Youngstown, 1969-72

Brainchild pic

In the summer/fall of 1969 some of the best musicians in the Younsgtown area got together to form a supergroup of sorts - Brainchild. For a couple years they were considered one the best bands in the area. 

The principal members were three  former members of Roadshow -  Joe Pizzulo (vocals), Dan Marshall (keyboards) and Larry Paxton (guitar). John Grazier (drums) came from the Insights. Ronnie Lee Cunningham (keyboards) had fronted his own band. Bill Bodine (bass) had been in the Citations. Many of the musicians, in addition to having years of band experience, were music students. This was the original lineup for Brainchild. 

Once the band started playing, they were quickly embraced by the rich Youngstown music scene, and they furthered their popularity by assembling a sound and stage show that used top of the line gear. The band played from Indiana to western and central New York State, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, as far east as Maryland. 

In 1970 the band had two member changes, Joe Pizzulo left to be replaced by Dave Freeland, who had been in the Three Rivers Blues Band with Larry Paxton. Joe Grazier left to concentrate on music production and Freeland (who was from Conneaut Lake, PA, the only non-Ohioan) moved to drums (he had been a standup singer for a few months). Joel "Odie" Crook, formerly the singer for the short lived original Left End, joined to complete the band lineup.

Brainchild played a lot of original songs, and recorded a bunch of demos. The band had some potential record deals in the works but nothing ever came to them. Brainchild played shows with Yes, Sly and the Family Stone, Leon Russell, Uriah Heep, Three Dog Night,  Procol Harum, Ted Nugent, Edgar Winter, and the Moody Blues.

Brainchild played their last gig on New Years Eve 1972. Since then. many of the band members have had an impressive musical resume. Joe Pizzulo joined Sergio Mendes in the late 1970s and sang on their big hit "Never Gonna Let You Go". John Grazier joined Peppermint Studios and produced recordings by Blue Ash and Left End. Larry Paxton moved the Nashville and has played on numerous hit records. Bill Bodine moved to Los Angeles and won a Grammy award for composing music for TV shows and commercials, as well as playing on many popular recordings. Ronnie Lee Cunningham joined LAW and played with them until the end. Dave Freeland played with several groups including the Corbin-Hammer band who had some country chart hits. Odie Crook is deceased.