We Five were formed in 1964 in San Francisco by Michael Stewart, brother of The Kingston Trio's John Stewart. With Beverly Bivens, Jerry Burgan, Peter Fullerton and Bob Jones they made up a group capable of wonderful multi-part harmonies, between the five of them tackling all guitar duties too (acoustic, electric, 12-string and bass). Their repertoire mixed folk with pop and broadway show tunes, Stewart writing some fantastic new arrangements for otherwise familiar songs. They were signed to A&M in 1965, and their debut album came out the same year. This was the year the folk-rock took off and the boundaries between folk, rock and pop were broken down, and so drums and electric guitar featured on many of the songs. Their sound came out as somewhere between the polite early 60s folk-pop of The Kingston Trio and the mid-60s folk-rock sound.
One of the standout covers on the album was a wonderful re-imagining of "Can't Help Falling In Love", and there were also broadway songs by the likes of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, and Ira and George Gershwin. However the song destined to be a hit was one of the more folk-rock styled ones, a cover of Sylvia Tyson's "You Were On My Mind" (originally from Ian & Sylvia's Northern Journey album), with Beverly Biven's distinctive lead vocals. The song was a #3 pop hit, and was responsible for launching the group's career.
|> Make Someone Happy (1967)