December 7, 2004

SJP


Artist: Skylark




B.J. Cook (vocals)
Donny Gerrard (vocals)
Doug Edwards (guitar)
Norman McPherson (guitar; replaced Edwards)
John Verner (guitar; replaced McPherson 1972)
Allan Mix (guitar; replaced Verner 1973)
Steven Pugsley (bass)
David Foster (keyboards)
Carl Graves (percussion)
Duris Maxwell (drums)
Brian Hilton (drums; replaced Maxwell)
Kat Hendricks (drums; replaced Hilton)

Vancouver's Skylark formed from the ashes of one of Ronnie Hawkins' many back-up groups, Foster and former New Breed member Cook took the initiative and the band was soon signed to Capitol Records.

Their self-titled debut album was released in 1972 which spawned three singles including what would be the band's biggest hit - "Wildflower". The song was written by the band's original guitarist Doug Edwards and a policeman friend from Victoria, BC (David Richardson). The song went to No. 1 in Canada and made Billboard magazine's Top-10. The single would go on to sell over 1 million copies.

A follow-up album '2', was released in 1974 and again contained "Wildflower" as a request by Capitol to keep the song prominantly in the public's consciousness. The album itself featured the additional help of Bobby Taylor (of Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers fame) on backing vocals and Robbie King on organ. The record was met with less success and the group called it a day.

Many of the band's members later began solo careers: vocalist Donny Gerrard recorded several singles in the mid-'70s including "Words Are Impossible" (1976) plus backing vocal work for Elton John, John Fogerty and Donna Summer; After the end of her 7 year marriage to Foster, B.J. Cook moved to Toronto and wrote the lyrics to theme songs for the TV shows 'Night Heat' and 'Airwaves' with Domenic Troiano and the theme to 'Meatballs 3'; Percussionist Carl Graves had two hits in 1975 ("Baby, Hang Up The Phone" and "Hey Radio"); guitarist John Verner, an American who toured briefly as Skylark's guitarist from Fall 1972 through Spring of 1973 went on to play with Ambrosia as substitute for David Pack, as Sonny Bono's guitarist for an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man" television show, and with Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, footage of which later appeared on their VH1 "Behind The Music" show. Verner was also hand picked by Paul Stanley to audition for KISS, but was not chosen. Verner currently serves in the United Sates Army Ground Forces Band in Atlanta, Georgia as senior guitar instrumentalist.

The most successful was keyboardist David Foster who had been married to Skylark vocalist B.J. Cook at the time and are the parents of rising songwriter Amy Foster-Gillies (Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Destiny's Child). Foster went on to work with Quincy Jones and record movie soundtracks such as 'St. Elmo's Fire', producing others (Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Chicago, Paul Hyde & The Payolas, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie), and his own solo recordings with guest vocalists such as Olivia Newton-John.

with notes from B.J. Cook and John Verner.

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Singles
1972 What Would I Do Without You/Suites For My Lady (Capitol) 3378
1973 Wildflower/The Writing's On The Wall (Capitol) 3511
1973 I'll Have To Go Away/Twenty-Six Years (Capitol) 3661
1973 If That's The Way You Want It/Virgin Green (Capitol) 3773

Albums
1972 Skylark (Capitol) ST-11048
1974 2 (Capitol/EMI) ST-11256
1996 Wildflower: Golden Classics Edition (Collectibles)

Video


Compilation Tracks





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