In 1967, the countries of Canada and America got together in New York City to form a bluesy, rocky, poppy, horn-filled wall of sound known as Blood, Sweat and Tears. Let’s take a deep dive into their history.
- Al Kooper formed the band in 1967 but left after their first album. David Clayton-Thomas, a Canadian-born singer, replaced him to become the now-famous voice of songs such as “Spinning Wheel”
- Kooper wrote a book profiling how the band’s name came to be, stating: “One particular night, Jimi Hendrix, B. B. King, myself, and an unidentified drummer and bass player were going at it all night at the Cafe Au Go Go… At daybreak, when we finished playing, they put the house lights on and somebody observed: ‘Christ! Look at the organ! There’s blood all over the keyboard!’ Sure enough, I had cut my hand playing, and in the state of bliss induced by my compatriot’s sound had not felt a thing. What a great album cover, I thought. No. What a great name for a band.”
- The band also had their time on stage at Woodstock in ’69 but managed to never get paid their $15,000 rate. They also missed out on being part of the Woodstock movie
- When the band was first forming, their sought $40,000 in seed money for their first album’s expenses. Atlantic Records turned them down, as did Warner Brothers. But Bill Gallagher at Colombia Records saw something exciting in the band and agreed to sign them after checking out their performance at the Monterey Pop Festival
- Even though the band had more or less disbanded and lost membership after 1972, drummer Bobby Colomby sought ownership over the band’s name and kept it alive, installing various different lead singers for many years through 1975 through 2004. The band reformed again in 2014 and selected American Idol Runner Up Bo Bice as their lead singer
- The group’s most famous and successful album won them a Grammy in 1969 for Album of the Year. The one and only Louis Armstrong presented the award to the band