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Various Artists: Psychedelic States

Arkansas In The 60s Vol. 1

[cover art]

2006 compilation of mostly unknown/obscure '60s groups from Arkansas. Track 25 is a cover of the Robbie Robertson song "He Don't Love You (And He'll Break Your Heart)", that Levon and the Hawks orginally released in 1965 as the B-side of US and UK 45 singles. The cover version here was recorded by garage band The Romans from Little Rock, AR, released as a 45 single in 1965 (My Records 2908 A-side).

The Romans

By Chris Bishop
Copied from Garage Hangover

Out of Little Rock, Arkansaas, the Romans were Gary Hall lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Phil Miller lead guitar, Rocky Hestes keyboards and vocals, Charles Wycott bass, and Greg Kempner on drums.

Earl Fox began the E&M Recording studios in 1959, and started the My label in early 1966. The Romans were one of the first bands featured on the label.


"You Do Something to Me" uses one of the earliest recorded examples of phasing to create a hypnotic effect. I wonder if the phasing was intentional or if it happened by accident and the group went with it. The flip is an excellent folky ballad, "I'll Find a Way". This was released in a sleeve with a photo of the band in Roman legionnaire costumes in May of 1966. As far as I know it was the only 45 on My issued with a picture sleeve.

Jerry Blacklaw wrote "You Do Something to Me", "I'll Find a Way" and the flip of their second 45, "I Just Had to Fall (in Love)". Jerry was a student at Central High in Little Rock who was brought in specifically to write songs for the Romans. In later years he composed religious songs.

In October of '65 they released their second 45, choosing to do a cover of Levon and the Hawks' "He Don't Love You", written by Robbie Robertson. (Did the group know Levon Helm was from Marvell, Arkansas, east of Little Rock?)


In 1967 the band was moving in a soul-oriented direction, adding a two man horn section of Bob Younts on sax and Bobby Lincoln on trumpet. Richard Shook replaced Charles Wycott on bass, and Jim Matthews took over on drums for Greg Kempner. These Romans cut a third record, "Think It Over" / "You Won Your Victory", the latter song, written by new bassist Richard Shook, sounding very much like Wilson Pickett's "Ninety Nine and a Half".

They soon changed their name to Merging Traffic and released their last 45 on "My, Ain't No Need (In Me Fooling Myself)" / "Something Special". Decca signed the band for one 45, "Bit by Bit" / "Deep in Kentucky", which had some local chart success, notably in Connecticut and Rochester, NY.

Some members reunited for a show of Little Rock bands in 1999.


  1. The Light Brigade : Baby You Don't Care
  2. The Romans : You Do Something To Me
  3. The Fone Book Plight Of The Yearner
  4. The Wig/Wags I'm On My Way Down The Road
  5. The Chaps : Tell Me
  6. The Rubber Band : Forever Friday
  7. The Dutch Masters The Expectation
  8. The Esquires : Sadie's Ways
  9. The Romans : I'll Find A Way
  10. The Egyptians : Steppin' On Up
  11. The Culls Midnight To Six Man
  12. The Spires Of Oxford : But You're Gone
  13. The Magic Sounds Love Can Be So Fine
  14. The Bar Boys Hit The Road Jack
  15. The Reknown It Ain't Alright With Me
  16. The Rubber Band : Below Up, Above Down
  17. The Mercenaries : Take It All
  18. Paul Allen (13) Cash For Your Trash
  19. Rick Durham & The Dynamics I Got My Eyes On You
  20. The Reknown Leave
  21. The Vipers : In Vain
  22. The Chaps : Remember To Forget Her
  23. The Egyptians : Suzanne
  24. The Shadows : It Breaks My Heart
  25. The Romans : He Don't Love You (And He'll Break Your Heart)
  26. The Light Brigade : Lonnie's Song
  27. The Mercenaries : Things Found Here
  28. Five By Five Apple Cider

Various Artists - Psychedelic States: Arkansas In The 60s Vol. 1 - 2006 - Gear Fab Records GF-222

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