Paul Revere (January 7, 1938 - October 4, 2014) was an American musician and organ player. In 1958, he and other musicians founded the group Paul Revere & the Raiders. They recorded many hits. He worked with the group until his death in 2014. Revere was born in Harvard, Nebraska.
Born Paul Revere Dick, his family moved from Harvard, Nebraska to Caldwell, Idaho when he was a small child. As a teen-ager Paul showed an aptitude for business as well as music. Various sources have him owning multiple hamburger restaurants and a barber shop after graduating from Caldwell High School in 1956. At the same time he was he was building a musical career with a band called The Downbeats that played in and around Boise.
After some local success the Downbeats moved to Portland, Ore., in 1960 and with encouragement of their new manager, radio disc jockey Hart, renamed themselves Paul Revere and the Raiders. In 1963 at a Spokane studio recorded one of the all time great party records “Louie-Louie”. While the version recorded by the Kingsmen went on to much greater success, the Raiders version helped them land a contract with Columbia records.
Being an American group during the British Invasion era, become the group's signature sight gag. The group performed a choreographed show in elaborate outfits complete with tri-cornered hats, brightly collared frock coats, white hose and knee-high black leather boots. The Revolutionary War inspired costumes were a tongue-in-cheek retort to the takeover of the music scene by one British act after another.
Although he was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, Revere later made it a point to honour veterans at his concerts and supported various charities aimed at helping veterans get a fair shake that he felt many of them didn't get in the post-Vietnam era. He also used his time off the road to put his business acumen to work in several major real estate developments in the Boise area.
The on-stage antics of Revere and his band helped obscure the fact that they were a very talented group with a wide-range of material. In 1964, they signed a contract with Columbia Records as the label's first rock act. Their songbook includes the aforementioned “Louie-Louie”, the hard-rocking anti-drug anthem “Kicks” and the social commentary of “Indian Reservation.” Originally planned as a single release for Raider's lead singer Mark Lindsay, Revere helped turn the song that illustrated the bitterness and despair of Native Americans into a million-seller by jumping on his motorcycle and criss-crossing the country to promote it to anyone who would give it a listen.
Producer Terry Melcher honed the band's hard-edged, guitar-driven sound with Lindsay, the front man, providing the vocals. The blond Revere was content to remain in the background playing organ. "Just Like Me," a 1965 hit written by Revere and Lindsay, made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
Impressed by their high-energy stage shows and comparatively wholesome image in the midst of the Flower Power movement, legendary TV producer Dick Clark signed them up as the house band for several series including “” “Where the Action Is” and “Happening '69” as well as "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Tonight Show" and as themselves on the "Batman" TV show in 1966.
The band had 20 consecutive hits and reached its peak with John D. Loudermilk's "Indian Reservation" at No. 1 in 1971, but a revolving door of band members and changing musical tastes led to its decline. During the mid-70's the Raiders gradually faded into irrelevancy when it came to the music scene and Revere announced his retirement in 1976 after several years playing state fairs and lounges as a nostalgia act. The retirement was short-lived and Paul Revere and the Raiders toured through the 80's before settling in Branson, Missouri, along with fellow classic rockers, the Righteous Brothers at Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theatre. The Idaho Statesman reports that gig lasted until the mid 2000s.
Even after the closing of the Bandstand Theatre, Revere kept up a busy touring schedule with his Raiders until cancer treatments forced him to give up the road and settle back in Garden City, Idaho where he spent his final days. According to a tribute on Paul Revere's website penned by one-time manager Roger Hart, Revere died peacefully at his Garden City home.
(Info compiled and edited mainly from an article by Mike Hennessy| @ AXS.com)
The controversial TV show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour provided a perfect setting for Paul Revere & the Raiders in early 1967. Both the Raiders and the Smothers Brothers, (Tom & Dick) were at their zenith. Looking completely sleek, lean and mean in their cool streamlined white tights and hip-length white velvet jackets, tailored to the max, the Raider's showmanship and musical tightness on this version of their hit "Ups and Downs," is unsurpassed by any rock band of their day. Little wonder they were the most visible band of the 60's. Over 750 television airings. "This is America's number #1 show band" according to legendary keyboardist, Paul Shaffer, of the Late Night Letterman show. Band members included: Paul Revere,(keyboard) Mark Lindsay, (vocals) Jim "Harpo" Valley, (Guitar) Mike "Smitty" Smith (Drums) and Phil "Fang" Volk, (Bass Guitar & vocals)