Sunday, August 12, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pure Prairie League

Artist:Pure Prairie League
Album:Best Of Pure Prairie League

Pure Prairie League is probably best known for the 1980 top ten hit Let Me Love You Tonight when country music star Vince Gill was lead singer. But they actually had their breakthrough hit five years earlier with Amie after they were dropped by their record company and group leader Craig Fuller was tossed in jail for draft evasion. The band was from Columbus, OH and the name Pure Prairie League was a women's temperance union in the 1939 film Dodge City. The group leader was lead singer and guitarist Craig Fuller. Other members when the band signed with RCA in 1971 were George Ed Powell on acoustic guitar, John David Call on pedal steel guitar, Jim Lanham on bass and Jim Caughlan on drums. The album cover of their 1972 debut album was a Norman Rockwell painting of an old cowboy that would become the group symbol. They went on tour but then things got complicated. Fuller was facing charges of draft evasion and he wanted to move to Canada. Powell agreed to this but the others didn't. So Pure Prairie League's second album Bustin' Out was recorded in Toronto using other musicians. Soon after the album was released, Fuller returned to the US and was sentenced to six months in jail. Then RCA dropped Pure Prairie League. Bassist Michael Reilly tried to keep the band going with constant touring. Somehow one of Fuller's songs from Bustin' Out, Amie, started getting radio play in 1975. It reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 and RCA re-signed them. Follow up albums did not sell and the band was dying. Reilly found Vince Gill through auditions and Pure Prairie League signed with Casablanca Records. Gill was lead singer on the 1980 top ten hit Let Me Love You Tonight. But Casablanca went bankrupt and Gill went on to his solo career. This budget comp is the only one that has both hits. After Craig Fuller's band American Flyer split up, he returned to Pure Prairie League in 1985 and since then the band has toured regularly since 1998. Today they are a nostalgia act. Here's a video for Falling In and Out Of Love/Amie by Pure Prairie League. The two songs were recorded as a suite on Bustin' Out.

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