Monday, September 29, 2014


Lyn on Tokens, DaveClark 5, 13th Floor Elevators

Guest blogger Lyn Price is back with her third YouTubeStars post! Lyn is a talented singer who is here to review awesome Music Videos from the 1960s! Read what Lyn says about The Tokens, The Dave Clark 5, and The 13th Floor Elevators.

Classic 1960s Music!

THE TOKENS - Swing 1964

This band is from the early 60's and had one spectacular hit - "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" which was used in "The Lion King". They are from Brooklyn, New York and fit in with the Doo Wop scene. They started out in high school. There was some reshuffling of members and name changes, but the core band stuck together and found two great musicians, one was about 13 years old. Vocally, he was a first tenor and his brother a baritone. The lead singer was Jay Siegel (from 1956 to 1973). There was a lot of excitement around this band - Brooklyn Doo Wop was a great time and place to be.

In 1961, the Tokens released a single for Warwick Records entitled "Tonight I Fell in Love" which scored #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and led them to American Bandstand. After that, more recording opportunities opened up for them. After the TV appearance, they had more offers on the table. Their hit single, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" sold more than one million copies. The band were awarded gold discs.

From 1962 to 1970, the Tokens released nine more songs that scored the Top 100. One of them was "Swing". No one could stay off the dance floor and the video featured here shows baby boomers are still dancing to it.

Beginning in 1963, the Tokens began serving as record producers for other artists, such as the Girl Groups and Randy & The Rainbows. It was called B.T. Puppy Records. In 1972, one of the Tokens (Jay Siegel) did background vocals for a re-recording of Lion Sleeps Tonight with Robert John as the lead vocalist.

The Tokens reunited during 1975 for occasional weeks as singing regulars on the Adam Wade hosted game show/Musical Chairs and in 1978 recorded a song for ABC's Schoolhouse Rock named "A Victim of Gravity".

Afterwards there was more reshuffling and the 2 brothers, Mitch and Philip Margo continue to perform with new members. In the year 2000 they reunited with Jay Siegel, one of the original members. They did a stint on the PBS special, Doo Wop 51. The Tokens were then Siegel, Reid and Eddy Rezzonico. Rezzonico replaced Richie Grasso during the 1990's.

Brooklyn, New York Doo Wop was bluesy, romantic and special. The Tokens colored the skies with their version of Doo Wop.

THE DAVE CLARK 5 - Try Too Hard

When the Dave Clark 5 arrived on US soil, fans shifted their undying love for the Beatles - to the Dave Clark 5. This fashionable group of 5 musicians appeared on the Ed Sullivan show 18 times, more than any UK Rock group.

The Dave Clark 5 were from Tottenham, London, England. They formed in 1958 under the name, the Dave Clark Quintet. After some reshuffling - with new members replacing other members, the band became the Dave Clark 5 or DC5 in 1962. Dave Clark played drums and was the leader of the group. The band's huge hit, "Glad All Over" knocked the Beatles "I Want To Hold Your Hand" right off the charts. The DC5 appeared to be more popular in the USA than their native UK. But between 1967 and 1970, the group had a "renaissance" in the UK, receiving notice from the rock music community.

In March 2008, the Dave Clark 5 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The DC5 had to their credit - 17 records in the top 40 of the US Billboard chart and 12 top 40 hits between 1964 and 1967. There was a film, "Catch Us If You Can". The song featured here is "Try Too Hard" but it didn't do what it should have in the USA - but in Europe the song was very popular.

The Dave Clark 5 will always be remembered as a feature attraction in the British Invasion. These 5 fashionable young men, all good musicians, would be the object of adoration by record buying fans. Their loyal fans were sad when the group disbanded in late 1970. Their great rock hits, recorded on Columbia (EMI Records), Epic (USA) and Capitol (Canada) will continue to amaze British Invasion fans. This was a group of great Pop Rock hits - and they will forever rock the music world.

THE 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS - You're Gonna Miss Me, Original Mono

The 13th Floor Elevators were an American Texas based band, formed by guitarist and vocalist Roky Erickson, electric jug player Tommy Hall, and guitarist Stacy Sutherland. The band existed from 1965 to 1969. During their career they made 4 LP records and 7 45's for the International Artists record label. Credited with being one of the first psychedelic bands in Rock n' Roll history, according to the 2005 documentary, "You're Gonna Miss Me", Tommy Hall was credited with the term "psychedelic rock" although a few other artists used the term to describe their music before the 13th Floor Elevators. Contemporary influences are Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Peter Allim (Big Brother & The Holding Company) and Chris Gerniottis (Zakary Thaks).

The Elevators 45 Debut, "You're Gonna Miss Me" reached national Billboard #55 in 1966, and is featured on the 1972 compilation "NUGGETS: ORIGINAL ARTIFACTS FROM THE FIRST PSYCHEDELIC ERA (1965-1968), which is considered vital in the history of Garage Rock and the development of Punk Rock. In January, 1966, the band went to Houston to record 2 songs. One of them was "You're Gonna Miss Me". The two songs were ready for 45 release. Besides the Texas Tour in Spring 1966 they also appeared on live TV to perform on teen dance shows. As the band's musical future took hold, their "touring map" added more locations. The Elevators were very popular outside Texas - especially Miami, Detroit and the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 1967, they returned to Texas. They released a 45 rpm called "Levitation" and they continued live performances in Texas cities. They did a gig at the Fillmore while in San Francisco, and a place called The Avalon.

In November 1967, the band's second album hit the stores. The psychedelic masterwork with the opening track "Slip Inside This House" - critics and fans alike rate this album as their finest work.

There were some heavy problems that the band's line up had to deal with. Arguing among the members over topics such as LSD use and it's effect on the audience became a frequent occurrence. Sometimes the band had to perform without the lead singer.

The very last 13th Floor Elevators record was released by International Artists and was a reissue of the "You're Gonna Miss Me" 45 rpm. The last concert was in April 1968. Drug arrests and hospitalizations were the downfall of the band, as well as mismanagement and arguments over drug use and money. However, despite the band's problems, the original leader Roky Erikson returned to music in the 1990's. With the help of a close relative, he hooked up with a lawyer who helped him get sorted out with royalties.

Two of the band's members were continuously debating the issue with LSD. Disputes, poor management, bickering over the use of suggestive drug related lyrics and an overzealous advocacy of LSD "leading" to a higher state - as a result these two members were not credited on the album's sleeve notes. Despite long, hard efforts in the studio, and resources utilized and the studio's legendary status, "Easter Everywhere" did not get the sales hoped for and was never reprinted.

Despite all the issues, the 13th Floor Elevators remained a powerful presence on the Texas Rock music scene. The Elevators were apart from the bands at that time - they had a unique sound. But as time went on, the problems still had their presence and the live shows lost their original energy. Much of this was due to an unstable member lineup.

The 13th Floor Elevators have been covered by many bands and nearly all the covers were a tribute to these wonderful musicians whose music would be loved and considered by other more mainstream acts. In the 1990's, ZZ Top, and R.E.M. would be among the music admirers of the Elevators. Many other musicians were influenced by their music.

The 13th Floor Elevators shone like gold in the Nuggets Collection and their track, "You're Gonna Miss Me" will go down in Rock n' Roll history.

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