Weekend Records - along with Barry T. Goldberg, Gary Paulak, and Arne Fogel- proudly (and finally) presents: CANDY FLOSS-THE LOST MUSIC OF MIDAMERICA.
“The music of Candy Floss was all about carnivals, calliopes, tight harmonies, and hope. The songs were whimsical, not edgy; its instrumental attitudes were fun, not angry. It was Leonard Cohen meets Mother Goose. It was George Martin meets Spike Jones.
Peter Steinberg, Dale Menten, Barry Thomas Goldberg and Gary Paulak-the original Candy Floss song writing team-would sit around the piano in Dove Recording Studios in Bloomington, Minnesota and weave lyrics of fantasy with melodies that “bounced”. The songs were alive, and they would make you smile.
In 1968, with America’s music becoming loud and political with angry agendas and endless drum solos, Candy Floss offered an alternative that some major labels found very refreshing.
There were the orchestral productions released on ATCO, PARROT, and SIRE RECORDS and the lighter, bubble gum tracks released on MERCURY and SIRE.
But all too quickly America lost its desire to laugh, and suddenly, everything was so serious. So Personal. Somewhere in the middle of 1969, Candy Floss packed up its bag of un-recorded songs, closed its door, and disappeared, leaving behind a legacy that has all but been forgotten.
Our goal in releasing “CANDY FLOSS-THE LOST MUSIC OF MIDAMERICA”, is to provide you with an opportunity to re-live those days of carnivals, calliopes, tight harmonies, and hope.
The last number in the compilation, “Bring Back The Carnival”, is something we pulled out of the Candy Floss bag of un-recorded songs. It was 1968. It was Candy Floss. And you really should have been there.
Of course, if you buy this compilation, it will be close to being there.
MUSICAL BACKGROUND: The artists featured on this CD are:
TC Atlantic, Hot Half Dozen, The Avanties, Michael Yonkers, Seraphic Street Sounds, Longan & Fogel, Eric Marshall & the Chymes, The Shambles, Nickel Revolution, Barry T. Goldberg, Gary Paulak, Dale Menten, The Puddle, and Peter Steinberg.
“The Beginning of Candy Floss” in the words of Barry Thomas Goldberg
Our band, the Shambles, went into Dove studios for the first time in July 1966. After nervously trying to tune our guitars for what seemed like an eternity, we laid down a couple of tracks. Sadly, we were so out of tune that recording engineer, Daryl Arvidson, stopped the session, gave us the tape of the two songs, and told us to come back again someday. (Showing great kindness, he didn't charge us for the session).
We were dejected, but we didn't give up. In July of 1967, we returned and recorded "7:30 Sunset" and "Black Spiders”. We began writing in September of 1967 with Peter Steinberg and Dale Menten in their new company, “Candy Floss”.
Over the course of that early autumn we wrote many songs. It was then that Peter asked us to borrow money so we could record the first Goldberg, Paulak, Steinberg, Menten collaborations, “Twenty Years Ago (in Speedy's Kitchen)”, “World War II in Cincinnati”, “Lights of Rome”, and “Flannigan's Circus”.
Borrowing from our families, the Shambles came up with the $1500 needed for the session. All four songs were sweetened with strings, and in some cases, strings, brass and woodwinds. Three of songs were released nationally. Candy Floss had come of age.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: THE MUSIC OF CANDY FLOSS (and the writers)
- TWENTY YEARS AGO IN SPEEDY’S KITCHEN-2:36 (Steinberg, Goldberg, Menten, Paulak)*
A fictional story about real people doing shady things, this song had several of us looking over our shoulders when it was released. We weren’t convinced that Barry had permission to “name” names. Lead vocal: Freddie Freeman
- FLANNIGAN’S CIRCUS-2:31 (Steinberg, Goldberg, Menten, Paulak)
Dale Menten and Gary Paulak are the featured lead singers on this version. The carnival barker is Michael O’Gara from the Seraphic Street Sound. (The pipe organ was recorded in a local church.) Special thanks to Cookhouse engineer, Jim Schnobrich, for rescuing this song-and a few others- from badly damaged 45’s and acetates.
- WW11 IN CINCINNATI-2:53 (Steinberg, Goldberg, Menten, Paulak)**
When "The Lights of Rome" and "World War II in Cincinnati" were picked up by ATCO records, it was decided we would add different lead singers to the remaining songs and put them out under different band names. (Candy Floss by this time had worked out a deal with Central Booking Agency, which had several bands looking for material, recording and direction.)
- LIGHTS OF ROME-2:45 (Steinberg, Goldberg, Menten, Paulak) **
“Having never been out of Minneapolis, the trip to New York to shop the earlier songs was very intimidating. I remember walking down Madison Avenue with Peter Steinberg and saying, ‘Wow, you could sure store a lot of corn in these here buildings.’ From that moment on, and for the rest of the trip, he walked several yards behind me. I believe that was the beginning of the end of our relationship.”- Dale Menten
- THE COUNTESS-3:15 (Paulak, Goldberg, Steinberg) *
It was a magical time. Sgt. Pepper had come out in August of ‘67 and we were hoping to follow in that style. But as the year went on and 1967 turned into 1968, the world changed and the music hardened. Lead vocal-Freddie Freeman. Vocal/guitar-Gus Dewey of the Gestures and City Mouse. Background vocals-The Shambles.
