the avid collector’s guide to wild in the streets part 1

IN 1968, AIP’S NEW MOVIE was not about bikers, babes, and devils. While “Wild In The Streets” was an­other Amer­ican In­ter­na­tional Pic­tures ex­ploita­tion B-movie, it was also a clever com­bi­na­tion of black humor, so­ciopo­lit­ical satire, and some gen­uinely good rock & roll. The Avid Col­lec­tor’s Guide to Wild In The Streets Part 1 ad­dresses the records as­so­ci­ated with that movie and its music. 1

This is the first of four parts that focus on the records re­volving around that movie, with the pri­mary focus is on the WILD IN THE STREETS orig­inal sound­track album. A sec­ondary focus is the con­tri­bu­tions of Davie Allan and his Ar­rows to the whole af­fair.

Some facts, as­sump­tions, mis­un­der­stand­ings, and myths are rent asunder con­cerning sev­eral off­shoot projects from the movie, no­tably three other LP al­bums: 

Tower ST-5099
Var­ious artists: Wild In The Streets (sound­track)

Tower ST-5139
Davie Allan & The Ar­rows: The Ar­rows Play Music From The Score Of The Mo­tion Pic­ture “Wild In The Streets”

Tower ST-5137
Max Frost & The Troopers: Shape Of Things To Come

Tower ST-5146
The Second Time: Listen To The Music

Each album is as­so­ci­ated with Mike Curb’s Side­walk Pro­duc­tions and was is­sued on Capitol Records’ Tower im­print. I have three basic goals in these ar­ti­cles:

1. To ad­dress the issue of who played what on which record.
2. To dif­fer­en­tiate first press­ings from later press­ings of each record.
3 . To as­sign re­al­istic market values to these records.

Be­fore reading fur­ther, I sug­gest you first give a pe­rusal to my own “Wild In The Streets As So­ciopo­lit­ical Satire And Black Humor.”

Go ahead—I’ll wait here.

 

Streets Part 1: cover of WILD IN THE STREETS soundtrack album on Tower Records.

Front cover to the WILD IN THE STREETS sound­track album on Tower Records. This is a var­ious artists album and not the same album is that cred­ited to Davie Allan & The Ar­rows (above).

Guide to Wild In The Streets part 1

The music will be dis­cussed at some length, fol­lowed by a break­down of each of the al­bums. Capitol Records man­u­fac­tured and dis­trib­uted both Tower and Curb’s own Side­walk product, and con­sid­ered the re­lease of the sound­track album WILD IN THE STREETS to be a big enough event to issue it in a deluxe gate­fold jacket.

Ap­par­ently, Capitol be­lieved that the movie would be a hit (it was) and that its suc­cess would carry the album into the upper reaches of the best-seller sur­veys (it did) and that jus­ti­fied the deluxe pack­aging. This pack­aging al­lowed Capitol to tack an­other dollar onto the re­tail price.

De­spite this dis­tinct ad­van­tage over a stan­dard priced LP, WILD IN THE STREETS did not sell enough units to qualify for an RIAA Gold Record Award, which was based on $1,000,000 in sales at the whole­sale level (about 600,000 copies in 1968).

 

Al­though a best-seller, Wild In The Streets did not reach the million-dollar mark to qualify for an RIAA Gold Record Award.

 

The album did not fea­ture a name artist, nor was there a hit single upon which to hang some ad­vance promotion—although that did come later. It did fea­ture five new songs by Brill Building main­stays Barry Mann and Cyn­thia Weil.

Un­for­tu­nately, this could have been detri­mental: looking back at the second half of the ’60s, many of us old enough to have lived through those years forget that writers of their kind were often looked down upon as hacks, in it for the bucks, not the music.

In fact, the songs that Mann and Weill turned in were rather feeble em­u­la­tions of what was re­ally hap­pening in the hip music com­mu­nity. 2

 

Streets Part 1: photo of Max Frost and band on stage from the movie WILD IN THE STREETS.

Max Frost and his un­named band on stage in sup­port of Sen­ator Harkins: from the left are Diane Varsi (key­boards), Kevin Coughlin (guitar), Christo­pher Jones (guitar and lead singer), and Larry Bishop (horn). 

