Linda Lu at The Zanzibar

Hi Gary

When I used to have a band that played at the Zanzibar (“The Ramblers”), I sang “Linda Lou“.  Do you know who the artist was back in the early 60’s who did it?

~ Russ

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 9:42 AM
from Gary:

I think the reason you could not find it, other than you had know idea who sang it, and did not spell it properly, well that would pretty much do it.  But you always have that “old” high school friend Gary, who can help you out.One of my favourites.  The person’s name was Ray Sharpe.

Ray Sharpe

Here are 3 versions, plus Ray’s follow up.   I will go downstairs, get out the Blues and Boogie CD and send you what the Shaggers in Myrtle listen and Dance to by Ray Sharpe today.  You know nothing is ever simple with me.

Ray Sharpe – Linda Lu Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs – Linda Lu Linda Lu – Bobby Vee The Ventures Ray Sharpe – Red Sail in The Sunset

Here is “Linda Lou” by the Tractors, it’s fantastic.
[Not at all the same]

Linda Lou – The Tractors

Get ready for some southern blues, next email.
Gary Copeland

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 10:22 AM – Gary follow-up:

You actually played in the Zanzibar Tavern and lived to tell about it??  Fantastic!  I remember going in there – it was a combination of music and a strip club, correct?

I think the Friar’s had David Clayton Thomas and the Shays, Le Coq Dor, I think, had the best entertainment; I remember The Beau Marks, Robbie Lane, Ronnie Hawkins (I first saw Ronnie at the Concord on Bloor St).

– Gary

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 10:56 AM – Russ reply to Gary:

Hi Gary

All those names and scenes you mentioned were a part of my life back then as I was starting out.  I worked as a computer operator-programmer at Zurich Insurance on an IBM 305 RAMAC and played 6 nights a week at the Zanzibar plus a Saturday afternoon matinee.  When I look back on it now, I am amazed that I did all that without any concern for stamina.  I was also married and starting out a young family.  My oldest son will be celebrating his 50th birthday April 4th next year so we must go out to B.C. to help him celebrate.

Ray Hutchinson and the Coins was another group that used to play there… also Tommy Danton.  Ray Price was at Le Coq D’or as was Ronnie Hawkins.  I can remember walking into “the D’or” to  see Ronnie’s group (when I was on a break at the Zanzibar) and Robbie Robertson waved at me from the stage with a big smile.

A lot of those Yonge St venues are a bit foggy to me now but I remember playing upstairs above Le Coq D’or in “The Hawk’s Nest” with Shawne Jackson and The Majestics.

Shawne & Jay Jackson & The Majestics

King Curtis was playing downstairs and he came up to check us out.  He just happened to have his mouth piece in his pocket so I invited him to sit in with us, using my horn… I’m still trying to find some of those notes he was able to produce… totally mind-blowing and amazing to hear MY HORN sound so good.

So I played the Zanzibar in early 60’s and then the Hawk’s Nest in late 60’s.

David Clayton Thomas was around, Ronnie Hawkins was around; so many others were around like Stan Getz playing jazz at The Colonial, “Frank Motley & The Hitchhikers” with Jackie Shane were playing at a bar on Queen at Spadina called the Holiday Tavern.

Jackie Shane with Frank Motley’s band

I went into The Holiday one time and saw Andy Wilson & The Cosmos – Bill Mulholl played sax with them at the time.  I was asked to join the group and played sax for a short time with them too.

Andy Wilson & The Cosmos

The Cosmos ended up being  a one-hit wonder with a record called “My Love” –  Andy sounded like Little Richard.

So many bands, it’s hard to recount it all.

– Russ

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