by John Wenz
This song wasn't The Smoke Ring's highest charting song (that honor belongs to 1969's cover-ballad “No, Not Much,” a song that doesn't sound a bit out of place with acts like The Association). And this song may be less Nuggets, more AM radio.
But this is a 1960s band that really edged on wider success. Opening dates with The Everly Brothers. Appearances on American Bandstand. Distribution by Buddha Records, a (mostly) bubblegum label and subsidiary of Sony. A later incarnation – just previous to the transition to the band MSFunk – included a young Tommy Shaw, who would go on to higher fame in Styx. Of late, they've been rediscovered on the Fading Yellow compilations, sort of the pop side to Nuggets proto-punk.
And that's all from a central station in Norfolk. There's another universe, another world, where Smoke Ring set radio standards. For now, the group settles for occasional reunion shows.