Buffalo Tom Peabody, Friday Frolics, Gunther Tootie

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Take it away, Iggy!

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I love The Orlons and my other featured artist, Dee Dee Sharp! If you love R&B music and feel good music then these top-notch performers can’t be beat. (Nearly all of The Orlons and Dee Dee Sharp’s recorded music is available at all digital music outlets and on YouTube.)

“Not Me” was originally recorded by Gary (US) Bonds and was a minor hit for him. I think The Orlons version is one of the funkiest records of the 1960’s or at least until Aretha arrived. Rosetta Hightower’s lead vocal is amazing. The BackBeat and party atmosphere of this record is so enticing that I don’t know how anyone can resist. Everyone involved with this record successfully captured a little over two minutes worth of excitement on vinyl and that’s what it’s all about.
Along with a successful string of great singles, The Orlons also recorded several outstanding and critically acclaimed albums. Most of the albums feature their then current hit single along with well chosen and beautifully covered R&B and Doo Wop hits. One of these albums, “South Street” is the most fun you’ll ever have listening to and singing along with an album. On their albums, each member of the group gets to take a turn as lead vocalist and they are all fine singers. Marlena Davis was a very much in demand Harmony vocalist and sang on recordings with Johnny Mathis, The Tymes and many others.

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Wikipedia:
The Orlons consisted of lead singer Rosetta Hightower (June 23, 1944 – August 2, 2014), Shirley Brickley (December 9, 1944 – October 13, 1977), Marlena Davis (October 4, 1944 – February 27, 1993) and Stephen Caldwell (born November 22, 1942).

Before they became The Orlons, they were an all-girl quintet called Audrey and the Teenettes. They formed in the late 1950s in junior high school and consisted of Hightower, Davis, and three Brickley sisters: Shirley, Jean, and Audrey. However, after the Brickleys’ mother did not permit 13-year-old Audrey to sing in certain clubs with the group, she and Jean quit, making the group a trio.

In high school, the group’s three remaining members discovered fellow student Stephen Caldwell, who was lead singer of a local group called the Romeos. Impressed, they invited him to join the group in 1960 and named themselves The Orlons as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the friendly rivalry they had with a popular group at their high school, the Cashmeres. (Orlon was a brand name for the widely used synthetic fiber acrylic.)

A high school friend, Dovells lead singer Len Barry, encouraged them to audition for Cameo-Parkway Records at the turn of the decade. The group took his advice in the fall of 1961, but were rejected at first, although the record label signed the group after two more auditions. Cameo executive Dave Appell appointed Hightower as the lead singer, and began writing songs for them.

Before rising to fame with their first national hit, “The Wah-Watusi”, which reached No. 2 in the US pop chart, in 1962, the group provided back-up vocals for Dee Dee Sharp’s hits “Mashed Potato Time” and “Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes)”. They recorded their own versions of those songs for their debut album, The Wah-Watusi, which received a rating of 4.5 out of 5 from Allmusic in 2006. They had a second hit in the same year with “Don’t Hang Up”, a No. 4 hit on the pop chart. The group had three hits in 1963, “South Street”, the group’s last Top Ten hit, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard chart; “Not Me” , which reached No. 12; and “Crossfire”, the group’s last hit, which reached No. 19.

Davis left the group in August 1963 and Caldwell quit the group in 1964, Sandy Person replaced Davis. A short-lived stint by Yvonne Young was followed by original Teenette, Audrey Brickley, Shirley’s sister. By then, the group’s popularity had waned in the United States due to misdirection of their record company, Cameo Records. They continued to perform into the late 1960s with success in the UK. They disbanded in 1968 after Hightower decided to stay in England after a tour. Hightower had a successful career as a soloist and as an in-demand session singer, backing Joe Cocker, John Holt and other popular artists. She married record producer Ian Green.

