Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Baskerville Hounds / Keith Allison - The Baskerville Hounds / In Action (1967)

Two US Garage Lp On 1 CD

The Baskerville Hounds

Cleveland rock'n'roll quintet the Baskerville Hounds was formed in 1964 by ex-Grasshoppers singer/guitarist Dante Rossi, lead guitarist Lawrence Meese, bassist William Emery, keyboardist Jack Topper and drummer Michael Macron. Originally dubbed the Dantes, the group was quickly renamed the Tulu Babies in reference to a catch phrase popularized by their manager, WWHK radio personality Ron Brittain; in early 1965 they scored a massive local hit with their debut single "Hurtin' Kind," issued on local producer Jim Testa's TEMA label, and when Testa assumed managerial duties months later, he rechristened his charges the Baskerville Hounds. The singles "Debbie," "Space Rock" (Parts 1 & 2) and "Christmas Is Here" soon followed, and after releasing "All You Had to Do Was Ask" on TEMA in 1966, the group signed to Dot the following year to release their lone LP, The Baskerville Hounds Featuring Space Rock. Neither the album nor the single "Baby Am I Losing You?" elevated the Baskerville Hounds beyond hometown favorite status, however, and they moved to Buddah for 1967's bubblegum-inspired "Caroline." Although the 1969 Avco label single "Hold Me" cracked the Top 100, the band soon dissolved, briefly reforming during the mid-1970s.~ by Jason Ankeny

Keith Allison

Texas-born guitarist/bassist/vocalist Keith Allison has had a career woven into the very fabric of American rock & roll and pop/rock since the mid-'60s. Born Sydney Keith Allison and raised in San Antonio, he was already attracting notice locally in his mid-teens in high school, not only with his prowess on the guitar but also his looks, which made him nearly a dead ringer for Paul McCartney. It was when he moved to Los Angeles in the mid-'60s that his career began to take off. He passed briefly through the lineup of the Crickets, and worked with such figures as Roy Orbison and Ray Peterson, but his big break came about, ironically, because of his looks. His resemblance to McCartney got him noticed one night when he was hanging out at the Whisky a Go Go, while the crew for the rock & roll showcase Where the Action Is was filming. He was caught on camera, and then was asked to return to the Where the Action Is set, becoming a fixture in their audience scenes. He subsequently became friends with both Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders and Allison's fellow Texan Michael Nesmith of the Monkees. Allison could be heard playing harmonica on the Monkees' self-titled 1966 debut album, and later played guitar on the Headquarters album. Additionally, he recorded with Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart on their A&M Records sides.
In 1967, Allison was signed to Columbia Records and cut one album, Keith Allison in Action, produced by Gary Usher. It was a well-produced pop/rock effort, including renditions of the Lindsay co-authored "Good Thing," the Where the Action Is theme song "Action, Action, Action" by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Donovan's "Catch the Wind" and "Colours," Ray Charles' "Leave My Woman Alone," and Neil Diamond's "Do It." Alas, the single off the album, "Louise," authored by the Rising Sons' Jesse Lee Kincaid (with a B-side of "Freeborn Man," co-written by Allison and Mark Lindsay), failed to chart. But he kept busy playing on three subsequent Monkees albums, The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees and Head (both 1968) and Instant Replay (1969). And in 1969, he actually joined Paul Revere & the Raiders, playing organ, guitar, piano, and bass, as well as providing some vocals for Hard 'n' Heavy (With Marshmallow). He was with the group for the next three years, collaborating as a songwriter with Lindsay on the album Collage, an effort to move the band into the 1970s (and which, sad to say, failed commercially). He remained with them, playing guitar and bass, on the Indian Reservation album, and also found time to play on Al Kooper's Easy Does It, as well as working with Tommy Roe, Ronnie Hawkins, Johnny Rivers, and the vocal duo Spring. Allison devoted his time to acting over the next few years, but in the 1980s he returned to music, and continues to perform in the 21st century -- he also played bass on Last Man Standing, the 2007 album by rock & roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis. ~ by Bruce Eder

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