If you just can’t wait to roll down the windows and crank the car stereo up, you’d be hard-pressed to find more appropriate music than the complete recordings of Ronny and the Daytonas (“G.T.O.”) ! And to coincide with the summer’s most in-demand concert ticket, Real Gone has another volume of live rarities from Grateful Dead. The Dead has been a mainstay since Real Gone’s inception; the label is also returning to the catalogue of the pioneering female rock band Fanny with an expanded edition of 1972’s Fanny Hill, produced by Richard Perry and engineered by Geoff Emerick!
Three limited edition titles round out the slate. New Riders of the Purple Sage’s 1973 album The Adventures of Panama Red returns to LP with a purple vinyl edition limited to 1,000 copies featuring a replica of the original gatefold artwork. On CD, The Viscounts’ Harlem Nocturne and Banana and the Bunch’s Mid-Mountain Ranch (the inspired folk-rock gem by “Banana” of The Youngbloods and a couple of his bandmate pals!) both go limited, too, with deluxe mini-sleeve replicas re-presenting the original album artwork! These will go fast; there will be just 1,200 copies of Harlem and 1,000 of Mid-Mountain Ranch.
You’ll find more details with Real Gone’s original press release, plus pre-order links, just below!
Ready for a little more octane into your car stereo? Here come 48 tracks from Nashville’s greatest contribution to surf and hot rod music, Ronny and the Daytonas! “Ronny” was singer-songwriter-guitarist John “Bucky” Wilkin, who wrote their first hit, “G.T.O.,” while attending physics class as a senior in high school; his mom, country songwriter Marijohn Wilkin, then landed him a session with producer and former Sun session saxophonist Bill Justis that yielded the #4 chart smash. Justis became the group’s producer for their recordings on the Amy label imprint Mala, which featured Wilkin and a rotating cast of characters, the most prominent of which was frequent co-writer Buzz Cason. Though Ronny and the Daytonas never notched another hit as big as “G.T.O.,” their infusion of country twang put a unique spin on mid-’60s surf ‘n’ drag music, and their use of strings and willingness to cut ballads alongside the requisite uptempo fare showed that Wilkin refused to be pigeonholed. His move towards a more personal style accelerated with the band’s move to the RCA label, where Wilkin assumed producer duties, culminating in the 1966 solo “Delta Day”/”I Wanna Be Free” single (included here as bonus tracks), which reflected Wilkin’s eagerness to embrace the folk-rock sounds that were in the air at the time. Now, Real Gone Music has assembled a 2-CD set that includes every single A and B-side (many of which have never appeared on CD) and unique album track recorded by Ronny and the Daytonas–just like the title says, The Complete Recordings! But even that title doesn’t really do the set justice; in addition to all the group sides we’ve included Bucky’s solo sides, two tracks (“Tiger-A-Go-Go” and “Bay City”) recorded under the moniker Buzz & Bucky, and four UNRELEASED tracks, all but two taken from the original mono tapes and remastered by Vic Anesini at Sony’s own Battery Studios. Notes authored by Bucky himself plus previously unseen photos drawn from his private collection round out the set. The ultimate look at one of the all-time great surf combos.
If there was ever any doubt that the New Riders of the Purple Sage were the ultimate hippie country rock band–and having had Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead as early members meant that there wasn’t much–The Adventures of Panama Red put them to rest. This 1973 album’s loosely connected tall tales of drug culture, complete with the album’s underground comic book graphics, ensured that this gatefold record was a long-time dorm room favorite for separating out those stems and seeds. But Panama Red (their only gold record) had a lot more going for it than just countercultural kicks–the band, by now consisting of John Dawson, David Nelson, Dave Torbert, pedal steel ace Buddy Cage and Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden–was much tighter than any outfit this stoned had a right to be, and with songwriting contributions from Peter Rowan (the hit “Panama Red” and “Lonesome L.A. Cowboy”) and Robert Hunter (“Kick in the Head”) as well as from the band’s own fine tunesmiths in Dawson and Torbert, the songs were of a uniformly high quality. Production by multi-instrumentalist Norbert Putnam, charts by the Memphis Horns and vocal contributions by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Donna Godchaux helped enshrine this record as one of the finest country-rock outings of the ’70s. Now, Real Gone Music is reissuing this classic album for the first time on vinyl, remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in NYC and lacquer cut by Kevin Gray, with a limited edition pressing of 1000 in–what else?–purple vinyl, with the original gatefold album and inner sleeve graphics (with lyrics) intact. Time to add to your stash of essential ’70s vinyl.
