Barbara Keith — “Fisherman King”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — September 6, 2022


574) Barbara Keith — “Fisherman King”

From the acclaimed songwriter’s first album (and a ’69 A-side). Barbara weighs the merits of being a fisherman’s wife vs. being a king’s wife. Enchanting rock, enchanting voice, what a siren song. It was immediately covered by a Dutch singer who later became a radio/TV celebrity in the Netherlands, married MTV VJ Adam Curry (neither a fisherman nor a king) and posed for Playboy at age 60!

Dutch Wikipedia:

Fisherman king is a psychedelic pop number from the American . . . Barbara Keith; she wrote it herself and released it on a single in 1969 . . . .  [T]he same year [also saw the song releases] in a psychedelic rock version different from Patricia Paay.  At the time, she still performed under her first name. . . .

David Jeffries:

A singer/guitarist and folk-influenced songwriter, Barbara Keith’s curious career began when she was discovered at Greenwich Village’s famous Café Wha?. Her first appearance on record was in 1968, with her background vocals and one of her songs appearing on the self-titled debut from Kangeroo. Verve Records released the first of two self-titled albums in 1969. Some critics fell in love with the album but as far as sales the album went nowhere. Her second self-titled album — released by Reprise in 1972 — coupled Keith with producer Doug Tibbles. Keith and Tibbles married and soon became unhappy with the music industry [and] decid[ed] to focus on family and develop their art with a major-label influence. . . . Once again, the [second] album didn’t achieve much as far as sales, but Keith’s songwriting skills were being noticed throughout the record industry. Barbra Streisand, Lowell George, Tanya Tucker, Delaney & Bonnie, the Dillards, and many others covered songs from the album . . . .

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Here is Dutch singer, model & radio host Patricia Paay. She recorded the song with the backing of Brainbox:

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