Outside of Phoenix and Los Angeles, most people have never heard of Mike Condello – and that’s a shame. Although best known as musical director of children’s TV show, The Wallace and Ladmo Show, Condello is also notable for beating The Monkees to the punch by creating a Beatles knock-off group, Hub Kapp & the Wheels, that also wrote some fun and original songs – like “Little Volks,” a wry retort to the hot rod and muscle car songs that were in vogue in the early 1960s. Even Hub Kapp’s cover of the Beatles’ “What You’re Doin’ to Me” – the flip side of “Little Volks” – features a fresh arrangement and sound:
[Pssst: Click on the triangle to hear ”What You’re Doin‘” by Hub Kapp And The Wheels]
Hub Kapp & the Wheels live –
Note auto tire as kick drum
Note that the songwriting credits on the original 45 release credit Lennon & McCartney as having birthed the song themselves:
Recorded at Phoenix’s Audio Recorders of Arizona
Thanks to Scram Magazine‘s piece on Hub Kapp And The Wheels, I learned that their second 45 was produced by David Axelrod and released on Capitol, having been recorded in Hollywood at the label’s legendary studios.
The group’s similarity to the Beatles didn’t end with their sound
Condello released his first proper solo album – Phase One – in 1968 on the Scepter label. His next major release, No Bathing in Pond, was released in 1984, interestingly, on Takoma Records — however, three years after visionary founder, John Fahey, had sold the label to Chrysalis.
Original-issue vinyl releases of Hub Kapp And The Wheels trade for two figures at auction, while one rare picture sleeve sold in 2014 for $199.
Hub Kapp Joins Steve Allen
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