Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Neal Ford and the V.I.P.s on Mindi

Neal Ford's '60s singles have been pretty well documented by now, but this fun frat-rocker apparently eluded everybody. Credited solely to the V.I.P.'s, this is obviously Neal on vocals (he's credited as songwriter) and probably Kim Espy on harmony vocal, i.e., the same duo who performed and recorded as The Ramadas. Why the name change? Who knows? I'm guessing this dates from 1963-64. Mindi appears to be a one-off label. The backing group is unknown. Neal and Jon Pereles would form the Fanatics not long after this.

Below: the V.I.P.'s, also known as the Ramadas: Kim Espy (left) and Neal Ford, 1963-64. 

Below: Earliest photo of Neal Ford and the Fanatics, Houston, early 1965. L to R: Johnny Stringfellow, Neal Ford (back), John Cravey, W.T. Johnson, Jon Pereles.