The Beau Brummels

The Beau Brummels was a successful 1960s American rock band, formed in San Francisco in 1963. Their sound was influenced by the Beatles and other British bands of the era, as well as by such American groups as the Kingston Trio and the Everly Brothers.

The band took its name from a 19th Century English dandy, Beau Brummell, as a way of identifying with the British music scene. Additionally, band members figured that since everyone was looking for and at The Beatles records, having a name that naturally followed Beatles alphabetically would be a shrewd move. In addition, the band took to wearing British-influenced mod clothes. As a result of their sound and look they were often mistaken for an English band, especially in their first few years. However, as their music progressed they mixed the British sound with American folk and country music and created a distincly American sound.

The Beau Brummels had three Top 40 hit singles: "Laugh Laugh", "Just A Little" and "You Tell Me Why". "Just a Little" was the biggest hit of the three, spending 9 weeks in the Top 40 and reaching #8 on Billboard, while "Laugh, Laugh" hit #15, and "You Tell Me Why" peaked at #38.

The Beau Brummels recorded six studio albums as well, with Triangle and Bradley's Barn receiving significant critical acclaim. Lead singer Sal Valentino and various former members of the Beau Brummels also toured and recorded as Stone Ground in the early 1970's.

"Laugh, Laugh" is listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 most influential songs that shaped rock and roll, and was also featured in the 1989 John Candy film Uncle Buck. On The Flintstones, in the episode based on the Shindig! TV series, the band was caricaturized as "The Beau Brummelstones", singing "Laugh Laugh." They were also featured in the movie Village of the Giants which was later featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. The Beau Brummels are considered by some to be the first folk rock group (although the Byrds were formed - and recorded - earlier) and they influenced numerous other acts in the genre, particularly later San Francisco groups including Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.[citation needed]

Drummer John Petersen passed away suddenly on November 11, 2007, of a heart attack. He is survived by his wife of many years, Roberta, sister of former Warner brothers producer Ted Templeman.

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