SPOTLIGHT ON THE TETRA LABEL
"Angel Face"/"Kiss Me Quickly"
by The Neons
on Tetra 4444
released in 1956
"Angel Face"/"Kiss Me Quickly"
Above: The Neons, who in this photo from circa 1973, are (L-R) Jeff Pearl (second tenor), Ronald Derin (baritone), Norman Isacoff (bass), and Frank Vignari (first tenor). The personnel on "Angel Face" are Pearl, Vignari, John Devero, and Pat Fatibene. For their second release on Tetra, they added Nick Bernini.
Click HERE for an article about The Neons by J.C. Marion.
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Above: Tetra Records advertisement from September 1956.
Listen to "Go Cat, Go" and "Guitar Rock"
Above Left: Column from The Billboard dated 8/25/56.
Above Right: Label image for Tetra 4445, "Go Cat, Go" by Bill Flagg, released in 1956. Tetra 4446 is The Seniors' "Evening Shadows Falling" and 4447 is The Playboys' "One Question." Bill Flagg (And His Rockabillies) had one more, "Guitar Rock," on Tetra 4448. Bill Flagg And His Rockabillies had another release on the M-G-M label in 1958, apparently from sides recorded for Tetra.
Listen to "Good Morning Captain"
Above Left: Column from The Billboard dated 12/1/56.
Above Right: Label image for Tetra 4450, "Good Morning Captain (Muleskinner Blues)" by Joe D. Gibson, released in 1957. Jeff Pearl of The Neons says he played the “clomp clomp” instrument on Good Morning Captain and that Joe D. Gibson played the banjo on Angel Face! I wonder if Bill Flagg played guitar on the instrumental break on Good Morning Captain as it sounds very similar to that on "Go Cat, Go." [Added: 1/20/13... per Joe D. Gibson's biography, it seems that it was Gibson who played guitar on "Go Cat, Go."]
Above: Label image of Tetra 4444 recorded on 6/1/56 and released in June 1956. "Angel Face" was reissued on the Gone label in 1960. On the flip, notice the "Frankie!" (referring to lead singer Frank Vignari), done by Toni Bruce, near the beginning of the song. The excellent sax work is by Buddy Lucas. The Neons had one more release on Tetra (4449) in March 1957.
The Tetra label did quite well for just seven releases and an existence of less than one year! Jeff Pearl claims that Monte Bruce named the label after The Neons... "Neon Tetra" is a popular aquarium fish.
The Billboard Review (9/8/56):THE NEONS - TETRA 4444
Angel Face (69) The ingredients of this rhythm-ballad are familiar r&b elements, but a good job by the lead and the bouncy beat compensate for the lack of originality. Teenagers will have no trouble responding.
Kiss Me Quickly (67) The boys turn to a similarly styled piece of material here. They work hard and are not entirely unsuccessful in breathing life into the cliche-ridden material.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 60-69 as "satisfactory.")
Trade Magazine Article (JULY 1956): ....We learn that Toni Bruce, Alan Freed's daughter, has formed a new record company, Tetra Records. Firm has already released its first discs, "Angel Face" by the Neons and "Go Cat Go" by rock-a-billy Bill Flagg....
Trade Magazine Article:
Bruce Forms Tetra Label...
NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 1956 — Monte Bruce, a former partner in the now defunct Bruce Records operation, is returning to the business with a new label, tagged Tetra Records. Bruce and his wife Toni claim to be the sole owners and operators of the new label and its affiliated Tetra Music Corporation, a pubbing firm connected with Broadcast Music, Inc. [BMI]
Already signed to the Tetra label are a rock and roll group, the Neons, and a rockabilly singer, Bill Flagg. Several distributors have been set, including Tico in New York. Bruce sold out his interest in Bruce Records and the affiliated Nuway and Belvedere publishing firms to his partner, Leo Rogers, more than a year ago.
Trade Magazine Article (SEPTEMBER 1956): ....Monte Bruce reportedly at work negotiating with the Ponds Cosmetic people to work out a national promotion tie-in with his disking of "Angel Face" by the Neons on Tetra. One of Ponds products is called "Angel Face"....
Listen to this week's selections by The Neons on Tetra 4444 from 1956:
[All audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
A. Stream RealAudio...
1. Angel Face
2. Kiss Me Quickly
BOTH played in sequence
[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]
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