Nights At The Roundtable - The Birds featuring a teenaged Ronnie Wood (later of The Rolling Stones) with their first single, released in 1964, You're On My Mind.
October 17, 2010

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The Birds - well . . .there was a similarity in name to that other band, only they spelled it with a Y.


One of those bands who achieved cult status for a lot of different reasons, not the least being one of the first bands featuring future Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood. The Birds were a Beat/R&B group whose reputation preceded them, mostly because they were almost constantly touring and had been known as a must-see live band. Sadly, fate wasn't all that kind. Having a name a little too closely associated with the wildly successful American band (only those Byrds spelled it with a Y), it created confusion with record buyers and fans who had thought their Birds had sold out, being a hard R&B outfit, to a folky-Dylanesque sound. It damaged sales of their initial single, You're On My Mind - which we're playing tonight. When The Byrds toured the UK in 1965, The Birds management attempt to issue an injunction against them for using the name, but of course lost the case and it went downhill from there.

The Birds lasted from 1964 to 1967 and had a total of four official singles released. When the band split up, Ronnie Wood went off to another future cult band, The Creation before joining Faces and then eventually making his way to The Rolling Stones many years later and many groups in-between.

The Birds probably never got the recognition they deserved in the beginning, but they had a lot of promise. In the end, they achieved cult status and an ever-increasing number of fans, discovering them for the first time. And as is often the case, better late than never.

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