The Beau Brummels were a relatively short-lived but highly acclaimed and influential American pop/rock band with a British Invasion sound that became famous during the mid 1960s. Their earlier style as heard in their classic hits combined electric guitar-backed folk rock with British beat music, and they later incorporated elements of psychedelic and country rock. Their best known songs include the moody and gloating "Laugh, Laugh" (1965), the soaring "Just A Little" (1965), and the more laid-back "You Tell Me Why" (1965).
Formed in 1964 in San Francisco, California, the original lineup consisted of Ron Elliott (lead guitar), Ron Meagher (bass), rhythm guitarist/bassist/harmonicist Declan Mulligan (April 4, 1938 - November 2, 2021), drummer John Petersen (January 8, 1942 - November 11, 2007), and lead singer Sal Valentino (tambourine), who all shared vocals. The Beau Brummels were discovered by Tom Donahue and Bobby Mitchell, two local DJs who were looking for acts to sign to their new label, Autumn Records. Sly Stone (later of Sly & The Family Stone fame) produced for The Beau Brummels during their early hitmaking period, and band member Ron Elliott served as main songwriter. The Beau Brummels had a number of personnel changes, and John Petersen left in 1966 to join Harpers Bizarre.
The Beau Brummels debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in early 1965 with "Laugh, Laugh," which became a Top 20 hit. This smash was followed later that year by their biggest hit, "Just A Little" (1965), which made the Top 10, and they had one more Top 40 hit with "You Tell Me Why" (1965). Their string of hits, which continued through 1966, also includes "Don't Talk To Strangers" (1965), "Good Time Music" (1965), and the Bob Dylan-penned "One Too Many Mornings" (1966).
At the height of their commercial fame, The Beau Brummels toured actively, made many TV appearances on such shows as "American Bandstand," "Shindig!" and "Hullabaloo," and released several albums before disbanding in 1969. They reunited in 1974 and several times thereafter over the years to perform and record. The Beau Brummels were the first San Francisco Bay Area rock band to achieve nationwide fame, and they are considered by many to be among the main architects of the San Francisco Sound of the mid 1960s through early 1970s. "Laugh, Laugh" was added in 1994 to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame museum's permanent exhibit, "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll."
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The Beau Brummels
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