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The Jaguars

The Jaguars – Rock With the Jaguars

Koko Mojo Records – KM-EP-113
The Jaguars – Rock It Davy Rock It – The Jaguars – The City Zoo (Baby Baby Baby) / The Jaguars with Patty Ross – The Big Bear – Chavez and Chaney – Picadilly Rose

The Jaguars - Rock With the Jaguars

The Jaguars were a vocal group consisting of Herman Chaney (lead), Valeric Poliuto (tenor), Manuel Chavez (baritone) and Charles Middleton (bass). Before being the Jaguars, they went under the name of The Shadows and after that, The Miracles. One of their particularity was to be one of the first interracial bands featuring Hispanic, Afro-American and white (from Italian origins) members.
They performed doo-wop with a strong Rhythm’n’blues feel. Both Rock It, Davy, Rock It and The City Zoo are solid and enjoyable tunes. The band also provided backing vocals for Patty Ross (daughter of big-band trumpeter Bob Ross) on The Big Bear. Finally, in 1959, Chavez and Chaney recorded under the name of Frankie & Johnny for Sabrina and by 1960, under the name Chavez & Chaney (though later reissued as Frankie & Johnny by Liberty). Piccadilly Rose is from that session and is a solid twangy rocker.

Fred “Virgil“ Turgis

Lil Mo and the Dynaflos


Lil Mo and the Dynaflos - Get Up and Dance
Lil Mo and the Dynaflos – Get Up and Dance

Lil Mo and the Dynaflos – Get Up and Dance

Rhythm Bomb RBR 5829 {2016}

Get Up And Dance – Hands Off  – Spellbound – At My Front Door – You Belong To Me – She’s The Most – Miss Magician – Zoop – Shut That Door – Why Don’t You Answer – Closer To The Aisle – Bop, Shake, Boogie – Have Love Will Travel – All Night Long

I won’t try to fool you: though I enjoy listenin’ to some doo-wop from time to time, this is not my main thing and I’m far from being a specialist of the genre. But specialist or not, I know when good music come right across my ears to go straight to my feet. Lil’ Mo and the Dynaflos are a 8-piece little combo with four singers led by Lil’ Mo and his very peculiar and original voice and the usual drums-bass-guitar plus a sax. What you have is basically Italo doo-wop mixed with some early vocal Rhythm’n’ blues (and a bit of rockin’ too). As I said the vocals is amazing with very tight arrangement and the backing band does more than just backing if you see what I mean, working closely with the singers.
Half of the songs are covers (The El Dorados’ At My Front Door, You Belong To Me – that I knew first by Gene Vincent, the Five Keys’s She’s the Most, the Charts’ Zoop, The Maharajahs’s Why Dont You Answer and Richard Berry’s Have Love Will Travel and Joe Houston’s instrumental All Night Long) and the remaining titles are written or co written by Lil Mo (Morris Everett) and Cliff Quan, one of the other vocalist.

It’s been recorded at Wallyphonic Studio by Wally Hersom of Big Sandy fame and the sound is as warm and authentic as one can expect.

All those elements contribute to make of this album one rockin’ little gem, that’ll make you jive in your living room, put a smile on your face and simply fill you appetite for good music. What can I say? Buy it!

Jeff Potter – Great Big Beat


Jeff Potter - Great Big Beat
Jeff Potter – Great Big Beat

El Toro Records – ETCD 8010
She’s Got A Great Big Beat – All Right With Me – When The Moon Comes Up – Golden Roll – I Can’t Believe – She’s So Explosive – Time On My Hands – Somebody Loves You – High Octane – Kinda Lovin’Man – Let’s Go To The Moon – Modern Busy World – Get Some Rest – Some Of The Time – The Romp

Jeff Potter (who plays piano, guitar, drums, organ) with the help of a cast of fine musicians (including Betsy-Dawn Williams and guitarist extraordinaire Graham Tichy) offers here a very good self penned album full of piano led rock’n’roll (“High Octane”, “She’s Got A Great Big Beat”), doo wop (“She’s So Explosive” with excellent bass vocal from Tichy),ballad (“I Can’t Believe”, “It’s A Busy World”) and a couple of instrumental thrown in for good measure “Golden Roll” (a tune with a strong Bill Dogget’s Honky Tonk feel on which Potter plays organ) and the rockin’ (with a 60’s vibe) “the Romp”. You can hear the influences of Jerry Lee Lewis (of course), Fats Domino, Buddy Holly (on “Some Of The Time”) and more modern bands like The Blasters. Truly a great rock’n’roll album.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Velvet Candles (the)


The Velvet Candles - The Story Of Our Love
The Velvet Candles – The Story Of Our Love

The Velvet Candles – The Story Of Our Love

ElToro Records
The Story Of Our Love / Love Bells / Da Doo / That’s How I Feel / The Image Of A Girl / Forget About Me / Robot Stomp / Why Denise Grew Up / Lonely Days Lonely Nights / Take A Chance On Love / My Spare Time / Footsteps / Runaround Baby / There’s A Girl.

