Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Happy Together Tour



"The Happy Together" Touring Artists are Linked To The Past & The Present...For They Are Keeping Alive What Rock & Roll Was And Still Can Be!

A Musical Genre History Tour

In the 1960s, Rock & Roll matured into many genres including the melding of traditional acoustic folk music with electronic rock creating Folk RockBob Dylan, The Byrdsand The Lovin' Spoonful greatly contributed to the success of this new musical style. The Turtles expanded the genre when they took Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babeout of the Folk and Folk Rock medium exploring a Pop/Rock approach which proved to be very successful!

The Flying Burrito Brothers

The Flying Burrito Brothers were significant in blending country music with rock creating a new avenue for bands like The Eagles and Pocowho forged a path and created a consistent demand for Country Rock Music

In 1968, Three Dog Night and The Flying Burrito Brothers toured across the country performing together. It was an unlikely coupling, but fitting in the eclectic 60's. Both bands were early in their careers and happy for the opportunity to perform from Los Angeles to New York City.

     Three Dog Night

THE BAND brought a sophisticated funk to the Country Rock genre significantly influencing Bob Dylan who pursued this style of music often over his illustrious career!  THE BAND wrote and played an exquisite brand of soulfully, honest songs that shed light on what country and rock could be as one! I would venture to say there is a significant percentage of Country Music today that is closer to Rock & Pop than the Country genre has ever been before.

Traditional Rhythm & Blues (R&B) spread its' wings in the 1950s and 1960s when James Brown introduced his brand of Funk and Soul which expanded the boundaries of R&B to include Funk in the form of Parliament and The Funkadelics. 

Other traditional Blues artists experimented with Psychedelic Soul including Johnny "Guitar" Watson, The Isley Brothers, and The Chambers Brothers--ever broadening the borders of Rhythm & Blues. 

Motown had an historic roster of R&B artists turning out hit after hit, many of which broadened the Soul genre to include a pop consciousness, in hopes of enticing the young, white audience that had adopted Rock & Roll as their own! The following are but a few of the artists on this historic label:

   Mary Wells
   Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
   Stevie Wonder
   Marvin Gaye
   The Four Tops
   The Temptations
   Gladys Knight & The Pips
   David Ruffin
   The Supremes
   The Jackson 5
   The Commodores

Along with many other outstanding artists, the amazing Motown label brought R&B to mainstream America.

The Influence of Doo-Wop

    The Ink Spots

In the 1930s and 1940s, The Ink Spots harmony simulated the sounds of strings, stand-up bass, and rhymes so well, they needed very little musical accompaniment on their early records.  

Bill Kenny, the lead singer of The Ink Spotshas been referred to as "The Father Of Doo-Wop."

The Ink Spots amazingly scored 12 Top Five records, 14 Top Ten hits, 29 Top Forty hits, and an outstanding 3 Number One records from 1939 thru 1951!

The number of artists in the 1950s, 1960s & 1970s who were influenced by, or were Doo-Wop groups, is quite significant!  They include:

   The Temptations
   The Four Tops
   The Four Seasons
   Laura Nyro
   The Beach Boys
   The Jackson 5
   The O'Jays
   Sly & The Family Stone
   Frank Zappa
   Three Dog Night

As the decade moved forward, several powerful and exciting bands have emerged from our Big Cities featuring eclectic music, excellent songs, and soulful vocals. This new urban sound, emanating from the inner cities across America, would introduce bands that have become iconic. 

From East to West a few of these bands include: 

  • The Rascals, Steely Dan and Blood, Sweat & Tears from New York.
  • From Philadelphia, we got The O'Jays, The Delfonics and Stylistics. 
  • The Windy City of Chicago put forth Chicago, The Electric Flag, and the Chi-Lites. 
  • From Detroit rode Rare Earth, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, and Grand Funk Railroad. 
  • Hollywood hailed The Beach Boys, The Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, and Three Dog Night. 
  • Sly & the Family Stone, Santana, and Jefferson Airplane flew out of San Francisco.

