The Balloon Farm – “A Question of Temperature”


Short career summary

The Balloon Farm was a short lived psychedelic band from New Jersey that are known as One-Hit Wonders. The band consisted of Mike Appel, Don Henny, Ed Schnug and Jay Saks. They were originally named Adam and recorded one unsuccessful song on Mala records titled “Eve.” After that unsuccessful attempt at recording a hit they moved on to Laurie Records and changed their name to The Balloon Farm. At that time they had their lone hit song “A Question of Temperature” which was written by the band members. The song peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100, but lasted only four weeks on the charts. Their follow-up single “Hurry Up Sundown” did not do well and the band quickly dissolved without recording an album. The band made one more attempt in 1968 under their new name The Huck Finn. They recorded on single on Kapp records titled “Two Of A Kind” which also did not chart. The band dissolved for good and the group members moved on to other careers. Mike Appel continued in the music industry writing song and eventually becoming the first manager for Bruce Springsteen.

The band starting as Adam

Garage rock and psychedelic rock band The Balloon Farm hailed from New Jersey, sometime in the 1960s. The band’s origins started from a previous group named Adam, consisting of founders Don Henny and Ed Schnug. Adam waxed out one single record called “Eve,” released on Mala label, which attracted very little notice.

From Adam to The Balloon Farm

After Adam broke up, Henny and Schnug recruited Mike Appel and Jay Saks. They decided the take on the name The Balloon Farm after a name of a New York City night club. Some sources say that all four of them actually had been members of Adam, they just revamped themselves with a new name.

The Balloon Farm’s only hit single “A Question of Temperature”

Anyway, The Balloom Farm secured a recording deal with Laurie Records and issued a single called “A Question of Temperature,” a fuzz-punk garage rock classic written among the band themselves. It eventually made a notch on the Billboard’s Top 40, finally reaching its peak position at #37 in 1968.

The Balloon Farm’s follow-up single “Hurry Up Sundown” was released in 1968. It didn’t make a dent on the charts, and Laurie abruptly ended the band’s contract before a planned full-length debut album was released.

The band as Huck Finn and their disbandment

At the end of that year The Balloon Farm named themselves again as Huck Finn, and were signed on Kapp label where they released a new single “Two of a Kind.” But just like their previous effort, the single failed to attract interest. The band broke up afterwards, with no chance of re-vamping themselves all over again.

Other information about The Balloon Farm

After the group disbanded, Appel continued to work in the music industry, with his most renowned project being the song he wrote “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted which was turned into a hit by the fictitious TV act The Partridge Family. Appel was also credited for managing the early career of Bruce Springsteen.

The band’s recording producer was Peter Schekeryk who managed and married the pop/folk singer Melanie.

Years later after “A Question of Temperature” was originally released and became a hit, several artists have covered it. These artists include Browsnville Station (1973), TNT (1974), The Lords of the New Church (1982), Julian Cope (1988) and The Young Canadians.

The B-Side to the groups singles were: “We’ll Catch The Sun” (as The Huck Finn), “Farmer Brown” (as The Balloon Farm), “Hurtin’ For Your Love” (as The Balloon Farm) and “Where Has My Little Girl Gone” (as Adam).

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