"Under cover of the hits" - 16 terrific/terrible 60s versions of famous tunes

In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE135
"I like covers, I dislike copycats. Do your own thing with a song you like and you get great results... or the craziest and funniest." 

1. i'm a believer - les pros

Instrumental version of Neil Diamond's hit for The Monkees. It was released on this 1967 EP, a "Boum Bomo" promo. Best song on this EP is "Patrick-jerk" (see vol 124).

9. guantanamera rock - the locos 

 Fast latino rock version sung in Spanish, with a swirling organ. The original 1940 song title was "A mi madre (guajira Guantanamera)" or "To my mother (Beautiful girl from Guantanamo)", melody written by a Cuban radio guy who liked to sing the daily news. So, the author is not Mario Carlos Sanabria Atilano, but Joséito Fernandez. A 1966 release by RCA Victor.

2. fortune teller - the stellas

More than decent garage version of Bennie Spellman's biggest hit. It's actually one of my fave versions. The German Stellas recorded it in 1966 for CBS.
10. havah nagila - the five kins

Mix "Havah nagila" with "Miserlou" and you'll get this utterly crazy rendition from 1967 on Diamond Records. The song title means "Have fun and be happy" and it was composed in 1922 based on an even older Ukranian Hassidic melody, added with biblical lyrics from 1918.
3. double shot - the k-otics

Alabama garage band with a cover song from 1966 on Bang. Biggest hit was from The Swingin' Medallions, but the original version was recorded by Dick Holler & The Holidays in 1962 for Comet. Flipside is "I'm leaving here".
11. quiet village '67 - theophile & bernard, the exciting good guys

A 1967 version of Les Baxter's exotica classic "Quiet village". This goes even beyond Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman of Les Baxter himself… it's like it's been recorded in the middle of the jungle. I wonder if Theophile and Bernard really were Exciting Good Guys. I'm glad they were this crazy to record this weird version. A Raydin Records release.
4. ooh poo paa doo - the candy johnson show

"The hook" is the best side of this fabulous 1964 two-sider, but that tune already appeared on the excellent sampler "High school rumble 2" and on "Son of blunderbuss". Remember all those Beach Party movies from 1963-1964? Candy is the dancer on the posters. Here's a fine version of Jesse Hill's hit tune, which actually was inspired by Babs Gonzales' 1947 recording "Oop-pop-a-da".
12. kaw-liga - the silver wings
Definitely 70s and Belgian, from the Antwerp area. Three 45s are known from these guys. Funny version of c&w classic "Kaw-liga" with gunfire and Indian yells. A W.B. Sound release.
5. linda lu - jim pewter

Pretty standard cover of Ray Sharpe's "Linda lu", B-side of "Ebony", his 1972 MGM single (see vol 135). His first recording was in 1959, but nobody seems to remember him.  He also had his own band Pewter Pals. They released one single in 1967.
13. rock around the clock cha cha - jimmy deknight & his knights of rhythm
Born James Myers he is best known as the co-author of "Rock around the clock". On this flipside he turned it into a wild sax-driven cha cha instro monster. A Peak Records release from 1959.
6. hold on, i'm coming - paul simul & tenderfoot kids

Great Hammond organ psychedelic version of the soul classic; think Brian Auger. His first release was "I'm free" with Paul & Johnny With The Blue Jets. A 1969 release on Barclay. See vol 141 for the flipside.
14. caravan - the caravels
Great uptempo jazz from this Belgian outfit, playing Duke Ellington's classic "Caravan". I think it's from the early 70s, but I have no info whatsoever on band or label, Tex Records.
7. poison ivy - little caesar & the consuls

Canadian band from Toronto, formed in 1956. Not to be confused with Little Caesar & The Romans (see vol 196). Flipside is "My girl Sloopy", a decent rendition. This is also a cover of a classic, a terrific one, from 1965 on Mala.
15. bonanza - freddy & the fenderboys
Freddie Sunder and his Fenderboys recorded the instrumental theme of the very popular television series Bonanza in the early 60s. Yes, this is Belgian. He was born Fritz Sunderman in Antwerp in 1931.
8. take five - buddy merrill

Dave Brubeck's "Take five" must have seen hundreds of cover versions. Buddy Merrill's version is an outstanding effort, brought by his unique guitar playing techniques.
16. prisencolinensinainciusol - el youcee
Terrific version of Adriano Celentano's mega hitseller. A Barclay release from 1973. See vol 132 for the flipside.