David and the Giants
David and the Giants
David and the Giants (left to right) Clayborn Huff, Rayborn Huff, Keith Thibodeaux and David W. Huff
|Origin||Laurel, Mississippi, United States|
|Genres||Contemporary Christian, Christian rock, rock|
David and the Giants began as a rock band in Laurel, Mississippi; with the Huff brothers: David, Clay, and Ray—with Jerry Parker on drums, touring the Southeast during the 1960s. In 1977 they switched to a Christian rock format. They continued to sing and record together through 1999. Recording and performing together for almost 40 years, the band released 17 albums. Though the band's style has been compared to that of Mylon LeFevre and Broken Heart, their most commercially successful work came in the 1960s with a sound, augmented by The Muscle Shoals Horns, that closely resembled that of Jay & the Techniques.
The band released its first single, a cover version of "Rockin' Robin" around 1964, under the name of Little David & the Giants. In 1969, Keith Thibodeaux (best known as "Little Ricky" from I Love Lucy) joined the band. His arrival marked the beginning of the band's most commercially successful era. Although band members often described their sound as having its roots in Southern rock, the band's most successful recordings became popular in England in the 1970s and 80s as Northern soul – songs that featured a mixture of a Top 40 sound with horns and strings.
In 1969 they achieved regional success in the southeastern US with singles of that genre entitled "Superlove" and "Ten Miles High". Their work of that era was distributed in both the United States and in the United Kingdom. "Superlove", "Ten Miles High" and some of the band's other late sixties singles have appeared on various genre compilations. In the early 1970s, the band performed in concert with Styx, Black Oak Arkansas, Cheech and Chong, and Chuck Berry. David Huff was in the studio with The Rolling Stones when they recorded the song, "Brown Sugar", and also spent some time in the studio with artists such as Stevie Wonder and Rod Stewart.
Going it alone
In 1977, the band members converted to Christianity. That same year they released their first Christian album, Song of Songs. Released without label support, it contained ballads and a mixture of pop-rock. Their second album, This One's for You had a similar sound. Two years later, the band recorded Step in My Shoes. Devoid of up-tempo songs, the album was not commercially successful. For their fourth album, the band returned to a sound much closer to their musical roots. Almost Midnight, a rock album, was more successful than the first three. They continued with that sound for their fifth attempt, entitled Heaven or Hell.
Back in the public eye
In the 1980s, the band signed with CBS Priority Records. The first release, entitled simply David and the Giants was widely distributed and sold well. The band's next album, Riders in the Sky, contained concert staples like "Riders in the Sky" "Step by Step", "King of the Jews", "Superstar" and "Look at the People". The band released another album, called Inhabitants of the Rock, which though not commercially successful, contained the radio releases "I Can Depend on You" and "I Am Persuaded". It went out of print in the early 1990s. Two more albums followed, Under Control and Magnificat. Both were well-accepted by fans. The band concluded the 1980s with Strangers to the Night and R-U Gonna Stand Up. In 1989, the song "Here's My Heart" from R-U Gonna Stand Up received airplay on heritage CHR/Top 40 station WNCI in Columbus, Ohio thanks to a mislabeled CD of what was supposed to be a copy of a single from the group Soul II Soul. WNCI Program Director Dave Robbins liked the song enough to put the song on the air although they did not know who the artist was at the time. WNCI received such positive response to the song that it was added into regular rotation.
Time to do something else
Keith Thibodeaux left the band after recording "R U Gonna Stand Up" in the summer of 1989. In the 1990s, the band was not commercially successful. Though they had three hits from their albums, "Stumbling Block to a Stepping Stone", "I'm Still Rocking", and "Always on My Mind", their most successful album had been Angels Unaware. By 1997 the band had been on the road for almost 30 years and decided it was time to do something else. At the end of the year, the band ceased to record and perform together.
Life goes on
David Huff continues to perform as a solo act and operates a recording studio near Atlanta, Georgia. He has released a series of solo albums, Really in 2000 and Proclaim in 2003, which was re-released by Christian Records in 2004, then Let My Guitar Talk, an instrumental album in 2008, and Do You Know What I Mean in August 2008.
