March 16, 1936
was born in Cleveland, Ohio, March 16th 1936... raised in St. Petersburg
- Travels with his father, who works for the jukebox industry,
through the South-East.
- His father gives him his first guitar
- Sings in a gospel group
- Leaves home
28: The label Look (Y-1002) releases his first single: 'You Ain't Treatin'
Me Right' / 'Don't Put The Blame On Me'
- March: Arrives in New York, thanks to a publisher's office which
make arrangements for Fred to come over from St. Petersburg, Florida."
(9935) launches his second single, credited to Freddie Neil: 'Heartbreak
Bound' / 'Trav'lin' Man
third single is released by Epic (5-9934): 'Love's Funny' / 'Secret
10: Buddy Holly
records Come Back Baby, song written by Norman Petty and
Fred Neil, not released then but as single in may of 1964.
signed as a staff writer to Southern Music (at the Brill Building) by
its vice-president Jack Newman. He's
paid $40 a week and is teamed up sometimes with Jimmy Krondes.
as session guitar player for Bobby
Darin ("Dream Lover" demo) and Paul
Brunswick (9-55117) launches another single, credited to "Freddie
Neil and Friends": 'Take Me Back Again' / 'Listen Kitten'
appears on the Alan Freed TV show in New York, performing his recently
released song "Listen Kitten".
- Records a demo-song with Mort Shuman for an Elvis Presley movie, which
the King doesn't use in the end.
Another deal in the Brill Building with Beberly Ross. His only composed
song is going to be 'Candy Man', b-side of the single 'Crying' of Roy
Orbison (released by Monument, late 1961).
(5-9403) release his fifth single: 'Slippin' Around' / 'You Don't Have
To Be A Baby To Cry', both songs arranged and conducted by Chuck Sagle.
(5-9435) launches another single: Four Chaplains / A
Rainbow and A Rose, songs composed respectively by Neil and Wally
Gold, and Neil and Barry Mann, in the Brill Building.
by Len Chandler, start to perform solo at Café Wha?, Night Owl
and Bitter End,
clubs of Greenwich Village, New York City, and meets Dino Valente, Karen
Dalton and Tim Hardin, who sometimes play with him.
February: During his gigs in Wha?, he's accompanied by Karen Dalton
and Bob Dylan,
who plays harmonica and sometimes sings.
Plays at the Potpourri in Montreal.
- Neil's presented by Bob Gibson in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
During this time Neil plays live with Gibson and Hamilton Camp. They
even recorded a radio session together in Hollywood.
Performing through the Greenwich Village clubs, acquires a following
among some still amateurs musicians: John Sebastian (who later will
form Lovin' Spoonful), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), Richie
Havens, David Crosby (The Byrds), Terry
Callier, Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield), Felix Pappalardi
(Cream), Josh White, Jr., Denny Doherty (Mamas & The Papas) ...
in Coral Gables, with Ned Carter on lead acoustic guitar.
with Vince Martin at The Bavarian Inn, a little club in Coral Gables
5: Plays The Gates Of Horn (Chicago), opening for Lenny Bruce in a gig
in which Bruce is arrested for obscenity.
Sings on three songs of the rare album by Joe Tinker Lewis: "Moaning
and Groaning". His friend and later arranger of "Everybody's
Talkin'" Nilsson version, George Tipton, also was involved in the
album, as far as both, Joe Lewis and Tipton, appear during the same
period credited in some jazz and pop New York recordings sessions by
Sun Ra, among some other weird acts.
- FM label releases 'Hootenanny Live At The Bitter End' (FS 309), in
which Fred performs three songs: 'Linin' Track', 'The Sky Is Fallin'
and 'That's The Bag I'm In'. The others folkies who appear on this album
are Len Chandler, Jo Maples and Bob Carey.
at the Vangard in Ft. Lauderdale (Florida), with Lisa Kindred and Al
-Plays extensively in Coconut Grove, where a fresh coffehouse-folk scene
would attract new performers like Vince Martin, David and Chip Crosby,
Mama Cass Elliot, Lisa Kindred, Buzzy Linhart, Bobby Ingram, Ned Carter
and Al Mamlet, among others.
