Actually this is almost too good to be posted here. It´s  a fantastic LP and I was surprised when I searched for it on the internet and found, that it has never been re-released (apart from Hummel-Twist that appeared on a bunch of comps such as the Beat on The Krauts Im Star Club Hamburg LP Vol.2 that Dionysus/Romulan re-released in the 90´s and on one of Bear Family´s  Tausend Nadelstiche CDs) at least to my knowledge. There´s no reason why this music should not be heard by as many people as possible. But please let me know if I´m wrong. If this ever saw a proper re-release,  I´ll delete it immediately. This album definitely deserves one. Posting music of this caliber (and format!) will be an exception here and I´ll return to my usual beloved garbage pickings next week: the music that doesn´t need to be heard by as many people as possible…

I bought the album 10 years ago in pretty excellent condition (so please take the time to look at my supersized scans) and initially I only wanted to post one track of it , Hully Gully, because Troy pointed out in one of his recent comments that the Hully Gully song seems to have been a trigger for violence when played in the Beatles Star Club era. Toni Cavanaugh´s version is pretty free and wild and has some lightning-fast guitar breaks but it´s not a very aggressive song. The wording “Halli Galli” however, directly derived from the Hully Gully dance craze is still used in Germany. We say: “Da is ganz schön Halli Galli!“, like, there´s some action  going on! Mostly it´s positive but it could also mean a quarrel. Toni Cavanaugh´s Hully Gully  is one of the wildest Hully Gully songs I know:

We´ll what about this outbreak of violence when Hully Gully was played? I don´t know these things, I was born in 1966. I did however grow up in  Hamburg right by the Alster, the beautiful lake that lies in the center of the city. My father and my mother went to the Star Club on one of their first dates. I´ve been living in Berlin for 13 years now and I love Berlin but Hamburg is my home town and will always stay close to my heart. I´ll always be a Hamburger.

Toni Cavanaugh (Orlester Watson Cavanaugh) was born in Indianapolis in 1939 ( the year my mother was born). He landed in Germany in the late 50´s as a US paratrooper and was stationed near Mannheim but soon found himself entertaining the troops on various stages around Germany. After his military time he ended up in Hamburg in the blossoming rock´n´roll scene on the Reeperbahn. In 1960 he was drumming in Tony Sheridan´s group the Jets for a while, who were playing the Top Ten club regularly. He also played with Tony Sheridan in the Star-Combo, kinda the house-band at the Star Club from 1963 to 1964.

In 1962 he had his own group, the Bats. 1964 saw the release of this LP Rock´n Twist Slop Hully Gully with the Liverpool Triumphs.

Side 1 starts of with a rousing versions of

Long Tall Sally (wrongly titled My Babe on both the label and the sleeve) Mashed Potatoe

I´m Talking About You

and a fast saxophone-driven version of  What I´d Say.Hummel-Twist is Tony Cavanaugh´s most well-known song, likely because it was the only one sung in German on this LP. Hummel Hummel Mors Mors is a very old greeting of local Hamburgers. As legend has it, Hans Hummel was a poor worker, a water carrier in the 18th century, who was always teased by little kids, so he replied: “Klei di an´n mors!”(kiss my ass). The greeting is a call and response thing. When I was a kid and we were on a family trip, me and  my brother used to look for passing cars that were also from Hamburg. When we found one, we´d scream “Hummel Hummel” and sometimes they would scream back “Mors Mors” to our greatest delight.

The lyrics to Hummel-Twist go like this:

Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, ich bin ein Ausländer/Don´t you know , ich sprech´kein Deutsch/ My mother told me, don´t you go/ Hummel Hummel, ich weiß nicht, was das heisst/Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, yeah yeah, Mahlzeit!/…/ Hummel Hummel Humel Mors Mors, mein Mädel hat zu mir gesagt: Wenn du kommst nach Deutschland mein Kind, man sagt: Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, sagt jeder Hamburger/Ich bin ein Ausländer, ich möchte deutsch lernen, Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, JAAA!/…/Hummel Hummel mors Mors, ich bin ein Ausländer/Hummel Hummel Mors Mors, ich weiß nicht, was das heisst/ Hummel Hummel, Hummel Hummel, Hummel Hummel/ Hummel Hummel … Mors MorsIch weiß nicht, was das heisst…Aaah!…Is´egal!…Wie geht´s?

Side 1 ends with a version of  Money that sounds similar to a lot of  versions from Star-Club groups, BUT this has a great drum and saxophone sound! This sounds like it was recorded live and it was!

Side 2 starts with Jezebel,

then the aforementioned awesome Hully Gully, Slippin´and Slidin´ (again wrongly titled We are slopping. Yea, there are a lot of mistakes on this record…),

and a funny little number called Twiullyop, a mix of the words  twist, hully gully and slop. Otherwise a pretty straight beat stomper:

The album closes with a soulful rendition of  Tell Me, Baby.

