Forgotten series: Don and the Goodtimes – Don and the Goodtimes (1994)

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Not only do Don and the Goodtimes boast a library of great music, but their family tree is quite interesting.

To begin with, the band, which formed in 1964 in Portland, Oregon, featured Don Gallucci from the Kingsmen. Charlie Coe and Pete Ouellette, who both played in an early incarnation of Paul Revere and the Raiders, were also members of the band. In 1966, Jim Valley departed Don and the Goodtimes to join Paul Revere and the Raiders, with Charlie Coe soon following suit to hook up once again with the colonial-costumed teen idols.

Needless to say, a strong Paul Revere and the Raiders connection runs through the band!

Extensive touring, countless television appearances and generous spreads in the fan magazines gave Don and the Goodtimes loads of exposure. Primed to set the world alight with their handsome faces and terrific tunes, the band migrated to Los Angeles. Although a number of their discs were heavily aired in certain quarters of the country, they never managed to glean a national top 40 hit single. It seemed as if the band was always mere inches away from attaining super stardom.

Spanning the years 1965 to 1968, Don and the Goodtimes (Jerden Records) is a 21-track collection presenting the finest hours of the band. In their infancy, they specialized in stomping frat rockers, powered by smoking saxophone fills and rousing choruses. Covers of “Money” and “Louie Louie” demonstrate how tight and energetic Don and the Goodtimes were, while “There’s Something On Your Mind” slithers and slinks to a slow burning blues groove.

Blistering rhythms, compounded by menacing smirks and driving guitar licks lend “I’m Real” and “Little Sally Tease,” which was rendered by the Standells in an equally exciting manner, a flat-out garage rock feel. Cut of a softer fabric is “There Is Love,” a heartstopping ode to an earth angel. Shimmering with crisp arrangements, touching lyrics and haunting melodies, the gentle song showed Don and the Goodtimes moving in a more sophisticated and pop oriented direction.

Ignited by the tinkling trills of a piano, “I Could Be So Good To You” proved to be the band’s best selling single. Teeming with joy, the exuberant tune, with its grand harmonies and glowing delivery, plugs in as a pure pop classic. Psychedelic impressions blanket the moody and meditative “Colors Of Life” and “You Were Just A Child” teeters and reels to a rush of dizzy tempos and busy keyboard work.

Flush with hopelessly catchy songs, advanced by solid instrumentation and big and bubby vocals, Don and the Goodtimes asserts what an exceptional band they were. Those with an affinity for groups like the Knickerbockers, the McCoys, the Turtles, the Monkees and yes, Paul Revere and the Raiders are bound to admire the spirited sounds of Don and the Goodtimes.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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  • I really enjoyed this band. They were regulars on “Where the Action Is” towards the end of that show’s existence, and their singles are quite good.

    Some of the band members later formed Touch, a progressive rock band which was as far away from Don and the Goodtimes’ sound as could possibly be.

  • R Stuart

    They put on a terrific live show. I especially recall their cover of We Gotta Get Out of this Place.

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