Laurel Lea  

Laurel Lea, born Lorraine Lianos, was a regular Australia TV singer on shows such as Brian Henderson's "Bandstand" and Johnny O'Keefe's "Six O'clock Rock" in the late 50s/early 60s, mostly singing cover versions of US hits. In the case of "Bermuda," she was covering the Linda Scott version of the song, and most likely "lip-synced" her TV show appearance to an acetate recording made earlier.

She married fellow "Bandstand" singer Kevin Todd, and had a son Mark.

Laurel's parents owned a travelling rock 'n' roll tent show. In the 60s, she travelled with them around Australia doing rock shows in local halls, and in the mid-70s, she joined back up with Johnny O'Keefe and a few others from the earlier rock years, appearing in clubs together in the "Good Old Days of Rock 'n' Roll" show.

Laurel Lea made several records, but had no chart success. She also had a band in the 80s called "Chockarock," which toured the circuit and played old time rock and roll.

Laurel Lea died on January 31, 1992 of cancer.

[Source: Graeme Freeland and Bob Hayden]


Kool Cad and the Tailfins  




[Source: Lutz Wollersen, Astrid Korn]


Maurice King and the Wolverines  

Maurice King was the 8-piece house band at "The Flame" nightclub in Detroit in 1951 when Johnnie Ray arrived there. The Wolverines blew a "sophisticated brand of urban R&B," at The Flame, which catered to "black, white and tan" customers, and presented some of the biggest national names in black music: Billie Holliday, Dinah Washington, Louis Jordan, Ivory Joe Hunter, and later, Jackie Wilson and Della Reese. Johnnie Ray was unusual in being white, but they took him under their wing there, and Maurice King was particularly supportive.

When Johnnie came to the attention of the A&R rep at Okeh, he recorded 4 sides with Maurice in Detroit on May 28, 1951. The two songs that were released in the U.S., "Whiskey and Gin" and "Tell the Lady I Said Goodbye," got enough regional attention that it lead Mitch Miller to get Johnnie to go to New York to try out with the Four Lads. "Cry" was among the sides he recorded on the second day of that session, October 16, 1951, less than a month before the Bell Sisters recorded "Bermuda," on November 12, 1951.

The personnel on the Maurice King and the Wolverines session with Johnnie Ray were:

  • Saxophone/Leader: Maurice King
  • Bass: Clarence Sherrill
  • Drums: Elbert Langford
  • Piano: Neal Robison
  • Saxophone: Louis Barnett
  • Saxophone: Thomas Bowles
  • Trumpet: Russell Green

[Source: Biography of Johnnie Ray, by Johnny Whiteside, 1995]


Harry Roy and His Dance Orchestra  
Clarinet. Born London, January 12, 1900; died London, February 1971

As a youth, Harry Roy worked for his father's box manufacturing company, which went bankrupt after the World War I Armistice. Harry and his brother Syd formed a band which they called "The Darmswells." The group must have been successful, because when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band left the Hammersmith Palais, they were replaced by the "Roy Brothers Original Lyrical Five."

They again changed names, becoming the "Original Crichton Lyricals." at times, the band recorded as "The Lyricals," "Sid Roy's Crichton Lyricals," and just "The Crichton Lyricals." Harry Roy later said this his idol was the clarinetist for the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Larry Shields.

The Roy's band was very popular in London where they played all the better spots, including the Alhambra, the London Coliseum, Rector's Club, Oddenino's, and the Cavour Restaurant.

In February of 1927, they were booked into the Cafe de Paris. During 1928, the toured South Africa and Australia. In 1930, they made some recordings in Germany. In 1931, Harry Roy left to form his own band, with Syd becoming manager of the Harry Roy band. In 1932, the Harry Roy band was at the London Pavillion. In January 1933, they were at the Cafe Anglais, where they began remote BBC broadcasts. From March 1934 through June 1936, the band was resident in the Mayfair Hotel.

In 1935, Harry received quite a lot of publicity when he married Elizabeth Brooke, daughter of the Rajah of Sarawak. In 1935, the band was in the film "Everything in Heaven" and again in the 1936 film "Rhythm Racketeers."

In 1938, Harry took his band on a 3-month tour of South America. On October 16, 1939, the band was booked into the Cafe Anglais for a month. They continued touring and thater performances, going into the embassy Club in October 6, 1940. During the war years, Harry toured around, returning to the Embassy Club in 1942, and a little later, he toured the mid-east. In 1948, Harry went to the U.S. but was unable to get a work permit. Returning to England, he formed a new band for the Cafe Anglais, in 1949.

By the early 1950s, the big band era had come to an end. Harry disbanded, but still drifted in and out of the music scene. In the 50s, he ran his own restaurant. In 1969, he lead a quartet in the London Lyric Theater's show "Oh Clarence." He was 69 years old then, and in failing health. In February 1971, he died in London.

[Source: Graeme Freeland]


Three Original Surfer's Stomps?  

The early 60s produced new dance crazes spawned by the popularity of "The Twist." One craze was unique to surf music: the Surfer's Stomp. Several artists tried to lay claim to popularizing the Surfer's Stomp. Both Bruce Johnston and Kay Bell & The Tuffs wanted us to believe their recordings provided the definitive rhythm and beat for the dance step: "Do the Surfer Stomp" in the case of Johnston and "The Original Surfer's Stomp" in the case of the Tuff's record. The Mar-Kets actually had the earliest release - and a chart hit in the fall of 1961 - called "The Surfer's Stomp."

[Source: Liner notes of "Girls in the Garage, Vol. 4" (Romulan) and "Wax, Board and Woodie" (Varse Sarabande VSD-5726)]


Badomi de Cesare, Chanteuse  

Singer Badomi De Cesare has been called a combination of Marlene Dietrich, Anna Magnani and David Bowie. In 2001, after a 21 year absence, she returned to the New York club scene recreating the exact act she left New York with (in 1980), which she calls "Wanna Fall in Love?" Pianist David Brunetti and Dan Martin on bass accompanied her.

Badomi, whom New York Magazine said is "a sultry but kooky chanteuse with a wit and tone that alternates between the serious and the cynical," began her career as part of the Charles Ludlum Theatre of the Ridiculous troupe and then Jeff Weiss's El Coyote group. She conceived and starred in a one-woman musical play called "Kiss Me, Kill Me." She played outstanding engagements at The Ballroom and the West Bank Cafe, then was brought to Paris, where she appeared at the Palais DeGlace, and later in Amsterdam at the famed De Ijbreker.

Her reviews ranged from "a provocative comic talent" (The New York Times) to "subtly absurd and tremendously touching" (After Dark) to "Badomi is on the way to establishing a comic name for herself" (Cue), but fate would have other plans for her.

She met an international financier in Paris, they fell in love, and she left show business for him. They lived in Paris, Switzerland, Ireland, London, Budapest and finally Bermuda. But when the love of her life passed away after 11 years of marriage, she decided to return to the place that has always been her first love, New York, and its clubs.

Songs Badomi offers up in "Wanna Fall in Love?" include "Two Cigarettes in the Dark," "Deep Night," "Here Lies Love," "It Never Was You," "You Don't Own Me," and "You Belong to Me," among many others.

[Source: Website of "Judy's Chelsea" cabaret]