Paul Revere & The Raiders
Paul Revere & The Raiders
Considering the fashions and trends adorning today’s rock stars,” It’s hard to believe that kids in 1965 thought five guys in matching colonial outfits and tri-corner hats were cool,” wrote Timothy Gassen in Magnet. “It helped that Paul Revere & The Raiders had the musical chops to counter their fluffy, good time image. (And, by the way they were cool.)” Known for radio hits such as “Just Like Me,” “Hungry,” and “Kicks,” not to mention their high-energy rock ‘n’ roll show and ability to recruit some of the finest talent in the music industry, Paul Revere & The Raiders emerged as one of the most entertaining and successful bands to surface from the Pacific Northwest. Joined by a cast of talented backing musicians and various band members, Paul Revere and frontman Mark Lindsay became pop icons. Although Lindsay quit in the mid-1970s, Revere kept the group going, recording and performing well into the next century.
The group’s long list of career highlights include landing a record deal as the first rock act signed to Columbia Records; releasing 20 consecutive hit singles between 1960 and 1975; recording 26 albums, many of which went gold; serving from 1965 through 1966 as the house band for the Dick Clark-produced ABC television show Where the Action Is; performing
For the Record…
Members include Charlie Coe (born Charles Franklin Coe in Portland, OR; joined in June 1963; left in September 1963; re-joined in May 1967; left in June 1968), guitar, bass, piano, violin, saxophone; Drake Levinshefski (born Drake Mazwell Levinshefski in Chicago, IL; joined in September 1963; left in March 1966), guitar; Mark Lindsay (born Mark Allen Lindsay on March 9, 1942 in Eugene, OR; joined in 1958; left in January 1975), lead vocals, saxophone; Paul Revere (born Paul Revere Dick on January 7, 1938, in Harvard, NE; raised in Caldwell, ID; joined in 1958; left in 1961; re-joined in October 1962; left in January 1977; re-joined in December 1978), piano, organ, bass; Mike Smith (born Michael Leroy Smith in Portland, OR; joined in October 1962; left in May 1967; re-joined in May 1971; left in December 1972), drums, guitar, organ.
First rock act signed to Columbia Records, 1963; released 20 consecutive hit singles between 1960 and 1975; recorded 26 albums, many of which went gold, including the landmark LP Just Like Us, 1966; served as house band for the Dick Clark-produced ABC television show Where the Action Is, 1965-66; performed on the ABC series Happening, a show co-hosted by Paul Revere himself, 1968-69; released number-one hit single “Indian Reservation,” one of Columbia’s biggest-selling records of all time, 1971; starred in numerous television and radio commercials; made more than 720 television network appearances, 1960s and 1970s.
Awards: (Paul Revere) Idaho Hall of Fame, 1999.
Addresses: Record company —Sundazed, P.O. Box 85, Coxsackie, NY 12051. Website— Paul Revere & The Raiders, http://www.paulrevereraiders.com. Agent —Bill Monot, Paradise Artists, 108 E. Matilija St., Ojai, CA 93023, phone: (805) 646-8433, fax: (805) 646-3367, e-mail: [email protected]
from 1968 through 1969 on the ABC series Happening, a show co-hosted by Paul Revere himself; selling nearly three million copies of their 1971 single “Indian Reservation,” one of Columbia’s biggest-selling records of all time; starring in numerous television and radio commercials; and making more than 720 television network appearances in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, Paul Revere & The Raiders became the most televised musical group in the world.
Paul Revere Dick, the youngest of five children, was born on January 7, 1938, in Harvard, Nebraska, and raised on a farm near Caldwell, Idaho, teaching himself how to play piano by listening to rhythm and blues and boogie-woogie on the family radio. An enterprising young man as well as a gifted R&B pianist, Revere became a master barber at the age of 17 and owned three shops and his own drive-in restaurant by age 19. In order to promote the restaurant, Revere, inspired by the early radio hits of Jerry Lee Lewis, formed a rock and roll band in 1958 and began renting halls for local teen dances. Soon thereafter, a 16-year-old saxophonist/vocalist named Mark Lindsay—born on March 9, 1942, in Eugene, Oregon—heard Revere’s band and asked to join. He ended up replacing the band’s lead singer. Originally called the Downbeats, the group recorded their first song, a boogie-rock version of “Chop Sticks” entitled “Beatnik Sticks,” at the KGEM radio station in Boise, Idaho, in 1960.
