Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods
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|Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods|
|Genres||Pop, garage rock|
|Years active||1965–1980; 1996–present|
The band was formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1965 by their leader Bo Donaldson. See reference for a picture and description of the group from 1967. Curiously, Bo's head is the lowest in the picture. Harold "Corky" Pickering, a member of the group, came up with the name "The Heywoods" or "Heywood" from a Rolling Stone album, named after a man with the last name of Heywood, which was a writer of at least one of The Rolling Stone songs. "Corky" Pickering liked the ring that this name gave and thought it was appropriate,the name just suited them.
They were first discovered while touring with The Osmonds in the early 1970s and signed with Family Productions, releasing their first single in 1972, "Special Someone", but their big break came after moving to ABC Records and working with the record producer Steve Barri in 1973. Although their first single with ABC, "Deeper and Deeper," failed to make a big impression on the charts, beginning in 1974, the band released the songs "Billy Don't Be A Hero", "Who Do You Think You Are" (written by Clive Scott & Des Dyer of Jigsaw (band)), "The Heartbreak Kid", and "Our Last Song Together". "Billy Don't Be A Hero" sold over three and a half million copies, receiving a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in June 1974.
In 1975, they began a migration across three other record labels as the hits dried up by the end of the decade. By 1978, they were known as "The Bo Donaldson Band" and eventually split after trying country music with no success in the 1980s. They reformed again in 1996 as a nostalgia act and still make appearances, most notably in the Barry Williams hosted nostalgia show, Original Idols Live.
In 1996, Varese Vintage Records released Best of Bo Donaldson And the Heywoods, a 15-song compilation of material originally released on Family Productions (1972) and ABC Records (1973–1975). The CD contains all their charted singles and, in fact, includes 9 of the 11 songs featured on the 1974 LP Billy Don't Be a Hero. The CD booklet includes liner notes written by Gordon Pogoda and the CD features such highlights as "Who Do You Think You Are", "The House on Telegraph Hill", and "The Heartbreak Kid". In 1975, the band was working on a second album of material for ABC including "Our Last Song Together", released as a single (and which made the pop charts), and "Take Me Make Me Yours", which to this day remains unreleased. Ultimately the group left the label and joined Capitol Records, where they recorded songs by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, the writing/producing team behind the UK act The Sweet.
- Robert Walter "Bo" Donaldson - keyboards
- Mike Gibbons - lead vocals and trumpet
- David Krock - bass guitar and backing vocalist
- Rick Joswick - lead vocals and tambourine
- Gary Coveyou - saxophone, flute and backing vocalist
- Baker Scott 1974 (Guitar)
- Richard Brunetti - drums