Friday, September 5, 2008

Weekenders "Signed, Sealed, And Delivered" (Wayne-Way)

Waynesboro, Va has traditionally had a rich reservoir of musical talent to draw from in the surrounding Shenandoah Valley. In The 1960's, record labels like Major (MRC), Lark, and Wayne-Way flourished, as each vied for its own slice of the market in the western part of the state and beyond. For a town whose population is still just over 20,000, Waynesboro has been impressively prolific, both in terms of the sheer number of records released as well as the wide variety of genres represented.

As was typical of fellow Waynesboro labels, Wayne-Way put out a hodge podge of music from Garage to Rockabilly to Soul to Country (The Statler Brothers got their start at the label doing backing vocals). "Sign, Sealed, and Delivered" by the Weekenders is an interesting example of a number of these styles coalescing in a wonderfully unrefined concoction. Inspired by the James Brown cover of this Cowboy Copas Country Western classic, the boys turn in a rockin' version of their own. The vocals are snarling, squealing white boy soul with attitude to spare and even a hint of country twang, while the backing band gives it their all, sounding like they were recorded while playing a teen dance inside an airplane hanger. The B side is possibly a vague attempt at a Booker T style instrumental or a perhaps an attempt to make their parents happy. Or maybe The Weekenders were the house band at the only strip joint in town. Your guess is as good as ours.

Weekenders "Signed, Sealed, And Delivered"


RunAwayImagination said...

In 1963, the summer after my Junior year in high school (JEB Stuart, Falls Church, VA) I worked a summer job with the USGS out of Waynesboro. I rented a room from the Wells family, whose son Gene was the keyboardist with The Weekenders. I think he was a year younger than I. Gene introduced me to the Top Hats out of Harrisonburg, who asked me to fill in for their organist Larry May while he was on his 2 week active duty with the Marine Corps. I also worked with them the following summer. I never knew that Gene's band put out a record!

RunAwayImagination said...

I met Gene Wells, leader and keyboardist with the Weekenders during the summer of 1963 when I rented a room from his parents while working a summer job with the USGS out of Waynesboro. I'm a keyboardist too, and Gene hooked me up with the Top Hats out of Harrisonburg, who had me fill in for their organist during his 2-week Marine active duty that summer and the next. Gene passed away 4-10-12 in Virginia Beach. He had remained active in bands all his life.