David Gates Autograph, lead singer of BREAD BEST OF PIANO VOCAL CHORDS VINTAGE For Sale

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David Gates Autograph, lead singer of BREAD BEST OF PIANO VOCAL CHORDS VINTAGE:

Best of Bread: DeluxePaul, Raymond (ed.)Published by Columbia Pictures Publications, Hialeah, Florida, 1977
Contains words and music (piano, vocal, chords) of 18 songs by Bread. Also contains pictures and write-ups on David Gates, James Griffin, Mike Botts, and Larry Knechtel. Evidence on front cover shows WEAR. good shape.Softcover
Vintage signature on front cover of lead singer of BREAD David was an American soft rock band from Los Angeles, California. They had 13 songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1970 and 1977.[2]
The band was fronted by David Gates (vocals, bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, violin, viola, percussion), with Jimmy Griffin (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion) and Robb Royer (bass guitar, guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, recorder, backing vocals). On their first album session musicians Ron Edgar played drums and Jim Gordon played drums, percussion, and piano. Mike Botts became their permanent drummer when he joined in the summer of 1969, and Larry Knechtel replaced Royer in 1971, playing keyboards, bass guitar, guitar, and harmonica.[3][4][5]
Beginnings and fame
The band in 1970.David Gates is from Tulsa, Oklahoma.[4] He released a song in the late 1950s entitled "Jo-Baby"/"Lovin' at Night".[citation needed] Gates knew Leon Russell and both played in bar bands around the Tulsa area. Both Gates and Russell headed for California to check out the music scene there. Before forming Bread, Gates had worked with Royer's previous band, the Pleasure Fair, who recorded one album for the UNI Records label with Gates producing and arranging. Royer then introduced Gates to his songwriting partner, Griffin, and the trio joined together in 1968 and signed with Elektra Records in January 1969. Gates later explained the genesis of the band's name:[6]
A bread truck came along right at the time we were trying to think of a name. We had been saying, "How about bush, telephone pole? Ah, bread truck, bread." It began with a B, like the Beatles and the Bee Gees. Bread also had a kind of universal appeal. It could be taken a number of ways. Of course, for the entire first year people called us the Breads.
The group's first single, "Dismal Day", was released in June 1969 but did not chart. Their debut album, Bread, was released in September 1969 and peaked at No. 127 on the Billboard 200. The songwriting on the album was split evenly between Gates and the team of Griffin-Royer. Session musicians Jim Gordon and Ron Edgar accompanied the band on drums for the album.
On July 25, 1969, Bread appeared in concert for the first time, with Gordon on drums, at the Aquarius Theater in Hollywood, opening for the Flying Burrito Brothers. When Gordon's schedule conflicted and he proved unavailable for future outings, they brought in Mike Botts as their permanent drummer. Botts, whom Gates had previously worked with in Botts's group The Travelers 3 as a producer, appeared on their second album, On the Waters (released in July 1970 and peaking at No. 12 on the Billboard 200). This time their efforts quickly established Bread as a major act with the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit "Make It with You" in 1970. "Make It with You" would be Bread's only No. 1 on the Hot 100.
For their next single, Bread released a re-recorded version of "It Don't Matter To Me", a Gates song from their first album. This single was a hit as well, reaching No. 10. Bread began touring and recording their third album, titled Manna (March 1971), which peaked at #21 and included "Let Your Love Go" (which preceded the album's release and made No. 28) and the Top 5 hit single, "If". As with the first album, songwriting credits were split evenly between Gates and Griffin-Royer.
Royer, after conflicts with other members of the band, left the group in the summer of 1971 after three albums, although he would continue to write with Griffin. He was replaced by Larry Knechtel, a leading Los Angeles session musician who played piano and harpsichord on The Beach Boys Pet Sounds album and on Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" single in 1970.[7]
In January 1972 Bread released Baby I'm-a Want You, their most successful album, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. The title song was established as a hit in late 1971 before the album was released, also hitting No. 3. Follow-up singles "Everything I Own" and "Diary" also went Top 20.
The next album, Guitar Man, was released ten months later and went to No. 18. The album produced three Top 20 singles, "The Guitar Man" (#11), "Sweet Surrender" (#15), and "Aubrey" (#15), with the first two going to No. 1 on Billboard's adult contemporary chart.
Split and reunionBy 1973, fatigue from constant recording and touring had set in despite the band's success, and personal relationships began to show strain, especially between Gates and Griffin. All eleven of Bread's charting singles between 1970 and 1973 had been written and sung by Gates. Elektra Records had invariably selected Gates' songs for the A-sides of the singles, while Griffin felt that the singles should have been split between the two of them. There was also some dissatisfaction with the songs planned for a sixth album. After their equipment and instruments were destroyed in a truck accident prior to a scheduled concert at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City in June 1973, Bread decided to disband.
Gates and Griffin returned to their solo careers with mixed results. The Best of Bread compilation album from March 1973 was a huge success, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and staying on the chart for over two years. The follow-up, The Best of Bread, Volume 2, was released in May 1974 and went to No. 32.
The reunion of the group in 1976 came about after Elektra Records expressed interest in another Bread album. Gates, Griffin, Botts and Knechtel returned to the studio that year and recorded Lost Without Your Love, released in January 1977. The title track, again written and sung by Gates, was the band's last Top 10 hit, peaking at No. 9 on the singles chart. This comeback record reached No. 26 on the Billboard 200 and was Bread's seventh consecutive album (including the two best ofs) to be RIAA-certified gold. In March 1977, Elektra released a second single, "Hooked On You". It was less successful on the pop chart (peaking at No. 60) but it reached No. 2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
The four members of Bread (along with session guitarist Dean Parks) toured throughout the spring of 1977 to support their comeback album. After a short break, they commenced the tour's third leg that summer without Griffin, whom Gates failed to invite after further rising tensions and Griffin's worsening substance abuse troubles. They ended the year with no further plans to record as a group.
Following the break-upIn 1978, Gates enjoyed success as a solo artist with the hit singles "Goodbye Girl" (#15; from the movie The Goodbye Girl) and "Took the Last Train" (#30). He then continued to tour with Botts and Knechtel as "David Gates & Bread", making TV appearances, including a guest shot on The Hardy Boys Mysteries which aired in November 1978. The group's 1978 touring line-up once again included Dean Parks for their June tour of the UK and Europe. By their fall dates back in the US, Parks had left and the stage lineup had expanded to include Warren Ham (ex-Bloodrock; woodwinds, keyboards, backing vocals), Bill Ham (guitars) and David Miner (bass). This led to a legal dispute with Griffin over use of the band's name, of which Griffin was co-owner. In the dispute, Griffin again complained that Gates' songs were given preference as singles over his. The resulting litigation, which resulted in the Bread name being retired altogether by late 1978, was not settled until 1984.
After leaving Bread in 1971, Royer stuck mostly to songwriting (still teaming up with Griffin on occasion). As with Griffin, he eventually kicked his drug problems and his success was mostly in writing for artists in the country music field in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1994, Royer, Griffin and Knechtel re-united under the name "Toast". Knechtel had continued to be an in-demand session player, backing up such artists as Elvis Costello. In September 1994, after being out of the spotlight for thirteen years, Gates released a new solo album, Love Is Always Seventeen.
In 1990, Griffin founded the country music supergroup Black Tie with Billy Swan and former Eagles member Randy Meisner. After this entity broke up, he recorded two albums as a member of another country music group, The Remingtons.[8]
Final reunionIn 1996, having settled their differences, the original members Gates, Griffin, Botts and Knechtel reunited Bread for a final and successful "25th Anniversary" tour of the United States, South Africa, Europe and Asia. This time out, the group was accompanied by Randy Flowers (guitars), Scott Chambers (bass) and a string section to help them capture the sound of the records. This tour was extended into 1997, which would be the last year the members of Bread would ever perform together. Gates and the others then resumed their individual careers. Bread was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006.
Life after BreadIn 2005, both Griffin and Botts died from cancer at the age of 61.[9][10] In August 2009, Knechtel died of a heart attack at the age of 69,[7] leaving Gates and Royer as the only surviving members of Bread. Royer continues to be involved in music, initially working out of his Nashfilms studio in Tennessee before relocating to the Virgin Islands in 2013. Gates contents himself with retirement at his home in Washington with his wife Jo Rita. In 2010, Royer released a Jimmy Griffin tribute album consisting of songs written by both himself and Griffin.
