Richie Furay

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Posted by motoman 04/27/2009 @ 12:13

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Rock pioneer headed to Tupelo -
... (1972) “Black Rose,” (1976), “You're Only Lonely” (1979) and “Home By Dawn” (1984) — as well as two albums as a member of The Souther Hillman Furay Band, the super group that united Souther with Poco's Richie Furay and the Byrds' Chris Hillman....
DVD Review: Neil Young: Archives Volume 1: 1963-72 - LAist
The Richie Furay vocals on his Buffalo Springfield material; the nine-minute version of the Springfield's “Bluebird” that contains one of Neil's earliest recorded guitar freakouts, his contributions to CSNY's live album Four Way Street… it's hard to...
Miers' take: Our pop music critic sizes up the Harbor lineup - Buffalo News
Poco has Rusty Young, but not Richie Furay and Jim Messina. Badfinger, one of the finest of the first wave of post-Beatles English bands, is really just Joey Molland and some other dudes. The band's songwriters, Pete Ham and Tom Evans, both committed...
Millburn merchants join forces to buck the economy -
An August 24 concert at the Short Hills Hilton featuring singer Richie Furay, who played with POCO and Buffalo Springfield is being billed as a Millburn Pride Event. According to Chamber President Ralph Tarnofsky, the Hilton will underwrite the event...
Notes From the Soundboard: The Joys of Poco - Broward New Times
Richie Furay wasn't a first string player with the Springfield, but when he and Jim Messina went on to form Poco, recruiting drummer George Grantham, bass player Timothy B. Schmidt, steel guitarist Rusty Young and later, singer/songwriter Paul Cotton...

Richie Furay

Richie Furay at South by Southwest 2006.

Richie Furay (born Paul Richard Furay, 9 May 1944, Yellow Springs, Ohio) is an American singer, songwriter, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member who is best known for forming the 1960s band, Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Bruce Palmer, and Dewey Martin. His best known song with that band was "Kind Woman," which he wrote for his wife, Nancy.

Before Buffalo Springfield, Furay performed with Stills in the nine-member group, the Au Go Go Singers (Roy Michaels, Rick Geiger, Jean Gurney, Michael Scott, Kathy King, Nels Gustafson, Bob Harmelink, and Furay & Stills), the house band for the famous Cafe Au Go Go in New York.

In the late 1960s he formed the country-rock band Poco, with Jim Messina and Rusty Young. This band, while influential to many future country-rock acts, never achieved its potential success. Furay's best known songs, "Pickin' Up The Pieces" and "Good Feelin' To Know", however, have reached classic status and appear on many country compilations. He left Poco in 1974 to join the Souther Hillman Furay Band. Al Perkins, the group's pedal steel guitar player, introduced Furay to Christianity, before poor record sales led to the band's demise.

Furay then formed The Richie Furay Band, with Jay Truax, John Mehler, and Tom Stipe, releasing the album I've Got a Reason in 1976, which reflected Furay's newfound beliefs. To support the release of this album Furay formed an alliance with David Geffen and Asylum Records. Furay assured Geffen that his album would be Christian influenced but would not be an attempt to preach his newfound beliefs. The album, along with subsequent releases failed to chart. After two tours during the late 1970s, he hung up his rock and roll shoes in favor of a call to the ministry.

Since the early 1980s, Furay has been senior pastor of the Calvary Chapel in Broomfield, Colorado, a Christian church in the Denver area. He continues to perform as a solo artist, and very occasionally with Poco. He most recently toured as an opening act for America and Linda Ronstadt during the Summer of 2006. The 2006 release of his latest CD The Heartbeat of Love returns Furay to his early country-rock roots with a contemporary flair.

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Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield, left to right: Stephen Stills, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer, Richie Furay, Neil Young

Buffalo Springfield was a short-lived but influential folk rock group that served as a springboard for the careers of Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and Jim Messina, and is most famous for the song "For What It's Worth". After the band's formation in April 1966, a series of disruptions, including internal bickering and the pressure of working in the music industry, resulted in constant changes in the group's lineup and ultimately culminated in the group's disbanding after roughly 25 months. Buffalo Springfield released a total of three albums but left a legacy that includes many demo recordings, studio outtakes and live recordings, as well as a reputation for excellent personnel and high band dysfunction.

Neil Young and Stephen Stills first crossed paths at a folk club in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Young was there with The Squires, a group he had been leading since February 1963, and Stills was on tour with The Company, a spin off from the Au Go Go Singers. Although the two would not see each other again for almost a year, the encounter left both with a strong desire to work together.

When The Company broke up at the end of that tour, Stills moved to the West Coast, where he worked as a studio musician and auditioned unsuccessfully for, among other things, The Monkees. Told by record producer Barry Friedman that there would be work available if he could assemble a band, Stills invited fellow Au Go Go Singers alumnus Richie Furay and former Squires bass player Ken Koblun to come join him in California. Both agreed, although Koblun chose to leave before very long and rejoined the group 3's a Crowd.

In early 1966 in Toronto, Young met Bruce Palmer, a Canadian who was playing bass for a group called the Mynah Birds. In need of a lead guitarist, Palmer invited Young to join the group, and Young accepted. The Mynah Birds were set to record an album for Motown Records when Rick James, their singer, was arrested for draft evasion. With their record deal cancelled, Young and Palmer decided to head for Los Angeles where they hoped to hook up with Stills.

Roughly a week later, discouraged at having been unable to locate Stills and ready to depart for San Francisco, they were stuck in traffic on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles when Stills, Furay and Friedman, sitting in their white van, recognized Young’s black 1953 Pontiac hearse, which just happened to be passing by in the opposite direction. After an illegal u-turn by Furay, some shouting, hand-waving and much excitement, the four musicians realized that they were united in their determination to put together a band. Drummer Dewey Martin, who had played with country artists such as Patsy Cline and The Dillards, was added to the roster less than a week later after contacting the group at the suggestion of the Byrds' manager, Jim Dickson.