The Birth of Rock And Roll

Little Richard & Bill Haley                        

For many American youth, it all began in 1955 when Bill Haley & His Comets hit song, "Rock Around The Clock," jumped to #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 charts. That same year, Little Richard’s music lit up the world with his raw, soulful voice and rocking piano. His impassioned originality embodied what Rock & Roll could be, and would be! In 1956, The King, Elvis Presley, exploded on the scene with three hits including the #1 Hit "Heartbreak Hotelwritten by Mae Axton.  

Mae was the mother of a friend of the band who was a great artist and writer, Hoyt Axton, who was the author of Three Dog Night's #1 Hit "Joy To The World!"

This singularly, American music was conceived by merging Rhythm & BluesCountryBig City Doo Wop, and Gospel, as well as subtle influences from the music of our ancestors.

Some of the artists who contributed to Rock & Roll by bringing their Country influences to this new musical expression included Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, and Jerry Lee Lewis, creating a highbred and new musical experience and way of life we now call ROCK & ROLL!

Who created the phrase--Rock & Roll?

    Alan Freed

The term Rock had been around as well as Roll, exemplified in Trixie Smith's "My Daddy Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)" from 1932 and "Rock & Roll" by The Boswell Sisters in 1934
These songs, however, were making subtle and/or blatant sexual references. In the case of "Rock & Roll" by The Boswell Sisters, the lyrics describe a trip on the ocean, not a new form of musical expression as Alan Freed was referring to when he coined the phrase Rock & Roll.

It makes no sense to take the position that Alan Freed was not responsible for coining the phrase "Rock & Roll" because the word rock had been used in lyrics, as had roll, in spite of the fact they had no correlation to Mr. Freed's use of the words as a describing a genre of music.

Actually one journalist, Robert Fontenot, wrote what I feel is a disingenuous and provocative opening sentence to his article "Did Alan Freed Invent the Term Rock & Roll?"  In his opening line he states, "The term Rock & Roll was not invented by legendary Cleveland DJ Alan Freed," but then goes on to say he did come up with the term offering a feeble qualification attempting to minimize and dilute the facts.

Rhythm & Blues and Gospel Artists Had A Powerful Influence On Rock & Roll!


    Jackie Wilson

Some of Rock's greatest artist in the 1950s came from Rhythm & Blues, exposing white teens to an authentic American music they had not heard before. Rhythm & Blues influences are inherent from such Rock & Roll artists as Little RichardFats Domino, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, and Jackie Wilson--adding to the already eclectic landscape of this passionate new musical genre.

    The Soul Stirrers/Sam Cook

The Soul Stirrers Gospel Quartet, proudly representing Gospel music for 80 years, helped shape R&B. This inspirational quartet gave us the beautifully, soulful voice of Sam Cookwho brought an abundance of talent including writing many of his hits, producing, and a keen business mind which gave more credence to this new venue setting the music world on its heels!
    Etta James

   Etta James was known as a gospel prodigy by age and at 17 scored a #14 R&B hits on Billboard’s Top 100 hits of 1955. 
   The Staple Singers 1956 Gospel hit "Unclouded Daywas an introduction to what was to come for the R&B charts, and inevitably to the Rock & Pop Charts with their hits--"Respect Yourself, ""I'll Take You There," and "Let's Do It Againputting more meat on the bone of this ever growing musical expression!

     The Five Satins       

In the 1950s, Doo-Wop dominated the charts with great songs and classic vocals.

   The Five Satins, "In The Still Of The Night"
   The Platters, "My Prayer"                
   Dion & The Belmonts, "I Wonder Why"
   The Drifters, "There Goes My Baby"
   The Moonglows, "Sincerely"
   The Cadillacs, "Gloria"
   The Flamingos, "I Only Have Eyes For You"
   The Heartbeats, "A Thousand Miles Away"
   The Clovers, "Devil Or Angel"
   The Dubs "Could This Be Magic"
   Frankie Lyman & The Teenagers, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
Many of Doo-Wop's successful groups began their careers on street corners and subway stations, transforming old standards into fresh a capella arrangements. Many of these groups were plucked from the corner stoop to the recording studio for the new record companies as they could not get enough of Doo-Wop music! The Turbans gave us the first song using the words Doo-Wop as a background harmony part. These groups and more were played on every radio station in the country and most likely were a part of many teens first slow dance at parties from New York to Los Angeles!

