Sons Of Champlin Biography

Bill Champlin (21 May 1947; vocals, trumpet) and Tim Caine (saxophone) formed this enigmatic white soul aggregation in 1965. They were initially joined by Terry Haggerty (lead guitar), Al Strong (bass) and Jim Myers (drums), but when a horn player, Geoff Palmer, was added, Champlin switched to guitar. Draft victim Myers was then replaced by Bill Bowen. Originally dubbed the Masterbeats, then the Sons Of Father Champlin, the band adopted their more familiar name in 1966. A confident debut single, ‘Sing Me A Rainbow’, preceded their transformation from besuited aspirants to chemical proselytizers. Now established on the San Francisco scene, a sprawling double album, Loosen Up Naturally, encapsulated their unique blend of love, peace, happiness and funk. A second album, named after the band’s now truncated title, the Sons, refined a similar mixture before they embarked on one of their periodic implosions, during which time various members joined, and left such ensembles as the Rhythm Dukes and the Nu-Boogaloo Express.

A reconstituted line-up, shorn of its horn section, reappeared on Follow Your Heart. Champlin, Haggerty and Palmer were joined by David Schallock (b. 8 August 1948, Marin County, California, USA; bass) and Bill Vitt (drums) in a new venture, Yogi Phlegm, but this unfortunate/wonderful appellation was then abandoned. The quintet later reclaimed the Sons Of Champlin name, but although they secured some commercial success, it was tempered by mismanagement and misfortune. Bill Champlin embarked on a solo career during the late 70s. He appeared as a backing singer on a score of releases and co-wrote ‘After The Love Is Gone’ for Earth, Wind And Fire. After completing solo sets Single and Runaway, this expressive vocalist joined Chicago in 1982. The Sons Of Champlin reunited in the late 90s, embarking on a tour and recording a live album for release.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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