During March 2014, the first biography of the band appeared, written by UK author Malcolm C. Searles, titled Bread: A Sweet Surrender (originally called Manna from Heaven: The Musical Rise & Fall of Bread).[11][12] It was written with the assistance of many surviving family members and musical colleagues of the band, along with exclusive interviews with founding member Robb Royer. A paperback/soft-cover edition appeared during 2017. The following year Royer published his own memoirs, The View from Contessa.
PersonnelDavid Gates – vocals, bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, violin, viola, percussion (1968–'73, '76–'78, '96–'97)Jimmy Griffin – vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion (1968–'73, '76–'77, '96–'97)Robb Royer – bass guitar, guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, recorder, backing vocals (1968–'71)Mike Botts – drums, percussion (1969–'73, '76–'78, '96–'97)Larry Knechtel – keyboards, bass guitar, guitar, harmonica (1971–'73, '76–'78, '96–'97)Timeline
DiscographyStudio albumsYear Title Chart positions Certifications LabelUS[13] AUS[14] UK[15]1969 Bread 127 – – ARIA: 2× Platinum[16]Elektra1970 On the Waters 12 35 34 RIAA: Gold[17]1971 Manna 21 35 – RIAA: Gold[17]1972 Baby I'm-a Want You 3 23 9 RIAA: Gold[17]Guitar Man 18 22 – RIAA: Gold[17]1977 Lost Without Your Love 26 22 17 RIAA: Gold[17]ARIA: Gold[18]"–" denotes releases that did not chart.Compilation albumsYear Title Peak chart positions Certification LabelUSAUS[19] UK[15]1973 The Best of Bread 2267RIAA: 5× Platinum[17]ARIA: Gold[18]BPI: Silver[20]Elektra1974 The Best of Bread, Volume 2 327348RIAA: Gold[17]1977 The Sound of Bread –281BPI: Platinum[20]1985 Anthology of Bread –––RIAA: Platinum[17]1989 The Very Best of Bread ––41BPI: Silver[20]Pickwick1996 David Gates & Bread Essentials ––9ARIA: Gold[16]BPI: Gold[20]ElektraRetrospective –––2002 Make It with You and Other Hits –––Flashback2006 The Definitive Collection –––Elektra/Rhino2007 The Works 3 Double CD –––Warner Music Group UK & Rhino Records2012 Collected: Bread & David Gates –––Universal NL 3 Double CD2017 The Elektra Years: The Complete Album Collection –––Warner Music Group UK & Rhino Records"–" denotes releases that did not chart.SinglesYear Title Chart positions CertificationUS[21] US AC[22] UK[23][15] AUS[19] CAN[24]1969 "Dismal Day" – – – – – "Could I" – – – – – "Move Over" – – – – – 1970 "Make It with You" 1 4 5 7 2 RIAA: Gold[17]BPI: Silver[20]"It Don't Matter to Me" 10 2 – 29 6 1971 "Let Your Love Go" 28 – – 34 – "If" 4 1 – 41 6 "Mother Freedom" 37 – – – – "Baby I'm-a Want You" 3 1 14 8 5 RIAA: Gold[17]1972 "Everything I Own" 5 3 32 12 5 "Diary" 15 3 – 26 12 "The Guitar Man" 11 1 16 22 6 "Sweet Surrender" 15 1 53[A] 67 4 1973 "Aubrey" 15 4 – – 41 1976 "Lost Without Your Love" 9 3 27 19 8 1977 "Hooked on You" 60 2 – – 48 "–" denotes releases that did not chart.Date indicates the week the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100All songs above reached their peak position on the Billboard Hot 100 the same year they entered the chart except for "Lost Without Your Love" which peaked at No. 9 in 1977NotesChart position is from the official UK "Breakers List"
David Ashworth Gates (born December 11, 1940)[1] is a retired American singer-songwriter, guitarist, musician and producer, frontman and co-lead singer (with Jimmy Griffin) of the group Bread, which reached the top of the musical charts in Europe and North America on several occasions in the 1970s. The band was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.[2]
Life and early careerOriginally from Tulsa, Oklahoma,[1] Gates was surrounded by music from infancy, as the son of Clarence Gates, a band director, and Wanda Rollins, a piano teacher. He became proficient in piano, violin, bass and guitar by the time he enrolled in Tulsa's Will Rogers High School. Gates formed his first band, The Accents, with other high school musicians which included a piano player, Claude Russell Bridges, who later in life changed his name to Leon Russell.[1] During a concert in 1957, the Accents backed Chuck Berry.[3] In 1957, David Gates and the Accents released the 45 "Jo-Baby" / "Lovin' at Night" on Robbins record label. The A-side was written for his sweetheart, Jo Rita, whom he married in 1959 while enrolled at the University of Oklahoma studying law and pre-med. At Oklahoma he became a member of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity.[4]
In 1961, he and his family moved to Los Angeles, where Gates continued writing songs, and he worked as a music copyist, as a studio musician, and as a producer for many artists – including Pat Boone.[1] Success soon followed. His composition "Popsicles and Icicles" hit No. 3 on the US Hot 100 for The Murmaids in January 1964.[1] The Monkees recorded another of his songs, "Saturday's Child". By the end of the 1960s, he had worked with many leading artists, including Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Merle Haggard, Duane Eddy and Brian Wilson.[citation needed] In 1965, Gates arranged the Glenn Yarbrough hit, "Baby the Rain Must Fall". In 1966, he produced two singles on A&M Records for Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band.[1]
Gates scored his first motion picture Journey to Shiloh in 1967.[5]
In the meantime, Gates had been releasing singles of his own on several labels in the early 1960s.[1] On Mala Records, he released "There's a Heaven" / "She Don't Cry", "You'll Be My Baby" / "What's This I Hear", "The Happiest Man Alive" / "A Road That Leads to Love", and "Jo Baby" / "Teardrops in My Heart". On Planetary, he released "Little Miss Stuck Up" / "The Brighter Side", and "Let You Go" / "Once upon a Time" under the pseudonym of "Del Ashley" in 1965. On Del-Fi, he released "No One Really Loves a Clown" / "You Had It Comin' to Ya". He also released a single under the name of "The Manchesters" in 1965 on the Vee-Jay label.
Bread and fame
Gates and Bread performing on the television program Hotel Ninety in 1973In 1967, Gates produced and arranged the debut album from a band called The Pleasure Fair,[1][6] of which Robb Royer was a member. A little over a year later, Gates and Royer got together with Jimmy Griffin to form Bread.[1] The group was signed by the Elektra record company, where it would remain for the eight years of its existence. Elektra released Bread's first album, Bread, in 1969, which peaked at No. 127 on the Billboard 200. The first single, "Dismal Day", written by Gates, was released in June 1969 but did not sell well.
Bread's second album, On the Waters (the title a wordplay on Ecclesiastes 11:1; "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days."[7]), with a new drummer, Mike Botts, was released in 1970, and became a breakout success. It contained the No. 1 single "Make It with You" and was the first of seven consecutive Bread albums to go gold in the US. Bread's next three albums, Manna (1971), Baby I'm-a Want You (1972) (featuring Larry Knechtel as a new member of the band, replacing Royer) and Guitar Man (1972) were also successful, with more chart singles and gold records. From 1970 to 1973, Bread charted 11 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, all of which were written and sung by Gates. That caused some antagonism between Gates and Griffin, who was also a significant contributor to Bread's albums as a singer and songwriter. Bread disbanded in 1973.[1] Their last concert was performed at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 19, 1973.
Gates recorded and produced his solo album First in 1973.[1] The single "Clouds", an edited version of the album track "Suite Clouds and Rain", peaked at No. 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and No. 3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The full album version was played extensively by Radio Caroline presenter Samantha Dubois at the end of her early morning radio programme, and became her closing theme.[8] A second single, "Sail Around the World", reached No. 50 on the singles chart and No. 11 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The album reached No. 107 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. In 1975, Gates released the album Never Let Her Go.[1] The title track was released as a single, and reached No. 29 on the Hot 100 chart and No. 3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The album itself reached No. 102 on the Billboard 200.
Bread reunited in 1976 for one album, Lost Without Your Love, released late that year.[1] The title track—again written and sung by Gates—reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. At the end of 1977, Gates released what would be his most successful single as a solo artist, "Goodbye Girl", from the 1977 film of the same name.[1] It peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. To capitalize on that success, Gates put an album together in June 1978 that featured material from his first two solo albums mixed with some new material. It yielded another hit single, "Took the Last Train", which reached No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 but the album itself made it only to No. 165 on the Billboard 200. In 1978, Gates and Bread guest starred on an episode of The Hardy Boys Mysteries.
