Bands Known By Initials
by Robert Benson
In rock ‘n’ roll history there have been many bands whose moniker and names were shortened and universally recognized by abbreviated lettered names. Let’s explore some popular initial nicknames of bands.
Creedence Clearwater Revival (also known as CCR) began churning out classic rock ‘n’ roll singles shortly after the John Fogerty led band formed in 1967. With their “swamp-rock” sound and style, the group amassed seventeen top 40 hits like “Bad Moon Rising,” “Green River,” and the wedding band staple “Proud Mary.” The group disbanded in 1972 and any hopes of a CCR reunion were quashed with the death of band member Tom Fogerty in 1990.
Another 60's band that had huge commercial success was Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, also known as CSN &Y. Band members David Crosby (formally of the Byrds), Graham Nash (of Hollies fame), Stephen Stills and Neil Young (both with Buffalo Springfield), blended their flawless harmonies into a long and successful career. With hits such as the Nash led “Teach Your Children,” Neil Young’s antiwar protest song “Ohio” and a Joni Mitchell composition “Woodstock” about the legendary rock festival, CSN &Y blended their unique acoustic-folk and progressive hard rock sound to be a classic example of the 1960's psychedelic era. Additionally, after Young left the group, Crosby, Stills and Nash (also known as CSN) continued to release melodic pop/rock songs with 1977's “Just A Song Before I Go” and “Wasted On The Way,” which was released in 1982. The group still tours, occasionally joined by Young.
Hard-rocking Bachman-Turner Overdrive, or simply BTO consisted of Randy Bachman (formally of the Guess Who), fellow Guess Who alum Chad Allen, C.F. “Fred” Turner and Randy’s brother drummer Robbie. Capitalizing on the arena rock/pop rock era of the mid 70's, BTO had a short but successful career with chart singles such as “Takin’ Care Of Business,” “Let It Ride” and the number one single “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” a song which was intended for an audience of one- Randy’s brother Gary Bachman who had a speech impediment-stuttering. They recorded the song for fun but needing another song to complete the lp “Not fragile,” Randy Bachman was pressured to include the joking stuttering lyrics and the song spent twelve weeks on the Billboard charts in 1974.
There are many other rock ‘n’ roll bands that were known by initials as well as their “given” name and I will include a couple more that I know of. The Electric Light Orchestra (also known as ELO) led by guitarist Jeff Lynne, scored twenty top ten hits with songs like “Telephone Line and “Don’t Bring Me Down.” A similar sounding name ELP was a supergroup consisting of keyboard genius Keith Emerson, bassist Greg lake (of the band Nice) and drummer Carl Palmer (a former member of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown). They instilled their keyboard dominated, progressive rock throughout the 70's, creating a FM radio phenomenon with songs like “Lucky Man,” “Still You Turn Me On” and “From The Beginning.”
Author Robert Benson writes about rock/pop music, vinyl record collecting and operates www.collectingvinylrecords.com where you can secure your copy of his ebook called “The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting.”
Robert can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.