Woody Guenther & Cheaters – Bang Dangin’ Time

Example

Another dead end…

Listen – Woody Guenther & Cheaters – Bang Dangin’ Time – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope everyone had themselves a nice weekend, during which, if you live in the Northeast you remained either comfortably ensconced in your air conditioning or found yourselves a nice spot at the beach.
I come to you this fine day with a record about which I have been able to discover precious little information.
Who was Woody Guenther, who were his “Cheaters” and what happened to them after they recorded ‘Bang Dangin’ Time’?
Hmmmmm…
I picked this record up a while back while trolling Ebay for funk 45s. I’d never heard, or heard of this record, but the group name, the song title, the label and the low, low price conspired to remove a few dollars from my wallet, and so it was purchased.
Good thing too, because after my trusty letter carrier delivered it to my door and I had the opportunity to whip it on the turntable the grooved on the record (in concert with the stylus) released a tasty bit of early soul/funk.
After perusing the label, the only name that rang a bell was that of ‘James Shaw’, the real name of the artist otherwise known as the Mighty Hannibal.
“Well there” I thought. “This must be an Atlanta, GA band. I’ll just drop a line to my pal Brian Poust over at Georgia Soul to get some more info.
My friends, it was there that my clue turned out to be but another red herring, as Brian informed me that this was likely not Hannibal, but another James Shaw who happened to be a musician/songwriter/producer who worked out of New York City (more on Mr. Shaw at Red Kelly’s B-Side).
Other than that tenuous connection I have been able to unearth NOTHING on Woody Guenther.
You know how bad it is? I Google his name and two of the top three listings are things I posted on the interwebs (both DJ night set lists where I played the record).
D’oh!
That all said, it is a very cool record, especially the bright piano lines snaking in and out of the tune. On first listen I got a bit of a white soul band vibe, but it was only a hunch (there’s a certain Mitch Ryder-ish vibe, but it might just be the Animals style opening chords) with nothing solid to back it up. It seems that it was released in 1968, in between sides by my man Jerry-O and Erma Franklin.
If anyone has any additional info on the band I would greatly appreciate hearing from you.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all soon.
Peace
Larry

PSS Head over to Iron Leg for the second part of my 80’s Garage Podcast.

PSS Stop by Paperback Rider too…

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19 Responses to “Woody Guenther & Cheaters – Bang Dangin’ Time”

  1. Todd Lucas Says:

    I have no additional info at all but that’s a great tune. Sometimes, it’s amazing just how many of these totally obscure, unknowns are out there.

  2. funky16corners Says:

    Todd
    What blows my mind is that in the grand scheme of things, Shout is practically a “major” label. You know there’s probably a great story in there somewhere, but unless Woody Guenther or one of the Cheaters comes out of the woodwork, it’ll stay buried in the sands of time.
    L

  3. R.Hunter Says:

    I’m new to this blog, i’m new to ‘blogs’ in general. Lived under a rock for two years. I like soul and funk, but I adore the production of these old tunes more than anything else.

    Is there really nowhere to go to figure out things like this? I mean there has to be some kind of record as to when this tune was released, what studio it was recorded at, and who paid for it. Right?

  4. axe victim Says:

    I think that some of these more obscure recordings were just done and dusted and put out. Nobody was thinking of posterity at the time. Great blog and a groovy site.

  5. Todd Lucas Says:

    It’s also possible that this originally was issued on a smaller imprint and picked up by Shout to give it national distribuation. Not sure if they did that much but it was pretty common practice among major labels, at the time.

  6. Davie Gordon Says:

    Larry, I tried to research Woody Guenther a few years ago and got
    nowhere.

    The James Shaw who wrote / produced the Shout single produced that
    Carlos Malcolm “Bustin’ Outta The Ghetto” album – “Toles Music”
    gets publisher credits on the Carlos Malcolm stuff as well as on
    the Woody Guenther record but trying to get anywhere from there
    is just dead ends. BMI don’t even have an address for Toles Music
    so it’s probably been dormant for years.

    I might try checking for bands called The Cheaters but the ones I know of seem to be from the wrong parts of the country.
    The Cheaters on Fantasy – probably Oakland or Northern Cal.
    The Cheaters on Sims – probably Nashville
    The Cheaters on Wax – California ? – dunno yet
    The Cheaters on Raynard – Milwaukee label – might be the same as
    Vic Pitts and the Cheaters a funk outfit on Jewel, almost definitely the same as Beverly Pitts and The Cheaters also on Raynard.

    I’ll let you know if I find anything but don’t hold your breath.

    It doesn’t appear to have been picked up from a smaller label – you can
    count the number of Bang / Shout releases picked up from other labels on the fingers of one hand.

  7. Davie Gordon Says:

    Release date was April ’68.

