This appearance by the Byrds was another stellar moment for HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO because "Mr. Tambourine Man" was peaking on the charts at the time this episode aired.
Since the KHJ production team controlled how many kids would be admitted to dance in the audience, the reason why so many were let in for this episode is probably lost to history. The dance floor is packed. Uncharacteristically there seems to be a lack of coordinated choreography during parts of this performance. In the beginning we see LUCILLE dancing in the audience in front of the Byrds. At the 1:20 mark she moves to the left and out of camera range. DALE then appears in her place and we get some good looks at her. DeANN also leaves the small platform that she had been dancing on to join LUCILLE to climb the steps on the left side on the main stage @ 1:43. This involved "blonde # 4" (mystery dancer) stopping her routine to allow DeANN and LUCILLE to get past her. Normally little miscues like this would have been edited out.
One of the things that the Byrds excelled at was recording electric covers of Bob Dylan songs, and this one is no exception. The entire performance is centered on the Byrds themselves, with the GAZZARRI DANCERSrelegated to the background. Jim (Roger) McGuinn takes the lead vocal, leaving Gene Clark pretty much out of the mix.
DALEdances solo on a platform, while the remaining GAZZARRI ladies, DeANN, MIMI, JUNE, and one of our mystery blondes are on the main stage. LUCILLE remains out of camera range in this performance.
This up tempo performance features the Sinners doing their cover of the 1964 hit by the Rivieras, "California Sun". We also get to see six GAZZZARRI DANCERS plus their choreographer at the time, OSCAR WILLIAMS, doing a frantic monkey. This is one of OSCAR'S rare appearances dancing on the show. Producer AL BURTON had brought him over from Gazzarri's nightclub where he had been working for Bill Gazzarri.
Dancing directly behind OSCAR we see DeANN, LUCILLE, and JUNE. On individuals platforms we find DALE and MIMI. Of particular interest is the dancer we see on the stairs to the left of DeANN. She is one of our still unidentified "mystery dancers", and this is one of the best looks we get of her. She appeared on the show for approximately ten episodes ( ep # 27 to ep # 37). Does anyone know who she is?
Bobby Vee (born Robert Velline) had a string of monster hits between 1961 and 1963, plus one more in 1967. He also did several teenage movies during the same time frame as well as some of the first Scopitone videos (see his association with GAZZARRI DANCER MILLIE HAMM on her page).
This is a very up tempo song for Bobby who is usually associated with more middle of the road material. The faux screaming in the background of the track is one more dead givaway that HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO was not a live performance show. All that the viewers at home and the dancers in the KHJ studio got to hear were the artists' vinyl tracks. Some performers chose to sing along to their records on the set but with no microphone.
Dancing to a Bo Diddley style beat we get to see four of our regular GAZZARRIDANCERS, plus one short-termer, during this performance. This would turn out to be DALE VANN'S last episode. The details of her departure are not known. We don't know if she left on her own accord or was terminated, but in either case we believe that it was sudden. Sharp-eyed viewers might notice another dancer on a small riser positioned in front of DALE. She is not a GAZZARRI DANCER, but instead someone from the audience. On rare occasions kids from the dance floor mounted platforms to dance, presumably with the approval of the production team working on the set.
TAPING DATE: July 17, 1965 AIRING DATE: July 24, 1965
D1 - JUNE FAIRCHILD
D2 - LUCILLE WILLS
D3 - "blonde # 5"(mystery dancer)
D4 - MIMI MACHU
D5 - DeANN MOLLNER
D6 - "blonde # 2"(mystery dancer)
D7 - "blonde # 3"(mystery dancer)
GUSB - GARY U.S. BONDS
This is another of the party-like atmosphere performances that rocked the HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO set as the show was truly hitting its stride and gaining notice by the summer of 1965. "Quarter To Three" was already four years old, having peaked on the charts in June 1961, and it could still bring out the best on the dance floor.
Our lucky seven GAZZARRI DANCERS, composed of a mix of core dancers (JUNE, LUCILLE, DeANN, MIMI) and some shorter term girls, go-go their way through this classic rocker. LUCILLE and JUNE, who are located to Gary's right, treat us to some serious hair flailing. Starting with this episode we never see DALE again.
1960 was a very good year for Ray Peterson. That summer his "Tell Laura I Love Her" reached # 11 on the charts. Then in December "Corrina, Corrina" cracked the Top-Twenty and eventually rose into the Top-Ten in January 1961. By the time of this taping, four and a half years later, the tune had evolved into a popular classic and Ray performed it in his usual charismatic style.
