Spiral Starecase

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Spiral Starecase
OriginSacramento, California, United States
Years active1964 (1964)–1982 (1982)
Past members
  • Pat Upton
  • Harvey Kaye
  • Dick Lopes
  • Bobby Raymond
  • Vinny Parello
  • Mike Caschera
  • Al Sebay
  • Gene Austin
  • Mark Barrett

The Spiral Starecase was an American pop band, best known for its 1969 single "More Today Than Yesterday".

The band, from Sacramento, California, United States, was recognizable for its horns and lead singer/guitarist Pat Upton's voice. The group also included Harvey Kaye (organ), Dick Lopes (saxophone), Bobby Raymond (bass guitar), Gene Austin (bass guitar), Vinny Parello (drums), Mark Barrett (drums) and Al Sebay (electric guitar).

Starting as the Fydallions, they released that song, one album, and a few more singles including "No One for Me to Turn To" after signing with Columbia.

The band had hits with "More Today Than Yesterday", released in January 1969, and the follow-up "She's Ready". "More Today Than Yesterday" has been covered by, among others, Sonny and Cher, Diana Ross, and Goldfinger, and was featured in the 1991 film My Girl, on the soundtrack of The Waterboy in 1998, and in an episode of Ally McBeal entitled "Silver Bells".

"More Today Than Yesterday" peaked at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number seven on the Cash Box Top 100.[1] It is ranked as the 50th biggest U.S. hit of 1969.[2] In Canada, it reached number six[3] and is ranked as the 63rd biggest hit of the year.[4]


The group evolved from a four-piece instrumental group called the Fydallions, which formed in 1964 in Sacramento, California, for an Air Force talent contest. After leaving the Air Force, the band went on the road, playing five-hour lounge jobs on the Las Vegas circuit. The Fydallions, by then a quintet consisting of Dick Lopes (saxophone), Bobby Raymond (bass guitar), Harvey Kaye (keyboards), Vinnie Parello (drums), and Pat Upton (guitar and lead vocals), were noticed by the A&R representative for Columbia Records, Gary Usher, while they were working in El Monte, California. Columbia signed the band, but insisted that they change their name. The band was renamed after the movie The Spiral Staircase, but with a deliberate misspelling.

Their first two singles, produced by Gary Usher, were regional successes in markets like Phoenix, Arizona. At this time, Sonny Knight was brought in to produce their first album. Usher had encouraged Upton to write original material for the group, and Upton had written "More Today Than Yesterday," while the band was working the Flamingo Sky Room in Las Vegas.

"Baby What I Mean", which was also released during 1968, and the two songs are on The Very Best of the Spiral Starecase.

About 18 months after the single's release, after releasing one album and a few more singles, the group disbanded due to poor management and squabbles over finances.

Upton went back to Los Angeles to work as a session musician, eventually working with Ricky Nelson.

Kaye returned to Las Vegas and reformed the band. That line-up featured Mike Caschera (a.k.a. Michael Anthony) (lead vocals), Al Sebay (guitar), Gene Austin (electric bass), and Mark Barrett (drums). The band toured extensively and played every major venue in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in the late 1970s through the mid-1980s with a full horn section to replicate the sound of their biggest hits.

Raymond died in 1984. Kaye died on August 17, 2008, at the age of 69. Upton died on July 27, 2016, aged 75, after a long illness.[5][6]



Year Album Billboard 200 Record label
1969 More Today Than Yesterday 79 Columbia Records

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Record label
1995 The Very Best of Spiral Starecase Taragon Records
1997 Our Day Will Come Spiral Starecase Revisited Sony Music Entertainment Philippines
2000 More Today Than Yesterday/Spiral Starecase Sony Japan
2003 Spiral Starecase: The Complete Columbia Recordings Taragon Records
2004 Priceless Collection Spiral Starecase More Today Than Yesterday Sony Music Entertainment
2006 Our Day Will Come Columbia Records
From the Original Masters Spiral Starecase Our Day Will Come Revisited Sony Music Entertainment


Year Title Peak chart positions Record label B-side Album
1968 "Baby What I Mean" 111 Columbia Records "Makin' My Mind Up"
"I'll Run" "Inside, Outside, Upside Down"
1969 "More Today Than Yesterday" 12 7 6 "Broken-Hearted Man" More Today Than Yesterday
"No One for Me to Turn To" 52 42 38 "Sweet Little Thing"
"She's Ready" 72 "Judas to the Love We Knew"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 6/07/69". cashboxmagazine.com. June 7, 1969. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  2. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  4. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  5. ^ Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2016 July – December". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  6. ^ Times Staff Report (July 27, 2016). "Musician, Geraldine native Pat Upton dies at 75". The Gadsden Times. Retrieved September 23, 2016.

External links[edit]