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The First Album by the White Summer band

Updated on May 30, 2020
James A Watkins profile image

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

THE 1970s WERE WILD TIMES
THE 1970s WERE WILD TIMES

White Summer: The White Album

White Summer is the name of my rock band. I previously published an article about the band with links to videos of our music, including originals from our 5th and final album, and remakes recorded live in concert.

This time, I want to go back to the beginning—to 1976. That was the year the White Summer band recorded and released its first album. By this time, the band had been writing, rehearsing, and performing for a few years but none of us had ever been inside a recording studio. We had a thrill when Les Paul sat in the control room for a while listening to us record, and gave us some nice compliments.

The White Summer band was a trio in those days. The three of us—Rick Lowe, David Wheeler, and Jim Watkins—were each but 21 years old. We had been friends for a long time. We had created 11 original songs and we were extremely excited to be able to record our art.

I am going to present three short songs today for your review. The first is entitled "BMF" and it was written by the three of us in the studio on a day when our engineer was late. It was recorded the same day it was created. Brace yourselves because it's going to be me on lead vocals for this one.

BMF by WHITE SUMMER

WE ARE STARDUST
WE ARE STARDUST

The White Summer Band

I am the drummer for the White Summer band and I sing eight of the ten songs on this first album.

Rick Lowe is the guitarist on the first White Summer album. Rick composed and sings one of the songs. He also co-authored five of the other songs; and provides backing vocals on many tracks

David Wheeler is the bass player on the first album by the White Summer band. David co-wrote a couple songs on the album, and sings some background vocals. Additionally, he wrote and sings one of the songs, and that song is what we are going to review next: "Without a Sound."


Without a Sound by White Summer

WE HAD BIG DREAMS
WE HAD BIG DREAMS

The White Summer Band on Youtube

A fan of the band from Greece published three other songs from this album on YouTube. They are "Sail" "Omega" and "Laugh When I Die."

If will provide links to these songs below. That is Rick Lowe singing the lead vocals on "Sail."

First, I am going to present just one more video I made of a song from the first White Summer album. Rick Lowe and Jim Watkins wrote this song together and Jim Watkins sings it. It is called "Ridin' High."

Ridin' High by White Summer

IT WAS QUITE A TRIP
IT WAS QUITE A TRIP

'Sail' by the White Summer band

"WHEN YOU COME TO THE FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT!"  YOGI BERRA, 20TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHER
"WHEN YOU COME TO THE FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT!" YOGI BERRA, 20TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHER

'Omega' by the White Summer band

White Summer

I am sad to report that after Rick Lowe, David Wheeler, and Jim Watkins invested two years writing and rehearsing these songs; put together the deal to record and publish the first White Summer album; achieved our dream of hearing ourselves on the radio; and saw our record on store shelves for sale—the band broke up just weeks later over a dispute about money, of all things. Something we never cared about before.

The three of us have remained good friends. David Wheeler moved to Tennessee and went on to become a successful guitarist in a nightclub act there. He also later did another stint in the White Summer band.

Rick Lowe also later rejoined White Summer—a couple of times, in fact. He lives in southwestern Michigan, in the same area from which the three of us hail. For many years now, Rick Lowe has been a singer and guitarist in a Christian Rock band with his wife Edith, and their sons, Matthew and David.

After Rick Lowe and David Wheeler left the group, the White Summer band would reform around the singing drummer Jim Watkins and go on to record four more albums of original material.

We played thousands of live concerts and nightclub shows over the next 15 years. And still today we perform once a year—though not with the original lineup—in a White Summer Reunion Concert. We never played any of the songs on the first album again.

'Laugh When I Die' by the White Summer band

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    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      Peg--- Sounds good. Thanks again for being such an encourager. God Bless!

      james

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from North Dallas, Texas

      I'll be watching it again soon too. Cheers. It's all good.

