Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Smokey & His Sister: Cincinnati 60s Siblings

My good buddy, Tom Avazian, picked up a 45 for me by a duo I had never heard of before despite being on the almighty Columbia label.  As it turns out, Smokey and His Sister – like those master backmaskers, Jade – are an obscure psych-era group from Cincinnati!  “Creators of Rain” would peak at #121 for its one and only week on the pop chart, despite Columbia’s initially heavy (says this 45Cat contributor) promotional efforts:

“Creators of Rain”     Smokey And His Sister     1967

Smokey and His Sister would release two singles for Columbia in pop’s peak year, 1967, before they got shunted off to Warner Brothers.  Stewart Mason, in his hilarious AllMusic review, tells us that Columbia never got around to releasing a full-length album (that wouldn’t happen, in fact, for another 40 years thanks to the fine folks at Sundazed); only Warner Brothers would bestow that courtesy on the real-life Larry and Vicki Sims (if you can somehow find a copy – you might need to travel to Venezuela, unfortunately).

Smokey & His Sister even got a picture sleeve for their Columbia debut 45

Smokey & His Sister 45To further complicate matters, as pointed out by another 45Cat contributor, “though Mims wrote ‘Creators Of Rain,’ the ASCAP database erroneously credits the songwriting to Ian and Sylvia Tyson who recorded a cover (on orders from Columbia chief, Clive Davis) that was issued as a single in 1971.”

Columbia’s promotion for Smokey & His Sister’s second (and final) Columbia 45

Smokey & His Sister - promoCorrection:  Tom actually picked up the Warner Brothers album, not the Columbia single.

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