Different pressings exist

Each of the records dis­cussed here have at least two rec­og­niz­able vari­a­tions on their West Coast and East Coast press­ings (dis­cussed in de­tail below). The dif­fer­ences are mostly a matter of the size of font and place­ment of type on the record’s la­bels used by Capi­tol’s printers.

But with the WILD IN THE STREETS sound­track album there are two very dif­ferent la­bels: the ten tracks on the record are the same record­ings but are cred­ited to five dif­ferent artists, al­though not the same five artists on each of the two press­ings!

The two press­ings are easily iden­ti­fied by the artist’s credits on the la­bels: the five tracks that were per­formed by Max Frost (Christo­pher Jones) and his band in the movie are cred­ited to ei­ther 13th Power (a real group) or to Max Frost & The Troopers (an un­real group).

 

The names of the fake groups—the Gurus and the Senators—are based on the scenes in which their songs ap­pear.

 

This sup­ports an ar­gu­ment that there were two press­ings of the album sep­a­rated by time, meaning that one is a def­i­nite first pressing while the other is a second.

The re­maining five tracks on the album are cred­ited to the Second Time (a real group), the Sen­a­tors, the Gurus, and Jerry Howard. Psy­che­delic Senate (the Sen­a­tors) and Shelly In Camp (the Gurus) were recorded under the di­rec­tion of the film score’s com­poser, Les Baxter using local ses­sion musicians—not Davie Allan and his Ar­rows as some have as­sumed. 

“The Wrecking Crew played on the tracks cred­ited to the Second Time (Listen To The Music and Sally Le Roy) as well as Wild In The Streets, which was cred­ited to Jerry Howard, the vo­calist. Pos­sibly, they also played on the two Les Baxter tracks. The drum­ming alone is in­dica­tive of cer­tain Hal Blaine sig­na­tures, but I don’t de­tect Davie Allan’s pres­ence any­where on ei­ther of the Baxter tracks.” (The Seth Man)

 

Streets Part 1: cover of Les Baxter's SPACE ESCAPADE album on Capitol Records.

Les Baxter made what is mostly easy-listening in­stru­mental music, some of which are in the ‘lounge music’ or ‘ex­otica’ na­ture. His most sought after album is SPACE ESCAPADE (Capitol T-968/ST-968) from 1958.

So who played what where and when?

Trying to figure out who played what on any given Side­walk or Tower sound­track album from 1966-1968 has kept col­lec­tors busy for decades. Many groups under Mike Curb’s Side­walk Pro­duc­tions um­brella were a mys­tery to critics and record buyers.

There were a few con­stants among the con­fu­sion (es­pe­cially the AIP sound­tracks), no­tably Mike Curb and Harley Hatcher, who were usu­ally cred­ited as pro­ducers on the jackets and la­bels. Mu­si­cally the main man on these records was gui­tarist Davie Allan. He was often lead guitar and leader of the pack of un­cred­ited mu­si­cians who recorded the music. These ad hoc en­sem­bles might in­clude studio mu­si­cians, friends, hangers-on, and oc­ca­sion­ally even mem­bers of Al­lan’s own band!

Allan rarely re­ceived credit for his work, but if you bought enough of these al­bums you learned to rec­og­nize his dis­tinct, suc­cinct fuzzed sound! 3

Curb’s de­ci­sions to have lots of names as­so­ci­ated with his projects led to a host of never-before-heard-of-groups finding their only credit on a Side­walk Pro­duc­tions album. Many of these ‘groups’ bore psychedelic-sounding names that even then ap­peared to have been made up by someone who wanted to sound ‘with it’ and hip. Con­se­quently, many of those groovy band names sounded con­trived and just plain silly.

 

Streets Part 1: cover of SATAN'S SADISTS soundtrack album on Smash Records.

The front cover to this Smash album could lead one to be­lieve it’s “The Wild Sounds Of Sa­tan’s Sadists” by Harley Hatcher. The record’s la­bels in­di­cate that it’s a var­ious artists album ti­tled “Sa­tan’s Sadists.” Ei­ther way, six tracks are cred­ited to Hatcher and four to the Nightriders, who may be Hatcher anyway. While not an AIP movie, the sound­track music is a Pendulum-Sidewalk Pro­duc­tion.

