After about a year and a half of digging, Psych of the South presents the Lost Souls of Arkansas.
Like that of any quest, you have triumphs, tragedies, heroes, villains, and in this case, many old wise men. This quest began with another garage compilation CD. After searching for some moody garage tracks, I ordered Arf! Arf!'s "No No No" CD. While reviewing the CD booklet, I noticed something intriguing... Included in the liner notes were scans of the original 45 labels of songs featured on the CD. One label to one song made Psych of the South a reality. The scanned label of The Lost Souls' 45, "Lost Love" on Leopard Records had an irregularity: the remnants of an ink stamp with a business name and address impressed on the label's surface. This stamp listed an address in Jacksonville, Arkansas, my hometown. As far as I knew, Jacksonville was home to no 60s garage band. The question resounded in my mind, "Who were The Lost Souls?" Only after a few well-targeted phone calls, I discovered many of the band members were only a call away, some literally living just down the road. Before approaching The Lost Souls, I recounted the story to my sister, who quickly noted we should find a camera and film my conversation with the band members. Soon my best friend signed onto the crazy task of joining us for my hunt of Arkansas' garage music unknowns. That idea quickly blossomed into a full-fledged CD compilation and documentary film effort. I started locating band members of Arkansas' garage music past, filming interviews at each stop. Inevitably, each contact brought five or more names for follow-up. Soon, I was managing a small enterprise of local garage band research. Records, acetates, masters, photos, press clippings, and anything else imaginable were being resurfaced in our efforts, each hinging on the edge of time, nearly destroyed, nearly lost...but not forgotten. It became our mission to find as many artists and great records to document their story and music. Lost Souls Vol. 1 is the synthesis of our efforts, and most of all, the formal declaration of my passion for garage music. I was part of my own Arkansas garage band of sorts in the early 1990's. We dreamed of getting heard and busting out to national success. It eluded us like so many others. The dream these artists pursued in the 60s was the same I pursued in the 90s. This is dedicated to everyone who ever had that dream. It may be 40 years later, but somebody's listening now!
1. The Blue & the Gray - Don't Send Me No Flowers - (Donna Weiss) - Zay-Dee Records - ZD 207. Here we have a slab of primordial garage punk from a mystery group in early 1966. We get a clue by talking with the band that recorded Zay-Dee 208, Suspension of Belief (track 24). Don’t Send Me No Flowers was originally done by The Breakers from Memphis.
2. The Yardleys - The Light Won't Shine - (Butch Allen) - Foundation Records - FS-100. Here’s a record by another mysterious group which may have come from the Pine Bluff area. This organ-led mover has a loose feel that reverberates throughout this comp. Sometimes, it rolls at such a kinetic pace that it threatens to spin out of control. This record was pressed at Wayne Raney’s studio in Concord, Arkansas. Wayne was a harmonica legend that appeared on the Grand Ole Opry and was also famous for selling millions of harmonicas with his partner, Lonnie Glosson, using radio ads. The Yardleys have another great record on the Yardley label.
3. The Problems of Tyme - Back of My Mind - (Doyle George) - Country Color - CS 405. This group hailed from the tiny town of Manila in Northeast Arkansas in 1969. These guys recorded for Sam Higdon’s Country Color label out of Osceola. Higdon was a DJ on KOSE and a country and gospel recording artist that opened his own label to accommodate regional artists. This record was most likely recorded at the long gone Manila radio station where, according to his son Jessey Higdon, Sam was known to record local bands.
4. Barefacts - Tell Me - (O. & T. Shirley & L. Smith) - Country Color - CS 402. A mystery group consisting of three members of the Shirley family. My best guess is that this group hailed from the Monette, Leachville, Manila area of NE Arkansas. Notice the “Drummer Girl, Gimmie A Beat” intro. The odd mix of the tune draws you into the manic beat and bassline that drives this R&B Rocker.
5. Xciters - Upsetter - (Bob Yerby) - Jaguar Records - JS 200. A wild group from Clarksville who was only together for a few months around the turn of 1966-67. Bob Yerby, in his early 20s at the time, formed the rest of the band from Clarksville High School students. After a show at the College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Yerby took the boys across the state on an all night run to Concord where they cut this primal garage dancer at Wayne Raney’s studio. Bill Case, the singer and lead guitarist, remembers frisbeeing most of the records into the local dump, unknowingly ensuring their obscure status.
