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Glen and The Champs

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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Cowpoke » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:41 am

And here's another little piece of the puzzle! I was finally able to find out when exactly Glen first saw the Champs and Jerry Fuller. An important moment because Jerry Fuller was one of people who convinced Glen to head for LA. It was also Jerry who told, in an interview a few years ago, that he and The Champs were on a package tour with other acts (like Jimmy Clanton, The Crests and Frankie Ford) when he first met Glen. That made it possible to look for the exact date, going through old newspaper archives. Well... it turns out that Glen went to see them at the Civic Auditorium on his birthday, April 22nd 1960, when he had just turned 24!

1960-04-22_.jpg
April 22 1960
1960-04-22_.jpg (150.94 KiB) Viewed 177 times

Which makes sense... most of the nights Glen would have be performing himself of course, at The Hitching Post in Albuquerque. But on his birthday he took the night off, which eventually paid off... in a big way.


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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Cowpoke » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:07 am

Finally a tiny bit of progress on the question if Glen played that terrific guitar solo on "Suicide" / "Panic Button" recorded July 6, 1960 at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, NM. I contacted Shawn Nagy of http://www.superoldies.com who made a listing of recording sessions at Norman Petty Studios. The Champs are listed here: http://www.superoldies.com/norvajak/c-d.html. Shawn told me this:
I had located long ago an interview with Seals & Crofts mentioning their session there and that they had “picked Glen up on the way through”.
Sadly he doesn't have that interview anymore and yes, it's not hard evidence, but still, it would fit in perfectly with the scenario that I had in mind: Glen had met The Champs a few months before when Glen visited a Champs concert in ALBQ and when The Champs toured New Mexico again in the summer of 1960 they picked him up on the way to the recording studio.

Now if I only could find that interview with Seals & Crofts... :) In any case, many thanks to Shawn Nagy for this information!


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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Cowpoke » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:01 am

Wow Randy. That video is much better. Impossible to sit still when watching that one. Thanks!


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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Randy » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:10 pm

Here's another video of buzzsaw twist that shows the record label Cowpoke. Remember as it says at the end of the video to "twist at your own risk"
:D

https://youtu.be/l1bjjDtdx2Y?t=113



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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Cowpoke » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:32 pm

The next single The Champs released was "Tequila Twist"/"Limbo Rock" (Challenge 9131), recorded on November 16, 1961 and released in December of that year. As r&r expert Dik de Heer writes on his website "In the Can" (http://members.home.nl/henk.gorter/Itc6111.html) Tequila Twist was the original A-side and spent one week at number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the b-side proved to be the more popular track, hitting number 40 eventually. Now I know that Glen himself has said many times that he played on "Limbo Rock" but alas, the session contract says otherwise. The session led by arranger Jimmie Haskell featured some legendary Wrecking Crew names, like Tommy Tedesco (guitar), Earl Palmer (drums), Jim Gordon (percussion) and Plas Johnson (saxophone). But Glen is nowhere to be found! :? (BTW, Bob Morris on bass is the only Champs member playing on this session).
the-champs-limbo-rock-challenge_300px.jpg
The Champs - Tequila Twist / Limbo Rock (Challenge 9131)
the-champs-limbo-rock-challenge_300px.jpg (92.08 KiB) Viewed 523 times
Now if I were to make an educated guess what Glen was doing at that particular day I would say he might have been performing at The Crossbow Inn in Van Nuys, California. From September 1961 until November 1961 Glen was a regular performer there together with some former bandmates from... The Champs! (Which bandmates? According to this Facebook page, they were Jerry Cole, Dash Crofts and Jimmy Seals, which makes sense to me)
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Glenn Campbell and the Gee Cees at the Crossbow Inn in Van Nuys, Van Nuys Valley News, November 3, 1961
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They went by the name of "The Gee Cees" and they released a single called Buzz Saw (Twist) (Crest 1088) in October of that year (Billboard review October 30, 1961). Sadly their popularity as a club band didn't translate into a hit on the charts and Buzz Saw Twist remains Glen's only stab at a bonafide instrumental rock 'n' roll hit.



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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Cowpoke » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:58 am

Dee, in a way it is like iTunes. You can purchase and download songs. The big difference of course is that you can listen to songs in their entirety, without actually downloading them. So it's a streaming service above anything else. There are several subscription types. For unlimited, ad-free access you will have to get a paid Premium subscription, but there are also less expensive and free alternatives that Spotify offers.

I really like it. For example, it allows me to get to know The Champs' (almost) complete discography without having to buy all their albums.

When you download an album you also download a front cover image. In most cases however, there are no liner notes available. For The Champs, just about every month a new compilation album is released, with a variation of the same tracks. (And yes, some of them have used this same photo of Glen with The Champs on the frontcover.) The same goes for Glen Campbell by the way, you wouldn't believe how many Spotify albums you can make with just the tracks of "Big Bluegrass Special"! :D


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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Dee » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:26 pm

What an amazing coincidence!

