(2010, download, - , crossfire publications)
(2011, flash-drive, usa, crossfire publications)

various artists

paul buff presents the pal and original sound studio archives, vol.4

2010 download - crossfire publications

    (2011, flash-drive, usa, crossfire publications) = the complete 35 album series, with bonus liner notes on pdf and 56 extra tracks

various tracks recorded by Paul Buff


  1. paul buff: blind man's buff
  2. the biscaines: menagerie
  3. the hollywood persuaders: drums a-go-go  (single mix)
  4. the buff organisation: too young (version 1)
  5. paul buff and ronnie williams: tropical toothpick  (revised version of 'toothpick boogie')
  6. paul buff: far across the sea
  7. the pal studio band: walkin' out  (zappa)
  8. the bongo teens: last night
  9. sonny wilson: true love
  10. the ascots: perfect love
  11. bobby and linda: say little prayer
  12. the buff organisation: studio 'a' (single mix)
  13. the heartbreakers: cradle rock  (produced by frank zappa)
  14. bobby ray and the gents: make you feel like livin'
  15. mike dineri: stormy weather (take 1)
  16. the cordells: happy time  (produced by irvin (dave aerni) and curry (frank zappa))
  17. paul buff: runaway wedding song


liner notes by Greg Russo:

Welcome to Volume 4 of Paul Buff’s 20-volume series of recordings from Pal Studios and Original Sound Studios! Pal Records was a record company run by his mother Olivia and stepfather Ward Allen. After Paul Buff was honorably discharged from the military, he finished putting together Pal Studios in December 1957. The studio costs were $12.50/hour for mono recording and $15/hour for stereo. Local musicians booked the studio to make recordings of their rehearsals and repertoire. When Pal Records wound itself down in mid-1959, Paul Buff created his first record label – Emmy. Other labels (Plaza, Yukon and Vigah!) would follow shortly thereafter. The music presented on this series was released on extremely rare records that would literally cost thousands if you can find them. In addition, there are many unreleased tracks spanning from 1960 to 1969. Paul Buff is now making them available again for everyone to appreciate.

For this cross-section of Paul Buff’s activities, things are kicked off by Paul Buff’s B-side “Blind Man’s Buff.” It was licensed to Donna for release in early 1963. Another B-side, The Biscaines’ “Menagerie,” was the snappy flip of “Blue Skies” (Volume 2). Pianist Randy Thomas takes the lead.

The Hollywood Persuaders’ “Drums A-Go-Go” was the most popular Paul Buff track, spawning many cover versions. This is the original single mix. Check out the mono and stereo versions of the “Drums A-Go-Go” album, as well as “Singles & Rarities” and “Raw Tracks” for more Hollywood Persuaders action.

Paul Buff and Ronnie Williams recorded “Toothpick Boogie” in the early fall of 1960, with Buff providing additional instrumentation to the basic track in 2007. That revised version, “Tropical Toothpick,” is on this volume. The original “Toothpick Boogie” will appear later in this series as well as on The Masters’ album.

“Far Across The Sea” was supposed to be the B-side of the fifth Plaza label release. Based on a label mock-up, Johnny Atlan (aka Johnny Fisher) was going with his song “Indian Maid” as the A-side. Even though Fisher recorded “Indian Maid,” he left Pal Studios before he recorded his vocal on Buff’s “Far Across The Sea” for the B-side. As a result, the release was cancelled and Paul Buff recorded the song himself.

“Walkin’ Out” by The Pal Studio Band is another Zappa instrumental showcase that has never been heard. Like all the others Pal Studio Band tracks, this dates from April 1963. Recorded shortly afterward, The Bongo Teens’ “Last Night” was a strong cover of The Mar-Keys’ classic. Paul Buff and Dave Aerni’s recordings as The Bongo Teens are also available as separate mono and stereo releases of the “Surfin’ Bongos” album as well as on the “Raw Tracks” album with The Hollywood Persuaders.

Sonny Wilson’s “True Love” was one of his many unreleased Pal masters from 1961. It’s amazing that nearly all of his output was not released at the time. The Ascots’ “Perfect Love” was released as an A-side by Ace in 1962, but was surprisingly ignored. It is still in great demand by collectors.

“Say A Little Prayer” by Bobby & Linda was the flipside of their Emmy single “I’m Mostly Lonely” (Volume 3). When this record was released in October 1963, there were so many 45s of vocal groups that many of them did not get the attention they deserved.

The original single mix of The Buff Organization’s “Studio ‘A’” is up next. A satirical look at the recording process and its impact on the ultimate success of a record, “Studio ‘A’” was not well distributed and got lost in the shuffle in 1968.

Frank Zappa produced “Cradle Rock” for The Heartbreakers in 1964 and Paul Buff licensed the record to the Donna label. The tune was a slow ballad using “Rock-A-Bye Baby” lyrics in an East L.A. musical style. Bobby Ray And The Gents’ “Make You Feel Like Livin’” was cut in 1963, but was not released until the next year. As the flipside of “My Brother” (Volume 3), “Make You Feel Like Livin’” holds up well today because it did not employ any of the musical trends of the time.

Saxophonist Mike Dineri contributed to The Rotations’ B-side “The Cruncher” with what Paul Buff calls “good sax” because Dineri was a master at his instrument. Dineri cut five unissued tracks at Pal, including two versions of the standard “Stormy Weather.” Both versions use the same backing track, but Mike Dineri’s ending solos are completely different. Here is Take 1.

The Cordells were a little-known group that cut four tracks at Pal, two of which (“Sand Flea” and “Down Under”) are lost. The two surviving tracks, “Happy Time” and “I Love How You Love Me,” formed a Daytone release produced by Irvin (Dave Aerni) and Curry (Frank Zappa) in January 1964. “Happy Time” is included on this volume. It is quite possible that members of this group evolved into the Daytone group The Pharos, which became The Rhythm Surfers.

Concluding Volume 4 is Paul Buff’s “Runaway Wedding Song.” This is another of Buff’s replicas of popular songs, clearly influenced by Del Shannon’s “Runaway” and a wedding theme.