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The Fabulous Wailers

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The Wailers, often credited as The Fabulous Wailers, were an American rock band from Tacoma, Washington They became popular around the United States Pacific Northwest around the late 1950s and the start of the 1960s,1 performing saxophone-driven R&B and Chuck Berry rock and roll2 Their biggest hit was "Tall Cool One", first released in 1959, and they have been credited as being "one of the very first, if not the first, of the American garage bands"3

Contents

  • 1 Career
  • 2 Later activities
  • 3 Discography
    • 31 Albums
    • 32 Singles
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Careeredit

The group was formed – originally as The Nitecaps – in 1958, by five high school friends:

  • John Greek 27 October 1940 – 6 October 2006 – rhythm guitar, trumpet
  • Richard Dangel 1 December 1942 – 2 December 2002 – lead guitar
  • Kent Morrill 2 April 1941 – 15 April 2011 – keyboards, vocals
  • Mark Marush 15 August 1940 – 9 August 2007 – tenor sax
  • Mike Burk b 1942 – drums

In late 1958, the group recorded a demo of an instrumental written by Dangel, Morrill and Greek, which found its way to Clark Galehouse of New York based Golden Crest Records He liked the track and had it re-recorded by the band in Lakewood in February 1959;4 its title "Tall Cool One" was apparently suggested by Morrill's mother5 Released as a single, it reached # 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and # 24 on the R&B chart67 The band made the cross-country trip to New York to record an LP, The Fabulous Wailers, which was released in December 1959 and featured two vocals by Morrill as well as instrumentals They also appeared on Dick Clark's nationally televised American Bandstand, and toured the east coast48 A second instrumental from their first recording session, "Mau-Mau", made # 68 on the Billboard pop chart,6 but their third single, "Wailin'", failed to make the chart

The band decided to return to the Northwest, rather than staying in New York as their record label wished, and they were dropped from their contract9 Around the same time, they added lead vocalist "Rockin' Robin" Roberts Lawrence Fewell Roberts II, a charismatic frontman who had previously been the singer with rival Tacoma band the Bluenotes1011 John Greek left the group in acrimonious circumstances, and was replaced by bassist John "Buck" Ormsby b Seattle, 1941–2016412 Ormsby, Morrill and Roberts then formed Etiquette Records and, in 1961, the label released its first single, a cover version of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" For contractual reasons the single was credited to Roberts, but was performed by the whole band9 Their recording became a local hit and was distributed nationally by Imperial Records, but did not make the national chart However, its style, with its trademark 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2-3 riff,13 inspired other groups from the Seattle area, most notably the Kingsmen of Portland, Oregon, to record the same song3810

The Wailers continued to perform locally and, according to Morrill, one of their biggest fans was the young Jimi Hendrix, then starting to perform guitar14 The band performed both with and without Roberts, who studied at the University of Washington, the University of Puget Sound, and Oregon State University, eventually achieving a masters degree in biochemistry1012 They also occasionally featured teenage girl singer Gail Harris, notably on the live album The Fabulous Wailers at the Castle, recorded in 1961, which has been described as "undoubtedly one of the most influential albums in Seattle rock & roll history"915 In all, the band recorded and released four albums on their own Etiquette label between 1962 and 1966, as well as a succession of singles They also helped instigate the recording career of The Sonics, whose first two albums were issued by the label,12 and helped begin Jini Dellaccio's career as a rock'n'roll photographer when they hired her to shoot cover photos for their album Wailers, Wailers, Everywhere

Mark Marush left The Wailers in 1962 and was replaced by Ron Gardner, who also handled lead vocals; Dangel and Burk left in 1964 and were replaced by guitarist Neil Andersson and drummer Dave Roland respectively1216 Continuing to perform live as well as recording, the band added a trio of girl backing singers, known as the Marshans9 Also in 1964, "Tall Cool One" was re-promoted by the Golden Crest label, and again made the Billboard pop chart, this time peaking at # 386 In 1965 Roberts made his final recordings with the group, and, in 1967, guitarist Neil Andersson was replaced by Denny Weaver16 Roberts was killed, aged 27, in a car crash in late 196710

The band split up in 1969, by which time Kent Morrill was the only remaining original member Morrill, Dangel and Ormsby, with other musicians, reunited as The Wailers for occasional concerts from the 1970s onwards1617 In 1979, they joined with Burk, Gardner, and Gail Harris to play a reunion show9

