West Michigan Mid-Sixties Bands

Ju Jus

Grand Rapids
Fenton, United

Ju JusThe Ju Jus

The Ju Jus are probably the best-known mid-sixties band from Grand Rapids. Their appearance on the first volume of the Pebbles compilation series pretty much guaranteed their legendary status.

Many of the band members went to Godwin High School in Grand Rapids. They formed around 1963, and Ray Hummel joined in 1964 after playing in some kind of jug band. Rick Stevens joined the band sometime in middle of 1965 after leaving a group called the Paeans, who recorded an unreleased single at the Fenton studio in Sparta.

Members

Ray Hummel III - vocals, guitar, harmonica
Rick Stevens - guitar
Max Colley, Jr. - sax
Bill Gorsky - drums
Rod Sheppard - bass/guitar
Bruce Essex - guitar

Releases

Fenton 1004 (1966)

  • A: You Treat Me Bad
  • Pebbles Vol. 1
  • Essential Pebbles Collection, Vol. 1
  • Best Of Michigan Rock Groups Vol. 1
  • B: Hey Little Girl
  • Pebbles, Vol. 8
  • United 121569/70 (1966)

  • A: Do You Understand Me?
  • Back From The Grave, Part 1
  • B: I'm Really Sorry
  • Highs In The Mid-Sixties, Vol. 19
  • Psychedelic Unknowns, Vol. 8
  • Let 'Em Have It, Vol. 1
  • Currently available

    Always Remembered - Never Forgotten by the JuJus - a CDR with the JuJus' original recordings, from the original master tapes. It includes exclusive stereo recordings of "Fine Day" and "Gentle Rain" by Ray Hummel III, plus alternate takes and songs not released on records before. Each CDR is individually autographed by Ray Hummel III, the lead singer of the band, and serially numbered. Click here to order.

    Known Unreleased Songs

    Originals written by Ray Hummel

  • Runaround
  • She's My Girl
  • There She Goes
  • I Love Her So
  • I'm Crying
  • Come on Children
  • Cover songs

  • It's Gonna Be Alright
  • Summertime
  • I'll Be There
  • Oh Donna
  • I Don't Wanna See You Again
  • Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'
  • As Tears Go By
  • Comments

    From the Pebbles, Volume 1 liner notes by Greg Shaw (bracketed text is from the original pressing of the album):

    Another fabulous, obscure record, this one appeared on the Fenton label of Grand Rapids, Michigan [around 1966], and is virtually unknown to outside of a small circle of local collectors. [This was an extremely prolific label, issuing more than 200 local records, though not all of them were punk-rock.] The singer reminds me of David Surkamp from Pavlov's Dog...could it be?

    From the Back from the Grave, Part One liner notes:

    The second and last release by the famed Ju Jus, this one without Ray Hummel, the mousy-voiced singer on "You Treat Me Bad," who left the group in '66 to form the Traffic Jams with Ray Vasquez of the Legends. The wild and mysterious buzzing noises on this song were made by a motorcycle brought into the studio and revved up for "special effects." The shattering glass heard after the crazed guitar break was a Coke bottle that got in the way of the bike during its trip across the studio.

    From the Highs in the Mid Sixities, Volume 19 liner notes:

    With singer Ray Hummel III, this W. Michigan band has thrilled thousands thru their previous appearances on '60's compilations. While they recorded mainly for the Fenton label (which still has an unreleased album in the can, though a limited-edition cassette has been issued), they made one single for another label, which has never before been reissued. Here it is.

    Ju Jus

    Last updated on May 17, 2004.
    Comments

    Can anyone supply the lyrics to "DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?" I would appreciate it very much. THE PSPOT thanks you!

    Posted by: Brian at July 19, 2004 10:48 PM

    ray hummel rocks. and he can sell some furniture like a mad man

    Posted by: john at September 26, 2005 10:42 AM

    Ray will be giving a class on "the art of selling montage" in the first week of december.