Taking their name from the side of a steamroller—made by the Buffalo-Springfield Roller Company—that was parked on the street outside Friedman’s house (where Stills and Furay were staying), the new group debuted on April 11, 1966 at The Troubadour in Hollywood. A few days later, they began a short tour of California as the opening act on a bill featuring the Dillards and the Byrds.

No sooner had the Byrds' tour ended than Chris Hillman persuaded the owners of the famous Whisky a Go Go to give the band an audition. Buffalo Springfield essentially became the house band at the Whisky for seven weeks, from May 2 to June 18, 1966. This legendary series of concerts solidified the band’s reputation for exhilarating live performances and attracted immediate interest from a number of record labels. It also brought an invitation from Friedman to Dickie Davis, who had been lighting manager for the Byrds, to become involved in the group’s management. In turn, Davis sought advice from Sonny & Cher’s management team, Charlie Green and Brian Stone. They eventually struck a deal with Ahmet Ertegün of Atlantic Records and arranged for the band to start recording at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood.

Young, Stills and Furay would all record demos for the album, but Greene and Stone, who had installed themselves as the album's producers, deemed Young's voice "too weird" and assigned lead vocals on the majority of Young's songs to Furay.

The first Buffalo Springfield single, “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing”, was released in July but made little impact outside of Los Angeles, where it reached the Top 25. The group was dissatisfied with and reworked some of their early recording efforts for the rest of the album. In fact, Young and Stills have long maintained that their own mono mix was superior to the stereo mix engineered by Greene and Stone. The album—eponymously titled Buffalo Springfield—was originally released by Atlantic’s subsidiary Atco in mono and in stereo in October 1966. A revamped version (see below) issued both in mono and stereo with a different track order, came in March 1967.

In November 1966 Stills composed his landmark song, "For What It's Worth", after witnessing police actions against the crowds of young people who had gathered on the Sunset Strip to protest the closing of a nightclub called Pandora's Box. The song was recorded in December, and by March 1967 the Buffalo Springfield had a Top Ten hit. Atco took advantage of this momentum by replacing the song "Baby Don't Scold Me" with "For What It's Worth" and re-releasing the album.

In January 1967 the group took an advance from the record company and flew to New York to perform at Ondine’s, a club where the Doors would also play. It was at this time that Palmer was first arrested for possession of marijuana and summarily deported back to Canada.

The band moved back and forth between recording sessions and live appearances on both coasts. A number of different bassists were used, including Koblun - who was unable to cope with the pressure and soon quit - and Jim Fielder of the Mothers of Invention. In one instance - a live performance on the television show Hollywood Palace - Springfield's non-bass-playing road manager held a bass with his back to the camera while the band mimed to a prerecorded track.

Under these conditions work on the new album, tentatively titled Stampede, was markedly tense. Ever distrustful of Greene and Stone, Young and Stills also bickered among themselves, and each insisted on producing the recording sessions for his own compositions. Furay, who had sung and played guitar on the first album but had not contributed any songs, also stepped forward and equaled Young's number for the group's second album.

Although Palmer returned to the group at the beginning of June, Young had already left and as a result missed the celebrated Monterey Pop Festival, at which the band performed with former Daily Flash and future Rhinoceros member Doug Hastings on guitar and guest David Crosby. Young eventually returned in August, and after bidding adieu to Greene and Stone (Ertegün convinced the duo to release the band from production and management agreements), the band divided its time between playing concert gigs and putting the finishing touches on its second album, ultimately titled Buffalo Springfield Again, produced by Ertegün himself.

Trivia: The single of "Mr. Soul" (B side of the edited "Bluebird") has a completely different guitar lead than the stereo LP version. It has yet to be issued on CD. The group was featured playing "Bluebird" in an episode of the television series "Mannix" called "Warning: Live Blueberries", which aired on October 28, 1967.

For many Buffalo Springfield fans it is "Bluebird", a Stephen Stills composition, that was then and remains the band's peak. Unlike the studio version - which winds down after the instrumental break with a plaintive rendition of the third verse, accompanied by a banjo - in live performances the opening verses of "Bluebird" served as a springboard for an extended jam session, during which Stills, Young and Furay intertwined guitars for minutes on end. One such "live jam" version was officially released on the 1973 compilation Buffalo Springfield (Collection), although it had previously been available on a bootleg issue of what was supposedly a Stampede recording session and had become a staple of FM radio in the late '60s and early '70s.

With strong reviews appearing all over the country, not only of Buffalo Springfield Again but of the band’s performance as part of the Beach Boys Fifth Annual Thanksgiving Tour, things were looking up.

However, in January 1968 Palmer's second deportation for drug possession once again threw a wrench into the works. This time, guitarist and studio engineer Jim Messina was hired as a permanent replacement on bass. With Palmer gone for good, Young also began to appear less and less frequently, often leaving Stills to handle all the lead guitar parts at concerts. Recording sessions were booked, and all the songs that appeared on their final album were recorded by the end of March, usually with Messina producing, but the group was clearly on the verge of disbanding. In April 1968, after yet another drug bust involving Young, Furay, Messina and Eric Clapton, the group decided to break up.

The final concert appearance was at the Long Beach Arena on May 5, 1968. After the band played many of its best-known tunes, an extended version of “Bluebird” became the group's swansong. Buffalo Springfield disbanded a little more than two years after it had begun.

After the group’s breakup, Furay and Messina compiled various tracks recorded between mid-1967 and early 1968 into a third and final studio album, titled Last Time Around. Although it featured Furay's touching ballad "Kind Woman", Young's classic "I Am a Child" and Stills' subtly political "Four Days Gone", only a few of the songs included more than two or three members of the group at a time. Even the cover photo was a montage, with Young's image added to a group profile of the other four members. Stills and Furay appeared on more tracks than any of the others, essentially dominating the album, but it did not light up the charts.

Although Buffalo Springfield was never a major commercial success, "For What It’s Worth" was a significant hit and the group’s legend grew stronger with the later successes of its members.

Stills went on to form Crosby, Stills & Nash with David Crosby of The Byrds and Graham Nash of The Hollies in 1968. Young launched a solo career, but in 1969 also reunited with Stills in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, which saw the beginning of his sporadic relationship with that trio. Furay and Messina were founding members of Poco. Furay joined J.D. Souther and Chris Hillman to form the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, and Messina teamed with Kenny Loggins in Loggins & Messina.

