The Ravens

The RavensFrom: Tampa Bay, FL, USA

The Ravens were a short-lived project out of Florida that released two singles in the mid-late ’60s. The band was managed by A.J. Perry, who was known as ‘the’ regional concert promoter at the time. The Ravens opened for countless major acts, including The Hollies, The Yardbirds, The Who, Hermans Hermits, Blues Magoos, and Sonny and Cher.

The first single The Ravens released was “Reaching For The Sun” / “Things We Said Today,” and was released in 1966. Their second single, “Calamity Jane” / “Now She’s Gone,” was released in 1968. “Calamity Jane” features some fuzz along with some brass instruments.

The Ravens initially formed in 1965 with members Brian Egan (bass, vocals), Mark Maconi (lead vocals), Paul Purcell (drums, vocals), Richard “Rick” Vincent Simpson (lead guitar, vocals), and Richard “Thor” Simpson (rhythm guitar, vocals). The band differentiated the two Richard Simpson’s by calling one Rick and the other Thor (as a result of his red hair). The band practised in a rental cottage that was managed by Purcell’s parents before they moved to Maconi’s garage. Rick wrote the basis for “Reaching For The Sun,” which was later copyrighted by Al Scheweikert and Bob Orrick. Schewikert soon joined The Ravens and Orrick acted as their initial manager. Orrick would also occasionally fill in on bass.

In 1966, Rick decided to return to Connecticut and Thor quit the band. Schewikert joined as the new guitarist and became ad hoc leader, as he was four years older than the rest of the band and had a forceful personality. The Ravens added John Hallenstein (keyboards), and the band started to take off. While performing at The Spot, Charles Fuller, producer of the Royal Guardsman records, approached The Ravens and got them into the studio. The Ravens were never considered a “kindly” band; there were a lot of egos, tempers, and very high school clique interpersonal relationships. Egan left the band in 1967 and was replaced by Ken Spivey. There were a number of changes that took place over the next year or so of the band’s existence. By 1968-69, the band consisted of Schweikert, Purcell, Maconi, and Kent Pearson (bass).

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1968 single “Calamity Jane”
The Ravens - Calamity Jane

  • Calamity Jane