In 1965 Toni Cavanaugh got a deal with Teldec and recorded four songs in German backed by  the “Beat Brothers”, among them Kingsize Taylor, Howie Casey and some members of the Blizzards from Stade, a small town near Hamburg.

Toni Cavanaugh continued to play with various groups in Germany  into the 70´s, but finally went back to the states, leaving the music business behind altogether. He died in a nursing home on November 5th,  2005.

Like other African-American expatriate  rock´n´rollers such as  Rocky Roberts in Italy and the great Harold Nicholas in France, Toni Cavanaugh left some very fine recordings in Europe. It´s time that they are paid a little more tribute to.

16 Comments on “TONI CAVANAUGH UND DIE LIVERPOOL TRIUMPHS, Rock´n Twist Slop Hully Gully, 1964”

  1. Troy McClure says:

    WOW! Danke Schön, Andreas!

    I will listen to these tracks and maybe comment what I think after.

    For now, I read that you mentioned that Toni Cavanaugh was in a band called ‘The Bats’. Very briefly, Stuart Sutcliffe was in this group as a bassist, in the beginning of 1962, before he died, according to Astrid, his girlfriend. Apparently Stu had not entirely decided to quit rock ‘n roll music entirely for his art before he died tragically in April of 1962.

    Also, Toni Cavanaugh may be the drummer on some of the ‘Beat Brothers’ tracks that feature Tony Sheridan singing, recorded for Bert Kaempfert, after the Beatles’ sessions as ‘Beat Brothers’ (interchangeable groups used to back Tony). I’m thinking of songs released on Carousel LP that I own which are not the Beatles, but are on the same double LP as Beatles tracks, like “My Bonnie” and “The Saints”. Some of these are “Skinny Minnie” and “Let’s Dance” which I think has Roy Hall on organ/piano.

    Anyway, thank you for posting this. I never would have heard it, as you say.


  2. mischalke04 says:

    Thanks. Glad you like the choice. Please comment on the tracks. I´m curious what you think.
    I didn´t know that Stuart Sutcliffe played in the Bats. Thanks for the info. I think there were quite a number of Beat Brothers bands in Germany in the early 60´s though, so maybe the Tony Sheridan group was probably not identical with the Toni Cavanaugh group. The Tony groups?

    Greetings from Berlin

  3. michaelvee says:

    … great find, great story, thx a bunch


  4. mischalke04 says:

    good morning italy! I was hoping you´d like this!

  5. michaelvee says:

    it’ll make my soundtrack of the day, just turnin’ these gems into a great CDR….

  6. mischalke04 says:

    Yea, maybe I should have made one big zip file for download myself, but I´ve never done that, so it was just a little too “complicated”. I guess it´s pretty easy though…

    Mal was anderes: bist du schon auf Arbeit, oder hast du heute frei? Sorry, ist zwar etwas indiskret zu fragen, aber ich bin neugierig. Ich muß bald mal mit meiner Arbeit loslegen…

  7. michaelvee says:

    Hi Andy

    zu a) kein Problem, einzeln oder zuasmmen kommt egal gut

    zu b) habe den gestrigen Tag (1. Mai ,Tag der Arbeit) verunheiligt, um Sonntag Zeit für Tochter u. Enkel zu haben, habe dann jedoch von 18 – 20 Uhr wieder mit der hochinteressanten Gasdetektorhandbuchübersetzung aus dem Amerikanischen gekämpft; ich hoffe, Deine Arbeit hat etwas mit Zeichnen zu tun oder Publishing und ist somit aufregender….


  8. Troy McClure says:

    I had finally some time to listen to the tracks and here are my comments (my opinion only):

    Best version I’ve heard of this song. I like it better than the original by the Olympics. It’s hard to see anyone fighting to this version, as it is faster and less ‘Rumble Link Wray’ tempo, more like ‘Mach Schau’ fast rock ‘n roll tempo. I’m sure this version by Toni Cavanaugh went over very well in Hamburg clubs. I particularly like the sort of improvisational ‘blabber’ Toni uses toward the end of the song, spurting out only bits and pieces of words. Great! I think he is like a Bobby Freeman in his intensity on this song.

    I’m spoiled by both Little Richard’s original and by The Beatles’ excellent cover version of this song, which are hard to beat. But Cavanaugh does a credible version. It’s not fantastic, but good.

    Again, not fantastic, but okay cover version. Certainly danceable.
    Funny how it is misspelled to be like ‘toes’. (Feets Too Big for Mashing kanske?)

