Myrth: An Undiscovered Rock Jazz Band of the '60s

Updated on October 1, 2017
Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok grew up being a music enthusiast and has a strong attachment to music of the past. Now he enjoys researching what he remembers.

Myrth Band Album Cover
Myrth Band Album Cover

I appreciate talent in people. I feel everyone has something in them that can be developed into a great accomplishment. The problem is that most people don’t know what talent they have and they had never learned how to bring it out. Or they simply don’t have the initiative.

I have a special place in my heart for people who at least make the effort. And that is exactly what the Myrth’s did when they released their one and only album on RCA Victor in 1969.

They never became very well known. But they had talent with both their music and songwriting.

In addition to the album, their individual songs were available on 45’s. In those days individual album tracks were also produced on 45-rpm vinyl records. Remember those?

Who Was Myrth?

Myrth
Myrth | Source

The Musicians of Myrth

If Ed Sullivan had discovered them I bet they would have become better known and may have gone on with recording more hits. It all depends on who you know. Doesn't it? Too bad, the six of them were very talented and they missed out on a great future.

Who were they?

  1. Grier Cook played guitar and sang the lead vocals.
  2. Ray Cork played bass, trumpet, and baritone horns as well as vocals.
  3. David Drury played guitar and the trombone. He also did vocals.
  4. Johnnie Guthie was on drums.
  5. Bob Kenrich played reed instruments and did vocals.
  6. Ken Mulholland played the piano and organ.

John Florez was the producer of the 1969 Myrth Album. He was also the producer of better-known hits such as "Grazing in the Grass" by "The Friends of Distinction" and "When Will I See You Again" by Johnny Mathis.

Grier Cook, who played guitar and sang the lead vocals, passed away on April 21st, 2014. "He was a tremendous talent and will be missed."

— Source: D C Tanner

Myrth Band Album Tracks

This is an image of their 45 rpm record. The main song is "We Got To Get Together" and the reverse side is their song "Get It Straight"

I hope to share with you the enjoyment of their work while listening to a few of the tracks from their album.

Play any of the tracks by clicking the YouTube images below.

We Got To Get Together - Myrth - 45 RPM
We Got To Get Together - Myrth - 45 RPM | Source

Gotta Find A Way

The lyrics of "Gotta Find A Way" were meaningful in the '60s. But listen carefully as it is still relevant today.

The use of the horns for their musical track adds tremendous impact to the music. This is why they were known as a horn band, even if not well known.

What Was That Tweeting Bird All About?

What you can't miss is the bird tweeting at the beginning and ending of this song. I felt that it got top billing. I noticed that it was in most of their soundtracks.

I had to discover what that bird was all about. What could be the meaning of it? I questioned that bird tweeting in October 2011 and received the following personal reply from their producer, John Florez:

I produced Myrth's album in 1969 for RCA and just wanted you to know that that bird singing in the background resided in a tree outside the band's living quarters in Hollywood. His licks were varied, lyrical and were always what the guys heard first every morning before arriving at the recording studio and upon returning home. In essence, he was the 6th member of the group.

— John Florez, Producer

He Don't Know

Myrth had a way of making meaningful statements in their lyrics. My interpretation of the lyrics indicates that "He Don't Know" is all about how some men don't know how to make a woman feel.

I always thought women were the ones with feelings and men didn't focus on feelings as much.

Myrth was probably trying to express something really important in these lyrics about social aspects of how men behave. Some men anyway.

Get It Straight

There are those birds again! I'm glad I had the opportunity to hear from John Florez so we know the secret behind that. I thought that was very creative to include the bird in their music just because it was such a meaningful part of each day.

"Get It Straight" is another one with lyrics that say something. Notice how easy it is to follow the lyrics. I grew up listening to so many bands whose lyrics got lost in the music.

One thing I like about Myrth is that you can hear the lyrics clearly. You may even get some goodness out of this one. I did. The answer lies within, when you get it straight.

Myrthiolate

Myrth usually had lyrics with their music.

But Myrthiolate is an instrumental musical jazz composition.

It's something for a different mood. Timeout for some relaxation.

No lyrics. Just great Jazz.

Myrthiolate, what else?

Fading Image

"Fading Image" is about a lost road to happiness.

While listening to the lyrics in this song one can actually visualize the scenery.

I don't know if any of the six of them wrote the lyrics. But if they did, they are creative not only with music but with words as well.

The image wasn't fading in my eyes.

Shed My Skin

Myrth was known as a psychedelic rock group, although I never understood why psychedelic until I came across "Shed My Skin."

Even the lyrics might be considered psychedelic.

And that bird that resided in the tree outside Myrth's living quarters had a chance to include its own rendition of psychedelic tweets at the ending.

I'm still in my skin.

Don't Pity The Man

The meaning on this one was kind of obscure.

Don't Pity The Man who has no compassion. I think that's what they are trying to say.

They could have put more effort into this one. Seems like they just threw this on in the album to fill it up.

Well, you can't get it all perfect! I don't pity them.

