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#Radio501 – De platenkeuze van Rob Ricard – It's A Beautiful Day – Hot Summer Day

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De platenkeuze van Rob Ricard in “Donderslag – Zomereditie” op 21 juli 2011


Rob Ricard koos deze week voor Hot Summer Day van de band It’s a beautiful day.

It’s a Beautiful Day was a band formed in San Francisco, California in 1967, the brainchild of violinist David LaFlamme.

LaFlamme, a former soloist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, had previously been in the band Orkustra, and unusually, played a five-string violin. The other members were his wife Linda (keyboards), Pattie Santos (vocals), Hal Wagenet (guitar), Mitchell Holman (bass) and Val Fuentes (drums). Although they were one of the earliest and most important San Francisco bands to emerge from the Summer of Love, Itxe2x80x99s a Beautiful Day never quite achieved the success of contemporaries such asThe Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Santana, with whom they had connections. Itxe2x80x99s A Beautiful Day created a unique blend of rock, jazz, folk, classical and world beat styles during the seven years the band was officially together.

Early history: 1967 – 1969

The group’s original manager, Matthew Katz, had previously worked with Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape. The members of It’s a Beautiful Day were unaware that the other two groups were already trying to end their business relationships with Katz. During 1967 and early 1968 Katz prevented It’s a Beautiful Day from performing in San Francisco, telling them they were not ready. He booked their first public appearances at a club he controlled in Seattle, Washington formerly known as the Encore Ballroom. Katz renamed the club “San Francisco Sound”. While in Seattle the group lived in the attic of an old house owned by Katz while writing and rehearsing new songs in between club performances. Few customers came to the club during It’s a Beautiful Day’s engagement in Seattle during December 1967.

The group’s signature song “White Bird” was inspired by the experiences David and Linda LaFlamme had while living in Seattle. In an ironic twist on the band’s name, the sad song was partly inspired by Seattle’s rainy winter weather. In a later interview, David LaFlamme said:

“Where the ‘white bird’ thing came from … We were like caged birds in that attic. We had no money, no transportation, the weather was miserable. We were just barely getting by on a very small food allowance provided to us. It was quite an experience, but it was very creative in a way.”[1]

By the time the group members returned to San Francisco they were broke and frustrated at Katz’s attempts to manipulate their career. In desperation they began playing at a few clubs without Katz’s approval. The band gradually began to gain some recognition and earn money. It’s a Beautiful Day got their first big break when offered a chance to open for Cream at the Oakland Coliseum on October 4, 1968. Around this time the group first began a long process of trying to disentangle themselves from Katz.

The band’s debut album, It’s a Beautiful Day, was produced by David LaFlamme in Los Angeles and released by Columbia Records in 1969. It featured tracks such as “White Bird”, “Hot Summer Day”, and “Time Is”. The theme from the song “Bombay Calling” was later used, at a slower tempo, by Deep Purple as the intro to “Child in Time” on its In Rock album.[2] The vocals and violin playing of David LaFlamme plus Pattie Santos’ singing attracted attention including FM radio play, and nationally, “White Bird” bubbled under Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, peaking at #118.

1970’s and beyond

By 1970 the original lineup of the band had changed somewhat; the LaFlammes had split up and Linda left the band, replaced by Fred Webb. The following album, Marrying Maiden, released in 1970, was a chart hit. In that year, the group also performed at the Holland Pop Festival at the Kralingse Bos in Rotterdam, Netherlands and at the UK Bath Festival. Tom Fowler (later bassist for Frank Zappa) and Bill Gregory joined in March 1971, their very first performance being live on San Francisco’s famous KSAN[disambiguation needed] radio, with host Tom Donahue introducing them as the band’s two new members. In July 1971, It’s a Beautiful Day were one of the last acts to appear at Fillmore West in San Francisco. Their performance of “White Bird” appeared as part of the 1972 film, Fillmore.[3]

The band continued on to record Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime in 1971 and the live album Live At Carnegie Hall in 1972, touring until 1974 when they split up. In 1976, LaFlamme’s solo version of “White Bird” finally cracked the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #89. Pattie Santos was killed in a car crash on December 14, 1989.

It’s a Beautiful Day reunited in 1997 under the name “David LaFlamme Band” as well as “It’s a Beautiful Day” as Katz briefly let his trademark of the name go un-renewed. The band features founder David LaFlamme and original drummer Val Fuentes. Other band members are LaFlamme’s current wife, Linda Baker LaFlamme (vocals), Toby Gray (basses and producer), Gary Thomas (keyboards and producer), Rob Espinosa (guitars), and Michael Prichard (percussion). They continue performing today, with LaFlamme contributing to Jefferson Starship’s 2008 release, Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty. This lineup is the longest continual band that has ever performed the IABD material.

A version of “White Bird” by violinist Vanessa-Mae was released in 2001 and reached number 66 in the UK Singles Chart.[4] The song has also been recorded by bluegrass virtuoso Sam Bush as well as countless other regional acts over the years.





  • It’s a Beautiful Day (1969) US Album Chart No. 47/UK Album Chart No. 58, 1970
  • Marrying Maiden (1970) US Album Chart No. 28/UK Album Chart No. 45, 1970 – Guest Artists on Marrying Maiden – Jerry Garcia: pedal steel guitar, banjo; Richard Olsen: clarinet
  • Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime (1971) US Album Chart No. 130
  • Live At Carnegie Hall (1972) US Album Chart No. 144
  • It’s a Beautiful Day…Today (1972) US Album Chart No. 114
  • 1001 Nights (Compilation) (1974)
  • White Bird Amherst Records (1977)
  • Inside Out Amherst Records (1978)
  • It’s A Beautiful Day / Marrying Maiden (Rerelease) (1998)
  • Beyond Dreams (2003)
  • David LaFlamme – Live in Seattle (2003)
  • David LaFlamme – Misery Loves Company (2005)


  • “Bulgaria” / “Aquarian Dream” (1968) San Francisco Sound 7
  • “White Bird” / “Wasted Union Blues” (1969) Columbia 44928
  • “Soapstone Mountain” / “Good Lovin'” (1970) Columbia 45152
  • “The Dolphins” / “Do You Remember The Sun” (1970) Columbia 45309
  • “Anytime” / “Oranges and Apples” (1972) Columbia 45536
  • “White Bird” (live) / “Wasted Union Blues” (live) (1973) Columbia 45788
  • “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby” / “Time” (1973) Columbia 45853






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