Ray had previously performed this song on episode # 16. He was a frequent guest on the show with five appearances, and if you add his appearance on ALOHA A GO-GO he ties Freddy Cannon's mark for the second most appearances by a solo artist at six (Joey Paige had the most with seven).
From a GAZZARRI standpoint this performance has added interest on account of there being four "mystery" dancers appearing beside JUNE, DeANN, MIMI, and LUCILLE. DALE VANN'S last episode was # 30 and after her departure AL BURTONwent on a blonde dancer hiring frenzy. Four were immediately brought in and all four are still unidentified, hence the "mystery dancer" moniker we have assigned them. If any viewers recognize them please write to us on this website's "contact" page. One episode later, on # 33, MILLIEHAMM, yet another blonde, was brought in.
MIMI can be seen sitting on the ladder behind SAM during both the introduction and the performance. In the background DeANNand JUNE are seen spinning and dancing back and forth towards each other in unison. In spite of there not appearing to be a set choreographic routine for this number the results are still entertaining and pleasing.
Glenn had previously performed this song on episode # 17. Three months later we find him back to perform it again. In May it had reached the Top-Twenty on the charts.
The performance starts with some banter between SAM and Glenn during the introduction. SAMappears to have deliberately set up Glenn with some talk about his boat and the weather leading to the inevitible mention of "rain".
What sets this episode apart from all the others in our video library is the microphone in Glenn's hand. It is one of several performances from this episode in which an artist is holding a mic. Sometime during the early part of the introduction, the part we don't see, SAM'S mic ended up in Glenn's hands. What happens next is that the song track starts up and Glenn sings the first few words live before someone on the production team realized what was going on and cut the mic off. Remember, HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO was not a live audio show. Artists either sang along on the set to their tune without a microphone or they just lip synched. There were no bad audio performances broadcast out of the studio because all you heard at home were the artists' vinyl or prerecorded tracks.
DeANN, looking great as always, gets all of the GAZZARRI attention during this performance from the intro onwards until the end.
July of 1965 was an exciting time to be an aspiring go-go dancer in southern California. All of the competing music / dance shows (Hullabaloo, Shivaree, Shindig) had go-go dancers, some of whom had only recently been hired. In the case of HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO producer AL BURTON was actively recruiting new GAZZARRI talent most likely on account of ROBERTA TENNES having left (moving over to Where The Action Is which debuted a month earlier) and core dancer DALE VANN'S departureshortly before the Hawaii trip only a few weeks prior. That left openings. And AL was known for going after pretty girls who frequented the local clubs. If you could go-go in a club chances are you could go-go in front of a camera. It all added up to a perfect opportunity for local girls to audition and get a shot at appearing on some episodes. As best as we can determine ALbrought in four new girls in July who actually appeared on an episode. SHELLEY and MILLIEfirst appeared on the next episode. "Mystery dancers" # 2 and # 5 first appeared on episode # 31 and were there through episode # 37. Our "mystery dancer" # 3 made her last appearance on this episode and had been on the show since episode # 21.
All of these dancer personnel changes graced us with an octet of go-go talent on this performance. Core dancers LUCILLE, JUNE, MIMI, and DeANN were joined by four of our still unidentified dancers from the mystery dancer page. One of these newer dancers was featured in this performance and can be seen to the left of Glenn.
This was the episode that featured performers using a dead microphone for effect. Dead except for the first few seconds of Glenn's other performance on this episode (see previous capsule above).
This is the rarest video footage that we have from the show. It is only 22 seconds in length, but nevertheless it gives us a brief look at episode # 33, and also confirms that these rarer tapes do in fact still exist. We can thank the BBC for including it in a documentary, otherwise we might never have seen it.
Donovan was one of a short list of British Invasion acts to appear on HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO. Ironically Melinda Marx upstaged Donovan by performing his song two months prior on episode # 24.
Because of the brevity of this tape we are probably not seeing the full compliment of GAZZARRI DANCERS who performed. We don't see DeANNwho must simply have been out of camera range for these 22 seconds. We do however get to see a nice sequence of MIMI, LUCILLE, and JUNEswaying in unison with interlocked arms. And from the currently available tapes we get our first looks at SHELLEYBONISand MILLIE HAMM.
