Hickory Dickory Dock Hawaiian Rock & Roll
Finally! This CD is "The Album that Shoulda Been". This is our fantasy album. Here's some background: The very first record that was ever released by Alan Cassaro was recorded during his senior year in high school in 1962 for the MAHALO record label, and it was issued under the performing name of "Lane Cassaro". The "A" side of the single was a Buddy Holly styled rocker titled "HICKORY DICKORY DOCK" backed with "LOVE ENDED LONG AGO", a slower doo wop styled tune (Mahalo #1011). As Al describes it's, "One of the partners who ran MAHALO records, Lewis Amiel, dreamed up the performing name, it wasn't my idea. They wanted something like 'Tab' or 'Fabian', something catchy, and they came up with 'Lane'. I thought it was stupid. If anything, I wanted to change my last name". It was back in late 1959, Alan first moved on to Hawaii from Massachusetts with his family. Alan did his last two years of high school at Leilehua, while his father was stationed in the military at Schofield Barracks. Alan and his family lived in Wahiawa, which was the town right out side of Schofield Barracks. Alan lived on Valley Avenue, and he used to jam with a lot of the other kids that lived on the street. They'd get together with guitars and bongos, and just play for hours, either at Al's house, or on the beach, or at parties. Alan's next-door neighbor in Wahiawa, Aurea Walsh, had helped Alan get an audition with Rene Paulo, a popular island musician who recorded for the Mahalo label. Rene was a jazz pianist, and he was not a real big fan of rock and roll, but as a favor, he asked MASAKO to give Alan the audition. MASAKO was the featured singer who sang at the popular nightclub, the Hawaiian Village 'Shell Bar', on a nightly basis. (Connie Stevens, the actress, had popularized the club by playing the role as 'Cricket', a singer in the Shell Bar on the TV show, HAWAIIAN EYE, but Masako was the real 'Cricket', the ACTUAL singer in the club during the entire period that the TV show was on the air). MASAKO listened to Alan and liked what she heard." You look and sound like Ricky Nelson', and she pleaded with Rene to help Alan get a record deal. Rene made a phone call, and that was it. Mahalo soon set up a recording date, with Dick Jensen and Tom Moffat co-producing the session. Dick Jensen stayed in the studio and directed the band, while Tom Moffatt was in the control room engineering and mixing the live performance of the song. The band for the session was a high school pickup band who Alan had never worked with before, so it was a long session that went late into the night. There was a giant Six-foot "Coca Cola" bottle in the corner of the studio that the drummer hit with his sticks to get that "Clicking" sound on the record. The flipside, 'LOVE ENDED LONG AGO', was a slow doo-wop ballad, of which Alan says, 'It's got to be the worst vocal performance ever recorded, and I've always hated how it came out. I was exhausted when we did it. I'd blown my voice out on the first song and the group couldn't play the song right. It took us forever to get it down on tape, and it was all live, no overdubs. Plus- the guy's were singing harmonies while they were playing. What a mess. By the time it was over, I could barely talk. I always thought I sounded like I was being strangled. When I got my copies of the record, I took a church key (a bottle opener) and put a deep gouge in the record, so no one would ever be able to play it. Unfortunately, there are still copies out there, and I saw someone selling it on Ebay a couple of years ago for thirty dollars. Ouch!" The "A" side got a lot of airplay and saw chart action on the islands. Alan was soon asked to write some songs for a follow up single, and possibly an album. Alan worked towards that goal, but none of this would ever come to pass. While the record was out, Alan was attending his first year at the University of Hawaii. At the end of the year, Alan's father decided to retire from the army, and the family would soon return to their actual home on the Mainland, Cleveland, Ohio. 'I was really disappointed. I had written more than 20 songs that might be used as a follow up to my record, and the people at MAHALO liked one of them a lot, a song called 'CHANCE'. We never got to record it.' (Note: Many years later, Alan would record the song, for his Ohio Moon vinyl album, BLUE SUEDE HEART"' released in 1986, which was released under the performing name of "Alan Leatherwood") "Lane" recalls the jam session that's included on the CD with Rob "Swifty" Albright, drummer, and Bill Bartlett, lead guitarist- tracks 4 through 10, and "It was a one time deal We didn't rehearse, and we just played songs that we knew, or thought we knew. Bill Bartlett was one of the best guitarists I have ever played with - period; either then or now. This predates his much later work with the Lemon Pipers and Ram Jam. He was playing rockabilly music when I met him. And wouldn't you know it, my old pal "Swifty" is still rockin' too. I actually listen to his current band, "Final Approach", on the Internet these days. Some of us guys never gave up the ship, ya know"? Alan appeared on several TV shows, 'The Jack McCoy Show', as well as on Tom Moffat's weekly dance program, which was similar to 'American Bandstand' And for something quite different, the CD closes out with five live performances by Al's short-lived group, "SANDY AND THE ETHEREALS". Al remembers, "Sandy Lewis was the featured girl singer, and we did a lot of doo wop. I don't remember who the other guys were, but there were 5 of us". NOTE: These are all vintage recordings. The audio fidelity is pretty raunchy and primitive on many of the songs. The audio quality is fine on the first portion of the CD, but many of the songs would be considered low-fi by today's standards. But these are Alan's earliest recordings, and are included here to document his 4 years in Hawaii as part of the historical record of a body of work that encompasses the past fifty years. Credits: Alan "Lane" Cassaro, Vocals and guitar (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10): Bill Bartlett, Lead Guitar; Rob "Swifty" Albright, Drums (3,26): chorus singers: Roger (Ajar) Ramos, Roland Espe, Sonny Espe; microphone operator: Jimmy Quiseng (27,28,29,30,31): "Sandy and the Ethereals" All Rights Reserved.