J.J. Light


Band members                              Related acts

- J.J. Light (aka Jim Stallings) - vocals, guitar, bass, drums
   

 

 

The Quintet

Sir Douglas Quintet

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Heya!

Company: Liberty

Catalog: LBS 83341 1

Year: 1968

Country/State: New Mexico

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: German pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4241

Price: $100.00

This one initially attracted my attention due to the fact Jim Stallings (aka J.J. Light) played bass on several classic Sir Douglas Quintet albums.  

 

At some point in time Stallings became friendly with West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band front man/resident eccentric Bob Markley. The result was 1969's Markley-produced "Heya!".  Credited to 'J.J. Light", the solo project's quite good.  Light wrote all 14 (!) selections, showing a nice touch for balancing commercial moves with more experimental touches.  Anyhow, before going on any further, here's what the back cover liner notes say: "From the mold of 'early Dylan' comes this young, Navajo Indian - J.J. Light.  His songs are unique and although they are not "message" songs, they show deep concern for the plight of his people and our society."  Luckily the liner notes aren't exactly accurate.  There are a couple of nods to his Navajo heritage (the title track and 'Indian Disneyland'), but in spite the illusions to sappy singer/songwriter moves, exemplified by tracks such as the fuzz guitar propelled 'Follow Me Girl', 'It's Wednesday' and the echo-filled 'Gallup, New Mexico', Light's main interest is in rocking out.  The opening rocker 'Na Ru Ka' bares an uncanny resemblance to something from Tjinder Singh and Cornershop (though it was penned some three decades earlier).  Elsewhere, to my ears there's no Dylan comparison (good thing), rather Light occasionally recalls a young Arlo Guthrie, albeit with a rock-ish edge ('Silently Sleeping').


"Heya!" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Na Ru Ka   (J.J. Light) - 3:00

2.) Silently Sleeping   (J.J. Light) - 2:58

3.) Follow Me Girl   (J.J. Light) - 3:00

4.) It's Wednesday   (J.J. Light) - 2:29

5.) Until It Snows   (J.J. Light) - 2:55

6.) The Electric Land Band   (J.J. Light) - 1:24

7.) Hello Hello Hello   (J.J. Light) - 2:33

 

(side 2)

1.) Heya   (J.J. Light) - 3:09

 

The song was tapped as a single in several countries:

-1968's  'Heya' b/w 'On the Road Now' was released in Germany (Liberty catalog number 56111).  

2.) While the World Turns To Stone   (J.J. Light) - 2:17

3.) Henry Glover   (J.J. Light) - 2:10

4.) Hey Yo Hanna Wa   (J.J. Light) - 2:13

5.) Indian Disneyland   (J.J. Light) - 2:44

6.) Gallup, New Mexico   (J.J. Light) - 1:53

7.) On the Road Now   (J.J. Light) - 3:04

 

This set's also somewhat of a mystery in that it appears to have only seen a European release (France, Germany, Italy and the UK).  I've bought three copies and they all been German pressings with an American catalog number (LST-7034).  I've never stumbled across a US pressing.  There were also a couple of European singles. 

 

 

- 'Na Ru Ka' b/w 'Follow Me Girl' was released in France (Liberty catalog number 2C00690888M).

 

 

 

Markley and Light reportedly recorded a follow-up album.  Unfortunately, with Liberty Records collapsing, the project was subsequently shelved and the tapes apparently lost.  Shame, since the debut is quite good.

There's also a one-shot 1976 single on the small PBR label that I've never seen or heard - 'Baby Let's Go To Mexico' b/w 'It's a Sunshine Day' (PBR catalog 502).

 

 

 

 

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"Heya" was a 1969 international hit song by J.J. Light, stage name for Navajo singer Jim Stallings, who played bass on several Sir Douglas Quintet albums.[1] "Heya", with B-side "On the Road Now", was released in Germany as Liberty catalog number 56111. Stallings studio band included Larry Knechtel on keyboards, guitarists Gary Rowles and Ron Morgan, and drummers Earl Palmer and Jim Gordon. The song begins with a Native American-like chant and reflects Stallings' ancestry.[2]

Covers[edit]

The song has been covered by Jeromino (1969), Adriano Celentano (1970), The Primevals (1987),[3] Krokus, and others.

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Signal to Noise -2008 Volumes 49-51 - Page 110 "J J. Light's Heya. (Sunbeam). J.J. Light is a persona thought up in the late 60s by Jim Stallings, a scuffling Navajo singer-bassist, and Bob Markley, who honed the chops he later exercised as the svengali of - the West Coast Pop Art ..."
  2. Jump up^ "J. J. Light - Heya". psychedelicfolk.com. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  3. Jump up^ Option - Page 108 1987 " "Heya" is the J.J. Light chestnut, and while this record is not as strong as their earlier single. "Where Are You?." it is a line progressive step towards establishing the band on their own. The Primevals are interesting and bear watching.