MIZMARILYN'S MISSIVES

MIZMARILYN'S MISSIVES... THE MANIACAL MUSINGS ON THE MEANDERINGS, MISADVENTURES, AND MISHAPS OF A MISGUIDED MISCREANT...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Ledbetter's Spotlights...

Writing the previous missive made me realize there is more to tell about the early 60's, so settle down around your Auntie M and prepare to be (hopefully) entertained.

To begin, I need to explain something. When people talk about THE SIXTIES, they usually mean the latter portion of the decade. The "moon is in Aquarius, tie dyed, marijuana, Woodstock, hippies, free loving" sixties were just beginning to be a glimmer in the eye of the birth parents of a chaotically delightful time.

I'm talking about the early 60's, which were the end times of the "Mad Men" 50's. All that was going to happen in the next 10 years was being born in the music and personalities of the not as crazy early times.

Ledbetter's introduced me to the wonderful world of Folk Music. I first heard about the club's promise when a small group formed with me, a neighbor and friend. We were hoping, of course, to be the next Peter Paul and Mary...

not so lucky (or talented, it seems).

I only remember the man who interviewed us as Jack, his last name has been lost along the years. He mentioned the club in passing and, sure enough, later that year it opened. I spent all my extra time there. Randy Sparks was shocked when I graduated from college, as I'm sure he saw me as some little groupie.

The club provided not only a succession of really great music, but also a collection of little folk singers who entertained me on a more.... um... er... PERSONAL level.

sigh...

nothing better than a folk singer. They wouldn't say for long, and sometimes they sang to me...

and made me sing in reply...

One of the other spotlight moments involves a story. One of Randy's groups played at the Miss America pageant in Florida one year. The soon to be Miss America fell for one of the group, and as one of her stops after she won, she came to Southern California. I was in Randy's office, painting one of the huge baffling chambers in the recording studio with flowers... yeah.. I know, but flowers were beginning to be cool... Remember those huge simple flowers? Anyway, I was perched in one of the baffles at the top of the studio, painting it so it reflected sound better when Randy came in and told me to go and pick up Miss America at the New Century Plaza Hotel.

Off i went in my '62 Buick Le Sabre, to pick up Miss America. I arrived with all my usual panache, and was told I couldn't park my wreck in front of the hotel. "I'm here to pick up MISS AMERICA" I announced.

and I did..

She attended the show that evening and everything would have been jussst wonderful..

except..

someone told the wife..

None of Randy's groups ever played at another pageant. I mean, here you have your new, expensive Miss America and she's got a broken heart!

not good...

I found an old picture of one of the groups. These groups changed members often, and the pictures on the singles resembled the singing group not one bit.

This picture is interesting though.


In it you might recognize Mike Nesmith (later of the Monkees and the father of the music video). Bill Chadwick (I lived behind his mother's house-my first apartment ever and you won't know him, but he was on the list that tried out for the Monkees). The blond boy and the one on the far left with the guitar in hand billed themselves as Boomer and Travis. The dark haired gentleman (with the guitar.. (Travis, I think) grew up to be Michael Martin Murphy, the country western singer..

ya never know...

There are so many stories it would take another blog to tell them all..

Suffice it to say, it was a wonderful time in my life...

but just one of many...

8 Comments:

At 4:15 AM, Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

OMG Mike Nesmith! That is so cool. You have the best stories M. Keep them coming.

 
At 3:56 PM, Anonymous me said...

that's some fun nostalgia...soooooo long ago...
eek.

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger WyattBurp said...

Yes, I agree Miz M. You have wonderful and such interesting remembrances. I only remember picking tomatoes and hanging out the laundry and riding my bicycle barefoot down a dirt road.

 
At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Jason Odd said...

The Survivors included Del Ramos, Bill Chadwick (guitar), Niles Brown (guitar), Carol Stromme, Michael Nesmith, Boomer Castleman (guitar), and Nesmith's friend John Kuhene on bass.

There's a few different stories about the group's demise, but one version has Michael Murphey (aka Travis) replacing Nesmith, while other versions of the tale, have them in the group together.

They were also closely tied in with the New Society, and most of the Survivors seemed to be in both groups!
Gary Mule Deer claims that his first folkie gig was replacing Murphey in the New Society.

Oh the tangled web they weaved!

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger mizmarilyn said...

Yes... I have a picture of the 'survivors' taken after the fire... with the burned stuff behind them. I believe that's where the name originated. I hadn't forgotten Niles, but just assumed it was 'Travis"...

I have some 45 "covers" that featured most of the same people with different group names (grin)... if they thought one or more of them had received too much publicity (i.e., been in the front too much) they moved them to the back of the picture for the next "new group:.

What a fun time...


silly me...

I have a wonderful picture of Mike and John when they first hit L.A...

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger mizmarilyn said...

Sorry. that "silly me" belonged after the first paragraph..

sigh...

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Jason Odd said...

Hello MizMarilyn, I didn't mean to imply it might be Niles Brown rather than Travis, aka Michael Martin Murphey, just wanted to mention the group that has been called the Survivors in various publications.

I have recently come ot the opinion that the core group was both, but not entirely sure of the timeline. In June of last year, Murph aka Travis, called the group neither the Survivors or the New Society, but the New Survivors!

I am confused.

Had not heard the Survivors story, in regards to how they got named, but I love that story. Would love to see a post on the Ledbetters fire one day.

All the best and cheers


Jason

 
At 1:13 PM, Anonymous psycho jello said...

I hope you don't mind, but I used your photo on my Monkees blog giving you credit and linking to your blog.

I would love to hear any and all stories about Mike and these guys from back in the day.

I love your blog, what great stories!

 

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