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Buzzy circa 1972
Buzzy Linhart came into his own as a songwriter and recording
artist in the decade of the 1970s. In 1970, he and Eddie Kramer
produced Buzzy's next album, MUSIC, at Electric Lady, Sound Exchange
and Vanguard Studios in New York. It was released on the Eleuthera
Records label and distributed by Buddha Records. The record company
did not offer the band much support and eventually the Music
capacity to write in a variety of genres continues to bear
fruit. Among the unreleased recordings of these outstanding
songs are the pop hit FRIENDS, which he co-wrote with Moogy
Klingman, and which became Bette Midler's signature song. He
ventures into the spiritual realm with HEAVEN his pop-gospel
homage to his musical ancestors. Buzzy continues to explore
the raga-rock that he began in the 1960s with THE
LOVE'S STILL GROWING , which Carly Simon recorded in 1971 for her eponymous
album released on the Electra label.
During this period Buzzy was hanging out with many of the singers
from that era who would achieve enormous fame and fortune. In
1971, his friend Carly Simon had formed a recording contract
with Electra and was looking for a studio and an engineer. Buzzy
took her to Electric Lady Studios and introduced her to Eddie
Kramer. They hit if off and were soon in the recording studio
working on her first commercial album, called "Carly Simon." Buzzy
made important contributions to the production as a player (guitar,
vibes, and marimba), as a writer of one of the tracks, THE LOVE'S
STILL GROWING, and as a back-up vocalist on that tract. A Carly
Simon fan who was taken with this song recently asked on her
official website in the section called "Ask Carly" about
this song and why she hadn't recorded other material like it.
She replied: "The Love's Still Growing" is a Buzzy
Linhart song. Yes, my voice is doubled, tripled, whatever. Buzzy's
voice is also on there. He's a haunting creature. You've given
me an idea. Maybe it should be on an anthology. I guess it's
one of those 'overlooked gems.' I do love it. I think I'll listen
to it now…."
Midler was another one of Buzzy's close friends during this time. While rehearsing
for a producer's audition for a Broadway show called "Mirror Cracked" he
sang her a song that he and his songwriting collaborator Moogy Klingman had
just written, called "Friends." Buzzy recalls that "Friends
was the first song I sang to her on the first day I met her. We didn’t
talk much. I just figured singing that song would show her where I was coming
from. When I met Bette she said, “who’s your drummer?” Buzzy
said nobody solid right now. She said “you have got meet my boyfriend
Luther Rix, he is the best drummer” One day Bette came to rehearsal and
asked Buzzy if she could sing Friends at an upcoming gig that she had at the
Continental Baths that next Saturday night. Moogy and Buzzy went to see the
show and all of the sudden it felt as if she had some direction to go in now.
She recorded FRIENDS on her first album, "The Divine Miss M." It
rose to number 6 on the Billboard Charts and has been her signature song ever
In 1971, Buzzy, drummer Luther Rix, and bass player Bill Takas,
produced and arranged Buzzy's next album, THE
TIME TO LIVE IS NOW. The album was recorded at Media Sound Studio B, in
New York City, and was released by Kama Sutra Records. By this
time Buzzy has come into his own as a songwriter, producer,
and arranger and some of Buzzy's finest songs are on this album.
this time Buzzy has written in many genres and has developed
his own style of songwriting. We have many unreleased recordings
of these songs, including TALK
ABOUT A MORNING haunting kind
of folk-rock song; IF
YOU LOVE ME pop-rock; DON'T YOU KNOW
pop-rock; and EVERYBODY'S GOT TO GET ALONG.
this period Buzzy was a guest player and singer for many well
know acts, including vibes on Buffy St. Maries "Timeless
Love" produced by Felix Papalardi, vibes on his old friend
Jimi Hendrix˜"Drifting" and guest vocals on
Zyphers “The Radio Song."
Buzzy with old friend Bette Midler
Buzzy produced his next album in 1972 on the Kama Sutra label,
entitled BUZZY (not to be confused with his 1968 album of the
same name but in lower case, "buzzy"). It was recorded
at Bell Sound Studios, NYC, and the Record Plant, NYC, and was
mixed at Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, New York, by Todd Rundgren.
