The Grass Roots

Formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California, The Grass Roots are a pop and rock band originally founded under the guidance of producer Lou Adler and initially meant to focus on material penned by songwriting duo P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri. Hoping to cash in on the folk-rock craze, Dunhill Records’ Adler recruited Sloan and Barri to write songs that would connect with the genre’s audience. After recording a demo of “Where Were You When I Needed You” using seasoned session musicians and singers, the song was sent out to radio stations and received positive feedback. Sloan and Barri then recruited an existing band – The Bedouins – to become The Grass Roots. This new band re-recorded “Where Were You When I Needed You” and reached the Top 40 in 1966. However, the group wanted to incorporate their own blues-oriented material into the band’s set and the members quit when their request was refused. Sloan and Barri then searched for a new band that could step in as the third version of The Grass Roots. Los Angeles-based group The 13th Floor fit the bill and they became the best-known version of The Grass Roots. Fronted by vocalist Rob Grill, The Grass Roots scored their first Top 10 hit with 1967’s “Let’s Live For Today,” which rose to the Number 8 position. This single was the beginning of the most successful period of the band’s career, which also included hits such as 1968’s “Midnight Confessions” (Number 5), 1969’s “I’d Wait a Million Years” (Number 15), and 1971’s “Temptation Eyes” (Number 15), “Sooner or Later” (Number 9), and “Two Divided by Love” (Number 16). The Grass Roots charted in the Top 100 a total of 21 times between 1965 and 1975, selling 20 million records worldwide in the process. However, line-up changes dulled the band’s commercial move forward and by the late 1970s, the band toured with no original members: Sloan and Barri had long departed the project and Grill took over a managerial role. Eventually, after several more line-up changes, Rob Grill assumed lead vocal duties and toured with the band until his death on July 11, 2011. Since 2012, The Grass Roots has continued to tour with no involvement from any original band members. P.F. Sloan died on November 15, 2015.

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