How Its Start
It started off so promisingly! The Buckeye Politicians auditioned for Wilt Chamberlain’s Small’s Paradise in New York and so impressed them that they were hired on the spot to start that night! They quickly became the top band at Small with fans ranging from Mohammed Ali to James Brown. Their manager, Herb Gart got them a summer gig on the French Riviera and invited Record Companies in England to see them. “There’s nothing easier than to get a Label to come to the Riviera,” said Gart. The Buckeye Politicians signed with EMI and moved to London to record. They played a gig at The Speak- easy, the happening club in London where all the famous musicians hung out. There was a large bar in the back where everybody who was anybody in the Rock world sat and drank and talked so loud, it was embarrassing to the band on stage. But when The Buckeye Politicians began to play, the bar emp-tied out and the musicians stood and watched! Jon Lord, John Entwhistle, Freddy Mercury, Billy May, other members of The Who, and many others became instant fans. The Buckeyes interviewed Producers to pick the one who understood the music best. They decided to go with an engineer, Alan Parsons, who had no producing experience, but had engineered some great albums like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. The Buckeye Politicians worked at Abbey Road in the same studio The Beatles used to record in! The record took a few months to record and it was exciting!
But when Alan Parsons started to mix, he ran into a problem; there were two distinct parts to The Buckeye Politicians’ original music, one being the R&B and Gospel influences and the other being the Pop and R&R influences. Soulbending music! A mashup of Soul. Gospel, Pop, and R&R. Brand new old-school Soul Bending music! Getting the right combination of those two sides proved to be very challenging, so they had other people try to mix the album, including John Entwistle of The Who and Tony Palmer, a Rock historian. Not being satisfied, their manager, back in New York, arranged for Jerry Wexler, co-President of Atlantic Records to listen and recommend someone to mix the album. So EMI Records put the tapes on a plane, including all the different mixes. British Airways LOST THE TAPES! Worse yet! EMI had not made safety copies, so everything was gone!! Six months of work and music down the drain! It was heartbreaking!
Gart arranged for Jeff Barry (The Monkees, Neil Diamond, and many others) to produce them. They recorded at the Beach Boys studio in L.A. and mixed elsewhere with Ken Caillet (Rumors – Fleetwood Mack) with the help of John Francis Peters (an Associate of Herb Gart and a great Painter). Jeff Barry rehearsed them and improved some of their arrangements; he worked them very hard before going into the studio. The results were great! A deal was made quickly with Utopia Records, distributed by RCA. Why bother to mention RCA? Well, just as “Look At Me Now”, The Buckeye Politicians album was about to be released, RCA and Utopia went to court to end their deal! No distribution or promotion for the album – DOA! Another bitter disappointment! It was too much for the morale of the band. They went home to Columbus, Ohio to lick their wounds. If the EMI experience wasn’t enough, the Utopia experience was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
But you can’t keep great talent down. The core of the group was the Almon brothers, Rosco, L.A., and Jay. Jay is a great bass player and Rosco and L.A. played guitars and sang. ‘Buzzard’, Longdog, and Bobby gave up the ghost and went their separate ways, no longer making music. Bobby became very religious, Buzzard fell ill and Longdog went into business. The Almon brothers kept writing songs and eventually knew it was time to record again. They rented a small recording studio in Columbus and began recording a new album. They got in touch with their former manager, who agreed to help them if the songs and singing were as great as they had always been. Herb Gart became newly excited by The Buckeye Politicians and helped them complete the album called “Hope For The Common Man”. It includes six of the older songs and eleven new ones. L.A. sang most of the new songs and Rosco most of the older ones. They added to the musical mix Jay’s daughter, Conia (Sonia with a ‘C’) Almon who contributed a lot to the CD including Sha La La.
The Almon brothers started their musical career in a gospel group with their Mother called The Almonaires, who did so well that they had people fainting at every show. Meanwhile, their Dad had his own group The Sons of Zion. At first, The Almonaires opened the show for Dad, but after a year or two they got so popular that Dad’s group opened for them! One of their best nights was when they opened for the great Dixie Hummingbirds and nearly blew them off the stage. “It was a great night for everybody, especially the audience!” exclaimed Jay. Eventually, the group broke up, and Jay and L.A. joined The Soul Partners. When Rosco joined them, they took command of The Soul Partners and they wrote and recorded 4 songs for Holiday Records. If you check out The Buckeye Politicians on YouTube, those songs will be there, and a couple for Sceptre Records. But their new record “Hope For The Common Man” shows tremendous growth. Recorded on Gart’s The Rainbow Collection Label, it is the most exciting, most entertaining, and best work of their careers. You can get a feel for the album by listening to “I Like It Baby” and “Lonely Stranger. 17 great tracks – ahhh never mind! No need to brag. You’ll hear it for yourself !
THE BUCKEYE POLITICIANS CREDO
The Buckeye Politicians believe that all men and women are created equal. Marriage and abortion are none of the Government’s business! Integrity, courage, and honesty are in short supply in Congress. Immigrants are the lifeblood of our democracy. One of the greatest threats to democracy is the power of Corporations. Peace and Love are our goals.