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And check out my new YouTube channel!

A quick look back...

Back in the 1960s, I was the founder and lead member of the Milwaukee/Chicago-based band known as the “Destinations.” We achieved initial recognition in 1965, by placing first in the Milwaukee Sentinel’s “Battle of the Bands” competition, which encompassed the state of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Later, we were invited to perform at the engagement party for Lynda Johnson (daughter of President LBJ) and Charles Robb, which was held at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. While with the Destinations, I wrote, performed, and recorded the regional hit, “Hello Girl,” the flip side of which was “With You.” The 45, which coincidentally appears on the Destination label, was produced by the Robbs. “Hello Girl” rose to the Top 10 on regional recording charts. Back in that era, I performed and even recorded with a number of local groups, including Michael and the Messengers’ 45, “Midnight Hour”. On a weekly basis, I appeared on and co-hosted, along with the late Art Roberts (the legendary WLS radio deejay), the “Swinging Majority” TV show, broadcast over Chicago’s WCIU-TV, Channel 26. I wrote a number of original tunes to perform on Art’s program with the Destinations, as both the group’s lead vocalist and lead guitarist.

Later, having left the Destinations to purse a solo career, I was privileged to work with the world-class Gospel singer, the beloved Mahalia Jackson, on a project known as “Give a Damn,” designed to ease social tensions resulting from the 1967 riots in Chicago and other cities. Working with such show-business legends as Jimmy Durante, Dinah Shore, Della Reece, Robert Culp, and Jerry Butler, the performances were met with packed houses and overwhelming success in Chicago and New York.

I went on to join the ABC-TV/Filmation animated production of the “Hardy Boys” series, in which I performed the role of Frank Hardy. I recorded two albums with the Hardy Boys, “Here Come the Hardy Boys” and “Wheels.”

I proceeded to become a member of the Grass Roots as the lead guitarist and vocalist. The Grass Roots, whose membership changed a number of times over the years, is well-known for such blockbuster hits as “Midnight Confession,” “Temptation Eyes,” “Where were you when I needed you,” “Two divided by love,” “Sooner or Later,” and “Glory bound.” For four years, 1970 through 1974, I crisscrossed America touring with the Grass Roots. You can hear me on the “Move Along” and “A Lot of Mileage” albums, as well as on the Grass Roots’ “Anthology” and “Millennium” CDs. I am also credited on various Grass Roots compilation albums.

I was instrumental in forming the group that eventually became known as “Player,” which released the smash hit, “Baby, Come Back” in 1976.

In 1977, I went off to New York to perform the role of Paul McCartney in Broadway’s production of “Beatlemania” at the Winter Garden Theater.

In the early 1980s, I toured with Badfinger. The group at that time consisted of Tommy Evans, Mike Gibbons, Bob Jackson, Donny Dacus, and myself. My performances with Badfinger are recorded on two multi-CD sets (1982), “Live in Concert, DBA/BFR” and “Would the Real Badfinger Please Stand Up?” a Japanese import on the Westwood label.

I have co-written songs with Don Johnson and worked with music luminaries such as Kiki Dee, Mick Jagger, Harry Nilsson, and with John Lennon on one album. I’ve performed the vocals for a number of nationally-aired TV commercials, and have had the pleasure of meeting a number of performers as well as skilled technicians in the motion-picture industry. I’ve even worked in the front office of MCA Distribution, in charge of ordering for the entire company.

Right now, I am now focusing on my solo career and on a new venture that entails my website, www.reedkailing.com, as well as on a CD to premier in June, 2009. The CD--entitled “Rare, Rare, and Well-Done”--contains a number of newly-recorded, never-previously-released original tunes as well as some rare rough demos and live recordings. Some of these tunes were vetted on broadjam.com, where they charted in the top ten--moving into and out of the #1 slot--for more than two years.


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