Botts and Knechtel from Bread, along with Warren Ham, brother Bill Ham and bassist David Miner, continued to record and tour with Gates. In late 1978, they toured billing themselves as "David Gates & Bread", which brought a lawsuit from Griffin, who was still co-owner of the Bread trademark, and an injunction against the use of the name Bread. By the end of 1978, the "Bread" moniker had been dropped and they continued on as "David Gates and His Band". The dispute was not resolved until 1984.
Gates released the albums Falling in Love Again (featuring "Where Does the Loving Go"), which peaked at No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979, and Take Me Now, which peaked at No. 62, in 1981. He recorded a duet with Melissa Manchester, "Wish We Were Heroes", included in her 1982 album Hey Ricky. Gates was less active in music during the remainder of the 1980s.[1] He concentrated on operating a cattle ranch in the Fall River Valley of Northern California, located on land he purchased in the 1970s. He returned to music in 1994, when he released Love Is Always Seventeen, his first new album in thirteen years.
Gates and Griffin put aside their differences, and reunited for a final Bread tour in 1996–97 with Botts and Knechtel. With the deaths of three of the other principal members of Bread, Gates is the sole surviving band member from their heyday, although Royer still successfully works in Nashville.
The David Gates Songbook, containing earlier hit singles and new material, was released in 2002. Engelbert Humperdinck included "Baby I'm-a Want You" on his 1972 album In Time and "If" on his 2003 album Definition of Love. Frank Sinatra covered "If" in a live performance at Madison Square Garden on October 12, 1974, which was recorded by Rhino Records.[9] Gates's songs have been recorded by many artists, including Telly Savalas, who had a UK No. 1 hit with "If" in 1975; Vesta Williams, who made a rendition of "Make It with You" in 1988; the band CAKE, which covered "The Guitar Man" in 2004; Ray Parker Jr., who also recorded "The Guitar Man" in 2006; and Boy George, who took "Everything I Own" to No. 1 on the UK chart, when he covered the Ken Boothe reggae version of Gates's song, which itself had been a UK No. 1 in 1974. Jack Jones recorded a Bread tribute album, Bread Winners (1972) including the Gates' standard, "If", which has long been a staple of Jones' live performances.
Personal lifeAccording to a 1996 article in People, Gates has remained married to high school sweetheart Jo Rita since 1959. Together they raised four children: three lawyers and a cardiothoracic surgeon.[10] Gates, who studied the cattle ranching business while touring with Bread, purchased a 1,400-acre (570 ha) cattle ranch financed by royalties he earned during his time with the band. According to Malcolm C. Searles’ Facebook page, he lives happily with his wife in Mount Vernon, Washington, enjoying his retirement.[11][12]
DiscographySee also: Bread (band)Studio albumsYear Title Chart positionsUS[13] UK[14] AUS[15]1973 First 107 – –1975 Never Let Her Go 102 32 –1978 Goodbye Girl 165 28 691980 Falling in Love Again – – –1981 Take Me Now – – –1994 Love Is Always Seventeen – – –Compilation albumsYear Title Chart positionsUS[13] UK[14] AUS[16]1985 Anthology – – –2002 The David Gates Songbook – 11 34SinglesYear Title Chart positionsUS[17] US AC[18] UK[14] CAN AC1957 "Jo Baby" – – – –1958 "Pretty Baby" – – – –1959 "Swingin' Baby Doll" – – – –1960 "What's This I Hear" – – – –"The Happiest Man Alive" – – – –1961 "Teardrops in My Heart" – – – –1962 "Sad September" – – – –1963 "No One Really Loves a Clown" – – – –1964 "The Oakie Surfer" – – – –"My Baby's Gone Away" – – – –"She Don't Cry" – – – –1965 "Little Miss Stuck-Up" – – – –"Just a Lot of Talk" – – – –"Sad September" – – – –"Let You Go" – – – –"I Don't Come from England" – – – –1973 "Suite: Clouds, Rain" 47 3 – –"Sail Around the World" / "Lorilee" 50 11 – –1975 "Never Let Her Go" 29 3 – –"Part-Time Love" – 34 – –1977 "Goodbye Girl" 15 3 50 –1978 "Took the Last Train" 30 7 – –1979 "Where Does the Lovin' Go" 46 9 – –1980 "Can I Call You" – – – –"Falling in Love Again" – – – –1981 "Take Me Now" 62 15 – 9"Come Home for Christmas" – – – –1994 "I Can't Find the Words to Say Goodbye" – – – –James Arthur Griffin (August 10, 1943 – January 11, 2005) was an American singer, guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work with the 1970s soft rock band Bread. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1970 as co-writer of "For All We Know".
Early lifeGriffin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. His musical training began when his parents signed him up for accordion lessons. He attended Kingsbury High School in Memphis and Dorsey and Johnny Burnette were his neighbors and role models. After the Burnette brothers moved to Los Angeles, California to further their music careers, Griffin went there to visit them, and managed to secure a recording contract with Reprise Records.
CareerSolo performing and songwritingHis first album, Summer Holiday, was released in 1963. He had small roles in two films, For Those Who Think Young (1964) and None but the Brave (1965).
In the 1960s, Griffin teamed with fellow songwriter Michael Z. Gordon to write songs for such diverse singers as Ed Ames, Gary Lewis, Bobby Vee, Brian Hyland, The Standells, Lesley Gore, Sandy Nelson and Cher. The pair won a BMI award for "Apologize" sung by Ames in 1968.
Griffin met Robb Royer through Maria Yolanda Aguayo (Griffin's future wife). The two hit it off immediately and became life-time collaborators both as performers and writers. Griffin was a staff writer with Viva Publishing and managed to get them to hire Royer as his co-writer in 1967. Viva was resistant to hiring Royer and instead wanted Griffin to write with another staff writer with the company. According to Royer, Griffin convinced Viva to hire Royer by threatening "I will be writing with him. Do you really want to give away half the publishing on all those songs?".[1] James Griffin sang songs that were featured in a few episodes of the TV series Ironside in the late sixties.
Griffin (second from right) as part of the band Bread in 1971In 1968, Griffin and Royer teamed with David Gates to form the band Bread using session drummer Jim Gordon for their first album and their initial gigs. Mike Botts soon replaced Gordon as the band's permanent drummer, first appearing on their second album, On the Waters.
In 1970, Griffin and Royer – under the pseudonyms Arthur James and Robb Wilson – wrote the lyrics for Fred Karlin's music for the song "For All We Know", featured in the film Lovers and Other Strangers. It won the Academy Award for Best Song.This song was later covered by The Carpenters on their third album.
In 1971 Royer left Bread, but continued to provide songs co-written with Griffin for the group. He was replaced by keyboardist/guitarist Larry Knechtel. They had a number one Billboard Hot 100 hit with the song, "Make It With You". Other hits by Bread included "Baby I'm-a Want You", "If" and "Everything I Own". Although Griffin was a significant contributor to Bread's albums as a writer and singer, every one of the group's thirteen songs that made the Billboard Hot 100 chart was written and sung by Gates, a situation that created friction between the two.[2]
After the release of Guitar Man in 1972, Bread went on hiatus. Griffin released a solo album, Breakin' Up Is Easy on Polydor Records in 1973, credited to 'James Griffin & Co'. Neither the album nor the singles, "Breakin' Up Is Easy", and "She Knows", made the Billboard charts. Bread reformed in 1976 for one final album, Lost Without Your Love. Gates, Botts, and Knechtel continued to record together on Gates's solo albums, and initially toured as 'David Gates & Bread', which led to a lawsuit from Griffin. The dispute was not resolved until 1984. Griffin and Gates put aside their past differences for a Bread reunion tour in 1996–1997 with Botts and Knechtel.
