February 12, 2015

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 92: The Hour Glass & The Power of Love ~ Allman Brothers 'n Paul Hornsby beginnings

The Hour Glass 
reel-to-reel tape box detail
detail photo by Styrous®

In addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling, I have reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes for sale. If interested, contact me by email please, not by a comment. 

I will have the, Hour Glassreel-to-reel tape for sale on eBay. I have others for sale on eBay now (see links below).    

~ ~ ~

This album is mostly an historic relic from 1973 with the main characters in The Hour Glass being the Allman Brothers and Bruce Horsby in a very early phase of their careers. It includes the only two albums produced by the band, the self-named, The Hour Glass (1967) and The Power of Love (1968) both of which were released on Liberty Records. 

This is the compilation of those two studio albums which was released on United Artists Records in 1973. 

art direction by Mike Salisbury 
illustration by Ron Kriss 
album design by John Kehe 
reel-to-reel tape box
 photo by Styrous®

In almost every good album there is one song that is completely out of the box, kicks you in the butt and makes you think. That's good! 

The majority of the songs on this album are a fusion of early 60's rock, funk, soul, country and gospel. The one exception fits the "out of the ordinary" spectacularly. It is, Bells, a song based on an 1849 poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Bells is a heavily onomatopoeic poem by Edgar Allan Poe which was not published until after his death in 1849. It is perhaps best known for the diacopic use of the word "bells." The poem has four parts to it; each part becomes darker and darker as the poem progresses from "the jingling and the tinkling" of the bells in part 1 to the "moaning and the groaning" of the bells in part 4.   It's pretty good!

The sound, tone and feeling of, Bells, completely reflects that of the poem by Poe. It really has not much in the way of music (if that is what you're looking for), which sounds like it's on the radio in the background, but has a quiet, echoey and completely errie male monologue (the poem, maybe). It is WEIRD! A wonderous journey into experimental music. In an album that is not the greatest, even Allman admitted that (see below), Bells is a doozey!  

The Hour Glass
reel-to-reel tape box detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Another song on the album stands out. It is a cover of, Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It's a bit cheezy with a happy, jazzy, bouncey beat; a rock version replete with sitar and organ. A lot of fun!

The Hour Glass
reel-to-reel tape box detail
detail photo by Styrous®

I'm Hanging Up My Heart for You is a slow, bluesy ballad that is a beautiful cover of the great Solomon Burke hit. It has a great, VERY bassey bass back-up that is swooney! 

(Links to the songs on YouTube below.)

reel-to-reel tape box detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Duane and Gregg Allman, his younger brother, grew up in Daytona, Florida, where they first discovered music. The duo first formed the Escorts, which evolved into the Allman Joys in the mid-1960s. Eventually, they went on to form Hour Glass and then the Allman Brothers Band

reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous®

From the back of the Early Allman compilation (Allman Joys - Early Allman):

"One quiet Nashville evening back in '66, songwriter John D. Loudermilk walked into a small club called the Briar Patch. Up on the bandstand was what looked like just another of the thousands of teen age rock bands of the era. When they started to play, Loudermilk could tell they weren't so typical after all. The two front men were both blond and very intense. One played a trebly, stinging slide guitar; the other sang in an anguished, world-weary voice. John D. wondered how it was that these two looked so young yet played with so much experience. Needless to say, he was very interested in the group, which called themselves the Allman Joys. Allman was the surname of the two blond brothers, Duane and Gregg, who led the band. Although he'd never produced before, Loudermilk decided to take the group into the studio and cut some sides on them.

One of the Allman Joys' sides, "Spoonful," was released locally and sold well. But Loudermilk had already decided to concentrate on song writing, so he brought the group to Buddy Killen, head of Dial Records. Killen thought the group was quite good, so he had John Hurley take them into the studio to record more tunes.

'They were really way ahead of their times, I realize now," Killen says. 'Nobody really understood what Duane and Gregg were all about at the time. Eventually I gave them their release and they went to California, leaving these tapes behind.' Duane and Gregg Allman went on to form Hour Glass and the Allman Brothers Band."

Note: Loudermilk's memory is slightly inaccurate, since Duane did not learn to play slide guitar until the Hour Glass, a couple of years later.

reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

By 1967, the group spent time in St. Louis, where a Los Angeles-based recording executive discovered them; they consequently moved out West and were renamed the Hour Glass, cutting two unsuccessful albums for Liberty Records. This recording is a "Twin Pak" and includes both albums.

reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

An item of interest is a booklet included with the tape, "Program notes enclosed". It had a preface by Martin R. Cerf and notes by Ben Edmonds, editor, CREEM Magazine, July 1973.

The Hour Glass 
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Billed as "America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine", CREEM was a monthly rock 'n' roll publication first published in March 1969 by Barry Kramer and founding editor Tony Reay. It suspended production in 1989 but received a short-lived renaissance in the early 1990s as a glossy tabloid. Lester Bangs, often cited as "America's Greatest Rock Critic", became editor in 1971. The term "punk rock" was coined by the magazine in May 1971, in Dave Marsh's Looney Tunes column about Question Mark & the Mysterians. The same issue introduced "heavy metal" as the name of a genre in a review of Sir Lord Baltimore by "Metal" Mike Saunders.

