MOUSIE & THE TRAPS
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)
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”.
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): Jim Holvay, Jimmy Ford, Mike Sistak and Dwight Kalb
– Toddlin Town a division of One-Derful Productions, Inc.
Toddlin Town 8204 (1966)
A) MOUSIE & THE TRAPS: How About You (Jim Holvay) – 2:24
B) MOUSIE & THE TRAPS: 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).
Mousie & The Traps appeared at the Rockford College gymnasium on Saturday, January 28, 1967
from the Rockford Morning Star – Friday, January 27, 1967
Compilations Various Artists
- 1992 “ULTIMATE GIRL GROUPS” – “It’s All In The Way (You Look At It Baby)”
- 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)”
- Ace Records: Girl Zone! (Where The Girls Are) HIQLP 038
- Billboard: July 23, 1966, page 16 (New Releases) “prospective Hot 100 entry”
- Madura’s Danceland by Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman, 9781439641125
- One-Derful Productions, Inc. Toddling Town Records 3184, 3185
- Rockford Morning Star 1-27-1967
- Scimitar Productions (1966)