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Plain and Fancy

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

J.J. Light - Heya (1969 us, magnificent psychedelic native rock, Sir Douglas side man)



Jim Stallings was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who had been knocking around the Los Angeles music scene for a few years when he met Bob Markley, a wealthy hipster and producer who had worked with the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. Markley took Stallings under his wing, scored him a record deal, and christened him with a new stage name, J.J. Light, which was imagined to better fit his Native American heritage.

J.J. Light scored an international hit single with 1969's "Heya," and the album of the same title sold respectably in Europe, Scandinavia, and South America, but for some reason the LP was never released in the United States, and a follow-up recorded later the same year was never released at all; Stallings became a member of Doug Sahm's Sir Douglas Quintet, joining in time to play bass on the classic Together After Five album.

This release from the U.K.-based Sunbeam Records features the Heya! LP in full along with 11 songs recorded for Light's unreleased second album, only one of which ("Kent State Massacre") has previously surfaced. Heya! is an engaging exercise in psychedelia lite; Stallings' songs are strong and to the point while boasting radio-ready melodies alongside lyrics that often deal with Native American issues, and his vocals are gutsy and passionate without sounding ragged, recalling Johnny Rivers with an extra portion of soul.

Stallings also had some fine help in the studio, including keyboard man Larry Knechtel, drummers Earl Palmer and Jim Gordon, and guitarists Gary Rowles and Ron Morgan (the former worked with Arthur Lee's 1969-1970 edition of Love, and the latter played in the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band), and the music isn't afraid to cut deep while leaning toward the sunny side.

The unreleased material was rescued from old acetates and the sound quality is flawed, but the songs and performances are as good if not better than what Stallings brought to his first album, and it's hard to imagine why work this good was forced to collect dust in the vaults for so long. Heya! certainly deserves a higher profile in Stallings' homeland, and until some American label picks this up for a stateside issue, Sunbeam's release gives his songs the hearing they clearly deserve, while Tim Forster's liner notes tell the story behind this music and J.J. Light's short-lived career.
by Mark Deming


Tracks
1. Na Ru Ka - 3:01
2. Silently Sleeping - 2:58
3. Follow Me Girl - 3:02
4. It's Wednesday - 2:31
5. Until It Snows - 3:01
6. The Electric Land Band - 1:25
7. Hello, Hello, Hello - 2:31
8. Heya - 3:10
9. While the World Turns to Stone - 2:18
10.Henry Glover - 2:11
11.Hey Yo Hanna Wa - 2:14
12.Indian Disneyland - 2:23
13.Gallup, New Mexico - 1:56
14.On the Road Now - 3:05
15.Low Rider Rule - 2:37
16.Running Bear (Richardson) - 2:31
17.Rose Marie - 1:47
18.A Thousand Years Old - 2:47
19.Love Is Not a Game (Goldstein) - 2:16
20.Power to the People - 3:03
21.Kent State Massacre - 2:08
22.Christine - 1:59
23.Don't We All Get Lonely Sometimes? (Knight) - 3:25
24.Have You Seen My Baby? (Newman) - 2:32
25.Stuck in Prison - 1:58
26.Heya - 2:36
All Songs written by Jim Stallings except where noted.

Musicians
*Jim Stallings - Vocals, Bass, Guitar
*Gary Rowles - Guitar
*Ron Morgan - Guitar
*Larry Knechtel - Piano, Organ
*Joe Osborne - Bass
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Earl Palmer - Drums

Free Text

20 comments:

mukahnlor said...

Nice, thanks, never stop learning in this blog, amazing job!!!.

mscmichael said...

That's a great one ! 'Gallup, New Mexico', & 'It's Wednesday' my favorites. Thanks a lot...

Laurent said...

I have the same label reissue, but on the vinyl format (2LP),a pleasant album with some very good tracks. HEYA! was also played successfully by the German group JERONIMO (on their first album & single).
Thanks Marios, for your generosity.

Nazareth said...

Thank you for this post, Marios!
By chance do you have "Simon Stokes - The Incredible Simon Stokes and The Blackwhip Thrill Band (1973)"?

Laurent said...

@Nazareth: I don't think that "Simon Stokes - The Incredible Simon Stokes and The Blackwhip Thrill Band (1973)" was reissued on cd, so it will be difficult to find it in a good quality sound. Despite that, in my opinion, Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks "same" is it's best album. Every further information will be welcome...
PS: there's a relation with J.J.Light?

Nazareth said...

@Laurent: Хочу поблагодарить тебя за отзывчивость. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - "same" у меня есть. Хотелось бы найти в качестве именно альбом "Simon Stokes - The Incredible Simon Stokes and The Blackwhip Thrill Band (1973)"

PS: there's a relation with J.J.Light?
J.J.Light - этот пост никакого отношения к Simon Stokes не имеет.

Laurent said...

@Nazareth: i have nothing to add, except a thanks to Google translator, without which I will not understand a word of your russian language.

Nazareth said...

@Laurent: English - no. Sorry...

Nazareth said...

@Laurent: P.S: Peace And Quiet – Peace And Quiet 1971 - Great album!!! - My collection.

adamus67 said...

@Laurent Yep, I agree, I saw this album
Simon Stokes - "The Incredible Simon Stokes & The Black Whip Thrill Band" only on vinyl
In 1973, Stokes released The Incredible Simon Stokes & the Black Whip Thrill Band on Spindizzy Records(KZ 32075) Cover Original With Insert And Featuring Very Tasty Bondage Cover Art By Joe Petagno. The album was a Psychedelic Blues, record in the vein of Captain Beefhart. The record’s cover was reportedly the first banned album cover in the United States Featuring S&M scenes with woman being whipped, the controversy created a cult following for the musician,especially among Biker Groups.
Laurent, my friend I send e-mail to you

@Nazareth
You can ask original uploader, re-send links
see here:
Simon Stokes - "The Incredible Simon Stokes & The Black Whip Thrill Band"
http://plasticpalacepeople66.blogspot.com/2011/08/simon-stokes-simon-stokes-black-whip.html

whereas
Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks (1968)
http://phrockblog15.blogspot.com/2011/10/simon-stokes-nighthawks-simon-stokes.html
Posted: 20 Oct 2011
[Rip and scans by SILVERADO]

Yours,
Adam

sorogan said...

Thanks Marios, new to me !

Nazareth said...

@adamus67: Thank you for your sympathy, but the link no longer works - Simon Stokes - "The Incredible Simon Stokes & The Black Whip Thrill Band"
http://plasticpalacepeople66.blogspot.com/2011/08/simon-stokes-simon-stokes-black-whip.html

Laurent said...

@Nazareth: I think that adamus67 told you to ask to the original uploader, a repost.
Friendly.

Nazareth said...

@Laurent: Link does not work. Can not download. If you can - to help than ever. I would be very grateful.

Nazareth said...

@Laurent: Link the old.

MIF said...

A pleasant surprise for me, Sunbeam Records is a really great label. Thanks Marios

Mike D said...

Thanks. This looks really interesting.

Poison tv demos said...

Thanks, he remind me of Rodriguez,
thanks to Bob Markley for this discovery,the album "Markley" is perfect,do you have any rarities from Bob Markley please?
Thanks Rockateria!

Pita Gyros said...

Hi Marios, another link to say Heya!

Marios said...

.....at your service.....