Brush Arbor

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A group formed in San Diego, California, in 1972, initially to enter a major radio talent competition on KSON. The group, who took their name from the one-time popular brush arbor revival meetings, featured…
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A group formed in San Diego, California, in 1972, initially to enter a major radio talent competition on KSON. The group, who took their name from the one-time popular brush arbor revival meetings, featured Jim Rice (banjo, guitar, steel guitar, lead vocals), his brother Joe (mandolin, guitar, vocals), James Harrah, Mike Holtzer and Dave Rose. Their success led to a recording contract with Capitol Records and appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. An album release led to their debut chart entry, ‘Proud Mary’, their version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival pop hit. It peaked at number 56 but led to further chart entries in 1973, namely ‘Brush Arbor Meeting’ (which included parts of the Albert Brumley gospel standard ‘I’ll Fly Away’) and their cover version of the Gilbert O’Sullivan pop hit, ‘Alone Again’. They began an hectic touring schedule in California and made appearances on major television shows with several top stars including Johnny Cash. The Academy of Country Music (ACM) voted them the 1973 Vocal Group Of The Year. After leaving Capitol Records, they recorded for Monument and in 1976, ‘Emmylou’, an ode to Emmylou Harris, made the country charts, to be followed, in 1977, with their seventh and final chart entry, a Top 60 with ‘Get Down Country Music’. They continued to play major venues, both in the USA and Canada until 1979, when they decided to stop touring. They made recordings for Myrrh and for some years played mainly at church venues in their local area. In 1993, they were persuaded to record an album on the Benson label.