Palmer was CSNY's first choice to play bass, but due to various personal problems was replaced by Motown prodigy Greg Reeves. After recording a commercially unsuccessful jam-oriented solo album in 1970, Palmer faded into obscurity, although he did briefly play that same year with Toronto blues band Luke & The Apostles. In the early 1980s he appeared on Young's Trans album and then played with Martin in the "Buffalo Springfield Revisited" tribute band in the mid-1980s.

Martin mischievously formed a new version of Buffalo Springfield in September 1968. Dubbed "New Buffalo Springfield", the lineup consisted of guitarists Dave Price (Davy Jones' stand-in in The Monkees) and Gary Rowles (son of jazz pianist Jimmy Rowles), bass player Bob Apperson, drummer Don Poncher and horn player Jim Price, who later became a top session musician for The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker and others.

The new band toured extensively and appeared at the highly publicized "Holiday Rock Festival" in San Francisco on December 25-26, 1968, but soon fell afoul of Stills and Young, who took legal action to prevent Martin from using the band's name.

In February 1969 Martin and Dave Price formed a second version of New Buffalo Springfield with guitarist Bob "BJ" Jones and bass player Randy Fuller, brother of the late Bobby Fuller. The band made some recordings with producer Tom Dowd overseeing, but they were scrapped. Another guitarist, Joey Newman, was added in June 1969, but two months later Martin was fired and the remaining members carried on as Blue Mountain Eagle. Martin then formed a new group called Medicine Ball, which released a lone album in 1970 for Uni Records. Martin also released two solo singles, one for Uni and one for RCA, which didn't appear on the album. During the 1970s he retired from the music industry and became a car mechanic.

In 1997 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although Young did not appear at the induction ceremony. In 2001 an eponymous, career-spanning, four-disc box set was assembled by Young and released. The first three discs feature many alternate takes, demos and alternate mixes of the band's material, with the fourth containing the group’s first two albums. The third album, never a favorite of Young’s, was relegated to highlights on the third disc.

On his 2000 album Silver & Gold, Young sang of his desire to reform the group and to “see those guys again and give it a shot” ("Buffalo Springfield Again"). Unfortunately, a full reunion is no longer a possibility with the October 2004 passing of Bruce Palmer and the February 1, 2009 passing of Dewey Martin who was found dead by a roommate in his Van Nuys, California apartment.

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Poco performing in 2007 (l-r: Rusty Young, George Lawrence, Paul Cotton, Jack Sundrud)

Poco is an American country rock band originally formed by Richie Furay and Jim Messina following the demise of Buffalo Springfield in 1968. The title of their first album, Pickin' Up The Pieces, is a reference to the break-up of the Springfield and is the only debut album ever to receive a perfect rating from Rolling Stone Magazine. A favorite of AOR FM stations in the early 1970s, Poco was considered to be a highly innovative and pioneering band. Although the band charted a handful of Top 20 hits, overall their Top 40 success was uneven, and many of their most innovative records were commercially unsuccessful. Throughout the years Poco has performed in various groupings, with the latest version still active today. With 24 original albums and 26 "Best of" and anthology collections, the band boasts a total catalog of 50 releases.

During recording of the third Buffalo Springfield album (Last Time Around), each of the three lead singers (Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay) recorded songs without the other members present. One of Furay's solo songs was the country-influenced ballad "Kind Woman", which he recorded with the help of producer/engineer/bassist Jim Messina and pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young. When Buffalo Springfield then split up, Furay, Messina and Young decided to start their own group oriented toward such songs.

The original lineup of this new group was Furay (vocals and rhythm guitar), Messina (lead guitar, vocals, producer), Young (pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin and vocals), George Grantham (drums and vocals) and Randy Meisner (bass and vocals). The group was signed to a recording contract with Epic Records, which acquired the rights to Furay and Messina from Atlantic Records (the Springfield's label) in return for the rights to David Crosby from the Byrds and Graham Nash from the Hollies (who were moving to Atlantic as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash). Originally, the new group was named "Pogo" after the famous comic strip character, but it had to change its name when Pogo creator Walt Kelly objected to their use of the name. "Poco" is a Spanish term meaning "little" or "un", as "poco importante", which means unimportant in Spanish and a musical term meaning "to diminish by small measures".

Their first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces (1969), is considered to be the best and most important album of a new musical genre that united country with rock music. However, the album was not a commercial success, falling short of the top 50 on the Billboard album charts.

Prior to its release, Meisner left the group as a result of a conflict with Furay (reportedly, Meisner had objected after Furay barred all but himself and Messina from the first album's final mix playback sessions). After a stint playing with Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, Meisner later became a founding member of The Eagles. Messina assumed the bass chores until Timothy B. Schmit joined Poco in September 1969.

The studio album Poco (1970) and the live album Deliverin' (1971) followed. Guided by the vision of Furay and Messina, these became touchstones of country rock music making Poco the yardstick by which all country rock bands are measured. Poco's unique blending country music with energetic rock translated well to live performances, and the band developed a loyal following on the road. Each album picked up moderate airplay with songs like Messina's "You Better Think Twice" and Furay's "C'mon". Critical acclaim did not yield commercial success, however. Even though Deliverin' became Poco's first album to reach the top 30 on the Billboard album charts (peaking at #26), Messina, more accustomed to studio life, chose to leave the band in October 1970. He became a studio producer for Columbia Records, and, eventually, half of Loggins and Messina. At the suggestion of Peter Cetera of Chicago, Paul Cotton, guitarist and vocalist from The Illinois Speed Press, replaced Messina.

