DEAR JERRY: Around 1964, there was an instrumental titled "Like Long Hair," by the Raiders, on our fraternity jukebox. Is "Like Long Hair" available today? Any connection with those Raiders and Paul Revere & the Raiders?
Michael Dowhan, New York, N.Y.
DEAR MICHAEL: Indeed there is a connection.
"Like, Long Hair" was a Top 40 hit in 1961, on the Gardena (#116) label, a fairly new California company. Credit Gardena Records owner John Guss for suggesting the name change.
According to Paul Revere: "We were just the Raiders, but when John Guss found out my real name was Paul Revere, he said: 'What a perfect gimmick. You gotta use that name!"
Paul adds: "At first, we tried Paul Revere & the Night Riders, but that was rejected as sounding too much like a country group. So we settled on Paul Revere & the Raiders, which appeared on our first Gardena single a boogie-woogie version of "Chopsticks" that Guss dubbed "Beatnik Sticks. It came out in 1960."
In 1961, the group's third single, "Like, Long Hair," became their breakout record. This rockin' rendition of Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C-Sharp Minor" peaked nationally at No. 30 and the only instrumental hit of their lengthy career.
By the time you found it on your frat house juke, it was already an oldie but goodie.
As to your first question, three of the eight Gardena singles by the Raiders, including "Like, Long Hair," plus all of their Columbia hits, are found on "Legend of Paul Revere," a 55-track, double CD package (Columbia C2K-45311).
DEAR JERRY: As one who enjoys the '50s and '60s music of the Kingston Trio, I have long been plagued by a tiny piece of trivia.
When I hear their hit, "The Reverend Mr. Black," my mind can't help but flash back to a song I heard in the '50s, that mentions a Reverend Mr. Black.
Unfortunately, other than it is by a male singer, I cannot remember any others details about this song.
Can you possibly fill in the missing particulars?
Andy Raleigh, Lisbon, Ohio
DEAR ANDY: I can think of only one pre-Kingston Trio song with a mention of a Reverend Mr. Black, but it's just a tad earlier than the '50s. Check out "Mule Train," a No. 1, million-seller in 1949 by Frankie Laine & the Muleskinners (Mercury 5345).
In this whip-crackin', hard ridin', dusty trail adventure tune, Frankie refers to "a bible in the pack for the Reverend Mr. Black."