Hootenanny album is reissued as 'World Of Folk Music' (FM FS-319). ),
with one more song Raindrops Falling really Yonder
Comes The Blues which will be included on his album Bleecker
Plays the Café au Go Go in a gig supporting Lenny Bruce. The
bill includes Mort Sahl, Richie Havens and Tim Hardin. The songs performed
by Fred are "Weary Blues", "Other Side Of This Life",
"Roll On Rosie", "Thats The Bag Im In",
"The Water Is Wide" and "A Little Bit Of Rain".
at the 'Cafe au Go Go' on Bleeker Street at the corner of Thompson adjacent
to the Bleeker Street Cinema.
with Vince Martin as a duo in the Playhouse Café (Macdougal Street)
and in the Gaslight.
introduces him to John Sebastian, Elektra studio musician.
signs him to a recording contract, and releases Tear Down The
Walls / I Know You Rider (EK-45008), as single and 'Tear Down
The Walls' (EKL-724 mono; EKS-7248 stereo), first and only album by
Martin & Neil. It's produced by Paul Rothchild, with Felix Pappalardi
on guitarron and John Sebastian on harmonica.
The second album of the duo Martin & Neil was going to be recorded
live at The Bitter End, with Sebastian and Pappalardi, but after a pair
of songs the concert finishes and nothing comes out of it.
Elektra (EKL-293 mono; EKS-7293 stereo) releases his first solo album,
'Bleecker & Macdougal', produced by Paul Rothchild and backed by
Pete Childs on guitar and dobro, Felix Pappalardi and Chip
Douglas Hatelid on bass, and John Sebastian on harmonica.
24-27: Plays the Café au Go Go on a bill with Big Joe Williams,
The Blues Project, The Seventh Sons, Al Kooper, David Blue, John Hammond
and John Lee Hooker.
to Coconut Grove (Florida).
- He's interviewed for the 'Hit
- From Coconut Grove, returns sometimes to New York area to play with
various bands, in 'The Night Owl' and later at the 'Cafe au Go Go',
normally Buzzy Linhart on vibes, Steve DeNaut on bass and Serge Katzan
on drums and tabla (musicians that formed The Seventh Sons and The Buzzy
Linhart Trio). With them, he plays the Amusement Park (New Jersey).
In some gigs hes also backed by The Lovin Spoonful and The
jam sessions taped at the loft of Serge Katzan included musicians like
Donovan, Jerry Garcia, David Crosby, David Blue, Mississippi John Hurt,
Shawn Philips and Gram Parsons.
visits the Miami
Seaquarium, where he's fascinated by the dolphin Kathy (that's Flipper
in the eponymous tv serie).
3-18: Plays two week engagement in Café au Go Go with a band
that includes Harvey Brooks, Al Kooper, John Sebastian, Felix Pappalardi
and friends like Dino Valenti and Karen Dalton. Other acts on the bill
are Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Albert King and B.B. King.
of his manager's contacts, Herb Cohen, Fred signs with Capitol Records.
'66: Records his second solo album (first for Capitol). Nik Venet (Chet
Baker, Beach Boys, Lou Rawls) produces it, with John T. Forsha (Modern
Folk Quartet), Peter Childs and Cyrus Faryar on guitars, James E. Bond,
Jr. (Lightnin Hopkins, Chet Baker) on stand-up bass, Billy Mundi
(Frank Zappa, Tim
Buckley) on drums, Al Wilson (Canned Heat) on harmonica, and Rusty
Faryar on cymbals.
(5786) releases the single 'The Dolphins' / 'Ba-De-Da', taken from his
next eponymous album.
February: Capitol releases 'Fred Neil'.
releases a second single from the last LP: 'The Dolphins' / 'I've Got
Plays at the Berkeley Community Theater in a bill that includes Dave
Van Ronk and Mimi Farina.
6-15: Records a new album in Studio B, Capitol Records, Hollywood, with
Jimmy Bond, Jr on stand-up bass, and Cyrus Faryar, Pete Childs, Bruce
Langhorne (Bob Dylan) and Eric Glen Hord (David Crosby) on acoustic
guitars, produced by Nik Venet. Some songs (notably Merry Go Round
with verses of Langston Hughes, and Fools Are A Long Train Coming,
credited to Herb Metoyer) are heavily influenced by the civil rights
movement, which Nik Venet supports.
Capitol releases 'Sessions'.
