The SRO Show – Blood, Sweat & Tears
Kick Brass Rock
Produced by Lawrence Standifer Stevens
Written by Joseph E. Casanova
Blood, Sweat and Tears fused jazz, rock, R&B and pop into their signature hit Spinning Wheel.
After nearly five decades and numerous lineup changes, they remain one of the most iconic American bands.
When the group formed in 1967 in NYC, co-founder and original lead vocalist Al Kooper wanted to use jazz as much as rock to form an “electric rock band” incorporating brass and guitars...equally.
The band derived its name — oddly enough — from the Johnny Cash album, Blood, Sweat & Tears. . . an ode to the working man.
According to the official website, Al Kooper had already booked a gig but needed a name for the ensemble. He saw that Cash record (we just mentioned) and BS&T was born.
Blood, Sweat and Tears released its first album on Columbia Records, Child Is Father to the Man, but it was to slow to achieve the commercial success of their contemporaries, such as Chicago.
It also failed to produce any Top 40 tracks, although I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know and I Can't Quit Her found play on progressive rock radio.
The group achieved its greatest success with its self-titled sophomore release in 1968 when Canadian, David Clayton-Thomas, took over lead vocals.
The first two singles, Clayton-Thomas’s Spinning Wheel and a cover of Berry Gordy and Brenda Holloway’s You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, both reached #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Prior to hiring Clayton Thomas, original founding members Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz had considered former Box Tops frontman Alex Chilton, Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills and NYC folk singer/songwriter Laura Nyro. What a different Blood, Sweat & Tears THAT would have been!
A third single, a powerful rendition of Nyro’s And When I Die also hit #2, giving BS&T its final top five single.
The group has also performed its share of covers including the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil and the Beatles’ Got to Get You into My Life.
In 2014, American Idol alum Bo Bice joined the touring version, but let’s face it. He’s talented, but no one could ever replace David Clayton-Thomas.
Bobby Colomby once compared BS&T to “a great baseball team. The members change but the soul lives on. Though many great musicians have passed through…its musicianship stands the test of time.”
His vision was simple – Find the greatest musicians and the rest is easy.
That rings true because the music of Blood, Sweat & Tears still makes us. . . So Very Happy.