Tuesday, July 4, 3:00 pm.
The Sons of Champlin started in 1965 in Marin County rising from the wreckage of the Opposite Six, a locally popular R&B band from the pre-Beatle era. “Six” members, Bill Champlin and Tim Cain, added Terry Haggerty and the first of a series of drummers and bass players. The new band was named for the “front” man, Bill Champlin. The Sons’ first record release, on Verve Records, was a single called “Sing Me A Rainbow.” In 1967 the Sons of Champlin became a seven-piece band, adding a trumpet and more importantly, Geoff Palmer on keyboards, alto sax, and vibraphone. By this time the San Francisco scene included the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms, and as the Sons joined that rock circuit, they earned a reputation as a group of R&B and jazz musicians far above the caliber of the electrified folk-rockers who formed the core of the scene. Not only did the Sons boast a horn section, their philosophical themes, R&B and jazz tempos and arrangements were far ahead of any in rock music, and set the Sons apart from the guitar-dominated bands playing the San Francisco ballrooms.