The Cryan' Shames

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Not to be confused with The Cryin' Shames.
The Cryan' Shames
Cryan Shame promo 1966.gif
The Cryan' Shames in 1966. This picture was taken in Piper's Alley, Old Town-Chicago, IL. Front Row - Denny Conroy. Back Row, Left - Right Gerry Stone, Jim Fairs, Jim Pilster, Tom Doody and Dave Purple.
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Garage rock, pop rock
Years active 1966-present
Labels Columbia, Sundazed
Website www.cryanshames.com
Past members Tom Doody
Jim Pilster
Gerry Stone
Dave Purple
Denny Conroy
James Fairs
Lenny Kerley
Isaac Guillory
Dave Carter
Alan Dawson
Bob Stroud
Ron Kaplan
Ron Brandt
Larry Coveny
Tim Rutter
Ted Kalamatas

The Cryan' Shames are an American garage rock band from Hinsdale, Illinois. They originally formed as The Travelers, with founding members Tom Doody ("Toad"), Gerry Stone ("Stonehenge"), Dave Purple ("Grape") of The Prowlers, Denny Conroy and Jim Fairs from The Roosters, Jim Pilster ("J.C. Hooke", so named because he was born without a left hand and wore a hook), and Bill Hughes. The band's most successful moment came with their cover of The Searchers song, "Sugar and Spice".[1]

History[edit]

In 1966, upon learning that another band already had the name The Travelers, they needed to find another name; J.C. Hooke remarked that their difficulty in doing so was "a cryan' shame," and thus named the band.[2] After signing with Bob Monaco, the promotion manager for Destination Music, their first single was supposed to be George Harrison's song, "If I Needed Someone", but was not released in the US (but included on their debut album) due to publication issues. It was soon followed by "Sugar and Spice," a Tony Hatch song that was a hit in 1963 (everywhere but in the US) for the English group The Searchers. The Shames' version reached number 49 in the USA (while reaching number four on local radio WLS). Another single was released just before the end of 1966 called "I Wanna Meet You" b/w "We Could Be Happy". That record made it to number one in Chicago and number 85 nationally. Both songs on the single were Jim Fairs compositions and further spotlighted the harmony capabilities of the band's singers.[3]

They signed to Columbia in 1966, and while they never were to become a national success, their singles and three albums continued to sell well in the Chicago area. The band focused on their first album release, which was heavily influenced by The Byrds. Their album, Sugar and Spice was recorded in just two days, but strengthened by cover versions of popular songs of the period like "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and "Hey Joe". Overall, the album, upon its October 1966 release, became a hit in Chicago and charted at number 192 nationally.[4]

More singles followed their debut which were met with lesser success. Before the development of their second album, the band lost the services of Stone. Stone was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War and lineup changes followed. The second release proved to be more successful when it charted at number 156. The Shames were experimenting with a combination of psychedelic rock and studio arrangements. Productions and vocal harmonies showed signs in improvement, reflecting positively on album sales.[2]

In 1968 several key members began to depart from band activities most notable Jim Fairs. Despite the losses, the group formed a new lineup and released their final album, Synthesis. The album marked attempts at dwelling into progressive rock and jazz influences. Still, compared to their previous effort, the album charted lower and was considered a disappointment. The group disbanded in December 1969, but reunited again and continues to tour. [5]Jim "J.C. Hooke" Pilster and Tom Doody (Toad) are the only remaining original members in the current lineup. Two members of The Cryan' Shames have since died: bassist Dave Purple in June 2001, and his replacement Isaac Guillory, on December 31, 2000.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Label & number Chart positions
Billboard
Cashbox
1966 "Sugar and Spice"
B-side: "Ben Franklin's Almanac"
Destination 624
49
52
1966 "I Wanna Meet You"
B-side: "We Could Be Happy"
Columbia 43836
85
65
1967 "Mr. Unreliable"
B-side: "Georgia"
Columbia 44037
127
-
1967 "It Could Be We're in Love"
B-side: "I Was Lonely When"
Columbia 44191
85
70
1968 "Up on the Roof"
B-side: "The Sailing Ship"
Columbia 44457
85
70
1968 "Young Birds Fly"
B-side: "Sunshine Psalm"
Columbia 44545
99
86
1968 "Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David Smith & Jones"
B-side: "The Warm"
Columbia 44638
115
73
1969 "First Train To California"
B-side: "A Master's Fool"
Columbia 44759
-
-
1969 "Rainmaker"
B-side: "Bits and Pieces"
Columbia 45027
-
-
Cryan' Shames in Concert, 1966

Albums[edit]

Year Title Label & number U.S. chart positions
1966 Sugar and Spice Columbia CL 2589 (Mono) / CS 9389 (Stereo)
BB #192
1967 A Scratch in the Sky Columbia CL 2786 / CS 9586
BB #156 / CB #78
1968 Synthesis Columbia CS 9719
BB #184, CB #83
BB = Billboard; CB = Cash Box

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sundazed - Cryan' Shames". sundazed.com. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "The Cryan' Shames Biography". Billboard. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Richie Unterberger. "Cryan' Shames - Biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Cryan' Shames". last.fm. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Synthesis - Review". allmusic.com. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 

External links[edit]