I’ve just been reading about the life and musical career of singer-songwriter, Bob Lind and it seems to me that he’s one of these artists that should be a lot better known!
His music has been covered by a large array of artists, and these includes the likes of Cher, Glen Campbell, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Eric Clapton, Nancy Sinatra, The Four Tops, Richie Havens, Hoyt Axton, The Kingston Trio, Johnny Mathis, The Rokes (with the Italian cover “Ma che colpa abbiamo noi”) and Petula Clark…to name but a few!
One of his most well-known songs is the sunshiny Elusive Butterfly, which was released in 1966 on Liberty Records. The single might have done even better on the UK Singles Chart had there not been competition from established Irish recording artist Val Doonican, who released a cover version of the song at the same time. In the end, both versions of Elusive Butterfly made number 5 in the UK in 1966…but Lind’s version should’ve been the prominent and only one released as far as I’m concerned.
Bob Lind (born Robert Neale Lind in 1942) became interested in folk music whilst he was still a student; he even abandoned his studies to become a musician! This decision proved to be fruitful as he still writes and composes today! He started out in the early 60’s but, plagued by drug and alcohol problems, his reputation for being too “hard to work with” put stop to his career for a number of years and in the early 70’s he dropped off the musical radar! He didn’t disappear completely, however, and appeared as a character in Charles Bukowski’s 1978 book, Women!…and weirdly enough, as coincidence would have it, I was introduced to Bukowski a few years back!
Throughout the late 80’s, after he moved to Florida, he wrote five novels and an award winning screenplay, Refuge! Music never left Lind though, and in the early 2000’s he returned to music after his friend and folk singer-songwriter, Arlo Guthrie urged him to start performing once again!! His last release was in 2016 when Ace Records released a new album of his new songs, entitled Magellan Was Wrong!
Cool Summer takes us back to the very beginning of his career and features on his 1966 album, The Elusive Bob Lind! It’s a gentle, folksy affair that really grew on me with its dreamy musings. Check it out above.