Well, apologies for my absence here for awhile. It's been a busy couple of weeks.
So here's the long story about how I got the Brothers Four gig. In about 1963 I was in High School in Medford, Oregon. I had a summer job tending the grounds for the Britt Music Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon, just about 5 miles west of Medford. (By coincidence, this venue was the last show I played with The Kingston Trio in July of 2005. ) Anyway, I would water and mow the lawn, pick up trash, etc.
One day as I was making my rounds I saw a man with a microphone walking around the grounds. I was curious and kinda stalked him to see if I could hear what he was saying into the mic. It turned out to be Jim Bailey, a local DJ on KSHA radio. I was a fan of the station and I'd listened to Jim's show regularly. I think I made some obnoxious noise behind him and got his attention, giving me the opportunity to introduce myself.
We became good friends and throughout High School I often appeared on his morning radio show before going to school. Being in the radio business, Jim was pretty well connected to the Northwest music scene, particularly in the Seattle area. One of these connections was a record label owner named Jerry Dennon (Jerden Records.)
After High School I went off to UCLA. During that time Jim Bailey contacted me to write charts and play on a recording session for a Portland, Oregon band that he'd signed for management. They were called the New Yorkers, after the Chrysler model, for which they were the spokesband in the Portland area. They came to LA for the session and I had a chance to work with Buddy Merrill and other members of the Lawrence Welk band on that session.
A year later, I had returned to Oregon and I got a call from the New Yorkers, asking if I was available to join their band as rhythm guitarist and keyboard player. I took the gig and played with them for about a year. Jim had signed them with Jerden Records and we released a number of 45's on that label before being signed to Decca.
At that point the group moved to LA, changed the name of the band to The Hudson Brothers (the real name of the other three members of the band) and I began to feel uncomfortable as the fourth wheel on the family band. I left the group and started performing solo around the Northwest.
I kept in touch with Jerry Dennon and did some work for him recording radio commercials. Then one day he called me and said that some good friends of his, The Brothers Four, were looking for a replacement for their second tenor, Mark Pearson. (Mark had replaced Mike Kirland a year earlier.) I went to the audition and a week later I was onstage at the Princess Hotel in Bermuda doing two shows a night as a member of The Brothers Four.
It's all about who you know...