  8. funky16corners Says:

    Thanks again Davie.
    I figured that if it had been picked up from a smaller label there would have been some info somewhere.
    I even looked up the listed publishing companies on BMI and came up empty. Sometimes I wonder if some of these records were actually legitimately registered with either BMI or ASCAP.
    L

  9. Todd Lucas Says:

    I did some poking around on the net, this morning. There are a few mentions of the song. Every mention of the record, itself, lists it as being on Shout. So, as you guys said, probably not picked up from another label.

  10. red kelly Says:

    Just to complicate things a bit further:

    There are at least two more James Shaws besides Hannibal.

    1.) the guy who had a one-off single on Roy C’s Nation -Wide label:
    NATION-WIDE 102 – Got To Get Me a Wife / Guilty of Adultry who left the label for the nether-world shortly thereafter, and

    2.) The guy who produced Little Buster on
    JUBILEE 5537 – All Night Worker / I Think I’m Falling (which he also co-wrote), who is DEFINITELY not the Roy C guy OR The Mighty Hannibal…

    This, in my opinion, is your guy… I’ve heard (somewhere) that he was possibly based in Memphis…

  11. Todd Lucas Says:

    Larry, thanks for hipping me to this one. Just got a copy from eBay that cost less than five bucks.

  12. funky16corners Says:

    Todd
    My pleasure.
    L

  13. Peter Rey Says:

    Ok Guy’s I was the drummer that recorded and played in the band for two years, Woody played guitar paul colin was sax we played the wagon wheellounge on 45th for 4 weeks back in 69 and toured the midwest the band broke up and never spoke to each other since those were great days

  14. DARLENE GUENTHER Says:

    HI, JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW I HAVE LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC SINCE I COULD REMEMBER. I STILL THINK YOU ARE THE BEST I HAVE EVER HEARD. SOMEDAY SOON I HOPE TO HEAR YOU AGAIN. THE BEST SONG I EVER HEARD YOU SING WAS FROM JAMES TAYLOR (SWEAT BABY JAMES). I WILL ALWAYS HAVE YOU IN MY HEART, AND SOUL. I CAN STILL CLOSE MY EYES AND NOT ONLY CAN I HEAR YOU, I CAN PICTURE YOU TOO. YOUR JEANS ARE SO STRONG THAT MY CHILDREN CAN SING AND PLAY TOO. JUST SO YOU KNOW, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE NUMBER ONE IN MY LIFE TIME. THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU, FOR I AM MY FATHERS DAUGHTER. LOVE YOU ALWAYS DARLENE PS. GIVE MY LOVE TO OUR FAMILY. I MISS THEM VERY MUCH.

  15. James Says:

    I’m not sure how I got here but, first thing I noticed is the record in the picture. I bet some kids wouldn’t even know what a record was.

  16. Tom Needles Says:

    I’m pretty sure I know a guy who played in the band. His name is Frank Iovine and he lives in North Central New Jersey. He played Trumpet and is the cousin of mega record producer Jimmy Iovine.
    I don’t know if he played on this record, although I know they did record something while he was in the band. He had a picture of the Cheaters in his house, they had a female who played a Gibson SG Bass.
    I believe one them when on to be in Jay and the Americans.

    • Peter Rey Says:

      Yes you are correct, Frank played Trumpert and sang a few tunes, I was in Franks wedding party back then , If you can contact Frank tell him Peter Rey was asking for him

  17. Frank Iovine Says:

    I was the trumpet player with Woody Guenther & the Cheaters back in 1967-1968. I played with them while attending The Juilliard School of Music in NYC. When Bang Dangin Time was released, we were the house band at a club called the Wagon Wheel in NYC. It was a few doors away from the Peppermint Lounge ( of Joey Dee & the Starlighters fame). The record company had us tour to plug the record with very little success. The members of the band made contact with Program Directors as we went from city to city. We hit places like, Boston, Newport R.I., Kalamazoo Mich, RockIsland Ill, Davenport Iowa, and Astabula Ohio outside of Clevland. The only success we had was in Astabula when we met a local DJ from the local station WREO radio. Lou Massey was his name. He was a Great guy who loked the group. He had us on the air the entire week we performed at a club named The Castaways. The record was made the pick hit of the week. The only problem was, the week we were on the air, Sen. Robert Kennedy was killed & the program director said to keep the music low key. That provided the flip side of the record “Teardrops” to gain some airtime.
    The biggest problem with trying to gain airtime for Bang Dangin Time, aside from the fact the record company (Shout), spent no money promoting it. The other problem was, program directors thought the title was too suggestive. The title was actual the name of a dance.
    As for the rest of the band, I haven’t seen or heard of them with the exception of hearing from Woody about 2 years after the band split up in 1968. He wanted to reform the group. I passed on the offer, & opted for more lucretive opportunities. The last I heard, was Woody `went to DJ School & relocated to NY State. There is a Woody Guenther in Syracuse NY. That may be him. If anyone can confirm it, please let me know.

    Thanks & take care.

    Frankie

  18. Frank Iovine Says:

    For the record, knowone from the band went on to become a member of Jay & The Americans as Tom Needles thought.

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