ring wear; mono pressing
No ! They weren't Japanese; they were Filipino !!!
Manila, 1959 found Mindanao "Pop" Feller forming a band consisting
of sons Albert, Eddie, Junior and Tony. Popular on the Philippine tourist
circuit, by the early-'60s their exotic background and novelty act (must have been the shiny fish skin suites) had begun to attract some interest in the States. An
appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show brought them to the attention of producer Stanley Kahn who promptly signed them to a deal with Parkway/Cameo Records. A couple of singles quickly vanished without a trace and they seemed destined for obscurity.
1963 found the group signed to Scepter. Inspired by professional dancer "Killer Joe" Piro, the single
'Killer Joe' b/w 'Lonely Teardrops' (Scepter catalog number 1246) provided the group with a fluke top-20 hit. (To our ears the melody sounds like it was swiped from Ian and Sylvia's
'Love Is Strange'.) As was standard marketing procedure, Scepter rushed them back into the studio to record a supporting album. Co-produced by Kahn and Mal Williams, the cleverly titled
"Killer Joe" was a hysterical gas. A haphazardly complied selection of popular covers and sound alike follow ups
('Let the Big Guys Do' and 'When Do Kids Grown Up'), the Fellers deserved credit for giving the LP there all. Unfortunately, given their young voices (the brothers were 8, 10, 16 and 18 respectively), on material such as
'Foolish Little Boy', 'We Got Love"' and '(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear' they sounded like a cross between The Chipmunks and The Shirelles. Wish we could explain why, but it's one of those period pieces that we occasionally feel the need to play.
"Killer Joe" track listing:
1.) Killer Joe (Bert Russell - Bob Elgin - Phil Medley) - 2:30
2.) Foolish Little Boy (H. Miller - Howard Greenfield) - 2:19
3.) We Got Love (Neil Diamond) - 2:01
4.) Lonely Teardrops (Berry Gordy Jr. - T. Carlo) - 2:39
5.) (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear (K. Mann - B. Lowe) - 1:45
6.) My Brayer (G. Boulanger - J. Kennedy) - 3:03
7.) Let the Big Guys Do (Bob Elgin - H. Ott) - 2:13
8.) Runaway (Del Shannon - M. Crook) - 2:12
9.) When Do Kids Grown Up (Bert Russell - Bob Elgin) - 2:00
10.) Twist & Shout (Phil Medley - Bert Russell) - 2:12
11.) Great Big World (D. Maligmat Jr.) - 2:12
12.) Will You Love Me Tomorrow (Jerry Goffin - Carole King) - 2:43
The group recorded a couple of follow up singles for Warner Brothers (1964's
'Everybody Wants to Be a Tiger' b/w ' Jeannie Memsah' (Warner Brothers
catalog number 5440), 'Nina' b/w 'Better Let Her Go' (Warner Brothers
catalog number 5469) and 1965's
'Two Steps Downstairs In the Basement' b/w '') before vanishing.