Hi Everybody!!...I hope everyone had a great weekend...I sure did!!
Not only did Michigan win it's 2nd straight game, but the Defense did NOT allow a touchdown for those 2 games either!!..I think that I'm gonna ride the Hog for the rest of the day, so I 'm going to post my Musical Monday blurb a bit early...
When you think of an oldie what do you think about?..."Hound Dog" by the King?
"Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis?..."Stayin Alive"...The BG's.? "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice???? Whatever your interpretation of an oldie is, it seems like every "Oldie" station seems to play 3-5 old tunes that have become Oldies Anthems.."Wipe-Out" by the Safari's.."Louie Louie" by The Kingsman, and " 96 Tears " by Question Mark and the Mysterians!!
The band responsible for that hit, were the embodiment of a number of rock phenomena:
They were the ultimate 'garage band', they were living proof that anyone could be discovered and become a star. And they were the classic One Hit Wonder band that zoomed to the top and suddenly disappeared forever..
They had a little gimmick going on at the time, whereas they didn't reveal who their true identities were....Does the name Rudy Martinez mean anything to you? That's Question Mark's real name.
The band's members were actually 5 guys whose families all migrated from Mexico to work in Michigan's Saginaw Valley. They took their group name from a Japanese alien-invasion movie series from the early 60's, and then developed a pattern of secrecy from Rudy, who always sported dark sunglasses as his trademark..
The band played around the Saginaw area for a few years in the mid-60's, developing a repertoire that included an original number called..."Too Many Teardrops", a poem that Rudy had written and set to very simple music. The rest of the group liked the tune but NOT the title. They wanted to call it "69 Tears" , but they knew that it would never get on the airwaves if they did, so they called it "96" Tears.
Like millions of other garage bands of the 60's, Question mark wanted to make a record but no big label would sign them. They ended up contacting a woman named Lilly Gonzalez who owned a little outfit in Texas called Pa-Go-Go Records.. She set them up with a Bay City Michigan studio( a converted living room), for a recording session, and Pa-Go-Go pressed 500 copies of the song, and sent them to the band to schlep around to the local radio stations for some airplay!
Suprisingly several stations did just that, and one of the stations that did play it regularly was CKLW out of Detroit (actually Windsor Ontario, but it's just across the river). Then the miracle happened!! Executives at a national label that was almost bankrupt, Cameo Records, heard "96"Tears on CKLW, and picked it up for distribution. They began selling the record in other parts of the country, and suddenly it took off.. The song was recorded in February of 66,and by October it was the #1 song in America!!
The band broke up, according to lead singer Robert Balderama, because it's anonymous lead singer Question Mark, was on an "ego trip"...Go Figure!!!! Rudy finally settled down on a farm on the outskirts of Flint Michigan, ( Home of Michael Moore and Galen Haynes) and had a dog-breeding business for years..But in January of 2007, a fire destroyed all his belongings and priceless memorabilia, and he was left with nothing!!..Soon afterwards, news of this tragedy swept across the airwaves, and local businesses and promoters have had several benefit concerts in his honor!!!..God I remember seeing these guys at a great local rock venue called Mt. Holly..I also remember riding my Motorcycle out there in 1968 to see a local guy named Bob Segar for $5.00..he happened to have the #1 song in America at that time called "Ramblin Gamblin Man"!!.....For $5.00....hahahahaha...OLD OLD OLD!!!.. Peace!