Orange Colored Sky

Band members                            Related acts

  line up 1 (1962-67) as The Fabulous Epics

- Loren Cope -- 

- Vinny Frazzini -- vocals

- Vince Hopkins -- 

- Neil Myers -- guitar, backing vocals

- Larry Parker -- bass, vocals

- Walt Slivinski -- keyboards, vocals

- Paul Yoculan -- vocals


  line up 2 (1968-74) as The Orange Colored Sky

NEW - Tony Barry -- vocals
- Harold Little (RIP) -- drums, percussion
- Neal Myers -- guitar, backing vocals
NEW - Jack Skinner --  bass, vocals (replaced Larry Parker)
- Walter Slivinski -- keyboards
NEW - Larry Younger - - vocals 



- The Fabulous Epics (Neal Myers, Larry Parker, and 

  Walter Slivinski


Rating: ** (2 stars)

Genre: pop

Title:  Orange Colored Sky

Company: Uni

Catalog: 73031

Year: 1969

Country/State: Erie, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring and edge wear; small bullet hole lower right side

Available: 1

Price: $40.00


Today these guys are probably best known as part of the inspiration for the Tom Hanks produced film "That Thing You Do."  


Popular music has always been a characterized by a pattern where someone comes along with a new sound that captures the public's imagination (and pocketbook) and which is then aped by a slew of imitators. In this case, for better or worse the L.A.-based Orange Colored Sky seem to have taken their cues from The Association.

Formed in 1962, The Fabulous Epics featured the talents of singer Vinny Frazzini, Vince Hopkins, guitarist Neil Myers, bassist Larry Parker, keyboard player Walt Slivinski, and singer Paul Yoculan.  The band started to attract attention on the small Erie club scene and in 1963 relocated to New York City where they scored a contract as house band at New York's famed Peppermint Lounge.  Their three year stint as club house band led to a recording contract with Warner Brothers, though none of their work seems to have been released.  Unfortunately personality conflicts and musical differences ensured the band's success was short-lived.  With the band calling it quits in 1967, Franzini, Hopkins, and Yoculan elected to continue their partnership as The Younger Brothers.  Myers, Parker, and Slivinski packed their bags and headed to San Francisco where they started performing as Larry Younger and the Epics.  The following year the trio hit the Los Angeles club circuit.  Rounding out the line-up with bassist Jack Skinner (replacing Larry Parker) and new lead singers Tony Barry and Larry Younger, they attracted the attention of Universal Records which signed them to a contract, along with arranging a brief cameo in the Don Knotts film "The Love God" and a couple of television appearances.


At Universal's insistence they adopted a "cooler' name, with 1968's "Orange Colored Sky" teaming the band with producer Norman Ratner.  With keyboardist Walter Slivinski penning all eleven tracks, the band was blessed with three capable lead singers in Barry, Skinner, and front man Younger.  In spite of the hip name and contemporary album cover art, the set bore more than a passing resemblance to harmony groups such as The Association and Gordian Knot.  Exemplified by material such as the opener ''The Sun and I', 'The Shadows of Summer' (love the cheesy ocean sound effects), and 'Sometimes (I Wish I Didn't Love You)' the collection was full of sparkling harmony rich and heavily orchestrated, radio-friendly pop. It was certainly commercial in an AM radio fashion, but was also horribly middle-of-the-road.  Tracks like the vaudevillian 'I'm Taking Her To Dinner' reflected music that would not offend mom and dad, or the grandparents.  Depending on how you felt about the genre, it was either mildly entertaining, or thoroughly nauseating.  Personal favorite - the glistening homage to their adopted hometown 'L.A. (Los Angeles).'  Ironically the album's other standout performance was also the most atypical - in this case the ever so slightly lysergic tinged 'Just Like Humpty Dumpty' which was fascinating for being so different from the rest of the collection.

