THE MERSEY MEN - 'I Can Tell' / 'Miss Ann' (Wild Woods WW 2001) July 1965
From Salem, Ohio this group of firebrands armed with the latest fuzz equipment decided to call themselves an English sounding name then proceeded to blast their way through two rock and roll tunes breathing new life into them with their teenage swagger.
'I Can Tell' was recorded by Bo Diddley in '62 and 'Miss Ann' was a Little Richard B-Side....Sorry mostly (dead) old men but your versions are lame as fuck compared to these fuzz filled rockers by The Mersey Men.
The Mersey Men update from Jymmy Shinn:
Just got a link to your site which featured the Mersey Men, and I just had to write to you.
I'm very familiar with the Mersey Men, as I married their drummer, Bill Shinn, in October 1965. We've been married almost 44 years now. The picture of them on your site is one that we have framed on our wall. I guess it really is a small world.
They were the best dance band around then. I remember they played in Oklahoma City once, and outdrew Herman's Hermits and Bobby Sherman. People crowded places just to hear them play - lots of times, they would line up out in the street because they had no more room in the building where they were playing.
Do you know anything about the second record they made? The A side was called "Take a Heart", and the flip was a cover of "Hey Little One" by Dorsey Burnett.
First, the band members. I'll use the picture you have to name them.
Bill Shinn is on the top right, with the glasses. He was the drummer and the "screamer". Next to him on the top left is Ronnie Flory, who played rhythm guitar and did vocals. Directly in front of Bill is Al Catlos, AKA "Fella", who played lead guitar and did vocals, and next to Fella is Willie Murray, the base player, and who also did some vocals.
The other 3 were from Salem, but Bill was from Alliance, Ohio, about 20 miles east of Salem.
Their "tour bus" was a black 1952 Cadillac hearse, with the words "Mersey Men" in gold old English lettering on both sides. Bill had to keep it at his house between jobs, because none of the other parents would let it near their homes. When they were playing a job in Oklahoma, the hearse blew up, and that was the end of that. Some of the kids who were going to the dance helped them tote their stuff to the place where they were to play, and the guys let them in free for helping. Seems everyone had a good time after all. Anyway, after that they rented a Volkswagen bus to haul stuff around.
They played all over western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, New York, and Ontario, Canada before coming to Oklahoma, where I met them.
Bill & Jymmy Shinn