17 July 2009

Only in Oz (14) The Town & Country Brothers - Sandy, Sandy

Another in my series of posts about tracks that charted in Australia but not in their countries of origin.

14. The Town & Country Brothers - Sandy, Sandy
(Ted Daryll)
USA 1963
Tahoe single (USA) #
2534 ("Distributed by London Records, Inc.")
London single (Australia) #HL-2123
Later anthologised on GAB (Sony) CD Hard To Get Hits Vol. 3, 1994
Australian charts: #7 Sydney (Gavin Ryan) or #2 Sydney (The Book) #1 Brisbane #29 Adelaide #17 Perth

I have some answers for anyone who has wondered about the identity of US group The Town And Country Brothers. They had a hit with Sandy, Sandy in 1963, but only in Australia. [listen]

Update: See my follow-up post for the exclusive, full story of The Town & Country Brothers as told by Ted Daryll, composer of Sandy, Sandy.
Let's start with Chip Taylor. Before he wrote Wild Thing, or Angel of the Morning or I Can't Let Go, that is to say, before he worked at 1650 Broadway writing songs for a long list of legends including Dusty Springfield, Baby Washington, and Evie Sands, and before he released his own singles including the original of Cliff Richard's On My Word...
Before that, back in the late 1950s, Chip Taylor and two friends formed a rockabilly-folkie-style trio called Wes Voight and the Town And Country Brothers.
This was also before Taylor changed his name from Wes Voight (and, of course, before his brother Jon, keeping the Voight, became a famous movie actor).
None of Chip Taylor's early singles was a hit in the US, not as Chip Taylor or Wes Voight, or with the Town & Country Brothers. In Australia, though, Sandy, Sandy did well and is remembered as a classic oldie by Aussies who were around then.
Sandy, Sandy was written by Ted Daryll (b. Teddy Meister), another member of the Town & Country Brothers.
The third member of the group was Greg Richards (b. Greg Gwardyak). Ted Daryll and Greg Richards also wrote together, notably She Cried, first recorded by Ted Daryll himself but later a hit for Jay & The Americans (1962, #5 USA).
Sandy Sandy was on Volume 3 of Glenn A. Baker's Hard To Get Hits CD series in 1994. At that stage (1994), Glenn was unable to give any background on The Town & Country Brothers, concluding that they had "eluded all pop scholars".
To read more on Chip Taylor, see Tony Wilkinson's Wes Voight-Chip Taylor page at Black Cat Rockabilly, Taylor's current label Train Wreck Records, and the entries at All Music Guide and Wikipedia.
The most detailed source, though, is the Spectropop interview with Chip Taylor by Norman Druker and Mick Patrick which starts way back, covers the obscurities as well as the hits, and brings it up to Taylor's later work in country music.
I've joined the dots between Sandy, Sandy, its writer Ted Darryl and his Town & Country Brothers bandmate Chip Taylor, but none of the above sources mentions Sandy, Sandy.
Town & Country Brothers - Sandy, Sandy.mp3


Thanks to Doug for asking about this one, and to Kees for further background.