    Posted by: carl at October 24, 2005 11:07 AM

    Is this CDR still available? PLEASE? PLEASE?!

    Posted by: Ben at November 3, 2005 08:37 PM

    The CDR is available at The Corner Record Shop on Chicago Dr. in Grandville.

    Posted by: doug at November 17, 2005 10:49 PM

    The 1966 Godwin Heights High School annual "Wolverine" yearbook has a photo on page 40 of the Ju Ju's playing at the "Cinderella's Ball" Homecoming dance in the school cafeteria. Dale (GHHS-1969)

    Posted by: Dale Zalaoras at January 6, 2006 12:33 AM

    Just to let you know, I am the guy all the way to the right with the guitar on the very top picture. I joined the Ju Jus in 1966 after playing with Rick Stevens with the Paeons from Marne, Michigan at Kenawa Hills HIgh School. For reference, Rick Stevens joined the Air Force after leaving the Ju Jus. Rick died in a plane crash when flying relief supplies to Indians in New Mexico. It was nice to be able to look at this site and see the old memories once again. Thanks again for remembering us. Please if possible add my name to the above picture. Sincerely, Bruce Essex

    Posted by: Bruce Essex at January 6, 2006 08:31 PM

    Bruce, the Paeons are the whole reason I started this site! My pal's dad, Craig Phillips, told me about the band he was in and how they broke up when half the band joined the Jujus. That's when I started researching this whole scene. Wow, thanks for posting your comment.

    Posted by: Jake at January 7, 2006 09:40 AM

    Hey,is the JuJus cd still available? I`d LOVE a copy! Thanks!

    Charles

    Posted by: Charles at March 16, 2006 10:36 PM

    Max Colley Jr went on to become a high school band teacher and just got his Masters and is currently my band directer.

    Posted by: =] at May 1, 2007 03:59 PM

    In the interest of accuracy it should be noted that the drummer pictured was Bill Gorski (note spelling). I spent a few summers in the early 70's working in a factory with Bill and thoroughly enjoyed his company and his many tales of life as a Ju Ju.

    Coincidentally, for a brief period in '67 or '68 Ray Hummel III signed on as the manager for my little garage band "The Gize." Despite his seemingly affluent background, he seemed to have fallen on hard times and was looking for some way to make a living in rock and roll while he was waiting for Fine Day / Gentle Rain to hit the top of the charts. Unfortunately he had very little talent to work with in our case. Soon our parents made the decision that he had to go which absolutely crushed us at the time. I hope that Ray and Bill are alive and well and coping with life after rock and roll like the rest of us.

    Posted by: AJ at May 7, 2007 07:47 PM

    Want to buy a CD of the JuJus. Please advise as to how or where I can get this. Thanks, B.

    Posted by: Belinda Buck at February 18, 2008 09:46 PM

    I also would like to buy a CD of the JuJus. Please let me know where I can get one. Thanks

    Posted by: Yvonne at April 19, 2008 11:32 PM

    A band out of Detroit called "Tin Knocker" has a song that mentions "the Juju's Fenton 45." The song is called "Distracted" and it's on Cass Records. Incidentally, the lead singer is Jack White's brother, the dude from The White Stripes and The Raconteurs.

    Posted by: Lewis at June 17, 2008 12:10 PM

    I am still looking for a copy of a CD of the Ju Jus. Can anyone help me?

    Posted by: Yvonne at September 11, 2008 10:48 PM

    Bill Gorski and Brett, where are you guys? Let me know. Bruce.

    Posted by: Bruce at September 11, 2008 10:50 PM

    There is a new Cd on The JuJus that covers 1965-1967, for more information go to www.cicadeic.com

    Posted by: Cicadelic Records at January 18, 2009 02:12 PM

    There is a new JuJus CD that comes out on Jan.30,2009 available at
    www.cicadelic.com

    Posted by: Cicadelic Records at January 18, 2009 02:13 PM

    Max Colley, the sax player, is a teacher at my school. weird

    Posted by: alexander at May 21, 2009 03:13 PM

    Max "the Sax" Colley, is the coolest band teacher alive, and his kid Max III, is a famous trumpet player, currently out there playing with some of the biggest names in the game!