Capitol (2091) launches the only single from 'Sessions': 'Felicity'
/ 'Please Send Me Somebody To Love'.
(EKSN 45036) releases the single Candy Man/The Water
Is Wide, from the Bleecker & McDougal album.
projects an album to be recorded during a tour through the States, using
local musicians, and including jams with all the musicians friends Fred
had. Venet records a gig with John Sebastian in the Tin Angel, The Troubadour
(Los Angeles), The Hungry (San Francisco).
(2256) releases the single 'Everybody's Talkin' / 'That's The Bag I'm
with Vince Martin at the Gaslight Coffeehouse in Coconut Grove.
- Early '69: Jams with John Stewart, Johnny Cash, Vince Martin
and Kris Kristofferson in Nashville during the sessions for 'California
Bloodlines' of Stewart, which Venet produces with Howard Solomon management.
None of the recordings are released.
- May 5: Plays The Café au Go Go with a band formed by John Sebastian
(guitar), Felix Pappalardi (bass and guitarron), Harvey Brooks (2nd
bass) and Al Kooper (bass, piano and guitar).
projected jam/live LP fails.
provisionally to Woodstock (New York).
After the success of Harry
Nilsson's cover of 'Everybody' Talkin' in 'Midnight
the movie directed by John Schlesinger and starring Dustin Hoffman and
Jon Voight, Capitol relaunches the original version of the song in a
single with 'Ba-De-Da' in the b-side (Capitol 2604), and reissues his
eponymous LP as 'Everybody's Talkin' (Capitol SM-294).
12: Plays the Fillmore East in a concert presented as Fred Neil
'Bleecker & Macdougal' is reissued as 'A Little Bit Of Rain' (Elektra
some songs ("Felicity", "You Dont Miss Your Water",
"Prettiest Train" and "Sweet Mama") which would
appear on the next album. The sessions are produced by Nik Venet and
engineered by John Wilson. Back-up band: Dino Valente (12-string), Bruce
Langhorne and Stephen Stills (guitar), Jimmy Bond and Harvey Brooks
(bass), Less McCann (piano) and Billy Mundi (drums).
Ric O'Barry, a marine biologist, founds 'The
Dolphin Research Project', an organisation dedicated (according
to Fred himself) "to stopping the capture, trafficking and exploitation
of dolphins worldwide".
February: Finishes his engagement with Capitol that releases his last
official album until today: 'The Other Side Of This Life' (SM 657).
It contains a side recorded live at the Elephant in Woodstock, part
of the frustrated live project of 1968, produced by Howard Solomon (his
former manager, before of Lenny Bruce and one time owner of Cafe Au
Go Go in Greenwich Village), with Monte Dunn playing acoustic guitar.
The flip side brings rarities and some surfaced duets with Les McCann,
Vince Martin, Stephen Stills and Gram
Parsons, and is produced by Nik Venet.
live side of "Other Side Of This Life" was produced by Howard
L. Solomon (assisted by Bob Gibson in the mix) for Capitol at the behest
of Micky Kapp to satisfy Freds suspension requirement and release
him from three years remainder of his contract. The purpose, according
to Solomon, was to get him the funds required to pay his debts. It was
done before an audience of stellar music industry (Albert Grossman,
The Band, Mike Lang and dozens of players on 24-track (two Ampex remote
A & B decks truck mounted with video feed by Hanley Sound).
at a concert of Stephen Stills in the Madison Square Garden, New York.
- Plays the Purple Elephant (Woodstock) with Howard L. Solomon
as executive producer. The list of the songs is: "Ya Dont
Miss Your Water", "Cell Block # 9", "Weary Blues",
"Thats The Bag Im In", "Roll On Rosie",
"Dolphins", "Come Back Baby", "Second Hand
Information", "Blues", "Evil Woman", "Black
Woman", "Worried Blues", "This World", "How
Long", "It Aint Neccesaryly So", Mercy" and
"Buddy Can You Spare A Dime".
- Records an unreleased album in Bayshore Studios (Miami)
for Just Sunshine (label owned by his new manager, Mike Lang) with Harvey
Brooks (Miles Davis, Bob Dylan) on bass and Pete Childs on guitar.
