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Gentle Soul, The

gentlesoul2While much folk-rock (and rock in general) was getting noisier and more psychedelic in the late 1960s, a few Los Angeles folk-rockers were moving in a rather calmer, rootsier direction.

The Gentle Soul took the latter approach for their producer Terry Melcher, most famous for his work on the first two albums by the greatest folk-rock act of all time, The Byrds.

Though a few musicians (including, briefly, the young Jackson Browne) passed in and out of The Gentle Soul, the band centered around the male-female harmonising duo of Rick Stanley and Pamela Polland.

It took quite a while for Melcher and the band – who had made their first recordings together back in late 1966 – to get an album assembled, and by the time their self-titled debut LP came out on Columbia’s Epic subsidiary in 1968, the Gentle Soul had just split up.

Like several other worthy folk-rockers on Columbia, the group were buried by an avalanche of under-promotion.

Barely distributed at the time, copies of The Gentle Soul were going for three-figure sums 30 years later.

Rick Stanley
Pamela Polland

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