"FROM CANADA TO CLOVIS" CD
31 tracks from the Norman Petty Studios master tapes (stereo & mono)
6 Canadian groups who recorded in Clovis
12 unreleased songs *
24 page full color booklet
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Cascade For Strings *
Las Vegas Scene
Mountain Guitar *
Bob's Guitar *
Stormy Monday Blues *
Ticket To Ride *
Come Back To Me Baby
You've Got to Let Me Know
Hey Little Man
If There's A Thought
Good Neighbor Day
Walk With Life
Life Is A Song
I Think I'll Catch A Bus
House On Soul Hill
If She Don't Turn Your Head
Your Love Has Been Used *
Ev'ry Man Hears Different Music
DONE ON BRADSTREET
This Good Day *
Roll With It
Don't Go Cryin '
By Myself *
Seven Days Too Long *
The Old Rock Sound *
You Can't Keep A Good Man Down *
"From Canada To Clovis" is wonderful. After 43 years it has great memories. Let it be known that Jae Mack also thanks members of Gainsborough Gallery for giving me a start and I still consider them friends. Dennis was a great leader..."
Jae Mack, Gainsborough Gallery
"Got the CD today, another great job...nobody is documenting the Canadian
Music scene better than you. Really liked the Nomads cuts. It was neat to
hear the early version of "Las Vegas Scene". There are some different parts in there.
Was neat to hear the 2 unreleased Gettysbyrg Address songs. Enjoyed the other artists as well.
As usual, the liner is filled with pix and good biographical info.
These are great historical & musical "documents" that increases the knowledge
of us all. You are to be congratulated Shawn.
Wayne Russell - Brandon, Manitoba
"I can't think of a better way to perserve our Canadian R&R history with the release of these CDs and informative
music/pictures info included !!! Great job Shawn, your efforts have not gone unnoticed kudos for you"
Dwayne Osepchuk, Southbound Freeway
"It's great, I'm diggin' it. Worth it at twice the price. Hope to see many more of these. Kudos to Shawn Nagy and all involved"
Richard B - Alberta, Canada
"Great to hear Bob Clarke playing guitar again...
Nice job on the packaging...must have been a lot of work to pull all that together.
Thanks for all your hard work and time preserving and re issuing our old music...much appreciated"
Barry Allen - Edmonton, Alberta
"Gorgeous booklet - your best yet. The price of admission for the CD are those Happy Feeling tracks,
also enjoyed the Southbound Freeway tracks - am really enjoying it. Cudos!"
Dave Sampson - SixtiesRadio.org
"Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Roy Orbison. Waylon Jennings. The Fireballs. Sonny West. Buddy Knox. The String-A-Longs. These are all but a handful of star performers that recorded celebrated tracks at Norm Pettys famed studio in Clovis, New Mexico. Even though the studio experienced its biggest commercial successes in the late fifties and early sixties, it continued to be an in-demand operation and fathered a host of delightful discs into the seventies. A thirty-one-track collection, From Canada to Clovis features a dozen different bands from north of the border that journeyed to the legendary studio to lay down their talents on vinyl.
Spanning the years 1962 to 1970, the historic package obviously takes in a wide array of sounds and styles. Rock and roll refused to stand still during that time period, and From Canada to Clovis emphasizes just how mercurial the music was. Set in chronological order, the anthology kicks off to the tasty instrumental rock of the Nomads, then moves onto Gettysburg Address, whose credible rendition of Ticket to Ride is proof in the pudding bowl haircuts how enormously influential the Beatles and the British Invasion as a whole was. Also appearing on From Canada to Clovis are the Happy Feeling, Gainsborough Gallery, Done on Bradstreet and Southbound Freeway. Stuffed to the limit with catchy, well-written songs shaped of spirited singing, sharp shooting harmonies, stabbing hooks and solid playing, From Canada to Clovis reflects the days when both top forty and underground radio spit out one winning tune after another. Profiles on each band, penned by Super Oldies owner and operator, Shawn Nagy, are an added attraction to the groovy songs contained within. What a golden opportunity it was for these bands to record at such a renowned studio, and in the process craft their own wonderful wares"
review by Beverly Paterson - The Lance Monthly
"Canadian Classic music archivist Shawn Nagy continues to set the bar high for not only accessing rare master tapes of recordings from the mid-to-late ‘60s on his Super Oldies label, but packaging them so they’re chock full of amazing liner notes, photos, discographies, anecdotes and chart information.