Besides the meticulously choreographed and timed hand-jiving by the dancers, this performance is also noteworthy for two additional reasons. One is the lack of a studio audience, and the other is that we get our first good looks at SHELLEY and MILLIE.
This episode marked SHELLEY'S breakout as a GAZZARRI DANCER to most viewers. She did appear on the previous episode (# 33) in a very brief clip that has surfaced. On this performance she breaks ranks with the rest of the girls for a short time while they continue with their hand jiving.
The three performances by Bo Diddley on this episode are without a studio audience. This makes them unique. The circumstances surrounding this were unusual and it is unknown whether the taping at this time was initiated by KHJ and AL BURTON or by Bo Diddley himself. What happened was that Bo was in the KHJ studio for an appearance on a 9TH STREET WEST show. These shows were always broadcast live on weekday afternoons. Rather than return on a Saturday for a HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO taping Bo was just moved to a different set in the studio and they taped him then and there. The GAZZARRI DANCERS were most likely already there rehearsing. They obviously had enough practice with this routine to turn it into a magical performance. The actual taping day was most likely between August 2-6 or between August 9-13.
TAPING DATE: early August 1965 (see note on previous capsule)
AIRING DATE: August 14, 1965
D1 - SHELLEY BONIS
D2 - DeANN MOLLNER
D3 - GWEN SELVAGE
D4 - JUNE FAIRCHILD
D5 - MILLIE HAMM
D6 - MIMI MACHU
D7 - LUCILLE WILLS
BD - BO DIDDLEY
CJ - CLIFTON JAMES
NJW - NORMA JEAN WOFFORD
This is another of the closed studio set, audience-less Bo Diddley performances from his early August 1965 visit to the show (details on the previous capsule).
Bo, Norma Jean, and his drummer stay in the same positions but there are minor set changes and a repositioning of the same seven GAZZARRI DANCERS who are on the "Let Me Pass" performance. We find DeANN and SHELLEY on the main stage and LUCILLE and MIMI are up front instead of JUNE and GWEN. The majority of dancer camera time is spent on LUCILLE who puts on a fine show.
TAPING DATE: early August 1965 (see note on "Let Me Pass" capsule)
AIRING DATE: August 14, 1965
D1 - MIMI MACHU
D2 - MILLIE HAMM
D3 - GWEN SELVAGE
D4 - SHELLEY BONIS
D5 - JUNE FAIRCHILD
D6 - DeANN MOLLNER
D7 - LUCILLE WILLS
SR - SAM RIDDLE
BD - BO DIDDLEY
CJ - CLIFTON JAMES
NJW - NORMA JEAN WOFFORD
And here we have the third Bo Diddley performance from the closed studio set (further details on the "Let Me Pass" capsule). The GAZZARRI ladies were more than ready for Mr. D and turn in another great performance.
Of particular interest are the close up shots we get of DeANN, LUCILLE, and JUNE. They remain seated on a separate platform and do some more well-timed hand jiving. These platforms that the dancers used were moveable and allowed slightly different stage sets for the three Bo Diddley performances. GWEN and SHELLEYshare a platform and we find MIMI and MILLIEon another.
Mr. D does some fancy footwork while playing his guitar, while Norma Jean looks stoic throughout all three performances.
This performance features nine GAZZARRI DANCERS, two of whom still remain unidentified. SHELLEY, JUNE, LUCILLE, and MIMI dance as a quartet on two levels to the left of the Sinners. DeANN has the main stage to herself, and GWEN and two unidentified dancers form a row to the right and front of the band.
AL BURTON had brought in approximately six new dancers between episodes # 27 and # 31. The reason for this influx is unknown and all of them were gone by episode # 37 at the latest. The one who received the most exposure, and is therefore the most remembered, is MILLIE HAMM. SHELLEY arrived on episode # 33 and also made a major impact by immediately being incorporated into the core group of dancers.
The Sinners do a creditable cover of "Shakin' All Over", a tune that has been recorded by a long list of groups.
EPISODE # 34
BARRY YOUNG - "ONE HAS MY NAME (THE OTHER HAS MY HEART)"
Some might ask what someone like Barry Young, who could best be described as a crooner, was doing on a show like HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO. The show did have a reputation for presenting an eclectic mix of musical guests, but there is another reason why Barry made appearances on three episodes (# 13, 33, 34) - he was married to the show's Associate Producer, DONALIE FITZGERALD. One of her duties was booking acts for the show, so landing her husband a few appearances was a natural. Besides, Barry was an accomplished singer most remembered for his vocal similarity to Dean Martin.
