45 ken callies   wild rose bw dark dawn vinyl 01


Callies, Ken - Wild Rose b/w Dark Dawn

Format: 45
Label: Wild Rose Records WR 008
Year: 197
Origin: Edmonton - Calgary - Edmonton, Alberta, 🇨🇦
Genre: country, folk
Value of Original Title: $20.00
Make Inquiry/purchase: email ryder@robertwilliston.com
Release Type: Singles
Websites:  No
Playlist: 1970's, Alberta, Country & Western


Side 1

Track Name
Wild Rose

Side 2

Track Name
Dark Dawn


45 ken callies   wild rose bw dark dawn vinyl 02

45-Ken Callies - Wild Rose bw Dark Dawn VINYL 02

45 ken callies   wild rose bw dark dawn vinyl 01

Wild Rose b/w Dark Dawn


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In 1964, at 17, Ken Callie left his hometown of Edmonton for Calgary. By 1968, he was in the studio at HMS in Calgary, laying down his first recordings. Those sessions birthed two singles: 'Love to Me' paired with 'My Little Girl' on HMS 45M1, and 'R. U. Cumming?' coupled with 'Walkin' Blues' on HMS 45M3. Ken recalls 'R. U. Cumming?' as a lighthearted venture, an excuse to really thrash the hell out of his Gibson SG Junior. He recalls, "That laughter you hear at the start of 'R. U. Cumming' was part of our plan to enter the stage clad only in flesh-colored jockstraps and white robes. As we announced ourselves as 'the Clymaxe,' we shed the robes, much to the audience's delight." Its flip side, 'Walkin' Blues,' showcased his garage prowess. With a scant three-word chorus, 'R. U. Cumming?' has become a collector's gem, with original vinyl commanding a hefty $2,000.00, making it the most valuable per-word chorus in Canadian music history - an unexpected Clymaxe! Yet, radio stations balked at its explicit content, refusing to play it.

Undeterred, Clymaxe continued performing at numerous gigs and outdoor events, even venturing into the Battle of the Bands in Grande Prairie in 1968. However, fate intervened when Norm decided to leave the group after getting married, causing them to miss out on the competition. In a surprising turn of events, while on their journey home, they received unexpected news on the radio - they had won the Battle of the Bands by a landslide, despite not even performing - the crowd had spoken, making them instant favorites!

In the early 70s, Ken Callie found success in the country music scene with his hit 'Wild Rose', released on Wild Rose Records WR 008, featuring 'Dark Dawn' on side 2. Ken recalls: "the lyric in wild rose "lookin at the bluesky on the dollar" is a town that was pictured on the old Canadian one dollar bill at the time. it was in bluesky where I first met Rose a very pretty native girl. She wasnt really wild, I just added that for the song. The lyrics "why do women do the things they do like goin out and gettin a tattoo" was written at the time when i had just split with my steady and next time I saw her she had some guys name largely tattooed on her leg. I guess that's the vengence part. The next lyrics "he was just a drummer from L.A. his rose came and took him away" our drummer at the time was from L.A. and girlfriend did come up to where we were and convinced him to quit the band and go home to L.A. The lyrics "if you have a thorn you must remove it" came from the bible. I was stuck for the next line so I randomly opened the bible and pointed to a line. It said "if thy right offened thee cut it off, if thy right eye offened thee pluck it out", I took it to mean if somethings bothering you get rid of it."

Meanwhile, Ken Callie's lifelong friendship with Gaye Delorme led to collaboration, with Gaye drawing inspiration from Ken's composition 'Dark Dawn' for fellow Edmontonian Tommy Chong's theme song, 'Things Are Tough All Over', in the Cheech and Chong movie. Gaye's popular track 'The Rodeo Song' was also inspired by Ken's lyrical talent, stemming from their shared experience of driving an old truck to perform at a winter rodeo.

Today, Ken still proudly calls Edmonton home, where his love for humor remains steadfast - though the Gibson is no more, having been sold off in a partially destroyed state, replaced by a pacemaker. Here's hoping the pacemaker outlasts the Gibson!
-Robert Williston, May 19, 2024


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