Monday, October 06, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Harpers Bizarre

Artist:Harpers Bizarre
Song:The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
Album:Pop Memories of the '60s: My Special Angel

Here's a song that I am Sure everyone knows but you probably don't know anything about Harpers Bizarre. The 59th Street Bridge Song was a top 20 hit in 1967. A couple of their other songs charted so technically they aren't a one hit wonder. But Feelin' Groovy is the only thing most will remember. Harpers Bizarre started out as The Tikis in Santa Cruz, CA. Ted Templeman was lead singer and drummer along with Eddie James and Dick Scoppettone on guitar and Dick Yount on bass. They had success locally and signed with the San Francisco based label Autumn Records in 1965. Autumn was the home for The Beau Brummels. The Tikis recorded a couple of singles. But then Autumn was sold to Warner Bros. in 1966. House producer Lenny Waronker was given the task of figuring out what to do with The Tikis. First he suggested that Templeman do the lead singing up front and they hire a new drummer. That was John Petersen of The Beau Brummels. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) was written by Paul Simon and appeared on the 1966 Simon & Garfunkel album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme. Waronker hired Leon Russell to write the arrangement. The result was a lot different from The Tikis' surf rock sound. So Waronker wanted a new band name and based it on the magazine Harper's Bazaar. When the single reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, Harpers Bizarre got to record the album Feelin' Groovy. Russell wrote some of the arrangements and Randy Newman wrote others. A couple of their other songs charted but The 59th Street Bridge Song is the only memorable song. You can get it on this Time Life various artists budget comp. They recorded four albums and split up when most of the band wanted a new producer but Templeman wanted to continue with Waronker. Templeman became a Warner Bros. house producer best known for producing The Doobie Brothers. Petersen married Templemen's sister Roberta Templeman. She also worked for Warner Bros. Harpers Bizarre reunited in 1976 minus Templeman. Here's Harpers Bizarre performing The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) on The Mike Douglas Show 1967.

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