The JuJus — “You Treat Me Bad”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — March 24, 2023


772) The JuJus — “You Treat Me Bad

Steve Leggett calls “You Treat Me Bad” a “ragged and raw garage cult classic” ( Who knew that “West Michigan was a minor hotspot of garage records, thanks to the Fenton label of Grand Rapids[?]. . . . And the Ju Ju’s . . . were the label’s class act. This driving minor-chord attack . . . captures the Ju Ju’s at their best” (liner notes to Pebbles, Vol 1: Original ’60s Punk & Psych Classics) To Jason, the song “stands out as one of [Fenton’s garage classics]. The vocals are snotty and the tempo is driving; [it] would eventually hit number 2 on local radio.” (

Jason continues:

Of all the regional garage bands that were never given the opportunity to record an album, the JuJus were amongst the very best. They formed in 1964 and played a mixture of frat rock, British Invasion influenced teenbeat and classic garage rock sounds all around the local clubs of Grand Rapids[, Michigan]. . . . The early tracks have saxophones, sappy lyrics and muddy sound but are good for what they are – great frat rock and teenbeat. In 1965 the group would cut vocalist/guitarist Ray Hummel’s “You Treat Me Bad/Hey Little Girl” for Fenton. . . . a local label . . . . [that] would cut many, many garage classics . . . . The JuJus second 45 . . . , “I’m Really Sorry/Do You Understand Me” [is] superb. . . . Both recordings sound very crude and primitive but hold a special place in many garage fans’ hearts – this was some of the best rock n roll being pumped out of Michigan at the time. The JuJus lineup would change quite a bit from 1964 to 1967. Eventually the group would break up after losing core band members Ray Hummel, drummer Bill Gorski and saxophone player Max Colley. But before throwing in the towel they would cut a few more songs in 1967 for a possible single release. . . . The JuJus were a great group whose music still burns brightly in the memories of Michigan locals.

Jason Ankeny adds that:

Arguably the most renowned band to emerge from the West Michigan garage rock scene of the 1960s, the JuJus formed in Grand Rapids in 1963. Originally comprising . . . students at Grand Rapids’ Godwin High School–in 1964 the group recruited singer/guitarist Ray Hummel III, a year later . . . . [I]n 1966 the JuJus–so named in honor of Colley’s younger brother’s inability to correctly pronounce his nickname, “Junior”–signed to the local Fenton label to record their debut single, “You Treated Me Bad.” . . . But in mid-1966 Hammel left the JuJus to get married . . . .

Gary Johnson digs up some nuggets, and a tale of the age-old conflict between life in a band and the desires of a future spouse:

[The] JuJus’ first real professional job [was] playing at the Ionia State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. . . .

Deejay Larry Adderly from station WLAV became fond of “You Treat Me Bad” and promoted the record heavily on his show. The song debuted on the WLAV’s ‘Favorite 40’ in August of 1965 and climbed the chart steadily that fall before finally peaking at # 2, one spot below the Beatles’ # 1 hit, “Yesterday”. The popularity of “You Treat Me Bad” resulted in what could only be called “JuJu-mania” in Southwest Michigan. . . . When the JuJus opened for Chubby Checker at a show in the East Grand Rapids High School gym in late 1965, the kids in the audience were throwing jujube candy and screaming as if the band was the second coming of the Beatles. . . .

When Drummond Records out of Detroit . . . offered the JuJus a recording contract, it seemed that the band was primed to make its move. The company was interested in releasing “You Treat Me Bad” nationally, but wanted a commitment from the band that would involve at least one year of touring to promote the record, a follow-up single, and possibly an album. . . . [But] Ray[ Hummel’s] fiancé [gave] him an ultimatum . . . . If he chose to tour with the band for a year, she declared that she would not wait for him. Ray capitulated, and quit the band to get married. Without their lead singer and songwriter, the Drummond offer was pulled . . . . [The marriage] lasted less than a year.

Here’s an alternate version:

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