Throwback Thursday: 3 Popular Bands In Maine In The Late ’70s/Early ’80s
If you bellied up to the bar at the Show Ring in Brewer, or pulled the van into the KOA campground in Ellsworth for the weekend back in the late '70s or early '80s, chances are one of these bands were playing there that Saturday night.
Their voices and images are just distant memories now, but they may have been the soundtrack for what normally were exciting times in the life of a young adult back then.
These are three of the most popular bands that played Maine during those very exciting times.
Rick Pinette and Oak - was a five member band of guys from both Maine and New Hampshire. They started out in the mid-seventies and disbanded for the most part with a big farewell concert at the Bangor Auditorium in 1981. They were one of the few bands from our neck of the woods that actually got a big time record deal, although they didn't go very far. Their biggest song was King of the Hill, which reached #36 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. Pinette died in March of 2016 at the age of 63.
The Blend - was fronted by Jim "J.D." Drown from Arundel, Maine. The band was a mainstay in both New Hampshire and Maine back in the mid-seventies to early eighties. The Blend opened for ZZ Top at the brand new Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland in 1977, and they had the honor of being the first band ever to take the stage there. They were another local band that made the big time by signing a deal with MCA in 1978, and most college kids were rolling joints on the covers of one or both of their albums titled "The Blend" and "Anytime Delight." The band called it a gig in 1982, and J.D. Drown died of cancer in 2002.
Bill Chinnock - Chinnock may have been born in New Jersey and had that Springsteen sound, but in his later years he resided right here with his family in Maine, in Yarmouth. He would sign his first record deal in 1975 and then play with a variety of famous song-writers and performers over the years. He even won an Emmy Award for the song Somewhere In The Night which was used in the daytime soap opera The Guiding Light. Most here in Maine back then will remember him most for his album Dimestore Heroes, released in 1980, which featured the song by the same name. Chinnock would later share the bill with Oak at the Bangor Auditorium in 1981. Throughout his life he suffered from a variety of different conditions, including Lyme disease, and he would eventually die in 2007 at the age of 59.