YOU ARE THERE !
WHEN THE RASCALS HIT "THE BIG TIME " IN 1965, A LOT OF BANDS THOUGHT THEY WERE THE FIRST ONES FROM LI TO DO SO.
To begin with, the Rascals were not even from Long Island. They came there from New Jersey,Upstate NY & Canada. And in the real time sequence of thing's, "Do You Believe In Magic"by The Lovin' Spoonful came out a few months before The Rascal's first single "Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore". Although the Spoonful were discovered in NY City's Greenwich Village, they had two former Long Island band musicians from the early Kingsmen in the group, Joe Butler & Steve Boone, along with Steve's brother Skip as their tour manager.
THERE WERE NO SPOONERS IN THE SPOONFULL
But the two guys in the back came from my backyard
In the '50's there were a lot of singing groups from Brooklyn, & Queens,and Nassau county who put out a record or two and became known regionally, but most were singers only.
FUTURE STARS FROM FOREST HILLS
TOM & JERRY WAS NOT REALLY A BAND & THEIR REAL NAMES WERE PAUL & ARTIE
BUT 8 YEARS AFTER THIS PIC WAS TAKEN AND THEY USED THEIR REAL LAST NAMES,
WELL THEY DID A LITTLE BETTER
THIS WAS THE FLIPSIDE OF THEIR FIRST RECORD
IN 1957 THAT GOT TO # 49 ON THE CHARTS
Click to Listen To Paul Redoing It As Close As He Can To The Original
However, in the 1950's, a High School combo from Valley Stream called the Rhythm King's, (there were a whole lot of Rhythm Kings & Rhythm Jesters groups around Long Island then) added singer Lynne Nixon, bought some cool looking turquoise outfits and changed their name to The Aquatones. They then made a little bit of Long Island Music History.
VALLEY ( Stream) BOYS & GIRL - THE AQUATONES IN 1958
In November of 1957 Real estate developer Lou Fargo made a reverse Walter T Shirley move, moving from real estate into the music biz. Lou heard the Aquatones at a talent show and signed them to his new venture, FARGO Records. Their songs,"She's The One For Me' and "You" written by band members Dave Goddard and Larry Vannata, became their very first release in January of 1958. By the early spring of 1958 the B side "YOU", thanks to DJ's with "EARS" and their being allowed to play what they liked, rather than what the label was promoting, became another history making record like B sides; In The Still Of The Night & That'll Be The Day were. "You" took off while the A side was forgotten. The Aquatones hit The Top Ten in the NY City area, # 1 in Boston and #21 nationally according to Billboard. Although the group kept recording until 1960- 61 "You" remained their sole hit.
In August of 1959, an instrumental duo of Brooklyn born brothers, Santo & Johnny Farina who now lived further east in Copiague, (Suffolk County) released their steel guitar composition Sleepwalk. By mid September, it was #1 nationwide. A true standard, Sleepwalk has been recorded by dozens of guitar players through the years. One of those who covered Sleepwalk, was my old friend, Leo Kottke, who told me he saw S & J in Italy once doing Sleepwalk in a lounge in the wee hours of the morning. Leo told me something like, It looked like Johnny was playing in his sleep ..... S & J went on to a long career together both in the States and in Italy where they had their own TV show. They disbanded as a duo in 1976. I believe one or both of them may still live on Long Island