Revere then traveled to Hollywood, knocking on the doors of every record company listed in the phone book with a tape of the Downbeat’s newly recorded song in hand. Finally, John Guss, impressed by the young man’s commitment and intrigued by his strange name, signed the group to Gardena Records. Because Revere’s name was such a natural gimmick, Guss urged the band to use it. Thus, the pianist chose Paul Revere & The Raiders. “Beatnik Sticks” and the group’s second single,” Paul Revere’s Ride,” elicited local interest but little enthusiasm elsewhere. But in the spring of 1961, Paul Revere & The Raiders—then consisting of bassist Bill Hibbard, drummer Jerry Labrum, and guitarists Richard White and Robert White in addition to Revere and Lindsay—scored with the instrumental “Like Long Hair,” denting the American Top 40.
Signed with Columbia Records
The group disbanded, however, when Revere received his Army draft notice, but they re-formed in Portland, Oregon, in 1963. (The son of a Mennonite pacifist, Revere was granted status as a conscientious objector and was permitted to serve as a cook in an Oregon mental hospital). With a new core lineup that consisted of guitarist/vocalist Drake Levinshefski, bassist Phil Volk, and drummer Mike Smith, Revere and Lindsay crafted the group into one of the best-known on the Northwest frat-rock circuit, complete with Revolutionary-era costumes. Their version of the Richard Berry song “Louie, Louie” soon caught the attention of Columbia Records, who made Paul Revere & The Raiders their first rock signing. Columbia reissued the single in the late spring of 1963. Unfortunately, the Kingsmen’s label, Wand, had released that group’s version of the song earlier, and Paul Revere & The Raiders lost the chart race over the hit tune.
Nevertheless, the overall success of “Louie, Louie,” coupled with the Raiders’ outlandish appearance and wild stage show, made them naturals for the television screen. During 1965 and 1966, they became the house band for Dick Clark’s afternoon television show Where the Action Is. Every day, millions of American kids would tune in to watch this beachside version of American Bandstand, and the exposure turned Lindsay into an instant teen idol. The group returned to television during the 1968 and 1969 seasons of another Clark-produced series, Happening. In addition, the band appeared on hundreds of nationally televised shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, the Smothers Brothers, as well as numerous specials. Throughout the 1960s and the 1970s, no other musical group performed on television as many times as Paul Revere & The Raiders.
Despite the group’s status among teenagers, Paul Revere & The Raiders at their best sounded just as tough and gritty as any of their contemporaries on the American garage rock scene. After cutting a series of singles and a half-live and half-studio LP, 1965’s Here They Come, the band hit upon a winning musical formula with producer Terry Melcher, who pushed Paul Revere & The Raiders to update their sound with a mix of fast-paced, guitar- and vocal-dominated Beach Boys-style rock and a Rolling Stones style of R&B. “Steppin’ Out,” their 1965 single featuring a monolithic Vox organ riff, a droning bassline, and stinging guitar runs, scraped the American top 50, while the group’s follow-up,” Just Like Me,” rose into the top 20 and went down as a definitive pre-”Summer of Love” American rock song.