The realigned Poco, now on its third lineup on just its fourth album, hired blues legend Steve Cropper as producer and released From The Inside (1971), featuring Cotton's "Bad Weather", which became a signature song for the band. The band and its management was dissatisfied with Cropper's production and hired star producer Jack Richardson, who oversaw the next three albums, beginning with A Good Feelin’ To Know (1972). Although the Furay title track became the most recognizable Poco song of their early years, it completely failed to chart despite more critical acclaim. As a result, Furay became increasingly discouraged with Poco's prospects, especially since ex-bandmates Stills, Young, Meisner and Messina were so successful with their respective groups. The next album, Crazy Eyes (1973), was another strong effort that ultimately proved to be Furay's last as a member of the group. The title track was a Furay song written about fellow country-rock pioneer and close friend Gram Parsons of Flying Burrito Brothers fame, who had died of a drug overdose at the Joshua Tree Inn just prior to the recording of the album; Furay also sang Parsons' song "Brass Buttons" on the album.

At the urging of Poco manager (and later Asylum Records president) David Geffen, Furay left Poco in September 1973 and joined with J. D. Souther and Chris Hillman to create the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band on Asylum. Poco decided not to replace Furay and continued as a quartet.

Furay's departure provided an opportunity for Rusty Young. Previously known largely for his multi-instrumental talents, especially on pedal steel guitar, Young stepped up to become one of the band's primary songwriters and singers on subsequent albums. Seven (1974) and Cantamos (1974), their last two albums for Epic Records, established the group as a strong quartet without Furay. After Cantamos, Poco left Epic for ABC Records. Head Over Heels was their first ABC release, featuring Schmit's acoustic "Keep On Tryin'", which became an AOR favorite and the group's most successful single to date. The success of the single was a surprise for the group after leaving Epic. Around the time of the release of Head Over Heels, Epic released The Very Best of Poco, a compilation that documented the group's years with Epic. Epic's release fought with Head Over Heels for the attention of fans, arguably causing reduced sales for both albums.

The following album was Rose Of Cimarron. Though the album was generally considered one of the group's finest, featuring Cotton's Outlaw Country-inspired "Too Many Nights Too Long" and Young's classic title track, its sales were poor due to competition with another poorly-timed Epic release, the live album Live. Indian Summer was released in the following spring. Despite the fact that it received little promotion, it ended up charting higher than its predecessor, driven by Cotton's title track. The band recorded a new live album in a second attempt to break through with the Indian Summer and Rose of Cimarron songs, featuring Furay's first guest appearance with the band since his departure some four years before.

In September 1977, with the support of the rest of Poco, Schmit quit to join the Eagles, coincidentally replacing former Poco member Meisner yet again. Unfortunately, as a result the live album's release was cancelled by ABC. The album was eventually released as The Last Roundup in 2004.

In early 1978, Poco decided to take a break. Grantham took some time off, while Young and Cotton became the "Cotton-Young Band" and redoubled their efforts to succeed, selecting Britons Steve Chapman (drums) and Charlie Harrison (bass) (both of whom had played together with Leo Sayer, Al Stewart and many others) to round out their new quartet. However, ABC decided to pick up the Cotton-Young album — and to continue to call them "Poco." Thus, although Grantham had never quit Poco, he found himself out of the group.

Legend (1978), the Cotton-Young album with cover art by comedy actor Phil Hartman, subsequently became the group's most commercially successful album, containing two Top Twenty hits, Young's "Crazy Love" (which also had a seven-week run at Number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in early 1979, the biggest hit on the AC chart that year) and Cotton's "Heart of the Night". The album was certified gold, Poco's first album to achieve this distinction. Kim Bullard (keyboards) joined the band in December 1978 just as Legend was being released. While "Crazy Love" was riding up the charts, ABC Records was sold to MCA Records. Poco was retained by MCA and the Legend album was reissued on the MCA label. With the momentum built up from Legend's success, Poco played their new hit "Heart of the Night" on the live album No Nukes in support of nuclear-free energy, which featured several other big artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne.

In the 80s, the group released five more albums: Under The Gun (1980), Blue And Gray (1981), Cowboys & Englishmen (1982) on MCA and, moving over to Atlantic Records, Ghost Town (1982) and Inamorata (1984). Despite creating music that often lived up to the quality of the band's earlier efforts, Poco ultimately failed to duplicate the success achieved by Legend. In the wake of changing musical tastes and a fickle marketplace in the early 1980s, Poco increasingly faded from the forefront of the popular music scene as the decade went on.

Furay, Schmit and Grantham had, since their departures, each guested with Poco at various times. Inamorata included contributions by all three former members, but the album did not result in a lasting reunion, in part due to its lack of success.

The group lost its recording contract with Atlantic after the slow sales of Inamorata but continued to tour, mostly in small clubs. Bullard left to rejoin Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1983 and Harrison (who had not played on Inamorata) departed in mid-1984. New members Jeff Steele (bass) and Rick Seratte (keyboards, backing vocals) came in for Poco's 1984 tour dates, only to be replaced in 1985 by Jack Sundrud and the returning Grantham. But in 1986, Chapman came back to take over drums again from Grantham.

After a lengthy recording hiatus, at the urging of Richard Marx, Poco re-emerged on the RCA label with the successful Legacy (1989), reuniting original members Young, Furay, Messina, Grantham, and Meisner twenty years after Poco's debut. The album featured two top forty hits, "Call it Love" and "Nothing to Hide", and earned Poco its second gold album (in its 19th album). The group (having added a keyboardist, Dave Vanecore) toured in early 1990 opening for Marx. Then Furay had to bow out due to conflicts in his schedule (he was now a minister at a Colorado church). Poco toured as a headliner in the summer of 1990 with Sundrud returning to take over rhythm guitar from Furay. In 1991, Poco toured as an acoustic trio with Young, Messina and Meisner (drummer Gary Mallaber joined them for dates in Japan that July). But by the end of 1991, Messina and Meisner had returned to their individual careers.

By early 1992, Poco was once again without a record deal. But despite this, Young once again teamed with Cotton, brought in new members Richard Neville (vocals, bass) and Tim Smith (drums) and toured through the end of the decade. Young and Cotton occasionally also appeared as Poco as an acoustic duo. Concurrently during this period, Young worked in another group, Four Wheel Drive, with Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers, Bill Lloyd of Foster & Lloyd and John Cowan (ex-New Grass Revival). This group reorganized under the name Sky Kings in 1995.

