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The Turtles were an American rock band that achieved fame during the mid-1960s.
Known for their harmonious pop-rock sound and a string of hit singles, the band was a significant part of the burgeoning Los Angeles music scene. Here is a detailed history of The Turtles:
Formation and Early Years:
1. Birth of The Crossfires: The Turtles' origins can be traced back to a surf-rock band called The Crossfires, formed in 1963 in Hawthorne, California. The original members included Howard Kaylan (vocals), Mark Volman (vocals), Al Nichol (lead guitar), Don Murray (drums), and Chuck Portz (bass).
2. Transition to The Turtles: In 1965, The Crossfires changed their name to The Turtles, reflecting a shift in their musical style from surf rock to folk-influenced pop. The band lineup remained mostly the same, with Jim Tucker replacing Don Murray on drums.
Breakthrough and Record Deal:
1. Meeting White Whale Records: In 1965, The Turtles met Bob Krasnow and Joel Sill, who signed them to White Whale Records. This marked a turning point in their career.
2. "It Ain't Me Babe" (1965): The Turtles' debut album, also titled "It Ain't Me Babe," was released in 1965. The title track, a Bob Dylan cover, became their first charting single.
The Turtles' Hit Singles and Albums:
1. "Happy Together" (1967): The Turtles' most iconic hit, "Happy Together," was released in 1967. The song reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and remains one of the quintessential songs of the 1960s.
2. Album Releases: In addition to "It Ain't Me Babe," The Turtles released several successful albums, including "You Baby" (1966) and "The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands" (1968).
3. Other Hit Singles: The Turtles also scored hits with songs like "She'd Rather Be with Me," "Elenore," and "You Showed Me."
Lineup Changes and Disbandment:
1. Incorporation of Horns: In the late 1960s, The Turtles incorporated horns and experimented with a more eclectic sound, but this was met with mixed commercial success.
2. Lineup Changes: Lineup changes occurred, and in 1970, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman left the band to pursue their own projects. The Turtles disbanded shortly after.
1. Kaylan and Volman as Flo & Eddie: After leaving The Turtles, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman formed the duo Flo & Eddie. They became known for their background vocal work with artists like Frank Zappa and T. Rex.
2. Legal Battles: The Turtles were involved in legal battles regarding unpaid royalties and rights to their music. Their landmark lawsuit against Sirius XM in 2016 played a significant role in the establishment of artists' rights with regard to pre-1972 sound recordings.
The Turtles' legacy endures as a symbol of 1960s pop culture. Their music remains popular on classic rock radio, and their hits are featured in countless compilations and movie soundtracks. "Happy Together" is a timeless classic that continues to be celebrated in popular culture.
In conclusion, The Turtles were a vital part of the 1960s music scene, best known for their harmonious pop-rock sound and iconic hit "Happy Together." Despite lineup changes and eventual disbandment, their music and legacy have left an indelible mark on the history of rock and pop music.