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Dr. Hook

Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's sardonic, country-flavored pop/rock made them one of the most fondly remembered acts of AM pop radio's heyday in the '70s. Although the band had a reputation as a mouthpiece for humorist Shel Silverstein, who supplied several of their biggest hits (including "The Cover of Rolling Stone"), they didn't rely exclusively on his material by any means. And, during their peak years, they were just as famed for their crazed stage antics, which ranged from surreal banter to impersonating their own opening acts.

The band was formed in Union City, NJ, in 1968, when a young singer/songwriter named Dennis Locorriere teamed up with Alabama-born country-rocker Ray Sawyer. Sawyer's distinctive stage presence stemmed from his enormous cowboy hat and an eye patch that hid injuries from a serious car accident in 1967. Sharing the spotlight on guitar and lead vocals, the duo teamed up with Sawyer's bandmates from a group called the Chocolate Papers: George Cummings (lead and steel guitars), Billy Francis (keyboards), and Popeye Phillips (drums). Phillips soon moved home to Alabama and was replaced by local drummer John "Jay" David. Sawyer's eye patch inspired the nickname Dr. Hook, after the Captain Hook character in Peter Pan; with the rest of the band christened the Medicine Show (a possible drug reference), they began playing some of the roughest bars in the Union City area, concentrating mostly on country music out of sheer necessity. Anxious to find a more hospitable environment, the band recorded some demos, and in early 1970 their manager played the tapes for Ron Haffkine, who was working as musical director for the film Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? Haffkine had been looking for bands to perform the songs written for the soundtrack by Shel Silverstein, an ex-folkie, Playboy cartoonist, and children's author who'd penned Johnny Cash's hit "A Boy Named Sue." He took an instant liking to Locorriere's voice, and became the group's manager and producer, signing them to record "Last Morning" for the film soundtrack and also landing a deal with CBS.

Silverstein wrote all the songs for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's self-titled debut album, which was released in 1971. The single "Sylvia's Mother," a subtle parody of teen-heartbreak weepers, flopped on first release, but with some more promotional muscle became the band's first million-seller and hit the Top Five in the summer of 1972 (even if many listeners took it as sincere). That year, the band added a full-time bassist in Jance Garfat, as well as another lead guitarist, Rik Elswit. Their second album, Sloppy Seconds, was again written by Silverstein, and featured more risqué material, perhaps in response to the success of "Sylvia's Mother." "The Cover of Rolling Stone," written specifically to get the band featured on same, became another Top Ten smash in early 1973, and Rolling Stone soon granted the band's wish. However, following it up proved difficult. Drummer David left the group in 1973, to be replaced by John Wolters; the title of their next album, Belly Up, was unfortunately prophetic, and the band filed for bankruptcy in 1974 (partly as a way to get out of their contract with CBS).

Now known simply as Dr. Hook, they signed with Capitol in 1975, debuting with Bankrupt, which began to feature more group originals. A cover of Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen" returned them to the Top Ten in 1976 and revitalized their career; although Cummings left the band that year, further hits followed over the next few years in "A Little Bit More," "Sharing the Night Together," "When You're in Love With a Woman," and "Sexy Eyes." 1979's Pleasure & Pain became their first gold album, cementing the band's transition into disco-tinged balladeers. However, Elswit had to leave the band for a year after developing cancer; he was replaced by Bob "Willard" Henke, who remained in the lineup after Elswit's return. Ray Sawyer, however, did not; dissatisfied with their newly commercial direction, he departed in 1980, robbing Dr. Hook of, well, Dr. Hook. With Rod Smarr replacing Henke, the remainder of the band switched from Capitol to Casablanca, with very little success; after a few bill-paying tours, they finally gave up the ghost in 1985. Locorriere became a session and touring vocalist, backing Randy Travis in 1989, and in 1996 recorded the solo LP Running With Scissors. Sawyer still tours under the Dr. Hook name, though he licenses it from Locorriere. Drummer Wolters died of cancer in 1997. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Greatest Hits (And More)

1. Sylvia's Mother

2. The Cover Of The Rolling Stone

3. Only Sixteen

4. A Little Bit More

5. Walk Right In

6. Making Love And Music

7. I Couldn't Believe

8. A Couple More Years

9. Sharing The Night Together

10. When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman

11. Better Love Next Time

12. Sexy Eyes

13. Years From Now

14. The Radio

15. Sweetest Of All

x

Track List: Sloppy Seconds

1. Freakin' At The Freaker's Ball

2. If I'd Only Come And Gone

3. Carry Me, Carrie

4. The Things I Didn't Say

5. Get My Rocks Off

6. Last Mornin'

7. I Can't Touch The Sun

8. Queen Of The Silver Dollar

10. Stayin' Song

11. Cover Of The Rolling Stone

12. Lookin' For P**sy

Comments

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baby let your hair hang down all over me I would love to have you siting next to me my darling your mine and I'm yours and im yours my love will set me your love set me free too Mike your mimi
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im going to order tickets to the Chicago earth wind and fire concert tickets on Oct 3rd for Oct 26th at Verizon wireless arena hope you can go my darling Mike I'll spring for gas money or we can take a bus to the arena your mimi

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Id like to start sharing the night together my Mike your mimi
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can we spend the night together anytime I want to dance with you do you want me still love me my Mike your mimi
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walk right in sit right down let your hair hang down over my skin my Mike your mimi
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I hope I will still can be your baby we won't say anything just the two of us dancing alone that will say what we been trying to saying to each other my darling Mike your mimi
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I do want to share the night together with you or you can spend the night with me I really miss seeing you I need to feel your strong arms around me my right arm is killing me mostly my shoulder between my elbow and my shoulder you with your strong arms around me will be better then any drug that they can make my darling Mike forgive that I haven't been around to see you did you harvest our garden yet I'd love to help but I can only use one arm your mimi
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I would like to share the night together lovet babe we can start tonight my Mike your mimi
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Saw these guys at the freakers ball in lake Tahoe in 06 or 07 man was that one kick a** night, what I remember of it anyway Lol!!! Love the doctor
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Dr Hook was definitely one kick A$$ band....
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Dr. Hook was the epitemy of a good time in my house growing up. Love sexy eyes and better love next time!! ❤
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upinthenortw o o d s
I LOVE the album/CD even after all these years it is still one of my favs!!
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Great group
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hsuarez1939
Great music & great memories too hold on too.
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Love this song.
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Good romantic songs
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Sexy eyes dr hook will always remind me of that time
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sandymcleod1 7 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Love them!
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COVER OF THE ROLLING STONES FOR THE WIN!!!!!
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Good old hippie dudes doing top 40 hits,,,gotta love it
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Cover Of The Rolling Stone
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Lights low oh yeah
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Nice
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Love....
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Nice, didn't realize I liked Dr HOOK soooooooo!!! ! ! ! !
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Takes me back to some good times.
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summer of 79'...oh yeah, oh righttt....w h e r e are you Dr. Hook? HMMM
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When you're in love with a beautiful woman-- did my boyfriend write that? Love that song, and lol he thinks it's true#
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hsuarez1939
This is my wedding song. I love it!!!
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Love me some DR. HOOK. Always have!!!!! I'm going love you a little bit more!!!!!
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Im loving this song.. Waiting..... . . . . . . .
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Love it
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On the cover, nice & little funny. LOL
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inspecluso85 1 1
Love em saw there shows many times and partyed with them back stage once great!
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Excellent music
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Better love next time
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Love you a little bit more, When you're in love with a beautiful woman...Love Dr. Hook.
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Andy
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Brings back the Jr High days in Minot. Then later in Grand Forks.
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Great memories!
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Shel Silverstein, I see no mention of the genius behind the Hook.......
I was Freakin at the Freakers Ball in Texas when I was young and good looking. Well I was young anyway.
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wilco614
Sylvia's Mother!!!!
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Nothing like loveliness. Wow what a song
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Good morning,PAUL A
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Sharing the night the night together. Love this. So many memories
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Digging, some DR. HOOK
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di.mc52
i don't really have a favorite i like all of their songs although spending the night together is nice
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I love sexy eyes.
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