Sunday, January 29, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pacific Gas and Electric

Artist:Pacific Gas and Electric
Song:Are You Ready
Album:Are You Ready/Pacific Gas and Electric

Are You Ready was the only significant hit for Pacific Gas and Electric in 1970. This is a group that had a great lead singer in Charlie Allen and potential to be stars. But wholesale personnel changes killed them and they faded very quickly. Charlie Allen was the drummer for the mid-60's band Bluesberry Jam. He became part of a new band with guitarists Tom Marshall and Glenn Schwartz and bassist Brent Block. They decided that Allen was the best singer so they at first added drummer Fito de la Parra. Then it appears they traded de la Parra to Canned Heat for Frank Cook. They called themselves the Pacific Gas and Electric Blues Band and then shortened it to Pacific Gas and Electric. They recorded an unsuccessful album for Kent Records in 1968. But a performance at the 1968 Miami Pop festival earned them a deal with Columbia Records. Their 1969 album Pacific Gas and Electric did not catch on. But the 1970 follow up Are You Ready did and the single reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. This twofer CD was first released in Germany and then was picked up in North America by Collectables. Unfortunately Frank Cook was seriously injured in a car crash and the rest of the band left. Cook had become the group manager so he had to assemble and all new group to support Allen. They also changed their name to PG&E when the California utility Pacific Gas & Electric threatened to sue. The band also appeared in the Otto Preminger film Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon. It didn't help as the 1971 album PG&E didn't sell. The band split up again and Allen recorded an album for Dunhill Records with studio musicians in 1973. It appears that Charlie Allen left the music business and he died on May 7, 1990 at age 48. It's too bad because Allen was a talented guy. Here's Pacific Gas & Electric performing Are You Ready on BBC4 1970. I think this is the second version of the band known as PG&E.

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