I recently added this record to my rotation; I liked it a lot, so I decided to track down some information on it. It turned out that ever since 2004, no one on the net seemed to know anything about this group. I think I have the puzzle pieces all in place, so here goes my theory:
"Hey Girl" by Florida group Panhandle(Happy Tiger Records 523) bubbled under at #122 for 1 week on November 22, 1969. The group name apparently came about due to the songwriter's Texas and Florida connections. The song was written by Galen Ray, who was with a Texas garage band called The Checkmates. In 1965, The Checkmates released "Hey Girl" b/w "All The Time Now" on the Ruff Records label. "All The Time Now" is also the flip of the Happy Tiger record. Both versions of "Hey Girl" sound very similar, but there is a difference. The Ruff Records version is straight-ahead jangly guitar pop in the style of The Byrds and The Beau Brummels. The Happy Tiger version adds in some horns, which in 1969 was the "in" thing(think of Thee Prophets' "Playgirl" as an example). The time lengths are almost identical(maybe a 2 second difference).
Ruff Records was run by Ray Ruff, who would later join the staff of Happy Tiger Records as an engineer and a producer. So as you can see, we had one happy family here who apparently stayed in touch for a few years. From what I can gather, Galen knew a fellow musician who lived on the Georgia/Florida border, so that is probably how he ended up in Florida.
Panhandle would release 1 more 45 on Happy Tiger 532 in 1970("Everyday" b/w "Tears Come With Forgetting You"). I have yet to hear it, but I look forward to it.
Thanks goes out to http://www.garagehangover.com for leading me in the right direction. Keep an ear out for this great pop gem here on The Retro Attic - 50s To 80s Rare Oldies!