Nashville Teens - Tobacco Road (1964)
CD (2000) To Mp3 128 mbi/s
Included: CD Covers and this Info
Review by Cub Koda allmusic.com
The Nashville Teens were a truly kick-ass rock & roll band from London. Their main claim to fame was providing the kamikaze backup behind Jerry Lee Lewis on his Live at the Star Club LP and recording the massive hit "Tobacco Road." This disc reissues that entire 1964 album and adds another 14 bonus tracks to it, getting us all the way to 1971 in the group's recorded output. Hot versions Of "Mona," "I Like It Like That," "La Bamba," and "Too Much" are the album's high points, and while the later tracks are a nice touch, they don't quite measure to the group's halcyon days.
The Nashville Teens are a British pop band formed in Weybridge, Surrey in Summer 1962.
Little is known of the founding musicians, except that Arthur Sharp began his career in music as the manager of Aerco Records in Woking, Surrey, but the 'Mark II' line-up comprised original singers Arthur Sharp and Ray Phillips, with former Cruisers Rock Combo members John Hawken (piano), Mick Dunford (guitar), Pete Harris (bass) and Dave Maine (drums). Additional guitarist Pete Shannon completed the band. Roger Groome replaced Maine shortly afterwards.
In 1963, third vocalist Terry Crowe joined briefly; but later that same year Dunford and Groome left and were replaced by John Allen and Barry Jenkins. (Crowe and Dunford later formed 'The Plebs' with Danny McCulloch, and were re-united with Hawken in Renaissance in 1970).
Whilst playing in Hamburg (as most British bands of the era did), the Teens backed Jerry Lee Lewis for his Live at the Star Club, Hamburg album. It is widely considered one of the greatest live rock and roll albums ever. Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes, "Live at the Star Club is extraordinary, the purest, hardest rock & roll ever committed to record." They later backed Carl Perkins on his hit single "Big Bad Blues", and also played with Bo Diddley. At one such gig, they were spotted by Mickie Most who subsequently produced their June 1964 debut single, an interpretation of the John D. Loudermilk penned song, "Tobacco Road", which reached number 6 in the UK Singles Chart and number 14 in the U.S.Billboard Hot 100 chart. Jimmy Page played guitar on the studio cut of "Tobacco Road". The follow-up, another Loudermilk song, "Google Eye", reached number 10 in the UK in October 1964.
The following year they appeared as themselves in the British film, Be My Guest, filmed at the Twickenham Film Studios, which was arranged by their then manager Don Arden.
A further three top fifty singles, "Find My Way Back Home" and "This Little Bird", followed in February and May 1965; with "The Hard Way" making a brief appearance the following year; but three subsequent records ("I Know How It Feels To Be Loved", "Forbidden Fruit" and "That's My Woman") all failed to chart.
Jenkins left in 1966 to join the The Animals, and was replaced by his predecessor Roger Groome.
The Nashville Teens' record producers included Andrew Loog Oldham and Shel Talmy. Although they were musically as competent as any of their contemporaries, the Teens had no distinctive personality as a band, and this contributed to their lack of long-term success, as did Decca's typical lack of promotion. (By 1970, Decca's only remaining rock acts were The Rolling Stones and The Moody Blues, both of whom handled their own promotion). In 1971 they released a single, "Ella James" - a Roy Wood penned song, originally recorded by The Move - on Parlophone, but again without success.
Arthur Sharp left in 1972 to join their one-time manager Don Arden, whilst Trevor Williams joined the fray. Despite Phillips' efforts, the Nashville Teens split in 1973.
They reformed in 1980, however, with Phillips as the only recognisable member joined by Peter Agate (guitar), Len Surtees (bass) and Adrian Metcalfe (drums), and are still playing. The current line-up is Phillips, Metcalfe, Colin Pattenden (bass and vocals), Simon Spratley (keyboards and vocals) and Ken Osborn (guitar).
Phillips joined The British Invasion All-Stars in the 1990s and made three albums with the group, consisting of members of The Yardbirds, Procol Harum, The Pretty Things, Downliners Sect and more. They did a cover of "Tobacco Road", which still receives airplay on XM Satellite Radio.
Main band members The following individuals were responsible for the bulk of the group's most successful era :-
Lead Vocalist - Ray Phillips (born Ramon John Phillips, 16 January 1939, Tiger Bay, Cardiff, South Wales).
Pianist - John Hawken (born John Christopher Hawken, 9 May 1940, Bournemouth, Dorset).
Guitarist / Lead Vocalist - Art Sharp (born Arthur Sharp 26 May 1941, Woking, Surrey).
Bassist - Pete Shannon (born Peter Shannon Harris, 23 August 1941, Antrim, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland).
Drummer - Barrie Jenkins (born Barry Jenkins, 22 December 1944, Leicester, Leicestershire).
Lead Guitarist - John Allen (born John Samuel Allen, 23 April 1945, St Albans, Hertfordshire).
Bassist - Neil Korner (born 6 October 1942, Ashford, Middlesex). He joined them in April 1966 from The New Vaudeville Band, but left them in late 1969.
Bassist - Roger Dean (born David Roger Bryan Dean, 16 March 1943, Hendon, North West London). He joined in late 1969 and left in 1973.
Lead Guitarist Len Tuckey (born Leonard Tuckey, 15 December 1947, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland). He joined in late 1969.
Tobacco Road LP 1964
01. Tobacco Road
02. Mona (I Need You Baby)
03. Need You
04. Bread And Butter Man
05. Hurtin' Inside
06. Hootchie Kootchie Man
07. Google Eye
08. Too Much
09. Parchment Farm
10. I Like It Like That
11. How Deep Is The Ocean
12. La Bamba
15. Find My Way Back Home
16. What'cha Gonna Do - 1965
17. I Know How It Feels To Be Loved - 1965
18. Upside Down - 1966
19. Forbidden Fruit - 1966
20. Revived 45 Time - 1966
21. That's My Woman - 1966
22. I'm Coming Home - 1967
23. The Biggest Night Of Her Life - 1967
24. Last Minute - 1967
25. All Along The Watchtower - 1968
26. Sun Dog - 1968
27. Poor Boy - 1965 (Unreleased)
28. Ella James - 1971
29. Tennessee Woman - 1971