When members of The Playboys and The Big Beats combined, Gainesville, Florida’s The Rare Breed was formed. Best known for their singles on the Cool As A Moose label ('In The Night'/I Need You' and 'I Talked To The Sun'/'Don't Blow Your Cool'), The Rare Breed also backed other musicians for recordings for D&B Records and Volt. Comprised of University of Florida students, The Rare Breed included rhythm guitarist and co-songwriter Jim García, now a successful lawyer.
The Rare Breed was formed in early ‘60-‘63 at the University of Florida. The band was composed of the members of another band by the name of The Playboys and I and other two members of The Big Beats became part of The Rare Breed.
The band consisted of Bill Carter, lead guitar; Jim García, rhythm guitar; Ron Gause, organ and vocals; Randy McDaniel, bass; Paul McArthur, drums; and Randy Ratliff, lead singer. Also, from time to time, the personnel changed and we had Bryan Grigsby on sax and flute, Frank Birdsong on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, and one or two other singers.
The band was the typical “rock and roll” band of the ‘60s. We were still clean-cut and we remained clean-cut even though by the end of the ‘60s most bands were looking like bums, hippies, etc. Our sound was much like the sounds of the time, e.g., ‘Louie Louie.’ No particular band or famous group influenced our band although some of the individual members like—like Bill Carter—were influenced by Chet Atkins
Gainesville was a typical college town rock and roll scene. There were many fraternity gigs, etc. We played fraternity gigs but we also played private parties, clubs, etc. For a while, The Rare Breed was the house band for a place called Dub’s, which was the local college hangout in Gainesville at that time. After The Rare Breed, many other famous acts played at Dub’s, such as Donnie Felder (who later played with The Eagles) and Tom Petty. Dub’s is now closed. The band had two co-managers, Bob Norris and Dub Thomas. Bob was a local disc jockey and record store owner and Dub was the owner of Dub’s, a dance club. They did not book gigs for us but they procured our first recordings at Fuller’s Studio in Tampa. We recorded all the four songs in one day. All of the songs were written by Bill Carter and me and were recorded for D&B Records on the Cool As A Moose label. Gene Middleton ('A Man Will Do Anything'), Linda ('Let Me Call You Baby') and The Blues Kings ('Drip Drop #1', 'Drip Drop #2') often played at gigs with our band (on and off) and we recorded together at the session recorded at Fuller Studios, Tampa. Towards the end of the ‘60s, that is, around ‘68 or ’69. Most of the band members moved away from Gainesville because we were either leaving college or graduating from college. It was a great experience and lots of fun. To this day I maintain contact with most if not all of the former band members who are spread out all over the country.
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