6. The Marion Deaton Group - Apple of My Eye - (Roy Head) - ANBU - 100. Marion Deaton was a well-known drummer throughout Arkansas. He was in The Shades of Clarendon in the early 60's, formed with Will “Pop” Jones, famous pianist for Ronnie Hawkins. After a stint inIllinois as the house band at a rock club, the Shades split, and Marion moved back home where he formed the Marion Deaton Group. This was Marion’s debut vocal from behind the drums. The record was made in Memphis at the HI Records studio ca. 1966 and features a raw rockin' version of an obscure Roy Head song. Dig the fuzz!
7. Gene Barnett - Hey come On Now -(Gene Barnett) - ORK Records - OS-34. Gene Barnett started his musical career playing bass for Bobby Lee Trammell shortly after Trammell's hit record, “Arkansas Twist” was recorded. Barnett moved-on to play with Kenny Owens, a local singer who had a large following in the Jonesboro area. Gene Barnett recorded with most of Kenny Owens' group for the session in Jonesboro at Joe Lee's Variety Recording Studio, home of Alley Records, in April 1969. The style of the record came from the influence of the British sounds paired with the Rock 'n Roll that thrived in the NE Arkansas clubs in the 60s. Hey Come On Now" is the only song that Barnett ever wrote, and it's a great one! The record was released on the ORK label, Kenny Owens' initials backwards. Barnett appeared on Owens' TV variety show on KAIT Jonesboro in the late 60's.
8. Barefacts - Leaf on a Tree - (L. Mosley & T. Shirley) - Country Color - CS 403. A deep groove fills this R&B fueled rocker that bubbles under the surface. Another selection from Sam Higdon's Country Color label out of Osceola.
9. The Shades featuring Bob Fly - Hit It - (Bob Fly) - Country Color - CS 404. This mystery group on Sam Higdon’s Country Color label summoned a cryptic soul number with an ethereal vocal that utilizes the falsetto to sublime effect. This group may have recorded at Joe Lee’s studio in Jonesboro and pressed the record at Rimrock in Concord, AR.
10. The Roustabouts - Just You and Me - (Danny Hendricks) - Jaguar Records - 80746. A Fort Smith group that recorded at Steve Jaggars’ studio in Little Rock in July 1968. Here's a haunted garage-a-billy tune with songwriter Danny Hendricks on vocals. Danny was an oil field worker, or "roustabout." The band performed throughout the Western part of the state and even had a stint as the house band at Dogpatch, the now defunct children's theme park that featured Li'l Abner characters in Northern Arkansas. The group was active until the late 1980s.
11. Michael-Troy and the Pharoahs - Even Though It's Wrong - (unknown) -Jaggars Recording Studio Acetate. This loose, haunted tune was taken from an acetate recorded at Jaggars Recording Studio in Little Rock. The only clue pointing to the provenance of the record is a note about A&R for Le Cam records scribbled on the sleeve. Maybe a demo recording for the Le Cam label. The mystery persists....
12. The Vycounts - Can't You Tell - (David Morehead & Don Pritchett) Universal Artists Records - U.A.R. 1004. The Vycounts originated from Texarkana, AR and had some success as the opening act for The Newbeats of “Bread and Butter” fame. The Vycounts were regulars at Joey’s, a teen club in Texarkana, where The Newbeats A&R rep spotted the group and asked them to sign on for the tour. He helped the band get other opening slots for Paul Revere and the Raiders and The Animals when they came to Texarkana. This record was released in June ‘67 on the upstart Universal Artists label.
13. The Blue and the Gray - Wine, Wine, Wine - (The Nitecaps) - Zay-Dee Records - ZD 207. A raw '66 punk take on The Nitecaps early 60s classic. The feel of the song fits it's title nicely. Another track from the same group that opens the CD. A truly obscure find from the depths of the unknown.
14. The Coachmen - You're My Girl - (David Mayo & Buck McArthur) Jaggars Recording Studio Acetate. One of the biggest groups in Central Arkansas, The Coachmen formed in 1963 and quickly came under the influence of the British Invasion. "You're My Girl" was recorded at Jaggars ca. 1965. It has the makings of a 60s punk classic with it's raw unadulterated sound. This was taken from a 33 1/3 7" acetate. The group was sponsored by the Publicity and Parks Commission to represent Arkansas at the 1965 World's Fair in New York where the band performed, along with their on-stage go-go dancers. Tom Roberts, guitarist, kept the master tapes and some acetates from their glory days safe all these years and was kind enough to let me transfer them to CD for this compilation. The Coachmen, or The Little Rock Coachmen, also recorded at Sonic in Memphis to produce their local hit record Jamie/Stand By Me. Their last record, Tears of Blue/I've Had Enough, was influenced by the Stax sound out of Memphis. It was released on Earl Fox's MY label before the group disbanded after high school in '67.
