1969 Spiral Starecase – More Today Than Yesterday
The four-piece band The Fydallions formed in Sacramento in 1964. The group initially was only performing instrumental songs, but guitarist and vocalist Pat Upton began writing songs and also singing lead vocals. Harvey Kaye played keyboards for the group. The band played a series of appearances in the Las Vegas and California areas.
Gary Usher, an A&R representative for Columbia Records, heard the group and signed them to a contract with Columbia. When Gary insisted the band change their name, they chose a name based on a 1946 film, The Spiral Staircase. The group came up with a strange spelling for their name: The Spiral Starecase.
Gary produced the group’s first two singles in 1968, neither of which reached the Hot 100. Columbia brought in Sonny Knight was to produce the band’s first album in 1969. Pat had written the song More Today Than Yesterday during the band’s days in Las Vegas, and that became their second single from their album. The single jumped up in the national charts and peaked at #12 on the Hot 100. They released two more singles later that year, but neither of them even reached the top forty.
When the group finally disbanded in 1971, Pat moved to Los Angeles and worked as a studio musician. He became a member of Rick Nelson’s backup band. Pat was invited to accompany Rick on the fateful flight to Dallas that killed Rick, but Pat stayed behind to handle some business concerns.
Harvey’s daughter, Brenda K. Starr, had a top ten dance hit in 1985 with her single Picking Up Pieces. Her 1988 single, I Still Believe, reached #13 on the Hot 100. Between 1997 and 2005, Brenda had two number one singles and six more top-twenty singles on the US Tropical Airplay chart (which focuses on Spanish language hits).
Brenda’s daughter, Gianna Isabella, placed in the top ten on American Idol in 2016 when she was only 15 years old. She finally began releasing singles in 2020.
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