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The Lemon Pipers Biography

Home > Music > T > The Lemon Pipers > Biography

Birth Place: Oxford, Ohio, United States
Years Active: 1966-1969
Genres: Psychedelic Pop

The Lemon Pipers were a 1960's psychedelic pop band from Oxford, Ohio, who scored a #1 hit in the U.S. in 1968 with "Green Tambourine.” The Lemon Pipers comprised of singer Dale "Ivan" Browne (born 1947), guitarist William Bartlett (born 1946, South Harrow, Middlesex, England), keyboardist Robert G. "Reg" Nave (born 1945), drummer William E. Albaugh (1948–1999), guitarist Ron Simkins (born 1948) and bassist Steve Walmsley (born 1949, New Zealand) who replaced the original bass guitarist Ron "Dude" Dudek.

The band formed in 1966 by when four student musicians got together and began playing at local college bars in Oxford, Ohio. The band gained notoriety by reaching the finals in the Ohio Battle of the Bands at the Cleveland Public Auditorium in 1967, losing out to the James Gang. Between the local venues that the band played, and their exposure from Battle of Bands, The Lemon Pipers built a loyal following. The band's music fuses a mixture of blues, hard rock and folk rock., which appeals to wide audience. The band released their debut single on the Carol Records label called, "Quiet Please,” which met with positive reviews.

Shortly after the release of their single the band switched labels and signed with Buddah Records, which enabled the band to play larger auditoriums and concert halls round the U.S. However, Buddah Records' ideas for the band, the direction of their music and image, wasn't in line with The Lemon Pipers vision for themselves. In addition, the band's debut single for Buddah, "Turn Around and Take a Look,” failed to make the charts. As a result, he label hired songwriters for the band and "Green Tambourine" was released next. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at the end of 1967 and reached the #1 slot, also peaking at #7 in the U.K. Singles Chart. The song quickly became a hit worldwide, selling over two million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1968.

The record label began to put pressure on The Lemon Pipers to stay in the 'bubblegum genre,' however, the band became disenchanted with the labels lack of creativity and control over the band's music. The Lemon Pipers’ debut album, “Green Tambourine” only contained two tracks written by the band themselves. A second album followed, “Jungle Marmalade,” which the band felt no connection to and in 1969 The Lemon Pipers finally parted ways with Buddah Records. Bartlett, Walmsley and Nave went on to form the band, Starstruck, whose recording of a Lead Belly song, "Black Betty" was released in 1977. Browne moved to California to continue playing music, Walmsley played bass around Oxford. Bartlett became despondent and reclusive following the death of his wife Dee Dee. Nave became a jazz disc jockey and played organ occasionally with The Blues Merchants in southwestern Ohio venues. Drummer Bill Albaugh died on January 20, 1999, at the age of 53.