Friday, 19 May 2017


Recently I took care about Vinnie Bell's debut single and album, both released in 1960. Before I proceed with his following solo releases, I think it's worth exploring a few singles released by other groups on which he guested during the previous years.

These records feature Bell's guitar mastery - sometimes also crediting him as a composer - and are important because they present the first recorded evidences of his tricks and effects.

The first post in this mini-series is dedicated to The Gallahads "Silently b/w Barracuda", a single released in 1958, which - as far as I know - is the earliest record featuring Vinnie Bell - credited as Vincent Gambella, his birth name - on guitar.

For a detailed biography of Vinnie Bell, I suggest that you read this other post of mine.

The Gallahads biography is available here on the great White Doo-wop Collector blog.

The Gallahads, circa 1956

Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. Silently (2:11)
02. Barracuda (2:26)

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in March 2017 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the original item.

Please have a look at the comments section for the download link.

Produced by Lee Schapiro and featuring an orchestra conducted by Billy Mure, "Silently b/w Barracuda" was released by Vik, then a subsidiary of RCA, with catalogue number 4X-0332 sometimes during the summer of 1958. Unfortunately the copy in my possession is housed in a plain white sleeve, but at the time of release it was probably offered in a company sleeve similar to the one that I tried to faithfully reconstruct as the opening image of this post.

In France, the two songs were included on the first side of a four tracks EP entitled "Barracuda", released in 1959 by RCA with catalogue number 75.467. The tracks on the flipside, namely "Steady Man" and "Best Wishes", were both culled from this other single. It is interesting to note that the Bell-driven instrumental track "Barracuda" - which didn't feature any vocals from The Gallahads - was given more prominence than their Doo-wop numbers.

Side A features "Silently", a song composed by Dick Wolf and Billy Mure;this catalog of copyright entries returns a "26 June 1958" as registration date. The song was briefly reviewed in the August 9, 1958, issue of The Cash Box magazine: «The boys work vocally on this end as they present a shuffle beat ballad with Jack Vincent in the lead. Gal chorus accompanies the group's hushed vocal technique.»

Side B offers "Barracuda", which according to the same catalog mentioned above, was written by Marilyn Christina, Arlene Davis and Grace Brown and was copyrighted on "3 July 1958". The center label includes a "Featuring Vincent Gambella" credit but doesn't mention his instrument. The following short review is taken, once again, from The Cash Box magazine; it praises Bell's guitar work but wrongly assigns its merit to the group: «The Gallalads display their instrumental talents on an excellent cha cha item that could take off. Side has a number of fascinating instrumental gimmicks and a wonderful dance beat.»

Vinnie Bell in the early '60s

The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered single, enjoy!

More information about The Gallahads and Vinnie Bell is available here:

If you have any other useful information about this post or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!



    If you download this file please consider leaving a comment, your feedback is important!

    Please let me know if the link is broken and I'll do my best to quickly fix it.

  2. Enjoy this very much. Thanx....!


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