Archive for Spooner Oldham

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Paul Revere & the Raiders

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , on April 19, 2010 by 30daysout

Hope you enjoyed Record Store Day.  Where we live (in Houston) people were camped out at 5 a.m. to be the first to get their sweaty hands on the exclusive vinyl available.  So needless to say, if you showed up an hour or so after 10 a.m. all the good stuff was long gone.  The early bird, and all that … But by afternoon you could always go home and download it for free, or purchase the same records off eBay for jacked-up prices.

We did find some nice old vinyl, however – including today’s selection, Goin’ To Memphis, a 1968 album from the Oregon hitmakers Paul Revere and the Raiders.  With three years of big hits and garage rock classics behind them, the Raiders were ready for a departure of sorts.  I don’t know why it didn’t occur to them to go psychedelic, as their pop music peers did (see The Cowsills and Jan & Dean) but with songs like “Just Like Me” and “The Great Airplane Strike” maybe they were already a little freaky for the pop charts.  Nevertheless, at that time the Raiders were Columbia Records’ top-selling rock group and some of the original members had left.

The band’s road manager was from Memphis, and he suggested the Raiders do an album there with legendary producer Chips Moman.  Moman was already a legend, having produced classics like “The Letter” and “Angel of the Morning” at American Recording Studios.  Moman agreed to produce the album, but he would do it only if he could use his own house band, which included Gene Crispian on drums, Mike Leech on bass, Tommy Cogbill and Reggie Young on guitars, and “Spooner” Oldham on acoustic piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, and a Vox Jaguar organ.

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