The Maskman & The Agents
Stand Up

By the time the 60s came around, Maskman & The Agents had already been plugging away since the 1940s as the Cap-Tans with front man Harmon Bethea. The name change reflected Harmon's new gimmick of wearing a Lone Ranger style mask on stage in a desperate bid to get the attention that had long eluded the band. Released on the fairly high-profile De-Lite sub-label Vigor in 1970, this song is a call to black pride from a band more widely known for its humor (other songs included "One Eyed Dog In A Meat House" and "Tight Skirts And Crazy Sweaters").

Mask Man & The Agents eventually scored two national hits in the late 1960s, "One Eye Open" and "My Woman, My Dog and My Cat." Harmon died at age 86 in 2009 in Washington, DC. His obit is a testament to his determination never to give up:

"While holding down a day job as an Army Department mail clerk, Harmon Bethea struggled for decades to achieve a breakthrough singing group. He went at it so long, and through so many changes in pop vocal trends, that he tried to become famous in jive, doo-wop, rhythm-and-blues and Motown-tinged soul. At one time, he led a gospel group... "If patience is a virtue, Harmon Bethea would be a saint," music historian Jay Warner once wrote."

Artist: The Maskman & The Agents
A: Stand Up Pt. 1
B: Stand Up Pt. 2
Label: Vigor
Cat#: VI707


1 comment:

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