The Ghost Hopping Surfmen

The Surfmen - The Ghost Hop

mp3: The Surfmen - The Ghost Hop

Another Halloween tune, a specter inspired instrumental from California's The Surfmen. The Ghost Hop is the flip to their most popular song, the slow and dreamy Paradise Cove. But, this is the side that has stood the test of time. It was apparently considered but passed over for the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Not long after The Ghost Hop was released in 1962, just as instrumental surf rock was gaining momentum, the group's guitarist and the guy who wrote today's selection, Ray Hunt, left The Surfmen. He was replaced, but the same fate soon followed for all other members apart from the drummer. Since they were pretty much a new group anyway, they decided to rename themselves The Lively Ones. In 1963 The Lively Ones released Surf Rider, which did make it onto the Pulp Fiction soundtrack thirty odd years later.

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Tarantula and Black Widow

The Tarantulas - Tarantula The Tarantulas - Black Widow

mp3: The Tarantulas - Tarantula
mp3: The Tarantulas - Black Widow

Here are a couple of spooky surf singles, perfect moody music for your Halloween playlists. The Tarantulas' eponymous Tarantula and its deadly Black Widow flip were recorded at Fernwood studio - the garage behind Slim Wallace's home on Fernwood Drive - in Memphis in 1960 and released the following year on Atlantic Records.

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The Transylvania Twist II

Heavy Sugar Halloween 2014

This year Heavy Sugar are teaming up with Brighton's Stay Sick to bring you London's heaviest and sickest rock'n'roll Halloween party ever. Featuring ghouls-a-go-go The Meyer Dancers and a chill-filled costume competition with petrifying prizes, this will be a fright night of epic proportions. I'll be spinning terrifying tunes from spooky 7" singles alongside DJs Fritz, Neil Sick and Chris Sick. So, dust off (or dust up!) your creepiest costume and head to The Alibi in Dalston on Friday October 31st.

All the devilish details can be found here:

Remember, if you've got it, haunt it!

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Turn It Off

Dean & Jean - Turn It Off.JPG

mp3: Dean & Jean - Turn It Off

This record is from a seemingly wholesome middle-aged male/female duo, much in the style of Les Paul & Mary Ford, Mickey & Sylvia, Tarheel Slim & Little Ann, the list goes on. Today's couple are Walton "Dean" Young and Brenda Lee "Jean" Jones, whom I mentioned briefly a few years back in a Tommy Tucker Hi-Heel Sneakers post. I had Brenda's surname as Melson, but maybe she got married. These two are also credited as songwriters for The Majestic, which was the original a-side to Dion and The Belmonts' The Wanderer. Both groups had an association with the Laurie label in the '60s. Turn It Off was released by Ember Records in 1959. It features some great sax, which sounds really familiar but I can't quite place it. The whole song is reminiscent of The Coaster's Charlie Brown, which was released earlier that year.

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I Want Some Of That

Kai-Ray - I Want Some Of That.JPG

mp3: Kai-Ray - I Want Some Of That

This is a real wild one. Kai-Ray was the pseudonym of Richard A. Caire, a singer, songwriter and guitarist who moved from Wichita, Kansas to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He released I Want Some Of That on Lodestar Records in 1961 and within a year it had also been issued by Brite Star and Shooting Star. I don't know if there's a connection between these labels, but they all do have star in their name. With savage chanting, bongos and some solid rockin' country twang, this is a song that fits a lot into three minutes. The Trashmen of Surfin' Bird fame took their name from the flipside, Trashman's Blues, but I'm still taking in the immensity of the a-side, so I'll leave it at that for now.


Tequila Radio Show

Tequila is the tipple for this installment of the Diddy Wah radio saga. We hear version upon version, soundalike back-to-back with soundalike of The Champs' Mexican flavoured instrumental hit of 1958. Of course, we also sample the original and The Originals, along with more than a dash of The Champs' back catalogue. This is binge listening so if you're used to enjoying instrumental rock'n'roll in moderation, the best bet is to avoid operating heavy machinery until you've checked the effects.


Don, Dewey, Justin, Bim and Bam

Don And Dewey - Justine Don And Dewey - Bim Bam

mp3: Don and Dewey - Justine
mp3: Don and Dewey - Bim Bam

A pair of wild rockers from a pair of wild rockers. Don Harris and Dewey Terry were an energetic Californian vocal duo who paved the way for the Everly Brothers, Sam and Dave, the Righteous Brothers and others. This double-hitter was released in 1958 on Specialty Records. Little Richard put out much of his incredible material on the same label, including a string of hits that focussed on a girls name - Lucille, Long Tall Sally, Jenny Jenny, Good Golly Miss Molly, etc. - which certainly would have inspired Justine. Bim Bam is part of the canon of great nonsensical rock'n'roll song titles. Of course, like so many I write about, Don and Dewey didn't receive the musical dues they deserved in terms of popular success in their lifetimes. Still, their music is close to the best of its kind, which is certainly something as the competition is tough.

In the '70s Don "Sugarcane" Harris reinvented himself as a rock violinist whose credits include memorably playing on Willie The Pimp with Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, and he's also on many of John Mayall's records.

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