Wednesday, September 19, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Turtles

Artist:The Turtles
Song:Happy Together
Album:Save The Turtles: The Turtles Greatest Hits

The Turtles were one of the more enjoyable groups of the 60s. Happy Together was their only number one hit in 1967. Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman were the driving force behind The Turtles. With one major exception, the other members of the band were interchangeable. Kaylan and Volman met at Westchester High School in Los Angeles and formed The Crossfires. DJ Reb Foster got them a deal with the fledgling label White Whale Records. They were supposed to be a folk rock group similar to The Byrds so White Whale wanted to call them The Tyrtles. The band settled on The Turtles. Their first single, a cover of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Though The Turtles next two singles reached the top 30, their second album You Baby didn't sell. So already they were fading. And as a small label, White Whale was counting on The Turtles to carry them. After wholesale personnel changes, bassist Chip Douglas joined The Turtles. Kaylan and Volman were going through a stack of demos looking for songs. Happy Together was written by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon of The Magicians. This song had been kicking around for a couple of years. The Magicians released a few singles on Columbia and today are hailed as lost pioneers of psychedelia. The two wrote other songs for The Turtles and for other artists like Celebrate by Three Dog Night. Chip Douglas wrote the arrangement for Happy Together. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. Soon after, Michael Nesmith hired Douglas to produce The Monkees. That hurt The Turtles. After She'd Rather Be With Me reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, they faded again. Douglas returned in 1968 and Eleanor and You Showed Me were top ten hits. Their final album Turtle Soup was produced by Ray Davies of The Kinks. It flopped and The Turtles split up. Then White Whale went bankrupt. Kaylan and Volman joined Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention and called themselves The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie because they couldn't use The Turtles name. They have recorded as Flo & Eddie. They acquired The Turtles recordings in 1974 and this comp is on their own label distributed by Manifesto Records. Kaylan and Volman still lead The Turtles today. Here are The Turtles performing Happy Together on The Ed Sullivan Show 1967.

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