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Posted By: Giacomo Madison James on: 05/16/2007 13:41:49 EDT
Subject: 40 Years Ago In Baltimore - Sam Beasley!

Message Detail:
Sitting at Tully's this past Friday night provoked some ancient memories going back to the last semester of my senior year in high school (Poly, January - June, 1967).
Tully's wasn't around then, but nearby on Putty Hill Avenue was/is a National Guard Armory where on every Friday night there was a record hop hosted by Paul Rogers of WCAO. Together with a couple of friends from high school, Paul Berigtold and Jeff Hild, etc. we'd attend almost each and every week. It became a regular gig, so to speak. On some other Friday and Saturday nights we (or I) would check out the Belair Road Assembly Hall in Northeast Baltimore right across the street from Little Flower Church and School. It was there that I saw for the first time 'Bob Brady And The Conchords" perform and discovered that one of my classmate friends played the trombone, Larry Sprigg. Pretty soon I started to follow them around and later, after graduation in June, was asked by them to serve as a band roady (We'd call them 'valets' then.) In April of that year, they released there biggest hit, "More More More Of Your Love", written by Smokey Robinson. The Conchords's version went to number 1 in Baltimore & Washington, Number 3 in Philly (WFIL, WIBG, Etc.), and top ten in New York City. I accompanied them on all their gigs not only in the Baltimaore, Washington, Annapolis area, but Philly, Atlantic City, & Portchester, New York (at the high school where Ed Sullivan attended a long long time ago), as well.

One thing though, I had heard their hit tune on radio, the Smokey Robinson/Miracles version, several months before the Conchords struck it big with it. That's because every Sunday morning, when gasoline prices were 'unthinkably' low, I'd go road running in my '65 robin egg blue Mustang all over Northeast & Southeast Baltimore County for about two to three hours while listening to the 'Swingin Sam Beasley' program on WWIN airing every Sunday morning from 10-Noon. Even though he played mostly oldies, he did include from time to time current and new recordings. That's where my knowledge of 'More, More', More...." (Smokey Robinson) began since he managed to play it almost every week. It blew me away to listen to it then and even moreso when 'Bob Brady And The Conchords' 'jumped' on it. Later I would meet and become friends with 'Swingin Sam' and would survive even longer to talk about it here.

I trust this musing a bit amusing, if not somewhat confusing, and certainly not perfusing or abusing.

Giacomo Madison James

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