Contrary to their name, garage rockers the New Yorkers were based in Portland, OR. Originally dubbed the My Sirs, the group was formed in 1964 by 14-year-old singers/guitarists Bill Hudson and Kent Fillmore, with Hudson's brothers Mark and Brett eventually signing on to play drums and bass, respectively. In 1966 the My Sirs won a battle-of-the-bands competition open to acts from across the Pacific Northwest, and overnight they were earning as much as $200 per gig; in addition to the British Invasion covers that comprised the bulk of their repertoire, they also began writing original material, soon issuing their debut single, "Things Are Changing," on the local Santana label. The record caught the attention of automaker Chrysler, which offered the My Sirs the opportunity to tour the U.S. and play at Chrysler-sponsored events. The deal was dependent on the band changing their name to that of a Chrysler model, hence the New Yorkers moniker that graced the label on their 1967 Scepter debut, the regional blockbuster "When I'm Gone."
The follow-up, the psych-fuzz gem "Mr. Kirby," was a minor nationwide hit, but in the wake of their third Scepter effort, "Show Me the Way to Love," the New Yorkers discovered their manager had embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars; the band quit touring in response, returning to Portland and working odd jobs for the next year. Sans Fillmore, who was replaced by guitarist Bob Haworth, they reunited in late 1968, signing to the local Jerden label to release the psychedelic pop confection "Ice Cream World." "Michael Clover" followed in 1969, and later that year the New Yorkers landed at Warner Bros. long enough to release the single "Lonely." Decca issued the follow-up, the Harry Nilsson-penned "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City." The label then convinced the group to tour the East Coast in support of "Love Is the World," credited to Everyday Hudson, but when the single failed, Decca pulled all its financial support and the band again returned to Portland.
As simply the Hudson Brothers, they would go on to emerge as one of the more commercially successful pop bands of the early '70s, even hosting their own variety series, The Hudson Brothers Show, on CBS during the summer of 1974. (The network also gave the group their own Saturday morning live-action series, The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show.) The siblings continued performing into the early '80s; in 1976 Bill Hudson married comedienne Goldie Hawn, and is the father of next-generation movie star Kate Hudson. ~ Jason Ankeny