The Damascans were from Charlotte, North Carolina. The band consisted of high school students Jackie Holmes (bass) and brother and sister David and Toni Naples (drums and keyboards respectively), along with guitarist Buddy Hyman, who was older and studying at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. They were sometimes joined by singer Scott Pope.
Buddy Hyman happened to live next door to Arthur Smith who ran Pyramid Records and Arthur’s nephew Lanny managed the band. The Damascans played the usual round of teen clubs, Battle of the Band competitions, school dances and parties – alongside other local outfits such as The Ravens, The Paragons, and The Crested T.
Buddy wrote both sides of the group’s only single, which was released on Pyramid Records in March 1966. ‘Go ‘Way Girl’ has a classic garage chord progression, trebly in-your-face Hammond B-3 organ, a primitive but neat break (again on keyboards), and solid lead and backing vocals with lyrics that tell the time-honoured tale of a heartbreaking girlfriend. Surely everything you could ask of a teen beat single!
‘Go ‘Way Girl’
Sadly, the story of the band ends in tragic circumstances as in 1968 Buddy Hyman was murdered, shot by another UNC Charlotte student whose ex-girlfriend he was dating.
Missing side: ‘Diane’ is a plaintive, low-key ballad.
Reissues: ‘Go ‘Way Girl’ is on Quagmire Volume 3 or Tobacco A-Go-Go Volume 2.