Spiral Starecase was a pop/jazz rock band formed in Sacramento, California that became famous during the late 1960s. They began in 1964 as an instrumental quartet known as the Fydallions which soon after became a quintet consisting of Dick Lopes (saxophone), Vinny Parello (drums), Bobby Raymond (bass guitar), keyboardist Harvey Kaplan (August 22, 1938 - August 17, 2008, a.k.a. Harvey Kaye), and lead singer Pat Upton (August 5, 1940 - July 27, 2016), who also played the guitar and served as the group's main songwriter. The Fydallions were discovered by Gary Usher, the A&R representative for Columbia Records, who signed them to the label. The band was renamed after the 1946 psychological horror movie, "The Spiral Staircase," with a deliberate misspelling.
Spiral Starecase debuted in 1968 on the Pop/Rock charts with "Baby What I Mean," which became a minor hit. The band's fame took off in early 1969 with the ebullient yet soulful "More Today Than Yesterday," which reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and soon after became a million seller. This era-defining song was the band's greatest hit and over the years, it has become a beloved staple on oldies radio stations. Spiral Starecase later had two minor hits with "No One For Me To Turn To" (1969) and "She's Ready" (1970), the latter a gender-swapped remake of a 1966 hit by The Poppies (titled "He's Ready").
After the band split in 1971, Upton went on to become a session musician, eventually working with Ricky Nelson. Kaplan later reformed Spiral Starecase with a new lineup. The band toured extensively and remained active through the mid 1980s.
- Pat Upton discusses the history of Spiral Starecase and other topics in an interview ca. 1998.
- Birmingham, AL News (al.com) remembers Alabama-born lead singer of Spiral Starecase, Pat Upton.
- The Las Vegas Review Journal remembers Spiral Starecase keyboardist Harvey Kaye (Kaplan).
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