Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rockin' Was Their Bizness


Somehow The Treniers don't get the credit they truly deserve. An acrobatic,comedic, rollicking hot jump blues band lead by twins Cliff and Claude Trenier, they got their start singing for swing band The Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra, and began their own thang, with elements of Louis Jordan, Cab Calloway,even Louis Prima (all of whom swung with humor), but they truly can't be denied as definitive precursors to Bill Haley. Most well known for one of the greatest baseball songs of all time "Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)", they also made memorable appearances in early rock and roll movies like The Girl Can't Help It and Don't Knock the Rock, and brought a truly rocking feel to The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1954, cooly cavorting with our boys Martin and Lewis. They stayed together in one form or another through the 80's, without ever achieving the kinda success they deserved, although surviving member Milt Trenier still performs periodically in Chicago to this day. It's impossible to keep your fingers from snapping and your head from bobbing and smiling while enjoying The Treniers sharp, snazzy effusiveness.

3 comments:

Bill Paige said...

Scott -- came by your blog via a post you left a few years ago on a gulcher/gizmos blog entry. your name jumped out 'cause I had just read an old letter I received from Eddie Flowers (aka E-Z Eddy, Eduardo Flores, etc.) in July 1976 that actually names you as the writer of "Mean Screen," from a piece you did in Boogie. Eddie says he rewrote the words, "Ken added the riffs, and it's my favorite Gizmos song."

small world.

Scotty D said...

Bill-I just reconnected with Mr. Flower and Mr. Highland after almost two decades because of the rerelease of the Gizmos stuff.Of course, Eddie is lying straight out (or has an impaired memory, trying to grab the glory for my teen attempt to write an Iggy song and also spotlight my fave film (still is) Scorsese's Mean Streets.
How are you connected to the whole Gizmos/fanzine shebang?

wayne said...

Man, one thing trips another. The Raggmop clip is killer and the brothers rock it proto-style, loopy and fun. Thank you, sir.