Artists - Paul Revere & The Raiders

Artist Biography

Paul Revere & the Raiders emerged as a standout rock and roll group during the 1960s, enjoying a remarkable seven-year run of chart-topping success. In their prime, from 1966 to 1969, they ranked among the top-selling acts, trailing just behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in record sales. Their string of hits, including “Steppin’ Out,” “Just Like Me,” “Hungry,” “Him or Me – What’s It Gonna Be,” and “Kicks,” is considered classic rock and roll that’s rebellious, down to earth and fun.  

Paul Revere, born Paul Revere Dick on January 7, 1938, in Harvard, Nebraska, had a deep love for music from an early age. Learning piano as a child, he was heavily influenced by the comedic and musical stylings of Spike Jones & His City Slickers, a style that would influence Revere throughout his career. As a teenager, Paul formed his first band, with 16-year-old singer and saxophonist Mark Lindsay. Originally known as the “Downbeats,” the band gained quick popularity, locally leading them to record their first demo in Los Angeles with Gardena Records. After completing their demo Gardena Records wanted to sign the young act, but insisted on the band changing their name. Given that Paul’s already given name was such a novelty the band renamed themselves, Paul Revere & The Raiders.

By 1963, the band was drawing crowds from across the Pacific Northwest, and their rendition of “Louie, Louie” was soon released nationally by Columbia Records, leading to them signing with the label. However, their next breakthrough didn’t come until 1965 when they decided to change up their sound. Paul Revere and the Raiders (who experienced many lineup changes over the years) were best known for members Mark Lindsay (vocals and saxophone), Paul Revere (keyboards), Drake “Kid” Levin (guitar), Phil “Fang” Volk (bass), and Mike “Smitty” Smith (drums).  During the height of the group’s early fame many thought that lead singer Mark Lindsay was “Paul Revere.”  It was with the devoted help of their music producer Terry Melcher who revamped their music-style to blend the familiar, modern, upbeat melodies of The Beach Boys with the gritty R&B influences of The Rolling Stones, that resulted in their breakout hit “Steppin’ Out.”

“Steppin’ Out” gained popularity among young teens nationwide, propelling the band to release an impressive three albums in 1966 alone. “Just Like Us,” “Midnight Ride,” and “The Spirit of ’67” all received gold certification from the RIAA, and between 1966 and 1969, Paul Revere and The Raiders enjoyed chart-topping success with 12 hits, all of which reached the top 30. Their rising popularity ultimately led them to The Ed Sullivan Show stage in 1967, where they performed “Him or Me – What’s It Gonna Be,” captivating audiences with their fun revolutionary period costumes, distinctive style, and familiar sound. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter their initial success faced challenges. 

By the late ’60s musical tastes were beginning to evolve. Hippie culture was influencing society and music and the silly aristocratic costumes Paul Revere & The Raiders sported felt dated.  As a result, in an attempt to stay current in 1970 the band shortened their name to The Raiders. They also revamped their image and sound to a more serious, modern rock of the times with their album “Collage.” But unfortunately, their new name, image and music failed to initially connect with audiences, leaving fans feeling confused. But not soon thereafter, in 1971, The Raiders charted again with their cover- rendition of the song “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian).”  This song would be the band’s last hit, but would go on to earn a platinum certification in the year 1996. By 1975, The Raiders were released from Columbia Records, and soon after disbanded.  

Now well into his 80’s, Michael Lindsey, the original lead singer who wrote and produced many of the band’s songs, continues to tour. After The Raiders disbanded, Lindsey continued to record solo and found himself writing and composing for countless national commercials and film scores.  Paul Revere on the other hand, would return to his roots, comedy and music, and would also continue to perform up until his unfortunate passing on October 4th 2014.  

Paul Revere & The Raiders were one of the rare American bands amidst the British-Invasion that were able to carve out a legacy during an era of English band rule. Their music and sound continues to not only entertain but commands respect and joy from music enthusiasts, and 60’s nostalgia lovers from all generations.