A lot of folks covered Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers’ classic composition “Harlem Nocturne”–there are over 500 recorded versions by some estimates–but the definitive take was laid down by a little-known R&B combo out of New Jersey named The Viscounts, who had a hit with the song for two different labels, for Madison in 1959 and for Amy in 1965. The latter release, which cracked the Top 40, spawned an entire album–also named Harlem Nocturne–to go with it, and if you are looking for the perfect soundtrack to set a bleary, late-night mood straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel (or a film by David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino–you can bet both of those guys have listened to this record), look no further–guitar dripping with reverb and tremolo, minor-key Hammond organ fills and sleazy saxophone create a mutant musical love-child of the Ventures, Link Wray and Earl Bostic. The original Amy album makes its worldwide CD debut on this Real Gone Music release, and we’re putting it out exactly as it was originally issued, in a limited-edition mini LP sleeve that re-creates the original album art to the T. Remastered from the original mono tapes at Sony’s own Battery Studios and LIMITED TO 1,200 COPIES.
Recorded right after the Youngbloods broke up, and released on their own Raccoon label, 1972’s Mid-Mountain Ranch was the sole solo album from the band’s multi-instrumentalist Banana a.k.a. Lowell Levinger. Except that it wasn’t really a solo album, because the Bunch included Joe Bauer and Michael Kane from Banana’s former outfit! So, Mid-Mountain Ranch really was a Youngbloods album sans Jesse Colin Young; and the absence of their former front man allows Banana and the Bunch to stretch out with some bluegrass and jazz licks alongside their patented folk rock sound. It’s something of an early alt-country cult classic, reissued here on CD for the first time ever in a limited-edition mini LP sleeve that re-creates the original packaging right down to the label on the CD. LIMITED EDITION OF 1,000.
Fanny had already stepped into some big shoes by being the first all-female rock band signed to a major label, but with the release of 1972’s Fanny Hill, they took things to a new level, recording at Abbey Road with producer Richard Perry and famed Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick (the album includes a Beatles homage with a cover of “Hey Bulldog”). And the result was Fanny’s most varied and ambitious album, sporting a beautiful mix of ballads and rockers and a mature, socially conscious lyrical approach. Not coincidentally, it’s long been the most-requested reissue in the Fanny catalog, and we’re adding six bonus tracks to the original release along with new liner notes from the band and rare photos. Another essential, expanded Fanny album from Real Gone Music.
Taken, like Dick’s Picks Vol. 10, from one of the Grateful Dead‘s annual year-end runs of Bay Area concerts, Dick’s Picks Vol. 5–Oakland Auditorium Arena 12/26/79 marked five straight volumes of ’70s shows selected by archivist Dick Latvala to start the series, and as it was from one of the very last days of the decade, it was the perfect way for Dick to complete his own mini “tour” of the ’70s (Vol. 6 would break the string by forging ahead to the ’80s). But Vol. 5 has a lot more going for it than just a convenient spot on the calendar; this is one of the rawest and most energetic Picks, a complete show anchored by a second set that is in essence one big medley that begins with “Uncle John’s Band” and ends with it two hours later, with a supercharged “The Other One” and the first appearance of “Brokedown Palace” in two years among many high points in between. Set one is no slouch, either, with a great, Garcia-led rendition of “Alabama Getaway” four months before it appeared on record and a passionate vocal by Bob Weir on “Looks Like Rain” leading to a spirited, set-closing “The Promised Land.” And throughout it all you’ll hear Brent Mydland serving notice in one of his first shows with the band that he is fully up to the task of replacing Keith Godchaux. Out of print for years, and a perfectly timed release for the Dead reunion shows (the label is also pressing up a 300-unit limited-edition run of Dick’s Picks Vol. 29, the only 6-CD set in the series, consisting of two monster May 1977 shows with stellar bonus material).
JUNE 30 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC
Ronny and the Daytonas, The Complete Recordings (2-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
The Viscounts, Harlem Nocturne (Limited Mini LP Sleeve Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
Banana and the Bunch, Mid-Mountain Ranch (Limited Mini LP Sleeve Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
Fanny, Fanny Hill (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 5–Oakland Auditorium Arena 12/26/79 (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
Limited Edition 300-Unit Repress
Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 29 – 5/19/77 Fox Theatre Atlanta, GA 5/21/77 Lakeland Civic Center Arena Lakeland, FL (6-CD Set) (RealGoneMusic.com)
JULY 10 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC
New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Adventures of Panama Red (Limited Edition Purple Vinyl Release) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)