GARY USHER – Hot Rod U.S.A. [1960-1965]

gary usher hot rod usa1

This quasi-legitimate bootleg compilation collect 30 tunes (mostly hot rod & surf) that Usher had a hand in as producer and/or performer between 1960 and 1965, most taken from rare collector 45s.
The majority of tracks here are penned by Usher, from “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” rip-off “Lonely Surfer Boy”, to two 1960 singles released under Gary Usher’s own name: “You’re The Girl” (which was his first 45, released on the Titan label) and its b-side “Driven Insane” which has backing vocals by future Honeys member Ginger Blake; solo compositions like The Wheel Men’s “School Is A Gas,” the instrumental “Gear!” and The Pyramids “Custom Caravan.” An unusual chord structure and prominent piano solo distinguish The Pendletons “Barefoot Adventure” and the ultra-rare comedy track “Wave Hog” which is sung by Gary Usher – is credited to the Silly Surfers and was commissioned for a model-kit building company! Following this is two follow-up tracks: “Francis The Foul” (which is about a cheating football player) and “Leaky Boat Louie”, both taken from a 1965 comedy album by the Weird-Ohs. Other highlights are the Four Seasons-inspired “Shame Girl” b/w “I’ve Got Plans” by the Neptunes and what is credited as “the only enjoyable cut” from the comedy album Rod’s N’ Ratfink by Mr. Gasser & The Weirdos: “The Lonely Stocker” – which was strangely enough the weakest track on the Knights album. Also found are a Gary Usher vocal on the Wilson-Usher collaboration “Shut Down” which was released under the name The Road Runners.

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