Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Merrell Fankhauser And The Exiles, The Velvetones, and Fapardokly - The Lost Desert Tapes

by Beverly Paterson/2014

Merrell Fankhauser And The Exiles, The Velvetones, and Fapardokly "The Lost Desert Tapes" (Ocean Records, 2014)

Since the early sixties, Merrell Fankhauser has been cranking out a steady stream of exceptional music, encompassing everything from surf rock instrumentals to pop to folk rock to psychedelia to progressive rock to space rock and just good old rock and roll. Last year, the internationally revered singer, songwriter, guitarist, and 2011 Grammy Nominee received a call from Mac MacArthur, the son of Glenn MacArthur, who ran the Glenn label, which was home to a number of Southern California groups in the late fifties and sixties. Mac informed Merrell he was combing through the archives and asked if he wanted the master tapes he discovered amid the digging. Merrell had forgotten all about these recordings, which never transpired onto vinyl, and readily accepted Mac's offer. And that is how "The Lost Desert Tapes" came to be.

The tracks by Merrell's bands, Merrell And The Exiles and Fapardokly, were recorded between the years 1964 and 1966. A Chuck Berry styled rouser, "Make It Back To Memphis," is punctured with girly squeals, giving the song a live feel, where "13th Child" crackles to a primitive garage rock pose, and "Love Only You," and "You've Been Untrue," are sliced of pure pop applications indebted to the harmonious guitar pop of Buddy Holly, the Beatles, and the Beau Brummels. Fapardokly's "The Music Scene" is a different version than the one featured on the band's classic self-titled album, as this cut includes a spoken word introduction. An astute commentary on the biz, the song articulates how tough it is for bands to get a break and even if success and stardom is attained, there is a price to pay. Buoyed by a sparkling folk rock polish, "The Music Scene" cribs visible cues from both the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield.

A relatively unknown group, the Velvetones are also presented on the set. Shaking with manic energy, there's the frat rock fashioned "Fuzzy Wuzzy," while the rest of the band's material are instrumentals combining surf rhythms with rather exotically raw edges. "On The Beach," "Velvet Stroll," "Moon Shadows," and the fast paced "Gerico" portray the band's youthful charm and exuberance to lasting effects.

Not only is "The Desert Tapes" a nice memento for Merrell Fankhauser's many fans, but it further checks in as a nifty document of a certain time and place. A must have for those in thrall to largely pre-British Invasion sounds, the historic collection sells for $18 and can be ordered from Ocean Records, PO Box 1504, Arroyo Grande, CA 93421.

Review made by Beverly Paterson/2014
© Copyright

THE LOST DESERT TAPES: Merrell & Exiles, Velvetones, Fapardokly *Fankhauser*

Sub-GenreRock 'n' Roll
Geschwindigkeit33 U/min
PlattengrößeLP (12 Inch)
Herstellungsland und -regionDeutschland
EANNicht zutreffend

Morning Dew Records MDL 008

14 Songs from 1964-1966, unreleased and on the shelf for 50 years!
Including a reprint of an original handmade poster for a dance with MERRELL AND THE EXILES.

Brand new and just released on our own label!
180g LP, 500 copies made!

“I was surprised in October of 2013 when I got a call from Mac MacArthur the son of Glenn MacArthur who owned Glenn Records the label that recorded my group and many other high desert area groups in the late fifties and 60’s! 

Mac said he had found several boxes of my master tapes when they were cleaning out the 50 year old archives and would I want the tapes? 

We made the 200 mile trip from the California central coast to the high desert area of Antelope Valley, 

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in the boxes on the floor at the MacArthur’s house! Glenn had died in 1999 and stored all of his tapes and records from over fifty years of recording in a freezer truck and parked it on his property way out in the desert near the little town of Rosamond.