In later years, Davis married and found work as an executive secretary, while Caldwell became a shop steward of the bus drivers’ trade union, and then became the administrator of the union’s legal fund in Philadelphia and served on the Philadelphia Board of Education for 29 years. In 1988, Caldwell and Davis re-formed the group with two new members and performed live on the oldies circuit until Davis’ death in 1993.

On October 13, 1977, Shirley Brickley was shot dead by an intruder in her home in Philadelphia. Marlena Davis lost a battle with lung cancer on February 27, 1993 (aged 48). Audrey Brickley died of acute respiratory distress syndrome on July 3, 2005 (aged 58). Stephen and Jean Brickley still perform as The Orlons with two of Stephen’s cousins, Albreta Crump and Madeline Morris.

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“Mashed Potato Time” is Dee Dee Sharp’s first solo hit. I am including it because it features Rosetta Hightower, Marlena Davis and Shirley Brickley of The Orlons on back up vocals. The song is basically a reworking of The Marvelettes huge hit “Please Mr. Postman” with new lyrics and a backup vocal sung in harmony rather than the unison backup vocal provided by The Marvelettes on their recording. The addition of The Orlons harmony backup vocal on Dee Dee’s record made it sound completely different to most listeners and record buyers sent it to the top of the charts again! I don’t know how Dee Dee was able to sing so convincingly and effectively about mashed potatoes and I believe she deserves a Grammy for being able to do it. I don’t think Adele could do it. I believe that Dee Dee Sharp and The Orlons are among the best in the pantheon of purveyors of feel good music! They have brought so much joy into my life and I thank them.

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^^Iggy

Toodles!
Your best friends,
Buffalo Tom, Gunther, Iggy, Stephen Caldwell & Dee Dee Sharp

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… constant vigilance!

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35 thoughts on “Friday Frolics: NOT ME

    • I definitely won’t argue with you there! The Coasters along with their producers and songwriting mentors, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are the ultimate in COOL. I think Cornell Gunter of The Coasters is still active on Facebook… I’m not sure because I really don’t do Facebook anymore. He’s still on my friends list, though. Cornell’s sister, Shirley Gunter was part of the vocal Duo known as the Queens (“Eddie My Love”) and all part of fifties West Coast musical royalty that included Richard Berry, Etta James and the Platters to name just a very few….
      LOL! Don’t get me started on music because I really don’t know when to stop.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome…and I spoke from the heart! People who disparage my family, friends, and acquaintances are disparaging me, as well – and I take it very personally!

        Vigilance is necessary, especially now…

        Liked by 1 person

      • We all really need each other now. loyalty and friendship will get us through. I think my new name for the Bum’s Administration will be the Bizarro World Wack Shack. The news today that the bum as requested top secret clearance for Uday and kusay Trump and Mike Pence requesting his emails be kept secret… yikes! 😨

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s frightening, in a way – I wasn’t a history major in high school or college, but I paid close attention…Trump is acting like Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il, and Kim Jong-Un all in one! Uday and Kusay are prime names for his male offspring, as well…Drumpf’s admiration of dictators surely extended to Saddam’s sons, even if he never articulated it out loud to others…
        😐

        Liked by 1 person

      • Precisely. Not unlike a Banana Republic.
        I have noticed something really weird with the Republicans I’m related to and Republican friends… When they say the most ridiculous, insulting and untrue things AND I call them out on it, they just denied having said it and… 5 minutes later they say it again and deny having said it again. Now my blanket response to all Republicans is… Grunt and walk away (this drives them crazy 👍)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly – although, is it possible to drive them crazier than they already are?
        XD

        That’s the same thing to do with the internet trolls who seem to have begun reproducing like rabbits and exploding in all corners of the internet! They make an inane comment; when you call them out on it they mindlessly attack with baseless accusations and name-calling. Their comments don’t really warrant a response, whether they’re online or out in the real world, I’m thinking.
        😎