In 2000, Grantham and Sundrud once again returned to Poco, reuniting the group's 1985 lineup, and Running Horse (2002) found the band in the studio for the first time in thirteen years. Furay (who had continued to make guest appearances at their shows over the years when they played in his native Colorado) reunited with the band again for one show in Nashville in May 2004, resulting in the spirited CD/DVD release Keeping The Legend Alive (2004). In July of the same year, Grantham tragically suffered a stroke during a live performance. His recovery has been slow and expensive and the group has created a donor fund on its official website,, to offset some of his considerable medical expenses. The site offers a variety of ways of donating money. George Lawrence (who had subbed for Tim Smith on drums in 1999) rejoined Poco at this point.

Poco continues to write and record a substantial volume of music while performing at festivals and top rock venues in the United States, Canada and Europe. Young, Cotton, Sundrud, and veteran drummer George Lawrence comprise the current lineup. Cotton and Sundrud recently released solo albums, and Young is the author of an upcoming autobiographical history of the band. Poco alumni continue to periodically reunite in concert with the current lineup. Richie Furay and Jim Messina returned for several 2008 Poco performances at the Wildwood Lodge in Steelville, Missouri. Bareback At Big Sky (2005) and The Wildwood Sessions (2006) are Poco's most recent original releases, capturing live acoustic versions of songs both new and familiar from their forty-year plus career.

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Dewey Martin (musician)

Dewey Martin (September 30, 1940 – January 31, 2009) was a Canadian rock drummer, best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield.

Martin (real name: Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff) was born and raised in Chesterville, Ontario, and started playing drums when he was about 13 years old. His first band was high school outfit, The Jive Rockets, which also featured guitarist Vern Craig, later a member of The Five Man Electrical Band. He soon progressed and played with various dance and rockabilly groups in the Ottawa Valley area, including Bernie Early & The Early Birds.

After leaving Canada in the early 1960s, Martin did a brief stint in the US army before making his way to Nashville. Over the next few years, Martin worked as an itinerant drummer for many of country music's greatest artists, including Carl Perkins, The Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, Charlie Rich, Faron Young and Roy Orbison among others. In 1963, he travelled to Las Vegas with Faron Young's band and then Los Angeles where he decided to stay.

Through Mel Taylor of The Ventures, Martin began working in the Pacific Northwest with a group called Lucky Lee & The Blue Diamonds. In November 1964, he used some local musicians to record his first single, a cover of "White Cliffs of Dover" backed by the band original, "Somethin' or Other" for A&M Records, which was released under the guise, Sir Raleigh & The Cupons.

During 1965, Sir Raleigh & The Cupons released two more singles on A&M - "While I Wait" c/w "Somethin' or Other" and "Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day" c/w "Whitcomb Street" and a single for Tower - "Tell Her Tonight" c/w "If You Need Me".

During this period, Martin returned to Los Angeles and picked up local group the Sons of Adam to support him as a permanent outfit back in the Northwest. The new line up opened for The Beach Boys and Herman's Hermits during this period.

Martin also recorded a final single for Tower - "I Don't Want to Cry" c/w "Always", which was released in February 1966. In 1980 Picc-A-Dilly/First American label pulled together most of The Sir Raleigh & The Cupons material for the Dewey Martin album, "One Buffalo Heard".

Back in Los Angeles in late 1965, Martin spent a few months with The Standells when drummer/singer Dick Dodd left. When Dodd returned in February 1966, Martin briefly joined The Modern Folk Quartet before touring and recording a demo with The Dillards. During late March/early April, Martin was working with The Dillards at the Ice House in Pasadena when Doug Dillard told him that his services were no longer needed and gave him a telephone number for a new group that needed a drummer. The band was Buffalo Springfield.

Martin became the last member to join the legendary group at its founding. Along with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, he was one of only three musicians to stay with the group from its inception in April 1966 to its disbandment on May 5, 1968. During his time with the group, Martin also did session work for The Monkees.

In concert, he sang covers of Wilson Pickett's In The Midnight Hour and Richie Furay's "Nobody's Fool" and "Good Time Boy". The latter appeared on the band's second album, Buffalo Springfield Again. He also sang Neil Young's "Mr Soul" as the introduction to Young's "Broken Arrow" on the same album and backing vocals on the band's biggest hit, "For What It's Worth".

When the original band broke up Martin formed a new version in September 1968. Dubbed "New Buffalo Springfield", the line up comprised guitarists Dave Price (Davy Jones' stand-in in The Monkees) and Gary Rowles (son of jazz pianist Jimmy Rowles); bass player Bob Apperson; drummer Don Poncher; and horn player Jim Price, who later became a top session musician for The Rolling Stones and Joe Cocker among others.

The new band toured extensively and appeared at the highly publicised "Holiday Rock Festival" in San Francisco on December 25-26 but soon fell foul of Stephen Stills and Neil Young who took legal action to prevent Martin from using the band's name.

In February 1969, Martin and Dave Price formed a second version of New Buffalo Springfield with guitarist Bob "BJ" Jones and bass player Randy Fuller, brother of Bobby Fuller. The band did some tentative recordings with producer Tom Dowd overseeing but they were scrapped.

The second line up was expanded with another guitarist Joey Newman in June 1969 but two months later, Martin was fired and the remaining members carried on as Blue Mountain Eagle.

In September 1969, Martin signed a solo deal with Uni Records and recorded a cover of the country favourite, "Jambalaya" with session ace James Burton on guitar. It was released as a single with Martin's own composition "Ala-Bam" on the b-side.

He then briefly worked on some new material with guitarist John Noreen from the folk-rock group, Rose Garden but by December the pair had split.

Martin next put together a new group called Medicine Ball, which featured mainstays, guitarist Billy Darnell and pianist Pete Bradstreet, who later recorded with the band Electric Range. The band also featured at various times, guitarists Bob Stamps and Randy Fuller, and bass players Terry Gregg, Harvey Kagan and Steve Lefever. An album, "Dewey Martin's Medicine Ball", was released in August 1970 and featured steel guitarist Buddy Emmons and former Buffalo Springfield bass player Bruce Palmer.

