- Compilation and notes by Alec Palao
- Includes The Kitchen Cinq’s complete LHI sessions, comprising the Everything But album and non-LP singles as well as rare sides by the act’s earlier incarnations as The Illusions and The Y’Alls
- Fully remastered audio with three previously unissued cuts
- Extensive liner notes featuring interviews with Cinq members Jim Parker, Mark Creamer, and Johnny Stark, along with manager Tom Thacker and producer Suzi Jane Hokom
Lee Hazlewood’s LHI flagship group, The Kitchen Cinq, had everything but one elusive factor: success.
Formed as The Illusions (and briefly The Y’alls) in Amarillo, Texas, the group blended garage punk with killer harmonies and a slight sense of the absurd. Picking up steam locally in the mid-‘60s, the members started to think about cracking it on a bigger scale, and, in 1966, moved to LA. “Almost immediately upon arrival, we auditioned for Lee,” says guitarist/vocalist Mark Creamer. “He said, ‘Deal.’” Another of Hazlewood’s coterie, Suzi Jane Hokom, was charged with producing the group, making her a de facto female pioneer in the industry.
By 1968, The Kitchen Cinq issued a total of five impressive singles and one album, Everything But. They recorded a surprisingly vast amount of material, all of which is collected here. Their version of The Beau Brummels’ “Still In Love With You Baby” was a regional hit in many cities, but they were still chasing a big hit, and the LA dream was wearing thin. In the end, the industry burned them out: the endless gigging, the radio spots, the long journeys–including an ill-fated East Coast tour that required them to drive from LA to Florida in three days. “I think LA ate the Texas boys; I really feel that way,” says guitarist/vocalist Jim Parker.
The group split in ’68, and the members spread off into bands including Them, rock outfit Armageddon and, eventually, careers in studios. One–temporary member J.D. Souther–has a recurring role on the popular soap opera Nashville. The Kitchen Cinq was just a springboard for each of them, but listening to these overlooked works of beat-pop brilliance, you can’t help but wonder why it didn’t work out for the Texans at the time. Their songs–all of them–live on in this anthology.