Friday, May 27, 2011

The Five Jades

A little known band I was unable to locate for any further details. It appears that they recorded at Gene Huckleberry's Barre recording studio. Song titles on their (only?) 45 are "How Can I Try" and "You're Gonna Love Me Too."
Sounds like a group who straddled the line between lounge and light garage rock. These guys were also probably a little older than the average teen-aged rock band.

4-09-12 UPDATE:

"The original group from L-R: Billy Moeller, Mike Mueller, Ronnie Williams, Gary Shepherd, and Steve Brandt. All were on the record except Nicky Arriaga played drums instead of Billy Moeller."

Original band member Mike Mueller emailed me recently and provided news clippings, pictures, and details on the bands history.

The band formed circa 1967 while drummer Nicky Arriaga was still in 8th grade and the rest of the band was just starting high school.
They got their start backing up a night club vocalist named Grady Wilson several times a week at the local Holiday Inn circuit.

Eventually the band split off on their own and in the summer of 1968 they went in to Gene Huckleberry's home recording studio to record one of their original songs.
As the classic story goes, the band had not prepared a song for the B-side. They came up with "You're Gonna Love Me Too" on the spot.
The band had 300 copies pressed up on Gene's Barre label imprint and sold most copies at shows and local record stores. The single got a fair amount of radio airplay on Victoria stations KVIC and KNAL.

At one point, Texas heroes The Clique invited the Five Jades to do a session at the International Artists labels recording studio. The band were turned away though due to their lack of enough original material.
As the band progressed into the 1970's, they became one of the most popular groups in the area and began playing six nights a week on a regular basis!

"The final group. Mike Mueller, bass – Gary Shepherd, trumpet and vocals – Russell Hosey, lead vocals – Candido Alonzo, lead guitar and vocals – Mike Rippamonti, guitar and vocals – Ricky Williams, drums."

The original band lineup was:

Billy Moeller - drums (but Nicky Arriaga played on the 45)
Ronnie Williams - guitar
Michael Mueller - bass
Steve Brandt - vocals
Gary Shepherd - trumpet

Interestingly enough, Ricky Collins (see the entry for "Clancy") and Marvin Baker of The Zebras were both early drummers for The Five Jades.
Mike Mueller's earlier band circa 67 was called Love Street and featured both Ricky Collins and his older brother Keith Collins.

Note the intriguing band lineup: Winds Of Change, Under 21, Glass Stairway, Love Street.

"You're Gonna Love Me Too"

"How Can I Try"

Friday, May 13, 2011


A mystery 45 from Victoria I found one day when I bought some old jukebox distributor stock there last year.
I was instantly captivated by the records off-kilter "lost" sound and cryptic lyrics.

I tried in vain to find the "Ricky Collins" credited as the songwriter on the record. After speaking with members of local band The Zebras, I did get this helpful info from Robert Wuest. Robert played with a drummer in a later band whom was most likely the same musician behind this very 45.

"That must have been Ric and I suspect it would have been a project where he played all the instruments. He was plenty capable of doing that. Ric married Jan Schuneman (I think) when they were both very young... like 16 or seventeen.

I never heard about those recordings but it has to have been the same Ric Collins... Not only is "Jan" a big hint, but so is "Clancy".

"Nowadays Clancy Can't Sing" was (if I recall correctly) a Buffalo Springfield cut... probably sung by Stephen Stills. Fever Tree (the band we opened up for) did a great version of that song on their first album and Ric loved their version. In fact, Ric's voice was VERY similar to the lead singer's for Fever Tree, Dennis Keller.

This is past the Victoria scene, but in the early 80's while James was playing with the Gathwright Brothers in Austin Ric and I and Charlie Shroyer had a little band and we practiced at my house on Shepherd Lane in Austin. That band never got out of the living room, though, and at some point Ric got frustrated and disappeared and shortly thereafter Charlie was involved in a serious automobile accident that left him unable to sing. In fact, he could barely talk. He was an amazing talent and also a product of Victoria."

Listen to both sides of the record:

"She Is"

"Touch Of Jan"

Ric, if you are out there reading this, drop me a line! Id love to hear the full story behind this thing...