New Colony Six — Love You So Much”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — April 10, 2022

410) New Colony Six — “Love You So Much”

Another Chicago classic, this cute/sweet romantic A-side with “jangly proto-power pop guitar and . . . helium-enriched [and possibly-sped up] vocals” (Jeff Jarema’s liner notes to the The New Colony Six at the River’s Edge comp) was released at the end of ’66. It reached #2 on WLS in Chicago in January ’67 and #61 nationwide in February.

Question #1: But who were the New Colony Six?

In 1964, a sextet of teenagers [from St. Patrick High School] set out to bring the British Invasion to Chicago, establishing their own “Colony” on the northwest side . . . . After a year of relentless gigging through the suburbs, the NC6 released their first single, “I Confess,” on their own Centa[u]r imprint which was collectively funded by the bandmates’ parents.  The up-and-coming group caught the attention of Peter Wright, a Chicago music industry titan . . . . Wright stepped in to manage the group and pushed “I Confess,” on the airwaves earning it a spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

Richie Unterberger adds:

Chicago’s New Colony Six originally emerged as a tough, British Invasion-styled outfit prominently featuring Farfisa organ and a novel (at the time) Leslie guitar. Scoring a huge local hit with “I Confess,” their early recordings . . . featured first-class original material that gave the sound of Them and the Yardbirds a more commercial, American garage-based, vocal harmony approach. The rest of the ’60s saw the band gradually abandoning its roots for middle-of-the-road pop with horns and strings[ and they c]ontinu[ed] to rack up major local hits and minor national ones . . . .

Question #2: Why did they dress in colonial costumes? [When asked “w]ere you aware at the time that on the West coast a group called Paul Revere And The Raiders were doing the same thing?”, band member Bruce Mattey answered:

Originally, no. It was kind of an odd thing that early on when the Colony was trying to make it and get a record contract, we went to California. At the same time there was a group in the same complex staying there unbeknownst to us called Paul Revere And The Raiders. We were trying out for Where The Action Is to get a spot on the show . . . . Here we come in, in colonial outfits and naturally coming in the opposite direction is Paul Revere almost dressed in an identical get-up. Just because the name itself I suppose, naturally Paul Revere, well there you go. So, they were colonial and New Colony actually picked up that name being the answer to the British Invasion, thus the New Colony. So, there was a purpose behind the name. But at the time we didn’t realize that The Raiders and Colony were very similar from that look.

Question #3: Why are these Chicago boys in the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association Hall of Fame?

Bruce Mattey explains: “You know something? That’s a good question. . . . We did a lot of jobs in Iowa, Ohio, Indiana. I have a feeling they kind of took us on as their own. Quite a few of the Colony songs were really big hits there.”

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