One of the main reasons why I started this station was to help people rediscover some of the musical gems from yesteryear that they never got a chance to hear originally or that they totally forgot about over time. What makes this objective even cooler is when a musician from the golden age of rock n' roll hears my station, requests one of his tunes, and tells me to keep up the great work!
This happened for the first time late last week. I had been in contact with a musician's relative before(the late jazz great Paul Hucklebuck Williams), but never directly with a musician. I heard from John Rondell(also known by the last name of Beilfuss), a Milwaukee guitarist who wrote a song for his group The Portraits called "Runaround Girl." It came out in December of '67 and was paired with "Over The Rainbow," which some of you may recall as a top 20 hit for The Demensions in the summer of '60. The group had cool vocal harmonies in the style of The Vogues, Jay And The Americans, The Buckinghams, The Happenings, and The 4 Seasons. They also had some occasional nods to garage; I pointed out to John that the intro guitar segment of "Runaround Girl" had some similarities to the one you hear at the beginning of The 4 Seasons' "Let's Hang On." They were on the Sidewalk label, which was also at times the home of The Stone Poneys, The Mugwumps, Chad Stuart, and Terry Stafford of "Suspicion" fame. Unfortunately, the record never broke nationally, but it was a top 20 hit in the Salt Lake City, Utah market.
I dig stuff like this, so I recommend checking out a website that Portraits member Gary Myers set up where you can order a CD of released and rare recordings that the group made: The Portraits 1966 - 1968
And in the meantime, keep an ear out for "Runaround Girl" here on The Retro Attic - 50s To 80s Rare Oldies!
I'm trying to build up the courage to ask the next musician that contacts me for an online interview/chat. If I can help promote a long-forgotten musician from the days of vinyl and 8 tracks, then I couldn't think of anything more satisfying in being an oldies lover(except perhaps owning a sealed first state Beatles butcher cover - never mind, a musician interview is definitely more realistic!).
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