This was Barry's only charting song. Ironoically it reached # 13 on the December 4, 1965 Billboard Top 100, almost a year to the day before died at the young age of 33 on December 2, 1966.
The dancing by the eight GAZZARRI DANCERS is somewhat lackluster due mostly to the sing-alongslow tempo of the song.
One of the most instantly recognizable instrumentals from the 1960s, "Green Onions" is a classic and Booker T& the MGs biggest hit. It was in the top-ten for the months of September and October 1962.
We get to see lots of movement (and that's good) from the seven GAZZARRI DANCERS in this performance. The quintet of SHELLEY, JUNE, GWEN, and MIMI open by parading in front of the MGs, then retreating behind them, only to emerge again and continue dancing. They eventually break off into two pairs. Meanwhile on the main stage we see LUCILLE and MILLIE engaging in a game of paddy-cake while they keep to the beat. The cameramen use a multiple image lens to showcase DeANN, then MILLIE, and then LUCILLE to close out the song.
Our high energy octet of GAZZARRI DANCERS never quite get up to speed during John Andrea's "Come On In". They do however manage to half speed their way through the performance. We get some very nice looks at the lovely MIMI during SAM'S introduction. And likewise for GWEN at the end of the song. SHELLEYcan be seen in what was her second episode on the show, and we also have two of our still unidentified "mystery dancers".
John Andrea was a regular on Shindig and in spite of his seven year contract (on Reprise Records) that SAM mentions in the intro, he never made a dent on the charts. He did however become a famous arranger/producer under his real name of John D'Andrea. John was involved in several dozen hits and he won a Grammy for his arrangement of "Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. He has also composed music for a long list of television shows from the 1970s up until the present.
"Mission Bell" was a big hit for Donnie in the summer of 1960, charting in the Top-Twenty during August and September. This was Donnie's third appearance on HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO; he had previously performed this song on episode # 9.
MIMI provides a beautiful backdrop during SAM'S intro. Up on the main stage Donnie is flanked by LUCILLE on the left and MILLIEon the right. At this point in the show's history nine GAZZARRIDANCERSwere on board for a short time. This performance features seven of them. Two of our unidentified mystery dancers can't be seen and are either out of camera range or sitting this one out. This might be what prompted AL on the next episode to add a runway to the main stage. You can see the runway jutting out from the center of the stage starting on episode # 35. With this arrangement the solo musical guests could utilize the runway, thereby freeing up more space on the stage for the dancers.
If you watch carefully at the 2:12 mark you can see some priceless wiggling by GWENon her ladder.
It's hard not to love the episodes in the mid-30s range. That's because, besides the great musical guests, AL BURTON had more GAZZARRI DANCERS on board than at any other time in the show's history. After DALE'S departure he went on a go-go hiring spree leaving us with an ennead of dancers. Finding space for these nine dancers must have proved challenging because there were some alterations to the set in what was probably an effort to get them all in. The Sinners themselves, for this episode, found themselves squeezed in the far right corner of the back wall with Tony the drummer actually on the stage while Vic and Manuel were on separate platforms just in front. On the following episode a new approach was unveiled with the addition of the runway in the center front of the main stage. This allowed more dancers in a central area rather than spreading them out on numerous ladders and platforms scattered about the set. The runway allowed whomever was on it to be a featured dancer. It also allowed for an easier job for the three cameramen.
During SAM'S intro to this performance there are some nice looks at GWEN, MILLIE, and LUCILLE. We also get excellent multiple looks during the song of MILLIE and LUCILLE who are positioned next to each other. Also of note are the trademark hair tosses by both DeANNand MIMI. Two of the short-term dancers in this performance still remain unidentified. Overall the cameramen spend more time focusing on the dancers than they do on the Sinners.
The song itself was written by the three Sinners and appears on their sole album (details on the Sinners page on this website). It should not be confused with other tunes using the terms "watusi" and "go-go" in their titles.
We here at GAZZARRIDANCERS.COM love Jackie DeShannon. She had the complete package: beautiful looks, great dancing ability, stage presence, camera awareness, great voice, and she wrote many of her own songs. This performance hits on all cylinders and is one of the best HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO videos.
This was one of the very few occasions where an artist on the show came back to perform the same song again. Jackie had previously performed this tune, which she also wrote, on an episode # 10 appearance.
