The one-off garage rock and funk wonders of Plato Records, circa 1968
June 13, 2013 11:53 AM   Subscribe

About 30 miles west of Charleston, West Virginia is a little town called Milton, which was the home to the Plato Records label back in the 1960s. According to Al Collinsworth, vocalist and co-songwriter for The Outcasts, Plato was intended to be an African-American music (Afrilachian) label, but the only known Plato releases are a handful of garage rock and funk singles from predominantly white bands, like The Outcasts' Loving You Sometimes. That particular track has seen an uptick in interest, since it has appeared on some recent mixtapes, including Diplo's Chasing the Dragon (MP3, streaming on Grooveshark). For more on those few known Plato recordings, Garage Hangover has interviews, information and promo photos from members.

Garage Hangover identified five bands on Plato, while 45 RPM Records has five singles, with nothing for The Lovin' Kind but adding Billy Midkiff Brothers to the list of Plato groups. That's great, but what do they all sound like?

The Satisfied Minds: I Can't Take It, backed with Think About Me (not online)

The Kickin' Mustangs: Kickin, backed with Take a Miracle

The Outcasts: Loving You Sometimes, backed with Sha-La-La (not online)

King James and the Royal Jesters: I Get a Feeling, backed with Girl

Billy Midkiff Brothers: A Rolling Stone, backed with River Rats (neither are online)

The Lovin' Kind: no known recordings
posted by filthy light thief (7 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
OK, Numero Group, get busy...
posted by mykescipark at 12:31 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh man, that would be a great addition to the Local Customs collection.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:36 PM on June 13, 2013

Crikey, I didn't delve into 45 RPM Records much, but it's a treasure trove for diggers. Focusing on labels from The Ohio River Valley, they have 846 Ohio labels, 192 Indiana labels, 235 Kentucky labels and 129 West Virginia labels cataloged to some degree, plus information on local pressing plants.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:29 PM on June 13, 2013

Afrilachian? Neat.
posted by Miko at 2:14 PM on June 13, 2013

At first glance, I read that as: "According to Al Collinsworth, vocalist and co-songwriter for ...OutKast," which would have made it a very different story.
posted by the_royal_we at 2:47 PM on June 13, 2013

Miko, I was looking for more information on any traditions or styles one could attribute to the "Afrilachian" style, but I couldn't find a ton beyond a few bits and bobs: Affrilachian Artist Project, which references The Affrilacian Poets, whose site has since gone under and been taken over by some fake site, though has some snapshots of the site. It seems they might have moved to, but the site isn't as robust as the archived version. There's also The Affrilacian Group.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 PM on June 13, 2013

Heh, ftl, I did exactly the same thing! I hope the concept spreads. It makes immediate sense.
posted by Miko at 8:19 PM on June 13, 2013

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