        Liked by 1 person

      • Excellent observation. I think all liberals, progressives and Democrats should adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards bigots, trolls and Trump supporters. Just cut them all loose. So many of these people are irredeemable racists. Hillary was 100% correct when she called them deplorables. We have better work to do then argue with “The Deplorables!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s exactly what I think! Definitely can’t let “The Deplorables” distract us from the work that needs to be done! I have a couple of posts in the works on how to effectively excise bothersome trolls like the cancerous growths that they are!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Excellent! I’m really sick of all the stupid people who say we should give bully Trump a chance and the benefit of the doubt. good things do not come from bad people. especially bad people who surround themselves with the likes of Steve Bannon. Well, and Mike Pence as well. I also believe that the Electoral College should demand to see Trump’s tax returns.
        let the impeachment and removal process begin! 👍👍

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree – I don’t feel like giving any sort of a chance to a person who has insulted me, my family, my friends, and entire groups of people with hateful stereotypes, racist dog-whistles, and fear-mongering. I refuse to give a person any sort of chance when they have been embraced by the KKK, the aryan brotherhood, and their inbred, mindless ilk.
        Anyone who claims that the Drumpf has disavowed them just because he looked into a camera and said, “Stop it” doesn’t have two brain-cells to rub together.
        Drumpf is a hateful person, and his followers are the same. There is no beating around the bush with that!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes exactly! I have to believe that all of the goofiness coming from Trump and the rest is all part of this extreme authoritarian movement they’ve created… and amazingly it’s obvious they’re just making it up as they go along. My mind goes blank if I tried to make sense out of it. I have to believe that the Republicans have distilled themselves into the sociopath party… the only thing they all have in common is fascism, the Third Reich, Mental illness and stupidity. like all mentally ill people they are a danger to themselves and to others.
        the apology thing that Trump and his family demand whenever they hear something they don’t like is so elitist. I think groveling is the key element in getting along with The Trumps. they can never earn respect so they demand it. I bet he will eventually demand all Republicans grovel as well… and since they’re all a pack of narcissists… that should bring it all to a screeching halt. LOL! 😨

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I agree…for example, if Mittens Romney were to accept whatever position he’s been offered, I imagine the Drumpf ordering him to kneel and kiss his ring like the Godfather! Groveling and butt-kissing is all a narcissist knows…or, phony compliments like those that Mr. Man-boobs Putin tosses out to placate the Orange One!

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! I believe that Mitt Romney has Asperger’s. do you remember the creepy biofilm they showed at his convention? they were hoping the public would love a miserly tightwad who was too cheap to hire someone to fix the hood above the stove. (The whole thing put a lie to the rich people are job Creators crap.) they all spent a good part of the film whining and complaining about how hard life is for rich people Trying to be Thrifty In this bad economy. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wish for his immediate impeachment, but the way things are looking, he will do everything that he can to ensure that his conflicts of interest will stand and be swept under the rug that he has on his bald head.
        😐

        Liked by 1 person

      • It seems like the entire Republican Party is revving up for a free-for-all. Trump is so fat lazy and stupid… Not to mention crazy , I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets Trampled Under Foot when the entire Republican party’s head explodes. Experts have pegged Trump at a 4th grade intellectual level. If you factor in his petulant personality type and all the rest… I don’t think it can last long. LOL! 😨

