At some point, the Gemini Five lost Nugent and Korrus and picked up a new drummer, Eugene Rickey, and morphed into the Oddballs. The band's schtick consisted of dressing in ridiculous outfits such as a straw hat, sportscoat with a t-shirt and tie, and pants ripped at the leg. (But perhaps the oddest quality of all is that they still played straight-up rockabilly numbers in 1966!) The Oddballs headed up to Ace Recording Studios in Boston to record two tunes penned by Mitch in the late 1950s, "Rockin' In The Jungle" — complete with monkey noises by Gene Burrows — and "That's My Baby." These tracks wound up on the now-infamous Rocket label (home of Mel McGonnigle's mega-raw "Rattle Shakin' Mama" from 1958), and though the exact date is unknown, Mitch states it definitely was after the Gemini Five, placing the release most likely in early 1966.
|The Oddballs live at the Ritz Cafe in Westerly, R.I. From left: Mitch Wayne, Eugene Burrows and Richard Thomas (with Eugene Rickey on drums in the background). Photo courtesy of Mitch Wayne.|
Mitch continued to play music throughout the decades, though he has lost track of his Gemini Five and Oddballs bandmates. He still enjoys a vibrant solo country career and his new music can be found here.
Attention: Rip It Up RI still needs a copy of the Oddballs "Rockin' In The Jungle" for the local collection. If anybody out there has a copy, please get in touch!
THE GEMINI FIVE
A Go Go Baby / Can't Say No
Planet (No. 56) Sept. 1965
Rockin' In The Jungle / That's My Baby
Rocket (110) 1966?