The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(William Smith, Steve Kennedy)

Buddah 131

No. 18   October 11, 1969




Motherlode was part of a short-lived, big-time burst in the Canadian rock scene.   Nineteen sixty-nine was

the year that the Guess Who opened the door for a “Cana­dian Invasion,” and before the door closed, more

than a dozen northern acts ran up and down the U.S. charts:   Edward Bear, Five Man Electrical Band,

Lighthouse, the Poppy Family, the STAMPEDERS, the BELLS, OCEAN, and, of course, Motherlode–not to

mention Gordon Light­foot, Joni Mitchell, and Anne Murray.


Before Motherlode came together in London, Ontario, Steve Kennedy had been blowing barroom sax for

almost a decade.   In the mid-’60s, Kennedy and Dougie Riley had been members of the R & B-oriented

Silhouettes (not to be confused with the SILHOUETTES, of “Get a Job” fame) and Eric Mercury & The Soul

Searchers.   When Kennedy (sax, harmonica) first hooked up with Kenny Marco (guitar), Wayne “Stoney”

Stone (drums), and William “Smitty” Smith (key­boards), Motherlode was a Top 40 cover band working at

the Image Club.   Dougie brought the group to the attention of Mort Ross at Revolution Records, and

Motherlode was soon asked to create some original material for the label.


As soon as Buddah Records boss Neil Bogart heard Motherlode’s first Revolution single, “When I Die,” he

issued the tune on his stateside label.   The situation looked bright as the soulful single cut its way up the

charts.   But business hassles developed, and before the year was even over, Motherlode was no more. Their

debut album sold fairly well, but the follow-up single, “Memories of a Broken Heart,” did poorly.


In 1971, Kennedy, Marco, and Stone formed a new group, Dr. Music, and issued several unsuccessful sin­gles.

In 1973, “Smitty” Smith assembled a new Mother­lode and recorded an LP for Buddah, Tuffed Out.   The

album died with a smidge of notice.


Over the years, Ken Marco has recorded with the King Biscuit Boy Band and Crowbar; he has also worked

sessions for David Clayton-Thomas, Ten Wheel Drive’s Genya Ravan, and the Ozark Mountain Dare­ Devils.

“Smitty” Smith has played on albums by Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bob Dylan, RICHIE HAVENS, The James

Gang, Billy Joel, DAVE LOGGINS, Robert Palmer, and the Pointer Sisters.