Monday, August 30, 2010

We Five singers


Did you have a singer Kathy, who left your band prior to the single "You are on my mind"? A friend who has passed away had told many of us his wife was with the band as a singer in the early 60's.

Steve in Western Wisconsin


Not that I recall. Michael Stewart and I began singing together in 1959, and until we recorded the “Catch The Wind” album in 1969, the only female singers I ever worked with were Sue Davies, Eileen Duffy, Bev Bivens and Debbie Burgan. Only Bev and Debbie ever appeared on “We Five” recordings.

I’ve received numerous emails over the years from people asking a similar question to yours and I suspect that most, if not all, of them could be traced back to a period from late 1963 to the end of 1964 when Mike found Beverly. He was always ready to switch into the ‘audition mode’ if he met a singer or musician who might fit into the core group. Those investigations would last anywhere from a few minutes at a party to a couple weeks of rehearsals. A few even included recording at a friend’s home studio in Pomona. While none ever materialized into anything, they were probably memorable to the participants when We Five eventually became popular.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Covina Nightclub

Oh you bring back so very wonderful memories. You used to play at a little bar in the mid '60's either in West Covina or Covina. Little fuzzy right now since we certainly had some good times. But I do remember, I tried to make it there every weekend you guys were playing and we'd dance all night to your wonderful music.

You Were On My Mind was my absolute favorite but I seem to remember a song called 'Time' that I simply adored. Cannot find it anywhere as I more than likely don't have the title right.

In any event, please keep me posted where you were be performing either in the Phoenix area or the Southern California area. I will definitely try to make it a point to attend as many times as possible.

You are the tops in my book and to hear you sound as strong and super as before is so very, as they say it now, 'kewl'. Trying to keep up with this stuff but it's getting tough.

Ricki, Phoenix (formerly from Monrovia).

That was a fun place to play while we were breaking in a drummer so We Five could tour again. It was called the Hob Nob and the sign we use as a graphic on our website and logo was painted for us while working there. Unfortunately, the place suffered in 70s and became a strip club before the demolition ball took it down.

The song you are thinking of may be “One Last Time.” It was on our “Catch The Wind” album that was recorded back then. You can get that album on CD from our Website. We also did a song called “All The Time” that was on “the Return of We Five,” but that one is out of print.


Bev's range

At the age of 77, I still tingle when I hear Beverly Bivens sing La Mare (aka Somewhere Beyond the Sea). The We Five album that it was on was sensational. What I am wondering is how many octaves was Beverly able to hit? In La Mare, it was incredible to here her move up and up, octave after octave. I kept listening in the We Five's other songs to hear that range, but never found it again. Though their song that got all the publicity was "You Were on My Mind", for me, La Mare was their (at least, Beverly's) stellar performance. So how did she learn to sing like that and when/where did she realize her talent? Her voice was like a drug, I just wanted to hear more and more, always hoping for an album or some singles of just Beverly solo. Then, just a suddenly as the We Five appeared on the scene, they were gone.
Houston, TX

Beverly did study voice, but only in her soprano range. She had an alto voice that was very strong in the range used for things like You Were On My Mind and Love Me Not Tomorrow. Her soprano range (that so touched you) actually overlapped the alto and you can hear the cross over in songs like Cast Your Fate To the Wind. You are correct that most of her work with We Five after the hit record did not use as much of the upper register.

If you haven’t done so, you might want to order the CD Best Of We Five – There Stands The Door that does include songs not previously available, as well as some Coke commercials that featured her very special vocal abilities. It’s available from our website: