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Biff Rose

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Paul "Biff" Rose is an American comedian and singer-songwriter.

Biography

Born in New Orleans, Rose moved to Hollywood where he found a job working as a comedy sketch writer with George Carlin working sometimes on the Mort Sahl show.[1] Eventually, Rose moved to songwriting.

Following the release of 1968's The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side, Rose made a string of appearances on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show from 1968 to 1970.[2][3] Rose performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,[4] and American Bandstand,[5] and Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark. He emceed the Atlantic City Pop Festival of 1969,[6] and the Atlanta Pop Festival of 1970.[7]

Music

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.[8] He performed his songs ("Gentle People" and "Myrtle's Pies") on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,[9][10] He also appeared on American Bandstand,[11] 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[12] and the Atlanta Pop Festival of 1970.[13]

INFLUENCE

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. 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. 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"), Vetiver ("To Baby") and Pat Boone. Singer-songwriter Cat Stevens has mentioned Rose as an early influence.

David Bowie

− − Songs from Rose's first album, "The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side"(1968), strongly influenced David Bowie's early work, particularly his Hunky Dory record. Rick Wakeman (keyboard player of Yes and session musician early in his career) played piano on many of Hunky Dory's tracks, among them, Changes, Life on Mars and Fill Your Heart. When asked about his involvement with Bowie and Hunky Dory, Wakeman stated in an interview, "He (Bowie) played me some tracks by Biff Rose too and I remember going out and getting a Biff Rose album myself as he had obviously influenced David and I wanted to involve myself in David’s influences in order to give my very best for the Hunky Dory music.".[14]

− − In another interview from 2010, Wakeman discusses artists' influences on each other and said: "David Bowie’s hero, vocally, was Biff Rose. I’d never heard of Biff Rose but I found all of Biff Rose’s stuff."[15]

Full Length Releases

  • The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side (1968, Tetragrammaton, re-released on Buddha)
  • Children of Light (1969, Tetragrammaton, re-released on Buddha)
  • Biff Rose [some copies titled Ride On] (1970, Buddha)
  • Roast Beef (1978, Pacific Arts)
  • Thee Messiah Album/Live at Gatsby's (1979, Pacific Arts)

References

External links