The Boz People were an offshoot of an early Norfolk R&B-oriented outfit called the Tea Time Four. That group moved to London at the suggestion of their manager, Jack Barrie, and changed their name to The Boz People, also known as Boz and the Boz People, in recognition of the potential star status of the Tea Time Four's lead singer, Boz Burrell. They added to their line-up keyboard player Ian McLagan, who'd previously played with an outfit called the Muleskinners, which had broken up a few weeks before. Boz and his people were more jazz oriented than McLagan, who played blues (and whose group had crossed paths professionally with with likes of Howlin' Wolf. The lead singer preferred Ella Fitzgerald, while McLagan kept pushing him to absorb some of the influences of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, to little avail. Somehow, the combination of musical personalities worked, however, and the group not only got decent bookings, including gigs backing Black Cockney singer Kenny Lynch, but were signed to EMI's Columbia label in 1965, where they cut four singles in two years without success. According to McLagan, the group's high point was playing a short set opening (with five other bands) for the Byrds on their first tour of England. McLagan left and quickly joined the Small Faces, replacing Jimmy Winston on the organ. The Boz People's Ian Whiteman later joined the remnants of The Action during its waning days. Lead singer Boz Burrell, after several false starts as a solo singing star (including surprisingly good covers of Dylan's I Shall Be Released and the Doors' Light My Fire), and a stint in the group Feel For Soul, joined King Crimson -- after learning to play bass from Robert Fripp -- and, following a detour with Alexis Korner, achieved superstar status as a member of Bad Company. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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