The lip-synch false start adds a bit more charm to the performance which really takes off after this humorous moment.
There are nine GAZZARRI DANCERS, who for the most part stay in the background while the camera focuses on Jackie as she simultaneously sings and dances. Note JUNE'S frantic workout in her D9 position.
Of the four video performances that we currently have of Jackie on HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO this is the only one showcasing her where she rightfully belongs - on the main stage runway. During her other performances we get to watch her perform and dance on tiny rectangular and triangular risers placed on the dance floor, and almost expect her to remain motionless for fear of a tumble. This time around she has room to dance. And that she does well while performing "Over You".
One of the curiosities of this video is the girl present during SAM'S introduction. We also see her on the dancefloor during the Sinners' performance of "Milk Cow Blues" from this episode. During the "Over You" intro SAM states:
"… now over you, I’m sad to say, translated in any language …… Die Frau".
This leads us to believe that the girl was possibly a German tourist.
We only get to see five GAZZARRIDANCERS:LUCILLE,,GWEN, SHELLEY, MILLIE, and one of our unknown dancers dubbed as "blonde # 4", but we can see that there were others on the fringes of the screen. We get some very close up looks at LUCILLE for about ten seconds at the 1:24 mark.
The choreography for this entire episode is credited to MIMIand SHELLEY.
The Challengers were one of the great west coast surf bands with over a dozen albums to their credit in the 1960s. After the Sinners the Challengers put in the most appearances on the show. They were very polished and performed many covers on the show, with this version of Tommy Roe's "Sheila" being one of the best.
In the week preceding the taping of an episode the Challengers would visit a studio and record the songs that they would perform. Then during the actual show taping they would just play along unamplified to the pre-recorded track. Drummer Richard Delvy also played along with this track during the taping. You can pick up Richard's precise drumbeats at times from the studio floor microphone (as well as the audience being wowed).
Although there are eight GAZZARRI DANCERS in this video only one, LUCILLE, gets any serious and up close camera time. She dances a completely different routine than the rest of the dancers. And lucky Randy had the best view in the house.
This is a high profile episode featuring Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett, and Jackie DeShannon. Chuck didn't diasappoint and performed three tunes on his second appearance on HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO. He had previously been on the show three months earlier with the Rolling Stones (episode # 22). "Roll Over Beethoven" was a hit for Chuck in 1956, making it the oldest hit record ever performed on the show.
This performance is packed with eight GAZZARRI DANCERS. This is from the time in the show's history when several new dancers were added. DALE VANN had vanished from the set several episodes earlier. None of these new dancers, except SHELLEY BONIS and MILLIE HAMM, had a major impact and most were gone after a few episodes. Nevertheless they all were in full up-tempo mode for this performance.
Chuck Berry is usually associated as being a 1950s artist, however in the two years (1963-64) prior to his HOLLYWOODA GO-GO appearances he placed five tunes in the Top-100, with two of those making it to the Top-Twenty. In 1965 he had only two single releases, one of them being this tune, "Dear Dad". It just cracked the Top-100 and made it to # 95.
Nevertheless the song rocks, as do most of Chuck's tunes, and the guitar work is exemplary as usual. It is interesting to note how Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones mimics this guitar sound in later years. One has to wonder if he picked up the knack from Chuck himself during episode # 22 on which both were guests.
This performance is a gorgeous GAZZARRI go-go gourmet since it features nine of them, albeit a few fleetingly or at long distance. SHELLEYand GWEN on the main stage, as well as MIMIon the runway, get great coverage. DeANN and JUNE can be seen at times on the left side of the dance floor. And LUCILLEis seen next to SAM during the outro. Two of our still unidentified "mystery dancers" can also be seen in this performance. All of the dancers are in high tempo mode and deliver solid performances.
Most artists performed a pair of their songs when they appeared on HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO. On occasion some very popular artists would get to perform three songs. By the mid 1960s Chuck was already an iconic artist and this is one of those three performance occasions. "Promised Land" was a # 41 hit on the US charts in the prior year.
As in his "Dear Dad" performance we are again treated to a record nonet of dancers. That's seven who we can identify, and two short-termers who remain a mystery. JUNE is in front on the newly utilised runway, and behind her on the back platform we see some serious go-go power with GWEN, MILLIE, DeANN, LUCILLE, and SHELLEY lined up left to right. The cameramen treat us to some good looks at all. MIMI is located high up in a precarious position on a ladder which must have inhibited her movements.
