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Albums Of The Week: Don & The Goodtimes | The Original Northwest Sound of Don & The Goodtimes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Rave up and turn on! Fueled by a classy high-stepping image and hot instrumental licks born of old R&B and Northwest stalwarts The Kingsmen, Wailers and Sonics, this collection from Don & The Goodtimes shows their always-excellent material, ranging from ’60s punk to sunshine pop.

In many ways, Don & The Goodtimes were one of the quintessential Northwest bands. Their credentials were impeccable — leader Don Gallucci was a classically trained pianist who, as a younger teenager, played keyboards for The Kingsmen on Louie, Louie. Early guitarist Pete Oulette had been in Paul Revere & The Raiders and his replacement, Jim Valley, had founded the white-hot Seattle band The Viceroys. When Valley got the call to become “Harpo” in The Raiders, his slot was filled by Charlie Coe, who had also played with The Raiders and Jack Ely And The Courtmen. The last Goodtime guitarist was Joey Newman, who had made his mark with The Enchanters and Merrilee Rush And The Turnabouts.

Their single I Could Be So Good To You, a Jack Nitzsche number, was their only national hit (No. 56) in spring 1967. Their Nitzsche-produced Epic album So Good was a curious amalgam of originals and British Invasion covers, along with a take on the classic Stagger Lee.

Their earlier sound is much more raw, but no less commercial — You Were Just A Child could have been a national hit. The dynamics and bridge in this are killer, as is the pulverizing fuzz bass. I’m Real may be the punkiest Don And The Goodtimes got; Note the cool reference to L.A. disc jockey “The Real” Don Steele. Other cuts like like Make It are as Northwest as they come. Rough and raunchy, this hot instrumental was the B side of their first single.”