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The Grass Roots

The Grass Roots had a series of major hits -- most notably "Let's Live for Today," "Midnight Confessions," "Temptation Eyes," and "Two Divided by Love" -- that help define the essence of the era's best AM radio. Although the group's members weren't even close to being recognizable, and their in-house songwriting was next to irrelevant, the Grass Roots managed to chart 14 Top 40 hits, including seven gold singles and one platinum single, and two had hits collections that effortlessly went gold. The group's history is also fairly complicated, because there were at least three different groups involved in the making of the songs identified as being by "the Grass Roots."

The Grass Roots was originated by the writer/producer team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri as a pseudonym under which they would release a body of Byrds/Beau Brummels-style folk-rock. Sloan and Barri were contracted songwriters for Trousdale Music, the publishing arm of Dunhill Records, which wanted to cash in on the folk-rock boom of 1965. Dunhill asked Sloan and Barri to come up with this material, and a group alias under which they would release it. The resulting "Grass Roots" debut song, "Where Were You When I Needed You," sung by Sloan, was sent to a Los Angeles radio station, which began playing it. The problem was, there was no "Grass Roots." The next step was to recruit a band that could become the Grass Roots. Sloan found a San Francisco group called the Bedouins that seemed promising on the basis of their lead singer, Bill Fulton. Fulton recorded a new vocal over the backing tracks laid down for the P.F. Sloan version of the song. The Bedouins were, at first, content to put their future in the hands of Sloan and Barri as producers, despite the fact that the group was more blues-oriented than folk-rock. However, the rest of the group was offended when Fulton was told to record their debut single, a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of a Thin Man," backed by studio musicians. When that single, released in October of 1965, became only a modest hit, the Bedouins -- except for their drummer, Joel Larson -- departed for San Francisco, to re-form as the Unquenchable Thirst. Sloan and Barri continued to record. "Where Were You When I Needed You" was released in mid-'66 and peaked at number 28, but the album of the same name never charted.

Amid the machinations behind Where Were You When I Needed You, no "real" Grass Roots band existed in 1966. A possible solution came along when a Los Angeles band called the 13th Floor submitted a demo tape to Dunhill. This group, consisting of Warren Entner (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Creed Bratton (lead guitar), Rob Grill (vocals, bass), and Rick Coonce (drums), was recruited and offered the choice of recording under their own name, or to take over the name the Grass Roots, put themselves in the hands of Sloan and Barri, and take advantage of the Grass Roots' track record. They chose the latter, with Rob Grill as primary lead vocalist. The first track cut by the new Grass Roots in the spring of 1967 was "Let's Live for Today," a new version of a song that had been an Italian hit, in a lighter, more up-tempo version, for a band called the Rokes. "Let's Live for Today" was an achingly beautiful, dramatic, and serious single and it shot into the Top Ten upon its release in the summer of 1967. An accompanying album, Let's Live for Today, only reached number 75. The group began spreading its wings in the studio with their next album, Feelings, recorded late in 1967, which emphasized the band's material over Sloan and Barri's. This was intended as their own statement of who they were, but it lacked the commercial appeal of anything on Let's Live for Today, sold poorly, and never yielded any hit singles. Eleven months went by before the group had another chart entry, and during that period, Sloan and Barri's partnership broke up, with Sloan departing for New York and an attempt at a performing career of his own. The band even considered splitting up as all of this was happening. The Grass Roots' return to the charts (with Barri producing), however, was a triumphant one -- in the late fall of 1968, "Midnight Confessions" reached number five on the charts and earned a gold record. "Midnight Confessions" showed the strong influence of Motown, and the R&B flavor of the song stuck with Barri and the band.

In April of 1969, Creed Bratton left the band, to be replaced by Denny Provisor on keyboards and Terry Furlong on lead guitar. Now a quintet, the Grass Roots went on cutting records without breaking stride, enjoying a string of Top 40 hits that ran into the early '70s, peaking with "Temptation Eyes" at number 15 in the summer of 1971. Coonce and Provisor left at the end of 1971, to be replaced by Reed Kailing on lead guitar, Virgil Webber on keyboards, and Joel Larson -- of the original Bedouins/Grass Roots outfit -- on drums. They arrived just in time to take advantage of the number 16 success of "Two Divided by Love," which was the last of the Grass Roots' big hits. The Grass Roots soldiered on for a few more years, reaching the Top 40 a couple of times in 1972, but their commercial success slowly slipped away during 1973. They kept working for a few more years, but called it quits in 1975. Rob Grill remained in the music business on the organizing side, and by 1980 was persuaded by his friend John McVie to cut a solo album, Uprooted, which featured contributions by Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham. By 1982, amid the burgeoning oldies concert circuit and the respect beginning to be accorded the Grass Roots, Grill formed a new Grass Roots -- sometimes billed as Rob Grill and the Grass Roots -- and began performing as many as 100 shows a year. Their presence on various oldies package tours saw to it that the Grass Roots' name remained visible. Grill continued performing with later incarnations of the band into the 2000s; however, he endured the pain of degenerative bone disease for years and in June 2011 suffered a head injury. The following month Grill died in Tavares, Florida of complications from that injury at the age of 67. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Best Of The Grass Roots

