CLP 5170/1960 CLP 5314/1963
I’ve owned these Crowns for many years but never realized they were the same LPs until I just sampled the tracks. Released 3 years apart, sides 1 & 2 on both LPs are identical though the titles are different. To quote Jerry Cole, “Titles are tiles,” meaning it didn’t matter what the hell the Biharis titled the instros, especially if they were releasing the same tracks on different LPs. This happened countless times with Joe Houston and Jerry Cole instrumentals. However, rarely did the Biharis reissue the identical LP and give it a different title, artist & concept (twang vs surf) as they did here. At least they made a new stamper for CLP 5314 as there’s no scratched out 5170 on the blank vinyl around the label.
Billy Boyd vs Don Dailey vs Jerry Cole? Musician/writer Mike Vernon, who compiled several of the Ace Jerry Cole/Crown releases and wrote excellent notes accompanying the CDs, assumed Cole was Billy Boyd. Even Jerry himself claimed to be Billy Boyd. However, a close listen reveals that a different guitarist and band appear on the above LPs compared to the hot rod & psycho cycle LPs below.
Both sides of these LPs lead off with surf band instros which sound different (at least to me) than any of the other tracks on the LPs – I’m thinking these tracks were both sides of an actual surf band single Jules leased and stuck on Twangy/Surf Stompin’. These surf tracks are included on the Ace release which you can purchase here.
Most of the other tracks are more upbeat instros featuring a Duane Eddy-esque sax player. The LPs also contain a decent version of Link Wray’s Rumble (titled Bolero Boogie vs. Way Out) plus a slow, long, atmospheric two guitar effort (minus back up band), neither on the Ace releases.
Either LP is worth owning though the sax player tends to dominate the guitar at times–since they’re the same LP you only need to find one.
UK’s Ace Records has released three CDs of the instrumentals off these biker, hot rod & Go Go LPs so head on over to their site to purchase legit copies. Below are four songs off the original LPs, written and performed by Jerry Cole, that are not included on the Ace releases.
Body By Fisher is an awesome Jerry Cole reworking a BB King standard with JC playing incredible BB King licks. The back up band sounds like a rhythm track taken from a BB King session rather than the honking sax band on the other tracks.
CST476/1965 CST 553/1968
The Crown/Jerry Cole psych, hot rod & cycle LPs are much sought after but Discotheque! is a hidden gem. Monkey Shoes on Side 1 and Bread & Jam Jerk on Side 2 sound like Joe Houston cuts. Most if not all of the other selections sound like Jerry Cole playing undistorted rock guitar backed by the same honking Dwayne Eddy-esque sax player on all the other Cole hot rod LPs. Ironically, the following cut Texas Ska is more twangy sounding than any cut on Twangy Guitar.
Red River may be the most recorded public domain tune in the Bihari budget record catalogue. Here’s their disco version:
Another public domain classic is Shortnin’ Bread that has a colorful history. It’s one of the best tunes on Discotheque.
Writer Jim Dawson did Herculean research on Joe Houston’s Crown LPs for Ace Records on their reissues, untangling many of the mislabeled and retitled tracks. Here’s a couple tracks from Surf Rockin that aren’t true surf tunes but worthwhile nonetheless, dismissed by Ace Records on their reissues.