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Joe & Bing

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The origins of soft pop duo Joe and Bing date back to the autumn of 1962 — upon his arrival at Watertown, Connecticut’s prestigious Taft School, 16-year-old William “Bing” Bingham was assigned to learn the ropes from older student Joe Knowlton, and a deep friendship was quickly forged from their mutual love of music. According to Keith D’Arcy’s liner notes in Rev-Ola’s 2004 reissue of the duo’s Daybreak, they soon joined with fellow student Tony Howe to form a folk harmony trio, the Coachmen, performing regularly at Taft as well as the nearby Westover School for Girls. In time began writing their own original songs, and while both Knowlton and Bingham went on to attend Williams College, in the spring of 1965 they dropped out to pursue their music full-time, making their earliest recordings at campus radio station WFFM — however, during the summer months both enlisted in the U.S. Army, effectively forcing their performing career into limbo for four years. After returning from duty, Knowlton crossed paths with another Taft alum, George Klabin, who in the interim partnered with arranger Harry Lookofsky to found the Brill Building recording studio Sound Ideas; Klabin suggested that Knowlton and Bingham record there, and they soon traveled to New York City, cutting an album’s worth of original material live. Lookofsky — the father of the Left Banke’s resident genius, Michael Brown — then had the inspired idea of handing the demos to Brazilian arranger Eumir Deodato

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