Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January 7: Paul Revere of Paul Revere & The Raiders - "Just Like Me," "Kicks" - is 77-years-old today.

Paul Revere & the Raiders is an American rock band that saw considerable U.S. mainstream success in the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s with hits such as "Hungry" (1966), "Kicks"  - ranked number 400 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time - and the 1971 No. 1 single "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)."

Paul Revere Dick was born in 1938 in Harvard, Nebraska. He learned to play the piano as a boy, and developed a keen appreciation for the work of Spike Jones & His City Slickers. He joined his first real band while in his teens. In his early 20s Revere owned several restaurants in Caldwell, Idaho.

He first met 16-year-old singer Mark Lindsay while picking up hamburger buns from the bakery where Lindsay worked. Lindsay joined Revere's band in 1958. Originally called The Downbeats, they changed their name to Paul Revere & The Raiders in 1960 on the eve of their first record release for Gardena Records.

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(Press album cover for direct link to the entire Amazon Website):
Kicks the Anthology 1963-1972

The band scored their first Pacific Northwest hit in 1961, with "Like, Long Hair." The song peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard charts in April 1961.

When Revere was drafted for military service, he became a conscientious objector and worked as a cook at a mental institution for a year-and-a-half of deferred service, while Lindsay pumped gas in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Lindsay, on the strength of their Top 40 single, toured the U.S. in summer 1961 with a band that featured Leon Russell filling in for Revere on piano.

Revere's given name was such a natural as a gimmick that they became Paul Revere & the Raiders. Plus, their name and image was a not so subtle answer to The British Invasion in the 1960s. Their third single, a Jerry Lee Lewis-style instrumental, charted low in the Hot 100, and by the middle of 1963, they were one of the major music attractions in the Pacific Northwest.

Their cover song "Louie, Louie," which they'd gotten/borrowed/stolen from their rivals the Kingsmen, was picked up by Columbia Records, which not only released it nationally but signed Paul Revere & the Raiders to a contract.

Their next big break came in 1965 when their producer, Terry Melcher, moved them to Los Angeles, and suggested they modify their sound to a mix of fast-paced, guitar-and-vocal-dominated Beach Boys-style rock & roll, and also a brand of R&B similar to the Rolling Stones. Their new sound debuted with the single "Steppin' Out," a Revere-Lindsay original that was released during the summer of 1965. Their sound caught on.

"Steppin' Out" coincided with the group's debut on the new Dick Clark afternoon music showcase Where the Action Is, which went on the air on June 27, 1965. The band had gone through a visual metamorphosis, adding Revolutionary War-style outfits to their look, and they stood out for playing straight-ahead rock & roll and having fun doing it. (Again, an "answer" to the British Invasion? Hmmm?)

Their second major national hit, "Just Like Me," which reached No. 11 in 1965, was one of the first rock records to feature a distinctive, double-tracked guitar solo by Drake Levin.

Their second album. Just Like Us!, released in early 1966, was a landmark record, filled with great songs and even better performances, and earned a Gold Record Award. By the time of their next album, Midnight Ride, released three months later, and, Spirit of '67, issued in November of 1966, the group members were playing multiple instruments.

All their albums went gold, catapulted them onto the charts by the hit singles "Kicks" - a great song that managed to be cool and anti-drug - "Hungry," "Good Thing," and "Him or Me-What's It Gonna Be"."

In mid-1967, with three gold albums to their credit, The Raiders were Columbia's top-selling rock group. Their fortunes took a downturn, however, when Where the Action Is went off the air in the spring of 1967, and by 1968, the Raiders were looking for a newer sound.

In addition to trying to figure out what would sell for the group, Lindsay was looking for a solo career. By 1969, and the era of the "Woodstock Nation," and "Paul Revere & the Raiders," with their goofy costumes seemed more than a little outmoded.

In a quest to shed their '60s image, the group switched to the name "The Raiders" in 1970. And suddenly, the Raiders tried to sound serious, heavy, and very modern. The result was the Collage album, a very strong rock record, built largely on songs by Lindsay and new member Keith Allison, that never found an audience. And the "Raiders" name change only seemed to confuse their fans

The group trudged on and seemed to strike gold with their next single. The Raiders took a John D. Loudermilk song called "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" and cut a version that shot all the way to number one, their first chart-topper in their history. They were unable to follow-up, or hold the public interest from one single to the next.

By 1975, Columbia Records had abandoned the group, and Lindsay had parted company with Revere. In the decades since, a version of the group that is as much devoted to comedy as music has performed under the leadership of Paul Revere now in his 70s.

Their old music still has fans. Established reissue labels, including Sundazed, France's Magic Records, and Australia's Raven Records have reissued audiophile-quality expanded-CD versions of the group's entire Columbia Records library.

On October 13, 2007 Paul Revere & the Raiders were officially inducted, along with their Manager Roger Hart, into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. In attendance were Mark Lindsay, Phil "Fang" Volk, and Roger Hart to accept their awards.

Recently, Paul Revere & the Raiders have been performing at Andy Williams "Moon River Theater" in Branson, Missouri. They also tour around the U.S. between Branson dates.


For more about Paul Revere and the Raiders, visit their Website -




  1. The costumes were hokey but they did record some memorable tunes.

  2. I just saw them yesterday. They started in music before I was born but I know their music and they still rock it out. The perform songs that I didnt know were originally theirs. They are still a load of fun!!!