The Fifth Man

As mentioned in an earlier “Banshee” post, “Bottoms Up” was a last-minute affair, literally an afterthought in a 4-hour recording session focused almost exclusively on preparing the A-side. When queried recently about the 1959 Ace Recording Studios’ session in Boston that produced “Banshee,” bandleader Hap Snow stated, “we viewed the song as filler, nothing more than a required B-side.”

A bit of mystery surrounds it, too, because according to the printed record label, the writers of the instrumental were Art Bearon and someone named D’Angelo. Yet no one seems to remember the rest of his name.

Hap Snow's Whirlwinds - Bottoms Up 1959 Fleetwood Records

Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds – Bottoms Up (1959) Fleetwood Records

There was a fifth musician that was invited to sit in that day, a common occurrence in this time period, in addition to Bearon, Harry Lewis, James K. “Hap” Snow, and Stefano Torossi. This unnamed fellow Williams student is believed to have played bass guitar. Could D’Angelo and he be one and the same?

Below find a video for “Bottoms Up” that uses scuba diving footage shot at Blue Corner, Palau on 19 June 2004, courtesy of the three divers: Kelly Barnett, Ian McKinnon, and CT Snow:

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