This is another of those overlooked sleeper performances that we have recently rediscovered here at GAZZARRIDANCERS.COM. This infectious tune rocks from start to finish.
All record setting nine of our GAZZARRI DANCERS are here and it's interesting to see the newly installed runway on the front center of the stage being used to maximum effect. It is well worth watching SHELLEY and DeANN dance flawlessly in unison on the stage. The runway is reserved for Joe and Eddie and five dancers. MILLIE, JUNE, and LUCILLEare seated on the left of the runway, with GWEN and MIMIof the right side. Two of our unknown mystery dancers are relegated to the shadows on the right side of the set.
Joe Gilbert and Eddie Brown were a very talented duo who released eight albums in their four short years together. They were also television favorites in the mid-1960s having appeared on more than twenty shows. Their career came to a tragic end when Joe was killed in a car crash just fifty one weeks after this show was taped. Eddie is still active in the music industry to this day.
Del Shannon's 1961 smash hit "Runaway" is the only currently available video from episode # 36. This is one of the great performances from the entire run of HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO.
Del is clearly the center of the solar system as seven GAZZARRI DANCERS orbit him in a counterclockwise direction. There are a further two dancers outside of the orbit, and in the background. While the choreography is not terribly complicated, it is very entertaining. At the very start we see DeANN, SHELLEY, and GWEN descend from the stage to join the orbiters. As a reference point we have designated SHELLEY as D1. She is the easiest to pick out on account of her short hair (and fittingly she is an astronomer now). Circling around Del we have in order: SHELLEY, GWEN, MIMI, LUCILLE, MILLIE, DeANN, and JUNE. Truly a heavenly sight.
Even this early in her long career Tina was a major catch for any music show. And this was not her first appearance on HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO. She appeared on two of the very early episodes (# 3 & # 8), and prior to this appearance she was allocated a major chunk of airtime with her Ike & TinaTurner Review entourage on episode # 18 in April 1965. This time around Tina appeared as a solo act and performed two songs (which were actually Ike & Tina Revue tunes). This one was a B side which is rarely heard nowadays.
One of the treats of this video is that we get to hear LUCILLE speak when she and SAM introduce Tina. By this time in the show's run the GAZZARRI DANCERS had become quite popular and SAMwould use them occasionally to help introduce guests. On the very next episode (# 38) we get to hear MIMI during the Bees introduction, and then LUCILLE again for the Mary Wells intro. MARIA and DAWN got their chances on later episodes.
LUCILLE remains seated next to SAMduring Tina's performance while MIMI, DeANN, GWEN, SHELLEY, and JUNE go-go to the beat.
During the intro to this performance we get to see the effervescentLUCILLE behind SAM. We also see SAM get distracted by a loud groaning sound as he introduces Vic Dana. The sound is that of wood being dragged across concrete and a careful review of the tape leads us to believe that it was the sound of DeANN'S riser (platform) being repositioned between performances. DeANN, MIMI, LUCILLE, SHELLEY, JUNE, and GWEN all put in good moves considering the slow pace of Vic's song. Several of the audience dancers seem to be confused as to whether they should dance slowly or fast to the song.
Vic Dana had seventeen releases chart in the Top-100 between 1961 and 1976, but this tune was by far his biggest hit and the only to reach the Top-Twenty. It peaked on the charts in April 1965, about four months before this show aired.
This is one of the most interesting performances from the HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO video archives. Not just because the Bees were a good group, but also because of the personal connection between their lead singer, George Caldwell, and dancer MIMI MACHU. As MIMI herself announces to SAM during the introduction to this song, she and George were married only a few weeks earlier (August 11, 1965). We have a policy here at GAZZARRIDANCERS.COM of not delving deeply into the personal relationships of the dancers, but in this case it was the bride herself who passed along the news to viewers. Here is a transcript of the dialogue between SAM and MIMI during the introduction:
Sam: Hi Mimi !
Sam: We're uh proud to uh congratulate Mimi because she's the new bride...for about two weeks now?
Sam: What is your new last name?
Sam: Mimi is about to present her husband in his first television appearance along with his new group..
the group is called...
Mimi: The Bees
Sam: a propos for short, right?
Sam: I hope so. Mimi's new husband's group is called the Bees and a propos for HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO
they sing their first song tonight..."Mimi's Song"
After the introduction we see MIMI in a featured location directly in front of her husband's band. Appropriately she is the only dancer that gets any up close camera time during the song written to her.
