Champagne Shing-A-Ling. Highland Records.

Highland Records

I first compiled the Highland label listing for the April 2004 issue of Shades Of Soul (31). Derek Pearson was a great help with text and info for the article. Also Arthur Wright and various other collectors.

West Coast Highland Records, owned by Sid Talmedge was based at 2580 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90006. The label distributed by West Pico Merchandising and was a subsidiary of Malynn Enterprises.

By no means a soul based label but amongst its releases are some classic dance floor favourites, Larry Atkins, The Penetrations, Soul Patrol, Bobby Montgomery, Mike And The Censations and the daddy of them all Kell Osborne and his pounding Law Against A Heartbreaker.

We cannot be sure if all these records were released by the same company, for one the numbering system is all over the place although there are definite connections between some of the numbering systems, neither is it consecutive. There was definitely a series of re-issues certainly some distributed by Oldies Music of Hollywood. Others were exact replicas of earlier releases except the label colour, as in the case of Luckey Davis, both releases some 11 years apart.

Mike and The Censations are the only group/artist who can claim any longevity with the label releasing 5 discs, Al Casey with 3 and Rosie and the Originals with 2 are the only other acts who actually put out more than one record. The rest were one off releases for the label. As Arthur Wright said “Like many independents around that time the label found it more cost effective to lease masters on different artists and just deal with the producers of those masters. It gave rise to the term production deal which was great for independent producers who also dealt with a number of record companies”. Rosie and the Originals massive number 5 hit “Angel Baby” probably single handedly financed the label throughout the early period in the labels history.

1001 Al Casey (Got The) Teenage Blues/ Adventures Of Frankenstein 10/59
1002 Al Casey (Got The) Teenage Blues/ Give’n Up 11/59
1003 Pat Mowry Come What May/ Shadows Of The Shrine 1958
1004 Al Casey The Stinger (instrumental)/ Night Beat (instrumental) 11/59
1010 Bobby Hughes Berlin Bounce Part 1/ Part 2 1960
1011 Rosie And The Originals Angel Baby/ Give Me Love 1960
1014 Ronnie And The Premiers Cha Cha/ Sharon 1961
1015 Sandra And The Highlanders What’s Left/ Written In The Stars 1961
1016 Millie Patterson I Love An Angel/ Last Tears On Me
1018 Ray Marten Now That You’re Gone/ Broken Heart 1961
1019 Billy Duke & The Dukes Pledging My Love/ Crazy Pete 1961
1020 Wil-Sones Let Me Help You/ Come On, Mama 1961
1024 Johnny Manjelli Five Foot Two/ Five Foot Two (Eyes Of Blue) 1961
1025 Rosie And The Originals Angel From Above/ Why Did You Leave Me 1961
1026 Rumblers Intersection/ Stomping Time 1962
1030 Troy Cory Mighty Ocean/ Teeny Weeny Wiggle 1962
1031 Dee Jays Bongo Beach Party/ Mr. Bongo Man 1962
1032 Rosie And The Originals Lonely Blue Nights/ We’ll Have A Chance 1962
1034 Carol Slade I Saw You/ I Wanna Know Right Now 1962
1035 Grunion Hunters Four Eyed, Tongue Tied, Swimmin’/ Surfer Swimmin’Surfer Biter 1963
1050 Don And Dewey Don’t Ever Leave Me/ Heart Attack 1964
1051 Little Winfrey Slauson USA/ Charlie’s Blues 1963
1052 Larry Bright Should I/ Twinkle-Lee 1964
1100 Bobby Day Little Turtle Dove/ Saving My Life For You 1964
1150 Frankie Anthony You Were Mine/ The Wonders Of Love 1964
1151 Johnny Guitar Watson Wait A Minute Baby/ Oh So Fine
1152 Ray Agee Mr. Clean/ Keep Smiling 1964
1160 Sonny I’ll Change/ Try It Out On Me 1965
1161 Ed Lee Country Boy Part 1/ Part 2 1966
1166 Tommy Cooper No Arms Can Ever Hold You/ Sweet Words Of Love 1966
1167 The Huntingtons Is There A Way/ You Lose, I Win 1966
1168 Willie Riley Groovin’ With Willie (instrumental)/ Shoehole (instrumental) 1966
1169 Angelenos (Down In) East LA/ Lori 1966
1170 The Runaways It Don’t Mean A Thing/ Please Do 05/67
1171 Thee Counts Someday I’m Gonna Get You/ So Far Away 1966
1172 Chris May Hey Baby/ So Far Away 1966
1173 The In-Be-Tween (Early Slade!) Security/ Girl Child I’m An Evil Witchman 1966
1175 Mike And The Sensations Victim Of Circumstance Part 1/ Part 2 1966
1177 The Two Shades of Soul Thief Of Love/ A Little Bit Of Soul 1966
1179 Doug Brooks What Do You Do/ Boys Will Be Boys 1967
1180 Chris May I’m Livin’ Good/? 1967
1181 Mike And The Censations Don’t Mess With Me/ There Is Nothing I Can Do About It 1967
1182 Kell Osbourne A Law Against A Heartbreaker/ Trouble, Trouble, Baby 1967
1183 Penetrations Sweet Sweet Baby/ Champagne (Shing-A-Ling) 1967
1184 Deddie Williams And The Unwritten Law Love Seems So Hard To Find/ Ask Me 11/67
1185 Insects Girl That Sits There/ Then You Came My Way 1967
1186 Mike & Censations I Need Your Lovin’/ Be Mine Forever 1967
1187 Kenny Nolan Save It For Me/ Ever See Somebody Needin’ Lovin’ 1967
1188 Alan Gary Good Lovin’ Woman/ At The Love In 1968
1189 Mike & Censations Don’t Sell Your Soul/ Baby What’re You Gonna Do 1968
1190 Harry Hellings And The Radials Tale Of A Crystal Ship/ Wake Up Sweet Mary 11/67
1192 Ray Agee Mister Clean/ Keep Smiling 1968
1193 Larry Atkins Ain’t That Love Enough/ Lighten Up 1968
1194 The Hinge I’ll Pretend/ Now Let Me Love You 1968
1195 Little Incidents The Thing/ Walk On 1968
1196 King Soloman The Natural Look/ No Woman’s No Stranger 1969
1197 Bobby Denton That’s The Way I Want It To Be/ Nothing Can Take The Place Of Your Love 1969
1198 Genuine Family Parts Cherry/ Fall On Me Rain 1969
1199 Griz Green Ginger Ale And AppleJack/ Grandpa’s Searsucker Suit 1969
1201 Luckey Davis (original yellow label) It’s Not Where You Start/ Instrumental 1969
1201 Jim Gamble When You Move You Lose 1969
1201 Luckey Davis (re-issue orange label) It’s Not Where You Start/ Instrumental 1980
1202 King Solomon The Miracle Worker/ The Moon Walk 1969
1202 Frank Lucas You Got Me High Part 1/ You Got Me High Part 2 1980
1203 Mike And The Censations Baby,What’re Gonna Do/ I Need Your Lonin 1969
1203 ? I’ll Always Be In Love With You/ I Feel Good Feeling Good 1980
1204 The Bounders Mia / They Call The Wind, Mariah 1970
1205 Four Sale (aka 4 Sale) Baby, Please Don’t Tease/ Try To Remember
1206 Joe & The Fantastics Chicken Chicken/ Darlin’ Darlin’ 1970
1208 Explosions Animated Heart/ Face To Face 1970
1301 Frank Lucas Your Love Got Me High Part 1/ Your Love Got Me High Part 2
1401 Frank Lucas Your Love Got Me High Part/ Ding Dong
2000 Ernie Fields In The Mood/ Christopher Columbus
2001 B. Bumble & Stingers Bumble Boogie/ School Day Blues 1961
2002 The Wiz Kids Sweet Honey/ Big Teaser
2004 Bobby Day Rockin’ Robin/ So Long Baby
2006 Oscar McLolugh and Jeanette Baker Hey Girl Hey Boy/ Let Me Know Let Me Know 1976
2505 Virtues Bye, Bye Blues/ Happy Guitar 1960
300 Precisions Eight Reasons Why (I Love You)/ Mama Told me 1962
4000 War Babies Jeanie’s Pub/ Love Is Love 1969
44 Sherwood Fleming Good Woman/ Holdin’ On
77 Soul Patrol Need Of Love/ Save Your Love
78 Bobby Montgomery Make Me Yours/ Seek And You Shall Find
CW-10 Possum Chula Vista/ The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati
MX-09 Rose & The Arrangement My House Up The Tree/ Sunshine Through My Window Pane

Mike And The Censations

(taken from the liner notes to the 1996 released Luv N Haight label re-issue of Michael Kirklands “Hang on in there” album from the late 70’s.)

Mike Kirkland’s recording debut came about because of a bet. At an LA party, where his friends were singing the praises of Berry Gordy and Motown, Kirkland’s brother Robert offered a wager. He said he and his brother Mike could cut a record every bit as good as a Motown disc. This was August and Robert guaranteed he would have the disc out by Christmas. Mike was initially sceptical, but nevertheless they had formed a group (Mike and the Censations), hired a band from Grants Music Centre (The Roger Spots Orchestra) and by Christmas 1965 had recorded and cut a single, “Victim Of Circumstance”, which they initially released on their own Bryan label. That single, which gained radio play and entered the R&B top 50, aroused the interest of several major labels although the band was unwilling to sign away their song fro the measly amounts that were being offered. A second 45 “There’s Nothing I Can Do About It” scored even bigger and Mike and The Censations sined a short lived deal with MCA.*

“We Didn’t realise that we were going to have to do all the work ourselves, unless you were Neil Diamond they wouldn’t even answer the phone”.
Derek Pearson – * the short lived deal with MCA he talks about was the couple of records released on Revue in 1969. Mike later made his money under the name Bo Kirkland whose duets with Ruth Davis made the American charts between 1975 and 1978. Their “You’re Gonna Get Next To Me” was a big hit on the UK charts during 1977.

In Ruben Molina’s “Low Rider Music 1950-75 book, it states that Kirkland’s group at the time of the Highland recordings comprised of Michael Kirkland, Robert Kirkland, their sister, her husband Armand Postell and Michael Trotter. Victim of Circumstance was recorded at Madelon Baker’s Audio Arts Studio. Origianlly released on their own Bryan label, it was re-issued on Sid Talmadge’s Highland Records.

Pete Smith suggests how the In-Betweens (1173) who later became well known UK chart toppers Slade, signed up to this West Coast label….”Nobody has ever said how this came about, However, their manager at the time was Kim Fowley and he was a well known LA eccentric producer/songwriter. I would guess he got the single released on Highland as he was their one and only American contact they had, he also produced the record”.

Bill Spoon’s Highland release, 1000 “Love Is On The Way/Don’t Play With My Love” is unconnected to the Highland we are discussing. It is from Cleveland, Ohio and later re-released on Hense Forth. More about Bill Spoon and the Soul Notes can be read at John Smith’s excellent website www.soulcitylimits.com in the soulin section.

The rarest disc on the label is Kell Osborne’s Law Against A Heartbreaker. Just two demonstration/dj copies are known to exist, not even Kell has a copy. It took me some months but I finally tracked Kell down and having not heard the record since it was recorded I played it down the phone to him and his reaction was to say, “WOW”. He was gob smacked. A recording was duly sent to him along with most of his releases (Kell’s story will be in the next issue of Shades of Soul). Covered up at Stafford as Jimmy Gresham the record simply pounds along, gaining momentum as it nears the end. It also shares the same backing as Kell’s Loma release “You Can’t Outsmart A Woman”.

Thanks to Tim Brown for the above scan. The 45 is actually vinyl, many Highland 45’s styrene.

Larry Atkins is another release that has given many hours of dancing pleasure to soulies on the UK’s Northern Soul scene, in fact it’s one of the best double siders released. Ain’t That Love Enough and Lighten Up have graced the turntables for many years at venues all over the UK and dare I say the world now, and continue to do so to this day. Also released on Romark (Lighten Up was titled Have Mercy On Me) and it was also covered by Ty Karim.

The Penetrations is another that has gained some turntable action and also commanded a three figure sum.

Highland picked up quite a few local Southern California small label records, to provide them with better distribution. The 2000 series was for releases of “oldies” hits, gathered from the rights to Class Records, Rendezvous Records, and other small ’50s L.A. labels.

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Comments
  1. Doug Drill says:

    Highland Records actually published two records by Rose and The Arrangement in 1964. One record, because of its extreme difference from the other was The Cockroach That Ate Cincinatti/Chula Vista, and was recorded under the pseudonym of Possum. The other release was My house Up In The Tree/Sunshine Through My Windowpane. I know this for a fact because I was a founding member of the group and wrote three of the songs.

  2. Doug Drill says:

    Sorry, that should have been published in 1974.

  3. Mark Francis Tully says:

    The sleeve notes to the Ace Records CD “Impossible but true – The Kim Fowley story” explain how “Security” was leased to Highland Records as a radio promo only. It was never commercially released.

    Fowley met Holder/Hill/Lea/Powell in London and recorded them.

    • Hi Mark.
      Many of the releases on Highland were leased in and a fair few never got past the demo stage. Thanks for the info re Security, I don’t posses that CD but will now look for it.

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