High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Strangeloves - Strange but Untrue! (Part 1): From the Land Down Under to a Jukebox Near You!

Once upon a time...

three Brill Building producers

decided to form a recording act

and see if they could make

a bunch of hit records.

Keenly aware of America’s post-Beatles preoccupation
with all things UK, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and
Richard Gottehrer thought that it might be a hoot to
concoct a bogus backstory and cast themselves as
lads from a distant shore. Their historic brainstorming
session probably went something like this:

We’ll say that we’re three brothers…
three brothers from…..  

NO!..make that Australia! Yeah, that’s it! 

Our day job…gotta have a day job. Let’s see,

how about…when we’re not making music and
teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony,
we’re herding sheep in the Outback
Yeah, that’s the ticket!
We’re musically inclined shepherd brothers
from Oz! Hee hee hee hee hee! 

Our name, our name…what should we

call ourselves?

...The Traveling Wallabies? 
...Crocodile Dundee and the ‘Roos? 
...The Baa Baa Ber-Anns? 
...Three Billy Goats Gruff? 
...The I-O-Ewes? 

NO!, I’ve got it, the Strangeloves!

We're Miles, Niles and Giles Strange...
the Strangeloves! Ha ha ha ha ha!

(Editor's note: strange isn't the word
for these guys!)

The Strangeloves made their charade work for a while.
Pop rock fans did not question the fabricated bio claiming that the New York producers were Aussie ranchers arriving on our shores to spread their gift of rock ‘n roll. The Strangeloves didn’t sound Australian on their records, but audiences liked what the boys were puttin’ down so why
call for an investigation?

The Strangeloves started out with a bang (Bang 501, that is) in July 1965 when their single, “I Want Candy,” a shamelessly derivative variation of the Bo Diddley sound, barely missed the nationwide top 10.

The fake foreigners followed up in September of '65 with the big beat rocker “Cara-Lin.”

“Cara-Lin” is my Pick to Click among all songs by the Strangeloves. The record cracked the national top 40 on Billboard, became a sizeable regional hit around Central Pa. and placed in the top 100 on my Dell’s Greatest Hits survey.

In January 1966, the Strangeloves brought the heat with “Night Time,” a rousing number that reached a respectable #30 on Billboard, and nearly cracked the top 20 on Cash Box by late February. "Night Time" was also a big hit at the Dell, winding up in the top 50 on my list of top Dell songs.

With it's driving beat and macho lyrics, “Night Time” was one of those records that got me psyched, pumped up, and made me feel unstoppable. The song helped me to put on my game face at the Dell, thereby saving me from getting pounded on a nightly basis.

A relaxing change of pace is offered by the Strangeloves on the B side of "Night Time."

“Rhythm of Love” is a refreshingly mellow and subdued performance. This killer bee steadily grew on me over
the years until I found myself enjoying it as much as
"Night Time."

The Strangeloves hooked up with a popular girl group to record one of the freshest and most durable fun-in-the-sun classics of the 60s, a record that did for the summer of 1965 what “Summer Time USA” by the Pixies Three did for the summer of ’64. More on that in my next post.

Have a Shady day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You talkin' to me?