1966 publicity photo.
L-R Mike Piano, Richard Shoff, Jim Brady
|Past members||Jim Brady
The Sandpipers were an American easy listening trio who carved a niche in 1960s folk rock with their vocal harmonies and innovative arrangements of international ballads and pop standards. They are best remembered for their cover version of "Guantanamera", which became a transatlantic Top 10 hit in 1966, and their Top 20 hit "Come Saturday Morning" from the soundtrack of the film The Sterile Cuckoo in 1970.
Founding members Jim Brady (born August 24, 1944, Los Angeles), Mike Piano (born October 26, 1944, Rochester, New York) and Richard Shoff (born April 30, 1944, Seattle) first performed together in the Mitchell Boys Choir, before forming the Four Seasons with friend Nick Cahuernga. Due to the rising popularity of a group with that name from New Jersey, they changed their name to the Grads and continued as a trio.
Although the Grads did not enter the charts with their early recordings, they performed well enough to secure them a residency at Harrah's Lake Club (now Harveys Lake Tahoe) where a friend brought them to the attention of Herb Alpert of A&M Records. Alpert was impressed with the Grads, but after one single without success the group agreed to a name change, choosing the Sandpipers out of a dictionary. After the name change, their producer, Tommy LiPuma, recommended they record the Cuban anthem "Guantanamera" and they had their first hit. The use of a female singer (Robie Lester, uncredited) to add background vocals on "Guantanamera" established a trend that the Sandpipers would incorporate in multiple future studio recordings and live shows.
Along with the name change came a fourth member. Although consigned to the shadows behind the original trio for live performances, Pamela Ramcier had now become an integral part of the group. Her lyricless vocals were used much like second strings, adding an ethereal quality to the Sandpipers' sound.
For the Sandpipers' first live show in San Diego, their management hired two females, the well-known folk singer Penny Nichols and Pat Woolley. Early pressings of the Guantanamera LP showed a five person group -- two females with Piano, Shoff, and Brady -- on the back cover while later pressings had just the male trio. Subsequent albums depicted only the original trio. Other backup singers followed including Diane Jordan and Kathy Westmoreland in 1969. Some pressings of the 1970 Come Saturday Morning LP credit "solo voices" Patrice Holloway, Carolyn Willis, and Susan Tallman.
"Guantanamera" charted in the United States in September 1966, and in the United Kingdom the following month, and remains the group's biggest hit. Nevertheless, they had many lesser chart entries including cover versions of "Louie Louie", "The French Song" (Quand Le Soleil Dit Bonjour Aux Montagnes), and songs from the movies The Sterile Cuckoo and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
In 1967 they recorded a cover version of the Lovin' Spoonful's "Daydream" for their album Misty Roses. Their 1971 album A Gift of Song contained multiple covers including "It's Too Late", "An Old Fashioned Love Song", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Never My Love".
In 1968 they participated at the Festival di Sanremo in Italy, a highlight on the Italian music calendar. They were, as then usual, alongside Anna Identici one of the two performers of the song "Quando M'Innamoro," which attained sixth place. The song would become more popular in the interpretation by Gigliola Cinquetti. The English version by British pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck, "A Man Without Love", became a global hit.
Singing in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese, the Sandpipers had seven separate album entries in the Billboard 200 from 1966-1970, and over a dozen charted singles. In the mid-1970s, Ralph Nichols (later with The Lettermen) replaced Mike Piano. Gary Duckworth joined for the final album in 1977, after which the group disbanded.
- In 1965-66 an American girl group from Pensacola, Florida briefly toured and recorded as the Sandpipers, backed by an early Gregg and Duane Allman band called the Allman Joys. After "Guantanamera" was released they became the Daisies.
- There was a South African folk rock group active in the 1960s also named the Sandpipers.
- Another group known as the Sandpipers (or sometimes the Golden Sandpipers) sang for Golden Records, most notably the theme to Mighty Mouse, the version that is now the best known and perhaps the original.
- The psychedelic rock group the Lemon Pipers overlapped the Sandpipers' years of success in the late 1960s and the two groups were frequently confused.
