Wednesday, December 01, 2010

COLOURS IS GOOD & LOVE HEALS

The Boulder Community Hospital on East Arapahoe has a large banner hanging on the front of the main building stating simply "Love Heals."  I am not sure of their intent, but it takes me back to the 60's.  And "why" you might ask - check this out.



Jack Dalton [front], Chuck Blackwell, Carl Radle, Gary Montgomery, Rob Edwards

Colours -Atmosphere-

The Colours were a 1960's psychedelic pop rock band and the late Gary Montgomery was my brother-in-law.  Although Gary did not "read" music, he was an amazing singer, keyboard player and song-writer.  It's interesting that if you google Gary Montgomery Colours, there are many websites that discuss the music of the Colours, sites that offer the two albums, Love Heals and Atmosphere, produced by the group, and interestingly a site that discusses non-Colours recordings of Jack and Gary.



Here is a sampling of the music of the Colours - the second clip is Love Heals with Gary singing the lead.



In 2008, a Love Heals - the Complete Recordings CD was released, and here are some on-line comments about the Colours, Jack and Gary:

Colours launched onto the scene in 1968 with a stunningly glorious psychedelic masterpiece of L.A studio wizardry. A super group before the name was coined, Colours was the brainchild of Gary Montgomery & Jack Dalton, two hard-working, former Motown songwriters who also penned songs for The Turtles, Nino & April and The Moon. This magical mystery tour-de-force of psychedelic Beatlesque pop also features the talents of Derek & The Dominos bassist Carl Radle.

This first-ever CD issue of their long-out-of-print albums (Colours and Atmosphere) is supplemented by long-lost 67 Dalton & Montgomery recordings cut just months before they formed Colours. 1969′s Atmosphere features former Beach Boy David Marks around the same time he was a member of The Moon another band with many connections to Colours.

The 16-page colour booklet also includes rare, unpublished photos and comprehensive liner notes that feature the participation of original band members.
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A bunch of years ago, who would have told us, to Jack, Gary, you and me, that in 2010 we'd be here, in such a close, distant and anonymous media like this one, remembering and celebrating all these songs which have remained suspended in time and space. Yours and mine are stories that, at the moment, are not relevant. But this could be a good moment to enjoy a part of the one of Jack and Gary.

Together, during some years in their youth, they wrote songs of a surprising high level. Songs which were truly reflecting the musical evolution of the times, and which have in common a faultless good taste in their melodic construction and a strong evoking power. Many of them were recorded by themselves with their main project, the band Colours. Other ones were released by other artists, like The Turtles, Nino Tempo & April Stevens, The Committee, The Peppermint Trolley Company, Aorta, or The Moon.

This compilation could well be the complement of the fantastic Colours CD "Love Heals: The Complete Recordings", released by Now Sounds/Cherry Red in 2008, which contains the only two LPs recorded by the band of Jack and Gary ("Colours", 1968 and "Atmosphere", 1969). Here in our compilation we're gathering most part of their songs not included there, and which quite surely also deserve to be recovered and enjoyed.

It's fascinating to participate in the evolution of their music. From the northern soul-merseybeat of their first recordings for the mighty Motown, to the multicoloured and captivating pop of the times when they were starting to take off, and to the psychedelic flavours of their final stage.
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Here are "The Best Three Songs From Atmosphere" - Gary is featured on the first cut Angie, the second cut When Will You Be Coming Home is a wonderful example of the harmonies of Gary and Jack, and the third cut Your High is very Beatle-esque.  Probably my most favorite Colours song is Smiling in Toronto, but I have not yet found an on-line audio or video of the tune.  You can get a sampling of all 28 Colours cuts on the 2008 CD at Amazon.  A very good friend of Gary's, Danny Moore, produced both Colours albums.




Gary and Kay Montgomery's daughter Anna Montgomery is also an accomplished musician, and after Gary's untimely passing in 2005 caused by heart disease, Anna produced a tribute album for her father.  Triple Seven is a posthumous collaboration between Gary and Anna, and it can be previewed here.  Gary was the third member of the Colours to pass away.  Carl Radle was considered one of the best bass players of the era, and played with a host of well-known artists and bands.  He died in 1980 in a fashion far too common for rock and rollers - from the effects of too much alcohol and drugs.  I understand that guitarist Robbie Edwards dropped out of the music scene, went to medical school and became a physician.  Danny Moore has provided more info about Robbie in the comments section - apparently he had a severe allergic reaction that caused heart failure.

It is most interesting that 40+ years after the Colours came and went, they are still a presence on the internet and have fans around the globe.

23 comments:

Anna Montgomery said...

What an honor to read about my father here. He would be flattered and humbled that you have shared his story. While he did not reap much more than personal reward during his career, he was made aware shortly before his death that there is a demographic who consider him a cult classic- shocking and delightful news to him. Thank you again, Uncle. And thank you, Dad, for your contribution to music.

Dr S said...

Thanks for your comment Anna. Even though Gary is gone from this world, his spirit lives on in his music and in our memories.

Paula said...

Thanks Doug for posting this. I always liked Gary's music. Nice for Anna that both her parents are talented musicians.

Dr S said...

