One Side Wonders #17: The Breakers – Don’t Send Me No Flowers (I Ain’t Dead Yet) (1965)

Breakers_labelThe Breakers were high school friends from Memphis, Tennessee who came to the attention of singer Charlie Rich’s manager Sy Rosenburg. He drove the band to Nashville to cut their lone single, which was released in August 1965 on Amy Records.

‘Don’t Send Me No Flowers’ is a snarling, moody garage gem with plenty of effectively used fuzzy lead guitar.  It was written by Donna Weiss, a Nashville songwriter who later composed the Grammy winning ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ with Jackie de Shannon (who incidentally wrote and produced the Raga and The Talas’ monster ‘My Group and Me’ covered in an earlier post).

The song was also recorded by another, more well-known Memphis outfit The Gentrys and appeared on their debut album Keep On Dancing on MGM, released in 1965 as well. And you can find a raw version by Batesville, Arkansas’ The Blue and The Gray from their 1966 single on Zay-Dee on Lost Souls Volume 1 (along with the raucous cover of ‘Wine, Wine, Wine’ that was on the flipside). And finally, The What-Knots shortened the title to ‘I Ain’t Dead Yet’ and added sax and organ for their 1968 single on Dial.

‘Don’t Send Me No Flowers’

Missing side: ‘Love of My Life’ (a mid-tempo folky ballad according to TeenBeat Mayhem).

Reissues: The a-side is on Pebbles Volume 10 (CD) or Volume 12 (vinyl) and A History Of Garage & Frat Bands In Memphis Volume 2.

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