        Liked by 1 person

      • I keep hoping that his conflicts of interest will have him getting impeached before his first year is over…Pence isn’t anything good, either, unfortunately! The least we can hope for with that scumbag is that he won’t be sucking up to Putin and other oligarchs!
        I usually don’t wish harm on anyone, but that crowd of cretins just makes me want to vomit with rage!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I noticed right after Trump picked Mike Pencil Neck Geek as his running mate all the Republicans calmed down. so I figured he was the Heritage party pick just like Dick Cheney was the neocon Heritage Foundation pick for George W Bush.
        On another topic, I’m getting a big laugh out of Florida residence complaining about illegal immigrants taking their jobs. Florida is a republican-controlled state from top to bottom. They loved Jeb Bush. so what is their response to the Republican/ conservative created crap hole they live in? They elect more Republicans to Congress and the White House. if Republicans can’t be happy in a red State like Florida it’s impossible for them to be happy anywhere. I think that’s the answer… It’s just impossible for them to be happy No matter what. it’s probably all part of their self-loathing nature.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL – oh, too true! Now the Orange One is claiming that he won the popular vote, too! Talk about living in a created reality that has nothing to do with real life, eh? Wow…I’m still amazed that people really wanted an internet troll for POTUS – misery loves company, I guess!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I truly admire your ability to get down to the basic stench that inhabits the Republican crap hole.
        I hope I heard this wrong… This morning… Trump wants to appoint Sarah Palin as head of the VA? Does Trump think the Veterans Administration is just one great big USO show?
        One of the biggest laughs so far is Mitch McConnell’s beard being appointed Transportation secretary. All it takes is a brief skimming of Mitch McConnell’s biography to get a real clear picture of just how creepy and self-loathing he is…. Paul Ryan says it’s a go for his voucher and privatization plan for Medicare…. remember when that bus full of nuns followed him all over the country during his vice presidential campaign in opposition to his hateful ideas? Is it my imagination or do Republicans have a perversion for attacking the elderly and disabled? 😨

        Liked by 1 person

      • When I heard that the Failin’ Palin was being considered for the head of the VA, I nearly vomited my breakfast! I guess the Drumpf thinks that the only qualifications needed for a woman to head anything are:
        1) she should be white,
        2) she needs to have breast implants, and
        3) she should be dumber than a box of rocks.
        Palin fits all of the above, so…there you have it!
        I’ve never looked at “sad turtle” McConnell’s biography, but I might have to do so! My first thought when I saw his beard is that she was a mail-order bride, just like Malaria Drumpf is, LOL!

        Rethuglicans seem to hate everything and everyone…including themselves! That image of Mittens Romney eating crow…er, frog-legs with the Orange One speaks volumes!
        😐

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! While I Was preparing my post for today I visited a bunch of the rich peoples social sites. You know , “Yachting”, “New Private Island ownership for the nouveau riche” as well as the old standby rich kids on Instagram and Snapchat. The tone is so sad because most of them seem to feel that it is required for them to be totally bored and bitchy about their money. They seem to have everything except a purpose for living. 😜

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so true! It’s amazing to me that the more some people have, the more they whine and complain about it anywhere and everywhere they can. Talk about cognitive dissonance! Those with little are happy for what they have, while those with everything still complain about it…craziness!
        XD

        Liked by 1 person

      • A psychiatrist friend told me, “Never try to make sense out of insanity. Never take it personally. The common ground you are seeking does not exist. A Hallmark of mental illness is making poor choices and bad decisions with little or no thought to their consequences.”
        Buffalo Tom translation: never argue with drunk and or crazy people. 😨👍👍
        The rich people I have known seem to be obsessed with servicing their money pile. Which is a queer occupation at best. I think it’s also completely unnatural to measure your worth by the height of your pile. money can do a lot of good things and it can also feed a person’s weaknesses making them awful people. Anyone who thinks, Donald Trump, will stop servicing his private money pile now that he is president is in for a surprise. he is obsessed with moving the money from our pockets into his pile. It’s like a Last Man Standing scenario… which is why rich people don’t generally trust each other. the funny thing is, all rich people are not this way. look at Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Donald Trump represents all that is wrong with America and we can’t say we weren’t warned.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Your friend said it best, as do you! Arguing with a drunk or crazy person is definitely an exercise in futility.

        There are definitely some wealthy people out there worth respecting, like Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, and a few others. For example, I’ve never been much of a fan of Dolly Parton, but she has my respect, especially after her recent offer to help people who lost their homes in the fires in Tennessee. It would be nice if more wealthy people were truly altruistic, and not just looking for an easy tax write-off!
        The Drumpf is the epitome of what’s wrong with America…and its sad that there are more like him than I imagined possible.
        😐

        Liked by 1 person

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