Snap Your Fingers: The Barry Records Story 1960-1962

Artist: Various Artists
Format: 3CD
Bar-code: 5060259820441
Cat No: DAY3CD044


Barry Records was a Canadian record label formed by George Keane in 1960 as a sister label to Quality Records. It was based in Toronto, Ontario, and was an outlet mostly for recordings made in the United States but also a few home-grown Canadian acts.


The tale of B Bumble and the Stingers is a tangled and interesting one. They were a group of American session musicians whose most famous track is ‘Nut Rocker’, based on Tchaikovsky’s overture to ‘Nutcracker’. Record producer Kim Fowley obtained the copyright for an arrangement of the piece and gave it to pianist HB Barnum to record. It was then released under the name of Jack B Nimble and the Quicks on the small De Rio record label. When B Bumble and the Stingers’ record producer heard it he persuaded Fowley to let his band record it.


The Stingers included saxophonist Plas Johnson (best known for his playing on the Pink Panther theme) and Al Hazan, who played a special ‘tack piano’ – a modified upright piano with tacks on the hammers producing a distinctive ‘honky-tonk’ sound. Hazan is often known as the ‘Mystery Music Man of the Sixties’ because of his habit of using alternative names for his recording performances; he had at least eighteen different pseudonyms. Hazan only played the piano part on the classic ‘Nut Rocker’ because regular Stingers’ pianist Ernie Freeman failed to show up on the day. The rare original recording by Jack B Nimble is included here in our compilation, along with B Bumble and the Stingers’ versions of ‘Caravan’ and ‘Apple Knocker’ (a souped-up version of Rossini’s ‘William Tell’ overture).


Born in 1940, David Gates became extremely well-known in the Seventies for his recordings with Bread; eleven of their singles charted in the US Billboard charts during the years 1970-1973 including ‘Make It With You’, ‘If’ and ‘Baby I’m-a Want You’. Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, David was a child prodigy and played with many local bands while he was still in his teens. When he was seventeen his band backed Chuck Berry, and soon after that he had his first local hit with ‘Jo-Baby’, a song he wrote for his future wife. A succession of minor hits followed, including ‘The Happiest Man Alive’/’The Road That Leads To Love’ which is included here.


Many famous artists such as Gates began their recording career with tracks bearing little or no relationship to their better-known body of work. Another example is legendary blues-rock guitarist Johnny Winter, who became famous in the late Sixties and early Seventies for his high-energy albums as well as for his production of tracks by veteran blues guitarist Muddy Waters. Here on this compilation we see where he started out. ‘Voodoo Twist’ and ‘Ease My Pain’ were written by Winter and the prominent saxophone is typical of the time. It is only when Johnny starts trading solos with the sax in ‘Voodoo Twist’ that we realise we have a great guitarist in the making.


Johnny and the Hurricanes were formed from a bunch of schoolfriends in Toledo, Ohio in 1957. They signed their first record contract in 1959 and had a huge hit with ‘Crossfire’, a track recorded in a disused cinema to provide the echo. Like B Bumble and the Stingers, they specialised in rock’n’roll versions of traditional tunes such as ‘Down Yonder’, ‘Red River Rock’ and ‘Reveille Rock’. Their Top 3 UK hit ‘Rocking Goose’, from September 1960, featured the sax of leader Johnny Paris imitating a bird call.


In December 1962 they played the Star Club in Hamburg, where their support act was a little-known band by the name of the Beatles – a fact Brian Epstein and the boys were immensely proud of and used in their publicity at the time. Incidentally, Johnny and the Hurricanes can claim a record unmatched even by the likes of the Drifters, the Coasters or the Four Seasons; Paris’s widow claimed that, at various times in the Hurricanes’ fifty-year career, at least three hundred musicians played under the name.


Patti LaBelle, born Patricia Holte-Edwards in 1944, was the lead singer of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles who had some minor hits during the Sixties. They shortened their name to LaBelle in the Seventies and superstardom arrived when they released their iconic disco track ‘Lady Marmalade’. This became a worldwide smash hit in 1974. Back in 1962, however, the group recorded ‘Tear After Tear’ where Patti, although a little submerged in the mix, gives ample proof of her vocal power while still in her late teens.


