The Cryan’ Shames

The Cryan' ShamesFrom: Hinsdale, IL, USA

Originally known as The Travelers, The Cryan’ Shames formed in Hinsdale, Illinois. The original band was made up by Tom Doody (“Toad”), Gerry Stone (“Stonehenge”), Dave Purple (“Grape”), Denny Conroy, Jim Fairs, Jim Pilster (“J.C. Hooke,” so named because he was born with no left hand and wore a hook), and Bill Hughes. Their most successful moment was with their cover of The Searchers song “Sugar And Spice.”

In 1966, the band discovered that there was already a band going by The Travelers, so they needed to find a new name. J.C. Hooke stated that their difficulty in doing so was a “cryan’ shame,” and thus named the band. The band signed with Bob Monaco, the promotion manager for Destination Music, and their debut single was supposed to be George Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone.” However, the song was not released in the US due to publication issues. It did appear on their debut album. “If I Needed Someone” was soon followed by “Sugar And Spice,” a Tony Hatch song that was a hit in 1963 for The Searchers. The Cryan’ Shames’ version reached #49 in the USA.

Later in 1966, The Cryan’ Shames signed to Columbia. While they never achieved national success, their singles and three albums continued to sell well in the Chicago area. The band’s first album was heavily influenced by The Byrds. The album Sugar And Spice was recorded in just two days, but strengthened by cover versions of popular songs like “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place,” and “Hey Joe.” The album became a hit in Chicago and charted at #192 nationally.

Future singles were met with less success. Before the development of their second album, Stone left the band, who was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, and lineup changes followed. The Cryan’ Shames’ second album proved to be more successful, charting at #156. The band experimented with a combination of psychedelic rock and studio arrangements.

In 1968, several of the band’s key members quit the band, most notably, James Faire. Despite this, the group formed a new lineup and released their final album, Synthesis. The band incorporated progressive rock and jazz influences into their sound. The album charted lower than their previous effort, and was considered a disappointment. Finally, in December 1969, The Cryan’ Shames disbanded. The band eventually reunited and continues to tour. Pilster and Doody are the only remaining original members. Dave Purple passed away in June 2010, as did his replacement Isaac Guillory in December 2000.

Artist Info: Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1967 album Sugar And Spice
Sugar And Spice

  • Ben Franklin’s Almanac

From the 1967 album A Scratch In The Sky
A Scratch In The Sky

  • I Was Lonely When
  • In the Cafe
  • The Sailing Ship

From the 1968 album Synthesis

  • Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David Smith & Jones
  • Let’s Get Together


  • ‘A Scratch In The Sky’ LP Promo
  • ‘Synthesis’ LP Promo (Long)