Nuggets: I Ain’t No Miracle Worker by The Brogues

Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years 1965-1968 and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.

Track 38/118: I Ain’t No Miracle Worker by The Brogues
Release Year: 1965
From: Merced, California
Aphoristic Rating: 7/10

I AIN’T NO MIRACLE WORKER – The Brogues [2:45]
(Nancie Mantz/Annette Tucker)
Personnel/GARY COLE (DUNCAN): vocals, guitar * EDDIE RODRIGUES: lead guitar * RICK CAMPBELL: organ * BILL WHITTINGTON: bass * GREG ELMORE: drums
Produced by DAVE BURGESS
Recorded in Hollywood, CA
Challenge single #59316 (11/65)

The Brogues formed in 1964, although they didn’t become successful until they poached vocalist Gary Duncan from The Ratz in 1965. The members had played in R&B bands, and blended this with the British Invasion sounds from The Animals and The Pretty Things.

‘I Ain’t No Miracle Worker’ was the band’s second single. It was co-written by Annette Tucker, who also contributed to two songs on Nuggets by The Electric Prunes. ‘I Ain’t No Miracle Worker’ is a good song, although the slick, professional lyrics make it seem like an odd fit among the garage rock of Nuggets. The guitars are lively, my favourite part of the record.

The Brogues are one of the least prolific bands on Nuggets – they only released two singles before breaking up. They were unable to promote ‘I Ain’t No Miracle Worker’ – they split when Campbell and Rodriguez were drafted into the Vietnam War, and they were unable to find suitable replacements

Bassist Bill Whittington pursued a career in magic, while Gary Cole and Greg Elmore formed the far better-known Quicksilver Messenger Service.

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9 Comments

  1. They sound really good musically and the vocalist they got was really good. They were better than your average garage band…much better. With a little smoother mix it might have had commercial appeal.

    The one thing you don’t hear often “Bassist Bill Whittington pursued a career in magic”…

    • Apparently Bill Whittington owned a magic shop, which sold stuff via mail order.

      It sounds like a very early Nugget to me because of the R&B.

  2. This is like a 8/10 I. I really like the way the guitars sound and the singing ain’t too bad. And I love this video cuz I love to see 60s dancing done by professional dancers and it’s all choreographed and everything like on old TV shows. I like to watch YouTube videos of old music shows like Hullabaloo and Shindig and American Bandstand when they always had professional dancers behind the musical guest. When it’s just one person dancing 60s it ain’t all that cool, but when it’s like a whole shitload of professional dancers it’s awesome. And this was a really good one, and the girls even had their go-go boots and everything. It’s f****** great.

      • I don’t think they bothered to sync it at all. It really didn’t match up with the music and they even had it in slow motion sometimes. But it was cool anyway. I’d like to see it without the reverse negative or whatever they call it.

  3. Max just flagged your post to me, and I’m glad he did. Somehow I had overlooked it in my frantic attempt to catch up on reading posts that we published over the past few days! 🙂

    I really like how this sounds. I agree with you the guitars are pretty cool. As you know, I’m also a sucker for a good organ sound.

    It’s kind of hard to believe a band with such a decent already burned out after two singles!

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Aphoristic Album Reviews is almost entirely written by one person. It features album reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.

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Graham Fyfe has been writing this website since his late teens. Now in his forties, he's been obsessively listening to albums for years. He works as a web editor and plays the piano.

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