My comments were based on my own interpretation. What do you think? Let me know in the Music Lover Comments below.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Glenn Stok

    Music Lover Comments

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      • profile image

        Armpit Studios 

        4 weeks ago

        Don't know where I got the album, but a track just shuffled up and I decided to look them up. Your post is the most informative, other than the personnel listed on discogs. Thanks. Very neat band.

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        12 months ago from Long Island, NY

        Bob Luton - Thank you for David Drury's personal contact information.

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        2 years ago from Long Island, NY

        Tim Schaefeer - I guess that's why they went unnoticed. Few radio DJ's played their songs. I'm glad you at least were one DJ who had promoted them. Thanks for chiming in with your comment.

      • profile image

        Tim Schaefeer 

        2 years ago

        I may be one of the few radio deejays who played their songs on the air in 1969, on WBMJ in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They were as good or better than BST. How did talent like this go unnoticed?

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        3 years ago from Long Island, NY

        ashratom - Thanks Tom. Maybe John Florez, Myrth's producer, will chime in again to answer this question. He was kind enough to reply to me about my comment of the birds tweeting in the background.

      • profile image

        ashratom 

        3 years ago

        Hi Glenn,

        Thanks for your response. I featured Myrth today on one of my blogs and there's a link to your article as well. Maybe someone will step up and clear the record for us?

        http://cdreissuewishlist.blogspot.com/2015/05/myrt...

        Thanks again - Tom

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        3 years ago from Long Island, NY

        ashratom - Thanks for your interest in knowing where they are all from. Unfortunately I never found that information either while doing my research.

      • profile image

        ashratom 

        3 years ago

        Great article. However, I for one would like to know.... Where are they from? We know it was recorded in Hollywood. Are they from California? Other possibilities point to Utah? Or Arizona? I even looked for the obituary online, but no luck.

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        4 years ago from Long Island, NY

        spartucusjones - Yeah, they sure did have a unique sound for their time. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • spartucusjones profile image

        CJ Baker 

        4 years ago from Parts Unknown

        I am really glad that I stumbled upon this hub! I always enjoy discovering obscure musical gems! I checked out the videos and even though the sound is a tad bit dated they do have a really cool groove. I'm digging it.

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        4 years ago from Long Island, NY

        billybuc - I didn't know of Myrth either while growing up. I discovered them much later.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        I thought I knew just about everything about the 60s music scene, but you just proved me wrong. Thanks for the introduction. I like their music.

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        4 years ago from Long Island, NY

        D C Tanner - Thanks for the info and sorry to hear that. I am sending you a request for confirmation to your personal email, just to be sure this post is really by you. Once confirmed, I'll add the obituary to the article.

      • profile image

        dctanner 

        4 years ago

        Thought you might like to know that Grier Cook passed away this past Monday. He was a tremendous talent and will be missed.

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        6 years ago from Long Island, NY

        Abhimanyu Singh92, Different cultures prefer different kinds of music. That is perfectly understandable.

        I wish I had an answer for you about how they came up with the name. That's a good question. Maybe their producer, John Florez, will answer that if he sees this post. That's how I received his explanation of the birds tweeting when I questioned that on another site.

        Thanks for your kind remarks about my review of the Myrths. Glad you like the music.

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        6 years ago from Long Island, NY

        Pamela, Yeah, I thought it was cool too that they used the birds in their music. Especially due to the fact that they had the birds outside their apartment. Thanks for stopping by. It's always good to see you around.

      • Abhimanyu Singh92 profile image

        Abhimanyu Singh Baghel 

        6 years ago from Satna, Madhya Pradesh (India)

        Hello Glenn Stok, thanks for sharing this wonderful hub with us. I am a big fan of rock music, though here in India, very few people like rock music. And even fewer listen to old school rock or the 60s 70s rock music. At first, being a teenager, people don't expect me to listen old rock music. But I do and some of my favorite bands are, like, Aerosmith, The Beatles, Rolling Stones etc. I would agree to the fact that these bands had a class, which today's bands definitely lack, no matter how popular they are.

        You gave me a great gift by telling about The Myrths. I will definitely have an ear to them. And one thing I would like to know, Sir, where did the name 'The Myrths' come from? Has it got any meaning too?

        Thanks.

        Abhimanyu

      • Pamela N Red profile image

        Pamela N Red 

        6 years ago from Oklahoma

        I haven't heard of them but the sound is very familiar. Reminds me a bit of some Earth Wind And Fire brass section.

        By the way, that bird sounds like a cardinal. I have a lot of them here where I live. They have that distinct sound: Pretty,pretty,pretty,pretty. They are very vain birds. I think it's cool they incorporated the bird into their music.

      • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

        Glenn Stok 

        6 years ago from Long Island, NY

        Sally's Trove, thanks for adding that interesting comparison and thanks also for the vote.

      • Sally's Trove profile image

        Sherri 

        6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Very interesting review. I never heard of them, but they remind me very much of one of the horn bands of the late 60s, like BST, although not exactly that one. I'm not much of a rock music buff, but listening to Myrth's style brought back some haunting memories of other times, other places.

        The story of the bird is cool. Up and interesting. :)

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