It’s not exactly a secret, but the musical history of the 1960s is loaded with bands. A few got famous, some are still remembered, and many more hang in the purgatory of obscurity. From Los Angeles via Amarillo, TX, The Kitchen Cinq fell short of stardom but they definitely haven’t been forgotten; helping to insure their placement in the cultural memory is the most recent volume in Light in the Attic’s Lee Hazelwood Archive Series, When the Rainbow Disappears: An Anthology 1965-68. Collecting their LHI sessions, rare material as The Illusions and The Y’alls, and superb notes by Alec Palao, it’s out now on compact disc and double vinyl.
When the Rainbow Disappears carefully compiles the output of a worthwhile outfit, with The Kitchen Cinq’s background also shedding light on one of the decade’s more idiosyncratic pop artists in Lee Hazelwood. The set’s liners detail the Cinq’s struggles as the inaugural act on Lee Hazelwood Industries, the story providing supporting roles to vocalist Suzi Jane Hokom and fellow Amarillo scenester and future songwriter of note J.D. Souther.
Consisting of Dale Gardner on lead vocals, Mark Creamer on lead guitar, Jim Parker on rhythm guitar, Dallas Smith on bass, and Johnny Stark on drums, The Kitchen Cinq’s early Amarillo days were spent as The Illusions. Taken from two sessions, the five glimpses of these origins are amongst When the Rainbow Disappears’ best attributes.
Divided between three originals and two covers, these entries simultaneously illuminate the infancy of The Kitchen Cinq and present the fruits of a perfectly sturdy mid-‘60s rock ‘n’ roll band. More to the point, they got work; The Illusions’ ’65 date offers “Young Boy,” a solid beat-combo-styled number from Parker with harmonica and appealing tandem vocals and a surprisingly non-rote cover of “Searchin’” by The Coasters that surely went down a storm during gigs.