Early Years (1965 - 1969)

JOHN BELAND was born on the southwest side of Chicago in Hometown, Illinois, in 1949. He started playing guitar at the age of 12, influenced by such players as B.B. King, Freddy King, Chuck Berry, Ricky Nelson and the Everly Brothers. By 15, John was playing the southside club circuit up and down Chicago's Cicero's and Harlem Avenues. He played in R&B groups, jazz trios, folk/rock groups and blues bands... whatever the gigs called for. Kid

1965 - 1967


Roy Rogers & John

John's family moved from Illionois to California. John was 16 at this time. It didn't take long before he fell into the music scene going on at L.A.'s legendary club THE TROUBADOUR. There he became the "unofficial" house guitarist on hoot nights, backing up a variety of struggling singer/songwriters like an unknown Kris Kristofferson and Glen Frey & J.D. Souther (touring as Longbranch Pennywhistle). John also performed behind Nashville legends Johnny Darrell and writer Larry Murray, who was a member of the folk/rock group "Hearts & Flowers" and who in later years would have quite an input to John's musical career.Longbranch Pennywhistle

John | Frey | Souther


It was at the Troubadour in L.A. where he met Dan and Lois Dalton from the "Backporch Majority" (a "New Christy Ministrels" spin-off). John got a publishing deal and started session work. He also got a record deal with Ranwood Records where he recorded a few singles produced by Dan Dalton:

SingleJohn Beland singlesSingle
- JOHN BELAND: As if I needed to be reminded/Sunday fool (Ranwood R - 835)
feat. Bernie Leadon on banjo and guitar, Larry Brown on drums, Stephen LaFever on bass
George Tipton did the strings and The Blossoms on background vocals.
"Sunday fool" written by John Beland.

- JOHN BELAND: Baby, you come rollin' cross my mind/Hometown (Randwood R - 853)

- JOHN BELAND: Baby, you come rollin' cross my mind/same - long version (R - 853) - audition copy

- JOHN BELAND: Will you love me tomorrow/Sunday fool (Ranwood R - 862)

Note: "Baby, you come rollin' cross my mind" became a summertime hit!

The same year John also did the warm ups for the Glen Campbell television show. Also working with John as opening act on the Glen Campbell show in 68 was folk music legend Mary McCaslin.
The same year John was singing the brand new ABC sitcom called:

- The Brady Bunch

He also played on numerous commercials and record dates, including the R.B. Greeves hit "Take a letter, Maria".

Wand single Also this year John Beland played in a group named WHEATSTRAW. Wheatstraw was the idea of producer Dan Dalton (Baby you come rollin' cross my mind).
He put together John Beland, Paul Parrish and Hillery Hicks...later replaced by Steve Diamond.
The group did one appearance at the Troubadour.
(Crosby, Stills & Nash were big back then so this group was sort of a version of that).

The group lasted only a few weeks. They recorded one single produced by Dan Dalton:

Wheatstraw single
- WHEATSTRAW: One A.M./Face outside my window (Wand 11216)
with John Beland, Paul Parrish and others.
Produced by Dan Dalton.

Paul Parrish went on to record some great solo stuff as well as do a lot of LA sessions in the 70's. Steve Diamond wrote " I can love you like that" for the "Backstreet Boys" and "I've got a rock'n'roll heart" for "Eric Clapton".

Wand single Note: " Face outside my window" was written by John Beland, a song John used to do live with "One Man's Family"!

Note: Wand Records was a sister label of Scepter Records on which John later released his first solo album.

Larry Murray took John to a session for the Johnny Darrell LP that Larry was producing and this is where John first saw the most influential of all the West Coast country rock guitarists, CLARENCE WHITE who had just joined the Byrds.


John did an audition for "Spanky & Our Gang" because Spanky had left and they'd changed the name to "ONE MAN'S FAMILY". "One Man's Family" originated from guitarist Nigel Pickering and bassist Kenny Hodges, (both members of "Spanky & Our Gang") who were seeking to work together in a similar lineup after Spanky had left to go solo in 1969. John Beland auditioned and got the job as guitarist and vocalist. Also brought in was vocalist Sue Richards and Thad Maxwell as the band's drummer, fresh from a stint with the A&M band "Tarantula" with whom he had played guitar.
"One Man's Family" personnel:

John Beland: guitar, vocals
Kenny Hodges: bass, vocals
Thad Maxwell: drums
Nigel Pickering: guitar, vocals
Sue Richards: vocals

Although no tapes of "One Man's Family" exist the group mixed five part harmonies singing a blend of pop and country as an early country-rock outfit. Their arrangement of "When Will I Be Loved" inspired Linda Ronstadt's version. "One Man's Family" toured with The Byrds, Hollies and Steppenwolf and had received rave reviews. While touring with the comedy troupe "2nd City" and hanging out with John Prine and Steve Goodman they split mid-tour in Chicago. After the band split up, Thad Maxwell and John Beland returned to L.A where in December 1969 Beland was hired by Linda Ronstadt.

During this time he also did a session for the late Gene Vincent.

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