Formed in Toronto, Canada, in 1965, Sparrow evolved from an earlier incarnation, Jack London And The Sparrows. The original line-up - Jack London (vocals), Dennis Edmonton (b. Dennis McCrohan, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; guitar), Jerry Edmonton (b. Jerry McCrohan, 24 October 1946, Canada; drums), Nick St. Nicholas (b. 28 September 1943, Hamburg, Germany; bass) and Art Ayre (organ) - enjoyed a number 1 hit in Canada with ‘If You Don’t Want My Love’, before London left to pursue a poppier direction. Former folk singer John Kay (b. Joachim F. Krauledat, 12 April 1944, Tilsit, Germany) took his place and with the arrival of Goldy McJohn (b. 2 May 1945) in favour of Ayre, the definitive Sparrow was established. The quintet quickly became a leading attraction in Toronto’s Yorkville district, playing a gruff-styled R&B, perfect for Kay’s growled vocals. By contrast, the Sparrow’s singles, ‘Tomorrow’s Ship’ and ‘Green Bottle Lover’, were, respectively, folk rock and garage punk. They moved to Los Angeles in 1967, but split up when neither band nor producer (David Rubinson) were happy with their final series of recordings. Kay, McJohn and Jerry Edmonton then formed Steppenwolf, whose best-known song, ‘Born To Be Wild’, was composed by Dennis Edmonton, under his newly-assumed name, Mars Bonfire. Nick St. Nicholas was a member of Steppenwolf between 1969 and 1970 and the success of this band inspired the release of John Kay And The Sparrow, which comprised of demo recordings made to secure their recording contract with CBS Records.
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