The Rondels


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through a Fender Tremolux Amp and Jimmy was playing a Fender Jaguar through a Fender Super Twin Amp (he later switched to a Gibson ES335 through a Vox amp). I think it cost us $35 to record it. The Rondels were about to make a big step."


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Although Shades Of Green was issued as the top side the DJs preferred the band's original Back Beat No. I and accordingly the disc was flipped and it was the latter title which rose to number 66 in the US Top 100 during the summer of 1961. It was another thrilling instrumental, an exciting mix of dramatic Sandy Nelson style drumming with Link Wray-ish lead guitar and plenty of raucous sax work thrown in too. By contrast Shades Of Green was almost European in its sound and style, including a highly melodic Shadows-like lead with only the sax betraying it's true American origin.

On the back of the hit The Rondels performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand TV show and also did a brief promotional tour with fellow Amy artist Vigor Fisher. Lennie, commented: "We had so many great times, but one of the best was being on American Bandstand. Here we were, four guys


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from three small towns in Massachusetts on this stage – wow! Our music and determination had gotten us onto TVs biggest music launching pad of the day. On the way back from Philadelphia we were driving through New York City and we heard Back Beat No. 1 on WABC and as the song was ending the DJ came out of it with: "Gene Krupa watch out"… Lenny goes: "What??!" That was when we all realized that, hey, we had something going on. During that time we met some unforgettable people like Phil Spector and The Crystals, The Showmen, Bobby Lewis, Link Wray, Del Shannon, Dicky Do and The Don't's, Bobby Rydell and so many more. It was then I realized that I loved this business of music and knew that it would be what 1 would do for the rest of my life."


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Ray, Jimmy, Lennie & Lenny after playing American Bandstand The next task was to follow up the success of Back Beat No. I. Lennie explained: "Bugs had been working with a couple of songwriters, D. Ganz and B. Meyer, and he played us a demo of one of their tunes titled Satan's Theme which we liked and so we cut it for our next single. For the flip side we recorded an instrumental updating of The Platters' 1956 hit My Prayer. Bugs hired an upright bass player for these sessions and I think we recorded about ten tracks for him in all."

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Article written by Dave Burke of Pipeline Magazine www.pipelinemag.co.uk