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Vintage Vinyl

The Dearly Beloved “Flight 13”/”Merry-Go-Round” Splitsound SSDG 5-2

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If you tuned in to KTKT radio 50 years ago, in December '67, you were treated to a slew of soon-to-become classics such as The Beatles' "Hello Goodbye," The Animals "Monterey," The Monkees' "Daydream Believer," Beach Boys' "Darlin'," Strawberry Alarm Clock "Incense & Peppermints," Small Faces' "Itchycoo Park" and many others.

But among those was "Flight 13" by Tucson's own Dearly Beloved. Peaking at No. 5 on the Dec. 30-Jan. 5 chart, the group's final 45, released on Dan Gate's Splitsound Records was recorded after their traumatic accident on the way home from an L.A. gig, which took the life of lead singer Larry Cox.

Guitarist Terry Lee took over on vocals for the track, which showcases the group's harmonies on the chorus, taken directly from "Hey, Ho, Nobody Home," an English traditional round written by Thomas Ravenscroft in the early 1600s.

The tune also features Shep Cooke playing Tucson's most ripping bass line of the era. The flip, "Merry Go Round," sung by Jim Perry, is actually the A-side and is ironically a song about death written by Cox (bringing to mind The Yardbirds' "Future Days") shortly before his death.  After the release of this record, Cooke left to join Linda Ronstadt's group, The Stone Poneys.

Lee Joseph grew up in Tucson. He's a DJ (Luxuriamusic.com), marketer of cool shit (Reverberations Media) and founder/CEO of internationally respected Dionysus Records, an indie that has long specialized in releasing super-rare music, and more. He came of age in the first wave of Tucson punk rock and is an expert on Tucson music. He now lives in California. Vintage Vinyl is a new, recurring addition to the Tucson Weekly.


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