Expanded Musical Range
In late 1965, Paul Revere & The Raiders moved to Los Angeles, where they finished work on the landmark album Just Like Us, released in January of 1966, while working on Clark’s show. With Just Like Us, the Raiders’ first album to go gold, the group’s musical range extended beyond basic instrumentation as they felt better accustomed to working in the studio. The band’s next album, Midnight Ride, appeared three months later, and Spirit of ’67 arrived early the following year. By now, the members were playing a wider variety of instruments; Lindsay played three kinds of saxophone on the same track, and all contributed vocals. A sort of answer to the Beatles’ Revolver album, Spirit of ’67 featured light, orchestrated music, proto-psychedelic tracks, and other current musical developments. Both albums again went gold, spurred by a string of top ten hit singles including “Kicks” and “Hungry,” both in 1966, and “Good Thing” and “Him Or Me—What’s It Gonna Be?,” both in 1967. “The Great Airplane Strike,” known as one of the best airplane songs ever written, also made it to the top 20 in 1966.
After the release of “Hungry,” Levin and Volk left to form their own band, the Brotherhood, and guitarist Freddy Weller, bassist Charlie Coe, and drummer Jim Valley joined as their replacements. All of Paul Revere & The Raiders’ singles from this period rose to the top ten as well, but by the time they released Revolution! in late-1967, the group’s good fortunes took a downturn as they were unable to keep up with new developments in rock and roll. Although they continued to reach the charts with singles like “Too Much Talk” in 1968 and “Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon” in 1969, audiences had grown tired of their straightforward, three-chord rock, favoring instead the psychedelic sounds resonating from San Francisco and London.
They did manage in 1971 to score an unlikely number one hit with “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian).” By this time, Lindsay was devoting himself more to a solo career as an adult contemporary performer. He had one minor hit, the anti-hippie song “Arizona,” in 1970. Paul Revere & The Raiders continued through the 1970s as a lounge act, and Lindsay departed in 1975, stating that the newer version of the group placed more emphasis on comedy and entertainment than in making music. Since then, Revere and Lindsay have worked on their separate careers, though neither enjoyed the same level of popularity as when they played together. Both continue to record, though most of Revere’s later albums with a younger version of the Raiders consisted of re-makes of the band’s classic songs.
The new incarnation of Paul Revere & The Raiders, still clad in their signature costumes, toured regularly throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and thereafter. Columbia in 1995 issued The Essential Ride ’63-’67, a 20-track retrospective that included many hits and unreleased material. In the late-1990s, the Sundazed label began the task of reissuing many of the group’s early albums featuring the classic Paul Revere & The Raiders lineup.
Over the years, there were many other members of Paul Revere & The Raiders. They include Sydney Keith Allison, who played bass, guitar, harmonica, piano, organ, and trombone and was a member from June 1968 to April 1975; Robert Michael Bradley, who sang lead vocals, played guitar, keyboards, flute, bass, and banjo and was a member from August 1980 to January 1983; Gregory Branson, who played keyboards and was a member from April 1978 to August 1980; Joe Correro, who played drums and was a member from May 1967 to May 1971; Scott Ellershaw, who played bass and guitar and was a member from April 1978 to October 1980. Louie Fontaine, who sang vocals and was a member from April 1978 to August 1980; Ronald Andrew Foos, who played bass, guitar, and drums and was a member from April 1975 to January 1977 and rejoined in October 1980; Douglas Robert Heath, who played guitar, piano, and drums and was a member from May 1973 to January 1977, re-joined in April 1978, left in July 1979, and re-joined in October 1980; and Bill Hibbard, who played bass, was a member from 1958 until 1961.
Others include Michael Holliday, who played bass, guitar and trumpet and was a member from September 1963 to January 1965; Red Hughes, who played drums, percussion, guitar, and piano and was a member from April 1978 to August 1980; Merwin Kato, who played drums, percussion, guitar and piano and was a member from April 1978 to August 1980; Jerry Labrum, who played drums, was a member from 1958 to 1961; Omar Martinez, who played drums, percussion, and guitar and was a member from August 1972 to January 1977, and re-joined in August 1980; Jamie Revere, who played guitar and was a member from 1990 to 1997; Neil Rush, who played saxophone and was a member from April 1978 to August 1980; Leon Russel, who played keyboards, was a member in 1961; Jim Valley, who played the guitar and piano, was a member from 1966 to 1967; Phil Volk, who played bass guitar and piano, was a member from January 1965 to May 1967; Freddy Weller, who played bass guitar, dobro, and piano, was a member from May 1967 to May 1973; Richard White, who played guitar, was a member from 1958 to 1961; Robert White, who played guitar, was a member from 1958 to 1961; and Robert Wolley, who played keyboards, synthesizer, and bass, was a member from August 1972 to January 1977.
