A Bit Like You And Me Radio

February 27, 2013

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Rainbow (1972)

Often shortened to the New Riders or NRPS, this country rock band was formed in San Francisco, California in 1969 by a handful of notable musicians in the Bay area. As far back as the early ‘60s, John Dawson, nicknamed “Marmaduke,” had been known by his friends to have a penchant for the country music heard in the eastern parts of the United States. In 1966, Dawson’s tastes had expanded quite a bit (along with his mind) through the blooming drug culture and acid experimentation popular at the time. After some short stints performing in various bands in 1967 and ’68, Dawson began performing in local coffeehouses where he blended his new found love of psychedelics with his classic love of country and bluegrass. By 1969, Dawson began featuring his old friend, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, in his shows when the Dead were taking a break from touring. As luck would have it, country rock had been climbing in popularity over the past few years in thanks to artists like The Band, Gram Parsons' era of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Bob Dylan all releasing country-inspired albums. Thinking that they should have a full-fledged band to back them, Dawson (on acoustic guitar) and Garcia (on the pedal steel guitar) picked up David Nelson of Big Brother and the Holding Company to play lead electric guitar and Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead to play bass and drums, respectively. Although this lineup would change very frequently over the next forty-plus years, these noted musicians became the first lineup of the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

In 1970, Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane replaced Mickey Hart on the drums while Dave Torbet of the Grateful Dead replaced Phil Lesh on the bass. In 1971, Buddy Cage replaced Jerry Garcia on the pedal steel guitar. The band’s second released album, titled Powerglide, was this new lineup’s first album together. It was the highest charting album released by any incarnation of the band, reaching number thirty-three on the Billboard 200 in 1972. Although the album featured guest appearances by Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, and Nicky Hopkins, this particular song only featured the new official lineup mentioned above. Written by John “Marmaduke” Dawson, this song was the second track and one of six original songs on the Powerglide album.

album art

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Rainbow (1972)

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Lyrics:

Sing me a rainbow, shine me a dime
Drop in and see me any old time, honey
And if you love me, tell me you do
Reason I’m asking is ‘cause I love you, honey
Oh, don’t you know that I love you?

When I was living, I felt so ashamed
Well, now I’ve been giving and feeling less pain
So, honey

Sing me a rainbow, shine me a dime
Drop in and see m any old time, honey
And if you love me, tell me you do
Reason I’m asking is ‘cause I love you, honey
Oh, don’t you know that I love you?

Oh, yes, you are magic, I know that you are
‘cause I saw you riding last night on a star, honey

Sing me a rainbow, shine me a dime
Drop in and see me any old time, honey
And if you love me, tell me you do
Reason I’m asking is ‘cause I love you, honey
Oh, don’t you know that I love you?

Oh, honey
Oh, don’t you know that I love you?

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