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DAVID GATES

By far the most famous artist on this collection, Gates was son of a band director and music teacher. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on December 11, 1939, and grew up alongside Leon Russell, J. J. Cale, and Clyde Stacy. In 1957, his band backed Chuck Berry at a concert, and his first record, Jo Baby (for his future wife) was issued that year.

The following year, he was on Marty Robbins' shortlived eponymous label, and then on East-West for one single (the master numbers date the master purchase to mid-January 1959). Soon after, he left Tulsa. "The reason I moved to Los Angeles was I'd gone about as far in music as you can go in Tulsa," he told Bill Kornman. "You work clubs and play dances and fraternity parties and so forth. And I wanted to go to Los Angeles where all the action was and try my hand as a musician and songwriter.

I could read and write music which gave me a bit of a leg up on a lot of the guys who were there that were good players but they couldn't read or write. That got me into arranging and doing lead sheets for people." After ten years in the studios and a monster hit as a songwriter (Popsicles And Icicles for the Murmaids in 1963/4), Gates was ready for another shot at solo stardom. "I'd worked with a group that was recording for Uni Records, called Pleasure Faire. Russ Reagan was the head of Uni and hired me to arrange and produce them. In Pleasure Faire was a guy named Robb Royer, and when the album was almost done, he said that he'd been writing with a fellow named James Griffin who was from Tennessee and was a good singer. Maybe we'd all throw in and try to have a group.

We went to Al Schlesinger, who'd been my attorney, and asked him if he would help shop us around. Crosby, Stills & Nash had just gone with Atlantic Records. They were closest to that sort of acoustic guitar and lots of harmony and vocal idea, so we wanted to stay away from Atlantic, and we ended up on Elektra." Gates knocked a year off his age, and lo! Bread was born. Thanks to Bill Kornman's feature on the Netmusic website.

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