Nightcrawlers, The

The NightcrawlersThe Nightcrawlers were a regional Daytona Beach, Florida band with a hit single, “The Little Black Egg”, recorded in 1965. The single ultimately reached 85 on the national charts after its third re-release in 1967. The group had three other singles “Cry”, “A Basket of Flowers” and “I Don’t Remember”. The five original members were: Pete Thomason, Sylvan Wells, Robbie Rouse, Chuck Conlon and Tommy Ruger.

Their sound is best described as sparse folk rock, popularized by The Byrds, The Beau Brummels, etc. They did one LP album for Kapp Records, but the original lineup disbanded in 1966, before the final (and most popular) release of “The Little Black Egg”. The reformed Nightcrawlers did one more single for Kapp, “My Butterfly” written by band members Sylvan Wells and Rick Hollinger, in a more hard rock vein and then disbanded. The original main songwriter, Charlie Conlon, later reformed the group under the name “Conlon and the Crawlers”, although the group never recorded again after 1967. The group continued with different members and eventually disbanded in 1970.

Although the group never gained wide fame, the simple hook of “The Little Black Egg” destined it to become a favorite cover for the garage bands of each musical era since the ’60s. In 2000, a retrospective CD with 24 cuts was released by Big Beat/London, England. On September 19, 2008, the world premier of the film “Cracking The Egg: The Untold Story of The NightCrawlers” was held at the 6th annual Daytona Beach Film Festival. Outsider music specialist Irwin Chusid claimed that the song started his interest in “odd songs”.

At the behest of Ajaye Agency in Cincinnati, Rick Hollinger reformed the Nightcrawlers in 1968 in Tallahasse, Florida, for the express purpose of taking them to Ohio because the song “Little Black Egg” was enjoying a resurgence. Besides Rick, the group members were Gary Sockwell on drums, Eddie Everette on lead guitar and vocals, Rod Vaillancourt on keyboards and vocals and Steve Flacy on bass guitar. They worked for years in a multi-state area but never issued additional recordings. Rod Vaillancourt and Steve Flacy went on to work with Adrian Belew in a band called Sweetheart and Rod later recorded with Artimus Pyle.

Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

    From the album The Little Black Egg
    The Little Black Egg

  • I Don’t Remember
  • The Little Black Egg