We were determined to get it right this time. Our band, the Outsiders, was destined for fame and fortune. Our young hearts and minds were ready for our day in the sun. Then, out of the blue, the Outsiders from Cleveland released "Time Won't Let Me."
Couldn't we sue them? Get some kind of restraining order to prevent them from using our name?
Our label, Laurie, told us not to worry. The record sucks they assured us. It's not going anywhere. Two weeks later it was number two in Cash Box and Billboard.
We took too long to come up with a worthy name so the lawyers in New York hired a big advertising firm. Think Mad Men here. Suddenly we were the Soul Trippers and we were mortified. The last thing that we recorded for the label was a version of Slim Harpo's King Bee which came out on their r&b subsidiary, Providence.
It was selling records and on its way. We needed one more major r&b station and we found out that WLAC in Nashville was going on the record. Sure fire hit now. John R, the program director, discovered that we were white and pulled the record. I only realized a few years back that John R was white, too.
When the label pulled us from a scheduled European tour with Gary "US" Bonds, the Chiffons and the Barbarians due to our draft status we were done.
Well, Buddy Richardson and I worked day and night for about a year putting together our next project. We wrote and we planned and we dreamed. We finally had enough material and the image that we were sure would set the world on its ear. In the process we were planning to save that world, too. We dragged a fifteen year old drummer named Bobby Caldwell from Orlando and called an old pal, Bill Mann. Noah's Ark was surely gonna save the world. I told ya.
The psychedelic movement was right in front of us. Talk about the right place at the right time. Buddy and I finished up a silly hillbilly number called I Get All The Luck just before our first studio session. It clocked in under two minutes even with Dick Holler's piano solo.
"So," you're probably asking yourself, "just exactly why did you decide to put out a stupid country ditty as your opening shot with this wild, loud rock'n'roll outfit?"
Hey- I've made a career out of that kind of decision. Let me tell you about my personal life one day.
We didn't save the world, either.