The JuJus “You Treat Me Bad 1965-1967”

The Jujus

Of all the regional garage bands that were never given the opportunity to record an album, the JuJus were amongst the very best.  They formed in 1964 and played a mixture of frat rock, British Invasion influenced teenbeat and classic garage rock sounds all around the local clubs of Grand Rapids.  Their early tracks can be heard on the above 2009 Cicadelic reissue, it’s an excellent sampling of the group’s career.   The early tracks have saxophones, sappy lyrics and muddy sound but are good for what they are – great frat rock and teenbeat. 

In 1965 the group would cut vocalist/guitarist Ray Hummel’s “You Treat Me Bad/Hey Little Girl” for Fenton.  Fenton was a local label run by electronic/production genuis  Dave Kalmbach and business partner Bruce Smith.  Fenton would cut many, many garage classics but You Treat Me Bad stands out as one of the label’s best.  The vocals are snotty and the tempo is driving; You Treat Me Bad would eventually hit number 2 on local radio.   The JuJus second 45 was cut in Kingtones guitarist Phil Robert Jr.’s basement studio and issued in a picture sleeve on the United label in 1966.  Both sides of “I’m Really Sorry/Do You Understand Me” are superb.  Do You Understand Me has guitar lines straight out of the Stones’ Last Time and is achored down by a nice fuzz solo.  Both recordings sound very crude and primitive but hold a special place in many garage fans’ hearts – this was some of the best rock n roll being pumped out of Michigan at the time.

The JuJus lineup would change quite a bit from 1964 to 1967.  Eventually the group would break up after losing core band members Ray Hummel, drummer Bill Gorski and saxophone player Max Colley.  But before throwing in the towel they would cut a few more songs in 1967 for a possible single release.  The JuJus were constantly evolving and by this time they had grown into a more experimental unit.  They would record two songs that year:  Sometime Or Another and If You Really Love Me.  The latter was a nice slice of power pop with pretty vocal harmonies and a quality guitar oriented arrangement.  Sometime Or Another, a song that was good enough for an A-side release, was the JuJus at their most psychedelic and adventurous.  This track could compete with any “big group’s” best single and was notable for its distorted vocals, blazing fuzz guitar solo and introspective lyrics.  It sounded like a hit but was probably a bit downbeat and too experimental for top 40 radio. 

The above reissue is one of the best garage rock offerings I’ve heard in quite some time.  Cicadelic gives you the classic singles, a good 1965 Ray Hummel Fenton 45 ( in which he is backed by the JuJus) and a slew of quality outtakes.  There are no lame covers and the sound quality is excellent.  The JuJus were a great group whose music still burns brightly in the memories of Michigan locals.  This is mandatory listening for anyone interested in pure rock n roll.

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“I’m Really Sorry”

:D CD Reissue | 2009 | Cicadelic | buy from cicadelic ]

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  • Ogie

    Fenton has released a 2 CD set: Scream Loud: The Fenton Story with most of the recordings made at the little movie theatre in Sparta Michigan that was their studio; Features Pedestrians, The Quests, JuJus, Lyn and the Invaders and tons more….


  • Ogie

    Addendum to above comment, track listings, band etc…right here:

  • Cool our local cult heroes getting reissued on CD (got the 80’s cassettes & the 90’s cdrs) so this was a nice unexpected release.

  • matt

    Max Colley is now my band teacher at Northview Highschool ,and a very successful marching band directer.


    THE JUJUS – You Treated Me Bad (Ray Hummel III Records RH365) vinyl LP, with booklet!

    Compiled from the impressive mastertape collection of The JuJus lead singer, guitarist, and main songwritter Ray Hummel III. This all official LP includes no less but 14 of the very best cuts from 1964-1966 ever recorded by this legendary 60s garage rock and roll outfit from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Side one blasts off with The JuJus monster 1965 garage rock and roll hit YOU TREAT ME BAD in perfect soundquality, followed by four phenomenal previously unreleased studio tracks from early 1966 that are ONLY AVAILABLE ON THIS LP: AS TEARS GO BY (a faithful cover version of The Rolling Stones track from the unreleased 1966 Phil Robert’s Studio recording session), IT’S GONNA BE ALRIGHT (unreleased studio version from 1966 that is different from all other versions), FINE DAY (killer different studio version from the unreleased Phil Robert’s Studio mastertapes. It was recorded at the height of The JuJus career in February 1966), and COME ON CHILDREN (best version of one of their best cuts, also from the completely unreleased 1966 Phil Robert’s Studio tapes) Side one is closing out with another killer high energy 60s garage nugget from 1965 entitled CRYIN’, plus HEY LITTLE GIRL, the fantastic mid-fast 50s rock and roll blended flipside of YOU TREATED ME BAD. Side Two is opening with a fast surf instrumental from 1964 called FLAKE OUT. Next up is The JuJus beautiful unique arrangement of the 60s ballad DON’T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING, which is a gem of a track and another highlight on this LP. SHE’S MY GIRL appears in the by far best version (also from the unreleased 1966 Phil Robert’s Studio tapes) complete with a rave up to close out the song, and fantastic lead vocals by Ray. Ritchie Valens would have been proud of The JuJus fabulous 1964 version of Donna, which as it turns out also used to be the name of Ray Hummel’s girlfriend back then. The record is closing out with The JuJus debut studio recordings from May 1965: HEY LITTLE GIRL (an early alternate version that clearly shows the 50s rock and roll influence in the band), SUMMERTIME (killer rocking version played The JuJus way), and RUNAROUND (a colossal 50s blended 60s garage rock and roll track with harp and super cool lead vocals by Ray — a bit like Bob Dylan meets Buddy Holly!)

    Highly recommended to anybody into 60s garage, the British invasion, 60s beat, The Rolling Stones, Beatles, and folk-rock like The Dovers, Bob Dylan etc., but also to the surf and 50s rock and roll crowd too!

    Soundquality is better than on all other previous JuJus anthologies. Beautiful cover artwork, with ultra rare never before seen photo material from the archive of Ray Hummel. It comes complete with extensive liner notes + comments about each track by The JuJus frontman Ray Hummel on the photo packed booklet insert.

    The best JuJus anthology ever made! Each track from this LP could have been a hit, and most of them are ONLY AVAILABLE ON THIS LP!

    First pressing is limited to just 500 copies, and will be slightly different to all future issues, so you better be quick!

    This LP is distributed by Feathered Apple Records, Clear Spot International, and some others! Checkout the website of Feathered Apple Records for full info, and ordering details!

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