"ALL GIRL BANDS"
not to be corn fused with
aka "chick singers"
For some crazy reason, girl bands were always rare and far too often always treated as some sort of novelty. This never made any sense to me. But then for several years, my last bands, had female musicians in them. In the early '60's there were a scant few all girl bands working clubs on LI and NY City. That said I hope to be able to discover more as time goes on.
The earliest one I knew of, was
An Early Line Up
Goldie & The Gingerbreads
and I have recently discovered they are considered to be
THE FIRST ALL FEMALE GROUP IN R & R HISTORY,
THAT PLAYED THEIR OWN INSTRUMENTS ON RECORDS TOO
Goldie & The Gingerbreads hold a high degree of synchronicity for me because, I first discovered them circa 1963, playing at Schulte's Stable in Mastic Beach, the very first place I ever listened to live R & R Bands and one of the earliest bars I played in myself, in 1962, the year that singer Genya "Goldie" Zelkowitz" and drummer Ginger Bianco decided to form an all girl band.
SCHULTE'S IN 1952 IT LOOKED NO DIFFERENT IN 1962
OR CIRCA 1992, THE STAGE WAS ON THAT REAR WALL & THAT FIRST WINDOW IS
WHERE I WOULD LOOK IN AND WATCH BANDS IN THE LATE 1950's WHEN I WAS AROUND 12
CIRCA 2002 _ SCHULTE'S REMAINED THE SAME, SAVE FOR SOME NEW SIDING FOR OVER 70 YEARS!
Goldie and The Gingerbreads were based in the NY City area and that's where most of their gigs were, like Trude' Heller's near the Village and The Wagon Wheel in mid town on 45th Street a few doors down from where the Peppermint twisters would meet. These are places I would later play in the mid '60's. But the facts remain that they were comprised mainly of western Long Island girls,Valley Stream,Brooklyn & Queens save for Goldie who lived on Rivington Street in the lower east side of Manhattan. Goldie talks and walks about Rivington Street in a 1977 TV interview embeded on this page. Those who are familiar with my web postings know I am fond of often saying "There Is Always A Knapp Connection", no matter how distant. Rivington Street was the childhood home of composer - organist, Phoebe Palmer Knapp in the first half of the 19th Century, albeit quite a different neighborhood 100 years before holocaust survivors, the Zelkowitz family immigrated from Poland, but none the less a musical connection I take note of. And speaking of organists, Margo Lewis Crocitto from Brooklyn used a Hammond B-3 including playing the bass pedals ( not easy to do few rock organists played the pedals too) Felix, Cavaleiri did, I did, Billy Joel and Mark Stein didn't. Margo was with the group from about 1963 'till the disbanded in 1968.
In the early days of the band several members came and went with the highest turnovrer being the guitarists as Goldie tweaked the lineup. Dottie Rutledge of Patchogue, was one of the early guitarists in the band and probably the one who got them to play at Schulte's, a place she had appeared at with her own bands.
The band toured Europe in the early 60's with groups like The Rolling Stones, Kinks, Hollies, The Animals and more. They recorded for Decca, ATCO and several other major labels. They were known for being the first to record, "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" ( a song they intensly disliked) but had chart success with it in the UK while British band Hermans Hermits had a bigger hit with it here in the US. But that's the music biz. After the Gingerbreads split up, Goldie went on in 1968 under the name of Genya Ravan and founded Ten Wheel Drive, a 10 piece jazz rock horn band which cut several albums for Polydor. The Gingerbreads, Ginger, Margo and guitarist Carol MacDonald formed an all female Jazz Rock horn unit called Isis that also made several major label albums.
After 40 some years in the music game, where she had done it all including producing records for others Genya wrote her memoirs in a book titled Lollipop Lounge, which was the name of the first club she ever sang in on Coney Island Avenue. I have read some excerpts, including her highly amusing reminisence of the tenure of guitarist "Mandy Richards" who was without a doubt none other Patchogue's, Dottie Rutledge, who I first saw from the sidewalk looking through Schulte's window by the stage, fronting her own band in the early '60's
HERE's DOTTIE !