    So far, a lot of these songs were also covered by The Beatles, Tony Sheridan & The Jets, other Liverpool groups too. These all must have become Hamburg favorites. This version has a straight-forward delivery, pretty decent.

    Ray Charles has the ultimate version of this, followed (in my opinion) by Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers (NOT the Beatles on that Polydor track however). The Beatles certainly did this number a LOT in St. Pauli too. Cavanaugh’s version seems to borrow from Tony Sheridan/Eddie Cochran’s cover versions, but it is interesting in that Toni takes the white guys’ cover version and then makes it sound more ‘black’ again. It’s an interesting take on this classic song.
    I heard that Tony Sheridan and Paul McCartney have both said that this song was a great tune to play for an hour or so, continually improvising on, as they had to be on stage for such long hours every night.

    I never knew the story about “Klei di an’ n Mors”. Knowing this background makes this song sound more interesting. It is clear that Toni is trying to sing ‘auf deutsche’ and the audience really must have loved that he incorporated being an outlander or foreigner to the song. I’m surprised that the Beatles didn’t do this song in Hamburg. They would have had the Star Club screaming like crazy! I can picture John Lennon singing it too. Toni Cavanaugh is excellent in this. Should have been a 45 single release.

    Nobody has ever covered Barrett Strong’s version like this. Toni has a unique intro to the song, making it stand apart from all the other covers. It is spirited and I like it.

    Every version of this song, from Frankie Laine’s to Gene Vincent’s to Herman’s Hermits I have liked and it is one of my favorite songs. I once did an entire show on just this one song. This version is not the best, but I can’t help liking it as it is such a fantastic song.

    I really like Little Richard’s version, so I’m spoiled. This one is so-so for me.

    This is pretty good, and original, which I like. I’ll bet when Toni sang this live, it really rocked out more. Sometimes the studio versions don’t sound as great. The lyrics sound a bit like Chris Montez’s “Let’s Dance”.

    This I like also. I think the production could have been better in the studio, a pity because Toni Cavanaugh has talent that shines through even on the not so great production of this track.

    Thanks for posting these. I’m fascinated by Hamburg, what artists played there, what the scene must have been like. There are “World Heritage Sites” that I have been to, such as L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, where the Greenland Norse made a base camp that was preserved, or Cuzco, the imperial Inca city in Peru, etc. I think there should also be “Rock ‘n Roll Heritage Sites” where extremely important rock history was made too, such as Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Chess Studios in Chicago, CBGB’s in New York (which tragically was torn down and I could not believe it!), and of course, Hamburg’s Reeperbahn and die Grosse Freiheit. These are places to preserve and to remember.

  9. mischalke04 says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time for these insightful comments! I agree on all points. It really is a LP that is worth to be re-released.
    Regarding “Rock´n´Roll Heritage Sites”, I think if the places initially have any integrity, they need to be not recognized in their time to make the biggest impact. It´s only a cool thing to go there, as long as mom and pop don´t think it is. But of course it´s still saddens me that a lot of the bars and clubs, where I spent some of the most memorable rock´n´roll moments of my life, have all been torn down.

  10. Thorsten says:

    hi – in our book we have found out for the first time about the congrete dates Stuart played in the BATS with Tony.
    We have compiled all facts for the foreign fans – go to our website and you`ll find a pdf file for download.


    p.s. my new book is

  11. Martin says:

    Great post and thanks for all the info.. so glad I found your blog :)

  12. nina says:

    rocky roberts, hast du von dem auch was?

  13. mischalke04 says:

    Ja, ich habe einige Singles, aber die sind offiziell wiederveröffentlicht, also poste ich die nicht. Ich hab aber grad mal schnell Google gefragt und diesen spanischen Blogeintrag zu Rocky Roberts gefunden:

  14. janroen says:

    Habe zuhause das Originalalbum. Ist immer noch einfach geil.

  15. Dave Roberts says:

    Hi Andreas,Iplayed saxophone on Tonys album.It was recorded at the MusikHalle in Hamburg.The drummer was my old friend Aynsley Dunbar who is one of the worlds greatest drummers.The recording was made without a rehearsal from 2.00am through the night.The band were all very drunk.That was the only time we played with Tony.He had come to see us at the Tanz Club Party owned by Egon Rapp,at the recommendation of Paul Rogers,another friend from Liverpool who was a recording manager for Polydor.It was just a one off.The band was actually the Pressmen.At the time we were working under the name of the Flamingos as we had signed exclusive recording contracts with several companies,so we chose a different name for each one.We also recorded a single for Vogue records called “Mein Beatle Baby/Glucklich Wie Noch Nie”We also played the Star Club as Freddie Starr and the Midnighters,and the Starr Boys couple of times.Hamburg holds a special place in my heart.We always enjoyed our time there.

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