In late 1970, Martin and Darnell formed a new version of Medicine Ball with pianist Charles Lamont and bass player Tom Leavey and made some tentative recordings which were subsequently scrapped.

Martin then recorded five tracks with Elvis Presley's band for RCA. Two of the songs - a cover of Pat O'Day's "Caress Me Pretty Music" and a cover of Joe Cocker and Chris Stainton's "There Must Be A Reason" were put out as a single in early 1971. After producing an album for Truk in 1971, Martin retired from the music industry to become a car mechanic.

During the mid-1980s Martin briefly worked with Pink Slip and the Meisner-Roberts Band. He also played with Buffalo Springfield Revisited, the band formed by original bass player, Bruce Palmer. During the early 1990s, Martin revived the "Buffalo Springfield" mantle again for further live work but retired soon afterwards. Since then he spent time developing his own drum rim.

Martin apparently died on January 31 2009, and was found dead the next day by a roommate in his Van Nuys apartment, longtime friend Lisa Lenes said. She said Martin had health problems in recent years and she believed he died of natural causes. He was 68.

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Rusty Young (musician)

Young performing in 2007

Rusty Young (born Norman Russell Young). Gifted guitarist, vocalist and song writer: Born in 1946, in Long Beach, California; Rusty was raised in Colorado. He began playing lap steel guitar at age 6, and taught guitar and steel guitar lessons during his high school years. During that time, he also played country music in late night bars. Rusty played in a well known Denver rock band "Boenzee Cryque". In the late 1960s, a former guitar student became the road manager for The Buffalo Springfield (Neil Young, Steven Stills, Jim Messina, Richie Furay, Dewey Martin Bruce Palmer). The Springfield were looking for a steel guitarist on their song Kind Woman (Richie Furay) and he was hired. Rusty became friends with Furay and Messina and became a founding member of Poco in 1968, after the demise of the Buffalo Springfield. He played pedal steel guitar and Dobro in Poco with fellow band members Richie Furay, Jim Messina, and George Grantham. Poco has been regarded as a forerunner of the "country rock sound" later popularized by The Eagles and other bands. After Richie Furay left the group, song writing responsibility was initially carried by Rusty, writing more than 12 hits. During this time period Rolling Stone Magazine regarded Rusty Young as the "greatest slide guitarist in the world". Poco members have been prolific song writers, releasing more than 25 original albums. Young and Paul Cotton (guitar, vocals) have been the core of the band since 1971. Current bassist Jack Sundrud first played with the band in 1985. Current drummer George Lawrence first played with them in 1999. The group continues to play and tour as of 2007.

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Bruce Palmer

Bruce Palmer (September 9, 1946 – October 1, 2004) was a Canadian musician most famous for playing bass guitar in the influential folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield.

Born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Palmer started out playing in high school band, which subsequently evolved into the very successful Robbie Lane & The Disciples, and then graduated to a local, otherwise all-black, group fronted by Billy Clarkson. Next came British invasion-inspired Jack London & The Sparrows (which after Palmer left, evolved into Steppenwolf). In early 1965, he left to join The Mynah Birds and it was here where Palmer met Neil Young. The group, fronted by future funk legend Rick James, was signed to Motown Records and did some preliminary recordings. before it was discovered that James had been AWOL from the Navy for a year. A planned single, "It's My Time" b/w "Go Ahead And Cry", was withdrawn just prior to its scheduled release by Motown. Both sides of this single were included in the 2006 box set "The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 6: 1966", released in a limited edition of 6000 by Universal vanity label Hip-O-Select, marking the first time any of the 1966 Motown recordings by the Mynah Birds had seen the light of day.

The group was forced to disband, and a fatalistic Young and Palmer drove the former's hearse out to Los Angeles in the hope of possibly reacquainting themselves with Stephen Stills, a journeyman folk musician with whom Young had played briefly in Canada two years earlier.

In one of rock history's most synchronous moments, Young and Palmer ran into Stills while stuck in Los Angeles's notorious traffic, Stills having recognized Young's distinctive mode of transportation, a 1953 Pontiac hearse. It was not long before the trio, along with Richie Furay on rhythm guitar and Dewey Martin on drums, formed Buffalo Springfield. They immediately created a rapturous local sensation because of Furay's stage presence and, perhaps more importantly, the guitar duels between co-lead guitarists Stills and Young. On stage, relatively tame numbers such as "Bluebird" and "Mr. Soul" were expanded into weaving, deeply intertwined ten minute epics. Though Palmer's bass playing was fairly understated as compared to the fretwork of Stills and Young, his propulsive, deeply pulsating work ensured that the tension-filled jams (often evocative of personal differences between the two guitarists) did not devolve into the noisy madness that characterizes most late-60s psychedelic-inspired rock jamming. The Springfield only had one major national hit, "For What It's Worth" (written and sung by Stills), but locally their popularity was rivaled only by The Byrds and The Doors.

Palmer was easily seduced by the ethos of the prevailing drug culture and was arrested on numerous occasions for drug possession. These legal problems, compounded by his predilection to sit around his home and read mystical texts, led to him being shunned and isolated by most of the group. Another arrest led to his deportation from the United States in early 1967; Palmer was promptly replaced in the band by a rotating group of bassists that included Jim Fielder and Ken Koblun. Shortly thereafter, Young left the group due to tensions with Stills, and Buffalo Springfield played its most prominent concert at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 with Doug Hastings and David Crosby filling in for Young. During his time back in Toronto between January-May 1967, Palmer had gigged briefly with the Heavenly Government.

In late May, Palmer returned to the United States disguised as a businessman, and he promptly rejoined the band (Young eventually returned as well). However, his commitment to the music was quite small, and the group continued to rely on a myriad of session bassists. Meanwhile, Palmer continued to rack up a lengthy arrest record, which included yet another drug possession bust and speeding without a license. In January 1968, Palmer was removed from the band and officially replaced by Jim Messina . Then, after embarking on a disastrous tour opening for the Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield disbanded on May 5,1968 after a final hometown hurrah at the Long Beach Sports Arena. There are rumours that after his dismissal from Buffalo Springfield in early 1968, Palmer briefly played with a group called Buckwheat with singer/songwriter and guitarist Jim Glover (ex-Jim & Jean).

