Monday, June 12, 2017

The Capers

Here's another mystery band on the same Austin based custom label as the incredible Merlynn Tree 45: Dixietone Records.

I once spoke to a person over email who told me this group was based in the small town of Marble Falls, located just under an hours drive north west of Austin.

I believe the two songwriter credits were a Jim W. Wyatt and a James R. McMurry.

"Ghost Walk"

The group captures a ghostly otherworldly feel on both sides of this 45. "Marie" is a dreamy ballad about losing your love at sea. The flip is a great reverb laden surf guitar instrumental called "Ghost Walk".

There is an additional 45 that may be related. It is also on Dixietone records, but has a totally different label design. The band name on this record is The Swingsters. The songwriting credit is a J.D. Wyatt. Both tunes totally sound like they could have been recorded by the same band as the "Ghost Walk" 45. However, the recording quality is extra crude on the Swingsters record. Sounds like it was recorded in someone's living room!

"Southern Drums"
"Scotland Yard"

I would LOVE to hear from anyone who remembers or played in this group!

Many thanks to Erik Carter for gifting me the copy of The Capers 45! I could use an upgrade if anyone out there has a cleaner copy!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Proper Circle

Proper Circle

Most psychedelic bands evolved their sound from surf rock or garage rock from the fifties and early sixties. The Proper Circle, coming from the beachfront city of Galveston, Texas, followed this evolution in music. The Proper Circle was formed out of the demise of two other bands, The Tempests and The Sonics (not to be confused with the group from Washington). The group was a five a piece with band members coming and going, the main members were: Phillip Ochoa – drums, George Bolton – vocals, guitar, keyboards, Neal Witwer – bass, guitar and vocals, Cheryl “Cher” Comeaux – vocals and Jim Milan – bass, guitar and vocals. Two other young men would play with the group from time to time being Warren Potter – rhythm guitar and Johnny Maisel – guitar. I would like to point out the band members in this group range in ages from 16 -18 years old, which is astonishing, considering their talent. The bands manager was Robert Ochoa who was Phillip’s brother. Robert provided some financial backing for the band, being that all of the members were teenagers without disposable incomes, in the way of instruments and amplifiers.

The group recorded “One Day Love” in the Goldstar Studios in Houston for the Picture label. This single “One Day Love” would be Picture’s last pressing before the demise of the label. Their drummer Phillip Ochoa wrote “One Day Love”. The Proper Circle recorded a slew of singles on the Picture Label starting in 1966 and ending in 1968. This track in particular has a Free Design feel with driving dark eerie keyboards, a touch of fuzz, however still retaining an almost folk influenced harmony. The Proper Circle changed their name in 1968 to The 1900 Storm giving homage to their Galveston roots. This change was lead by the loss of George Bolton from the line up to be replaced by Roy Crawford. The group went on to tour in the golden triangle with such acts as Moving Sidewalks, The Clique and The Sixpence. While the band changed their name, the one defining quality they assumed was their amazing harmonies, even being compared to such bands as the Cowsills, which was an influence on the Partridge Family. 

This entry was originally written by Michael Selman and posted at Thanks to Michael and the rest of the shakin crew for letting me give this post a new home!