American singer/songwriter whose
music incorporated rock, jazz and folk influences
Dylan's commercial and artistic successes inevitably provided an inspiration for
many other performers. His immediate contemporaries, like Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton,
Eric Andersen or Patrick Sky, followed a similar musical pattern and mixed political
statements with a more personal style.
the middle of the next decade, however, a newer generation of folksingers emerged
who took their inspiration from Dylan's more recent batch of introspective songs.
These included Tim Hardin, Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon, as well as a very young
Tim Buckley. During his brief career, Buckley produced a series of remarkable
albums that are now much sought after by collectors.
Charles Buckley was born in Washington DC on February 14 1947, but his family
moved out to California when he was still a child. As a teenager, he drifted in
and around local music clubs while cementing a High School friendship with two
other students, Larry Beckett and Jim Fielder.
three formed the nucleus of a small group which held down a residency at the Hollywood
club, It's Boss, with Fielder on bass, Buckley on vocals and guitar, Lee Underwood
on lead and Carter C.C. Collins on drums. Beckett did not perform, but contributed
the lyrics to Buckley's original songs.
line-up was never a secure or permanent thing; Van Dyke Parks was also an occasional
member, and Tim would also perform as a solo act.
worked on both the East and West Coasts, before he was spotted by Jimmy Carl Black,
the drummer in the Mothers of Invention, who in turn recommended him to his manager,
Herb Cohen. It was Cohen who took Buckley's demo to Elektra Records, who duly
signed him up in 1966.
that time, the label was moving away from its pure-folk image and into rock. Albums
by Love and the Butterfield Blues Band had been cut, and Elektra had also signed
up two of Tim's contemporaries, Jackson Browne and Steve Noonan. Together, the
trio became known as "the Orange County Three", although they had not
performed together as a group.
Jackson's time at Elektra proved inconclusive and all of the work he did there
was scrapped. Noonan did have one album released in 1968, but it was left to Buckley
to record a significant body of work for the label.
Buckley was released in October 1966, and featured several musicians he'd
already been working with. Van Dyke Parks, Jim Fielder and Lee Underwood were
all present, with Billy Mundi from the Mothers on drums. Jack Nitzsche was called
in for the string arrangements, which, coupled with the singer's high tenor, gave
off a rather precious minstrel atmosphere which was perfect for the times but
now sounds somewhat dated.
that the LP is poor by any means: Strange Street Affair Under Blue, I Can't
See You and especially Song Slowly Song show Buckley's talent already
formed and it's only the strength of his later work that leaves this collection
singles were lifted from it: Aren't You The Girl was coupled with Strange
Street Affair Under Blue, while Wings and I Can't See You were
put together as late as 1968, a back catalogue practice occasionally used by U.K.