Saturday, October 17, 2015


This Syracuse University rhythm n blues band was first known on the SU campus as "The Headliners" (1963-64) Billy Elmiger (bass, formerly with the Vanguards), Steve McCord (guitarist formerly with Felix Cavaliere & The Escorts), Herb Flower (drums formerly of the Techniques) and were managed by Joe Davoli. They later who add Lloyd Baskin on keyboard

 Lloyd Baskin and Billy Elmiger went looking for a new lead singer. They found that singer in Otis Smith the former Rhythm Cadet and drummer for Bobby Green & The Hi Fi's was singing in the ward bars in downtown Syracuse. Then a name change from Otis & the Headliners to "All Night Workers". The groups name came from the old Rufus Thomas song "I'm An All Night Worker" a name that finally all members agreed upon. With this new lineup the band became Otis & The All Night Workers,

In the fall of 1965, they recorded the legendary Billy Elmiger tune "Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket" (1965) for Round Sound Records a division of Pickwick International. The band had been recommended to Pickwick by their manager NYS lawyer Don Schpak who had a relative working for the label. They reached the studio recorded "Eggs" and used a Pickwick staff written song for the flip side- (by another SU friend, Lou Reed,.Note Lou did not play on this recording) Eggs finally reached #1 on WOLF Radio charts in Syracuse while the band traveled the East Coast stopping as such New York City night clubs as Trudy Hellers & Max's Kansas City while staring the stage with such national acts as Del Shannon & Chuck Berry.

They were then lead to Cameo Records by produced Neil Bogart and a follow up single "Honey and Wine" (1966). It was then on to Mercury Records and the single "Misery" (1967). Otis and the All Night Workers (as they were known locally becoming only one of a few University bands to break off campus and become popular with city teens in clubs like the Brookside & Fayetteville Inn (1964-66), This coming from the exposure they received from WOLF's popular  night time disc jockey Dale Dorman. After a summer at Lake George that members described as a hard grind the band finally broke up in Boston in 1968.

Herb Flower returned to Syracuse awaiting an opening with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (also taught at OCC). Flowers would play with the Symphony for many years. Elmiger, Smith and McCord went to reside in New York City and released two albums on Perception Records with a group named "The Albert" (named after a hotel where they all resided). Otis also release a single for Perception "Let Her Go".  Otis Smith was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame (Sammys). Bandmates- Elmiger, McCord & Flower returned for his induction.
Lloyd William Baskin graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Design, but he turned to music as his profession in 1966. Baskin sang lead and played his Wurlitzer 140 B electric piano on the All Night Workers hit "Don't Put All Your Eggs" recorded in New York City by producer Jerry Vance (Pickwick International) again was released by Round Sound Records.
Meanwhile Lloyd Baskin went on tour with "Jesus Christ Superstar". After his Jesus Christ Superstar days , Lloyd joined the national group "Seatrain". Their first release was a self-titled album '13 Questions". Lloyd is featured on both Capitol Records Seatrain albums "Seatrain" (1971) and "Marblehead Messenger" (1971). But it was there hit single "13 Questions" that propelled the band into the national spotlight.
In the late 1970's Lloyd returned to Central New York joining Mark Hoffmann forming Baskin- Hoffmann & Lee with Sandra Lee (vocals), Gary Goal (bass), Tommy Neuman (drums), Mark Hoffmann (guitar) and Baskin (keyboards & vocals).
Other Lloyd Baskin release include-Martin Mull's album "Days of Wine and Neuroses" Orphan's LP :"More Orphan than Hot', Patricia Rushen's Lp "New".  He was also seen in the feature film "Bugsy: (1990) playing Ciro"s singer. Lloyd resides in Southern California.

1 comment:

  1. Lloyd Baskin grew up in Little Silver, New Jersey . . . where I also spent my youth. I was working at the student-run WTBU at Boston University when a transfer from Syracuse University came up to the station one day with "Eggs" . . . we listened to it and immediately put it on the air.

    A year or so later, while living in Boston suburb of Alston, I walked by a nightclub in the neighborhood and saw that the All Night Workers were playing there that night. Of course, I had to go. They were great! I kept looking at the organ player as he looked very familiar. It hit me. On a break, I went over to him and asked: "Are you Lloyd Baskin?

    Short version: My friend Joey Reynolds (the legendary disc jockey) was . . . at the time . . . at WDRC in Hartford and also produced records. I called him up . . . and we took the band to Synchron Recording Studio in Wallingford, Connecticut where "Misery" (and some other songs) were cut. Joey got them the label deal with Mercury Records.

    In addition to being their own (self) band, they were also the backup band for former Red Sox star Tony Conigliaro (an erstwhile singer) with an RCA Records contract. During my tenure with the band, Tony got booked on to the Merv Griffin Show in New York. When it came time for rehearsal, Herbie Flower had not yet arrived from Syracuse so, Lloyd came over to me and said: "You play drums, right?" (I had been taking some lessons at the time but was nowhere near being a "drummer.) Anyhow, Lloyd asked me to sit in for Herbie on the run-through . . . the song we were doing was "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" (which I knew). Lloyd said: "Just do boom chick, boom chick, boom chick . . . " which I did. About a minute into the first run-through, the sound guy up in the booth stopped us and, on the PA, said: "Can the drummer sing a little louder please?" Everybody laughed when I yelled back: "I'm not even in the band."

    Man, I tried to help get them to the next level but . . . alas . . . it never happened.

    Sure do miss those times!