I Hang Up On You

The Wailers are often credited as The Fabulous Wailers to distinguish them from the Bob Marley group.  They were an American rock band from Tacoma, Washington who played garage early proto-punk music and they originally formed as The Nitecaps in 1958, by five high school friends John Greek (rhythm guitar, trumpet), Kent Morrill (keyboards, vocals), Rich Dangel (lead guitarist), Mark Marush (saxophonist), and Mike Burk (drummer).  They started out as an instrumental-oriented combo, but as their career progressed, they incorporated lyrics into their songs.  When they got their first recording contract with Golden Crest Records in 1959, John Greek was the only member of the band who was old enough to sign.  They wrote every song on their first album, which was extremely unusual at the time, especially since everyone in the band was still in their teens.  Their first single ‘Tall Cool One’ reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and this secured them an appearance on American Bandstand.  Their parents ordered them to return and finish their high school and their label lost interest in them when they stopped touring.

Lawrence F. “Rockin’ Robin” Roberts began his professional singing career in 1957 in Tacoma Washington with Little Bill & The Bluenotes and in 1959 he joined the Wailers group.  Gail Harris from Puyallup, WA was singing at the age of ten and appeared on local television with country star Buck Owens and she joined the Wailers in 1959 at the age of 13.  In 1960, Buck Ormsby, a founding member of “Little Bill” (Englehart) and the Bluenotes along with Roberts and Morrill formed Etiquette Records, so the Wailers would have a label to record on, and in 1961 they had a huge #1 regional radio hit with ‘Louie Louie’, which for contractual reasons was credited to Roberts, but was performed by the whole band.  In 1961, John Greek was the first member to leave the band and he was replaced by Buck Ormsby on bass.  Marush left in 1962 and was replaced by Ron Gardner.  One of their biggest fans was the young Jimi Hendrix, who regularly visited a roadhouse called “The Spanish Castle” where the Fabulous Wailers started playing at in 1959, just when Jimi was starting to perform with his guitar and he later wrote a song titled ‘Spanish Castle Magic’.

Dangel and Burk left in 1964 and were replaced by guitarist Neil Andersson and drummer Dave Roland respectively.  They continued to perform live as well as recording, and the band added a trio of girl backing singers, known as the Marshans, who consisted of Marilyn Lodge, Penny Anderson and Kay Rogers.  In 1965, the Wailers recorded their Out Of Our Tree album, which features the Ron Gardner song ‘Hang Up’, a real garage rocker.  The Wailers went through many personnel changes in their active years and eventually disbanded in 1969.

Alright!

Well, baby
You know
How you
Are doing me wrong

Why you gotta be so mean?
Why do you gotta be?

Uh, I hang up
On you

But I can’t
Wick it alone
I come
Everything goes wrong

Why you wanna put me down?
Fuck around all over town?

Uh, I hang up
On you

Well, baby
You know
How you
Are doing me wrong

Why you gotta be so mean?
Why do you always gotta be?

Uh, I hang up
That’s what you want
Uh, I hang up
Uh, I hang up

Written for Thursday Inspiration #110 Walk Right In where the prompt is hang.

8 thoughts on “I Hang Up On You

  1. I sure remember how big the Wailers were in the Puget Sound area when I was in high school in Seattle. You bring back those days. Merrilee Rush was another big regional draw.

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      1. I never saw Jimi Hendrix in person. You think you have all the time in the world and things change in an instant. Paul Allen was a big fan and featured him prominently in his Experience Music Project that seems to have turned into the MoPop museum.

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      2. I added the Merrilee Rush song ‘Angel of The Morning’ to my list of songs that I plan to write about, but it is about 25 weeks out as I only do Thursday Inspiration once a week.

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