1971 Todd Rundgren – We Gotta Get You A Woman
Todd Rundgren grew up in Philadelphia and mostly taught himself to play the guitar. While still in high school, he and his friend Randy Reed formed the band Money with Randy’s younger brother. After graduation, Todd joined the blues band Woody’s Truck Stop.
Tiring of the blues, Todd and the band’s bass player (Carson Van Osten) left and formed Nazz. Todd worked at songwriting and arranging with the new group. Todd wrote their first single, Open My Eyes, which came out in 1968.
The B-side of the single, Hello, It’s Me, reached #66 on the Hot 100 in 1969. That was the only single that Nazz got onto the charts. Todd later covered the song on one of his solo albums and that version reached #5 on the Hot 100 in 1973.
Laura Nyro wrote a series of very successful songs that were covered and taken to the charts by other artists (including And When I Die, Stoney End, and Wedding Bell Blues). Todd was impressed enough that he travelled to California to meet Laura, and she offered to let him work as her music director. Todd’s commitments to Nazz prevented him from taking the job, but he admits that he began writing songs that were more like Laura’s than the hard rockers he had created before.
Todd split from the group and found work as a computer progammer, but moved to New York to work on being a record producer. He started out as an engineer, but rapidly started producing records for other artists.
In 1970, Todd recorded his first solo work. He was assisted by two of Soupy Sales’ sons, 17 year-old Tony on bass and 14 year-old Hunt on drums. He released the album using Runt as both the album title and a fake name for a band. Todd wrote all the songs, sang all the vocals, and played most of the instruments on the album.
The first single from the album was We Gotta Get You A Woman. The record reached #20 on the Hot 100 in 1971.
Runt contained a three-song medley that appears to have been inspired by Laura (the first line even mentions her by name).
Todd eventually worked as a producer for one of Laura’s later albums, but he quit before she completed the album.
Todd released a few more solo albums and produced some significant albums for other artists, including We’re an American Band for Grand Funk Railroad in 1973. He formed the band Utopia, led the New Cars, and continued releasing solo work over the next few decades.
While it was not an enormous hit upon release in 1983, Todd’s most enduring work may well turn out to be his solo release of the single Bang the Drum All Day. Countless sports teams, especially football teams celebrating touchdowns, have used the song.
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