from Chesterville, Ontario, Canada
September 30, 1942 - January 31, 2009 (age 66)
Dewey Martin -- born Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff -- grew up in the Ottawa, Canada, area and began playing the drums at age 13. One of his first bands, the Jive Rockets, featured future Staccatos guitarist Vern Craig). Martin eventually moved to the U.S., and ended up in Nashville, where he became a touring drummer with Faron Young, Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline and others. Along the way, he adopted the surname Martin; his childhood mispronunciation of Dwayne led to "Dewey" becoming his first name. In 1964, Martin ended up in Seattle, where he played drums on Sir Raleigh and the Coupons' British Invasion-styled cover of White Cliffs of Dover. The single was successful in Los Angeles, so Martin moved there and recruited a new Sir Raleigh and the Coupons lineup from members of the Sons of Adam. They had released four singles -- for AM, Jerden andTower-- by early 1966 (later compiled as One Buffalo Heard) before Martin left to join the Modern Folk Quartet, briefly, and the Dillards. He was mainly looking to play country-rock, however, and in the spring of 1966, was invited to join a group calling themselves the Herd. They were soon to become better known as Buffalo Springfield. Martin remained with the band until they dissolved in May 1968. In October, Martin formed the New Buffalo Springfield (later shortened to New Buffalo) with bassist Robert C Apperson, drummer/vocalist Don Poncher, rhythm guitarist/vocalist David Price, horn player Jim Price and lead guitarist Gary Rowles. In early 1969, Price left to join Delaney Bonnie, and when Apperson split, he was replaced by former Bobby Fuller Four bassist Randy Fuller. Rowles eventually lost interest too, quitting to join Arthur Lee's Love. Martin recruited guitarist Bob (B.J.) Jones, and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Joey Newman and they decided on a new name, Blue Mountain Eagle. Atco Records signed the group, but in July of 1969, before recording their album, Martin left for a solo deal with UNI Records. He formed Dewey Martin and Medicine Ball, with lead guitarist Billy Darnell, keyboard player/vocalist Peter Bradstreet, steel guitarist Buddy Emmons, and bassist Harvey Kagen (ex-Sir Douglas Quintet). They cut several tracks in November 1969, credited only to Martin, and began recording an album in April 1970. Kagen left before the sessions were over, and was replaced by Stephen Lefever, and then by Fuller (who had quit Blue Mountain Eagle), moving over to guitar after bassist Terry Gregg joined. Bruce Palmer also helped out during the recording of Dewey Martin Medicine Ball. Despite positive reviews, the group were soon dropped from UNI. They recorded another album's worth of songs for RCA, but only one single was released, in 1971. Martin became a car mechanic in the late seventies. In the mid-'80s, he joined Pink Slip (alongside former Byrds bassist John York), the Roberts-Meisner Band, and finally, Bruce Palmer's Buffalo Springfield Revisited, before retiring. In 1991, he formed Buffalo Springfield Again with guitarist Billy Darnell, but the group dissolved. In 1997, Dewey Martin and Buffalo Springfield were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ~ Bryan Thomas, Rovi
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