Cowpoke, is Spotify like iTunes? You purchase and then download the songs/album? Do liner notes and an image of the album cover come with the album download?

Would this Champs album cover be the first to show Glen with other members of The Champs?

I hope to see a CD version of this digital album!

Dee



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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Cowpoke » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:20 am

Hi Dee,
thanks for your reply! I think that website took their information from the same CD booklet as I did. But, I wil contact them to ask. Funny enough, today another compilation album by The Champs was released on Spotify.

https://open.spotify.com/album/4Fz2M8FbvG3lw0mZphJqM5" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It has Glen on the front cover
front_champs.jpg
The Champs - All Time Instrumental Greats (2015)
front_champs.jpg (104.26 KiB) Viewed 1196 times
and it contains "Panic Button"! :D


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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Dee » Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:34 pm

I appreciate this topic, Cowpoke! Thank you for reconstructing Glen's involvement with The Champs and recordings that he played (or didn't play) on.

A Petty Studio Productions website shows a date that confirms Panic Button was recorded in very early July, 1960 (this site is off by a couple of days). I am confused by how this site uses dates. What do you think about it? You likely uncovered this site when you were researching PSP.

For Panic Button, 7/4/1960 is shown, but not described as "unreleased" or "released". I assume this is the session date and Glen could have been on this session after meeting up with The Champs a few months earlier. Big assumption: Glen might have been filling in for one of group members on this particular session.
See: http://www.superoldies.com/pettystudios/a-f.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (control-F and use search word "champs" to find this record).

At the top of this webpage is info that might be of help with regard to the missing session information in PSP's files:
Petty productions not issued in the USA are noted.
Some of these may have just used Petty's publishing concerns, but were recorded elsewhere.

Dates are based on disc reviews and label information by [month / day / year].

Master number(s) are used for identifying records with no assigned number.
Reference to unissued material is drawn from articles, liner notes, surviving acetates or direct from the artist.
There could be other discs by virtually all the artists listed.
Just my two cents: I believe the guitar playing on "Panic Button" has a young Glen Campbell "Buzz Saw" / "Buzz Saw Twist" sound.



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Re: Glen and The Champs

Post by Cowpoke » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:54 am

The Champs' next single is somewhat mysterious, as far as Glen's involvement is concerned. We're talking about Challenge 9116 Cantina b/w Panic Button, released in early August 1961 (or possibly late July).
the-champs-45-rpm-record-panic-button_874573.jpg
Challenge 9116 Cantina b/w Panic Button
the-champs-45-rpm-record-panic-button_874573.jpg (33.32 KiB) Viewed 1229 times
Cantina was recorded on July 19, 1961, a few months after Glen had left the band. Whether Glen plays on that track is unknown to me. "Panic Button" however is a year older. In the booklet of Wing Ding (1993), a Champs compilation CD issued by Ace Records, music journalist Rob Finnis writes:
When the Champs swung through Texas in the summer of 1960, they detoured to Norman Petty's
famed studio in Clovis, New Mexico where they recorded their next single, the soporiphic "Cocoanut
Grove" on July 6th. The livelier Suicide, from the same session, was eventually re-titled "Panic
Button" and issued on the flipside of "Cantina" in 1961. It's likely that Cole and Campbell are the
guitarists on these sides.
Could this be true? The thing is, Glen didn't join The Champs until October 1960, in LA. However, the guitar solos on Suicide/Panic Button distinctly sound like Glen Campbell to me. If it is, it's Glen at his most raw and uninhibited, and I love it. In one of my earlier posts in this thread I wrote that Glen already met The Champs in (probably) late April 1960, when they did a concert in Albquerque, where Glen lived at the time. So could it be that when The Champs returned to Texas and New Mexico in the summer of 1960, that Glen was perhaps invited to join The Champs for one session in the Norman Petty studios? After all, Albuquerque and Clovis are in the same state.

To confirm this theory, I contacted the Norman Petty Studios. However, they could not find any records of a Champs session in their files. I also tried to contact Rob Finnis, but I didn't have any luck with that either. :cry: So, I guess it will remain a mystery for now. The only thing left to ask now is.. what do YOU think? Does this sound like early Glen Campbell on guitar, or not?

http://www.glencampbellforums.com/viewt ... f=30&t=285" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (note you have to be logged in to access this link)

PS: In July 1961 "Suicide" was supposedly remastered in LA, and released as "Panic Button". On Spotify you can hear both versions (or you can download the tracks on amazon.com or iTunes). On the original "Suicide" track the guitar solo is very clear. On "Panic Button" the guitar seems to be mixed down a little in favour of the bass and drums.


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