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Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Treniers - Rockin' Is Our Bizness

Side 1:
01. Rockin' Is Our Bizness
02. Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie
03. Get Out Of The Car
04. Hi-Yo Silver
05. It Rocks, It Rolls, It Swings
06. Plenty Of Money
07. Hadacol, That's All
08. Rockin' On Sunday Night

Side 2:
01. Go Go Go
02. Trapped In A Web Of Love
03. Long Distance Blues
04. Hey Little Girl
05. Bald Head
06. Poon Tang
07. The Moondog
08. Taxi Blues

Download from here:

The third and final instalment of our look at The Treniers. This 1983 Edsel LP gathers 16 sides recorded for Okeh (and Epic in the case of "Go! Go! Go!") between 1951 and 1955. The version of "Go! Go! Go!" on this LP is not the track The Treniers recorded in 1951 for their first release on Okeh, but is a version they recorded in 1955 for their Epic LP "Go! Go! Go! The Treniers On TV." For the re-recording The Treniers, who were normally backed by a small band led by Gene Gilbeaux on piano and featuring Don Hill on alto sax, were accompanied by a larger band led by Quincy Jones.

My one quibble about the tracks on this LP is that I wish the Gene Gilbeaux band had featured a tenor sax player to help fill out the sound, as Don Hill has so much to do in the way of providing sax accompaniment. That said, these Okeh sides are still good examples of early rock 'n' roll, especially the recordings released in 1952 which include the wild double whammy of "Hi-Yo Silver" / "Poontang", not to mention "It Rocks, It Rolls, It Swings" and "Rockin' On Sunday Night." They closed out 1952 with a tribute to rock 'n' roll DJ Alan Freed, "The Moondog" (backed by "Poontang" which was making a second appearance on the B-Side of a Treniers disc).

Other great tracks on this LP include "Plenty Of Money" which is very similar to Jimmy Witherspoon's "Ain't Nobody's Business", and a couple of R&B covers - "Bald Head" by Roy Byrd and "Hey Little Girl" by The Larks. And let us also note the Bill Haley-penned  "Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie."

On many of these tracks "The Treniers" included not only twins Claude and Cliff, but also brothers Buddy and Milt. In 1953-54 Milt Trenier recorded some good rockin' tracks for RCA and its subsidiary Groove, including "You're Killing Me," "Squeeze Me," "Flip Our Wigs," and "Day Old Bread."

A particular point of note is the January / February 1955 release of "Get Out Of The Car" which was originally released under the title "Oh! Oh!" as you can see on this scan from Joan K:

It was reviewed under this title in the February 12th 1955 issue of Billboard, but there are scans on the web showing a single release of this track with the title "Get Out Of The Car." This was the title used when the track was included on the 1955 LP "The Treniers On TV" and on an accompanying EP. It may be that a decision to change the title was taken when in late February 1955 Flair issued a cover version by Richard Berry titled "Oh! Oh! Get Out Of The Car." Although the Flair issue gives composer credit to Berry, it is definitely a Claude and Cliff Trenier composition. In the liner notes to the Ace CD "Get Out Of The Car" Berry said that the record company gave him the composer credit without his prior knowledge.

The LP has excellent liner notes by Bill Millar (all hail!) and the tracklist includes record number, month and year of original release, thus relieving me from my usual trawl through the internet and books. There is one slip, though - "The Moondog" was not released in January 1952, but rather December 1952 - January 1953.

The Treniers final recording session for Columbia / Okeh / Epic took place in December 1955 and was followed by an April 1956 session for RCA subsidiary Vik. As was mentioned in the previous post, Trenier records weren't big sellers. Their strength lay in their dynamic stage act which rocked the halls, clubs and lounges of resorts such as Wildwood and Atlantic City and of course that resort  non plus ultra, Las Vegas, where for decades the Treniers entertained desperate gamblers. As we shall see in an upcoming post they were the real progenitors of that type of rock 'n' roll which has been largely forgotten and which barely has a name, though the cognoscenti sometimes refer to it as "room rock 'n' roll" or "lounge rock 'n' roll." We could maybe call it "Dinner Jacket and Bow Tie Rock and Roll."

Whatever it was, The Treniers kept doing it decade after decade. Milt left the act in 1959 to open a lounge in Chicago where he continued to perform and where his brothers made periodic appearances. Nephew Skip Trenier joined the band and the boys kept on rockin'. They still kept on after Cliff died of cancer in 1983. Buddy retired, but Claude rocked ever onwards until November 2003 when he played his last Vegas gig a few weeks before he passed away.

Recommended reading - "Their God Wore Shades" in "Unsung Heroes Of Rock 'n' Roll" by Nick Tosches.

The Treniers on CD:

From 1985 -  a rare CD release on Jonas Bernholm's Dr Horse label. Includes Milt Trenier sides as well as Mercury, Okeh and Vik material by The Treniers.

From 2004 - nice digipack presentation with notes by Adam Komorowski. Mercury and Okeh material plus a couple from Milt Trenier and His Solid Six (Shorty Rogers band).

From 2010 - part of Bear Family Records' "Rock" series. 32 tracks and a 64 page booklet.

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