    Max never mentioned to us his days with the Juju's, so this was a neat discovery for me.

    Posted by: Rob Maier at September 30, 2009 12:17 PM

    I remember the JuJus very well. Bill Gorski's sister, Ion, hung around with the older sisters of my best friend. We all went to Godwin High School, as did most of the members, and the JuJus were as close to a real rock and rock group as we'd ever seen in Grand Rapids. I believe they participated in the Battle of the Bands at "The Place" back in '65 or '66. Great site. I really love the garage band period of music in the 60's. The film, "That Thing You Do" really captures the period accurately. Local and regional bands passed through middle America via state fairs and teen dance shows. It was great to experience it; the music industry is so different now.

    Posted by: NANCY at October 24, 2009 08:49 PM

    Ray Hummel ROCKS!

    Posted by: carl at November 12, 2009 05:23 PM

    Im looking for a copy of RAY HUMMELS FINE DAY and GENTLE RAIN 45. Can anyone help?

    Posted by: CARL at November 12, 2009 05:28 PM

    There's a copy on Ebay right now. Don't know if it's worth $100 to you. It has the picture sleeve.

    Posted by: jim at November 14, 2009 01:23 PM

    RAY HUMMEL III PRESENTS:

    THE JUJUS - You Treated Me Bad (Ray Hummel III Records RH365) vinyl LP, with booklet

    Compiled from the impressive mastertape collection of The JuJus lead singer, guitarist, and main songwritter Ray Hummel III. This all official LP includes no less but 14 of the very best cuts from 1964-1966 ever recorded by this legendary 60s garage rock and roll outfit from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Side one blasts off with The JuJus monster 1965 garage rock and roll hit YOU TREAT ME BAD in perfect soundquality, followed by four phenomenal previously unreleased studio tracks from early 1966 that are ONLY AVAILABLE ON THIS LP: AS TEARS GO BY (a faithful cover version of The Rolling Stones track from the unreleased 1966 Phil Robertís Studio recording session), ITíS GONNA BE ALRIGHT (unreleased studio version from 1966 that is different from all other versions), FINE DAY (killer different studio version from the unreleased Phil Robertís Studio mastertapes. It was recorded at the height of The JuJus career in February 1966), and COME ON CHILDREN (best version of one of their best cuts, also from the completely unreleased 1966 Phil Robertís Studio tapes) Side one is closing out with another killer high energy 60s garage nugget from 1965 entitled CRYINí, plus HEY LITTLE GIRL, the fantastic mid-fast 50s rock and roll blended flipside of YOU TREATED ME BAD. Side Two is opening with a fast surf instrumental from 1964 called FLAKE OUT. Next up is The JuJus beautiful unique arrangement of the 60s ballad DONíT LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING, which is a gem of a track and another highlight on this LP. SHEíS MY GIRL appears in the by far best version (also from the unreleased 1966 Phil Robertís Studio tapes) complete with a rave up to close out the song, and fantastic lead vocals by Ray. Ritchie Valens would have been proud of The JuJus fabulous 1964 version of Donna, which as it turns out also used to be the name of Ray Hummelís girlfriend back then. The record is closing out with The JuJus debut studio recordings from May 1965: HEY LITTLE GIRL (an early alternate version that clearly shows the 50s rock and roll influence in the band), SUMMERTIME (killer rocking version played The JuJus way), and RUNAROUND (a colossal 50s blended 60s garage rock and roll track with harp and super cool lead vocals by Ray -- a bit like Bob Dylan meets Buddy Holly!)
    Highly recommended to anybody into 60s garage, the British invasion, 60s beat, The Rolling Stones, Beatles, and folk-rock like The Dovers, Bob Dylan etc., but also to the surf and 50s rock and roll crowd too! Soundquality is better than on all other previous JuJus anthologies. Beautiful cover artwork, with ultra rare never before seen photo material from the archive of Ray Hummel. It comes complete with extensive liner notes + comments about each track by The JuJus frontman Ray Hummel on the photo packed booklet insert.
    The best JuJus anthology ever made! Each track from this LP could have been a hit, and most of them are ONLY AVAILABLE ON THIS LP!