- Guantanamera (LP-117*/SP-4117, 1966, #13)
- The Sandpipers (LP-125*/SP-4125, 1967, #53)
- Misty Roses (LP-135*/SP-4135, 1967, #135)
- Softly (SP-4147, 1968, #180)
- Spanish Album (SP-4159, 1969)
- The Wonder of You (SP-4180, 1969, #194)[Note 1]
- Second Spanish Album (AMLS-969, 1970) (UK release)
- Come Saturday Morning (SP-4262, 1970, #96)
- A Gift of Song (SP-4328, 1971)
- Overdue (Satril Records SATL 4006, 1977) (UK release)
- Greatest Hits (A&M SP-4246, 1970, #160)[Note 2]
- La Bamba (Mayfair/A&M AMLB 51030, 1971) (UK release)[Note 3]
- Foursider (A&M SP-6015, 1973)[Note 4]
- Portrait Of The Sandpipers (A&M AMLC4004, 1973) (UK release)[Note 5]
- The Sandpipers: Digitally Remastered Best (Universal/A&M 487252, 1998)
- Jewel Box (A&M SP-19006, 1969) - "Cancion De Amor (Wanderlove)"
- Burt Bacharach & Friends (A&M SP-19007, 1969) - "Where There's A Heartache"
- The Sterile Cuckoo soundtrack (Paramount PAS-5009, 1970) - "Come Saturday Morning", "Montage", "End Walk"
- The Look Of Love (Columbia P2 6020, 1973) - "The World Is A Circle"
- This Land Is Our Land: The Pop-Folk Years (Rhino R2 71834, 2003) - "Guantanamera" (re-recording by Jim Brady)
|U.S. Hot 100||U.S. AC||UK Singles Chart||CAN||CAN AC||Label & Cat #|
|1962||"Once Again" / "White Steeple" (as The Grads)
(DeVorzon-Chandler) / (Chandler-McKendry)
|1964||"It Happened Once Before" / "Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring" (as The Grads)
(Troup) / (Troup)
|"The Wild One" / "The Cool One" (as The Grads)
(Usher-Christian) / (Mike Curb)
|1966||"Everything In The Garden" / "Stage Door" (as The Grads)
(Greenaway) / (Goffin-King)
|"Guantanamera" / "What Makes You Dream, Pretty Girl?"
(Joseíto Fernández)[Note 6] / (J. Wilson-M. Garson)
|"Louie Louie" / "Things We Said Today"
(Richard Berry)[Note 7] / (Lennon-McCartney)
|1967||"For Baby" / "La Bamba"
(John Denver)[Note 8] / (Traditional)[Note 9]
|"Glass" / "It's Over"
(Sheldon-Marks) / (Jimmie Rodgers)
|"The French Song" / "Bon Soir Dame"
(Pease-Vincent) / (Bud Dashiell)
|"Cuando Sali de Cuba" / "Softly As I Leave You"
(Luis Aguilé) / (G. Calabrese/H. Shaper/A. De Vita)
|1968||"Quando M'Innamoro (A Man Without Love)" / "Wooden Heart"[Note 10]
(Livraghi, Mason, Pace, Panzeri) / (Wise, Weisman, Twomey, Kaempfert)
|"Softly" / "Cancion De Amor (Wanderlove)"
(Gordon Lightfoot) / (M. Williams-C. Mapel)
|"Let Go!" / "Suzanne"
(Powell, Gimbel, DeMoraes) / (Leonard Cohen)
|1969||"The Wonder Of You" / "That Night"
(Baker Knight) / (Norman Gimbel-Lalo Schifrin)
|"Temptation" / "Wave"
(Arthur Freed-Nacio Herb Brown) / (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
|"Kumbaya" / "Yellow Days"[Note 11]
(Traditional)[Note 12] / (A. Bernstein-A. Carrillo)
|"Come Saturday Morning" / "Pretty Flamingo"
(Fred Karlin/Dory Previn) / (Mark Barkan)
|1970||"Come Saturday Morning" / "To Put Up With You"
(Fred Karlin/Dory Previn) / (Paul Williams-Roger Nichols)
2nd release; alt B-side
|"Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls" / "Santo Domingo"
(Stu Phillips-Bob Stone) / (Rudy Lindt-Peter Poll-Michael Piano)
|"Free To Carry On" / "(He's Got The) Whole World In His Hands"
(Dale Bobbitt, Jim Brady) / (Traditional)[Note 13]
|1971||"The Sound of Love" / "The Drifter"
(B. Gibb, R. Gibb, M. Gibb) / (Paul Williams-Roger Nichols)
|"Free To Carry On" / "Chotto Matte Kudasai (Never Say Goodbye)"
(Jim Brady-Dale Bobbitt) / (Loyal E. Garner-Jeanne Nakashima)
2nd release; alt B-side
|1972||"Never Can Say Goodbye" / "An Old Fashioned Love Song"
(Clifton Davis) / (Paul Williams)
|"The World Is A Circle"[Note 14] / "(Baby I Could Be) So Good At Lovin' You"
(Bacharach-David) / (Buz Clifford)
|1976||"For The Last Time" / "Down By The River"
(J. Brady) / (Neil Young)
|"Guantanamera" / "Leland Loftis"
(Joseíto Fernández)[Note 15] / (D. Bobbitt-J. Brady)
