Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dewey Terry - Chief (1972)

Dewey Terry (1938 - 2003) grew up in Pasadena, California.

As a teenager, he sang falsetto vocals in a local doo-wop group, The Squires.

Reasoning (perhaps incorrectly) that there was more money to be made in a smaller group, Terry and his friend
Don "Sugarcane" Harris left the group in 1957 to perform as the duo Don and Dewey.

They recorded several classic, blistering Rock & Roll numbers on the Specialty label and others, but never had any significantly charting hits.

The pair continued performing through the sixties, notably touring as a supporting act during one of Little Richard's Rock & Roll comebacks around 1964 or so.
During that decade and beyond, many of the old songs from the Don & Dewey catalog became hits as covered by other performers, though neither of them saw much of a windfall.

Heading into the 1970's, 'Sugarcane' Harris became a notable rock and blues violinist, performing with
Frank Zappa's Mothers and on a string of his own LPs.

It appears that this 1972 album was Dewey Terry's only 'solo' record.
It was recorded for the short-lived Tumbleweed record label, based out of Denver, Colorado.

Dewey Terry - lead vocal, lead guitar, keyboards
Danny Holien - rhythm guitar
Robb Kunkel - guitar
Steve Swenson - bass
GaGa - drums
Allan Blazek - assistant engineer & space rattles

In addition to the pictured backing band, the album also features appearances by guitarists
Harvey Mandel and Mel Brown, bassist Eric Gale, Jim Horn on sax, and Jimmie Haskell on vibes.

Producer Bill Szymczyk wrangled musical acts for Tumbleweed and worked on this record sometime during the interim period between his time at ABC/Dunhill records (where he recorded B.B. King, The James Gang and others) and his landmark stint at Asylum Records where he helped transform
The Eagles into a Rock act.

The 'Chief' LP is a fun and funky mixed-genre batch of rock, soul, blues and funk.
It received a Grammy nomination for Aaron Schumaker's 'writing tablet' artwork and album packaging.

From Dewey Terry's 'Chief ' LP,
(Tumbleweed Records, 1972)

Listen to:

She's Leavin' Me
Big Boy Pete
Funky Old Town
Suit For The Cat
Do On My Feet (What I Did On The Street)
Reef Ade
Well Known Man
Sweet As Spring
De Blooze
Let Them Ole Stars & Stripes Shine

(click for audio)

- - OR download all 10 tracks in one 37.9 Mb zipfile.

See also:
- A 1999 Dewey Terry article/interview from the LA Weekly, archived at Rockabilly Central.

- 'Rocky Mountain High: The enchanting saga of Tumbleweed Records'.

- Some background history and a discography of The Squires/Don & Dewey at Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks.

- A Don & Dewey entry at allmusic.com.


Anonymous said...

I remember seeing this album in cut-out bins years back and always wondering about it.
Thanks for filling in the details!
Great blog-very wide range!!
Tom-Tom Brown

ben marker said...

i first heard this album last summer and fell absolutely in love. have been looking for it ever since. my day has been made.

thefunkygoat said...

Groovy daddy! Thanks,

The Goat


Anonymous said...

never heard of it before
it's great

john scarrott

Anonymous said...

My mom was dating cochise in the 70s and my two brothers are his sons. keith and steven. we all. had fun with cochise. he would have us come out from denver to visit him and donna in altadena. i remember meeting ray parker jr at his house. we were swimming in the pool when he came by. My brothers have his passion for music. keith knows more about music than anyone i know. and steven is very good at writing music. My mom has so many pics of him. He was very good to my mom and us for that matter. He is and always will be loved. if you want to hear more stories email me. garcia.gino@hotmail.com

Traitor Vic said...

So Thankful to find this post still available!!!

Sure hope everything is going okay!

Freshly-stirred links