15. The Lost Souls - My Girl - (Mike Petray) - Leopard - LS-100.
16. The Lost Souls - Lost Love - (Mike Petray) - Leopard - LS-100. The namesake of this compilation, The Lost Souls hailed from my hometown of Jacksonville, Arkansas, having recorded this classic record at Wayne Raney’s studio in Concord at the end on 1966. Jake Thomas produced the record with Wayne. It was Thomas’ first and only time producing a record. They had success on KAAY, the Little Rock-based 50,000 watt "friendly giant" AM rock station that dominated the Midwest in the 60s. Tommy Riggs, a legendary local performer, was a DJ at KAAY at the time, and The Lost Souls befriended him and placed #1 on his call in show. The group organized huge street dances in Jacksonville and ruled the area North of the Arkansas River during the glory days of the 66-67 school year.
17. Blues Foundation - It's Called Love - (Hershel Cannon) - Jaguar Records - 81040. This group was from Prescott, population 3500. The group, led by Hershel Cannon, traveled 100 miles to Jaggars Recording Studio in Little Rock to record this fuzzed out gem in the Fall of 1968. For live gigs, the group was forbidden to play at dances, since Cannon's father was a Church of Christ minister. The group played at civic groups, schools, swimming pools, and lots of regional talent contests. Blues Foundation did well in the regional battle of the bands garnering the top slot in the Arkansas Dairy Festival Teen Talent Contest at Hope in 1968. The band opened for Glen Campbell at his homecoming in nearby Delight, AR, then followed-up in Nashville, AR. Guitarist Chris Palmer started his music career at nine years old, when he joined this group. Chris went on to become an executive at RCA records.
18. Dead on Arrival - Mr. Crying - (Mike Hubrel) - EMC Records - EMC 104. This group hailed from Ashdown in the SW corner of the state. Singer and guitarist, Mike Hubrel grew up in San Francisco but moved with his family to Arkansas, which his father claimed was the most rural area he could find to escape San Francisco's psychedelic scene of 1968. Hubrel found success in his SF group The Daytonas and played at the Cow Palace after winning a battle of the bands at 11 years old. As you can hear, the move to rural Arkansas didn’t slow Hubrel down. He formed a group of local musicians and cut this primal slab of small town psychedelia at Jim Evans' studio/electronics store in Texarkana, AR around the turn of 1969-1970.
19. Trouble Bros. - Your Love is Gone - (G. Hopper & B. Hopper) - Rimrock Records - HS 208. A mystery group that recorded for Wayne Raney’s Rimrock label in Concord. This unique song straddles the line between country and garage. The tight arrangement and fuzzed out solo set this band apart from the prevailing sound of 1971.
20. The Marc IV - Hi Ho Silver - C. Alexander) - Continental Records - CS 104.
21. The Marc IV - Now I'm Free - C. Alexander, D. Reynolds) - Continental Records - CS 104. Another gem from the pressing plant in Concord, Arkansas. This mystery group cut a killer two-sider on Continental Records. We know from Harold Morgan, who released a fuzzed out cover of George Jones’ White Lightning on the same label, that Continental was one of Wayne Raney’s labels. We can only think that Wayne used Continental for the wackiest rock records in his catalog, and thank God for them! One of my fave finds of the state, this puppy moves!
22. Sunset Society - Land of Make Believe (Sunset Society) - Continental Records - CS 108. From the depths of the Arkansas underworld comes this monolithic garage/psych monster that floats in reverb ether. A cracked mind produced this unknown gem, whose authors are still lost in other dimensions.