I was amazed when I started playing the tapes and found unreleased songs from 1964 to 1966 that I had written and recorded and totally forgotten about! It featured future members of Captain Beefheart’s band, 

HMS Bounty and MU. There was also eight songs by a southern California instrumental Surf band called “The Velvetones” that never achieved much acclaim and only had a rare single released on Glenn Records around 1965, tracks 6. and 7. are very good vocals by the group. 

The last take is an out take by my band Fapardokly of “The Music Scene” that has a spoken intro that wasn’t on the original Fapardokly LP.

It was like finding a long lost buried treasure!”
 - Merrell Fankhauser

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Oliver Cheatham

Oliver Cheatham (February 24, 1948 – November 29, 2013) was an American R&B singer who is best remembered for his 1983 hit "Get Down Saturday Night".[1] He also appeared on the 2003 single "Make Luv" by Italian DJ Room 5, which reached #1 on the UK charts.
Cheatham was born in DetroitMichigan. Encouraged by his mother to sing, over the years he joined several local groups including The Young Sirs, Mad Dog And The Pups and Gaslight before releasing a single, "Hard Times" on the Tier record label. He then joined another group, the Sins of Satan, the group later being renamed as Roundtrip. They finally took Cheatham's first name and recorded two albums as Oliver.[2]
Cheatham then signed for MCA Records as a solo singer. He worked with Al Hudson of the band One Way on his first album, The Boss. His first chart success came in 1983 with "Get Down Saturday Night", co-written by Cheatham and One Way's Kevin McCord, which reached no.37 on the Billboard R&B chart, and also reached no.38 on the UK singles chart. The album, Saturday Night, produced by Al Perkins, was released the same year. In 1986, he moved to the Critique label, and had further success in the US with the singles "S.O.S." (R&B chart no.35), and "Celebrate (Our Love)". Other Cheatham singles included "Mama Said," "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," "Things to Make U Happy," and "Wish on a Star."[1] After moving to the New York-based Warlock label, he recorded "Turn Out the Lights" and "Mindbuster" with Jocelyn Brown.[2] [3] He spent much of the 1990s working as a backing singer with artists including Leo Sayer, and released his final album, Stand for Love, in 2002.[4]
He returned to the charts in 2003, when he was featured in Room 5's UK #1 single, "Make Luv",[5] which sampled "Get Down Saturday Night", though Cheatham re-recorded his vocal parts for later releases.[6] The track was featured on a commercialfor Lynx deodorant on British TV.[6] [7] Its success in the UK led Cheatham to relocate to SurreyEngland, and he recorded in London for the Native Soul record label.[2]
Elements of "Get Down Saturday Night" were also used in Michael Gray's 2004 hit, "The Weekend".[4] It also featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Ex Machina.The track was also sampled for Lino di Meglio's 2013 song "I Can't Live Without (Dino In Paris Full Vox)".
Cheatham died on November 29, 2013, at the age of 65, following a heart attack in his sleep.[4] [8]
Chart singles
YearSingleChart Positions
US R&B[3]UK[6]
1983"Get Down Saturday Night"3738
1987"Celebrate (Our Love)"87-
1990"Turn Out The Lights"with Jocelyn Brown70-
2003"Make Luv"Room 5 featuring Oliver Cheatham-1
"Music and You"Room 5 featuring Oliver Cheatham-38
  • 1982 The Boss
  • 1983 Saturday Night (#52 U.S. Black Albums)[1]
  • 1987 Go for It
  • 1994 Stand For Love Label: Zygo ‎– ZYGO 3LP
  • 2002 Stand for Love
  1. biography
  2. Oliver Cheatham biography at Retrieved 1 December 2013
  3. Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995. Record Research. p. 38.
  4. "80s R&B singer Oliver Cheatham dies at age 65". SoulTracks. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
  5. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 101. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 142. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.
  7. Laura Benjamin, "Cheatham makes a record comeback", Daily Mail, 2003. Retrieved 1 December 2013
  8. "Oliver Cheatham Passed Away Last Night", Soul Source, 29 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013
External links