Black TieIn 1977, Griffin released a third solo album, James Griffin, also on Polydor, with tracks recorded in 1974 and 1975. He teamed with Terry Sylvester (formerly of The Hollies) on the album Griffin & Sylvester in 1982 and was a member of Black Tie with Randy Meisner and Billy Swan, which released When The Night Falls in 1985, co-produced by T-Bone Burnett. Robb Royer was also credited as a musician on the album. The album was remixed and reissued in the early 1990s, with Griffin's voice more prominent on some songs. The Black Tie single "Learning The Game" peaked at No. 59 on the Billboard country chart in 1991.[3]
The RemingtonsIn 1991 Griffin formed The Remingtons with Richard Mainegra and Rick Yancey. They released their first single that same year, followed by the albums Blue Frontier (1992) and Aim for the Heart (1993). Their single, "A Long Time Ago" went Top 10 on Billboard''s country chart in 1992 with "Two-Timin' Me" cracking the Top 20 later that year.[3]
Toast/Radio DixieBeginning in 1994 Griffin and Robb Royer collaborated with Grammy-nominated songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Todd Cerney to write songs and perform in local venues. Larry Knechtel also participated in the collaboration and the group called themselves Toast (an obvious reference to Bread). Griffin, Royer and Cerney began this collaboration when they wrote "Kyrie" in 1994. Knechtel also joined songwriting credits on the 1995 song "Slow Train".[1] The group wrote, recorded and performed together at various Nashville Venues including the Bluebird Cafe, 3rd & Lindsley, and 12th & Porter. In 1998 they changed the name to "Radio Dixie" in an effort to be more commercially viable. The group disbanded in 1998, although Royer and Cerney continued to collaborate on song-writing.[4]
GYGIn 2003, Griffin, Rick Yancey and Ronnie Guilbeau began writing and performing as GYG, recording a CD of the same name. The CD included new material and well-known tunes like "Who's Gonna Know", a Remingtons tune recorded by Conway Twitty, and "Call It Love" a No. 1 hit for Poco written by Ronnie Guilbeau. GYG was performing at numerous Nashville venues including the 2004 CRS Conference and making further plans to shop the CD to indie labels and take the act on the road at the time of Griffin's sickness and death.[citation needed]
In early 2004, Griffin recorded a duet with Holly Cieri of his Oscar-winning song "For All We Know". During that same year, Griffin also collaborated with Michael Z. Gordon and Griffin recorded the song, "Something Else Altogether" which was slated to be the title song for the film, "The Devil and Daniel Webster". However, the film went into bankruptcy and the song was never used in the movie but was recently[when?] posted on YouTube and dedicated to Griffin.[citation needed]
DeathGriffin died of complications from cancer on January 11, 2005, at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, after undergoing treatment for several months; he was 61 years old. He was survived by his wife Marti, daughters Katy and Alexis, sons Jamey and Jacob, granddaughters Laura and Lilli and grandsons Gryffyn and Max.[5]
Robert Wilson Royer (born December 6, 1942, in Los Angeles)[1] is an American musician and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the soft rock band Bread from 1968 to 1971. While he was with the band, they had a #5 UK/#1 US hit single with "Make It With You". He was replaced by Larry Knechtel in 1971.
In 1970, Royer and Jimmy Griffin, under the pseudonyms Robb Wilson and Arthur James, wrote the lyrics for "For All We Know", featured in the film Lovers and Other Strangers. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and was a Top Ten hit for The Carpenters in March and April 1971.[2]
Before co-founding Bread, Royer had been a member of the band The Pleasure Fair, whose only album in 1967 was produced and arranged by David Gates, Royer's future bandmate in Bread.
Now living and working in Nashville, his songwriting credits include works for Jimmy Griffin, The Remingtons, Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Michael Montgomery, Randy Travis, Billy Burnette, The Finnigan Brothers (Mike Finnigan) and others.
CareerEarly interests in musicRobb Royer was exposed to recordings of classical music from early childhood and in Junior High school he pursued playing clarinet in the band. He attended and graduated from Sierra High School in Tollhouse, CA. While there he briefly participated in marching band but preferred to focus on the music rather than the marching. During his senior year he participated in concert band playing alto saxophone.[1]
Royer obtained his first guitar when he was a 19-year-old sophomore at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge). He met Tim Hallinan at the school. "Finally, when I began playing guitar, the scales tipped and Tim saw reason to talk to me. He liked to sing and I liked to play."[3]
The two began to perform together as "Robb & Tim" and then later added the talent of Michele Cochrane. Hallinan recalled "What I remember best about Michele was, first, that she could actually sing. I was just faking it, doing what I've done since I was born, an approach to life that begins with the words, 'Act like you can –' In this case, it was sing. But Michele actually could; she had a glorious voice."[4]
The Pleasure FairSoon the trio became a quartet with the addition of Stephen Cohn, who had previously graduated from Valley State's music department, giving a senior recital in classical guitar. The group called themselves by various names, the most notable being "The Pleasure Fair" and by 1966 they managed to obtain a recording contract for a single with Hanna Barbera Records under the name "The Rainy Day People". "Junior Executive" was the "A" side, backed with "I'm Telling It To You" (both songs written by Cohn, Hallinan and Royer) [5]
A year later the group signed a recording contract with Uni Records in 1967[6] David Gates was hired as the arranger and conductor for the Pleasure Fair's self-titled album.[7]
Royer's song "Say What You See" (co-written with Tim Hallinan) would end up in 1968 being produced by Jimmy Griffin and arranged by David Gates. It was sung by a trio calling themselves "The Curtain Calls". Soon afterward in the same year the three founding members of Bread (Royer, Griffin and Gates) would combine forces as their own group.[8]
Jimmy Griffin collaborationsRobb Royer met Jimmy Griffin through a mutual friend, Maria Yolanda Aguayo, who would later become Griffin's wife. Initially Griffin asked Royer to help with writing horn parts for a music course that Griffin was taking. Soon Royer and Griffin were working together as staff songwriters for Viva Publishing. Jimmy Griffin had been hired by Viva first and was originally supposed to write with another Viva writer, but preferred working with Royer. Griffin soon forced the issue with Viva when he asked if they wanted only half of the publishing rights or all of the rights, resulting in Viva hiring Royer by 1967. Griffin earned $75 a week (US$610 in 2021 dollars[9]) and Royer received $50 a week (US$406 in 2021 dollars[9]), but those salaries were sufficient to pay the rent at that time (Royer's rent for his L.A. apartment was $80 a month in 1967).[10]
Royer and Griffin, using the pseudonyms Robb Wilson and Arthur James, wrote the lyrics for "For All We Know", featured in the film Lovers and Other Strangers, which won the Academy Award for Best Song. The song has charted three times: The Carpenters (1971) reached number one on the Adult Contemporary charts (#3 in the Billboard Hot 100); Shirley Bassey (1971) reached number six on the UK charts; Nicki French (1995) reached number 42 on the UK charts.[11]
Royer and Griffin would continue to write and collaborate on various projects until Griffin's death in 2005.
Robb Royer (second from left) as part of the band Bread in 1971Robb Royer and Jimmy Griffin co-founded Bread with David Gates in 1968. Maria Yolanda Aguayo once again contributed to the band's history when she revealed a trend she noticed as (Record Producer) Gary Usher's desk girl at CBS Records – band managers generally waited in the lobby but attorneys generally had immediate access to the executives at CBS. The trio quickly hired Al Schlesinger to represent them and he pitched their group to three labels in their search of a recording contract: Elektra Records, The Beatles' Apple Records and Atlantic Records, but Apple did not have clear leadership and was quickly eliminated from the process while Atlantic had recently signed two supergroups – Crosby Stills & Nash and Led Zeppelin – and they were based on the East Coast. Elektra was the label for The Doors, but were becoming embroiled in Jim Morrison's legal battles. When both Atlantic and Elektra offered recording deals to Bread, the group chose the Elektra deal because they had a local headquarters in Los Angeles and the group felt Elektra would more actively promote them, given Atlantic's other recent signings.
The first album made use of Jimmy Gordon's drumming and Gordon also performed drums with the group during their initial gigs, but due to Gordon's high demand among multiple recording artists and his participation with the artists that eventually became Derek and the Dominos, he was replaced with Mike Botts as the group's regular drummer, thus expanding the band to a quartet.
After three years, Robb Royer and David Gates came to a breaking point because Gates wanted more control of the group, so Royer left the group in 1971 after its third album Manna and was replaced with famous session keyboardist/bassist/guitarist Larry Knechtel, who had previously contributed the piano performance on Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Royer continued to write with Griffin and Bread continued to record Royer/Griffin collaborations.[10]
Griffin and KnechtelBread disbanded in 1973 and Jimmy, Larry and Robb ended up working together, releasing one album with Polydor records in 1973 under the name "James Griffin & Co." although none of the songs charted. The trio began work on a second album but it was completed by other producers and released in Europe.
