One-Hit Wonder: The American Breed
They're a rock and roll band from Chicago with a new sound helping others to succeed, eventually disbanding, changing members and forming a new band: The American Breed.
Not only The Buckinghams and The New Colony Six but also The American Breed -- once known as Gary and the Knight Lites -- were from Chicago and formed in 1966. Members were Gary Loizzo, vocalist; on guitar, Al Ciner; Lee Grazian on drums and Chuck Colbert on bass, according to loti.com.
Nite Lites was first to have the Chicago sound with the help of one-time jazz sax player, now record producer Bill Traut and James Guercio. Guitars and drums mixing with horns and strings.
When a contract was signed, Nite Lites became The American Breed. Their fourth single was the hit that went past Chicago and nationally went to No. 5 on the charts. In early 1968, "Bend Me, Shape Me" put The American Breed on American Bandstand. They did have other hits on the charts but not to that success.
Members started changing later that same year. Kevin Murphy joined on keyboards and on drums Andre Fischer. In 1969, the band broke up.
In 1973, two original members, Ciner and Colbert, plus Andre Fischer formed Ask Rufus, along with keyboardist Kevin Murphy, vocalist Paulette McWilliams, Ron Stockard and Dennis Belfield.
McWilliams was replaced by Yvette Marie Stevens (Chaka Khan), then dropped the Ask and renamed the group Rufus. They earned a Grammy for "Tell Me Somethin' Good" in 1974.
The American Breed's style of jazzy rock led the way for others to succeed, including Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears.