Monday, August 13, 2007

Gabriel and The Angels - The Peanut Butter Song b/w All Work - No Play (Swan Records 45, 1963)

The Swan record label originated in Philadelphia in 1957, with distribution by the Cameo/Parkway label.

The first big hit for the label was 'Click Clack' by Dickey Doo and The Donts.

Within a couple of years they'd signed Freddy Cannon, who supplied further hit records.

There's not much info out there regarding Gabriel and The Angels. (Gabriel's Angels are not to be confused with the all-girl group of the same name)

(UPDATE, 9.20.08:
See comments to this post for some good background info on Gabriel and The Angels!)

Their only hit was 'That's Life (That's Tough)', released on the Swan label in 1962.

This 45 single was a follow-up released in early 1963, but it met with little success.

Though 'The Peanut Butter Song' (not to be confused with The Marathons' 1961 hit, 'Peanut Butter') is a harmless, bouncy little number, in my opinion the lyrics are a bit unsanitary, if not revolting - - especially if (like me) upon hearing it the first time you think they might be singing vaguely risqué double entendres.

The B-Side of the single,
'All Work - No Play (makes Jack the President)' is a warm-hearted tribute to John F. Kennedy, and like other JFK-related recordings released previous to his assassination, it became rather unfortunate-sounding in hindsight.

In 1963 the Swan label signed Link Wray, following his departure from Epic Records. On Swan he had a medium sized hit with 'Jack The Ripper'.

In September of '63, Swan issued their leased master of 'She Loves You' on 45 for US distribution, by the then-unknown British group, The Beatles. (In the US, The Beatles had previously had two poorly-selling singles released on the Vee-Jay label)

When Beatlemania finally hit the US in January of 1964, Swan reissued the #1 single.
Revenue from that one record sustained the company for the next four years, until the Swan label folded in 1967.

Listen to: Gabriel and The Angels - The Peanut Butter Song (Swan Records 45, 1963)

Listen to: Gabriel and The Angels - All Work - - No Play (Swan Records 45, 1963)

(click for audio)


RLM357 said...

Gabriel and the Angels was the remnants of the FIVE SHARPS. A very Popilar Combo consisting of Rick Kellis (Gabriel) on SAX, etc., Ed Badyna on Trumpet and Valve Trombone, Frank Pizzutello on Bass and Accordian, Rick Magee on Guitar, Larry Costanzo on Drums. Rick Kellis replaced the Original SAX man Joe Mariano who is also retired from the Insurance business. The FIVE SHARPS were very well known around N.J,PA,DE, and N.Y. Especially the Shore Points and Universities.
The last I heard Rick Kellis was awarded two Emmys for Orchestrations at SONY Corporation and is in CA. Frank and Larry are Retired School Teachers. Ed Badyna is in upstate N.Y. and probably Retired. Rick Magee is retired from Law Enforcement.
They all went to CCHS.

Sky said...

Interesting... Was Ed Badyna also a member of Gabriel and the Angels? You are right, Ed is retired. He was my boss for many years. Best guy I ever worked for! Lives in New Jersey now.

Freshly-stirred links