Saturday, February 28, 2009

Garage Sounds: Bringing down the house, by Scott Schell

John Hughes, original drummer with “The Chancellors” is always on the lookout for new material regarding the band locally. This time it was Jerry Harvieux, who played bass guitar in the 70’s “The Chancellors” that gave John a call about a book put out by the Washington County Historical Society in Stillwater, MN. The book is Garage Sounds: Bringing down the house by Scott Schell and catalogues various bands and personalities that influenced music and the music industry from that area.
“The Chancellors” as a band is not in the book but John Hughes, Mike Judge and Jerry Harvieux, all “The Chancellors” members are pictured with bands they played in from the Stillwater area.
John Hughes is named as drummer in the photo of “Country Strings”. Unfortunately, as in the case of a lot of band shots, John is hidden behind the front musicians, in this case, the legendary Dave Dudley of Muleskinner Blues fame.
Mike Judge, original rhythm guitar with “The Chancellors”, is shown with Stillwater group “Northern Lights”.
Jerry Harvieux was just out of high school when he played with John Hughes and I. Jerry is pictured with a few of local bands he played with, The Nomads, The Fifth and The Third Degree.
If your interested in The “More Tishans”, who were inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame the same evening as “The Chancellors” in 2008, then this is the book to get. Scott Schell has devoted some twenty pages to photos and other memorabilia pertaining to the history of the “More Tishans”.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

David “Z” Rivkin, Producer, Receives 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive Award

On November 8, 2008, The Blues Foundation announced that David “Z” Rivkin, original lead guitarist with “The Chancellors”, will be among those to be recognized today, February 7, 2009, in Memphis, TN.

The Blues Foundation website described David as “the producer’s producer, David Z (Rivkin) has produced (and engineered and mixed and…) critically acclaimed Blues albums by Buddy Guy, Etta James, Al Green, Jonny Lang, John Mayall (with Eric Clapton), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Tab Benoit, Gov’t Mule, Ana Popovich, Mike Zito, and many others. Most known for his production work on Prince’s seminal Purple Rain, David always has an ear open for the next cutting edge sound. As a producer, he is savvy enough to foster each musician’s unique vision or talents in a way that powerfully communicates the artist’s message.”

The website goes go to explain, “The Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recognize the significant contributions to Blues music made by the people behind the scenes. Each is selected on the basis of merit by a select panel of Blues professionals. KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi notes with respect to this year’s recipients, “As is often the case, this year the committee recognized some individuals that have long-deserved to be honored as well as identifying others who have made a very impressive mark on Blues music in a relatively short period. Once again, the honorees cover the United States map. In addition, two Italian organizations were selected for their commitment to the Blues genre in their country.”

The 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive recipients are:
1. Agent: Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent, Charlotte, NC
2. Art and Photography: Dusty & Val Scott, Dusty Blues, Pittsburgh, PA
3. Blues Club: B.L.U.E.S, Chicago, IL
4. Education: Monroe County Black History Month, Monroe County, MI 5. Festival: Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Telluride, CO
6. Film, Television and Video: Willy Bearden, Memphis TN
7. Historical Preservation: Shack Up In, Clarksdale, MS
8. International: Associazione Roots n Blues, Parma, Italy
9. Internet:, Oakland, CA
10. Journalism: Hal Horowitz, Marietta, GA
11. Literature: Craig Hopkins, Cedar Hill, TX
12. Manager: John Hahn, New York, NY
13. Organization: Washington Blues Society, Seattle, WA
14. Print Media: Il Blues, Milan, Italy
15. Producer: David Z, Nashville, TN
16. Promoter: Omega Events, Lake Forest, CA
17. Publicist: Betsie Brown, Blind Raccoon, Memphis, TN
18. Radio Commercial: Kai Turner, Denver, CO
19. Radio Public: John Kessler, Seattle, WA
20. Record Label: Delta Groove, Van Nuys, CA
21. Retailer: Manifest Discs, Charlotte, NC
22. Sponsor: Barbara Hammerman, Gig Harbor, WA

The full article can be read on “The Blues Foundation” website.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"The Chancellors" on KFAI singing "Charlie Brown"

