Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fun With Gary Lewis and the Playboys

Hello, hello! Winter has returned to southern Illinois, with temperatures barely above freezing. With this in mind, I thought why not have some fun today and post a couple of songs that'll have you thinking about dancing, the beach, warmer weather or whatever. Everybody knows Gary Lewis and the Playboys for their big mid-1960's hits "This Diamond Ring", "Everybody Loves A Clown" and so on. Not exactly heavy stuff but pleasant enough radio fodder, nonetheless. Well, here are a couple of their non-hits that are at least slightly more rocked-up than what you might be used to from the boys.

Doin' The Flake A little research (and I do mean a little) indicates that this disc was a special mail in offer in connection with Kellogg's. You know the drill. "Send in three box tops from Kellogg's Corn Flakes and we'll send you your free Flake Disc", or something to that effect. And it winds up being worth the effort, with "Doin' The Flake" sporting a big beat, some cool organ and even a nifty guitar break. Yeah, the kids hadda be "Doin' The Flake" all around their cereal bowls clear across America.

Little Miss Go-Go Wouldn't you know it, I was introduced to this one over on the flipside of the record above, where it shares billing with the mega-hit "This Diamond Ring". It doesn't have to fight for space here though, as the b-side of yet another chartbuster, "Count Me In". We get treated to still more upbeat, danceable rock and roll, with a big nod to the Beach Boys. I really like the organ part at the beginning. Snuff Garrett produced both records. Leon Russell co-wrote and arranged them both. I wouldn't be surprised if he's heard somewhere on them, too.

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