Thursday, January 03, 2008

The music of my life, chapter 53

I woke up on New Year's Day with a strange craving for Englebert Humperdinck. I was slightly hungover and had either "After the Loving" or "The Last Waltz" going through my head. I have a cheapo Best of comp that I could have listened to, but at that point, getting up, going into the other room where the records are, crouching down near the cement floor to look for it and rooting it out seemed like too much trouble.

On New Year's Eve, I got a single in the mail by a '60s band called Stony Brook People. When I was a young kid my brothers and I got a bunch of promo 45s from our uncle, who was in local radio. I wish we had all of them: Kak, Little Richard on Okeh ("Lucille" b/w "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin on" which I FINALLY found on an album a few years ago after searching for that version of "Lucille" for ages), the Tremeloes. And there was this female vocalist leading these Stony Brook People through a passionate version of "Easy To Be Hard." It was the same song on both sides, though I'm not sure if it was a mono/stereo flip. I always kind of liked their version of "Easy to Be Hard" better than 3 Dog Night's. SBP's singer really tears into the song, especially at the end. Chuck Negron seems to be going for compassion; this gal is laying her heart out.

I still have a copy of the 45, but it's beat to crap. So when a stock copy with a B-side popped up on eBay for 99 cents, I said SOLD. The b-side isn't bad either. It's more rocked up with some punchy brass backing the singer, who sounds like she's doing more of a Grace Slick type of performance there. (Funny, when I was a kid, I pictured her more like Shirley Jones in the Partridge Family although that might be because they were the only band with a female singer that I knew of back then.)

Here's a link to a publicity photo of them. Aside from the Shirley Jones thing, this is probably how I envisioned the rest of them. I wonder if they performed in an off-off-off Broadway production of Hair.


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Anonymous said...

Its really nice seeing some is still interested in a 60's group from Long Island NY.It so happens to be that I am the guitarist from the Stonybrook People. Been talkin to Joy the keyboard player who led me to this blog. Any info needed on the group feel free to contact at