And now, for your listening pleasure – one from Australia, and one from Canada.
Ray Hoff and The OffbeatsRay Hoff and The Offbeats hailed from the late 1950s through the 1960s, Sydney, Australia-born rock and R&B vocalist Ray Hoff (Ray Hough, 1942-2010) led various line-ups of the Off Beats. In fact, The "Who's Who of Australian Rock" lists 32 members of the Off Beats from 1958-1968.
"My Good Friend Mary Jane", is a B-side hip instrumental featuring some sweet Hammond B3 organ sounds with some nice echoey blues harmonica laid on a mid-tempo R&B mod-beat groover.
As one biographer put it," among music aficionados in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, Ray Hoff's choice of only the best musicians for his band made him an influential, much admired leader. Originally formed in Sydney but also based for periods in Perth and Adelaide, the Off Beats' popularity and credibility as a live act were not reflected in their recording career. They were signed to RCA in Sydney, and their single of Chuck Berry's "Little Queenie" had some limited success on radio. He had singles with covers of "Tossin' And Turnin'", "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" and "Bama Lama Bama Loo". The band recorded their only album, Ray Hoff & The Off Beats, on Clarion in 1966.
MashmakhanI imagine this tune "Afraid of Losing You" by a group called Mashmakhan was a sure-fire way for the lads to get all the mod girls and long-haired freaks shakin their psychedelic asses out on the dance floor! Dig that guiar solo freek-out!
Mashmakhan was formed in 1969 in Toronto. The band is best known for their hit single "As the Years Go By." Performing early on the local scene under names like the Phantoms, and Ray Blake's Combo and the Dominoes, by 1965 they were calling themselves The Triangle, and backing up local R&B singer Trevor Payne. They backed up Payne for four years until being discovered by record producer Bob Hahn, who helped them get signed with Columbia Records in Toronto. They then changed their name to Mashmakhan, after a variety of magical hashish sold by a local dealer, to appeal to a 'modern audience'.
They're big hit, "As the Years Go By" was released off their debut album in an edited form, and was the group's first hit; it sold 100,000 copies in Canada and 400,000 copies in theUnited States (on the Epic label). The band actually wrote the song as a novelty addition to their album, not expecting it to gain serious recognition. The single also sold 400,000 copies in Japan. This disc sold over one million copies globally, and received a gold disc!