When Country, Rhythm & Blues, Gospel, and Doo-Wop merged, an infectious, magical, youthful, and spiritual Fact was born. This fact, or truth, is real and alive in that these once independent musical forms are now one in synergy and more unique as a whole than they were by themselves. 

Rock & Roll came of age in the mid-1960s selling more records and concert tickets than the music business had ever seen before!  Huge numbers of young consumers that made places like the Copacabana in New York City, home for the industries biggest acts such as Frank Sinatra, obsolete for they were simply too small to accommodate the unprecedented demand for the rock artists of the 1960s. 

As a testament to the latter, many of the top bands and artists from the 1960s and 1970s are still playing to sold out venues across America and the world!

The Happy Together Tour--Today!

The Happy Together Tour 2016 features acts from a magical era in Rock & Roll!  The show takes you on a trip to the wonderfully exhilarating world of the 1960s & 1970s. You just might see as much Tie Dye in the audience as you did in 1967 during the Summer Of Love. 

Grounded in an unprecedented volume of Billboard & Cashbox Top 40 hit records, The Happy Together Tour is putting a smile on the faces of audiences all over America--taking them on a musical journey with number one hits such as:

  • "Joy To The World," performed by Chuck Negron, who was the voice belting out "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" while singing lead vocals for Three Dog Night. 
  • The Cowsills with their number one hit, "Hair." 
  • Mark Lindsay performed the number one hit, "Indian Reservation."  
  • Gary Puckett added to the overwhelming amount of number one hits with "Young Girl."
  • Spencer Davis brought his number one hits from across the pond with a distinctively British edge with "Gimme Some Lovin'" which was listed as #244 in Rolling Stone's Top 500 best records ever recorded! 
  • Our hosts, The Turtlesbrought it all to a dynamic crescendo with their number one hit, "Happy Together."

     Spencer Davis 

In 1966 and 1967, Spencer Davis scored with Top Ten hits "Gimme Some Lovin’and "I'm A Man." Spencer has been a successful touring musician for 50 years making him the senior rocker, and fan favorite, on The Happy Together Tour 2016. Spencer Davis is a world renowned iconic artist whose music has become an important staple on rock radio.

Many musicians will work together over the years developing a friendly and respectful relationship which applies to Spencer and me. We toured together in the late 1980s as part of The 30th Anniversary of Rock & Roll Tour. Over thirty years later, we are once again touring together!
     Me & Spencer Davis 

 The Cowsills 

The Cowsills landed 4 Top 40 hits, 2 of which topped The Cashbox Charts. When it comes to vocal harmonies, you would be hard pressed to find a better vocal blend than that of siblings Sue, Bob, and Paul Cowsill!

I found The Cowsills portion of the show refreshing, passionate, and authentic. We traveled on the same tour bus and I truly enjoyed our time together and look at them as friends!

The Cowsills exhibit an endearing energy that seems to originate from the joy they experience while singing! Folk music was an important influence for the family as was the ever changing Pop/Rock musical and social culture.

     Gary Puckett

Gary Puckett & TheUnion Gap had top ten songs including a #1 on the Billboard charts with "Young Girl." Gary is one of the great pop singers of his day and he continues to showcase his special talent on tour with The Happy Together Tour 2016. 

Gary's segment of the show is a powerful statement of his musical influence and great vocal style that led to his success in the 1960s, 1970s, and today.

    Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere & The Raiders)

Mark Lindsay's compelling vocal on "Indian Reservation" topped the charts for Paul Revere & The Raiders. The band's dynamic, live performances made them one of the top concert attractions in Rock!

Mark had 13 Top 40 hits with Paul Revere & The Raiders and 2 as a solo artist. Mark is touring with, and is an important part, of The Happy Together Tour 2016 and has toured as a successful solo artist for decades. 

