From: Hawthorne, CA, USA
Emitt Lynn Rhodes, a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer, was born on February 25, 1950 in Decatur, Illinois. At the age of five, his family moved to Hawthorne, CA. Considered by many as "the one man Beatles", his solo recordings of the early 1970s show a clear Paul McCartney influence in both vocals and musicianship. Rhodes began his career in the musical ensembles the Palace Guard (as the group's drummer) and then the Merry-Go-Round (multi-instrumentalist), leaving the drums to the expertise of Joel Larson.
The Merry-Go-Round had a recording contract with A&M Records when they disbanded in 1969. Rhodes recorded songs there for a solo album to be entitled 'The American Dream', but A&M decided not to release it at the time. Rhodes then decided to go out on his own and bought equipment (from a $5,000 advance from A&M) to make a recording studio in his parents' garage. Incredibly, he recorded his first, self-titled LP in that make-shift home studio. He got a recording contract with ABC/Dunhill Records, who released the album in late 1970. The record was a critical success with Billboard Magazine naming Rhodes as "one of the finest artists on the music scene today" and later calling his first album one of the "best albums of the decade". The album reached #29 on the U.S. Billboard charts and the single 'Fresh As A Daisy' reached #54 on the pop charts.
In 1971 he issued a follow up LP titled 'Mirror', but shortly after its release, A&M decided to release their old recordings of 'The American Dream', which confused record buyers. The album did however manage to reach the top 200 on Billboard's album chart. In 1973, Rhodes issued his final LP ('Farewell To Paradise'), which unfortunately sold poorly. It is important to note that Rhodes wrote all of the songs on his albums, played all of the instruments and sang all of the vocals while recording himself in his home recording studio. It should also be noted that the mixdown engineer on 'Farewell To Paradise' was Curt Boettcher, the producer and musician who is best known for his work with the Association, Sagittarius and the Millennium.
After 'Farewell to Paradise', Rhodes left the music business as a performer and released no more new material. He continued to write and record songs in his studio though, but they were unreleased except for one song on the Merry-Go-Round compilation CD titled 'Listen, Listen'. He then worked as a recording engineer and record producer for Elektra Records and now runs his own studio for recording other acts.
In 2009, after many years of rumors as to the possibility of a new LP, Emitt has once again entered the recording studio with a new band and all new material. He has been joined by the co-founder of the Grass Roots and Merry-Go-Round drummer Joel Larson, co-founder and former bassist for Counting Crows, Matt Malley and guitarists Jim Rolfe and Dan Mayer. In early 2009, Italian director Cosimo Messeri shot a documentary film about Emitt Rhodes's. The movie, untitled for the moment, is in the post production phase.