1. Midnight Confessions

2. I'd Wait A Million Years

3. Heaven Knows

4. Baby Hold On

5. Temptation Eyes

6. Sooner Or Later

7. Two Divided By Love

8. Glory Bound

9. The River Is Wide

10. Bella Linda

11. Things I Should Have Said

x

Track List: The Grass Roots All Time Greatest Hits

1. Let's Live For Today

2. Where Were You When I Needed You

3. Things I Should Have Said

4. Midnight Confessions

5. The River is Wide

6. Bella Linda

7. Lovin' Things

8. Wait A Million Years

9. Baby Hold On

10. Heaven Knows

11. Come On and Say It

12. Temptation Eyes

13. Two Divided By Love

14. Glory Bound

16. Sooner Or Later

x

Track List: Let's Live For Today

1. Things I Should Have Said

2. Wake Up, Wake Up

3. Tip Of My Tongue

4. Is It Any Wonder

5. Let's Live For Today

6. Beatin' Round The Bush

7. Out Of Touch

8. Won't You See Me

9. Where Were You When I Needed You

10. No Exit

11. This Precious Stone

12. House Of Stone

Comments

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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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Good music but y the name
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Live for the day! Good advice!!
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DONT READ THIS.YOU WILL BE KISSED ON THE NEAREST FRIDAY BY THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE.NOW YOU'VE STARTED READING THIS.DONT STOP THIS IS FREAKY.BUTIF YOU READ THIS AND IGNORE IT YOU WILL GET BAD LUCK.PUT THIS ON 15 SONGS IN 143 MIN.WHEN YOU ARE DONE PRESS THE SPACE BAR AND YOUR CRUSHES NAME WILL APPEAR IN BIG LETTERS ON THE SCREEN THIS IS SO CREEPY CAUSE IT ACTUALLY WORKS....
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howardunc
The Grass Roots!!! Man were they great or what!
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Jn j n ki nin j k n j n
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You'll never be mine :(
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TeenyBopper crap!
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AWESOME BAND
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Don't read this. You will be hugged on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow you will have the best day of your life. Now you've started, but don't stop. If you read this and ignore it you will have bad luck. Put this on 15 other songs in 143 minutes, then press space bar and you crushed name will appear in big letters on the screen. This is so freaky. It actually works.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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real
:-(
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provocative
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The grass roots still have my votes as the best group of the era of 1960,1970 and still having fun together, god bless them, junito.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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The grass roots still my favorite group of the 1970 era and bring me a lot memories in the time that I have with my friends in the year of 1970,please bring those years back. Junior.
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Story of my life
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It's the spirit of a generation that will live on forever through this great music!!!
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I hope Pandora removes the album Best of (note: not The Best Of...the Millennium Edition...th a t album is good). Best of is an album of a reconfigured band attempting to cover the original lineup.
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totapp
They where the very first band I seen in drag water speedway in Cincinnati Ohio never forget that day Daryl Carnes they were great
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totapp
Do they still play love to see them
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My first cousin was in Nam about this time, very sad situation.
The Roots music sometimes sets my memory in motion.
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agarza13
MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND NOW.....AMAZ I N G MUSIC......
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eight track tapes and the roots, can't get any better
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johnnyohania n
check out the grass roots on Jimmy Durante Presents. Totally ridiculous introduction . Schnozola had no idea who they were.
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I wait a million years to listen to them again the grassroots where the best money you can find, and miss them, gracias por esos dias junito.
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zacker54
Great music from my youth.
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Damn those gold rings anyway.
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We should all just live for today...Tomo r r o w will speak for it"s self.
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cpforney
Bella linda my fav
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cpforney
Baby eaters. R u tarded
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They have some many great songs together and they still sounds great, god bless them.
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alabastervil l i s 0
how can any of you sheep like a bunch of dirty, smelly unbathed baby eaters? besides the fact yes fact that all hippie songs suck, they ate children. you are all blind monsters
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The only one group that I paid to see them any time to play any where because they were great and famous, i keep leaving comments on this page because I love them, and I will never forget them, god bless them.
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Please dont look at me with those temptation eyes
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Sssh!!! Hush!!!
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Basically AM junk (e.g. Two Divided by Love) I loved as a kid, but the melodramatic 'Midnight Confessions' has aged decently--ma y b e it just has a more 'grown-up' theme?
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Excellent band, had a lot of Great tunes !
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It's music like this from my childhood is one of the things that make life worth living in these darkening times.I wouldn't like to be a kid today unless I'd discovered this music
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Grass Roots for the Hall of Fame.
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The only thing I can tell you that the grassroots where the best money you have to see them play on.the best group around.
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I agree with deb7588 -- there is only one true version of Eve of Destruction -- and that belongs to Barry McGuire. This is a good effort by The Grass Roots but it's not enough.
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,the gŕass roots bring me a lot memories of my favorite years of the 1970 era.
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Starting to get into psychedelic rock, again - and I'm realizing that I really love these guys!! Nice uptempo rockers, they are!! \m/ \m/
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EVE OF DESTRUCTION IS BY BARRY MCGUIRE
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Green, temptation eyes
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My all time favorite band. Had the honor of going to several concerts and shaking hands with The Awesome Rob Grill. I'm 61 and it so brings back Great Memories.
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We are on our way towards destruction because of brain dead American liberals and socialists.
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ladymantrap
I think they should have mentioned in this bio, that the Grassroots also performed their song Feelings in the Doris Day movie With Six You Get Egg roll. A great movie, and Feelings is also my FAVORITE Grassroots song. If you haven't seen it, and you're a Grassroots fan, and a Doris fan, you'd better see it. :)
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Why is this group not in the rock n roll hall of fame
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