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Humble Pie Biography


Home > Music > H > Humble Pie > Biography


Birth Place: Essex, England
Years Active: 1968-1975, 1979-1982, 1989-1999, 2001-2003
Genres: Hard Rock, Blues-rock


Humble Pie was a rock band from England, who hit the height of their success in the 1970s with songs such as “Black Coffee,” “30 Days in the Hole,” “I Don't Need No Doctor,” and “Natural Born Bugie.” The original line-up consisted of Steve Marriott from The Small Faces; vocalist and guitarist Peter Frampton; bassist Greg Ridley; and drummer Jerry Shirley. In 1969, when Marriott left the band, Small Faces, he began to recruit band members for Humble Pie. The band was quickly signed to Immediate Records and released their debut single, “Natural Born Bugie,” which peaked at #4 on the U.K. Singles Chart in 1969. The hit was quickly followed by the album “As Safe As Yesterday Is,” which peaked at #16 on the U.K. Album Charts. The band's second album, “Town and Country” was supported by a U.S. tour, and featured a more acoustic sound, which was a hit with fans back home in the U.K. and their new growing fan base in the U.S.

1970 Saw Humble Pie sign with A&M Records and appoint Dee Anthony as their manager. The band's debut album for the label, “Humble Pie,” arrived later that same year and featured progressive rock mixed with a hard rock sound. Despite the album's failure, the band was a hit in the U.S for their live shows, and began to focus on this market. “Rock On” arrived in 1971 in conjunction with a live album recorded at the Fillmore East in New York, “Performance Rockin' the Fillmore.” The live album peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 200 Album Chart and put Humble Pie on the map as a solid rock band for U.S. fans. Despite the band's growing popularity, Frampton left the band at this time to pursue a solo career. Dave Clem Clempson replaced Frampton.

Humble Pie began to move more towards a harder rock sound with their next record, “Smokin'“ in 1972. The album was the band's most commercially successful album, peaking at #6 on Billboard's Rock Album Charts, and spawning the hits: “Hot 'n' Nasty” and “30 Days in the Hole.” The band wanted to incorporate more of an R&B feel into their music and hired the backing singers, 'The Blackberries,' which consisted of the trio: Venetta Fields, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews. This new line-up included Sidney George on saxophone as the band put out their next album, “Eat It” in 1973. The album peaked at #13 on the Billboard Rock Charts. The band quickly followed up with “Thunderbox” in 1974 and “Street Rats in 1975. 1975 also saw the addition of keyboardist Tim Hinkley. Despite the band's success they parted ways in the late 1970s, only to be revived by Marriott in 1979 with Jerry Shirley, vocalists Bobby Tench, and bassist Anthony Jones. This new incarnation of Humble Pie secured a record contract with Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco and released their debut album for the label, “On to Victory” in 1980. The album peaked at #60 on the Billboard Hot 200 Album Chart.

After the album the band toured with Ted Nugent and Aerosmith before heading back into the studio to record “Go for the Throat” (1981).The band were scheduled to begin a tour in support of “Go for the Throat” when Marriott hurt his hand and delayed the tour. Shortly thereafter the band disbanded once again. Throughout the remainder of the 1980s, Marriott continued to tour and perform as Humble Pie with revolving musicians. A legal battle resulted in Shirley obtaining the rights to the name Humble Pie in 1988 and reforming the group with different musicians. This line-up consisted of vocalist Charlie Huhn and Shirley as the only permanent members with several guest musicians. By 2000, Huhn continued on as Humble Pie without Shirley, adding musicians, Rick Craig; Ean Evans; Kent Gascoyne; and drummer Jamie Darnell. Back in the U.K., Shirley re-formed Humble Pie again in 2001 with a line-up including the original bassist Greg Ridley, former Humble Pie vocalist and guitarist Bobby Tench and new rhythm guitarist Dave Colwell. This line-up Humble Pie's thirteenth studio album, “Back on Track” (2002), on Sanctuary Records. The album was followed by a brief tour of the U.K. and Germany, with the band disbanding in 2002.