The latest cool Canadiana collection is called ''From Canada…To Clovis'' which documents some of the many Canadian acts who recorded with Buddy Holly’s producer Norman Petty at his famous New Mexico recording studio. There are 31 gloriously restored tracks by the likes of The Nomads, Gettysbyrg Address (featuring future Guess Who members Kurt Winter and Bill Wallace), The Happy Feeling, Gainsborough Gallery, Done on Bradstreet, and Southbound Freeway.
Wes Dakus and The Rebels, who also recorded with Petty, have their own two volume editions as well.
These are great primers for those not familiar with Canada’s unsung music heroes."
review by Jaimie Vernon - Cashbox Canada
"I purchased "From Canada to Clovis" from your site a few months back and was very, very glad I did. Lots of memories from high school days back in Calgary 1969-1971. The Happy Feeling, Gainsborough Gallery, Done on Bradstreet, .....almost brought tears to my eyes as I found myself 'back' at Bowness High School and listening to those songs on our 'high school radio station'. It's great that there a few dedicated people like yourself who are preserving so many wonderful childhoods."
review by Mike McDowell - Blitz Magazine
“If you build it, they will come.”
That often invoked line of dialogue from the 1989 motion picture, Field Of Dreams refers to a voice heard by farmer Ray Kinsella (portrayed by Kevin Costner) in conjunction with a vision that he had of a baseball diamond. It is a memorable scenario that has been invoked by countless entrepreneurs in the ensuing years to fuel interest in their own projects.
However, more than thirty years prior to that imaginary sequence of events, legendary producer Norman Petty brought his own vision to fruition in like manner. Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico not only provided a vehicle for his own work (in tandem with his wife, Violet Ann “Vi” Petty) as the Norman Petty Trio, but also attracted such pioneering artists as Waylon Jennings, the Fireballs, Buddy Knox, the String-A-Longs, Roy Orbison and Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holly. Each was impressed by Petty’s state of the art facility and the fact that it was based within a reasonable distance of their respective home towns.
Even so, not only did they come in true Field Of Dreams fashion from New Mexico and neighboring Texas, but Petty’s studios also found favor with the artists featured in this collection. Their work represents some of the finest achievements to have been produced in Petty’s facility.
The name From Canada To Clovis is a bit of a misnomer, given that the six bands represented here are solely from the provinces of Alberta and Manitoba, rather than the nation at large. While each is as diverse musically as is Canada’s musical legacy as a whole, all six bands nonetheless have in common their interest in Petty’s work. This in turn prompted them to make the cross-continental trek to Clovis in the hopes of duplicating from a technical standpoint the successes of Holly, Jennings, Knox and the others.
The Petty influence is most strongly felt in the opening four tracks by the Nomads. The Edmonton, Alberta octet learned of Petty’s facilities while sharing a bill with the Fireballs during the latter band’s 1961 tour of Alberta and British Columbia.
Lead guitarist and Wes Dakus and the Rebels alumnus, Bob Clarke forwarded the band’s demo tapes to Petty, who returned them with suggestions that some revision was in order. The Nomads heeded Petty’s advice and spent the remainder of the year fine tuning the material accordingly.
Due to financial considerations, only Clarke, bassist Jack Dakus and drummer Don Paches made the 1750 mile drive from Edmonton to Clovis. Nonetheless, the resultant four tracks featured in this collection reflect the wisdom of Petty’s decision, as well as the obvious respect that the Nomads had for the Fireballs. Not only do Clarke’s instrumental romps, Las Vegas Scene, Bob’s Guitar and Cascade For Strings (as well as the Rudy Thacker-penned Mountain Guitar) sound like variations on the like minded tracks that the Fireballs cut for Top Dog Records, but the Fireballs’ George Tomsco provided an endorsement of sorts by playing rhythm guitar on those May 1962 sessions.