The Bees hailed from California and they released several singles, although none of them charted. In September 1968 their bass player, John York, replaced Chris Hillman in the Byrds. After a year and two albums with them he went on to play with several other groups such as the Mamas and Papas, the Sir Douglas Quintet, Johnny Rivers, Dr. John, and several members of the Band. He is still active and performs Byrds music with various musicians. John told me that he lost contact with George Caldwell several years ago.
The other interesting storyline to the Bees and HOLLYWOOD A GO-GO is that producer AL BURTON had selected them as the house band for his pilot TV show "Way Out". Six time HOLLYWOOD AGO-GO guest Joey Paige was tapped to be the host. The pilot was never picked up by the networks and the idea eventually morphed into the famous "Laugh In" show.g
EPISODE # 38
McCOYS - "HANG ON SLOOPY"
VIDEO LINK: temp. unavailable
TAPING DATE: September 4, 1965
AIRING DATE: September 11, 1965
D1 - MIMI MACHU
D2 - GWEN SELVAGE
D3 - DeANN MOLLNER
D4 - LUCILLE WILLS
D5 - JUNE FAIRCHILD
D6 - SHELLEY BONIS
M1 - RICK DERRINGER
M2 - RANDY ZEHRINGER
M3 - RONNNIE BRANDON
M4 - RANDY HOBBS
This video features one of America's great teenage garage bands playing their biggest hit. Three weeks after this episode's taping date the song hit # 1 on the charts, replacing "Eve of Destruction". At the time of the taping Rick Derringer (Zehringer) had just turned 18, and his brother Randy (on drums) was 16 and still in high school. Randy Hobbs was also 18, and Ronnie Brandon was 19.
The late summer 1965 GAZZARRI line up of MIMI, GWEN, DeANN, LUCILLE, JUNE, and SHELLEY put in another solid performance. This was shortly before MIMI broke her ankle and took on a reduced and more stationary role until it healed.
This is the McCoys second performance from this episode, and the tune is the "B" side of "Hang On Sloopy". Unlike the "garage band" sound associated with their hits, this song has a distinct "pop" sound to it.
We get another solid performance from our six GAZZARRI DANCERS. MIMIand GWEN are in the same dancing positions as they were on "Hang On Sloopy", while LUCILLE, JUNE, DeANN, and SHELLEY have moved to other platforms or ladders. This fabulous lineup would remain intact for only two more episodes, after which MIMI broke her ankle and SHELLEY left the show. This led to some new dancing personnel changes in the form of DAWN and MARIAbeing hired, and cementing what would be the final lineup of dancers for the remainder of the show.
This is a very smooth performance by Mary Wells who gets to sing on a larger than normal podium box placed in the middle of the dancing audience.
Of special GAZZARRI interest is LUCILLE who we get to see talking during the show intro with SAM. JUNE and DeANNshare the main stage, while MIMIis front and center on the runway. We also get some fine 3/4 views of GWEN from behind while she is on the ladder.
The GAZZARRI DANCERS have an entertaining and fun time with this classic tune. The acting out of the faux headaches and imbibing the love potion while they are dancing is priceless. We get some great up close looks at DeANN and also LUCILLE.
The song had a great pedigree before Jewel had a go at it. Originally it was a # 23 hit for the Clovers in 1959, and then the Seachers took it to # 3 only a year prior in 1964.
Take note of the general dress of the kids in the dancing audience. The boys have on jackets and ties, and the girls are in dresses. Clearly there must have been a dress code to get picked to dance on the show. It was this way for almost all of the episodes until we get closer to the end of the show when it appears to have relaxed somewhat.
This catchy tune was Jewel's second release after his big hit, "The Birds and the Bees", from the previous year. Unfortunately it did not chart and got very little attention. This performance might have been its apex on the national stage.
The unrehearsed and playful interaction between JUNE and SAM during the intro is priceless. She inadvertently gets tangled up in SAM'S mic cable, leading himto say:
"June's getting all wrapped in herself here tonight on Hollywood a Go Go ... all wrapped up to straighten up and fly right with ... Jewel Akens ..."
But instead of joining the rest of the dancers once she gets untangled JUNEstays seated next to SAMfor the entire performance. The remainder of the dancers entertain us with another solid routine. Additionally we get some nice views of SHELLEY.