Once again thank you to KFAI hosts, Ron Thums and Jean Silverberg, of Radio Rumpus Room, for resurrecting “The Chancellors”. This time for my birthday and the song… “Charlie Brown”.
“Charlie Brown” was written by the song writing team of Leiber and Stoller, and released by “The Coasters”. It is one of those songs like “Purple People Eater” or “Great Balls Of Fire” that everybody has fun with. I like doing voices and mimicry so I got to sing the tagline “Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?”
“The Chancellors” recorded “Charlie Brown” in the same session as “Little Latin Lupe Lu” on October 13, 1964. We weren’t expecting to record more then two songs that day so “Charlie Brown” was just time filler and there was no surprise when it was never “officially” released.
Imagine the surprise when we discovered the 3 volume series “The SOMA Records Story” put out by Sundazed Records in 1998 that included long forgotten “Charlie Brown”. Also included, the instrumental “Surf Beat” and one of the rare vocal numbers sung by drummer, John Hughes, “I Can Tell”.
“Charlie Brown” sung by “The Chancellors” can be heard on the KFAI website for the next 2 weeks on the January 23rd show archive. It will play within the first 10 minutes of broadcast.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Little Latin Lupe Lu by "The Chancellors"

“The Chancellors” cover of the Bill Medley classic debuted on the WDGY Tiger Survey chart December 26, 1964. Climbing to #1 in Minneapolis, January 23, 1965 and remained at #1 for 3 weeks. “The Chancellors” took Bill Medley’s lyrics and melody for “Little Latin Lupe Lu” and set them to the fast paced beat and tight harmony that was all their own. Recorded on October 13, 1964, “Little Latin Lupe Lu” was first seen on Minneapolis charts on December 26, 1964.
On January 23, 1965, “The Chancellors” reached #1 on WDGY and stayed there for 3 weeks. “Little Latin Lupe Lu” listed on the WDGY and KDWB Minneapolis “Top Forty” for 11 weeks.
Billboard listed the tune as a “Chart Special”.
Music Business said, ”This tune was a hit last year for an other group but this new version by a new group, is distinctive enough to make it again.
Cash Box was most enthusiastic with “The Chancellors can skyrocket up in the charts in no time flat with this hard-driving updating of the while-back Righteous Bros. smash. The group injects a swingin’ rhythmic danceable beat into rollicking novelty.”

Friday, January 16, 2009

My "Charlie Brown" Birthday

Last week was my birthday, I turned 63. Tonight my wife, Debora, tried to surprise me with a song request on KFAI. In true "Charlie Brown" fashion there was a programming glitch and the surprise didn't happen.
Debora also invited many of you to listen in and I thank you for doing so. It's nice to be remembered by so many wonderful people and have you share in my celebration.
By the way, Ron Thums of KFAI, Radio Rumpus Room, swears that next Friday, “The Chancellors” will sing once more, at the beginning of the show.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

St. Louis Park Historical Society St. Louis Park, MN

Everyone has “Googled”, their own name. Yes you have, if only to find out how many more of you by the same name are out there.
Recently I was told I was dead. An obituary was mistakenly attributed to me and read years ago on the radio in the Twin Cities. What a surprise to me, and the IRS who’ve been collecting my taxes for the last 30 years. Does my vote still count?
The Minnesota Historical Society provided proof that “yes” a Daniel Holm, of about my age at the time, passed away in the mid 1970’s. I won’t make light of this finding. Someone did lose a loved one. I send my sympathy to his family even at this late date.
Another Minnesota historical society also provided a portal back in time. The St. Louis Park Historical Society had something no other web site had, a lengthy article on local music! What a treasure to find on-line.
If you haven’t already done so, take the time to look at this website. It’s packed with many names, dates, places and memories of what I’ve heard called the “Golden age of Minneapolis music”. Jeanne Anderson, who accepted my humble additions, totally surprised us with a page devoted to “The Chancellors”.
Please take a moment to thank the volunteers at these important local repositories of our life stories. Their time, talents and enthusiasm for small town history provide the first link to preserving the greater past.