PopBopRocktilUDrop

From the Land of Band Box Records

Big Sound of the We Five

July 27, 2017
craigr244

Big Bay Success!

The We Five formed in 1964 in San Francisco, California with Michael Stewart brother of Kingston Trio member John Stewart, Beverly Bivens, Jerry Burgan, Pete Fullerton and Bob Jones.  Bivens delivered one of my all-time favorite lead vocals on this LP’s title track – never can play it too many times.  She went on to be part of “The Light Show Dimension” – She sang background vocals on the Kingston Trio’s “Desert Pete”.  The group was first called “The Ridgerunners” and then “The Mike Stewart Quintet” before becoming the “We Five”.  Bivens and Michael would cut one 45 as the duo “Beverly and Mike” in 1964.

The original “You Were On My Mind” was performed by Sylvia Tyson writing as “Sylvia Fricker” who released several singles but not her signature tune.  The song was also covered by England’s Crispian St. Peters – an entirely different treatment.  We Five’s version would go to number 3 on Billboard while St. Peters would manage would manage a number 36 a few years later during the “British Invasion”.

We Five’s only other Hot 100 entry was “Let’s Get Together” number 31 in 1965 as well.  This was their version of the “Youngbloods” hit which was titled “”Get Together” in July of 1967.

The We Five’s first LP (below) charted number 32 on Billboard’s Hot 200.  Their follow up “Make Someone Happy” charted a full three years later squeaking out a number 183 rating long after Bivens had departed to be replaced by Debbie Burgan.

Michael Stewart was also in “The Crystal Set”, “The Justice League and a group called “West” in the late 1960’s.  Bob Jones went on to be with “Fred McDowell and His Blue Boys” in 1968 and then “Southern Comfort” in 1970.  Pete Fullerton was with “The Tricycle” as was Burgan.

4 Comments

  1. How ever do you find all this background information? I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and loved music… and yet I had no idea the enormity of the volume of recording that was being done at the time… There were so many gifted singers, writers, musicians, producers… as I continue to find musical gems that were relatively hidden in obscurity, I realize how fortunate I was to be a part of that magical time in the history of music… And while I realize the music business had it’s share of corruption and ruthlessness as it has today, the product still had an innocence to it that will never be replicated…Thank you, I truly appreciate your efforts…

    • Chuck – back then there was just no way to ever obtain any information about the singers, the groups, the music – especially out here in the West – Fanzines for rock and roll started up later in the 1960’s and who could afford to buy them anyway? Now that I am retired – well what the heck!
      Thanks for the comments – More to Come!

  2. Saw this group perform in the Paul Wright Gymnasium on the campus of Western State College–probably 64-65 school year. The band was set up on the gym floor and students were allowed to sit on the floor as well as in the stands.

    • When I first heard their hit – I would have sworn they were England with that driving beat and great “Mersey Beat” ending!

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