What more reason does a young fledging guitarist need to look in Schulte's Window and watch the band !
Truth is I Really Listened Too ...
Thanks to sharp eyed surfer Michelle Coombe, who saw my post on You Tube about Dottie Rutledge, being a member of Goldie & The Gingerbreads, We got in touch and Michelle then put me in touch Anne, her good friend of the last 15 years. Dottie, whom I would of probably never found otherwise, had changed her name to Anne, when she left Long Island in 1965. A true veteran who hit the stages as Dottie & The Nomads on Long Island in 1958, Dottie as Anne Reed, continued performing in Vegas, LA, Florida and Michigan up until 1980, when she left the business with no regrets, to marry and start a family in California. Well e mails and band war stories and memories of Irv's music store in Patchogue ( I used to see her there too, when I worked for Irv) have already started flowing between us, I found Dottie to have a very clear memory of her time spent performing with her white Gretsch guitar in New York City and Long Island including her nights at Schulte's and at The Apple Tree and more. These first few photos I have posted of her and with Goldie & The Gingerbreads are courtesy of her "Queen Bee Of Rock & Roll" page. Dottie tells me she has a photo of herself performing with her Nomads (another group that Nat Marchiano also played in) on Schulte's stage and will be getting it scanned by Michelle and sent over soon.... SO STAY TUNED !
DOTTIE IN HER DAYS WITH THE GINGERBREADS
I'm pretty sure this was the photo that was in Schulte's window
THE SKIP WAS A FLIP SIDE INSTRUMENTAL THAT FEATURED
THE HAMMOND,. THIS VID HAS A PRETTY THOROUGH BIO IN IT
BRITISH MUSIC PAPER APRIL 1965
BRITISH TV APPEARANCE
NY TV INTERVIEW WITH GENYA 1977
HEY THERE GEORGEOUS GIRLS
A LONG WAY FROM LONG ISLAND
Not Really _ Carson's Tonite Show Was Still In NYC In 1971 When Genya "Goldie" Ravan Was On
HERE'S ONE TO HER BOOK
THERE IS NOW A GOLDIE & GINGERBREADS FACEBOOK PAGE TOO
"THE SIMPLE NOIZE"
"GEORGIE" , "SAM" , "PHITCHIE" & SUSIE
The Simple Noize, from Islip - Bayshore area were Dale Ketcham, Janice Stocks, Celeste Rehm. and Susan Muchka. I first became aware of them when I saw their business card posted at Irv's ( Patchogue Music Center). They got together when they were in High School and then continued into their early college days, I first encountered Dale & Sue in the early spring of 1968, in the parking lot of what was then Adelphi ( Dowling) College in Oakdale, as I was handing out fliers for an upcoming college night that my group, Mrs. Murphy's Basement was hosting at a nearby club called Forlano's in Great River. I invited their band to come and sit in and rest was herstory. Our whole band was impressed, especially by Phitchie's lead guitar, which was blazing, and Sue's strong vocals and Bass playing. A few months later, when Joe Ciampa and Steve Murphy graduated from Adelphi they decided to hang up their bar band days. I invited Sue and Phitchie to take their places and they did. Phitchie stayed on for a about 6 months and we worked on recording an album in NY City for United Artists. Sue stayed around a lot longer and experienced many of the ups and downs of the professional music biz with me including several more recording deals. We got married in 1969 and kept playing music for another 6 years, only stopping playing together, after our marriage ended. I'm happy to say, we are still friends forty two years on.
BELLPORT, LI 1975
MRS. SUSAN JOSEPH - WITH HER HOFNER BEATLE BASS,
Photo Courtesy of Dottie Rutledge
Speaking of The Beatles, there was an all girl group on Long Island in the mid '60's, called The Female Beatles. Anyone out there know much about them?
If so get in touch with me HERE