|Jack London & the Sparrows|
Years: 1965 - 1965
Styles: Beat, Garage Rock
Dave Hare - Keyboards (in band: 1964)
Dennis Edmonton - Lead guitar, Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1965)
Jack London - Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1965)
Brent Maitland - Bass Guitar (in band: 1964)
Jerry Edmonton - Drums, Harmonica, Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1965)
C.J. Feeney - Keyboards (in band: 1964 - 1965)
Bruce Palmer - Bass Guitar (in band: 1964 - 1965)
Art Ayre - Harmonium, Organ, Piano (in band: 1965)
Nick St. Nicholas - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1965)
The original Jack London and The Sparrows line-up was formed in Oshawa, Ontario in early 1964 by British émigré Dave Marden (A.K.A. Jack London), guitarist Dennis Edmonton and keyboard player Dave Hare, who later played with Everyday People.
Jack London and The Sparrows began as a beat group and played heavily on Dave Marden’s English background. Their early repertoire reflected the influence of the “British invasion” and London even went as far as coaxing the others to “fake” English accents, in order to convince the audience that they had just arrived from England. Shortly afterwards, Dennis’ brother Jerry replaced the original drummer and Brent Maitland (stage name: Bert Enfield) joined on bass. The group began to build up a local following, playing at various venues, such as the local Jubilee Auditorium (which was owned by the Edmonton brothers’ father).
After moving to Toronto later that year, C.J. Feeney joined on organ. A short while later, Bruce Palmer, who'd played in Billy Clarkson’s band replaced Maitland who went to university. This line-up signed to Capitol Records and scored a #3 hit on the RPM chart with debut single “If You Don’t Want My Love”. Palmer, however, soon tired of “affecting” an English accent and was traded for The Mynah Birds’ member, Nick St. Nicholas in January 1965. Around the same time, local jazz musician Art Ayre replaced Feeney, who formed a new version of his former band, The Spellbinders.
The new Jack London and The Sparrows line-up was responsible for the band’s lone album and the subsequent singles. Only “Our Love Has Passed”, however, neared the success of the debut single, reaching #7 on the RPM chart in May 1965.
By mid-1965, the group was beginning to progress beyond its early British influences and was starting to incorporate more of a North American blues-rock sound. At the same time, resentment was growing over London’s role in the band; he had signed the recording deal so that he would collect most of the group’s royalties. As a result, the band separated from London (who went solo) and continued as The Sparrows.
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