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Jim Valley

Best known to garage rock aficionados for his stint playing guitar with Paul Revere & the Raiders, Jim "Harpo" Valley later enjoyed a flourishing career making music for children. Born March 13, 1943, in Tacoma, WA, Valley was raised in the Seattle area. At age ten, he picked up the trumpet, but the arrival of rock & roll prompted a move to guitar, and in high school he joined the popular local band the Viceroys, which cut the 1963 regional hit "Granny's Pad." In early 1965 Valley joined the Portland beat combo Don & the Goodtimes, sharing lead vocal duties with frontman Don Gallucci and writing their hit "Little Sally Tease." A year later, he signed on with the Raiders, replacing lead guitarist Drake Levin. Nicknamed "Harpo" per his physical resemblance to the legendary Marx Brother, Valley relocated to Los Angeles, where Revere & the Raiders appeared each day on the Dick Clark-produced television showcase Where the Action Is. He also befriended the group's producer, Terry Melcher, and members of the Melcher-produced folk-rock group the Gentle Soul, who encouraged Valley to write his own songs. When promises that the Raiders would record those songs never materialized, Valley left the group in 1967, writing and singing with folkies the Lamp of Childhood while pursuing a solo career. With producer Curt Boettcher, he recorded the Dunhill label single "Try, Try, Try" to little commercial notice, and in the fall of 1968 completed a solo LP, Walking Through the Quiet. When Dunhill declined to release the record, Valley returned to his native Washington, working a railroad job and in 1971 issuing the Christian-themed Family on the Light label. With the Seattle-based Shoestring Orchestra and Choir, in 1974 Valley issued the Jerden label single "Rabbits in the Park." A year later, he and his family relocated to San Diego, where he wrote a musical inspired by the Children's Crusade of 12th century France. By 1978, he was back in Seattle, issuing the solo disc Dance Inside Your Heart. From there, he worked with the Tacoma school district, teaching music to gifted students and in 1983 releasing his first proper children's LP, Planet Rainbow. The project won a Parent's Choice award, and set the stage for a series of subsequent efforts including Friendship Train, McFiddle DeeDee, and Dinosaur Ride. In 2002, he also released the adult contemporary set Rolling Sea. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Selected Discography

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Track List: Mystic Males: Tripped-Out Troubadours From 1965-1970

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