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Biff Rose

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Paul Conrad "Biff" Rose (born October 15, 1937, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States)[1] is an American comedian and singer-songwriter.


Born in New Orleans, Rose moved to Hollywood where he found a job working as a comedy sketch writer with George Carlin. Among other assignments he wrote for the Mort Sahl TV show.[2] Rose tried his hand as a stand-up comic and eventually began writing songs, performing his own compositions on piano. His piano-playing demonstrated a solid versatility, ranging in style from honky-tonk to lilting melodies, his singing made no pretense of technical accomplishment yet his songs and performances emitted a genuine sweetness that appealed to many in the late 1960s.

Rose recorded his first two records for Tetragrammaton Records. Following the release of 1968's The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side, which contained his hit single "Buzz the Fuzz", Rose made 12 appearances on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show from 1968 to 1970.[3] He performed his songs ("Gentle People" and "Myrtle's Pies") on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,[4][5] He also appeared on American Bandstand,[6] The Merv Griffin Show, The David Frost Show and Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark. He was master of ceremonies at the Atlantic City Pop Festival of 1969[7] and the Atlanta Pop Festival of 1970.[8]


The song "Fill Your Heart", one of Rose's best-known compositions, was adopted by Tiny Tim as the B-side of his 1968 hit single "Tiptoe through the Tulips" before the release of Biff's own version and recorded by David Bowie on his album Hunky Dory (1971) in an arrangement closely following the Rose version.[9] Rose wrote the song with Paul Williams: Williams later wrote that Rose was his first songwriting collaborator and his first connection to A&M Records, having arranged a meeting for him with the publisher Chuck Kaye.[10] Rose and Williams also wrote "I'll Walk Away", from Rose's third, eponymous, record, and "Someday", recorded by Sajid Khan in 1969 (Rose having composed the music and Williams the lyrics).

Rose's songs have also been covered by John Denver ("Molly"),[11] Vetiver ("To Baby") and Pat Boone.[12] Singer-songwriter Cat Stevens has mentioned Rose as an early influence.[13]


  • The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side (1968, Tetragrammaton, re-released on Buddha)
  • Children of Light (1969, Tetragrammaton, re-released on Buddha Records)
  • Biff Rose [some copies titled Ride On] (1970, Buddha)
  • Half Live at the Bitter End (1971, Buddha)
  • Uncle Jesus, Aunty Christ (1972, United Artists)
  • Hamburger Blues, [with Wall Matthews] (1974, Sweet Jane Limited)
  • Roast Beef (1978, Pacific Arts/DownPat)
  • Thee Messiah Album/Live at Gatsby's (1979, Pacific Arts/DownPat)


  1. ^ "Biff Rose". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived August 28, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Columns: April 1969". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  4. ^ "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour - Episode Schedule". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  5. ^ footage of which can be seen on YouTube."Gentle People". YouTube. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  6. ^ "American Bandstand - Season 13, Episode 21: Joe South / Biff Rose / Rhetta Hughes". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  7. ^ "BR's Classic Rock Photos - Atlantic City Pop Festival". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  8. ^ [2] Archived April 5, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "The Ziggy Stardust Companion: Early beginnings". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  10. ^ In album notes - "Evergreen". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  11. ^ ""In A Far Away Land" The Japanese John Denver Page". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Robert Windeler. "Cat Stevens". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 

External links