Eli Radish

Cleveland, 1968-73

Eli Radish were a band that were in style of the late 60s hippie/counterculture action, incorpating psychedelic rock and country-rock to become a huge local band in their day.

The band started in 1968 with Danny Sheridan (formerly of the Spontaneous Corruption) on bass, Tom Foster on lead guitar, Ken Frak (aka "The Rev") on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. Skip Heil came aboard a little later on drums, and Eva Karasik on violin (amplified). They did get a contract with Capitol records through the heavily travelled Cleveland/Capitol talent pipeline. When it came time to make the record, the producer, Roger Karshner (who had done the Spontaneous Corruption 45), apparently came up with the idea to take World War I era songs and recast them into some ironic anti-war concept (remember this was the height of the conflict about the Vietnam War). An entire LP was done like this, with the title song of "I didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier" out on a 45. The LP had some success with the 'counter culture' audience and anti-war movement (which the band was connected with) but confused the hell out of the 'straights'.

After the LP was released, Tom left and was replaced by Gary Dickstein. In 1970 Ken and Eva left. Tom Foster then returned and Gary left, and Rick Kennedy joined, circa '71-'72.

During the time of the final Eli Radish lineup, David Allan Coe joined the band. Coe was in the band for about a year, after catching them at an Akron. They got more serious about writing music and recording, but apparently were too 'outlaw' for the rock and country crowds. The group also added singer Starr Smith, who was said to be a Cleveland version of Janis Joplin.

The group continued to record until their demise in March 1973. The final lineup included Sheridan, Heil, Smith and Foster. They were managed by Roger Abrahmson, the Cleveland manager/promoter who used the business name 'A Friend'. 

for more info, check their website - www.eliradishband.com