His voice is extremely versatile taking on the edgy "Kicks" as well as the mid-tempo "Indian Reservation" where he displays a smoother, beautiful side of his voice!
  Howard Kaylan & Mark Volman
  Also known as Flo & Eddie

"Happy Together" topped The Billboard Charts for three weeks in 1967! The Turtles had 5 Top Ten hits and 9 Top 40 hits from 1965 to 1969. 

For over a decade Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan have hosted The Happy Together Tour, showcasing many of the great artists of the 1960s and 1970s.

I have history with Mark & Howard and The Turtles going back to the 1960s & 1970s when we toured together. Mark Volman was a neighbor of mine for years on Coldwater Canyon in Los Angeles, CA.  In the early 1980s, while recording a solo record, Mark & Howard did all the harmonies--which were unique and greatly appreciated by yours truly! 

Mark and Howard are two of the great front men in Rock & Roll. Their stage persona is not only funny, but also musically compelling with great harmonies and songs. 

Mark Volman has an impressive range which is the "star on the top of Christmas tree" rounding out The Turtles unique sound. Howard Kaylan is one of the great American voices in Rock & Pop I have watched and listened to a few hundred shows and I cannot recall him missing one single note! I find his voice to be a magnificent gift.

I enjoy being a fan on the side of the stage watching and supporting my peers as they perform their portions of the show on this fun-loving, artistically-outstanding tour and I appreciate the opportunity to perform the great hits I sang with Three Dog Night

Many of the artists became friends so I will give you a look as we go about our lives as touring artists!

    The Happy Together Tour Live--somewhere in America

     Me, Sue Cowsill, and Gary Puckett

   Me & Mark Volman

    Barry Williams, AKA Greg Brady, stopped by backstage. 
    Me, Bob Cowsill, Paul Cowsill, Sue Cowsill, Ami Albea

      Manny Facarazzo, Keyboard/Vocals, and Sue Cowsill, Vocals/Guitar

      Spencer Davis & Mark Dawson, Bass

     Gary Puckett

 Ami Albea & Charles Peer (A lifelong friend)
     Sue Cowsill, Vocals/Guitar

     Paul Cowsill, Vocals

     Bob Cowsill, Vocals/Guitar

     Mark Lindsay, formerly of Paul Revere & The Raiders

     Spencer Davis

      Mark Volman & Howard Kaylan (AKA Flo & Eddie)

 Ami Albea, Me, Gary Puckett, & Mark Lindsay

     Me, before show mirror selfie

      Gary Puckett & Me

 Chuck & Ami exhausted
     Manny Facarazzo, Keyboards/Vocals

    Mark Dawson, Bass/Vocals

     Steve Murphy, Drums/Vocals

    Godfrey Townsend, Lead Guitar/Band Leader

    Taking it all in--Gary Puckett & Sue Cowsill               


The following seven people are the stars that shine the brightest in these performer's eyes.  Not only did we respect and trust them, but we also put our lives and careers in these unique people's hands every day as we traveled, shared intimate spaces, learned about each other, and accepted most imperfections. They endured the fatigue and tedium of life on the road which was hopefully balanced by the glorious rewards of an exuberant audience and a great show!

I would think most individuals would find it strange that we embrace and/or accept whatever comes our way in the never ending process of making a concert materialize. Everything we do is directed towards the few hours the performers are on stage for that is our life!

     Ron Housefeld, Tour/Production Manager
     (Father, Mother, & Friend!)

    JC Girardier, Front Of House Sound

    Jason Craig, Stage Manager

     Alejandro Marin, Stage Monitors

    Tessa Baker, Merchandise Princess

     Mike Lyles, Bus Driver

     Terry Mc Gee, Bus Driver

The previous seven pictures consist of the pulse of the machine that kept everything functioning and without them the concerts could not, and would not, have happened!

I thank you all for your commitment to excellence and professionalism on this journey that often defines us!

    Ami and Me, we made it and we're Heading Home☮✌️
    THANK YOU All!
 For The Forum We Are Accorded❤️