“Beatnik Sticks,” Gardena, 1960.
“Paul Revere’s Ride,” Gardena, 1961.
“Like Long Hair,” Gardena, 1961.
“Like Charleston,” Gardena, 1961.
“All Night Long,” Gardena, 1962.
“Like Bluegrass,” Gardena, 1962.
“Shake It Up,” Gardena, 1962.
“Tall Cool One,” Gardena, 1962.
“So Fine,” Jerden, 1963.
“Louie, Louie,” Columbia, 1963.
“Louie Go Home,” Columbia, 1964.
“Over You,” Columbia, 1964.
“Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” Columbia, 1965.
“Steppin’ Out,” Columbia, 1965.
“Just Like Me,” Columbia, 1965.
“Kicks,” Columbia, 1966.
“Hungry,” Columbia, 1966.
“The Great Airplane Strike,” Columbia, 1966.
“Good Thing,” Columbia, 1966.
“Ups and Downs,” Columbia, 1967.
“Him Or Me—What’s It Gonna Be?,” Columbia, 1967.
“I Had a Dream,” Columbia, 1967.
“Peace of Mind,” Columbia, 1967.
“Too Much Talk,” Columbia, 1968.
“Don’t Take It So Hard,” Columbia, 1968.
“Cinderella Sunshine,” Columbia, 1968.
“Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon,” Columbia, 1969.
“Let Me,” Columbia, 1969.
“We Gotta Get Together,” Columbia, 1969.
“Just Seventeen,” Columbia, 1970.
“Gone Movin’ On,” Columbia, 1970.
“Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian),” Columbia, 1971.
“Birds of a Feather,” Columbia, 1971.
“Country Wine,” Columbia, 1972.
“Mercedes Queen,” Columbia, 1972.
“Song Seller,” Columbia, 1972.
“Love Music,” CBS, 1973.
“All Over You,” CBS, 1974.
“Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong,” Drive, 1976.
“Kicks/Live 82,” Raider/America, 1982.
Like Long Hair, Gardena, 1961.
Paul Revere & The Raiders, Sande, 1963; reissued, Jerden, 1964; reissued, ABC, 1964.
Here They Come, Columbia, 1965.
Just Like Us, Columbia, 1966.
Midnight Ride, Columbia, 1966.
Spirit of ’67, Columbia, 1967.
Good Thing, Columbia, 1967.
Revolution!, Columbia, 1967.
Something Happening, Columbia, 1968.
Goin’to Memphis, Columbia, 1968.
Hard & Heavy With Marshmallows, Columbia, 1969.
Greatest Hits Vol. 1, Columbia, 1969.
Alias Pink Fuzz, Columbia, 1969.
Collage, Columbia, 1970.
Movin On, Columbia, 1970.
Greatest Hits Vol. 2, Columbia, 1971.
Indian Reservation, Columbia, 1971.
Country Wine, Columbia, 1972.
All Time Greatest Hits (double album), Columbia, 1972.
Special Edition, Raider/America, 1982.
Rock ‘n’Roll City, Hitbound, 1982.
Paul Revere Rides Again, Hitbound, 1983.
The Essential Ride ’63–’67, Columbia, 1995.
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun, Rock n’ Roll Records.com, 2000.
Buckley, Jonathan and others, editors, Rock: The Rough Guide, Rough Guides Ltd., 1999.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 16, 1997.
Magnet, June/July 2000, p. 105.
Village Voice, December 26, 1995.
Washington Post, May 5, 1999.
All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (August 22, 2000).
Paul Revere & The Raiders, http://www.paulrevereraiders.com (August 22, 2000).
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