The Moonrakers clip that opens this page, "Baby Please Don't Go" was recorded by the original group, and released on Tower Records.  Over the years it has been included in several "60s Blues Nostalgia" compendiums released in Europe because it is considered to be the most interpretive "uptempo/electric" cover of this blues standard ever recorded. Van Dorn

 

 

The Moonrakers recorded several impressive singles on the Tower Records label in 1965-66.  These 45s are very much sought after by garage/psych collectors and usually bring a good price when one comes up in good condition.  That rarely happens.

Usually when a Moonrakers 45 does turn up, it is a white label promo.  Above are four rare stock copies.  The songs on all of these singles were co-produced by Roger Christian and Richard Russell.  Roger was well known for his involvement with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys at the time.

Above we have a very hard to find release of "I'm All Right" b/w "Come On Let's Move" on the Canadian label Sparton P-1405.

Some changes in personnel took place during the time between the recording of the Tower singles and the Shamley (a division of MCA) album, "Together With Him".  The lineup on the majority of the songs on the LP was Van Dorn, Dennis Flannigan, Joel Brandes, Randy Walrath, and Bob Saunar.  Appearing on four of the tracks were Bob Webber and Jerry Corbetta.  The Shamley label was short-lived with only four albums ever being released by them.  This was the last of the four and is still interesting and enjoyable to listen to forty years later.

The album definitely is a different style than the garage band singles on Tower.  Times were changing and so was the music.  The LP has a psychedelic sound with religious overtones.  It regularly sells for $25.

 

Above is a 1/4 page advertisement (scaled down) that appeared in the L.A.Free Press on September 5, 1969 and below is the advertisement as it appeared the following week in the L.A. Free Press.



Below is an extremely rare acetate of the seven tracks cut for the Together With Him LP after Bob Webber and Jerry Corbetta departed.  The finished LP contained eleven tracks.

Next are the three Moonrakers' singles on the Shamley label.  The song "7th Star" was non-LP.

 

Another Moonrakers rarity recently turned up.  It is an Australian issue of "7th Star" on the MCA Records label released in 1970.  

The rarest Moonrakers single to surface so far would have to be this next one.  Not only was it pressed in a Shamley plant in El Salvador, but it features two of Van's songs that were never on a single anywhere else in the world!  They are "Talk To the Soldier's Son" and "He Knows Why."  Neither Van nor Denny was aware of its release.  Click the thumbnail below to view the detail of the 45 label.

Soldier's Son 45.jpg (142758 bytes)

Probably as rare as the single above, but not quite as unusual is this 45 of "He's a Comin' My Lord" b/w "No Number To Call".  This is also on the Shamley label from El Salvador.  Click the thumbnail below to view the detail of the 45 label.

He's a Comin El Salvador.jpg (95933 bytes)

Below is a ticket for a Moonrakers concert from June 12, 1968:

Click on any of the following dates to hear advertisements for (then) upcoming Moonrakers shows.

AUGUST 1968 AUGUST 1968 #2
NOVEMBER 11, 1968
DECEMBER 24, 1968 JANUARY 29, 1969

I would like to thank Mike Stelk for the above radio advertisements.

MOONRAKERS DISCOGRAPHY

SINGLES:  The clips below have been converted to mp3s and were taken from The Moonrakers Anthology CD except for "He's a Comin' My Lord" and "Not Hidin' Anymore"  Click on any title to hear it.  You can now purchase The Moonrakers Anthology CD by going to the Merchandise page.

You'll Come Back b/w I Was Wrong Tower 157 1965
I'm Alright b/w Come On, Let's Move Tower 180 1965
Trip and Fall b/w Time and a Place Tower 222 1966
Baby Please Don't Go b/w I Don't Believe Tower 239 1966
He's A Comin' My Lord b/w Love Train Shamley 44012 1969
Together With Him b/w No Number to Call  Shamley 44015 1969
7th Star b/w Not Hidin' Anymore  Shamley 44021 1969

45 CREDITS: 

You'll Come Back -- Denny Flannigan -- Vocals: Denny
I Was Wrong --Richard Russell & Roger Christian -- Vocals: Van & Denny 

I'm All Right -- Mick Jagger & Keith Richards (as Nanker-Phelge) -- Vocals: Denny 
Come On, Let's Move -- Richard Russell & Roger Christian -- Vocals: Denny & Van

Trip & Fall -- Denny Flannigan -- Vocals: Denny
Time and a Place -- Van Dorn -- Vocals: Van

Baby Please Don't Go -- Big Joe Williams -- Vocals: Van
I Don't Believe -- L.E. Paul -- Vocals: Bob W.

He's a Coming My Lord --Van Dorn --Vocals: Van
Love Train -- Van Dorn & John Phillips -- Van

Together With Him -- Denny Flannigan & John Phillips -- Vocals: Denny
No Number to Call -- Denny Flannigan & John Phillips -- Vocals: Denny

Seventh Star -- Denny Flannigan -- Vocals: Denny
Not Hidin' Anymore -- Van Dorn -- Vocals: Van

ALBUM:

Together With Him Shamley SS 704 1969

KIMN Radio in Denver put out several compilation albums in the sixties and early seventies.  I believe it was approximately one per year.  Below is a picture of the front cover of the second one they released.  It's called Summertime and among the popular singles featured on the LP is "You'll Come Back" by The Moonrakers, which was a big hit single locally.  The most current song on the album hit the charts in December 1967, so the LP was probably put together in early 1968.

Jump ahead to the fall of 2002 and we have a great shot of the members of The Moonrakers.

Left to right: Van Dorn, Denny Flannigan, Bob MacVittie, Joel Brandes
(missing from the shot is Bob Webber)

Click here for an interesting interview with Joel Brandes from a few years back.  This will take you off of this site.

The Moonrakers Anthology CD was released in August 2006 in conjunction with The Moonrakers reunion.  The release features all of the Tower Records singles along with "Love Train," "Find Me," "Take a Friend," "No Number to Call," "Take a Look Outside at the Sun," "Together With Him" and the non-LP "7th Star."   It also features two vintage commercials for Moonrakers shows.  This CD was digitally mastered at Down Under Studio by Billye E. Rock and is available through this site by going to the Merchandise page.

 

It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of our friend Wild Bill Cody on December 25, 2012. Wild Bill was a lifelong fan and friend of The Moonrakers who was always willing to do anything he could to support any Colorado music project that would come up.  He was a well-known DJ in several areas of the country throughout his 36 year career in radio and was always doing things to help the community in which he lived. He was an inspiration and he will be missed by all that knew him. To check out his obituary and read about some of the amazing things he did in his career in radio, click here. (This will take you off of this site.)  This was first posted on February 8, 2013, his 64th birthday.  Rest in Peace, Wild Bill.  We'll never forget you.


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