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The Music Groups

The Turtles &

The Crossfires

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"The Turtles," a music group originally called "The
Crossfires from the planet Mars," - were founded in 1965 in
Westchester, California. Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, the
original band members of "The Crossfires from the planet
Mars," with the help of DJ and club owner Reb Foster, signed
to White Whale Records and renamed themselves "The Tyrtles"
as a folk rock group following along with then current
trends. The misspelling was inspired by The Byrds. But the
name fell flat, and they eventually renamed themselves "The

Following the same path as the Byrds, the title track of
their first album with a Bob Dylan cover, "It Ain't Me
Babe," made an immediate success out of the Turtles when it
reached the Billboard Top Ten in the summer of 1965. Their
next hit was the second single, "Let Me Be," which was
written by P.F. Sloan. It made the top 30 on the Billboard
the autumn of the same year. "You Baby" was their third hit
single, It was in the top 20 of the BillBoard Top Ten early
in 1966. The second album "You Baby" didn't get near the
BillBoard's LP charts, and only two singles made it onto the
BillBoard top 100 in 1966 after "You Baby:" - "Grim Reaper
of Love" and "Can I Get to Know You Better".

Drummer Don Murray and bassist Chuck Portz to quit the group
in 1967 due to the heavy touring schedule that resulted from
their recent success. Joel Larson on drums joined and
promptly left, then John Barbata on drums came on board and
Chip Douglas was hired on as bass player. They had been
performing a song on stage for eight months that year, but
to their chagrin the song had not been recorded at the time
- "Happy Together" was the first of several singles that was
co-written by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon.

"Happy Together" signaled a turning point for the Turtles
and for Chip Douglas, who provided the arrangement. It
replaced the Beatles' "Penny Lane" at number one on the
Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1967. Part of its
increasing popularity was that it was fun and easy to sing
to chorus and backing vocals, as well as to listen to. The
simple beat and organ backup made the song one of the best
examples of 1960s Bubble Gum, feel-good, American pop.
"Happy Together" was their only number one; it remained at
the top for three weeks. An album of the same name followed
and peaked at number 25.

1967 proved to be the Turtles' most successful year. "She'd
Rather Be with Me" reached number 3 on the charts in late
spring, and actually beat out "Happy Together" overseas. Two
successive billboard top-15 songs followed: "You Know What I
Mean" and "She's My Girl". The band's style changed over
this period. "Golden Hits" and "Golden Hits 2" were released
in 1967 and charted the top ten.

The following year of 1968 started out okay for the Turtles,
with two singles making the Billboard charts, both listed in
the middle. Soon thereafter past band member Chip Douglas,
who became "The Monkeys" director, returned and aided The
Turtles in the studio release of "The Turtles present the
Battle of the Bands." In which the Turtles band pretended to
be a bunch of other bands and played songs from all kinds of
genres. Off of this album two songs made it to position 6 on
the billboard charts; "Elenore" and "You Showed Me".

From there the band began to disintegrate, and although they
resisted the pressure from their recording company White
Whale Records to become one of the bands that migrated to
singers only with hired musicians, they only achieved
moderate success and eventually dwindled out of the public
spotlight. They released three more albums, but no songs
made it on the Billboard charts. They wound down their
career in 1970 and the recording company that started them
out failed the same year because of lack of any commercially
viable bands.

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