Miraculously managing to straighten out his various legal troubles, Palmer resurfaced in the summer of 1969 for two weeks as the bassist for Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. Though the better 3/5ths of Buffalo Springfield augmented by Crosby & Nash could have theoretically achieved the original goals of the Springfield that were soon muddled--a synthesis of folk vocal harmonies and a hard rock backing--Palmer was as drug addled as he had been in the latter Buffalo Springfield era and was promptly replaced by the pubescent Motown prodigy Greg Reeves. Back in Toronto, he gigged briefly with Luke & The Apostles in early 1970.

In 1971, Palmer released his lone solo record, The Cycle Is Complete, on Verve Records. Primarily consisting of three long jams, "Alpha-Omega-Apocalypse", "Oxo", and "Calm Before The Storm" (with an "Interlude" thrown in for good measure between the first two numbers), the album featured Palmer playing with the remnants of fellow L.A. psychedelic group Kaleidoscope, Toronto keyboard player Ed Roth and Rick James contributing jazzy scat vocals. The record has often been described as a jazzier version of Skip Spence's Oar or Syd Barrett's two solo records--an aural, drug-induced nervous breakdown. The album was a commercial disaster, and Palmer seemingly retired from music.

In 1977, Palmer joined former Kensington Market singer/guitarist Keith McKie and lead guitarist Stan Endersby (formerly of local bands, The Just Us, and Mapleoak) in the Toronto group, Village for some local gigs.

In 1982-1983, Palmer resurfaced as the bassist in Neil Young's Trans Band, playing a mixture of Young classics and electronica-infused material to audiences throughout America and Europe. Though on paper the band was a "dream team" of Young collaborators, featuring at least one member from every configuration the guitarist had played in since the mid-sixties, in practice the group turned out to be one of his most unenthralling bands. In addition to tour management problems, much of the music required precise synchronization to backing tapes--a focus that the drunken Palmer clearly lacked at this stage of his life. As is detailed in the Young biography Shakey, the only thing that kept Young from firing his old friend was the deep spiritual bond they had shared since the early sixties. With the focus upon a then-revolutionary musical form (electronica) and a band that included only the cream of the crop, the Trans record and tour had the potential to trump even Young classics such as Tonight's The Night and Rust Never Sleeps, but many fans consider the project to be an unmitigated failure.

Palmer was inducted with his bandmates into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. He died of a heart attack in 2004 in Belleville, Ontario.

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Stephen Stills

Woodstock Reunion, 9/7/79. Parr Meadows, Ridge, NY. Photo by Bob Sanderson

Stephen Stills was born in Dallas, Texas on January 3, 1945 to a military family. Moving around as a child, he developed an interest in blues and folk music. He was also influenced by Latin music after spending his youth in Gainesville and Tampa, Florida, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal Zone, where he graduated from high school, and was an avid sailor. He also attended Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Stills dropped out of the University of Florida to pursue a music career in the early 1960s. He played in a series of unsuccessful bands including The Continentals, which featured future Eagles guitarist Don Felder. Stills could also be seen singing solo in Gerde's Folk City, a well-known coffee house in Greenwich Village. Stills eventually ended up in a nine-member vocal harmony group, the house act at the famous Cafe Au Go Go in NYC, called the Au Go Go Singers (Rick Geiger, Roy Michaels, Michael Scott, Jean Gurney, Kathy King, Nels Gustafson, Bob Harmelink, Richie Furay & Stills) where and when he met Richie Furay. This group also did some touring in the Catskills, and in the South, released one album in 1964, then broke up in 1965. Afterwards, Stills, along with four other former members of the Au Go Go Singers: Geiger, Michaels, Gurney & Scott, formed The Company, a folk/rock group. The Company embarked on a 6-week tour of Canada where Stills met a young guitarist named Neil Young. On the VH1 CSNY Legends special, Stills would say that Young was doing what he always wanted to do, "play folk music in a rock band." (This sentiment was repeated decades later; the shaky relationship has been well documented between the two, although they continued to perform together throughout various times in their lives.) The Company broke up in New York within four months, opening up the way for Geiger to join a light opera company in Los Angeles; Michaels to link up with Jimi Hendrix, Gurney to go on to college while doing TV commercials, and Scott to tour with a retro-Highwaymen. Stills did session work and went to various auditions (including an unsuccessful one for The Monkees). In 1966 he convinced a reluctant former Au Go Go Singer, Richie Furay, then living in Massachusetts, to move with him to California.

Stills, Furay, and Young reunited in Los Angeles and formed the core of Buffalo Springfield. Legend has it that Stills and Furay recognized Young's converted hearse on the streets of LA and flagged him down, a meeting described in the recent solo track "Round the Bend". The band would release three albums (Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, and Last Time Around) and one hit single (Stills' "For What It's Worth") before breaking up.

Stills' guitar playing continually evolved. Early on, it displayed sources in generic rock 'n' roll, blues, and country music, as well as the chordings familiar in the acoustic-folk music scene. Soon Stills' playing showed the influence of his friend Jimi Hendrix and also sometimes the rhythms and riffs of various kinds of Latin music. Stills is notorious for experimenting with the guitar itself. This includes such things as soaking strings in barbecue sauce or flipping pickups to mimic Hendrix playing a right-handed guitar left-handed. He is also known for using unconventional tunings, particularly on acoustic. He is also adept at piano, organ and bass and plays some drums. 'Stephen had a vision', Nash says. 'David and I let him run with it.' Stills played nearly every instrument on Crosby, Stills and Nash, earning the nickname Captain Manyhands from Rolling Stone.

