1969 Motherlode – When I Die
William Smith and Steve Kennedy played together in several groups before moving to Ontario in 1969 and forming Motherlode. They signed with Revolver Records and wrote and recorded their first single. Doug Riley (Dr. Music) and Terry Brown produced When I Die.
Radio simply ignored their record at first.
Revolver Records did some sort of swapping deal with Buddah Records in the US, and Buddah released When I Die and promoted the record sufficiently to get it on the charts. It peaked at #18 on the USA Hot 100 in 1969 and then began climbing the charts in Canada. Before long, the single topped the Canadian chart! The single sold over a half-million copies.
They even appeared on television to promote their single.
The group recorded an album, but it did not fare well. After recording a second album, but before Revolver released it, the band fell apart. Revolver and William recruited new members, and a second Motherlode was formed. They released a single late in 1970, the single flopped, and the group disbanded. This time, even William left.
Three more versions of Motherlode formed, released unsuccessful music, and disbanded by the end of 1971.
Steve joined Lighthouse and played saxophone for them beginning in 1982.
William became a studio musician, singing and/or playing keyboards for many artists, including Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, The Pointer Sisters, Linda Ronstadt, Etta James, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Rod Stewart, and Brenda Russell.
Doug formed several groups over time and wrote the song Piano In The Dark, which was a top ten single for Brenda Russell in 1988. Small world.
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