Toast/Radio DixieIn 1982 Royer wrote the song "Quittin' Time" (co-written with Roger Linn) which eight years later was recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter and won an ASCAP Airplay award. Royer traveled to Nashville to receive the award and stayed with Griffin, who had previously relocated from L.A. to Nashville. Larry Knechtel had also been living and working as a session musician in Nashville. Royer relocated to Nashville in 1994.
Todd Cerney was already a grammy-nominated songwriter when Royer met him in 1994 at Jim Della Croce's house. Cerney had written two top-forty songs (Loverboy's "Notorious" and Restless Heart's "I'll Still Be Loving You," which reached number one on the Country charts). Cerney had established a private recording studio in his home where he engineered a number of other singer-songwriters' albums.
Griffin, Royer and Cerney first collaborated by co-writing the song "Kyrie" in 1994. Knechtel later joined the trio and together they performed and co-wrote songs (including the 1995 song "Slow Train") under the band name "Toast". Toast performed at various Nashville venues including the Bluebird, Third and Lindsley, and 12th & Porter. They wrote and performed their own songs including such titles as "Road Kill," "Knechtelodeon," "No More Smokin'," "Grenadine," "Magdelena," and "Radio Dixie." The group used session drummers for their recordings and performances. The group would later be known as Radio Dixie in 1998. The name change was intended to help with promotion of the group, but the group disbanded by the end of 1998. Royer and Cerney continued to write together, generating additional titles including "Hurtin' Cowboy," "New Orleans Prayer," "I Believe I Kissed an Angel," and "Beside Myself."[10]
Cosmo and RobettaRobb Royer, fulfilling a deathbed wish from Jimmy Griffin, completed in 2010 a project begun by the two in 1973 after Bread's first breakup. A mix of rock opera and radio "Theater of the Mind", the project is a dramatic narration completed with sound effects and music which tells the story of Cosmo, an electronics whiz who is the sole human employee of Savage motors. In his spare time he has built Robetta, a robot who later becomes nearly human in appearance and abilities.[12] The project was an expansion of an earlier work, "The Plastic Sibling", co-written by Robb alongside a number of college friends, including Tim Hallinan.
Additional songwritingRoyer collaborated with Richard Fagan to write "Sold (The Grundy County sale Incident)" which was recorded by John Michael Montgomery and became a number one Billboard Country chart hit in 1995.[11]
Michael Gene Botts (December 8, 1944 – December 9, 2005) was an American drummer, best known for his work with 1970s soft rock band Bread, and as a session musician. During his career, he recorded with Linda Ronstadt, Karla Bonoff, Andrew Gold, Olivia Newton-John, Peter Cetera, Anne Murray, Warren Zevon and Dan Fogelberg, among many others. He also contributed to several soundtracks for films, and to albums released under the name of The Simpsons. Although known primarily as a drummer, Botts also contributed backing vocals to some Bread songs.
CareerBorn in Oakland, California, Botts grew up in nearby Antioch before moving to Sacramento. While in college, he began playing with a band called The Travellers Three and working as a studio musician. Eventually, the group disbanded, but not before recording some songs with producer David Gates.[1]Mike Botts (first from right) as part of the band Bread in 1971While working with Bill Medley, Botts was invited to join Gates's band, Bread, for its second album, On the Waters.[2] He accepted the offer and worked as a full-time member of Bread from 1970 to 1973, when the band went on hiatus. At that point, Botts began working with Linda Ronstadt,[2] and recorded and toured with her for over two years. Botts reunited with the other members of Bread in 1976 for one final album and tour, before disbanding again in 1978.[1]
He then worked with Karla Bonoff and Andrew Gold, playing on Gold's 1977 hit "Lonely Boy", and continued to work in the studio as a player, singer, writer, and producer. In 1989, he toured Japan with Richard Carpenter.[1] Two years later, he began touring and recording with Dan Fogelberg while continuing his session work, and also writing jingles and music for children's albums.[3] In 1996, the members of Bread again reunited for a world tour that ran until the fall of 1997. Botts then recorded his only solo album, Adults Only, released in 2000.[1]
Botts died in Burbank, California, one day after his 61st birthday, having suffered from colon cancer.[2]
DiscographyJoshua Fox – Joshua Fox (1968)Tommy Flanders – Moonstone (1969)Glenda Griffith – Glenda Griffith (1969)Mary McCaslin – Goodnight Everybody (1969)Dick Rosmini – A Genuine Rosmini (1969)Bread – On the Waters (1970)Johnny Darrell – California Stop-Over (1970)Ananda Shankar – Ananda Shankar (1970)Bread – Manna (1971)Cyrus Faryar – Cyrus (1971)Bread – Baby I'm-a Want You (1972)Bread – Guitar Man (1972)Malvina Reynolds – Malvina (1972)Linda Ronstadt – Linda Ronstadt (1972)Stephen Cohn – Stephen Cohn (1973)Cyrus Faryar – Islands (1973)David Gates – First (1973)Richard Ruskin – Richard Ruskin (1973)Andrew Gold – Andrew Gold (1975)Malvina Reynolds – Held Over (1975)Rick Ruskin – Microphone Fever (1975)Hoyt Axton – Fearless (1976)Andrew Gold – What's Wrong with This Picture? (1976)Linda Ronstadt – Hasten Down the Wind (1976)J. D. Souther – Black Rose (1976)Wendy Waldman – Main Refrain (1976)Hoyt Axton – Road Songs (1977)Joan Baez – Blowin' Away (1977)Karla Bonoff – Karla Bonoff (1977)Bread – Lost Without Your Love (1977)Chi Coltrane – Road to Tomorrow (1977)Peter McCann – Peter McCann (1977)Eric Carmen – Change of Heart (1978)Kerry Chater – Love on a Shoestring (1978)David Gates – Goodbye Girl (1978)Jimmy Griffin – James Griffin (1978)Michael Murphey – Lone Wolf (1978)Olivia Newton-John – Totally Hot (1978)Shawn Phillips – Transcendence (1978)Barry Volk – Do What You Like (1978)Hoyt Axton – A Rusty Old Halo (1979)David Gates – Falling in Love Again (1979)Andrew Gold – Whirlwind (1979)Peter McCann – One on One (1979)Michael Murphey – Peaks, Valleys, Honky Tonks & Alleys (1979)Dan Peek – All Things Are Possible (1979)J. D. Souther – You're Only Lonely (1979)John Stewart – Bombs Away Dream Babies (1979)Coast to Coast – Original Soundtrack (1980)John Farrar – John Farrar (1980)Johnny Lee – Lookin' for Love (1980)Mary MacGregor – Mary MacGregor (1980)The Ozark Mountain Daredevils – Ozark Mountain Daredevils (1980)Urban Cowboy – Original Soundtrack (1980)Peter Cetera – Peter Cetera (1981)The Chipmunks – Urban Chipmunk (1981)Rita Coolidge – Heartbreak Radio (1981)Albert Hammond – Your World and My World (1981)Dan Hill – Partial Surrender (1981)Quarterflash – Quarterflash (1981)Hoyt Axton – Pistol Packin' Mama (1982)Nicolette Larson – All Dressed Up and No Place to Go (1982)Moon Martin – Mystery Ticket (1982)Michael Martin Murphey – Michael Martin Murphey (1982)Glenn Shorrock – Villain of the Peace (1982)Warren Zevon – The Envoy (1982)Eddie Money – Where's the Party? (1983)Sharon O'Neill – Foreign Affairs (1983)Brock Walsh – Dateline: Tokyo (1983)Footloose – Original Soundtrack (1984)Mickey Gilley – Too Good to Stop Now (1984)Air Supply – Hearts in Motion (1986)Eikichi Yazawa – Flash in Japan (1987)The Simpsons – The Simpsons Sing the Blues (1990)Dan Fogelberg – Dan Fogelberg Live: Greetings from the West (1991)Parachute Express – Circle of Friends (1991)Parachute Express – Sunny Side Up (1991)Parachute Express – Happy to Be Here (1991)Rox Diamond – Rox Diamond (1992)Dan Fogelberg – River of Souls (1993)Alvin and the Chipmunks – A Very Merry Chipmunk (1994)Kermit & Friends – Kermit Unpigged (1994)Maureen McCormick – When You Get a Little Lonely (1995)Nelson – Because They Can (1995)Eliza Gilkyson – Redemption Road (1997)The Simpsons – The Yellow Album (1998)Batman Beyond – TV Soundtrack (1999)Mike Botts – Adults Only (2000)Dan Fogelberg – Live: Something Old New Borrowed & Some Blues (2000)
BREAD VIRTUALLY INVENTED soft rock in the early Seventies, and the group’s biggest hits — “Make It With You,” “If,” “Baby I’m-a Want You” and “Everything I Own” — remain staples on lite-rock radio. For all the mellowness of Bread’s music, however, the band dissolved acrimoniously, and the bad feelings last to this day.
