Friday, May 19, 2017

The Ones

The Ones have been a long time mystery band who recorded and released one very rare 45 single on Emil J Henke's Satin Records label in the May of 1967.

With the help of Sam Kinsey, I was able to finally locate an original member of the band: Michael Godowns.

From Left to Right: Jay Miller, Ronnie Weid, Mike Godowns, Tommy Lovelace, Jack Walker

The band line up was:

Ronnie Weid - Guitar, Vocals
Tommy Lovelace - Guitar
Michael Godowns - Saxophone
Coyle Stoffel - Bass Guitar
Jackie Walker - Drums
Jay Miller - Keys (not on the 45 record)

Mike had been playing saxophone in the Alamo Heights High School band when he got the rock and roll bug. He recalls one of his friends doing the twist dance at a class party while "Twist & Shout" played over the loudspeakers. This energetic new music made him decide it was time to join a rock band! The chance soon came in 1964 when a brand new band formed by his classmates asked Mike if he would join them on sax.

For the first year the band played with no bass player, eventually adding a musician named Alan Newman who was the son of an officer stationed at Ft Sam Houston. Alan was only in the band a short while.
By the time they were adding their second bassist (a musician named Coyle Stoffel) in 1966, the band had gotten serious and were doing a lot of regional appearances.

The band would perform at venues in Corpus Christi, Victoria, Uvalde, frat parties at Texas State University in San Marcos, Eastwood Country Club (a mostly soul/R&B club on the east side of San Antonio where the Ones once played with Bobby Bland!), The Cave (In SA), and of course, San Antonio's most well known club for high school bands: the Teen Canteen.
One of their most regular venues was the Mule Stall on Alamo Heights HS campus. It was a teen rec center that would frequently put on after school events.
The band was making decent money at their gigs, and Mike recalls paying for half his tuition with earnings from the Ones nightly appearances.


Guitarist Tommy Lovelace was a huge Yardbirds fan and had built his own fuzz pedal for his guitar in order to replicate the British bands guitar sound. One night after a Yardbirds performance at the Municipal Auditorium, The members of the group stopped in to The Cave while The Ones were playing! The young group was stunned to see their idols walk in, but as soon as they entered the room, they walked right out!

Band member Ronnie Weid's dad George was a business associate of some kind of Emil Henke's and helped organize getting the Ones to do a recording session (possibly recorded at Alamo Audio studio) in the late spring/early summer of 1967. The group spent 12 hours in the studio recording material for their soon to be released single. They chose two original songs written by Ronnie: the excellent jangle pop of "Sure Gonna Miss You" (all copies that have surfaced of this single seem to have the word "You" crossed out and "Me" written in its place), and a fine ballad with "What's It Like To Be In Love".
It seems there was some sort of dispute over the particulars of the recording contract that was to be signed upon release of the record, because paper documents left over from these sessions indicate a delay in paying for and signing the contracts for release of this single. It seems Ronnie or his father were not happy with some element in the agreement and were refusing to move forward. In the end, Emil ended up agreeing to give them 50 copies of the single upon payment for the session or pressing.
Unfortunately Ronnie passed away at a young age in the 1970's, so we may never know what exactly happened there.



"Sure Gonna Miss Me"

"What's It Like"

Tensions must not have lasted too long between the parties, because EJ Henke eventually asked the group if they would change their sound to country and become a touring act promoting some of Henke's more western material (possibly to back up Bailey Anderson or one of his other country acts). They declined.

The bands record did a get a bit of airplay and actually charted and made the top 100 on KONO radio.


A few months later, the band drove up to Dallas to record at Sumet Sound studio. They recorded two songs: "Bells Of Rhymney" (which had recently been covered by The Byrds) and an unknown cover of a Strawberry Alarm Clock song. These sessions went unreleased because the band split up a short while after making these recordings.

Their last performance was at an extremely wild frat party at Trinity University on New Year's Eve in 1967. The trouble that stemmed from that night was the last straw. The Ones broke up the next day, on January 1st, 1968.

Many thanks to Michael Godowns and to Sam Kinsey for their help!



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