Craig Allen says: Meet a “Jersey” band that’s not from New Jersey
Meet the Not-from-Jersey band with the "Jersey Sound."
"John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band" is a rock band from Rhode Island. The guys were originally known as "Beaver Brown."
When "Beaver Brown" got together in 1972, the classic lineup of the group featured John Cafferty on vocals and guitar, Gary Gramolini on lead guitar, Pat Lupo on bass, Kenny Jo Silva on drums, Bobby Cotoia on keyboards, and Michael "Tunes" Antunes on sax.
They started out as a New England-based bar band from Narragansett and established a large following up and down the Northeast coast.
Some of their biggest fan bases were in Narragansett, Rhode Island, New York City, New Haven Connecticut, Boston, Massachusetts, and even Asbury Park.
"John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band" first achieved some success in 1980, with a self-released single pairing of two songs: "Wild Summer Nights" and Tender Years."
The "single" sold over 10,000 copies and got some radio play up and down the Atlantic seaboard.
Despite their success, the band was ignored by the major labels due to comparisons to Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
Yes...a Rhode Island band was tagged with having the "Jersey Sound."
And in this case, that was...a bad thing?
The band's big breakthrough came when producer Kenny Vance, a longtime fan, offered them the chance to write songs for, and perform in, a movie based on a best-selling novel about a legendary bar band: "Eddie & The Cruisers."
Thanks to frequent showings of the film on cable pay movie channels, and the purchase of the soundtrack album by their established fans, not to mention hundreds of thousands of new converts, "Eddie & The Cruisers - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200.
The single "On the Dark Side" was released in the fall of 1983 (under the name "Eddie & The Cruisers"), and it stalled out at #64 on the Hot 100.
When it was re-released in the summer of 1984, and credited to John Cafferty, it went to #7 on the charts.
"On the Dark Side" also held the number-one position on the Album Rock chart for five weeks. The album was eventually certified triple Platinum.
"Tender Years" (from the "Eddie & The Cruisers" soundtrack), was also released TWICE.
In early 1984, the song stalled at #78...at the end of the year, it was re-issued. (#31/1985).
1984...what a "tender year." Musically book-ended by "Tender Years."
The group's 1985 follow-up album "Tough All Over" made the top 50 on the album charts.
"C.I.T.Y" became their second number-one single on the Rock chart.
Mainstream, "C.I.T.Y" went to #18 on the Hot 100.
"Tough All Over" went to #22 in 1985.
Another song from that album...
"Voice of America's Sons," was the theme song of the movie "Cobra" starring Sylvester Stallone.
Cafferty's solo song "Hearts On Fire" was featured in "Rocky IV."
The band's next album (1988), the self-produced "Roadhouse," sold well to their fan base...
...but did not reach the overall sales success of "Tough All Over."
In 1989, they followed it with the score to an "Eddie" sequel, "Eddie & The Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!," which became their last major label release of new material.
Several personnel changes occurred over the next few years.
"John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band" continues to tour. And, they have placed songs into the soundtracks of several major motion pictures over the years, including "There's Something About Mary."
As you can see (and hear), John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band is NOT a "one-hit-wonder."
To find out what "John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band" is doing NOW, click here.
The video, above, is from an Atlantic City concert in 2010.
Below: "Tender Years" performed at a famous Jersey venue, in 2014.
Long live the "Jersey Sound," as performed in New Jersey.