A few words on Mike Curb

Side­walk Pro­duc­tions’ main man Mike Curb is a fas­ci­nating per­son­ality in the music in­dustry and de­serves his own essay. For the sake of brevity, I am only touching on a few points of in­terest to this article’s sub­ject:

•  In 1963, he started his first record com­pany as a teenager! He quickly stepped into in­de­pen­dent pro­duc­tion deals for Brunswick, Capitol, Co­lumbia, Dot, Mer­cury, United Artists, and Warner/Reprise, the latter com­pany also signing him to a recording con­tract.

•  In 1964, he launched Side­walk Pro­duc­tions, which grew into Side­walk Records. Both used Curb artists al­most ex­clu­sively; many fea­tured his buddy, Davie Allan.

•  In 1965, he signed Side­walk to a man­u­fac­turing and dis­tri­b­u­tion deal with Capitol Records’ sub­sidiary, Tower Records.

•  In 1966, he signed a deal to pro­vide sound­tracks to movies made by Amer­ican In­ter­na­tional Pic­tures. AIP was one of the pri­mary pur­veyors of ex­ploita­tional movies for the per­ceived ‘youth cul­ture’ at the time.

 

Allan Cude 500

AllanDavie Marc 500

Curb’s first re­lease on his own im­print was also his good friend’s Davie Al­lan’s first re­lease. The odd com­pany name was ar­rived at by using the first two let­ters of the last names of the two part­ners: “Cu” for Curb and “de” for Mary Dean.War Path re­ceived little at­ten­tion and was reis­sued on the slightly larger Marc Records in short order. Both the Cude and Marc 45s are rather rare records, es­pe­cially in NM con­di­tion.

Biker-and-babe flicks

AIP be­came iden­ti­fied with a string of biker-and-babe flicks, which often starred such non-biker-looking ac­tors as Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson. Many of these sound­tracks fea­tured music by Davie Allan and his Ar­rows, with Al­lan’s fuzz-drenched guitar as­so­ci­ated with Harleys.

Some of the most suc­cessful ti­tles in­volving Curb and Allan were The Wild An­gels and Devil’s An­gels (1966), and Born Losers (1967). The latter marked the first ap­pear­ance of the iconic Billy Jack and was a HUGE in­ter­na­tional suc­cess. And of course Wild In The Streets (1968).

The music for these soundtracks—often written and pro­duced by Curb—ranged from in­sipid to in­spired, often in the same film. Curb was also known for his par­si­mo­nious use of record­ings: he re­cy­cled songs, backing tracks, and even com­pleted record­ings among artists and even com­peting record com­pa­nies! 4

 

Streets Part 1: 1968 newspaper advertisement for the movie WILD IN THE STREETS..

FEATURED IMAGE: The art­work at the top of this page was lifted from an ad­ver­tise­ment for the movie that ap­peared in news­pa­pers around the country in 1968. The four in­ter­con­nected ar­ticle can be found here:

• The Avid Col­lec­tors Guide to “Wild in the Streets” Part 1
• The Avid Col­lec­tors Guide to “Wild in the Streets” Part 2
• The Avid Col­lec­tors Guide to “Wild in the Streets” Part 3
• The Avid Col­lec­tors Guide to “Wild in the Streets” Part 4

 


FOOTNOTES:

1   It is the first of four ar­ti­cles that were orig­i­nally pub­lished in 2014 with a slightly longer title (“The Avid Record Col­lec­tor’s Price Guide to Wild In The Streets”). These ar­ti­cles have been mod­i­fied and up­dated be­cause I have learned so much since then about using im­ages and SEO (search en­gine op­ti­miza­tion).

2   For dif­fering opin­ions on this music, see the re­views at the end of the final part of this essay.

3   As some of us did, es­pe­cially when the mono ver­sions were deleted in 1968 and dumped into bar­gain bins around the country for a buck apiece!

4   The orig­inal ar­ticle de­voted much more at­ten­tion to Mike, but some of it was po­lit­ical and re­ally had no place in the text. So I re­moved it. Maybe I will ex­pand the deleted text and post it as a new ar­ticle …

 

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