There are many other gems to be found on this compilation, including BB King’s ‘Hully Gully Twist’ and Dionne Warwick’s ‘Don’t Make Me Over’, but this selection from Barry Records presents a fascinating time capsule of what arrived in Canada from down south in the States during the early Sixties.

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CD 1

1. Snap Your Fingers – Joe Henderson
2. Nut Rocker – Jack ‘B’ Nimble & The Quicks
3. The Road That Leads to Love – David Gates
4. Rocking Goose – Johnny & The Hurricanes
5. Operator – Gladys Knight & The Pips
6. Hide And Go Seek (Pt. 1) – Bunker Hill
7. Midnite Creep – Al Bruno
8. Talkin’ No Trash – Chuck Reed
9. It’s Unbelievable – The Larks
10. Stormin’ – The Checkers
11. Don’t Make Me Over – Dionne Warwick
12. Soothe Me – The Sims Twins
13. Bustin’ Surfboards – The Tornadoes
14. Better Tell Him No – The Starlets
15. I Need Your Loving – Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford
16. Angel Of My Heart – The Echoes
17. Richie – Gloria Dennis
18. Night Train – The Viscounts
19. Voodoo Twist – Johnny Winter
20. It’s A Long Way To St. Louis – R. Dean Taylor
21. Don’t Ever Leave Me – Bob & Earl
22. Summer’s Comin’ – Ronnie Dawson
23. Hully Gully Twist – B.B. King
24. Nite Owl – The Dukays
25. The Town I Live In – McKinley Mitchell

CD 2

1. Peanut Butter – The Marathons
2. A Thousand Stars – Kathy Young & The Innocents
3. Apple Knocker – B. Bumble & The Stingers
4. I’m A-Lookin’For Blue Eyes – Cyd And Cheri
5. Ease My Pain – Johnny Winter
6. Marie – The Mus-Twangs
7. Tear After Tear – Patti La Belle
8. Goin’ Home To Memphis – Barry Boyd & The Frantiks
9. Brand X – The Devrons
10. Meet Me At The Twisting Place – Johnnie Morisette
11. I Smiled Yesterday – Dionne Warwick
12. Chicken Necks – Don & Juan
13. Solitaire – The Embers
14. I’m Tossin’ And Turnin’ Again – Bobby Lewis
15. Cookin’ – Al Casey Combo
16. Don’t You Worry – Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford
17. The Duchess Of Earl – Bobbie Smith & The Dream Girls
18. 24 Hours Of Loneliness – Bonnie Lou
19. The White Cliffs Of Dover – The Robins
20. Electrocution – The Esquires
21. Baby Doll – Dean Barlow
22. Sway – Bobby Rydell
23. I Wish That We Were Married – Ronnie And The Hi-Lites
24. Shadrach – The Viscounts
25. No More – Uptones

CD 3

1. Alley Oop – Dante & The Evergreens
2. At The High School Dance – R. Dean Taylor
3. Jivin’ Around – Al Casey Combo
4. Pony Train – Titas Turner
5. Good Time Baby – Bobby Rydell
6. The Happiest Man Alive – David Gates
7. Caravan – B. Bumble & The Stingers
8. I’ll Trust In You – Gladys Knight & The Pips
9. The Drag – Jimmy McCracklin
10. Wiggle Wobble – Les Cooper
11. After Loving You – Joe Henderson
12. Ginnie Bell – Paul Dino
13. Twilight Twist – The Checkers
14. I Lied To My Heart – The Enchanters
15. Shimmy, Shimmy Walk, Pt. 1 – The Megatons
16. Down Yonder – Johnny & The Hurricanes
17. If You Can’t Say Something Nice – David Box
18. Our Parents Talked It Over – Kathy Young
19. A Man’s Gotta Be A Man – Bobby Lewis
20. Lover’s Island – The Blue Jays
21. Two Fools Are We – Don & Juan
22. You’re The Reason – Bobby Edwards
23. Slow Walk – The Midnighters
24. Satisfied Part 1 – The Cashmeres
25. My Heart Stood Still – Bernadette Carroll