Can-Con 45 Of The Day - February 25

Can-Con 45 Of The Day - February 25

Postby radiofan » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:31 pm

Today's Can-Con 45 is from 1964 ... From Vancouver it's Little Daddie & The Bachelors (featuring Tommy Chong) and "Junior's Jerk" ....

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - February 25

Postby Richard Skelly » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:38 am

But for some oddities concerning their name, Little Daddie And The Bachelors, featuring recently deceased vocalist Tommy Melton, might enjoy a bit more recognition as a righteous Western Canadian r & b act. Over their multi-year existence, the five-man group saw the first half of their name written as Little Daddie (on a 45 single) and Little Daddy or even a contracted L’il Daddie or Daddy. For his part, lead singer Melton found his name often altered to Tommie to differentiate it from guitarist/main songwriter Tommy Chong.

The Vancouver-based band evolved from a late ‘50s Calgary outfit known as The Shades. That group, fronted by Melton, featured brothers Tommy and Stanley Chong Jr., guitarist Dick Byrd, bassist Wes Henderson, keyboardist Bernie Sneed and sibling drummer Floyd Sneed. The band was popular, perhaps too much so. They tended to play past midnight civic curfews. Worse, drunken audience members caused numerous after-hours melees. Then-mayor Don Mackay strongly suggested The Shades—and especially outspoken Tommy Chong—vamoose.

The Chong Brothers and their supportive parents Stan Sr. and Lorna, reckoned Vancouver was a good place to start over. Crammed into the Astoria, The Shades eked out gigs at Italian restaurants and hardscrabble Eastend venues like the New Delhi and Smiling Buddha cabarets. New moniker Little Daddie And The Bachelors kicked in around the time Stan Sr., wife Lorna and Stan Jr. decided to run clubs that would, of course, provide steady engagements to Tommy’s band. So Little Daddie & Co. became regulars at The Elegant Parlour—in downtown Vancouver—and Blues Palace near Broadway and Alma.

Junior’s Jerk was released by RCA International, a multinational subsidiary with an eye to signing Alberta-linked talent like the 49th Parallel. The instrumental, a Chong/Henderson original, was complemented by a Melton-sung flip-side cover of Chuck Berry’s Too Much Monkey Business. The band played extensively up and down the Pacific Coast. Apparently it was in California where they fatefully encountered another soulster group from Canada, The Good Shepherds.

A merger of sorts took place. Melton and the Sneeds left Little Daddie. Remaining Bachelors Chong and Henderson then linked up with ex-Shepherds guitarist Eddie Patterson, keyboardist Robbie King (RIP) and drummer Ted Lewis (aka Duris Maxwell).The fledgling project then chose a fellow circuit traveller, Bobby Taylor, to handle vocals. They soon became Bobby Taylor And The Vancouvers.

Spotted back in Vancouver by two members of The Supremes, Bobby Taylor And The Vancouvers signed with Motown and racked up a sizeable hit with Does Your Mama Know About Me? and followup Malinda. Green-card issues cost Tommy Chong his job. Returning to Vancouver, he met a draft dodger working odd jobs for Stan Sr. The stranger, Cheech Marin, had a great sense of humour. Mega stardom soon beckoned for newly minted comedians Cheech and Chong. Former Bachelor Floyd Sneed stayed in California and soon caught on with Three Dog Night, making a small fortune through the 1970s.

It’s unclear how Tommy Melton, Wes Henderson and Bernie Sneed spent their post-Bachelors years. A partial Shades reunion took place in Calgary on December 6, 2009 to raise funds for MS and Diabetes Prevention. Bernie Sneed couldn’t attend. Apparently Bernie and Floyd Sneed’s sister Maxine inducted surviving Shades into the city’s White Hat builder’s category at the Ranchman’s Cookhouse. Maxine was also Tommy Chong’s first wife. They had two children, including future actress Rae Dawn Chong.

Reflecting on his life to a Calgary Herald reporter several years ago, Tommy Chong said Mayor Mackay’s long-ago suggestion that the Shades leave town positively altered the lives of several Alberta musicians, most notably his own. “He did (us) the biggest favour. I tell you, I should’ve given him a big kiss on the cheek.”
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Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - February 2

Postby Richard Skelly » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:46 am

This just in. Wes Henderson briefly surfaced after Bobby Taylor And The Vancouvers.

Wes presumably parlayed his Motown connections and landed a solo artist contract with subsidiary label Rare Earth. In 1969, he dropped a 45 titled Rea Lity (i.e. Reality). He co-wrote it with Motown boss Berry Gordy Jr. and the late Tom Baird. A former member of CBC Vancouver houseband The Classics (which largely morphed into The Collectors/Chilliwack), Baird caught on with Motown...writing, arranging and producing for several acts, especially white soulsters Rare Earth.
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