The Huff brothers occasionally perform together as "David and the Giants". On December 9, 2007 they joined former drummer Keith Thibodeaux for a reunion concert at Emmanuel Praise Church in Monroe, Georgia and performed at the 2011 Nashville Amp Expo with guitarist Phil Keaggy who joined them during their set.
In September 2014, David and the Giants (David Huff, Clayborn Huff, Rayborn Huff, Keith Thibodeaux) released "Still Rockin" a live album recorded at New Life Church in Pearl, Mississippi in mid-2013. The CD also features four songs recorded by the band at Huff Recording in Athens, Georgia. The band continues to perform in the U.S. and internationally. In 2017, they performed and were honored among other Mississippi musicians and songwriters such as Steve Forbert and George Soule by the Jimmie Rodgers Music Foundation in Meridian, Mississippi to receive The Jimmie Award. A live concert album and video was filmed and recorded in St. Louis, Missouri, in August 2017 celebrating 40 years of David and the Giants music. In September 2018 the band recorded their first full studio album with the original band since 1989: What Are You Waiting For?. It was recorded with the original lineup of David Huff, Clayborn Huff , Rayborn Huff, and Keith Thibodeaux in Athens, Georgia.
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- Dennon Dearman – bass guitar (1994–1999)
- Gerald Hagan – piano (1977–1979)
- Owen Hale – drums (1977–1978)
- Clayborn Huff – bass guitar (1963–present)
- David W. Huff – guitar, vocals (1963–present)
- Lance Huff – drums (1989–1999)
- Rayborn Huff – keyboards (1963–present)
- Jerry Parker – drums (1963–1967)
- Bob Gauthier – guitar (1969–1971)
- Friday Nelson – drums (1969)
- David Shelton – drums (1977)
- Gregg Giuffria – keyboards (1971–1972)
- Bobby Torello – drums (1973)
- Mike Jackson – vocals (1974–1977)
- Johnny Hozey – guitar (1974–1977)
- Tommy Aldridge – drums (1972)
- David Morris – bass (1974–1977)
- Norman Stokes – keyboards (1974–1976)
- Tony Taylor – drums (1978)
- Keith Thibodeaux – drums (1969–1977, 1979–1989, 2007–present)
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- 1963/64: Little David & the Giants – "Rockin' Robin"/"I'll Always Love You" (Charm Records)
- 1967: "On Bended Knees"/"Someday You're Gonna Be Sorry" (Amy)
- 1968: "Ten Miles High"/"I'm Down So Low" (Crazy Horse)
- 1968: "Superlove"/"Rolling in My Sleep" (Crazy Horse)
- 1968: "Don't Say No"/"Love 'em and Leave 'em" (Capitol)
- 1970: "Super Good Feeling"/"A Letter to Josephine" (Fame Records)
- 1977: Song of Songs (Song of Songs Records)
- 1978: This Ones for You (Song of Songs)
- 1979: Step in My Shoes (Song of Songs)
- 1980: Almost Midnight (Song of Songs)
- 1981: Heaven or Hell (Song of Songs)
- 1982: David and the Giants (Priority)
- 1983: Riders in the Sky (Priority)
- 1984: Inhabitants of the Rock (Myrrh)
- 1985: Under Control (Myrrh)
- 1987: Magnificat (Myrrh)
- 1988: Strangers to the Night (Giant Records)
- 1989: R-U Gonna Stand Up (Giant)
- 1990: Distant Journey (Giant)
- 1992: Long Time Coming (Giant)
- 1993: Giant Hits (Giant)
- 1995: Angels Unaware (Giant/Benson)
- 1996: Dream (Giant)
- 2014: Still Rockin (Giant) (David Huff, Clayborn Huff, Rayborn Huff, Keith Thibodeaux)
- 2017: Live in Pearl David and the Giants (Giant) (David Huff, Clayborn Huff, Rayborn Huff, Keith Thibodeaux)
- 2017: The Best Is Yet To Come live, 40th anniversary video and audio disc (Giant) (David Huff, Clayborn Huff, Rayborn Huff, Keith Thibodeaux)
David Huff solo albums
- 2000: Really (Giant)
- 2004: Proclaim (Giant)
- 2008: Let My Guitar Talk (Giant)
- 2008: Do You Know What I Mean (Giant)
- 2012: Living in the Future (Giant)
- 2013: Wait (Giant)
- 2016: Born For This (Giant)
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