Sadly, the Nomads’ success was short lived. Despite an offer to serve as the house band for various functions sponsored by Edmonton radio station CHED, the band opted to pursue academic careers by year’s end. Clarke rejoined Wes Dakus and the Rebels, remaining with the band until 1965. He eventually moved to British Columbia and passed away from cancer in 1998. Dakus’ band of course gave birth to the solo career of psych rock hero Barry Allen, whose 1966 cover of Mickey and Sylvia’s 1961 B-side, Love Drops (Willow 23000) on Dot 16856 is widely regarded as one of first generation garage rock’s most endearing standards.
Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Gettysbyrg Address (Mike Hanford - lead vocals/keyboards; Kurt Winter - lead guitar; Orest Andrews - rhythm guitar; Bill Wallace - bass; Craig Hamblin - drums) fared slightly better with Petty in that respect. Following the 01 June 1967 release of their single featuring their fascinatingly original reinterpretations of the Young Rascals’ Love Is A Beautiful Thing (Atlantic 45-2338)) and Little Eva Boyd’s Keep Your Hands Off By Baby (Dimension 1003) on Franklin FR-0100, the band approached Petty while the latter was in Edmonton on business and worked out a suitable agreement.
Subsequent Franklin label sessions reflect the wisdom of that encounter with Petty. Both the utterly stupendous early 1968 psych/dreamscape prototype, Come Back To Me Baby (reprised from Super Oldies’ essential The Best Of Franklin Records anthology) and their heretofore unreleased Georgie Fame/Question Mark and the Mysterians-flavored take on T-Bone Walker’s often covered, Ralph Bass-produced, 1947 monster classic, Stormy Monday (Black & White 122) decisively reflect the greatness that was to come. Wallace and Winter each went on to a brief but acclaimed tenure in 1969 with one-time Fifth drummer, Vance Masters in the power trio, Brother. All three Brother alumni would ultimately play integral roles in the ongoing success of the Guess Who throughout the 1970s.
Calgary, Alberta’s Happy Feeling likewise benefited from the Petty touch, with lead vocalist/keyboardsman Jim Aiello’s relentlessly optimistic Happy Feeling single (Barry B-3499) peaking at number one on the charts of CKXL in mid-November 1968 over such worthwhile releases as Leapy Lee’s Little Arrows (Decca 32380), the Fun and Games’ Elephant Candy (Uni 55086), the Archies’ Bang Shang A Lang (Calendar 63-1006) and Gordon Lightfoot’s Bitter Green (United Artists UA 50,447). The Fireballs’ George Tomsco helped the band sustain the momentum by contributing the refreshingly uptempo, folk rock original Hey, Little Man (Barry B 3507X) in 1969 and again serving as guitarist. Although the Happy Feeling called it a career in 1971, the band regrouped in 2006 for the Alberta Rock Reunion, with Tomsco again sitting in during the performance of his vaunted composition.
Of the six bands featured in From Canada To Clovis, it is Calgary’s Gainsborough Gallery that seemed the most poised for long term success. Formed in 1967 from the ashes of the Skeptics, Gainsborough Gallery made the trek to Petty’s facilities at the behest of bassist Dennis “Dennis Paul” Planidin.
Paul’s earlier experience with Petty’s facility during his tenure with Wes Dakus and the Rebels had convinced him that their recorded legacy (which at that juncture consisted of two singles for Apex, including 1968’s promising If You Knew / Sonny on Apex 77081) would be better served with Petty’s input. Indeed, the Mandala-inspired House On Soul Hill, the Buddy Holly-ish Dreams In A Box Car, the reflective I Think I’ll Catch A Bus and the Major Hoople’s Boarding House prototype, If She Don’t Turn Your Head all demonstrated at least some degree of rise above the herd originality, if not metered in-the-red, Can Con viability for Rosalie Trombley’s Windsor, Ontario hit making powerhouse, CKLW. Several Gainsborough Gallery alumni have persevered in the music industry in various capacities.
While the two August 1970 tracks included here are the most likely candidates for the dubious “period piece” distinction, Calgary’s Done On Bradstreet nonetheless made optimum use of their Petty connection to showcase their technical competence. Lead vocalist Lanny Church’s Nite Lady certainly benefits from the Texans-styled drum intro from Bob Everett, not to mention the quasi-Spencer Davis Group workout that sets the stage for Church’s seemingly Donnie B. Waugh-inspired call and response with guitarist Dave Hamilton.