Tensions date back to the group’s first hit. In 1968, veteran singer-songwriter James Griffin hired David Gates as an arranger on the recommendation of a mutual friend, Robb Royer. Along with Royer, they formed a band, signed with Elektra and named themselves Bread after getting stuck in traffic behind a Wonder Bread truck.
When their first album bombed, Gates and Griffin added bassist Larry Knechtel and drummer Mike Botts. (Royer dropped out, though he continued to write songs for them.) The group recorded “Make It With You,” a gentle, dreamy pop song that went to Number One in 1970. At the time, Gates and Griffin — the group’s principal songwriters — had informally agreed to alternate singles. Because Gates’s songs consistently charted high, the agreement fell through, and Griffin began playing Salieri to Gates’s pop Mozart.
The band broke up in 1973, briefly re-forming three years later to record Lost Without Your Love. A protracted legal battle between Gates and Griffin, co-owners of the Bread name, was waged over its use on a Griffin-less tour. “We all got slapped with suits claiming we were conspiring to stifle [Griffin’s] career,” says Mike Botts. A judge ordered that the group could not record, perform or collect royalties until the case was resolved. The litigation stretched out until 1984.
After Bread broke up, Gates wrote the title song for the film version of Neil Simon’s Goodbye Girl, which became a Top Twenty hit in 1978. Soon after, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of running a ranch, disappearing with his wife and four kids to an 800-acre spread in northern California. “I’m taking care of cows, riding horses and running farm equipment,” says Gates, 48, who still writes songs and is completing a twenty-four-track studio. A satellite dish allows him to keep up with music via MTV and VH-1. His hobby is predicting what will hit the Top Five. “Man, I nail it every time,” he says. “Play me a record, and I’ll tell you how far it’s going to go.”
EDITOR’S PICKSThe 50 Worst Decisions in Music HistoryThe 200 Greatest Singers of All TimeThe 500 Greatest Songs of All TimeThe 100 Greatest TV Shows of All TimeFor fourteen years, Larry Knechtel worked on his own cattle ranch, but he recently quit the farm and moved to a suburb of Nashville to pursue music again. He’s just released Mountain Moods, a New Age record, and is in Elvis Costello’s current road band. A longtime sessionman with an impressive rock & roll resume prior to Bread, Knechtel admits he was somewhat uncomfortable playing Bread’s mellow music. “Whenever somebody in the back of the hall would yell, ‘Boogie,’ I’d feel damn miserable,” he says, “because I knew there was no way that this band was gonna get up and boogie.”
Botts, 42, writes jingles and music for children’s albums and does background vocals and session work. Encouraged by such friends as Linda Ronstadt and J.D. Souther, he’s taken up songwriting and is shopping around demos in hopes of landing a record deal.
TRENDINGTaylor Swift Weathered Another Eras Tour Rain Show — But Her Piano Didn't Survive the Downpour‘Succession’ Recap: Logan Roy’s Messy, Devastating FuneralJanelle Monáe Embraces Her 'Free-Ass Motherf-cking Spirit' in New Rolling Stone Cover ShootFoo Fighters Reveal Josh Freese as Their New DrummerRecently, Griffin moved to Nashville from Memphis, where he’d been living since Bread’s breakup. He has a new group called Dreamer and is cutting an album that will include some Bread remakes. Griffin unsuccessfully tried to coax Gates into a reunion tour last year. “He’s comfortable up there playing cowboy,” says Griffin. “He doesn’t want to go out and be, as he puts it, a museum piece.” Griffin would be willing to work with the other members but says, “I don’t think the feeling is mutual.” He’s right — Knechtel won’t even speak to him, and Botts says, “We couldn’t forgive and forget that easily.”
Even if relations were friendlier, a Bread reunion would be unlikely. Says Gates, “Sometimes it’s better to be grateful and stay the heck out of the limelight when your best work is behind you.”
Helmed by an already established songwriter in David Gates, Bread explored several different types of pop-rock in the '70s — but somehow it was always Gates' signature ballads, which took soft-rock sadness to epic levels, that seemed to stick longer in the hearts and on the charts.
Bread's Best Known Songs"Make It With You""Baby, I'm-a Want You""The Guitar Man""If""Everything I Own""Diary""Aubrey""It Don't Matter to Me""Sweet Surrender""Lost Without Your Love"Where You Might Have Heard ThemUsually, when you hear Bread songs off the radio, it's meant to be ironic, like "Baby I'm-a Want You" in "House" and "Cold Case" episodes, or "If" in the film Anchorman. "Everything I Own" is only found in serious scenes, however, and there's an occasional outlier like "Guitar Man" popping up in an episode of "Supernatural."
Formed 1967 (Los Angeles, CA)Styles Soft rock, Pop, Adult contemporary, Folk rock, Rock and roll, Hard rockClaims to FameOne of the most popular soft-rock outfits of the eraBridged the gap between the British Invasion-influenced pop of the late 60s and the sensitive singer-songwriter movement of the early 70sLeader David Gates' folk-rock-influenced ballads were disarmingly mellow yet lyrically heartbreakingHelped to define the new California soft-rock sound that grew out of the area's folk and popBread Band Members From the Classic LineupDavid Gates (born December 11, 1940, in Tulsa, OK): lead vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, violin, percussionJimmy Griffin (born James Arthur Griffin, August 10, 1943, in Cincinnati, OH; died January 11, 2005, Franklin, TN): lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussionLarry Knechtel (born Lawrence William Knechtel, August 4, 1940, in Bell, CA; died August 20, 2009, Yakima, WA): guitar, bass, keyboards, harmonicaMike Botts (born Michael G. Botts, December 8, 1944, in Oakland, CA; died December 9, 2005, Burbank, CA): drumsThe History of BreadDavid Gates, the nominal leader of Bread, had already been playing live in various bands for four years by the time he moved to Los Angeles at 21.
There, he immediately plugged himself into the burgeoning local scene, writing hits ("Popsicles and Icicles" by the Murmaids and "Saturday's Child" for the Monkees), and producing as well (Glenn Yarbrough's "Baby, The Rain Must Fall").
He also got to know the famous sessionmen known as The Wrecking Crew and released several solo singles, none of which found much success. By 1967 he was producing a psych-pop group called the Pleasure Faire.
Faire member Robb Royer suggested to Gates that they form their own group, along with mutual friend and L.A. scene vet Jimmy Griffin, and after being inspired by a bread truck passing by, the group Bread was born.
At first, the group was heavily steeped in psych-pop, and all three members (session drummers were used for the first LP) wrote songs in many different styles.
But it was a song from their second album, a Gates ballad called "Make It With You," that perfectly fit the parameters of the new mellow AM sound, and it rocketed to #1. The next ten singles, all ballads written and sung by Gates, hit the Top 40.
Unfortunately, the other songwriting members of Bread wanted a crack at a single too, and it lead to internal dissension; making matters worse was the fact that Gates made two solo albums during the Bread years.
Eventually, the group disbanded after Gates refused to yield on changing the hit formula. The other three members returned to session work, while Gates scored a hit on his own with the title song to the Neil Simon movie The Goodbye Girl.
Bread managed to reunite twice: once in 1977 for a hit single and album, and more recently in 1996 for a full tour. Griffin, Botts, and Knechtel have all since passed away.
