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About Jesse Colin Young

Jesse Colin Young got his start as a folksinger in Greenwich Village coffeehouses in the early '60s, releasing two major-label albums, The Soul of a City Boy (April 1964) and Young Blood (March 1965). He met guitarist Jerry Corbitt in Cambridge, MA, and with keyboardist/guitarist Lowell "Banana" Levinger and drummer Joe Bauer, they formed the Youngbloods, initially playing in the jug band, good-time style of the Lovin' Spoonful. Signed to RCA, they released their debut single, Corbitt's "Grizzly Bear," a chart entry, in November 1966, followed by their self-titled debut album in February 1967. The album featured the group's version of Dino Valenti and Bob Cullen's idealistic folk anthem "Get Together," which was released as a single in July and also made the charts. Earth Music (November 1967) followed. By the time of Elephant Mountain (April 1969), they had moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and Corbitt had dropped out. RCA re-released "Get Together" as a single after it was used as in a public-service commercial for the National Council of Christians and Jews, and it became a gold Top Ten hit. The Youngbloods also made the singles charts with Young's songs "Sunlight" (November 1969) and "Darkness, Darkness" (May 1970). Forming their own Raccoon Records label with distribution by Warner Brothers, they released the live albums Rock Festival (October 1970) and Ride the Wind (July 1971), followed by the studio album Good and Dusty (November 1971). Young recorded a solo album, Together (March 1972), and due to its success he disbanded the Youngbloods after their final album, High on a Ridge Top (November 1972). He then made Song for Juli (September 1973), Light Shine (March 1974), Songbird (February 1975), On the Road (April 1976), and Love on the Wing (March 1977), all of which charted in the Top 100. He moved to Elektra Records for the less successful American Dreams (November 1978) and The Perfect Stranger (July 1982). Like most folk-rock singer/songwriters, he was abandoned by the major labels in the '80s, but he continued to tour in an acoustic format, also appearing with a re-formed Youngbloods lineup featuring Corbitt and Banana (Bauer had died) in 1984 and 1985. He returned to recording in 1987 with The Highway Is for Heroes on the short-lived Cypress Records label. He launched his own Ridgetop Music label, releasing Makin' It Real (October 1993), and followed with Swept Away (September 1994), Crazy Boy (1995), a compilation, and Sweetwater (June 1996), a live album. Meanwhile, he had acquired the rights to his Mercury, Warner Brothers, and Elektra albums and began to reissue them. This effort was interrupted by a fire at his home in October 1995 that destroyed some of his album masters. But he pacted with Bean Bag Entertainment, and the reissue program has resumed. (Bean Bag Entertainment, 37101, Highway 1, Monterey, CA 93940. (408) 625-1851 Fax: (408) 625-1809.) ~ William Ruhlmann

Manhattan, New York, NY
Nov 22, 1941

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