|David M. McKee|
5th Jul 2011
| ||In 1961, Henry Bellinger and Johnny Lageman went to H.B. Barnum in Hollywood, California, who introduced them to an up and coming company called Star Revue, owned by Ron Barrett. The duo recorded two tracks entitled ‘Stick Shift’ and ‘Cruising’. Ron Barrett had an idea to make the ‘A’ side, ‘Stick Shift’, even better. Ron recalls, “We had a great song about a car, but no car! ‘Stick Shift’ needed something to set it off…but what?"|
Ron asked the engineer if he had a sound library. He listened to car sound after car sound. Porsche, Ford. Then he heard just the right sound! He wasn’t sure what kind of car it was, but that was it. So he put the car sound in the beginning and then brought the music up. He felt it sounded great but needed a finish. The engineer said, “What about a crash ending?” Ron replied, “No. We don’t need a crash.” “I’ve got it!” Ron said, “What about getting stopped by the cops?” Ron searched and found the perfect police chase sound effect. He put the effects together, edited the works and had the record pressed on his Star Revue label.
Hot Rods and street racing were hot in the summer of 1961 and the song needed airplay. Ron had been introduced to Sonny Bono a few years before and he called him up to help. For three weeks or more, Ron and Sonny called every radio station from Bakersfield to San Diego. With the help of Sonny the song received immediate airplay. It wasn’t long after that Sue Records came calling. They were very interested for the Duals and ‘Stick Shift’ to go national on their label.
With Sue behind the record, sales in America and abroad grew tremendously. The Duals went to Philadelphia and New York to perform on American Bandstand and at the Apollo Theatre. Before leaving Sue, the Duals cut an album under the title of ‘Stick Shift’, though it did not include the original coupling, ‘Cruising’.