Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 10/11/2019

John Batdorf and Mark Rodney began playing together in Las Vegas in 1970 and officially formed the duo Batdorf and Rodney in 1971. They released three albums and several singles. The closest they got to a hit record was their version of Somewhere In The Night in late 1975. Their record was pushed aside by Helen Reddy’s version and peaked at #69. After that disappointment, the group disbanded.

John went on to form a new group, Silver. Tom Leadon was recruited as the bass player; he was the brother of one of the Eagles and had previously played in a band with Tom Petty. John’s new group signed with Arista Records, the label that had supported his first group.

They recorded an album of mostly soft country-rock songs in 1986, but the record label was not happy. Unable to find a song on the album that they felt any hope of succeeding as a single, Arista insisted that the group record the song Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang. The group was not happy with that song but went along with the request and reluctantly recorded the bubblegum song (which was actually produced by Clive Davis, the head of the label).

And naturally, the label was right and the song was a hit. The labels on the record started showing a new name after the first batch had sold, so the record is often referred to as just Wham Bam. The single reached #16 in 1976. More singles were released from the album but, as predicted, neither one reached the charts. A total of three additional singles were released.

The group hung together for two more years, after which the members of the group went their separate ways.

The group’s keyboard player, Brent Mydland, joined the Grateful Dead after Silver split up and remained with the group until his death in 1990.

Harry Stinson moved to Nashville and became a very successful studio musician and songwriter.

In 2008, Batdorf and Rodney reunited and recorded and released a new album.

Silver’s one hit was given a new lease on life in 2017 when the film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came out. The song was used on the soundtrack of the film as part of the Awesome Mix Vol. 2, and it’s status has probably moved from “Lost” to “Forgotten.”



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