These found photos are dated Febuary 3, 1964, and were taken at the Brooklyn Fox Theater during one of Murray The K's package shows. Murray the K was a motor mouth DJ on New York's WINS, then the biggest top 40 station in the city, Murray was known for his "Ah bey" howl and hyping himself as the fifth Beatle and sixth Rolling Stone (he turned the Stones' onto the Valentinos' It's All Over Now which they soon recorded and had a hit with).
Yes, that's the Shangri-Las, notice the motorcycle onstage in the second shot from the top. I like the view from the third row, especially the backs of the audience's heads. In the second and third photo down, second from the left in the back is Eric Burdon, the Animals must have been on the bill, I assume this is the big finale of the show.
The Shangri-Las will always be best remembered for Leader Of The Pack, (Remember) Walking In The Sand and Give Him A Great Big Kiss, but their best record was Out In The Street. I remember seeing them sing it on Shindig as a kid (the clip is below), they made a huge impression on my pre-pubescent brain. Out In The Street still gives me the chills. It was, oddly enough the last song WINS played before switching to an all news format. Out In The Street wasn't a hit because Red Bird records was in the process of going out of business when it was released, but in a better world it would have been #1. In case you've never heard them, here's some funny vintage radio spots from lead singer Mary Weiss, the first is a Revlon endorsement, here's one is about etiquette, and here's a funny Dating tips spot.
In case you've been in the Khyber Pass for the last year and missed it, lead singer Mary Weiss cut her first record since the Shangs breakup, released last year on Norton Records-- Dangerous Games, features tunes mostly from Greg Cartwright of the Reigning Sound/Oblivions, and a great album it is. I don't like too many modern records, but I sure like Dangerous Games. Norton also issued a 45 from the LP-- Don't Come Back with a non-LP b-side (A Certain Guy, a re-write of Benny Spellman's A Certain Girl), which is essential for any Shangri-Las fan.
Twins Mary Ann and Marge Gasner both passed away, Mary Ann in 1970, Marge in 1989. The Shangri-Las name was sold to an awful trio that still tours under that moniker (featuring a singer who was once the fake Reperata, in a fake Reperata and the Del-Rons), avoid these fake Shangs at all costs, but Mary occasionally gigs and she's still a fantastic performer.Anyway, these pics came out of a pile of snapshots from two Murray The K shows at the Fox, the other pile of out of focus snaps are dated January 2, 1965. There's some shots of the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, the Hullaballoos, the Animals, Clay Cole, Dick and Dee Dee, the Drifters, and some groups I can't identify. Oddly enough, I can't find the Stones mentioned in any advertisements or programs for any Murray The K shows, but it's definitely them in the photos, so they must have played. I'll post 'em one of these days. Danny Fields was the publicist for the last Murray The K shows at the Fox in '66, he gave acid to at least one of the Cream, and met the Who for the first time. Danny's got a lot of good dirt on Pete Townshend, hopefully he'll write it all down someday. But that's another story...