Despite Petty’s best efforts, subsequent personnel changes continued to dog the band. As such, both Nite Lady and the first generation garage rock undercurrent of Church’s This Good Day make their debut release with this collection.
Through no fault of their own, the final band in this set, the Southbound Freeway is the one most likely to elicit howls of indignation amongst musicologists and from certain segments of the record collecting community. Unwittingly, the Edmonton, Alberta band featured in From Canada To Clovis shared their name with an entirely unrelated and immensely respected Michigan garage rock quartet.
Comprised of lead guitarist Mark Chover, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Marty Somberg, bassist Lenny Somberg and drummer Jim Moller, the Michigan version of Southbound Freeway released one of first generation garage rock’s definitive masterpieces with the irresistible original, Psychedelic Used Car Lot Blues. That mid-tempo ode to an automobile salesman with questionable ethics (which also contained memorable asides to Detroit thoroughfare Livernois and such fictional competition as Achilles and the Heels and the Banzai Pipeline Menagerie) was a staple on Dearborn, Michigan’s immensely influential WKNR Keener 13 radio, where it peaked at number eighteen during the week of 10 April 1967.
Buoyed by that single’s success, the Michigan-based Southbound Freeway also made several guest appearances on Robin Seymour’s enormously popular Swingin’ Time television series in neighboring Windsor, Ontario. Psychedelic Used Car Lot Blues even generated enough interest to warrant release on three different labels, Tera Shirma (named after the recording studio founded by Ralph Terrana), Red Rooster and Morris Levy’s New York City-based Roulette Records.
All of which made things a bit more challenging for the Southbound Freeway that closes out this collection. However, the Edmonton band got a serious aesthetic boost by virtue of the aforementioned Barry Allen briefly serving as their lead vocalist in early 1967. By year’s end, Allen left to form his own band. The Southbound Freeway eventually settled on the line up of the late Moe Boyer on lead vocals, Dwayne Osepchuk on lead guitar, Mavis McCauley on keyboards, Richard Osepchuk on bass and the late Ken Koshelek on drums. Happily, the momentum generated during Allen’s involvement with the band led to opening slots for the Doors and Simon and Garfunkel in New York.
Soon after, the band prevailed upon Wes Dakus to bring them to Petty’s attention. A trip to Clovis in March 1969 resulted in a cover of the Steve Miller Band’s Roll With It (Capitol 2156) on Atco 45-6690. The Southbound Freeway’s Crazy Elephant/Illusion-like spirited rendition earned them a spot in the top ten on the charts of CJCA radio in mid-1969, alongside the Monkees’ Listen To The Band (Colgems 66-5004), Vik Venus’ Moonflight (Buddah BDA 118) and Zager and Evans’ In The Year 2525 (RCA Victor 74-0174).
The band’s Knight Brothers/James and Bobby Purify-like cover of Billy Ward and the Dominoes’ You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down (Federal 121390), the Box Tops/100 Proof Aged In Soul-flavored Seven Days Is Too Long and Dwayne Osepchuk’s curious hybrid of the MC5’s Kick Out The Jams (Elektra 45648) and Masters Apprentices’ Turn Up Your Radio (Columbia DO-9104), The Old Rock Sound all give credence to the notion that the Edmonton version of the Southbound Freeway may have made as much of a lasting impression as did their Detroit-area namesakes.
Despite their ongoing promise, Petty’s involvement with Alberta and Manitoba bands subsided in the early 1970s. He spent the majority of that decade overseeing the operations of two Clovis radio stations. Sadly, Norman Petty passed away from leukemia on 15 August 1984 at age 57. Vi Petty continued to manage Norman’s business affairs until her own death of liver failure in Clovis on 28 March 1992 at age 63.
The Pettys’ work with such giants as Holly, the Fireballs, Knox and Jennings was more than enough to ensure their legacy. Nonetheless, From Canada To Clovis not only serves to further enhance their reputation, but it also brings into perspective a musical movement that has only recently been given proper documentation. If, as the Gainsborough Gallery has inferred herein, Life Is A Song, then all concerned sing it rather well.