|"Hang On Sloopy" / "Skidrow Joe"[Note 16]
(Wes Farrell, Bert Russell / (Brady-Bobbitt)
|1977||"Life Is A Song Worth Singing" / "Island (Without A Name)"
(Bell-Creed) / (Brady-Bobbitt)
|"Broken Slumber" / "Living Is A Lovin' Thing"
(Brady-Seeburg) / (J. Duncan)
|1978||"It Should Have Lasted Forever" / "Darling I Apologise"
(Benson-Clarke-Hyams) / (Lane-Roberts)
|1979||"You're A Great Way To Fly - Singapore Girl" / same (instrumental)
(Bobby Hart-Fred Bongusto) / (Fred Bongusto)
|Reissues||"Guantanamera" / "Cuando Sali De Cuba"||-||-||-||-||-||A&M 8526|
|"Quando M'Innamoro" / "La Bamba"||-||-||-||-||-||A&M 8527|
|"Come Saturday Morning" / "The Wonder Of You"||-||-||-||-||-||A&M 8544|
- Discography Notes
- Released in Mexico as Lo Maravilloso De Ti with song titles translated into Spanish (and in many cases differently from the translations for the same songs for the Spanish Album).
- Ten songs from first four albums.
- Twelve additional songs from five previous albums.
- Double LP with 20 tracks from all seven previous studio albums.
- Double LP with 30 tracks including all 24 songs from Spanish Album and Second Spanish Album plus "Strasera Gli Angeli Non Volvano (For The Last Time)", "Chotto Matte Kudasai (Never Say Goodbye)", "Kumbaya", and "Santo Domingo".
- Label credits "Marti-Angulo-Seeger" based on earlier versions and arrangements.
- Label also has "Spanish lyric by C. Ortega & N. De Caro" in addition to "R. Barry" (sic) songwriter credit.
- Label credits "H. J. Dutschendorf (sic), Jr.". John Denver's birth name was Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.
- Label also has "Adapted by Garson-LiPuma".
- UK release has "I'll Remember You" (Kuiokalani Lee) as B-side.
- UK release has "Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero" (Ibarra-Ornelos-Herrera) as B-side.
- Label credits "A. Lawton".
- Label has "Negro Spiritual - Arr. & adapted by Bob Alcivar".
- With the Mitchell Singing Boys. Song is from the film Lost Horizon.
- Label has "Trad. arr. J. Marti-H. Angulo-P. Seeger".
- Both tracks reissued on 12" vinyl in 1977 by Disques Direction Records (DD-8003, Canada) with 5:08 disco mix of "Hang On Sloopy" on flip.
- List of folk musicians
- List of former A&M Records artists
- List of artists who have covered The Beatles
- "Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine". Allmusic.com. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
- Malagaris, Topy (November 26, 1967). "The Sound: Music and radio for young listeners". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- Deck, Carol (December 31, 1966). "The Sandpipers Are Following Herb Alpert's Good Example". KRLA Beat. p. 10. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- Sleeve notes by Derek Taylor - The Wonder Of You LP, 1969
- Campell, Mary (December 26, 1968). "Sandpipers Cultivating Smooth Sound". The Gettysburg Times. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar (2006). Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records. Oxford, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. p. 95. ISBN 1-57806-848-7.
- Lanza, Joseph (2004). Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press. p. 118. ISBN 0-472-08942-0.
- Fox, Bill (February 18, 1969). "Sandpipers get along just fine without teenage audience hysteria". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- "The Sandpipers > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums at allmusic.com".
- Florida Sandpipers at spectropop.com
- South African Rock Encyclopedia - Sandpipers
- Lemon Pipers Biography at oldies.com
- Label scans of Grads and Sandpipers singles at 45cat.com
- "The Sandpipers > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at allmusic.com".
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 481. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.