Family aren’t remembered with the same misty-eyed nostalgia as other early 1970s road warriors like The Faces or Traffic – Roger Chapman’s desperate yodel and the band’s frequent oddness put some off. But they were a compelling live act.
The Farinas were formed by rock guitarist Richard John Whitney while attending Leicester Art College in 1962.
Playing rhythm and blues in local venues, the group featured Jim King on saxophone and vocals, Tim Kirchin on bass and drummer Harry Ovenall before being signed to Fontana and releasing You Better Stop in 1964.
The B-side was their take on Chris Kenner’s I Like It Like That.
Tim was replaced by Ric Grech and Roger Chapman joined as lead vocalist and in 1966 they renamed themselves Family.
After their first two albums, Music In A Doll’s House and Family Entertainment, and the departure of original bassist Rick Grech (who defected to Blind Faith), Family settled down to working mainly in Britain.
Weavers Answer from their second album, was a hit single for the band a year after the album came out. Despite this – and singles success with In My Own Time and No Mules Fool, they never tailored their music to the singles market.
Their album’s Fearless, Anyway (half of which was recorded live) and Burlesque stand as a good legacy for the band.
John ‘Poli’ Palmer