23. Purple Canteen - Brains in My Feet - (Terry Taylor & Jim Wheeless) - Alley Records - AS 1049 (Instrumental Version from the Master Tape). A psychedelic classic and one of the weirdest records out there. I caught up with the drummer and co-writer, Jim Wheeless to shed some light on this mystery. The group was from the Jonesboro area and rented a house in the tiny town of Goobertown, Arkansas as a place to practice and hang out. The band's trailer was shaped like a huge purple coffin inscribed with Purple Canteen to scare the kids. "Brains" mostly sprung from writer Terry Taylor’s head, but the whole group contributed parts. Wheeless' name appears in the credit mostly due to the fact that he was the only member over 18. This track was taken directly from the studio session master tape. It is in dual mono and instrumental. This tape was used as part of a track bouncing technique where two reel-to-reel players were tied together. The vocals were added in the studio while this tape played through an eight channel mixing board onto the second reel-to-reel recorder, producing the final mix. It is a fascinating look into the construction of a psychedelic masterpiece. The session was recorded by Joe Lee at Variety Recording Studio in April 1969.Lee started Alley Records when Wheeless’ father, who operated a jukebox business, helped make Lee’s first record, Bobby Lee Trammell’s “Arkansas Twist,” a million seller. Joe Lee is a legendary sax player and studio owner that learned his trade at Fernwood Records out of Memphis, where Scotty Moore, Elvis’ guitarist, taught him the ropes.
24. Suspension of Belief - LSD - (Pat & Pam Barkley & Billy Hayes) - Zay-Dee Records - ZD 208. This group was actually The Villagers from North Little Rock. Zay-Dee head honcho, a DJ near Brinkley as memory best permits, called on these teens to travel to his radio station and lay down this demented slab ‘o wax in early 1967. According to bassman Bill McCumber, the group had written a lysergic folk tune that the Zay-Dee boss had a special affinity for. Maybe to cash in on the latest psychedelic trend, he decided to change their band and song name to a more fitting title. The Zay-Dee boss had reel-to-reels of operas that he cut into the songs after the fact for added effect. The band was stunned when they got the record, it was barely recognizable.
25. LD Mitchell & the Amalgamated Taxi Cab Service - Planet of Union - (Larry Mitchell) - Alley Records - 1053. Kind of a psychedelic protest song on the state of the world, this record is infectious. Cut by Joe Lee at Variety in 1970. The pseudo-religious vibe is backed up by the fact that LD himself would go on to become a preacher.
26. Dead on Arrival - Run Hide Get Away - (Mike Hubrel) - EMC Records - EMC 104. Singer/writer Mike Hubrel was 14 when he fused West Coast psych with raw teen abandon to make this testament to isolation. Listen closely as this record tells the story of Hubrel’s journey from San Francisco to Ashdown, AR.
27. The Sole Society - Psychedelic Cycle - (Joe Marchese) - Universal - L2019. A stone classic has been lurking in our midst for 40 years. This group graces the cover of the CD in your hands, and what a pic! According to Joe Marchese, keyboards, The Sole Society hailed from North Little Rock and recorded this tune at Browns Studio (of Maxine Brown fame) in Sherwood, Arkansas in 1968. Here’s the lowdown: Vince Marchese, Joe’s brother, was The Sole Society’s manager. Vince was formerly a DJ at KALO in Little Rock and good friends with AJ Lindsey, a DJ at KAAY in Little Rock. AJ. was selling commercial spots for his radio show and had a new client, Richard’s Honda Motorcycles. AJ approached Vince and asked if the band he managed could write and record a jingle. In exchange, The Sole Society got 500 records to sell at their gigs and give away to chicks. Plus KAAY agreed to play the jingle and song in regular rotation. Not too shabby! The group poured into the Browns studio and laid down a fuzzed out legend! The only problem was that their name was misspelled as Soul Society on the label. The pressing of the record further obscured the group’s origin until now. “Because she’s got a psychedelic Honda yeah, a psychedelic cycle....”
28. Mystic Illusion - Colour of My Daye - (Kim Hendricks & Tommy Murray) - MI Records - MI 100. Hailing from El Dorado, Arkansas, this group traveled to Little Rock to record this twisted funk psych mutant. This is the only known record recorded at Sound Productions, Inc., which was located in the defunct E&M recording studio that formerly housed Earl Fox’s MY label. Pat Flemister bought the studio from Fox in 1969 and leased it out to bands to cut records. This only lasted a few months before Flemister sold it again. Within the year Ward Phillips took over the space and opened San American studios.