"Orange Colored Sky" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) The Sun and I   (Walter Slivinski) - 2:45   rating: *** stars

Imagine The Association on a candy and sweet tea-induced high and you'll get a feel for what The Sun and I' sounded like  ...   Bubblegum pop that your grandma would have dug.
2.) The Shadows of Summer   (Walter Slivinski) - 3:45  
rating: ** stars

Water and bird sound effects are normally not a good way to start a song.  They didn't really help the sappy ballad 'The Shadows of Summer.'  MOR-ish strings and an ocean of backing vocals merely gave this a forgettable vibe.
3.) Knowing How I Love You   (Walter Slivinski) - 3:13
   rating: *** stars

When I was in high school there was a daytime talk show hosted by Merv Griffin.  It would be on when I got home from school,or sports practice and seemed to specialize in "C" List  celebrities and similar musical acts.  The bouncy pop tune 'Knowing How I Love You' reminds me of something you might have heard on that show ...  Very sugary with the same effect as sugar on a diabetic.
4.) Just Like Humpty Dumpty   (Walter Slivinski) - 2:55  
rating: **** stars

And just when I'd pegged these guys as hopeless middle-of-the-road pop purveyors, along can 'Just Like Humpty Dumpty.'  Mind you, this wasn't going to give Black Sabbath a run for their money, but powered by Jack Sinner's fuzz bass and Walter Slivinski's Farfisa organ washes, it was relatively heavy and even showcased why might be mistaken for a touch of lysergic influences.  One of the album highlights.
5.) I'm Taking Her To Dinner   (Walter Slivinski) - 2:32  
rating: ** stars

Remember how Davy Jones use to handle The Monkees pseudo-Vaudevillian tunes?  Well, 'I'm Taking Her To Dinner' sounded like one of those performances.  Great if you were a Jones fan.  Not so good if you hated that aspect of The Monkees' recording career.  Unfortunately I'm in the latter category.


(side 2)
1.) Sometimes (I Wish I Didn't Love You)   (Walter Slivinski) - 2:22
   rating: ** stars

Nice group vocals, but the melody sounded like a toothpaste commercial and the blaring horn arrangement didn't help at all.
2.) Everyday I Love You More   (Walter Slivinski) - 3:25  
rating: ** stars

Schmaltzy, over-orchestrated ballad.  Forgettable.
3.) L.A. (Los Angeles)   (Walter Slivinski) - 3:55  
rating: **** stars

The album's other highlight, 'L.A. (Los Angeles)' was a breezy, slightly lysergic sunshine pop love letter to their adopted hometown.  A great slice of sunshine pop, it's the track I would have tapped as the single.
4.) Girl of My Dreams   (Walter Slivinski) - 2:41
   rating: *** stars

Unlike the previous track, 'Girl of My Dreams' tried a little too hard to inject a acid-tinged edge into their sound.  Goofy psychedelic lyrics, Jack Skinner's fuzz bass, Beatles-styled horns were mildly entertaining and reminded me a little of a "Magical Mystery Tour" castoff.  You couldn't help thinking "I've heard this somewhere before". 
5.) Orange Colored Sky   (Walter Slivinski) - 2:55

The title track returned to sunshine-pop ballad territory.  Sweet, if a touch saccharine.  The track was tapped as a single:






- 1968's 'Orange Colored Sky' b/w '' The Shadow of Summer' (Uni catalog number 55088)




The band went on to release a series of three non-LP 45s for Uni:

- 1969's 'Happiness Is' b/w 'Another Sky' (Uni catalog number 55115)

- 1969's 'Mr. Peacock' b/w 'Knowing How To Love You' (Uni catalog number 55140

- 1969's 'Sweet Potato' b/w 'The Sun and I' (Uni catalog number 55156)



After a one-shot release for James Brown's People label, Don Costas signed the group to MGM where over the next two years they released a series of obscure singles on various MGM affiliated labels.

- 1970's 'Help' b/w 'Press a Rose' (People catalog number P-1007)

- 1971's 'Simon Zealotes/Superstar' b/w 'I'll Try Again' (DCP catalog number DCP-103)

- 1972's 'Good Time Music' b/w 'You Can't Kill Rock and Roll' (Amaret catalog number AMT-143)

- 1973's 'Morning Light' b/w 'Who Are You Foolin') (MGM catalog number K 14578)

Undergoing a string of personnel changes, though the early-'80s the band found a home on the Las Vegas and Tahoe casino circuit, opening for such heavy metal acts as Burt Bacharach and Frank Sinatra. In 1994 Younger, guitarist Ernie Hernandez and bassist Larry Parker reformed the band. In 1997 they added keyboardist Michael Chanslor to the line up. Two years later Younger dropped out of the band, though Chanslor, Hernandez and Parker have retained the band name and continue to perform at casinos, conferences and other events throughout the Southwest.


In the early-'90s another version of the band appeared under the leadership of keyboard player Michael Chanslor.  The line-up was rounded out by guitarist Tom Bethke, singer/drummer Dennis Edwards, and  bassist Parker (the only link to their past.)