    First pressing is limited to just 500 copies, and will be slightly different to all future issues, so you better be quick!

    THE JuJus LP on Ray Hummel III Records is distributed by Feathered Apple Records, Clear Spot International, and some others. Checkout the website of Feathered Apple Records for full info, and ordering details!

    Posted by: Ray Hummel III Records at March 21, 2011 03:33 PM

    Im so happy to have stumbled on this site and to see the JuJus being sold at Best Buy. I hardly know anything about the band, just bits and pieces. My dad is Ron Homrich (drummer) and he passed away in November 2005. If anyone has information or even memories please feel free to contact me. Im so interested in knowing this part of my Daddy's life.....Thanks, Missy

    Posted by: Melissa at July 28, 2011 03:58 PM

    Sorry, I thought it would post my email address.....mshoe0013@aol.com Thanks again..:)

    Posted by: meissa at July 28, 2011 04:00 PM

    Hi Bruce
    I thought you would like to know
    That Brett is just fine and he did
    not go golfing he went to Vietnam
    when he left the group
    Just want you to know how great it
    is to see the JuJus doing so well yet
    today
    How Cool is that
    Take Bruce and give Brett a call 532-0605

    Posted by: Wanda Stevens at November 13, 2011 08:39 AM

    Bruce
    Sorry I gave you the wrong number for Brett
    and I wanted to say take care
    Just email me back
    Wanda

    Posted by: Wanda Stevens at November 13, 2011 09:02 AM

    My email Address is Stevenswanda5@gmail.com

    Posted by: Wanda Stevens at November 15, 2011 06:20 PM

    Brian, here are SOME LYRICS: "Do you understand me? Take a lick of my candy...can you think of tomorrow? Take a look at my sorrow..." ...pure genius!

    Posted by: Carl Back at June 8, 2012 08:33 PM

    Is the film "THAT THING YOU DO" available on DVD?

    Posted by: Carl Back at June 8, 2012 08:48 PM

    I think these are the lyrics to: Do You Understand Me


    Well do you understand me?
    You took a lick of my candy.
    I love you Barbara,
    Iím gonna steal you tomorrow.

    Well I tried to please her!
    She was close to another
    She came here to satisfy,
    Now she can only pacify.

    X2

    AGH!

    (Instrumental Solo)

    Well do you understand me?
    You took a lick of my candy
    And Iím gonna teach you
    Iíll go home and beat you.

    Well I tried to please her!
    She was close to another.
    You see she came here to satisfy.
    Now she can only pacify.

    But do you understand me?
    You took a lick of my candy
    And after today Iím
    Gonna turn that feeling.

    From SongFreaks.com

    Posted by: Billy Lewis at January 5, 2014 11:45 PM

    This is for Bruce that had been trying to get a hold of Rod. Rod passed on Sept. 19, 2011. He quit playing,which was his true passion, when we relocated to southern California.

    Posted by: vicki shepard at September 9, 2014 11:51 PM

    Hi,
    I am looking for any info about a late 60's early 70's band called The Frogs out of GR. Band member Ted Jones, he ran an underground radio station and did some recording around then in GR, he was grad of Ottawa Hills HS. His GF was named Crystal, looking for his Les Paul a family heirloom.
    Thanks in Advance,

    Posted by: Jim at January 6, 2015 01:54 PM
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