THE SAN FRANCISCO SOUND: Before flower power, the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane it meant harmonic vocals, a melding of acoustic and electric guitars, folk music, rock and a bit of jazz. In the mid-60's, it was called folk rock, and it described the music of WE FIVE.
The group began as a folk duo when Jerry Burgan and Mike Stewart began singing together in high school (inspired by Mike's brother, John of the Kingston Trio). They added the sound of a female voice that was eventually to be made famous by Beverly Bivens. It evolved from its folk roots to the group's more electric instrumentation when Mike and Jerry met guitarist Bob Jones at the University of San Francisco in 1963. A number of talented musicians have recorded with the band over the years. They continue to perform today, bringing the sound to the 60s to life every time they step onto the stage.
WE FIVE was the first of the "Top 40" San Francisco sound groups. Nominated as best new artist of 1965, it was the definitive FOLK ROCK group, a bridge between the Doors and Peter, Paul and Mary. It marked the beginning of a jump by college age record buyers from acoustic groups to the "plugged in" rock groups of the late 60's and early 70's.
The mid-60's began a period of social and traditional transitions. WE FIVE'S million selling version of YOU WERE ON MY MIND marked the beginning of a musical transition by adding drums and an electric 12 string guitar to a traditional acoustic folk song. Simon & Garfunkel, the Mamas And Papas, the Association--many others followed, but WE FIVE helped to lead the way.
Unlike the BYRDS, who went straight to hard rock versions of Bob Dylan songs, WE FIVE kept polished vocals and a cross section of contemporary material in their repertoire. The mix was popular across the broad spectrum of current popular music. The group toured colleges as well as civic arenas; they performed on many top television shows of the time including Shindig, Hullabaloo, American Bandstand and Bob Hope specials.
A WE FIVE concert--then and now--means a totally entertaining experience: Smooth harmony, songs about love and good times, humor and a performance style that's polished without being stagy. The WE FIVE Folk Rock Revival show will capture the mood of the times in the music of the times. The quality of the material and the performance will provide audiences with a very enjoyable step back to a good time--to the mid-60's.
In addition to its first success with YOU WERE ON MY MIND, some of WE FIVE'S background highlights include 6 albums, the original hit recording of "Let's Get Together'? (later covered by the Jefferson Airplane and the Youngbloods), the first hit with a vocal version of "Cast Your Fate To The Wind," the first single release of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, "a Grammy nomination, tours with some of the top artists of the mid- sixties, television appearances with a range of artists from Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby to Soupy Sales, Billy Preston, and The Young Rascals.
The WE FIVE reunion band includes five musicians and singers who have toured and recorded with WE FIVE. It's a bright, refreshing and nostalgic step back to a time of new beginnings.
The WE FIVE Folk Rock Revival show features all of their best known songs, along with tributes to many of their folk and rock contemporaries. It is a totally entertaining experience that is guaranteed to trigger fond memories—and create new ones!
∙ "Million Seller" record (You Were on My Mind)
∙ Nominated for Grammy as "Best New Artist of 1965"
∙ #1 in CASHBOX; #2 in BILLBOARD (behind SATISFACTION)
∙ First folk rock group to live and record in San Francisco
∙ First hit recording of "LET'S GET TOGETHER"
∙ First rock group to write and perform original music for Coca Cola commercials