Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Kirby Stone 5

Born in New York City on April 27, 1918, Kirby Stone (whose real name was Herbert), formed Herby Stone And His Pebbles shortly after the end of WWII, which by 1947 had evolved into The Kirby Stone Quintette (later shortened to Quintet). The original line-up consisted of Kirby (trumpet), Art Cow Eyes Engler (saxophone), Michael Gardner (piano), Bernie Doc Mandel (bass) and Gene Thaler (shortly thereafter replaced by Eddie Hall) (drums). All band members shared in the vocal duties, however, Kirby frequently took the lead.
This clip features what is quite possibly the groups first commercial recording, VA-ZAP-PA (written by Frank Capano and Tony Starr), backed with Money-Money-Money (written by Sid Tepper and Roy Brodsky). Brodsky later changed his name to Roy Bennett, and he and Sid Tepper found their greatest popularity writing songs for Elvis Presley (primarily for his movies).
Released on the small Philadelphia-based label, Scoop Record Company in 1947, neither song became a hit for the group, but the B-side, Money-Money-Money was at least popular enough to warrant having sheet music being published for it (featuring one of the only surviving photos of the group to include Gene Thaler). It would take another 10 years (and numerous group name and personnel changes along the way) before Kirby Stone became a household name.

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