Billy Bumble & the Stingers

This short-lived act was one of several US acts formed by pop svengali Kim Fowley (b. 21 July 1942, Manila, the Philippines) as an outlet for his production/songwriting talents at Rendezvous Records. Their 1961 release, ‘Bumble Boogie’ (featuring Ernie Freeman at the piano), an adaptation of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘The Flight Of The Bumble Bee’, reached number 21 in the US chart. It was, however, the following year’s ‘Nut Rocker’ (with pianist Lincoln Mayorga) that brought them lasting fame. Although it only reached number 23 in the USA, this propulsive instrumental, an irreverent boogie-woogie reading of Pyotr Ill’yich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, fared much better in the UK where it soared to number 1 and, 10 years later, again reached the Top 20 on reissue. The band - B. Bumble (who at this juncture was R.C. Gamble (b. Spiro, Oklahoma, USA), Terry Anderson (b. Harrison, Arkansas, USA; guitar), Jimmy King (rhythm guitar) and Don Orr (drums)) - completed a UK tour in 1962. Although only compilations are available featuring variations on the same theme, ‘Bumble Boogie’, ‘Apple Knocker’ and ‘Bee Hive’, their one major original hit remains ‘Nut Rocker’ - it is set for immortality.

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