Later activitiesedit

Ormsby re-established the Etiquette label in the mid-1980s, and issued a Wailers compilation, The Boys from Tacoma, in 19939 The Wailers' song, "Out of Our Tree", was featured in the 1998 CD version of the Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era collection Several of the Wailers' tunes were also covered by The Ventures,5 and the two bands released an album together, Two Car Garage, in 2009 to celebrate their 50 years in existence18

Ron Gardner died in 199219 Richard Dangel died of an aneurysm in 20025 John Greek died in 2006,20 Mark Marush in 2007,19 and Kent Morrill died of cancer on 15 April 201121 Ormsby died in Mexico on his 75th birthday, October 29, 201622

Discographyedit

Albumsedit

  • The Fabulous Wailers Golden Crest, 1959 also known as The Wailer's sic Wail
  • The Fabulous Wailers At The Castle Etiquette, 1962
  • Wailers and Company Etiquette, 1963
  • Tall Cool One compilation, Imperial, 1964
  • Merry Christmas with the Galaxies and the Sonics, Etiquette, 1965
  • Wailers, Wailers, Everywhere Etiquette, 1965
  • Out of Our Tree Etiquette, 1966
  • Outburst! United Artists, 1966
  • Walk Thru The People Bell, 1968
  • The Boys from Tacoma compilation, Etiquette, 1993
  • Two Car Garage with The Ventures, Blue Horizon, 2009

Singlesedit

  • "Tall Cool One" Golden Crest, 1959
  • "Mau-Mau" Golden Crest, 1959
  • "Wailin'" Golden Crest, 1960
  • "Louie Louie" Rockin' Robin Roberts with the Wailers, Etiquette, 1961
  • "Mashi" Etiquette, 1962
  • "Doin' the Seaside" Etiquette, 1962
  • "We're Goin' Surfin'" Etiquette, 1963
  • "Seattle" Etiquette, 1963
  • "Frenzy" Etiquette, 1964
  • "Don't Take It So Hard" Etiquette, 1964
  • "You Don't Love Me" Etiquette, 1965
  • "Dirty Robber" Etiquette, 1965
  • "Out of Our Tree" Etiquette, 1965
  • "It's You Alone" Etiquette / United Artists, 1966
  • "Think Kindly Baby" Etiquette / United Artists, 1966
  • "You Won't Lead Me On" United Artists, 1966
  • "I'm Determined" Viva, 1967
  • "You Can't Fly" Bell, 1968

23

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Colin Larkin ed "Wailers rock 'n' roll" Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4th ed Oxford Music Online Retrieved 2010-05-18 
  2. ^ Harrington, Joe S Sonic Cool: The Life and Death of Rock 'n' Roll Hal Leonard 2002, pp 94-95 ISBN 0-634-02861-8
  3. ^ a b Richie Unterberger "The Wailers" AllMusic 
  4. ^ a b c John Broven, Golden Crest Records: The Wailers
  5. ^ a b c "RICH DANGEL" rockabillynl 
  6. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel 2003 Top Pop Singles 1955–2002 1st ed Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc p 748 ISBN 978-0-89820-155-0 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel 2004 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004 Record Research p 464 
  8. ^ a b KVI, Seattle: Tribute to Kent Morrill
  9. ^ a b c d e f Peter Blecha, Etiquette Rules! The Northwest's Reigning '60s Garage-Rock Record Company, HistoryLinkorg, April 10, 2009
  10. ^ Theo de Grood "Louie Louie" xs4allnl 
  11. ^ a b c d Dick Stewart, Up Close With Buck Ormsby, The Lance Monthly, 27 August 2005
  12. ^ Harrington, Joe S Sonic Cool: The Life and Death of Rock 'n' Roll Hal Leonard 2002, p 95 ISBN 0-634-02861-8
  13. ^ Live Wire, Coffee with a Legend – Kent Morrill of The Fabulous Wailers, 9 April 2009
  14. ^ Review of The Fabulous Wailers at the Castle by Cub Koda at Allmusiccom
  15. ^ a b c The Fabulous Wailers website; history
  16. ^ Bruno Ceriotti "Rock Prosopography 102" rockprosopography102blogspotcom 
  17. ^ Two Car Garage website
  18. ^ a b "The Fabulous Wailers - Tacoma, WA 1958 - 2011 with a little break in the middle" pnwbandscom 
  19. ^ "RIP: John Greek, founding member of the Wailers, 65" The Louie Report 
  20. ^ Fabulous Wailers official website
  21. ^ 1
  22. ^ Discography page

External linksedit

  • Official website

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