The Issue of OZ that sparked the
The culture war that coalesced in the 1960s continued into the
1970s and was not confined to the U.S. In 1972, the London obscenity
board took criminal action against writers and publishers of
the London underground magazine, OZ.
The case became a cause celebre in the free speech arena, and
the likes of John Lennon and Yoko Ono joined in many public protests
in favor of the defendants. In the U.S., a musical was created
based upon the transcript of this trial entitled for which Buzzy
wrote the songs. The musical had a brief run on Broadway, but
the "dirty" lyrics of the songs were too much for the critics.
In an interview in 1973 on the ALEX
BENNETT RADIO SHOW, Buzzy talks about the musical and the
circumstances leading to its demise. The show included some
of Buzzy's funniest songs such as THE
JUSTICE GAME. We have two versions of a ballad from the
show entitled MASQUERADE
BALL , one performed by Buzzy and the other produced by
Buzzy with by Leata
Galloway, one of the cast members, performing the song
in a moving, pop-gospel style.
controversial obscenity trial
Buzzy playing live on Lexington Ave.
Buzzy's next album, PUSSYCATS
CAN GO FAR, was released on
the ATCO/Atlantic label in 1974 and produced by Barry Beckett & Roger
Hawkins at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. The Archive contains
an unreleased recording of the title track, PUSSYCATS
CAN GO FAR, a gentle, pop-fantasy song. Throughout his
career, Buzzy collaborated with some of the best in the business,
album contains a song co-written by Buzzy and Carole Bayer
Sager entitled SEE YOU AGAIN. The album also contains a rhythm
and blues song entitled SHOO THAT FLY, which has a Motown
kind of sound and feel evoked to great effect by Aretha Franklin's
In 1976, Buzzy ventured into the soundtrack world when he
wrote the songs and music for the movie "RUSH IT!," produced
by Gary Youngman and starring Judy Kahan and Tom Berenger.
Some of Buzzy's finest work was written for this movie, including
an all-inclusive kind of universal pop-rock song entitled FREE
SOUL SPIRIT SYMPHONY (which he co-wrote with Marty Kupersmith,
Peter Anders, and Danny Mehan), love ballads entitled CALICO
and SOMEONE, SOMEDAY, and an up-beat blues entitled HAPPY BLUES.
Buzzy wrote a lot of rock 'n roll during these years. The
Archive contains unreleased recordings of a number of up-tempo
hard-hitting rock and roll songs including TORNADO and EYE
1-2-C-U SHUFFLE and a mellow, folk-rock song entitled ROLLING
Buzzy wrote many songs during the 1970s that did not find
their way onto commercially released albums, including some
very funny songs such as the hilarious sneeze song HAY
FEVER the tongue-in-cheek, country-western cartoon TWELVE
BLACK CABS and the over-the-top, punk-rock parody DEATH
CAN BE FUN.
Although Buzzy is best known as a songwriter, singer, musician
and lyricist, he also appeared in the cult film classic "The
Grove Tube." He is the naked guy that doesn't get the
girl. He appeared in "Modern Problems," starring
Chevy Chase. He was a regular in Bill Cosby's 1976 ABC TV
comedy series "COS," serving as both chief songwriter
and as a regular on screen co-star, performing with the likes
of Betty White, Artie Johnson, Abe Vigoda, Jeff Altman, Willie
Bobo, Pat Delaney, Lola Falana, Marion Ramsey, Tom Tomerson,
Buzzy early 70s
Buzzy's period of fame and fortune during the 1970s flamed
out after this, and he became a kind of Buddha-like music master
thereafter, bouncing from place to place, always seeking truth
through music, always uncompromising in that journey, always
searching for new ways to express his obsession for great music.
He had much more to write, including some extraordinary explorations
in contemporary styles, and in future we will bring this musical
adventure to present.
READ > The Buzzy Linhart