30 Songs, 1 Hour, 28 Minutes

TITLE TIME
2:11
3:57
2:34
1:53
1:53
2:17
2:46
2:36
2:27
1:54
3:32
1:18
1:56
2:52
2:45
2:44
3:20
2:08
4:07
2:17
2:53
4:01
4:16
4:14
4:38
3:15
4:03
3:03
3:24
2:47

About The California Poppy Pickers

The California Poppy Pickers were one of several relatively anonymous studio projects assembled by Alshire label head Al Sherman to record budget-priced copycat LPs of '60's pop hits. Virtually all of the groups in question -- Fats and the Chessmen, Los Norte Americanos, and the Bakersfield Five, among them -- were helmed by producer and songwriter Gary Paxton, best-known for composing the novelty smash "The Monster Mash." In 1965, Paxton founded his own Hollywood recording studio, assembling a session crew that variously included guitarist Clarence White, bassist Jerry Scheff, and guitarist/fiddler Gib Guilbeau -- he also discovered brothers Rex and Vern Gosdin, releasing their country hit "Hangin' On" on his Bakersfield International label. By the late 1960s, Paxton was regularly licensing material to Alshire, and at Sherman's request, he put together the California Poppy Pickers to capitalize on the growing country-rock trend. Comprised of singers/multi-instrumentalists Ken Johnson and Dennis Payne, along with pedal steel guitarist Leo LeBlanc, the group released three 1969 LPs -- Sounds of '69, Hair/Aquarius, and Today's Chart Busters -- comprised primarily of covers and thinly-veiled rewrites. For reasons unknown, the fourth and final California Poppy Pickers album, Honky Tonk Women, was recorded without Paxton's involvement, and featured an entirely different lineup -- singer/guitarist Mike Messer, singer/bassist Don Larson, guitarist Randy Wilcox, and drummer Tom Slipp were, in reality, a Christian rock band called the Wilson McKinley, and they used the proceeds from their lone Alshire date to fund a self-released 1970 date titled Jesus People's Army: On Stage. ~ Jason Ankeny

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