This short-lived act was one of several US acts formed by pop svengali Kim Fowley as an outlet for his production and songwriting talents at Rendezvous Records.
Comprising (at any one time) B Bumble (real name R C Gamble), Don Orr, Terry Anderson and Jimmy King, this American outfit first came to attention with their 1961 release, Bumble Boogie (featuring Ernie Freeman at the piano) – an adaptation of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Flight Of The Bumble Bee – which reached #21 in the US chart.
It was the following year’s Nut Rocker (with pianist Lincoln Mayorga) that brought them lasting fame. Although it only reached #23 in the USA, this propulsive instrumental – an irreverent boogie-woogie reading of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite – fared much better in the UK where it soared to #1 and, ten years later, again reached the Top 20 on reissue.
The band completed a UK tour in 1962.
Although many compilations are available featuring variations on the same theme (including Bumble Boogie, Apple Knocker and Bee Hive) their one major original hit remains Nut Rocker, which is destined for immortality. At least in Britain.
The song was re-issued on the Stateside label to become a British Top 20 hit in June 1972.
R C Gamble