More About BreadRobb Royer (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion, flute) also played with the group through 1971; he was replaced by Wrecking Crew legend Larry Knechtel, who plays the lead on "Guitar Man"Gates' high school band in Tulsa once backed Chuck Berry on a gig thereGates also produced early singles by Captain Beefheart in 1966Royer and Griffin also wrote the Carpenters' 1970 hit "For All We Know"Botts later toured as a member of Linda Ronstadt and Dan Fogelberg's bandsBread Awards and HonorsVocal Group Hall of Fame (2006)
Bread Number One HitsPop "Make It With You" (1970)Adult Contemporary "Baby I'm-a Want You" (1971), "If" (1971), "Sweet Surrender" (1972), "The Guitar Man" (1972)Bread Top 10 HitsPop "It Don't Matter to Me" (1970), "Baby I'm-a Want You" (1971), "If" (1971), "Everything I Own" (1972), "Lost Without Your Love" (1977)Adult Contemporary "It Don't Matter to Me" (1970), "Make It With You" (1970), "Diary" (1972), "Everything I Own" (1972), "Aubrey" (1973), "Hooked on You" (1977), "Lost Without Your Love" (1977)Bread Top 10 AlbumsPop Baby I'm-a Want You (1972), The Best Of Bread (1973)Notable CoversBoy George's remake of "Everything I Own" returned him to the UK charts in 1987 after the devastation of his band Culture Club's breakupTough-guy actor Telly Savalas also inexplicably had a #1 UK hit with a Bread cover, in this case, a spoken-word take on "If" from 1975The only other charted Bread cover is Ralfi Pagan's 1971 R&B hit with "Make It With You," though Cake got some airplay with their 2004 version of "The Guitar Man."Movies and TVDavid Gates has a cameo playing piano in the classic 1971 car chase drama Vanishing Point, though Gates and Knechtel both star as themselves in a 1978 episode of "The Hardy Boys Mysteries."
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Members include Mike Botts (born in Sacramento, CA), drums; David Gates (born on December 11, 1940, in Tulsa, OK), songwriter, instrumentalist, lead vocals; James Griffin (born in Memphis, TN), songwriter, instrumentalist; Larry Knechtel (born in Bell, CA), instrumentalist; Robb Royer, guitar, vocals. Addresses: Management--Selwyn Miller, Worldwide Entertainment Network, Inc., 1271 Stoner Ave. #304, Los Angeles, CA 90025.
For a nation disheartened by the Vietnam War, discouraged by the Watergate scandal, and dismayed by the mounting energy crisis during the 1970s, the sounds of "soft rock" provided a measure of melodic comfort for Americans. During that era, such ballad-oriented acts as the Carpenters and America climbed the charts. Joining them was a Los Angeles-based former studio band, Bread, a group formed in 1969 by a trio of session players: David Gates, James Griffin, and Robb Royer. The three, according to the Encyclopedia of Rock, had fronted a previous band, Pleasure Faire; all three, the book noted, "were multi-instrumentalists and prolific songwriters." Gates would become the group's most famous member.
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Gates grew up in a musical household; his father was a band director and his mother a piano teacher. The young musician, who played piano, guitar, and bass, was already working in nightclubs and at dances before he graduated from college. "My grades were slowly slipping," he related in an autobiographical article on the Super Seventies Rocksite. "At the end of my junior year I told my father I'd like to ... go to California to give [music] a try. I said, 'Let me go out for the summer, just to see what happens.'" What happened was that Gates found the Crossbow, a nightclub in the San Fernando Valley. Up-and-coming 1960s musicians--including Glen Campbell, Leon Russell (whose sister Gates dated) and Jerry Cole--met there to jam and compare notes. Gates joined in their sessions and was offered professional work.
Gates began to make his mark in pop composition, breaking into Billboard's top ten with his 1963 song "Popsicles and Icicles," sung by the Murmaides. Later, his string arrangement was used for "Buy for Me the Rain" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. By the time Gates joined Pleasure Faire with Griffin and Royer, the latter two had collaborated (under pseudonyms) on the lyrics for the single "For All We Know," the Academy Award-winning theme to the 1969 movie Lovers and Other Strangers and a hit single for the Carpenters. Pleasure Faire was not destined for success, but Gates, Griffin, and Royer stayed together, writing ballads under the group's new name, Bread. That moniker, Gates told Australian television interviewer Kerry Ann, came from a simple source: "Bread came off a bread delivery truck at the moment we were trying to pick a name." He then quipped, "I'm glad it wasn't a rubbish or garbage truck."
Bread released an "unsuccessful but critically acclaimed first album for Elektra," according to Encyclopedia of Rock; but by 1970 the group had begun charting singles. A Gates song, "Make It with You" became one of the top singles of that summer, hitting number one on the Billboard chart in August. Such singles as "It Don't Matter to Me," "Everything I Own," "Let Your Love Go," "Aubrey," "Diary," and "If" followed, the latter of which has become a pop standard. ("It's been played at so many weddings ... and so many people have recorded it," remarked Gates in the Kerry Ann interview.) In 1971 Royer was replaced by Larry Knechtel, a longtime session musician whose credits included "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Classical Gas," and "Bridge over Troubled Water." Knechtel, who contributed piano, organ, guitar, and harmonica work, helped Bread chart "Baby I'm-a Want You" during 1971. The single became the title track of a 1972 album, the fourth such Bread collection to earn gold record certification.
Drummer Mike Botts joined the group in 1970, replacing studio musician Jim Gordon. Botts, revealed Irwin Stambler in Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Soul, was a percussion prodigy who at age 12 "lied about his age to the musicians' union so he could play professionally." On his official website, Botts recalled his years with Bread. At its peak, the band "became the all-consuming part of our professional lives," he wrote. "We were either in the studio or on the road from 1970 to May of 1973. That's when the group decided to take a hiatus from all the pressure and pursue some individual projects and goals."
By this time the tide was turning in music--soft rock soon gave way to disco and punk's decidedly harder edge. Still, there was work for Gates and company. A "best of" collection went gold in 1973, with a follow-up album in 1974. In 1976 the band reunited for an album that went gold on the strength of one high-charting single, "Lost Without Your Love." As Botts noted on his website: "The band continued to tour through 1978 but unfortunately some irreconcilable differences within the group eventually involved all of us in litigation and caused the group to disband once again."
Since then the band members have performed individually, most notably Gates, who wrote and recorded "Goodbye Girl," the title song of the Academy Award-winning comedy of 1978. In 1994 he released a CD entitled Love Is Always Seventeen. But Bread wasn't through as a group. The tide turned again in the mid-1990s, when, as Botts recalled, he was phoned by Gates's representative, who proposed a new tour to mark the group's twenty-fifth anniversary. Bread's travels took the group on a successful two-year tour (1996-98) through Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom. A 1996 CD, Essentials, was available only outside the United States as of 2002.
Some critics see Bread as a band most notable for songs that turn up at wedding receptions ("weenie music," wrote humorist Dave Barry, as quoted by Knight-Ridder reporter Ben Wener in a Lubbock Avalanche-Journal article). Indeed, Entertainment Weekly columnist Ty Burr acknowledged that image when in 2001 he confessed his fondness for the group, even while rating such pleasure high on the "guilt-o-meter." The band, he wrote, was "never cool. Bread never will be cool." Still, "it's clear that when Gates poured on the syrup, glory was attained. Sentimental? Oh yeah. But the kind of sentimentality that asks no quarter and offers no apologies." To Gates, the music is "timeless," as he told Wener. "If you listen to disco, if you listen to Donovan, those things are locked into the time they're from. Our songs aren't dated like that. They're like jazz standards."
by Susan Salter
Bread's CareerGroup formed as Pleasure Faire, 1960s; original members formed as Bread, 1969; released debut album, Bread, on Elektra Records, 1969; disbanded, 1973; reunited briefly, 1976; anniversary tour, 1996-98.
Famous WorksSelected discographyBread Elektra, 1969.On the Waters Elektra, 1970.Manna Elektra, 1971.Baby I'm-a Want You Elektra, 1972.Guitar Man Elektra, 1972.Best of Bread Elektra, 1973.Best of Bread Volume Two Elektra, 1974.Lost Without Your Love Elektra, 1977.Anthology of Bread Elektra, 1985.Essentials Elektra, 1996.Recent UpdatesJanuary 11, 2005: Band member James Arthur "Jimmy" Griffin died on January 11, 2005, at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, of complications from cancer. He was 62. Source: CNN.com, www.cnn.com, January 14, 2005.
Further ReadingSources
BooksMack, Lorrie, editor, Encyclopedia of Rock, Schirmer Books, 1988.Stambler, Irwin, Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Soul, St. Martins Press, 1989.PeriodicalsEntertainment Weekly, January 1, 2001.Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Texas), August 2, 1997.Online"David Gates," Las Vegas Online Entertainment Guide, http://www.lvol.com (September 26, 2002)."David Gates--Australian Interview: September 27, 1996," http://www.mid-tn.com (September 26, 2002)."David Gates--In His Own Words," http://www.superseventies.com/ (September 26 2002)."Profile," Mike Botts Official Website, http://www.mikebotts.com/ (September 25, 2002).Bread LyricsFeel free to share Bread lyrics. Just click on "Add a comment…" below and paste the song name and the lyrics. However, please do not post Bread lyrics unless you have received permission from the copyright owner. Make sure to include the name of the Bread album along with the lyrics.
