Live by the Merry-Go-Round

#296: Live by the Merry-Go-Round

Peak Month: May 1967
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #1
1 week Hit Bound
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #63
YouTube: “Live
Lyrics: “Live

Joel Larson was born in San Francisco in 1947 and learned to play drums at the age of 12.  During high school he played in a number of bands who performed in clubs. When he was 18 years old, Larson joined a San Mateo band called The Bedouins who won a 1965 Battle of the Bands event in that city. The Bedouins were invited to  audition at the San Francisco Whisky A Go Go. The nightclub owner, Elmer Valentine, had asked Dunhill Record owner, Lou Adler, to attend the audition. Adler was impressed and soon The Bedouins were renamed The Grass Roots and given a new folk rock sound. While with The Grass Roots, Larson’s band were the studio musicians playing back-up to Barry McGuire’s #1 hit “Eve Of Destruction”. In 1966 The Grass Roots had a Top 30 hit in the USA called “Where Were You When I Needed You”, which only got play listed below the Top 40 in Vancouver for the last week of May 1966.

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You're A Very Lovely Woman by the Merry-Go-Round

#1104: You’re A Very Lovely Woman by the Merry-Go-Round

Peak Month: October 1967
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #94 “You’re A Very Lovely Woman
Lyrics: “You’re A Very Lovely Woman”

In early 1967 a pop band called The Merry-Go-Round were formed in Los Angeles. It featured singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes, drummer Joel Larson, lead guitarist Gary Kato and Bill Rinehart on bass. The band released just one album in the spring of ’67 called The Merry-Go-Round. Their debut release was a single called “Live“. It charted well in a number of radio markets in California including San Bernardino (#3), Oxnard (#2), Indio (#3), San Diego (#5), Los Angeles (#3), Redding (#2), Fresno (#3), Modesto (#3) and San Francisco (#6). The song also went Top Ten in radio markets in Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Massachusetts and Arizona. Though their debut single didn’t crack the Top 30 in Seattle, it climbed to #1 in Vancouver in may of ’67.   The Merry-Go-Round performed at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival in 1967 on both days of the music festival. They closed the show on Saturday June 10 and were the second to the show closer on Sunday June 11. This music festival was a template for another festival later that month, the Monterey Pop Festival.

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