Operating out of Philadelphia, Cameo-Parkway was among the most successful independent record companies of the early 1960s, turning out a veritable production line of teen-friendly singles by artists such as Chubby Checker, the Orlons, the Dovells, Dee Dee Sharp and Bobby Rydell. This month sees the release on Ace of the latest batch of collections from the vaults of Cameo and sister logo Parkway in the shape of twofers from Dee Dee Sharp, the Dovells and self-appointed “Cool Ghoul” John Zacherle.
John Sebastian did the notes for the John Zacherle set. Yep, that John Sebastian, he of the Lovin’ Spoonful. It seems he was a bit of a Boris Karloff fan, which is how he first became aware of John Zacherle, who hosted re-runs of old horror movies on WCAU-TV out of Philadelphia in the late 1950s. The craze for scary movies spread to the record biz, which led to Zacherle reaching #6 with ‘Dinner With Drac’ in 1958. (OK, we’re a bit late for Hallowe’en with this release, but hey, there’s always next year.)
By Mick Patrick