- I CAN’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE-2:58 (Paulak, Goldberg, Steinberg)*
This was the B-side of “The Countess”, and its eventual release was credited to the fictional band, “Eric Marshall and the Chymes”. Players: Barry Thomas Goldberg (lead vocal) Gary Paulak and Arne Fogel (backing vocals), and Gary “Whip” Lane (of The Shambles) on drums
- I ONCE HAD A DREAM-2:41 (Longman-Fogel)
The song was recorded between February and April of 1968, and featured Dale Menten’s string arrangement, as well as Steve Longman & Arne Fogel on guitar and vocal, respectively, Mike Graw, harpsichord, Ralph Mertesdorf, bass, Dale Menten, piano, and Tom Sather, drums. This song served as Longman & Fogel’s initiation into the recording business. Before long, Steve would be a recording engineer and producer at Dove and Arne would become part of the Candy Floss band, The Puddle. And so began Arne’s decades-long professional relationship with Goldberg, Paulak, Menten, and the recording business.
- IT’S ALL A DREAM-3:11 (Michael Yonkers) ****
This record allowed us to look into the future and hear the sounds that were to come in the next decades. The artist was Michael Yonkers and the players: Guitar/vocal-Michael Yonkers; Drums-Jim Yunker; Bass-Larry Hofmann.
- WITHOUT LOVE-3:29 (Dale Menten) ***
They dressed in Elizabethan outfits and performed exotic vocals treatments of standard rock and roll songs. Michael Flaherty, Michael O’Gara, David Steineck, and Dale Menten were the Seraphic Street Sounds and their “angelic” vocals can be heard on many of the early Candy Floss songs, including: Lights of Rome, World War 11 In Cincinnati, & Flannigan’s Circus. Michael Flaherty performed the lead vocal on “Without Love”.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE-1:59 (Dale Menten) ***
The session was anything but “simple”. We found five different versions of the song. Band tracks were performed by Ron Geslin’s Hot Half Dozen. Dale’s sister, Donna, played the bassoon and his brother, Dean, played trombone.
- HOLLY GO LIGHTLY-2:10 (Steinberg, Menten)***
David Steineck is the lead on this Seraphic Street Sound recording.
- THE OUT CROWD-2:00 (The Avanties)+
Gregory Dee and the Avanties? No one is saying for sure and no one is taking credit. It could be an Avanties from out-state. Whatever the case, we will be holding any royalties until the real Avanties come forward.
- NEED YOUR LOVIN’ OH NO-2:50 (Michael Yonkers) ****
“I remember the very first time I ever laid eyes on Michael Yonkers”, says Arne Fogel, “...It was late 1967, Steve Longman and I had stopped in to Dove Recording Studio to discuss our upcoming sessions, and there was Michael, out on the studio floor, at the mike, singing ‘Need Your Love’... It had a hic-cupy, Buddy Holly [quality] to it,"
Band-Michael & The Mumbles. Guitar/vocal-Michael Yonkers Keys/vocal-Jim Woehrle
Bass-Richard Paske Drums-Jim Yunker Producer-Peter Steinberg Engineer-Steve Longman.
- LOVE IS JUST-2:38 (Paulak, Goldberg, Steinberg) * BLACK SPIDERS-2:14 (Goldberg, Paulak) ***
- 7:30 SUNSET (Goldberg, Paulak) ***
This song, and Black Spiders, were the only recordings made by the original Shambles: Vocal/guitar/keyboard-Barry Thomas Goldberg. Vocals/guitar-Gary Paulak. Bass-Jay Lee. Drums-Whip Lane. Song recorded July of 1967.
- FIND THAT WOMAN (Peter Steinberg) ***
- OSCAR CRUNCH-1:54 (Paulak, Goldberg, Steinberg)*
Though credited to the Nickel Revolution, in reality it was Gary Paulak on lead vocal and Barry and Whip on BG vocals.
- HERE COME DA’ JUDGE-2:19 (Goldberg, Paulak, Menten, Steinberg)***
This silly salute to “Laugh In” features the Nickel Revolution with Honey Bear on lead vocal.
- HAVE YOU EVER-2:21 (Goldberg, Paulak)***
- HAPPY LIKE THIS-2:56 (Paulak, Goldberg, Steinberg)***
Lead vocal-Freddie Freeman. Guitar-Gus Dewey.
- RED ROVER, RED ROVER-1:54 (Paulak, Goldberg, Steinberg)*
In September of 1968, Pete Steinberg organized a band for an ambitious Candy Floss promotional experiment called THE PUDDLE. The group included Peter Steinberg (vocals and stage “business”), Barry Thomas Goldberg (vocals, guitar), Gary Paulak (vocals, guitar), Whip Lane (drums), Steve Longman(bass), and Arne Fogel (vocals, percussion). The promotional appearances of the Puddle were called “Pepsi Pop Hops”. Note: by the time THE PUDDLE actually started playing the “Pop-Hops”, Steve Longman had departed, and was replaced on bass by JAY LEE, the original bass player of “The Shambles”. The line-up of BARRY THOMAS GOLDBERG, GARY PAULAK, JAY LEE, WHIP LANE & ARNE FOGEL would continue through the late 60s and into the mid-70s as THE PUDDLE, PRETTY BLUE BATCH, and THE BATCH. With a different drummer, they would also re-unite as the IRONWEEDS in the 1990s).
- GIVE ME LOVE-2:18 (The Avanties)+
- BRING BACK THE CARNIVAL-2:31 (Paulak, Goldberg, Steinberg)***
This song was recorded at Dove after an all night writing session. Barry is on lead vocal with Dale and Gary on BG vocals.
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