released on the RSVP label in 1966. It’s an explosive, driving track with a blistering guitar solo from a man who just a year later would announce his arrival on the world stage. This rarity more than hints at what was to come from him.

Bob Crewe produced Nasty by The Time Keepers which was the B-Side to their single 3 Minutes Heavy. It was released on Generation in 1966. The track may sound familiar to many people. That’s because it’s essentially am instrumental version of Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Ryders’ Jenny Takes A Ride. This hidden gem is fast, furious, rocky and features a barnstorming performance by a band who sadly, only released the one single.

The Premiers were formed in formed in San Gabriel, California, in 1962. Four years later, they had signed to the Faro label and released Get On The Plane as a single. This Larry Tamblyn production is a lysergic slice of garage rock that has stood the test of time. It sounds as good in 2023 as it did in 1966.

Scotch On The Socks sounds quite unlike The Shadows. It was tucked away on the B-Side to The Dreams I Dream which was released as a single in 1966. It features a virtuoso performance guitarist Hank Marvin. He makes good use of his DeArmond pedal on what’s one of the highlights of the compilation.

Quasimoto was the B-Side to The Road Runners’ single Road Runnah. It was released on the Felsted label in 1963. This slice of surf music oozes quality. That’s no surprise as the band featured Gary Paxton, Gary Usher, Wrecking Crew guitarist Jerry Scheff and Mike Deasy.

In 1963, Cheryl Thompson was crowned Miss Las Vegas and Miss Nevada. By 1964, she had embarked on a career as a singer. In 1965, she released Teardrops as a single on Stateside. On the B-Side was Black Night, which features a vocal that veers between moody to sensuous. It’s delivered against an atmospheric arrangement. The result is a track that sounds as if it belongs on the soundtrack to a David Lynch movie.

Long Line Rider was written, arranged and produced by former crooner Bobby Darin. When he released the single on Direction in 1968 his music had changed. The lyrics were full of social comment as he highlighted the recent discovery of the unmarked graves of inmates at Cummins Park Prison. They had been killed by the long line riders, who were armed guards on horseback.

Poppin’ Popeye features the unmistakable sound of Link Ray and The Ray Men. This timeless earworm was released on Trans Atlas in 1962 and is a reminder of a truly innovative guitarist whose music is belatedly, starting to find a wider audience.

A welcome addition to the compilation is Hot Rod by King Curtis. It was released on Seg Way in 1961. Musical genres are seamlessly combined on this oft-overlooked obscurity.  With the help of guitarist Hugh McCracken R&B, jazz and rock ’n’ roll are combined to create a heady musical brew that even today will fill a dancefloor at an oldies night.

After the surf group The New Dimension disbanded, drummer Art Guy was unsure what to do next. His musical career was at a crossroads. Fortunately, he met Hite and Dorinda Morgan who had produced The Beach Boys. They suggested that he learn how a recording studio worked and then embark upon a career as a producer. This he went on to do. However, he also released a couple singles. This includes Where You Gonna Goon Valiant in 1967. It’s something of a musical anomaly as it was released during the Summer Of Love, when psychedelic was King. This garage rock rarity was his finest hour but sadly, failed to find the wider audience it deserved.

From the opening bars of Jimmy Gordon’s Buzzzzzz  you’re hooked. It’s a truly irresistible instrumental where the guitar and organ play leading roles and transport the listener back to 1966, when this was released as a single on the Challenge label.

Les Brown Jr was a drummer, bandleader, producer, promoter, actor and radio host during his long and illustrious career. However, in 1963 he was signed to GNP Crescendo and released Surfin’ and Swingin’ as a single. It’s the shorter version that’s included on the compilation. It bursts into life and there’s no letup as elements of a big band sound with fuzz guitar and thunderous drums are combined on this little-known hidden gem.

Bobbie Gentry and Jody Reynolds joined forces to record Requiem For Love as a single. It was released as a single on Titan in 1966. Sadly, and despite featuring two successful artists the single wasn’t  a commercial success. That’s a great shame as the pair combine well together and deliver needy, heartfelt vocals on a quite beautiful song that features elements of country and pop.

Closing 28 Little Bangers From Richard Hawley’s Jukebox is It’s Nothing To Me by country-rockabilly singer and guitarist Sanford Clark. The single was released on Ramco in 1967. The vocal is a mixture of bravado and vulnerability as if trying to hide his feelings and hurt. It’s a poignant song and the perfect way to close the compilation.

And what a compilation 28 Little Bangers From Richard Hawley’s Jukebox is. It’s an explosive and eclectic collection of B-Sides, hidden gems, instrumentals, obscurities and rarities. Sometimes he lobs in a musical hand grenade as he springs a surprise with a little-known or oft-overlooked track. Many when they burst into life are akin to a call to dance. However, many people won’t have heard of many of these dancefloor fillers.

That’s despite a number of familiar faces featuring on 28 Little Bangers From Richard Hawley’s Jukebox. They rub shoulders with artists who only released one, or at the most, a few singles. Sadly, all too many of these singles failed to find the audience they deserved when they were released, and it’s only fifty or sixty years later that they’re being rediscovered by a coterie of DJs and collectors. This includes Sheffield-born troubadour, Richard Hawley.

Some of his favourites feature on 28 Little Bangers From Richard Hawley’s Jukebox. This lovingly curated compilation is the first volume in the series to be released by Ace Records. It’s a dancefloor friendly musical voyage of discovery where the emphasis is always, on quality.

28 Little Bangers From Richard Hawley’s Jukebox.

1 Comment

  1. Wow what an interesting collection of songs! I have to admit to not knowing most of them, even ones with familiar names. Something to check out for sure!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: