The Kingsmen. Up And Away

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The Kinsmen released this, their sixth album in 1966 on the Wand label.

This album represented some changes for the groups previous efforts and included new producers as well. Those who left the group included Barry Curtis who had been drafted, Norm Sundholm left to manage his Sunn amplifiers business. Replacements were J.C. Rieck on keyboards with Kerry Magness and  Pete Borg on bass. The new producers Paul Tannen and Mark Wildey had been added as well. 

The album featured a combination fo reliable pop and R&B standards mixed with songs written by members of the band. Notably this was the first Kingsmen album not to make the Billboard LP chart. 

The January 7, 1967 issue of Billboard Magazine reviewed the album:

The "Louie Louie" group has come up with a change of pace package loaded with excitement. They run the gauntlet from the folk-oriented "If I Needed Someone" and "Grass Is Green" to hard rockers "Mustang Sally" and "Shake A Tail Feather." The well balanced and well loaded (14 selections) album can't miss.

In the beginning for the group and yes, even before the success of Louie Louie, the members of the Kingsmen had varied paths. Easton, whose mother had originally registered the name of the group and after there fore owned it, declared that from that point on he intended to be the singer, forcing Ely to play drums. Remember the voice on Louie Louie was Jack Ely. It seemed that turmoil started early especially after their successes. Ely and Easton were good friends and played gigs together before the days of the Kingsmen. 

 When Easton made his demands to be the lead singer, Ely and Bob Norby quit the group, that was in 1963. Gary Abbot and Norm Sundholm were added to play drums and bass respectively. 

Don Gallucci was forced out because he wasn't old enough to tour and later formed Don and the Goodtimes, which later morphed into a short lived group called Touch. Later Gallucci became a record producer with Elektra Records.

This line-up stayed intact from late 1963 into 1966 and charted multiple singles and albums with Easton as the principal vocalist.

After Ely's departure and considerable chart success by the new line-up, the group learned that he was performing with another group as The Kingsmen. Following legal action and a settlement that stated Easton, Mitchell, Peterson, Curtis and Sundholm extablished their rights to the Kingsmen name. Ely was then forced to stop using the name. Easton was forced to stop lip syncing to Ely's vocals and subsequent releases of Louie Louie were required to have the text "Lead vocal by Jack Ely below the title. At this point Ely continued with his groups the Squires and the Courtmen. He received a gold record for Louie Louie as part of the settlement. 

This album is in near mint condition, it is in very good condition