(click to see pages larger)

The Hour Glass 
photo by Styrous®

The Hour Glass 
booklet center-fold
photo by Styrous®

The Hour Glass 
booklet back
photo by Styrous®

The Hour Glass 
booklet - page 1 detail photo by Styrous®

The Hour Glass 
booklet - page 2 detail photo by Styrous®

The Hour Glass 
booklet - page 3 detail photo by Styrous®

The Hour Glass 
booklet - page 4
detail photo by Styrous®

The Hour Glass 
album concept, Daniel Bourgoise 
booklet detail
detail photo by Styrous®

After the failure of the album to enter the chart, the Hour Glass traveled to Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in an attempt to further refine their sound. However, Dallas Smith and Liberty Records were displeased with the group-produced blues-fueled rock tracks that the group returned to Los Angeles with, as they were light years away from the pop music Smith envisioned them performing. Additionally, seeing himself cut out of the group's picture was not ideal for Smith, even if his relations with the group had been strained.  

The Hour Glass 
reel-to-reel tape
detail photo by Styrous® 

Hour Glass disbanded shortly thereafter, with Gregg Allman returning to California to satisfy the terms of the group's contract with Liberty. Paired with a studio band, Allman recorded roughly an album's worth of material, though it took nearly a quarter of a century for it to surface. 

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

The album is currently available on the Hour Glass anthology. The 1992 reissue on EMI, rife with bonus tracks from the aborted sessions for a Gregg Allman solo release, has fallen out of print. The bonus tracks are now available on the 2004 album Southbound.

I always link to more information on my blogs; it makes them too bulky if I put it in; and I don't use, verbatim, information from other sites, but the information from Wikipedia was so incredible and spread out over so many entries, I couldn't resist putting them together. It has histories of the band as well as the albums with track and personnel info. If you're interested and want to check it out further, there is a link to it at the end.        

The Hour Glass 
reel-to-reel tape song list
detail photo by Styrous®

Track listing:  

Side 1: The Hour Glass  

  1. "Out of the Night" (Alex Moore, Bob Welch) - 1:57
  2. "Nothing But Tears" (Jimmy Radcliffe, B. J. Scott) - 2:28
  3. "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" (Deon Jackson) - 2:42
  4. "Cast off All My Fears" (Jackson Browne) - 3:31
  5. "I've Been Trying" (Curtis Mayfield) - 2:40
  6. "No Easy Way Down" (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) - 3:20
  7. "Heartbeat" (Ed Cobb) - 4:52
  8. "So Much Love" (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) - 2:57
  9. "Got to Get Away" (Gregg Allman) - 2:14
  10. "Silently" (Dan Bourgoise, Del Shannon) - 2:48
  11. "Bells" (Edgar Allan Poe, arr. Peter Alin) - 2:24  


  • Gregg Allman – organ, piano, vocal
  • Duane Allman – guitars, vocal (tracks 1-13)
  • Paul Hornsby – piano, organ, vocal (tracks 1-13)
  • Johnny Sandlin – drums (tracks 1-13)
  • Mabron McKinney – bass (tracks 1-13)
  • Several unknown studio musicians on horns, guitars, backing vocals, drums, bass, banjo, keyboards and percussion
Side 2: The Power of Love 
  1. "Power of Love" (Spooner Oldham, Dan Penn) - 2:50
  2. "Changing of the Guard" - 2:33
  3. "To Things Before" - 2:33
  4. "I'm Not Afraid" - 2:41
  5. "I Can Stand Alone" - 2:13
  6. "Down in Texas" (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 3:07
  7. "I Still Want Your Love" - 2:20
  8. "Home for the Summer" (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:44
  9. "I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You" (John Berry, Don Covay) - 3:09
  10. "Going Nowhere" - 2:43
  11. "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:59
  12. "Now Is The Time" - 3:59
  13. "Down in Texas" (alternate version) (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:21
  14. "It's Not My Cross to Bear" - 3:36
  15. "Southbound" - 3:41
  16. "God Rest His Soul" (Steve Alaimo) - 4:02
  17. "February 3rd" (Composer Unknown) - 2:56
  18. "Apollo 8" (Composer Unknown) - 2:37
  • All songs by Gregg Allman, unless noted.
    • Tracks 1-12 constitute the original album.
      • Tracks 13-18 from the 1969 sessions for Gregg Allman's unreleased first solo album for Liberty (present on 1992 re-release only).


  • Gregg Allman – organ, piano, guitar, vocal (all tracks)
  • Duane Allman – guitars, electric sitar (tracks 1-6, 8-12)
  • Paul Hornsby – piano, organ, guitar, vocal (tracks 1-12)
  • Johnny Sandlin – drums, guitar, gong (tracks 1-12)
  • Pete Carr – bass guitar, guitar (track 7), vocal (tracks 1-12)
  • Several unknown studio musicians on horns, guitars, backing vocals, drums, bass guitar, keyboards and percussion (tracks 13-18)
  • Bruce Ellison - Engineer (all tracks)
- from Wikipedia

Duane Allman discography 

Bells on YouTube
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) on YouTube 
I'm Hanging Up My Heart for You on YouTube  

The Hour Glass, reel-to-reel tape, is for sale on eBay

Other reel-to-reel tapes now on eBay   

Allman Brothers 'n Paul Hornsby beginnings ~ Part 2  

Styrous® ~ Thursday, February 12, 2015 


  1. You give bio on Bruce Hornsby. It was Paul Hornsby in Hourglass. Unrelated.

  2. You give bio for Bruce Hornsby. Paul Hornsby was in Hornsby was in Hourglass. Unrelated.

  3. You are right, Randy, thank you for noticing the error. I have made the correction.


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