Sunday, April 13, 2008


I can't remember how i first discovered this tune, but I know that I loved it immediately. And why not? This group from Indianapolis, Indiana, which had some earlier releases under the name the Four Wheels, was more or less seen as the Beach Boys of the Midwest. They even opened for the Beach Boys several times when they came to Indianapolis. They also performed on tours with Bobby Goldsboro, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Herman's Hermits. Between 1964 and 1967, they released several 45s as both the Four Wheels and The Boys Next Door. They eventually split after lead singer and guitarist Steve Lester decided he wanted to move to the west coast and become a session musician in the psychedelia music scene, while drummer Jim Koss and keyboardist Skeet Bushor wanted to perform R&B music.

The group's music remained relatively unknown outside of Indiana, despite having several national releases under both of their performing names, the Boys Next Door and the Four Wheels. It also didn't hurt that this record in particular was produced by Bright Tunes Productions, which was the Tokens' production company. This record definitely should've been a big record nationwide, but it seems that it's been all but forgotten, especially with its only cd release being an out of print Boys Next Door compilation from Sundazed. Perhaps some enterprising record executive will see and hear this blog and get this song out to the public again? Only time will tell...

Sunday, April 6, 2008


This record is one I have enjoyed quite a bit. In fact, both sides of it are great. This side is the one that made it to #115 on Billboard (and judging by the x's on the label was the one that the radio staion it was sent to had picked to become the hit), but it was originally slated to be the B side of the record. The flipside, a song called Don't Separate Us, is more of an uptempo pop song, while this side has sort of a country feel to it. Of course, the record was produced by legendary country music producer Jerry Kennedy, which accounts for the country feel of this side. It didn't hurt that Jerry Kennedy was also Linda Brannon's husband.
However, I think the flip side would've been better plugged to top 40 radio stations while this side should've been left to a popular country singer to record. After listening to this a few times, I could easily picture Skeeter Davis doing a version of this song, however she never did record it. Curiously, Madeline Bell did record a version of it in 1967, which has more of a pop sound to it, but to me it will always sound like a country pop record no matter who is performing it. Perhaps somewhere down the line, I will end up spotlighting the flip side of this disc. Neither side seems to have been reissued anywhere, which is a shame. If any record company execs read this, put these sides out on cd!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


What a great record this is! I discovered it on the B side of his non-charting "I Love Everything About You," which was his 5th of 7 singles released on the Philips label. 9 of the 14 songs that made it to Philips label singles were never part of Bobby's only LP for the label, this tune included. It certainly deserved more of a chance, in my opinion. Jerry Butler first recorded the song on his 1966 lp called Soul Artistry, but it's very possible that Bobby's had been recorded first, and held off as being a single release, finally making it out in 1967.
If you dig this record, go out and find a copy or six of it, send emails to Universal music and demand that they finally put it out on cd, and if it ever gets a legitimate reissue, go pick up a copy of whatever it appears on, and buy copies for all of your friends. This one is too good to pass up. If you dig this tune as much as I do, you may find yourself playing it over and over many times (which is not really all that good for a polystyrene 45...).

Thursday, April 3, 2008


The Bleus were formed in Gadsden, Alabama in 1965. The members during this time were Tony Lumpkin, Larry Sivley, Paul Smith, Terry Moore, Cliff Blackwood and Dana Loconto. Their first major break came when they won a Battle of the Bands contest, beating out an up and coming band called Hourglass, which would soon become the Allman Brothers band.
Their second release, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself, was released on the Amy record label and was the first of two releases for the label. Wonder Where The Mellow Went is the flip side of this release. A couple of releases later, they found themselves signed to the Diamond record label for one single, before the label was purchased by the Certron corporation, where they appeared on one more release, credited to the Electric Hand Band.
The band broke up in 1971 but reformed 30 years later with band members Lumpkin, Sivley, Smith, Moore, Loconto, and Bobby Sproul (who replaced Cliff Blackwood in 1968). The band has since split up again and the band members I have tried to contact never responded to my messages. Fortunately some bands have a lot of information available on the internet, such as with this band, and others, like my first blog posting, will have none whatsoever. I will, however, post whatever I can find about any given band, but will welcome additions or corrections, especially if they come from the original artists themselves. Sit back and enjoy this great slice of pop music from 1968, Wonder Where The Mellow Went.


The purpose of this blog is to allow me to share whatever 45 in my collection is getting heavy rotation on my turntable at any given time. This means I could add one a day, or one a month...
The 45 currently getting a bit of play from my record collection currently is this interesting cover of the Beatles' tune, When I Get Home, done by the Back Alley on Date records from 1968. This appears to be their only release, and I know nothing about the band (as will probably be the case with most records I post to this blog). This group may have been channeling Vanilla Fudge while recording this's easy to imagine, if you forget that it is actually a Beatles song. The B side of this record is a tune called Soda Pop Man, which has been comped onto a couple of albums, The Bottomless Pit Volume 1 and Sir Psych Presents: Volume 5.