Paula - thanks for checking in! It would appear as though musical talent is an inherited trait, eh?!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful tribute to Gary and a heart-warming note from Anna.

Anonymous said...

Anna should have both of the albums in vinyl as we gave them to her some years ago. I did keep the bumper sticker. Mark

Dr S said...

Primo M - we too have the vinyls; never did have the bumper sticker or the pin. We do have an ad that I believe appeared in Billboard when the first album came out.

danlmo said...

I put the band together and brought the project to Richard Delvy, who secured the deal with Dot. Richard was the executive producer, and I wrote out all of the time/chord charts and did all of the "in studio" production for both albums. Robbie Edwards, a GREAT guitar player had an ear infection in 1988, was prescribed an antibiotic that he was allergic to and had a negative reaction which caused a fatal heart attack.
There were no corrective narcotics involved what so ever.
Gary was one of my very best all time friends and I miss him. I feel like Jack and Gary's music still holds up to this day.
Daniel Moore-Producer of both Colours Albums.

Dr S said...

Dan - thanks for your comments. After talking with my sister, I corrected the info about Robby, and appreciate the additional information. We recently found an old slide of Gary and young Anna in a pool, and eveyone agreed that it was you in the backgound, sitting on the edge. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I had the honor of meeting Gary Montgomery at the Midway Tavern in Mishawaka, IN when Anna did a concert there. He was a super nice guy and seemed quite shocked that my brother & I knew who he was. He sat at our table along with Tony Roig (or we sat at his table) and we talked about sixties music. I was looking forward to talking more with him when he suddenly died. One of the strange events was that the Montgomerys lived in the same addition as me & I didn't know it at the time. DK

Anonymous said...

I had the honor of Knowing Gary since 1999 when he was living in Goshen and looking For some help with his car . I met Anna at the same time and after a short time and getting to know them better and their love of music , I realized how beautiful the Montgomery's are . Gary would be very proud of his Anna . She was his world and reason for his Joy !

akashaman said...

very well deserved tribute to this fantastic band ! i shared their debut LP at my blog - it has received many great comments .. sad to hear about the members , but the music lives on - much admiration , inspiration & respect.

Douglas Swartzendruber said...

akashaman - thanks for your comment; I found your blog when I was putting this post together - your post on the Colours was very nice.

popohicks said...

Doug...Thanks for the update & history of "COLOURS". I always wandered what happened to the other members of the band. I always bragged to everyone that I was related to Gary & turned them on to his music. I went through several of his albums. I would put the album on the turntable & let it play over & over. Now I own the CD's & still play them over & over. Gary, Kay & Anna....THANK YOU!!!!

Dr S said...

Donn - thanks for visiting. We too have the two vinyls and I have transfered them to my iTunes library. Still enjoy listening.....doug

Matt_the_Cat said...

So very grateful for this info.The Colours' 1st was the very first album I bought albeit in a budget bin around '72. There seemes to have been quite a lot of the Dot and Paramount labels in the bins i.e.Bugsy Maugh,Val Stoeklein,Mint Tattoo,Catch,etc.My sis loved it as well and went back and bought her a copy.Always wondered what happened to the members.Thankx.

Dr S said...

Matt the Cat - I am very pleased that you found this info, and that you took the time to write a bit about your encounter with the Colours. It's sad that 3/5 have passed away, but we can still enjoy their music - thanks.

John Rick Edwards said...

Thank you for this great site. I am Rob Edwards brother, Rick (also known as John) Edwards. I remember the whole band and played with them when Carl was on vacation (I play bass). It was a great group of people with incredible talent. Rob and I still played music until his death in 2001. It was true Rob had ringing in his ears and also pressure and dizziness. He was prescribed a diuretic which lowered his Potassium levels and that is what triggered a heart attack. He was driving his 1983 Porsche Carrera on 91 freeway when it happened and he pulled over to the side. Rob also painted. I have a youtube of some of his paintings & drawings with one of his more recent songs. I will be putting our other music on iTunes and will send it to you when it is ready. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AIBEeEi8iM

Dr S said...

Dear Rick - so very glad you found this and 'dropped by.' I very much appreciate your comments and look forward to visiting the youtube site for the paintings and the music. We are saddened by not having Gary, Robbie and Carl around.

Unknown said...

Wow- How amazing to hear from John Edwards! It made me go back and read all the comments on the blog again and I had to shed a tear.

It's timely to be reminded of dad like this with Day of the Dead approaching, I started painting a portrait of him (nothing as accomplished as Rob's work!) and got out all the makings for my shrine that I build every year at this time to honor him.

Again, your blog has proved to affect its readers on a deep level. Kudos, uncle!

Love- Anna

Dr S said...

Thanks Anna - amazing how the timing of these things often brings people/places/thoughts together.

nick crescendo said...

Hi there,

All you ever wanted to know about jack Dalton, The Colours, etc, but were afraid to ask! on this very interesting podcast with Jack!

http://www.southernfm.com.au/general/the-purple-haze-archive-presents-jack-dalton-of-the-colours-classic-cult-band-of-the-1960s-on-podcast/

Best,
Nick

DES said...

Nick - great to receive your comment and link - I will get to that asap, and may put it on a new post about the Colours and the song that is my favorite!