David Gates grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and began playing in bands while still in high school. He recorded his first single in 1957 and continued to write songs consistently after that. In 1961 he moved to Los Angeles and got work as a studio musician and producer. He wrote Popsicles And Icicles, which was a #3 hit for the Murmaids in 1964.
One of the albums that David produced was the 1967 album by the band called The Pleasure Fair. One of the members of the group was Robb Royer, who frequently wrote songs with Jimmy Griffin. In 1968, David, Jimmy, and Robb formed a group and signed with Elektra Records. They named the group Bread after they saw a truck labeled Barbara Anne Bread at a stoplight. Initially, drummer Jim Gordon was playing with the group, but he signed onto a tour with Bonnie and Delaney (and Eric Clapton) and had to be replaced. David had worked with Mike Potts when he produced an album where Mike was the drummer, and Mike became the group’s permanent drummer in 1970.
Bread’s first album was not very successful, but they made up for that with the release of On The Waters and their chart-topping single, Make It With You. Nearly a dozen additional top forty singles followed during the next three years.
In addition to the group’s singles, Jimmy and Robb wrote For All We Know for the soundtrack of Lovers And Other Strangers. The song won the Academy Award for best song and gave the Carpenters a number one record in 1971. Robb left the group that Summer and was replaced by studio musician Larry Knechtel (who was a member of the infamous Wrecking Crew studio musician group).
The band’s fifth album was Guitar Man which was released in 1972. The first two singles from the album both reached number one on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart and got into the teens on the Hot 100.
The third single from the album was Aubrey. It only reached #15 on the Hot 100 in 1973 but managed to get into the top five on the AC chart. Like all the other Bread hits, it was written by David and he also sang lead, which was a continued bone of contention in the group.
In May 1973 the band was still on tour promoting their latest album. When the tour reached Salt Lake City, all their equipment and instruments were stolen. The stress from the theft on top of the escalating friction between David and Jimmy was too much for the band and they split up for over three years.
They reunited and recorded one last album in 1977 and hit the top ten one last time with Lost Without Your Love.