Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Band’s Namesake is not the Singer: Paul Revere & The Raiders

Our fourth installment of “The Band’s Namesake is not the Singer” takes us back to 1967 to a recording by Paul Revere & the Raiders’ Top Five release of “Him or Me, What’s it Gonna Be?” Paul Revere & the Raiders were named after the stage name of the band’s founder and keyboardist whose real name was Paul Revere Dick.

In the 1960s, I remember DJs stating that Paul Revere (the band leader) was descended from the American patriot and silversmith Paul Revere of Boston. I also remember reading that, while Paul Revere Dick was named for the harbinger of “The British are Coming,” that he really wasn’t descended from the famous Paul Revere. Unfortunately, I cannot find anything that proves either story.

While most folks remember the lead singer of the band being Mark Lindsey and that he did get mentioned on many of the band’s singles, they may not know that Paul Revere & the Raiders had been together since 1958 and had been recording since 1960.

On most singles, the band is listed as “Paul Revere & the Raiders featuring Mark Lindsey”; however, some pressings of “Him or Me, What’s it Gonna Be?” fail to credit Lindsey’s contribution. Other issues of the single include Lindsey’s name.

Their peak popularity came during the height of the British Invasion and their Continental Army uniforms when the British were coming to America made a tongue-in-cheek statement of the changes in the music world. By 1970, the band dropped the Paul Revere moniker and had their biggest hit as The Raiders with “Indian Reservation.”

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