July 11: Plays The
Montreux Jazz Festival, in the Montreux Casino, with John Sebastian
on harmonica, Pete Childs on guitar, and Harvey Brooks on bass. Among
the songs played, are: 'Nashville Cats' and 'Stories We Could Tell'
(both from John Sebastian) and 'December Dream'.
Reappears live at the Coconut Grove Playhouse during two benefit concerts
for the Dolphin Project, backed by John Sebastian, Pete Childs and Buzzy
20: Plays in the Whale Day Celebration in the Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento
(California), joining Joni
Mitchell for performing The Dolphins, both backed by
Jaco Pastorius (bass) and Bobby Hall (percussion).
April: Plays live in Japan in a gig of the Rolling Coconut Revue, along
Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and John Sebastian, among others, called
"Japan Celebrates The Whale And Dolphin".
Records for CBS at The Bayshore Studios a few unreleased covers produced
by Ric O Barry and Fred himself and enginneered by Bill Zsymsik
and Buddy Thornton: "Bottom Dollar" (Danny Finley), "December
Dream" (John Braheny), "Walk On Water" (Billy Roberts),
"Jasmine Town" (Bobby Ingram), "Shes Got",
"Lady Lady", "I Must Be In Good Place Now", "Everyday"
and the instrumental "Bicycle Path".
July: Re-records in New Jersey with the band Stuff that include
Cornell Dupree and Richard Tee, among others- the same material recorded
at Bayshore last year. Fred and Ric are the producers again.
Plays at Howard Solomon's café, in Coconut Grove, with Buzzy
label See For Miles (77) releases The Very Best Of Fred Neil,
a record that includes the eponymous album and four songs of Sessions.
Ben Vaughn, cult singer-songwriter of the eighties proposes him to record
an album for Nonesuch Explorer series, but Fred declines the invitation,
advising Vaughn to call Karen Dalton.
- July: 'Bucketfull Of Brains' Magazine (#43) publishes an article on
April 26: 'Goldmine' Magazine (#411) publishes an article on Fred Neil,
written by Simon Wordsworth, titled The Last Great Undiscovered
Greenwich Village Folk Legend.
The British label Rev-Ola (CREV 021) reissues, for the first time in
CD format, Everybody's Talkin'.
The Japanese label East West reissues, for the first time in CD format,
Bleecker And MacDougal (AMCY-2693) and Tear Down The
German label Buffalo Bop (CD 55088) releases the compilation Hot
Rockin, including the song You Aint Treat Me Right.
'The Many Sides Of Fred Neil', a double CD set, is released by Collectors
Choice (CCM-07-2), compiling the three entire Capitol LPs, the single
with the Nashville Street Singers, and four outtakes (Trouble
In Mind, Decembers Dream, Ride Stormy Weather
with Vince Martin- and How Long Blues/Drown In Tears
from Sessions), and two different versions of Sweet
Mama and The Other Side Of This Life (both from Bleecker
February: Mojo Magazine
publishes an article, written by Ben Edmonds and titled I Dont
Hear A Word Theyre Saying....
A letter requesting to the Mojo article, written by Fred, is published
in that magazine, explaining the purposes of the Dolphin Project. No
comments about the music.
Dolphin Project releases a video directed by Diana Thater, narrated
by Richard OBarry and with music by Fred Neil, featuring the songs
"The Other Side Of This Life", "The Water Is Wide",
"The Dolphins", and an excerpt from "Ive Got A
Secret (Didnt We Shake Up Sugaree)".
Published in the USA (Miller Freeman Books) "Urban
Spacemen And Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators And Eccentric
Visionaries Of 60s Rock", written by Richie
Unterberger, including an entire chapter dedicated to the life and
music of Fred Neil.
March: A new book, "American Troubadours: Groundbreaking Singer
Songwriters Of The Sixties", is released in the UK (Backbeat),
written by Mark Brend, and including a chapter for Neil and various
13: A dedicated website is created at www.fredneil.com
- July 7: Dies in Monroe County, Key West (Florida).
He was 65 years old and died of natural causes.
8: "Everybody's Talkin'", a forum about Fred is created on
. In it, Howard Solomon, Ric O' Barry, Bobby
Ingram, Steve DeNaut and other partners, friends and fans of Fred post
messages every day and try to keep his spirit alive."
© by Toni Ruiz