The Velvet Candles come from Spain and are Mamen Salvador, Agusti Burriel and Eduardo Peregrin. Backed by a solid band they play late 50’s/early 60’s white/italo doo-wop.
Since my doo- wop knowledge is mostly made of compilation I won’t go much into details telling you that this song sounds like this or this other one reminds of (write hear the name of the artist you want). I can only trust my ears and they tell me that this album is pleasant, very well sung and very well orchestrated (some songs with strings arrangements).
Next to covers from the catalog of the Safaris, the Fabulaires, Dante & the Evergreens you’ll find some solid originals like Robot Stomp and one song written for them by the great Mario Cobo. The cd is very varied: the three of them singing lead, the songs go from the fully orchestrated “The Story Of Our Love” to the accapella of “Why Denise Grew” also including a song in Spanish.
Fans of the genre can buy it with confidence.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Speedos

the Speedos - It's Only Rock'n'roll
the Speedos – It’s Only Rock’n’roll

The Speedos – It’s Only Rock’n’Roll

PART 647.001 [2010]
Ghostriders ~ Believe me ~ Remember then ~ From the bottom of my heart ~ Sandy ~ You’re driving me crazy ~ Cotton fields ~ I’m not a juvenile delinquent ~ A Zippe Di Zoom ~ Fly me to the moon ~ Come go with me ~ Lovely night ~ Rag Mop ~ I just want to know ~ Sh’Boom ~ West Virginia (Country Roads) ~ The Diary

Part has the good idea to reissue the Speedos catalog. First released in 1989, It’s Only Rock’n’roll was until this reissue only available on vinyl and I suppose long out of print.
This quartet could be described as the German cousins of the British Keytones.
They play doo-wop harmonies with a bit of jive on a rockabilly background. There’s even some hillbilly with their uptempo cover of Cotton Fields.
Like numerous debut album, it’s not flawless, but the few minor imperfections are well compensated by the freshness of their approach.
The repertoire goes from Frankie Lymon (I’m Not A Juvenile Delinquent) to the Del-Vikings (Come Go With Me) or Frank Sinatra (Fly Me To The Moon) with a couple of originals too written by lead singer/guitarist Olaf Prinz. On a couple of songs the line-up (guitar / doublebass / drums / saxophone) is augmented by Götz Alsmann on piano for a fuller sound.
As an added bonus,the band’s debut ep from 1987 – featuring a self penned song (I Just Want To Know) and three covers: Sh-Boom, John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads and a rockabilly-doo-wop rendition of Neil Sedaka’s The Diary – is included. Recommended.


the Speedos - A Dreamin' Life
the Speedos – A Dreamin’ Life

The Speedos – A Dreamin’ Life

King Hat [1992] – reissue Part [2010]
I call it bop – Duke of earl – Jungle book – I adore you – Quiet whiskey – Believe me – A dreamin´life – Dance town – Caledonia – Blackboard jungle – Forever – Hey you

A Dreamin’ Life is the band’s second album, and to get to the point, their best. It takes more or less the same ingredients than their debut but both the sound and the band are better.
It kicks off with “I Call It Bop” that wouldn’t be out of place on the Stargazers’ debut album. Next is the accapella doo-wop “Duke Of Earl” with top vocals and harmonies. They also do great justice to Louis Prima’s Jungle Book. “I Adore You” is a sweet ballad with a bluesy edge. The pace changes with Wynonie Harris’ Quiet Whiskey, a solid jiver also treated in a Stargazers style. Believe Me features Gotz Allssman and is a re-recording of a song from their first album in a more accomplished version. The title track is a soft rockabilly. “Caldonia” is the sole weak point of the album, but it’s quickly forgotten with Blackboard Jungle a great rock’n’roll. “Forever” is another great moment in the Keytones style while Hey You concludes the album on an uptempo note.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Speedos – Olaf Prinz, Bernd Eltze, Volker Naves & Frank Johland