Robbie & the Disciples - What Am I Gonna Do / I'll Know It
**** 45 rpm ****
Made in Canada .. Capitol 72357
Handwriting on label
Originally Ronnie Hawkins' backup band, Robbie Lane & the Disciples later gained attention as the band for Canadian CBC-TV's It's Happening. Comprised of guitarist Terry Bush, drummer Doug Copeland, harmonica player William Cudmore, keyboardist Paul Denyef, vocalist Robbie Lane, tenor saxophonist Paul Mifsud and bassist Gene Track, the group recorded several singles during the mid-'60s. (AMG)
Robbie Lane was leader of one of Toronto's most popular bands Robbie Lane & The Disciples which was made up of members from various Toronto suburban bands in the dawn of the early 60's. Robbie Lane And The Disciples received their big break in December 1963 when Ronnie Hawkins hired them as insurance for the soon to be defecting Hawks (who indeed did quit Hawkins' side to become The Band).
Hawkins would have the Disciples playing upstairs at the Hawks' Nest while the Hawks themselves played downstairs at the Le Coq d'Or with Hawkins himself running sets between the two floors.
With the departure of The Band, Robbie Lane And The Disciples ran double shift as Ronnie Hawkins And The Hawks while also maintaining their own name sake for recording purposes (though they did record three singles with Hawkins as The Hawks).
Their first Disciples recording was on Hawkins' Hawk Records label called "Fannie Mae" and was produced by Scott 'Professor Piano' Cushnie. The flipside, "She's The One", was a Dominic Troiano tune.
The follow-up single in 1964 was "Ain't Love A Funny Thing" and was produced by Hawkins alumnus Fred Carter and made the song a nominal hit.
By June 1965 Robbie Lane And The Disciples parted company with Ronnie Hawkins (who would soon replace the band with musicians known better as Crowbar). They hit a slow year following this but came back publicly as house band for CTV-TV's 'It's Happening' show.
Capitol Records saw them and soon signed them for an album and several singles of material. The first of these singles was the Dion (DiMucci) song "Sandy" in 1965 followed by "What Am I Gonna Do?" and finally the band's first original song released as an A-side, "You Gotta Have Love", both from 1966. The band would also take to recording the theme song "It's Happening" as a single in 1967.
The music director for the TV show was none other than Dr. Music himself, Doug Riley, who helped the Disciples land a television advertisement jingle for Baby Ruth chocolate bars. Members of the Disciples along with Riley recorded and released the song "Baby Ruth" under the pseudonym The Butterfingers.