29. Blackfoot - Bummed Out - (Blackfoot Corp.) - San American - #951 - SA 503. This is the stuff of local legend. Blackfoot was the evolution of The Sole Society in many ways. From The Sole Society to Yak Zebu to Candle to Blackfoot, Joe and Chris Marchese kept it steady. To add to the all star list of performers, Joe Lee of Alley Records was brought in as chief engineer and producer. "Bummed Out" became a local hit on Beaker Street, a late night psychedelic radio show on KAAY created by Dale Seidenschwarz AKA Clyde Clifford. Dale still broadcasts Beaker Street every Sunday night! Blackfoot became the session band for the fledgling label, San American. In exchange for session work, the band got to record their own songs. The San American studio, which formerly housed E&M records, was bought by Ward Phillips and converted into a high-end affair with ½” reel-to-reel masters and state-of-the-art gear. Phillips had big plans for San American, including an extensive talent search with recording contracts as prizes. The label also produced an early 45 by Isaac Hayes. Unfortunately, San American buckled under its own weight and fizzled. Blackfoot is remembered as the loudest group anybody ever heard, with shattered eardrums to prove it! *Special Note: This song, along with the flipside “Huntin’ For Yourself” have been erroneously bootlegged on two CDs of the more famous Blackfoot from Florida of “Train, Train” fame. Besides the band name, there is no relation. This finally sets the record straight.
Special Thanks: Bill and Kaye Eginton at Arkansas Record and CD Exchange, David Grace, Lindsay Moore, Harold Morgan, Jarratt Rolfe, Ron Hall, Fred Chambers RIP,
Bob Yerby, Bill Case, Marion Deaton, Charlie Okle, Joe Marchese, Chris Marchese, Vince Marchese, Gene Barnett, Bobby Crawford, Annie Hendricks, Dave Davis, Gene Rodgers,
Jessey Higdon, Lorenzo Vecchio, Mike Markesich, Erik Lindgren, Mike Dugo, Suzy Shaw, Fil Griggs, Mike Corbin, Mike Petray, Hershel Cannon, Chris Palmer, Mike Hubrel, Paco Ritter,
Zyndall Raney, Jon Raney, Loys Raney, Esther Thomas, Joe Lee, Jim Wheeless, Bill McCumber, Derek McCumber, AJ Lindsey, John Bryan, Rod Bryan, Roger Smith,
Irvin Hendricks, Dale Seidenschwarz, Mark Arouh, Earl Fox, Pat Flemister, Scott Snellgrove, Bryan Baker, Mike Mullins, Dottie Oliver at Little Rock Free Press,
Anthony Davis at Texarkana Gazette, Marc Smirnoff at Oxford American, Walter Lloyd, Wolfgang Völkel at Break-A-Way Records, Bob Appleby, Steve Evans at Jacksonville Guitar,
Doug Fritts, Bill Ramsey, Mark Johnson, Phil Miller, Larry Hammons, Billy Cole, Jim Evans, Ed Lynch, Barry McCorkindale, David Mayo, Steve Hockersmith, Buck McArthur, Tom Roberts, Thumper Sweeney, Kenny Tucker, Garage Punk Forums, Mark Taylor,
Sonny Deckelman, James Duncan, Larry Armer, Jeff Hosford, The Arkansas History Commission, George Kelley, Roy Cost, Jack Hendrix, Joe Keene, Bob Whitley, Marc Flurry, Jimmy Pearsall,
Jim Orahood, Mike Anders, Betty Harrison, Barbara Langhammer, Frank Cox, Dick Lee, Edward Tanner, Bobby Brown, Grady McGwire, Jim Finch, Jerry Farley, Eddie Ross and
everyone else I've met in my quest. Cheers.
This CD was manufactured at Raney Recording Studio in Drasco, Arkansas, the same family business that Wayne Raney started in the mid 1960s. As you've read in the liner notes above, Wayne Raney and his Rimrock manufacturing plant was responsible for many of the records on this comp. This is a tribute to Wayne and his family. The studio is now in its third generation of ownership, Jon Raney, Wayne's grandson, now runs the studio.
CD Mastering by Chris Moore at East Hall Recording - Fayetteville, AR.
This project, including artwork, 45 to CD transfers, research, and total obsession; is the brainchild of yours truly, Harold Ott. My efforts have been unwaveringly supported by those who have followed me down more crazy paths than anyone could ever expect from their friends and family: My sister, Rachel Ott; my best friend, Cliff Farmer; and my girl, Denver Bonds. Through boxes upon boxes of dusty record bins, excursions through the back roads of Arkansas, untold credit card debts, and weekends spent scanning years of obscure newspaper articles - You have stuck by me. Thanks. Together, we make Psych of the South!!!
MORE INFO AT WWW.PSYCHOFTHESOUTH.COM