Bread was formed in 1969 when a leading Los Angeles session musician, David Gates, was asked by now legendary music figure Russ Regan, to produce a project featuring Rob Royer as vocalist for the group Pleasure Faire. Royer had co-written The Carpenter's "For All We Know" with Jim Griffin, winning a 1970 Oscar for Song Of The Year. It was in the context of this project that Gates, Griffin and Royer, the nucleus of Bread, initially met, developed friendships and decided to pool their talents. The first fruit of that band, augmented by drummer Jim Gordon, was the album, "Bread", released in January, 1969. After a failed single called "Dismal Day", a tune called "Make It With You" went all the way to the top of the Billboard singles chart in August of 1970. The group followed up with another ballad, the Top 10 hit, "It Don't Matter To Me". It became obvious that this Soft Rock approach was going to be the sound that Bread would ultimately become identified with and certainly had a deep connection with as players.
1970 saw Jim Gordon replaced by Los Angeles based studio drummer Mike Botts in time for the album "Manna" which featured a second Gold single, "If", which climbed to #4 in the Spring of 1971. The follow-up, "Mother Freedom" did not fare as well, stalling at #37, but the band quickly recovered their mojo with "Baby, I'm A Want You", which rose to #3 that Fall. Yet another turning point in the band's line up took place in 1972, as Rob Royer left the group to pursue other avenues in the music business. At this crossroads, Larry Knechtel, a literally famous Los Angeles session keyboardist, became the permanent replacement for Royer. The band went on to rattle off five more U.S. Top 20 hits in quick succession with "Everything I Own" (#5) and "Diary" (#15), "The Guitar Man" (#11), "Sweet Surrender" (#15) and "Aubrey" (#15).
As is normal for musicians as talented as these, directions begin to veer, and there evolves a contrast such that is apparently impossible to justify keeping the group together. Upon approaching their sixth album in 1973, creative tensions between David Gates, the group's principal songwriter, and James Griffin, caused the group to call it quits after a final concert at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City in May 1973. There was no point in tainting the great body of work up to that point, with an obviously strained effort that would possibly result in mediocrity. "The Best of Bread" album, released in March 1973, was a huge success, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 200 and staying on the chart for over two years. The follow-up, "The Best of Bread, Volume 2", was issued in May 1974 and went to #32.
Setting Bread aside, the band members went in different directions. David Gates completed a couple of solo LPs, "First Album" in 1973, and "Never Let Her Go", from which the title track rose to #29 in 1975. The following year, Gates and Griffin were able to put differences aside and the pair, along with Botts and Knechtel, re-formed Bread, releasing "Lost Without Your Love" which climbed to #9 in early 1978. Although they had another hit on their hands, Bread once again dissolved over creative issues and Gates and Griffin returned to their solo careers. In 1978, Gates wrote the title song from the movie adaptation of Neil Simon's play, The Goodbye Girl, which gave him a #15 hit that Spring. The follow-up, "Took The Last Train" topped out at #30 in the Fall of that same year. He then continued to tour with Botts and Knechtel as David Gates & Bread and made a few TV appearances, including a guest shot on The Hardy Boys Mysteries which aired in November 1978. By then, the group's touring line-up had expanded to include Warren Ham ( woodwinds, keyboards, backing vocals), Bill Ham (guitars) and David Miner (bass). Then came the inevitable legal dispute over use of the band's name, of which Jim Griffin was co-owner. The resulting litigation, which resulted in the Bread name being retired altogether by late 1978, was not settled until 1984. The legal hassles and touring had taken its toll on Gates and he soon headed for the country side of life with family in tow to his northern California ranch.
Gates returned to recording with 1994's "Love Is Always Seventeen", but by that time, Bread's brand of Soft Rock had faded in popularity with record buyers. Meanwhile, Griffin relocated to Nashville, where he worked as a songwriter and later joined the Country groups, The Remingtons and Dreamer. Drummer Mike Botts also remained active in music, serving as a studio and touring musician for Linda Ronstadt and Dan Fogelberg. Larry Knechtel continued to perform both live and in the studio with a long list of music stars, including Neil Diamond, Randy Newman, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams Jr., Elvis Costello and The Dixie Chicks.In 1996, Gates, Griffin, Botts and Knechtel settled their differences and reunited Bread for a successful 25th Anniversary Tour of the United States, South Africa, Europe and Asia. The outing ran into 1997, which would prove to be the last year the members of Bread would ever perform together. When the string of shows ended, Gates and the others resumed their individual careers. Sadly, James Griffin died of complications from cancer on January 11, 2005 at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. Mike Botts passed away in Burbank, California on December 9, 2005, one day after his 61st birthday, having suffered from colon cancer. Larry Knechtel died of a heart attack at the age of 69 on December 24th, 2009. Rob Royer continued to be involved in the music business, releasing a Jimmy Griffin tribute album consisting of songs written by both himself and Griffin. As for David Gates, he stayed happily retired at his California cattle ranch.
As lead singer for the early seventies group, Bread, David Gates touched many hearts with his songs of love. There's hardly a day that goes by that somewhere, some radio station doesn't play "Baby I'm A Want You", "Make It With You", or the "Goodbye Girl". Bread may not be together these days, but David Gates is still active. He's just released a new album titled,"Take Me Now", on Arista Records.
We chatted with David about his celebrated musical career.
Q - One thing about your songs, you tell a story and get right to the point. Does that type of songwriting come naturally for you?
A - Yeah, it does. I've never been too much about beating around the bush.
Q - It says in your bio, you started your own company at eighteen. How did you manage to get enough money at that age to do that?
A - It didn't take much because in record distribution which I started, there was no good R&B distributor in the Oklahoma area. All it took was some phone calls to R&B labels and they sent in promotional product. I had a little office downtown, $30 a month, and just my car. That's how I started. I'd drive around and try to get things played, and in the stores I learned a lot about the business side of it when I was pretty young. What I was doing didn't take a lot of capital to start. It was pretty much out of the back seat of your car type of business.
Q - You were a studio musician once. I've noticed the same guys seem to play on everybody's albums. It must've been easier to get into session work 20 years ago.
A - I think it's easy any time. If you're a good musician and willing to work for scale, you're gonna get all the work you can handle.
Q - Who are some of the people you worked with back then?
A - I started out playing bass on the Ventures albums, and then I went on and did movie stuff... played bass on Robin and the Seven Hoods movie soundtrack. I did some stuff for Phil Spector, Glenn Yarborough, Jackie DeShannon and a whole lot of people when I first got started.
Q - How can you write a theme song for a movie like, The Goodbye Girl? How do you capture the movie's spirit?
A - You just to pick up the feel from the film and get an idea of what it is the film people want, whether they want you to exactly paraphrase what's happening or kind of something that's off to the side, but connected. Then, that gives you the direction of how specific they want you to be. These guys usually have pretty strong ideas on what they want. And then it's a matter of combining your own personal ability and taste with the way you normally write and try to accomodate their feelings.
Q - Can you ever tell when you've written a song that's a winner?
A - Nine out of ten times my gut instincts are right. "Diary" fooled me. I didn't think it was a commercial hit record. I thought it was a gorgeous, intimate, little ballad, and it never occurred to me it would be a Top 40 song, which it ended up being.
Q - Why do you think Bread's music is still being played, years later?
A - I guess it's they wear well with time. They're simple and can be listened to a number of times, and you kind of want to hear 'em again and again. That's the only thing I can think of.
Q - Why'd the group split up?
A - We'd been together five years, set goals, achieved those goals. We'd all come from pretty strong backgrounds and everybody wanted to go back to what they were doing before the group. I believe groups are temporary arrangements, anyway. They're not marriages. They're only temporary, to last anywhere from two to fifteen years, or whatever you think is appropriate. Some just hang on longer than others, either because there's nothing else they'd like to do or economics are involved or whatever reasons. It's pretty tough to get four or five people to stay together year after year and not have any change in personnel and not get fatigued with the whole routine.
Q - Did critics label Bread Soft Rock?
A - Yeah they did.
Q - Did you like that label?
A - I've long since given up on avoiding labels. There's just nothing you can do about it. It's bigger than all of us.

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