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The Berries

The Berries - Night Winds / Valley of Three Tears - 7

Night Winds / Valley of Three Tears - 7"
Reo - 1965

Michael Panontin
This Toronto band may not have exactly been 'the berries', but they did manage to bequeath one curious garage seven-inch. The quirky, flute-flecked 'Night Winds' seems to have died without a trace upon release. But not for lack of trying. For one, the Berries had behind them the relative heft of the Bigland Agency, which counted among its clients acts like the Esquires, the Staccatos and the Big Town Boys. What's more, the November 8th, 1965 issue of RPM - definitely the closest thing to an industry bible in Canada at the time - features a somewhat gratuitous blurb by Hamilton deejay Mike Jaycock. To wit: "It has possible tendencies. They do a good change-up, and the flute adds a lot. The Berries vocal work is very good...a solid sound. I feel some of the guitar work leaves something to be desired. You might not agree. Certainly a sound to listen to and consider for your teen audience." Curiously, Billboard first made mention of 'Night Winds' as "the second release on the new Can Cut label from Quality", though I'm guessing that the Reo version is the only one out there. Near-mint copies go for about a hundred bucks these days.

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