Garage Gold #20: Byron and The Mortals – Music (Is Here To Stay) / Do You Believe Me (1966)

byron_labelByron and The Mortals from Lake Elsinore, California are another in the long line of 60s outfits that left just one single as their recorded legacy. The 45 was released on the X-Preshun label in November 1966 and the b-side at least is straight out of the top drawer. ‘Do You Believe Me’ is a high octane garage raver with prominent keyboards, a fizzing guitar riff, and a verse that very effectively alternates between the lead singer solo and in unison with the backing vocalists.

In stark contrast, a-side ‘Music (Is Here To Stay)’ is a jaunty pop number that brings to mind the likes of Herman’s Hermits and was of course the band’s (unfortunately unsuccessful) bid for chart glory. Quite catchy though!

 

‘Do You Believe Me’

‘Music (Is Here To Stay)’

Both sides were written by singer Byron Daugherty, who was later in The Generations, another Lake Elsinore band. Again, they only managed one 45 ‘Set Me Free / Please Help Me’ which appeared on Generation Records in 1968. This is apparently heavily influenced by The Kinks, though ‘Set Me Free’ is not a cover of their May 1965 hit.

Byron went on to record a couple of country influenced solo albums in the mid-70s, Back Door Man (Stanza, 1975) and Byron Keith Daugherty (Fantasy, 1976).

Reissues: ‘Do You Believe Me’ is on Teenage Shutdown Volume 4 and Pebbles Volume 8 (CD) or Volume 9 (vinyl). ‘Music (Is Here To Stay)’ hasn’t been commercially compiled.

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