The Nightcrawlers “The Little Black Egg”

The Little Black Egg

What the Hell is that little black egg all about!? I’m still not sure, but ever since that jangly mess of a song got permanently stuck in my head, I’ve found myself wanting one too. If that egg’s anything like the tune, then it must be something good. It was certainly good enough to crack the billboard charts and secure The Nightcrawlers a spot in that pantheon of garage bands (along with the Syndicate of Sound and The Choir) with nothing more to offer than one remarkable song.

Well I’m glad to say that ain’t the case. With any of those bands. And especially Florida’s The Nightcrawlers, who were kind enough to leave behind a whole album of equally deranged folky-garage songs. Big Beat’s reissue of The Little Black Egg LP adds some fine bonus cuts that are sure to please both 60s punk and folk-rock fans alike. When they’re not bashing your head in with harmony laced stompers (“I Don’t Remember” “Who Knows”), they slip into a plaintive mood and climb quietly up and down a minor chord (“The Last Ship”). Perhaps the finest cut is the jangle-punk gem “Basket of Flowers” which sounds something like the early Turtles being pulverized in The Swamp Rats’ blender. Charlie Conlon’s often inscrutable lyrics and ability to chameleon his vocals to fit the songs gives the album a unique edge, making it stick out from the crowd like a priest in a strip club. A feat that very few mid-60s bands were able to pull off.

All this is enough to qualify LBE as an underappreciated classic, but what they should really be revered for is leaving us utterly devastated with what has to be one of the saddest songs ever recorded, “If You Want My Love”. This one could even give the almighty Hank Sr. a run for his money in the broken heart department. Prepare to be torn apart by slow, eerie guitars, sparse percussion and agony-laden lyrics: “My heart it was broken when you said…If you want my love, you have to die for it. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be mine.” Maybe? Damn, it doesn’t get much harsher than that.

The album was reissued on CD by Big Beat (Ace) with some great unreleased cuts along with some less charming Brit R&B imitations. The extensive liner notes feature an oral history by members of the band that may shed some light on the mystery of that damn egg. Read it and find out.

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“A Basket Of Flowers”

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  • Brendan

    Howdy Stranger, glad to have you @ risingstorm!

    love how these special garage albums can just grow and grow. The Rising Storm record took me a while but I can’t get enough of it now. i wish Little Black Egg had a youtube video, I’m dying to hear this song.

    ahh wait, I found a vinyl drop at Derek’s Daily 45.

  • Curt

    Did a guy by the name of Marshall Douglas ever play with The Nightcrawlers?

  • Stranger

    Hi Curt,

    The only band members i could find were: Tommy Ruger (drums), Rob Rouse (vocal, harmonica tambourine), Charlie Conlon (bass, vocal), Sylvan Wells (lead guitar), Pete Thomason (rhythm guitar, vocal)

    You can find some more info at this site:

  • Fred

    The orginal writers, Danny and Wayne Adkin and a drummer, red headed, can’t remember his name along with Fred Leffler wrote “The Little Black Egg”. They were from Kenton County Kentucky. This was wrote in mid 1964 and was recorded locally in Cincinnati Oh.. Leffler went on to writer other songs that became popular and writes until this day.

  • Stranger

    Hi fred. Thanks for the info. What band were these guys in when they recorded the song? Who else did Leffler go on to write for?

  • ME


  • marsj

    The actual guitarist that you hear on the studio recording for the The Little Black Egg is my neighbor, Tommy Moon. He is playing the catchy little riff that drives the song. They gave him an alias in the credits because he was a minor.

  • TC

    It’s on you tube now

  • Gail McCurry

    I remember living in the River House Apts in Daytona Bch. There was a guy name Rick Hollinger . I though he was in the band. I always was told he sang Little Black Egg.This was in the late 60,s.Now my son has a band and he asked me if I ever heard that song. It brought back a lot of memories. Was he in it or not. Thanks, Gail

  • Jason

    I have a problem with the Big Beat/Ace reissue…they do not include the group’s last single, which is agruably their finest…Butterfly. In addition, Chuck Colon and the Crawlers two singles, good as they are, aren’t included. The version/mix of Little Black Egg does not sound like the original single either, it lacks the crispness and verve of the original. But otherwise this is a pretty decent garage/folk-rock album. Stranger, good job in posting Basket of Flowers, it’s a great track.



  • Lee

    I always thought it was the song was about a bi- racial child which in the the mid sixties was a political hotbed and fit the times well.

  • Bob Sallese

    Check out the version recorded by Neighb’rhood Childr’n. It is awesome and better than the original. You can find it on iTunes.

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