She'll Grow Back: Stagger Lee Saturdays - The Wayside Trio

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stagger Lee Saturdays - The Wayside Trio

I can find next to no information about The Wayside Trio online. They only released one album, as far as I can see, and that was apparently a result of their winning a contest at the 1964 California State Fair Exposition. (The album was, appropriately, titled "Winners: The California State Exposition.")

If I had unlimited time and resources for this blog, I'd visit the California State Archives and see if I could find a picture or poster or something in the Fair's extensive files. Alas, I do not.

Anyway, this is a friendly, upbeat acoustic folk take on Stag, with a nice opening whistle. I tend not to like this early 60's well-scrubbed, inoffensive "folk" style, but this is peppy and I don't mind it at all.

The Wayside Trio - Stagger Lee
mirror 1 -- mirror 2
Buy from Amazon


KL from NYC said...

I don't know if you'd ever get a real story about this record if you did have the time. Crown & Custom Records in California were ultra-low-budget labels owned by the Bihari Brothers who also ran the rock & roll labels Modern and RPM (now owned by Ace Records in the UK). They shared building space with Dave Pell who also ran budget labels (Tops, PRI, Golden Tone, Mayfair, etc.). It wasn't unusual for them to create LP covers with misleading info to disguise tracks that they didn't really own the rights to. You'll find their discography here:
(The BSN pages may be good reference material for you in the future also).
I hope this helps.

Mark H. Besotted said...

Thanks. As of today, right this second, I think you're my new best friend.

The worst part about you having to tell me this, of course, is that I should've already known that. I posted another version of Stag from a mystery Modern record way back in August, and even mentioned in the post that it was a cheapo (ripoff) label, or at least that one particular album was.

(Or, you can scroll up a little and click on the "Musical Mysteries" label -- two of my three posts using that one are from Crown/Modern Records.)

Just to keep it interesting, the folk music website I linked to (click on "one album") has the record released on Ikon Records, which is presumably the one from California, not the current-day British label which only releases Russian Orthodox choral music.

I don't have the time or the patience today to scroll through a long, drawn-out Google search, but it looks like Ikon was a vanity pressing label:

I sent an exploratory email to Jane Keefer, who runs that Folk Music Index site, asking for more info, but I'm guessing she gets several similar emails a day.

I'll write more as things come across my desk.

KL from NYC said...

I've read your posts and you shouldn't attribute the Bihari Brothers' misspellings to lack of education -- they did it to get out of paying ASCAP & BMI song rights. On the other hand, Mr. Miller of the Somerset & Alshire budget labels (the guy who invented the 101 Strings) would take a public domain song, change a few notes, retitle it and publish it under one of his pseudonyms so he could pay song rights to himself.
(I don't know if I should be elated or depressed about the wealth of information I've amassed about budget labels, but at least it was helpful to you.)
By the way, you can find some info re: Ikon records of Sacramento here:
The Ikon label closed in 1966, so if your Crown LP appears to be a later date, it's likely the B Bros used it without permission.

Mark H. Besotted said...

Sadly, that is not my personal record. That is actually the official image for the digital downloads of that song via Amazon. (If I could find a record number for it, I'd submit it to that discography site, which doesn't appear to have a listing for this.)

This album and the "Studio Group" album are both widely available as digital downloads, so I'd assume a new generation of Biharis is living off the proceeds of others' efforts.

KL from NYC said...

I just clicked on your "Amazon" link (for that album) and saw a price-tag for over $8!!! for a public-domain Crown LP that began life at $1.98 and often was reduced to 98 cents (or less)!!! And they're probably not even paying for song rights.
Don't you know that there are record-collector blogs that clean-up obscure, forgotten LPs from the '50s & '60s and offer them (legally) for free?

Mark H. Besotted said...

Ms. Keefer was kind enough to get back to me, almost immediately. Sadly, I've been too lazy to come over here and update. Here's the info she sent me:

"My Ikon LP gives the names of the group members as:

Mickey Bacich, Bill James and Marty Sorensen

and the notes say that they met at Sacremento State College in 1964 and are
all from California. The front cover photo shows: Mickey, guitar, Marty,
guitar, Bill, banjo (looks like a 5 string, but photo is such that I can't
be certain)

There is no actual statement as to the date recorded but 1964 seems
reasonable. the recording info states. "Hi Fidelity recording made with
the Ampex 300-3c tape deck ..." "

Mark again. I did a peremptory Google search for the college and each of the three names, but I couldn't find anything. Anyone out there up for contacting the alumni association?

Thanks again, Jane. You're almost too helpful.

Marty said...

Hi, I'm Marty Sorensen (age 65) of The Wayside Trio. Yes...we "won" the recording of this (our only) album as winners of the 1964 California State Fair Hootennany. We were all students at Sacramento State College (now CSU-Sacramento) at the time. We had gotten together just a few months prior to the Fair and were fortunate to win. I think our "clean cut" image helped immensely at the time as well as our ability to "entertain" as well as sing.

We worked together consistantly for four years of college in local spots 2-4 nights/wk and hooked up with the local CBS/TV affiliate that resulted in several radio, TV and public appearances around the U.S. During the summer we worked full time, once headlining in San Francisco at the Purple Onion - very popular night club just across the street from the Hungry I.

Mick is now retired, having operated successful family sports clubs in Sacramento. Bill is a newspaper editor and I a banker.

I still write and record using a MacBook Pro, Pro-Logic software, my voice & guitar and an Alesis midi synthesizer keyboard (all orchestral instruments).

I'm amazed the album is still available on ITunes, Amazon, etc. We've never received any royalties, but grateful there is still interest in these obscure folk entries.

Thanks to all! Marty Sorensen

Mark H. Besotted said...

Marty, thanks a lot for coming by, and for the update. So cool.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The Internet is freaking magic!