During the disintegration of Buffalo Springfield, Stills joined up with ex-Byrd David Crosby and ex-Hollie Graham Nash to form the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash. Cass Elliot invited Graham Nash over to meet Stills and David Crosby at the home of well known folk artist and painter Joni Mitchell, who painted several artworks of the three. Mitchell also contributed the artwork seen on the cover of the CSNY collection album "So Far", released in 1974. The cover photo pictured on the trio's first self-titled album in 1969 was taken on the back porch of a house in West Hollywood which was torn down the next day. Stills overdubbed much of the musical backing himself for the first CSN album with only Dallas Taylor's drums and some rhythm guitar from Crosby and Nash. Neil Young was added for their second album, and the group became Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Despite several breakups and reformations, CSN (and sometimes CSNY) still record and tour to this day.

Having played at the Monterey Pop Festival with Buffalo Springfield, and both Woodstock and Altamont with CSNY, Stills performed at all three of the iconic rock festivals of the 1960s.

In the wake of CSNY's success, all four members recorded solo albums. In 1970, Stills released his self-titled debut, which featured guests Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix (on what was possibly his last recording before he died), "Mama" Cass Elliot, Booker T Jones and Ringo Starr (credited only as "Richie") as well as contributions from various members of the CSNY band. It provided Stills with the hit single "Love The One You're With" as well as the concert favorite "Black Queen." Stills followed this with Stephen Stills 2, which featured "Change Partners." Even though the song was written before CSN formed, Nash saw it as a metaphor for the many relationships in CSNY, while Stills viewed the band as something much less bland and repetitive.

The next year, Stills teamed up with ex-Byrd Chris Hillman and several CSNY sidemen to form the band Manassas. With Manassas Stills recorded the self-titled double album Manassas. The album was a mixture of blues, folk and Latin music divided into different sections, and is considered by many to be one of Stills' best albums.

During a Manassas tour in France, Stills met and married French singer-songwriter Veronique Sanson. Then he switched to Columbia Records, where he recorded two albums: Stills in 1975 and the punningly titled Illegal Stills in 1976. The former record found Stills in an uncharacteristically joyful mood; his marriage was going great, his son Chris had just been born, and he was happy living in Colorado. "To Mama From Christopher and the Old Man" was an exceptionally optimistic view of his new family.

In 1976, Stills attempted a reunion with Neil Young. At one point, Long May You Run was slated to be a CSNY record, but when Crosby and Nash left to fulfill recording and touring obligations, according to both David and Graham the other pair wiped their vocals from the recordings, as Stills and Young decided to go on without their erstwhile partners as The Stills-Young Band. However, Young would leave midway through the resulting tour due to an apparent throat infection. Stills was contractually bound to finish the tour, which he did, but upon returning home, his wife announced she wanted a divorce and wished to move back to France. Stills reunited with Crosby and Nash shortly afterwards, thanks to the efforts of Nash's future wife Susan, who got Nash to forgive Stills for wiping the Crosby and Nash vocals from Long May You Run. This led to the semi-permanent CSN reunion of 1977, which has persisted even though all three have released solo records since then. In 1978, he performed in a jam session in The Last Waltz. Although Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young had difficulties with their differing individual goals, egos, and musical styles, in the early 1983 "Daylight Again" DVD from the 1982 CSN tour, Stills introduced the song, "Wasted on the Way", commenting that there were "three buddies who didn't know how to talk to one another for years"... finally "making friends" getting rich, and it being good. Unfortunately, according to Crosby's biography, it was his lowest point in his addiction to cocaine, which left him in prison without funds for a time.

In 1997, Stills became the first person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice in the same night for his work with CSN and the Buffalo Springfield. Fender Musical Instruments crafted a custom guitar and presented it to Stills to commemorate the occasion, this Telecaster style guitar bears an inscription on the neck plate.

2005 saw Stills release Man Alive!, his first solo offering in 14 years. Although not troubling the chart compilers on either side of the Atlantic, the record was critically well received and is regarded by many fans as his best since the mid seventies.

Throughout 2006 and 2007, Stills toured regularly as a solo artist with "The Quartet," which consisted of drummer Joe Vitale, either Mike Finnegan or Todd Caldwell on keyboards, and either Kevin McCormick or Kenny Pasarelli on bass. Often a long acoustic solo section of the show would feature songs rarely played and showcase agile finger style playing in standard and altered tunings. Stills toured Europe as a solo artist for the first time during October 2008.

Nearly from their union as sometime musical partners, all four members of CSN&Y have long been involved in liberal causes and politics. In 2000, Stills served as a member of the Democratic credentials committee from Florida during the Democratic National Convention, and was an actual delegate in previous years.

Stills was a prolific songwriter before becoming a star performer; his composition "Sit Down, I Think I Love You" was a minor hit for The Mojo Men before it was recorded by Buffalo Springfield.

In 1966, Stills auditioned for The Monkees, but he dropped out, partially because his already-thinning hair and bad teeth made him look too old for the part, and partially because the actor's contract required him to assign his music publishing rights to Screen Gems, something he did not want to do. Stills instead recommended his former roommate, Peter Torkelson, who got the job.

Stills was a close friend of Jimi Hendrix, who appears on Stills' eponymous first solo album. Reputedly, when Hendrix was forming his trio The Jimi Hendrix Experience, his manager contacted Stills' manager to invite Stills to become the group's bass player. Concerned that Stills' friendship with Hendrix and admiration for Hendrix' genius might prompt Stills to take the job rather than continue with the Buffalo Springfield, Stills' manager elected not to pass the message on to Stills. Noel Redding was then offered and took the job as bassist with the Experience. Within a year, both Stills and Hendrix were superstars in their own right; they continued to socialize and jam together informally until Hendrix' death in 1970.

Stills' son, Justin Stills, was badly injured at age 26 snowboarding in Tahoe in 1997; an episode of Discovery Health's documentary series Trauma: Life in the ER featured his treatment and recovery. Another son, Henry, has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome , and is profiled in the 2007 documentary Autism: The Musical. His son Chris and daughter Jennifer are both recording artists. His youngest son, Oliver Ragland, was born in 2004 and named in honor of Neil Young, whose maternal family name is Ragland.

On May 28, 2007, Stills sang the National Anthem for Game 1 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals between Anaheim and Ottawa in Anaheim, California.

On December 17, 2007, Graham Nash revealed on Larry King Live that Stills has been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer and that he will have an operation on January 3, 2008, his birthday.

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Source : Wikipedia