1969 New Colony Six – Things I’d Like To Say
The New Colony Six was a group formed in Chicago in the mid-sixties. The initial lineup included Ray Graffia on vocals, Chick James drums, Pat McBride on harmonica, Wally Kemp on bass, and Gerry Van Kollenburg on guitar. Craig Kemp played the organ in the group until 1966. When he left, Ronnie Rice joined the group, playing the organ and guitar as well as singing.
Gerry and Ray wrote the group’s first single, I Confess. While the record peaked at only #80 on the Hot 100, it reached #2 in Chicago in 1965. The only single they released during the next two years that reached the Hot 100 was a song Gerry and Ray co-wrote with Pat. Love You So Much peaked at #61 on the Hot 100, but it got enough airplay in the New York area that I bought a copy of the single.
By the end of 1967, Les Kummel had taken over duties on the bass. The group finally reached the national top forty in 1968 with I Will Always Think About You, a song written by Ron and Les. The single peaked at #22 on the Hot 100 in 1968.
Ray and Gerry wrote the group’s next single, Can’t You See Me Cry, but it only reached #52 on the Hot 100.
Another tune from Ron and Les became the group’s biggest hit. Things I’d Like To Say peaked at #16 on the Hot 100 in late 1968.
While the group never reached the top forty again, they did place five more singles on the Hot 100 before disbanding in 1974. Four of those singles did reach the top forty on the Adult Contemporary chart between 1969 and 1971.
Some members reformed the group for a reunion show in 1988, and The New Colony Six has been appearing publicly since then. Ray currently leads the group, which maintains a website at https://newcolonysix.com/
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