Every now and then
In the 70’s a band became a legend; a favorite of many other Artists and Celebrities such as Brian May, Freddy Mercury, John Entwhitle, Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Deep Purple and Lionel Ritchie, to name a few. It started when a band from Columbus, Ohio auditioned at Small’s Paradise in Harlem. They so impressed the club that they were hired on the spot to start that night. They had been toying around with a name for the band, but they needed it that night and so it was that The Buckeye Politicians began their career. They quickly became the biggest draw that Small’s had, drawing in crowds every night.
The Buckeye Politicians consisted of 3 brothers LA, Roscoe and Jay Almon and Buzzard on drums,with Bobby on Trumpet and Longdog on trombone, keyboards, flute and light show. Their influences included gospel music - the 3 brothers had been in a gospel group with their father - R&B, Soul, Jazz and Rock & Roll. They were something to see; as Tony Palmer, a British Rock Historian said in The London Observer "It's not often that you come across a group whose originality is positively startling."
Now comes the promising 2nd chapter which ends in heartache. They were signed to EMI in London and had Alan Parsons produce them in the same Abbey Road studio The Beatles used. They worked and recorded there for 6 months. Finally the album, called “Hope For The Common Man” was done. EMI flew the master tapes to New York for mastering and the airline LOST THE TAPES! They never arrived in New York. EMI had not made safeties, so that was the only copy! 6 months and $150,000 dollars disappeared down the drain..
Utopia Records in New York signed them, which is the begining of Chapter 3, which also ended in Heartache. They recorded at the Beach Boys studio in Santa Monica, California with Jeff Barry as Producer and Ken Caillat as engineer - just before he did the Rumours album with Fleetwood Mac. The third man in the studio was the famous painter John Francis Peters.
This time the tapes were not lost and the album, called “Look At Me Now” came out on Utopia Records on RCA. The album came out the same week that RCA sued Utopia in court (or vice versa), so anything connected to Utopia was dead in the water! Another bad luck story. This time, The Buckeye Politicians were so dispirited that they went back to Columbus, Ohio.
But their music was uniquely ahead of its time and now seems stronger than ever. The Buckeye Politicians re-formed without Bobby and Longdog about two years ago and created an album called “Here I Am”, a mixture of brand new and great old songs. This time the internet exists to help them find their audience . Their first album on Utopia is a collector’s item for sale on ebay. Some of their singles sell for over $40.
One of the lead singers, L.A. died just a little while ago, so we dedicate “Here I Am” to him. The first single we have released to CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and others is “I’ll Be Home” sung by L.A. and recorded in 1975. The second single “Unity”, a soul-rock protest, is sung by Buzzard, The full album will have 3 bonus tracks only available if you download or buy the whole album. Out of 17 tracks only 5 are from 1975 (Including the bonus tracks); the other 12 are new. The Buckeye Politicians magic is still there. As L.A. said, “We’ve lived hard enough and long enough to know what we’re singing about!”
The Buckeye Politicians “I’ll Be Home” and “Unity” are available at CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon. The album “Here I Am” is also available with 3 bonus tracks.