A jam session in 1965 that included folk musicians Sean Bonniwell, Keith Olsen, and Ron Edgar led the three to leave the groups they were playing in and form the Raggamuffins. They recruited Mark Landon and Doug Rhodes in 1966 to complete their group. They also began using a new name, The Music Machine. They all dyed their hair black and began wearing black clothing and each of them wore one black glove. Their music gained a sharper almost-punk edge and became more rock-oriented.
The group signed a recording contract with Original Sounds Records. Their record producer, Brian Ross, registered the trademark for the group’s name as part of their contract with the label.
The group recorded two songs for a single, and the A-side became Talk, Talk, a song Sean had written about a year earlier. The record came out in late 1966 and peaked at #15 on the Hot 100. While the single was a mono recording, the stereo mix differed greatly from typical top forty singles of that time. Their look and the sound of their record gave the group the chance to appear on Where The Action Is sporting their black clothes and single black gloves.
Their second single, The People In Me, reached #66 in 1967. Once again, the single had an unusual stereo mix.
None of their other releases charted.
Because Brian had registered the group’s name, the band members were not making much money from the single or the album that followed. Keith, Ron, and Mark left the group to form The Millenium.
Sean formed a new group in 1967, The Bonniwell Music Machine, escaping from their producer. A single album and several singles followed on multiple labels with little success, and the group disbanded without a trace in 1969. Sean died in 2011.
Often when a group falls apart, the vocalist or a guitar player goes on to a new career. That isn’t exactly what happened with The Music Machine. The bass player, Keith Olsen, was more interested in producing music than in performing it. He was in a few groups after the Music Machine and then he began producing singles and albums for other acts.
One act he produced demos for was Fritz. The group split up after they attracted no record labels. Keith produced an album for two members of the group: Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Keith promoted the duo to Mick Fleetwood, who hired the two musicians and hired Keith to produce Fleetwood Mac’s next album, the eponymous 1975 album that topped the Billboard album chart and sold over seven million copies.
After that success, Keith was in constant demand. He produced music for a wide variety of artists. He produced over 100 complete albums that earned 39 Gold, 24 Platinum, and 14 Multi-Platinum album certifications. Keith changed his focus in 1996 and began remixing existing albums for surround sound playbacks.
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