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The Syndicate of Sound

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The Syndicate of Sound were a 1960s garage band from San Jose, California, with an edgy style that some critics have considered to be a forerunner of psychedelic rock.

The band originally comprised Don Baskin (b. October 9, 1946, Honolulu) (vocals, guitar); Bob Gonzalez (b. February 14, 1947, San Jose, California) (bass); Larry Ray (b. September 12, 1945, San Francisco) (guitar); John Sharkey (b. June 8, 1946, Los Angeles) (guitar, keyboards); and John Duckworth (b. November 18, 1946, Springfield, Missouri?) (drums). The group was formed from the combination of two teen bands (The Pharoahs and The Aristocrats). The Syndicate of Sound rapidly became popular in the San Jose area, and the next year won a “Battle of the Bands” competition against about 100 groups including The Golliwogs (later Creedence Clearwater Revival). The prize was a recording session with Del-Fi Records, but the resulting single “Prepare For Love” was unsuccessful.

Baskin and Gonzalez continued to write new material, and came up with “Little Girl”, which the band recorded for Hush Records in San Francisco in January 1966. It became a regional hit after San Jose radio stations latched onto it, attracting the attention of executives at Bell Records in New York, who released it nationally and offered the group a contract for an album. Replacing Ray with guitarist Jim Sawyers, they wrote and recorded the LP in three weeks, and began a national tour appearing with other hit acts such as the Young Rascals, the Yardbirds, and the Rolling Stones. “Little Girl” reached the US national pop charts in June 1966, peaking at # 8.

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