Skip & Flip

Skip & Flip were the Arizona-based pre-British Invasion pop duo comprised of schoolmates Gary Paxton ("Flip") and Clyde Battin ("Skip"). They scored two Top Twenty hits in 1959, "Cherry Pie" (number 11 pop) and "It Was I" (number 11 pop), produced by Kim Fowley, but their career as a duo was short-lived. Paxton became a successful producer and recording engineer, working with the Association (Paxton engineered, along with producer Curt Boettcher -- their Top Ten MOR-pop hit "Along Comes Mary," the number one hit "Cherish," and the hilarious pop-psych abomination "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies." Paxton and Fowley subsequently masterminded Paul Revere and the Raiders' first hit, "Long Hair" and in 1962, they helped launch the Rivingtons, a West Coast-based vocal group who is best known today for their string of early ‘60s novelties, especially the self-penned "Papa Ooh Mow Mow." Paxton went on to become the brains behind Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers' colossal "Monster Mash," a huge hit in 1973. Battin, meanwhile, went on to become a true Hollywood cowboy. Many of his songs frequently concerned themselves with the movie business, real and imagined. He formed a country-rock group the Evergreen Blueshoes in the mid-‘60s and he later joined the Byrds (from 1969 to 1972), playing bass and singing. The group recorded Fowley's "Citizen Kane" song for their Untitled album. After leaving the Byrds, Battin joined both the Flying Burrito Brothers and the New Riders of the Purple Sage. He recorded a debut self-titled solo album (featuring a song about silver screen legend Valentino in 1971, which featured backing by former Byrds members Clarence White and Roger McGuinn, and a guest appearance by Spanky McFarlane of Spanky & Our Gang. ~ Bryan Thomas

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