Wilde World: Graham Bond Organization

Kim Wilde’s first records were written and produced by her father and brother, Marty and Ricky. The three of them have had a great influence on the music world, as this regular series ‘Wilde World’ shows.

The Graham Bond Organisation were a British jazz/rhythm and blues group of the early 1960s consisting of Graham Bond (vocals, keyboards, alto-saxophone), Jack Bruce (bass), Ginger Baker (drums), Dick Heckstall-Smith (tenor/soprano saxophone) and John McLaughlin (guitar). They played aggressive R&B with prominent jazz and blues influences. The first commercial recording by the original lineup of the Graham Bond Organisation was released under the name of singer Winston G. (real name Winston Gork). Their best-known single, and the second released under their own name, was ‘Tammy’, which also appeared on their debut album ‘The Sound of 65’.

The tracks recorded for the second album were also the last cut by the original Graham Bond Organisation lineup before Jack Bruce was fired in August 1965. A troubled period followed, with substance abuse and various personnel changes. Eventually, Graham Bond left for the USA, releasing two albums there in 1969 with well-known session players. Graham Bond reunited with his former bandmates in the early 1970s, playing with Ginger Baker’s Air Force and also spending a short time touring with Jack Bruce’s band. He subsequently signed a contract with Vertigo Records and was reportedly off drugs by this time, although he was becoming increasingly obsessed with black magic. Bond died in May 1974, when he fell under a train at London’s Finsbury Park underground station.

The Graham Bond Organization recorded one track written by Marty Wilde. It was called ‘Harmonica’. The track was featured in the movie ‘Gonks go beat’, a 1965 British science fiction/musical fantasy film, as you can see below. The track was eventually released on CD in 1988, on a compilation album called ‘The British RnB Explosion Volume 1, ’62-’68’.

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