Paul Revere & The Raiders

  • Rock band formed in 1958, originally from Boise Idaho. The key members originally were Paul Revere (born Paul Revere Dick, keyboards, songwriting) and Mark Lindsay (vocals, saxophone, songwriting). There have been many bass players, guitarists and drummers over the years – even in the 60s, at different times, the band had 5 bassists, 5 drummers and 9 guitarists in the group. There have been 34 members of the group over the years.
  • In his early 20s, Revere was a barbershop and restaurant owner in Caldwell Idaho. He met Lindsay when he was picking up hamburger buns at the bakery where Lindsay worked. Revere felt that he could combine good music and humor, and in 1958 he formed a band with Lindsay and others, calling the group The Downbeats. They made some demo tapes, and in 1960, a record company signed them. The company hated their name, so it was changed to Paul Revere & The Raiders, and the band dressed in Revolutionary War uniforms when they performed. Revere became the comic madman on stage, while Lindsay was the teel idol.
  • The band’s debut album, Like, Long Hair, was released in 1961. The single of the same name, an instrumental piece, was popular in the Pacific Northwest, and it managed to chart at #38 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • By the summer of 1962, the band was based in Oregon, and a radio DJ was looking for a band to hire for a teen dance. The DJ mentioned it to his banker, and the banker told him about a local band named “Paul Revere-something.” The DJ tracked down Revere, and became their manager. He had them record the song Louie, Louie, which was included on their 1963 album Paul Revere & The Raiders. While it did not chart, it got the attention of a major record label. They were signed and moved to Los Angeles.
  • They began to release albums regularly – in 1966 alone, they released 3 albums. They had a string of top 20 hits from 1965 to 1969, with 4 songs breaking into the top 10 – Kicks, Hungry, Good Thing and Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be? By this time, Lindsay was co-writing most of their songs with Terry Melcher, their producer who was a major developer of the 60s California sound. During this time, the band went through many lineup changes, with Revere and Lindsay remaining the mainstays of the band. Their style was considered garage rock, with a British-invasion influenced R&B feel.
  • In 1965, Paul Revere & The Raiders became the house band for Dick Clark’s TV show Where The Action Is, a music variety show that was a spin off of American Bandstand. After the show was cancelled, they became the house band for the TV show Happening ’68, and later, It’s Happening – Revere and Lindsay were co-hosts of these shows, with the band performing along with other musical acts.
  • By the late 60s, the band was losing its appeal. Lindsay took more control of the band at this time – their 1968 album Goin’ To Memphis is largely a Lindsay solo album. In 1970, the name of the band was shortened to The Raiders. In 1971, Lindsay recorded the song Indian Reservation, using session musicians and Revere on keyboards to back his vocals. The song was released, attributed to The Raiders – and it became the record company’s best selling record in a decade, selling over 6 million copies. The song was the group’s only song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart. One other song from their Indian Reservation album charted – Birds of a Feather peaked at #20.
  • Four more albums were released between 1972 and 1983, but their run of popularity was over. Lindsay left the band in 1975, focusing on a solo career. Revere continued on, performing as an oldies act. He retired in August 2014, and died 2 months later of cancer. His legacy lives on – now known as Paul Revere’s Raiders, the band performs on cruises and smaller theaters. Paul’s son Jaime now leads the group.
  • Indian Reservation was a big deal for me growing up – one of those songs that was different than everything else coming out, with its drum beat sounding like the drums from a Native American pow wow. Cool early 70s organ here by Paul Revere! I suppose it had special meaning for Lindsay, who is one-eighth Cherokee. Here’s the band performing it on TV.

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