MOUSIE & THE TRAPS
- Thelma Flores (born: June 21, 1949)
- Genevieve “Mousie” Hernandez (February 17, 1949-May 20, 2019)
- Susan Hernandez (born: February 7, 1950)
- Hometown: Chicago, IL
- Manager: George Masias
Genevieve Hernandez, her sister Susan and their friend Thelma Flores began singing together in 1964. Wherever they went, they sang Supremes songs. “Nobody ever told us to shut up, so I guess we sounded pretty good”, says Thelma. The girls got themselves a manager and began performing around Chicago. While waiting to sing at a hop one night, the MC asked them their name. “We’re the Mystic Styles”, replied Thelma. “I’m Thelma, this is Susan and this is our lead singer Genevieve, but we call her Mousie.” A few minutes later he introduced them on stage as Mousie & the Traps. They thought the name was dumb, but their manager said it was catchy, so they kept it.
“We first met the trio at one of our engagements”, recalls James Holvay of local band The MOB. “We brought them on stage during our second set and they sang ‘Dancing In The Street’. The crowd loved them so much we decided to make them a part of our show.” James wrote two songs, recorded there with the girls and signed a deal for their release on the Toddlin Town label. “The highlight of our career”, recalls Thelma, “was recording ‘How About You’ and ‘It’s All In The Way’ and performing 10 days at the Dick Clark Young Worlds Fair at the Chicago Amphitheater. What a thrill it was, and a memory that has lasted forever.
– liner note from Girl Zone! (Where The Girls Are) Ace Records HIQLP 038 (2015)
HOW “MOUSIE” GOT HER NICKNAME
Genevieve Hernandez attended Andrew Jackson Grammar School in the Little Italy neighborhood of Chicago. She was petite for her age ergo, first calling her “Mouse” for a short time then “Mousie”.
Fun Fact: Ron Riley of WLS Radio was the MC at the record hop who renamed the Mystic Styles
Thelma Flores: “We are of Mexican decent but born in Chicago. Mousie was 18 years old, Susan was 17, and I was 15 years old when we recorded. We would sing and sometimes practice on the Chicago buses, ‘L’ trains and subways on our way to auditions”.
Known for singing material by the Supremes and Martha & The Vandellas, Scimitar Productions recorded Chicago’s north side teen trio at Chicago’s Sound Recording Studio, 230 N. Michigan Avenue with recording engineer Stu Black. The MOB backed both sides of Mousie & The Traps’ 45 single that Holvay produced and Beisbier arranged. One-Derful Productions’ Russ Vestee re-mixed the songs and George Leaner released the teen trio’s only 45 single on the subsidiary label Toddlin Town.
– Scimitar Productions (1966)
– Toddlin Town a division of One-Derful Productions, Inc.
Toddlin Town 8204 (1966) | Vapac Music B.M.I.
- 3184) How About You | (Jim Holvay) – 2:24
- 3185) It’s All In The Way (You Look At It Baby) | (Jim Holvay) – 2:30
THE MOB backed both songs on this 45 single produced by Jim Holvay and arranged by Gary Beisbier
Toddlin’ Town was set up as a pop subsidiary of One-Derful / Mar-V-Lus in 1966 issuing a handful of singles in the 8200 series then was quietly dropped. The label resurfaced in late 1968 using a 100 numbering series, issuing about three dozen singles before finally folding for good around ’71. The label only had a few minor hits (i.e. Bull and The Matadors, Alvin Cash).
Various Artists Compilations
- 1992) Ultimate Girl Groups – “It’s All In The Way (You Look At It Baby)”
- 2003) Wigan Casino: 30th Anniversary 1973-2003 – “How About You”
- 2014) The Rebel Kind: Girls With Guitars 3 – “How About You”
- 2015) Girls Zone! (Where The Girls Are) – “It’s All In The Way (You Look At It Baby)”
- 2015) Northern Soul’s Classiest Rarities, Vol. 5 – “It’s All In The Way (You Look At It Baby)”
DICK CLARK’S YOUNG WORLDS FAIR
Friday, April 22 thru Sunday, May 1, 1966 at the International Amphitheatre – Chicago, IL
During Chicago public schools spring vacation from Noon to 10:30pm daily, the $2 admission includes free daily stage concerts in a sit-down arena. Mousie and the Traps performed their song “It’s All In The Way (You Look At It Baby)” plus sang background for Lou Christie (at Dick Clark’s Young Worlds Fair). Mousie and the Traps also introduced the Twister game by demonstrating it followed by playing it for those who attended the International Amphitheatre in Chicago.
Fun Fact: Mousie & The Traps introduced the game Twister at Dick Clark’s Young Worlds Fair
a week before Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor introduced it to the nation on May 3, 1966
Fun Fact: There are 16 brothers and sisters in the Hernandez family
Shortly after appearing at the Young Worlds Fair, Elaine & Ellen Rangel (aka The Twins) replaced the Hernandez sisters. Thelma became “Mousie” and The Seagrams IV became the backup band at most of their gigs. The Seagrams IV: Jimmy Lindberg, bass guitar and backround vocals, Rich Hibbeler, drums, sax, lead vocals, Ken Hibbeler, rhythm guitar, lead vocals and vocal arrangement, Rick Rozycki lead guitar and background vocals. Mousie And The Traps broke up in the summer of 1967. Thelma then became the lead singer of The Seagrams which morphed into The Chicago Fire. Rhythm guitarist and former lead singer, Ken Hibbeler married Thelma in 1969. Ken and Thelma performed with The Chicago Fire until the summer of 1971, when Ken entered the service as a United States Navy pilot.
Elaine & Ellen Rangel (aka The Twins) went on to sing with The Neighborhood. The twins sang on the hit song “Big Yellow Taxi” reaching #11 in 1970 on the Chicago music chart. Later, ELAINE & ELLEN came out with a couple of disco records in the late 70s on the LANCE RECORDS label. Prior to Mousie And The Traps, the twins had records out under Little Ellen And The Desires (on the SMASH label 1961), The Creslyns (on the BELTONE label 1963).
- Dick Clark’s Young Worlds Fair (Chicago, IL – International Amphitheatre)
- The Rockford College Gymnasium (Rockford, IL)
- The Holiday Ballroom (Chicago, IL – Jefferson Park)
- The Alba-A-Go-Go (Chicago, IL – 4816 N. Kedzie)
- Lawndale Hall (Chicago, IL – west side)
- The Club Continental (Fort Walton Beach, FL)
Mousie & The Traps appeared at the Rockford College gymnasium on Saturday, January 28, 1967
from the Rockford Morning Star – Friday, January 27, 1967
from the Rockford Register Republic – Friday, January 27, 1967
Fun Fact: Mousie with the Chicago Fire, opened for The Buckinghams at the Edgewater Beach Hotel
- The Mystic Styles
- Mousie And The Traps (with Thelma, Elaine & Ellen Rangel aka The Twins)
- The Seagrams (formerly The Seagrams IV)
- The Chicago Fire
- The Neighborhood
- The Creslyns
- Little Ellen & The Desires
- Elaine & Ellen
- Copyright, United States Copyright Office RE0000652402 (EU0000938363)
- Ace Records: Girl Zone! (Where The Girls Are) | HIQLP 038
- Billboard: July 23, 1966, page 16 Spotlight Singles
- Madura’s Danceland by Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman, ISBN 9781439641125
- One-Derful Productions, Inc. Toddling Town Records 3184, 3185
- Scimitar Productions (1966)
- Rockford Morning Star 1-27-1967
- Rockford Register Republic 1-27-1967
- Rock Productions Musical Enterprises (Marv Stuart’s booking agency)
- WLS All Hit Music Survey 8-17-1970
- Mousie And The Traps Discography – 45cat
- Mousie & The Traps Discography at Discogs
- Mousie & the Traps | All Music
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