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The Birdwatchers

Band Members:

Eddie Martinez - drums
Joey Murcia - lead guitar
Bobby Puccetti - keyboards
Jerry Schills - bass
Sammy Hall - vocals

This long-lived group from Tampa, Florida produced mainly highly-derivative beat/pop fare, though enjoyable nonetheless. They recorded under several other assumed names, including two 45s with Duane Allman as The New Rock Band.

The 1980 retrospective LP collects most of their 45s from 1965 to 1967 - (4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 above). The version of Mary Mary here is a different venison to the 45. There's also two cuts - Hey Schroeder and Can I Do It - which the compilers imply were not released, but these could be the unconfirmed 45 No. 10 above.

Some copies of the Mary Mary 45 came with a paste-over label where the title is given as It's To You That I Belong. Ordered by a Miami radio station because of perceived marijuana connotations, this 45 variant is known as a "WQAM copy".

A Bobby Puccetti composition, Heard You Went Away, was recorded by the Proctor Amusement Co..

Joey Murcia went on to join Magic whose rare LP "Enclosed" has seen a reissue. Spirit fanatics should note the cover of Mr. Skin on the Geminix 45.

Sam Hall, who joined the band in 1966, was previously in The Mor-Loks and The Trolls. He became a Christian in the late sixties or early seventies and later toured as Sammy Hall and The Sammy Hall Singers.

Jerry Schills was previously with Milwaukee's Legends.

1 - SOUTH FLORIDA'S BIRDWATCHERS (Florida Rock 4001) 1980

1 - Love, Emotion, Desire / I Don't Care (Tara 100) Aug. 1964
2 - Blue Suede Shoes / She Tears Me Up (Tara 1001) Oct. 1964
3 - Wake Up Little Susie / She Tears Me Up (Tara 1002) 1965
4 - It's A Long Way Home / It Doesn't Matter (Marlin 1902) 1965
5 - Real Appeal / While I'm Gone (Living Legend 101) Jul. 1965
6 - Girl I Got News For You / Eddies Tune (Scott 27) Feb 1966
7 - Girl I Got News For You / Eddies Tune (Mala 527) Apr 1966
8 - I'm Gonna Love You Anyway / A Little Bit Of Lovin' (Mala 536) Jul 1966
9 - I'm Gonna Do It To You / I Have No Worried Mind (Mala 548) Nov 1966
10 - Hey Schroeder / ?Can I Do It? (Marlin # unkn) Jan 1967
11 - Mary Mary (It's To You That I Belong) / Cry A Little Bit (Mala 555) Feb 1967
12 - Turn Around Girl / You Got It (Scott 29) Jul 1967
13 - Turn Around Girl / You Got It (Laurie 3399) Aug 1967
14 - Put A Little Sunshine In My Day / Then You Say Boh Bah (Scott 30) Nov 1967
15 - While I'm Gone / I'll Remember You (Living Legend 110) 1967
16 - Dreamin' In The Rain / You Don't Need A Reason (Victory 2000) Jun 1968
17 - Rock Steady / Little David (Scott 401) Oct 1968
18 - Rock Steady / Little David (Laurie 3480) 1968
19 - Spinning Wheel / Rhyme Tyme (Scott 402) May 1969
20 - Hold Onto Me / Hey Little People (Acetate only) 1969
21 - Mr. Skin / Come Home Baby (Geminix 5501) 1972

(1) is a retrospective compilation of various 45s. (5) as 'Gary Stites and The Birdwatchers'. (10) as 'Security Blankets'. (15) as 'Legendary Street Singers', 'B' side by The Gents Five. (16) as 'Glass Bubble'. (17) and (18) with Duane Allman as 'The New Rock Band'. (19) as 'Mousetrap'.

Compilation coverage has so far included: Mary Mary (It's To You That I Belong) on Marijuana Unknowns (LP & CD) and Psychedelic States - Florida Vol. 2 (CD); I'm Gonna Love You Anyway on Garage Zone, Vol. 2 (LP), The Garage Zone Box Set (4-LP) and Ya Gotta Have Moxie, Vol. 1 (Dble CD); and Girl I Got News For You on Searching For Love (LP)



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