      Peg

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      PegCole17— Hello Peg! Well, thank you for the lovely laudations, my dear. Your warm words have made my day. The second song is not me singing but our bass player, David Wheeler. :-)

      You wrote, "Reminiscent of Beach Boys with a touch of Pink Floyd for good measure." I love that! What an apt description and interesting. I hadn't thought of it that way but I hear it.

      Yes, I have seen the movie "Almost famous." I love the film! As a matter of fact, now that you reminded me of it I am going to watch it again soon. It has been about ten years since I viewed that one.

      I sure appreciate you coming by to make me feel good about my music and my band and my days as an artiste. You are a good woman!

      James

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from North Dallas, Texas

      Hello Jimmy W. You really are one talented guy and your voice is the stuff of legends. Really liked the second number best, Without a Sound. Sort of reminescent of Beach Boys with a touch of Pink Floyd for good measure. Interesting story about you guys cutting the record and then having a disagreement over, all things, money. That seems to happen. My musician friends never cut an album but they should have. We were about to go on "tour" when the lead singer withdrew to pursue a singing career with a gospel group. I have some of their recordings still and his voice, like yours, was pure and crisp. Loved the percussion too. This was an amazing trip back in time. Almost famous. Have you seen the movie? With Kate Hudson. I live in that one sometimes. You rock, friend. Loved this one.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      Corine— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D

      Jimmy Watkins

      ps I appreciate all your support and encouragement!

    • profile image

      Corine 

      8 years ago

      Just read your article, very well written:)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      carolina muscle--- Thank you for your compliments. I appreciate them and my 21-year-old self is very glad to read them. He's still in there somewhere. :)

      Rick did play a tight guitar. Glad you liked my drumming.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      11 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hey, I finally got some time to check it out, and it's a great sound- the percussion and guitar work is really tight, and it's a fun listen!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      mega1— Yes indeed. Thank you very much for checking out my old music. Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end . . .

    • mega1 profile image

      mega1 

      11 years ago

      White Summer huh! Sounds like the bands I grew up mooning over in the 60's 70's etc. Love it. I am glad to discover your hubs -thanks for becoming my fan so I could find out about you!

    • profile image

      Davi W 

      11 years ago

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      I am the one who is blessed when you visit because you always lift me up. I am glad you have enjoyed my vocation. I intend to read more of your work tomorrow. :D

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      11 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      It's always a blessing to visit your Hubs, I must say you have alot of interesting Hubs that I have enjoyed! Have a blessed day my friend in the LORD! See ya!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      AHHH!!! Doctor Pastor!

      Luv you too! God Bless You and thanks for the visitations.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      11 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Well James my love, lol I wasn't always a Pastor/Dr. Love ya! Smile.... Blessings!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      drpastorcarlotta— What a surprise! I don't guess I would have played any of these selections in church. ;0

      So, a rock and roll fan, huh. Well, whaddaya know.

      Thank you for your graciousness and nice compliments. :D

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      11 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      In my days I LOVED ROCK!!! If I had known you, I would of been buying your album!!! Yea! lol, lol, Your GREAT James. I like you, your so REAL!! Blessings to you always, YOU ROCK!!! lol

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Bucks here— Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I bookmarked your profile page and will be reading your work soon. Thanks for reading and leaving word.

    • Bucks here profile image

      Bucks here 

      11 years ago from South Africa

      Hey James I like your stuff, got some of my own.

      Go well

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      NaomiR— I will be thrilled to check out your music. My sound is out on my computer but I will have it fixed today or tomorrow. Thanks for the links.

    • NaomiR profile image

      NaomiR 

      11 years ago from New York

      Sure! If you do a google search for "Naomi Rabinowitz" and "Flute Path," you'll easily find me. That's me on flute and keyboards, and I composed and arranged all the tracks.

      It's always nice to chat with a fellow musician!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      NaomiR— Thanks! You released a CD? Can I hear?

    • NaomiR profile image

      NaomiR 

      11 years ago from New York

      GREAT tracks! I especially love the funky riff in the first tune, BMF.

      I appreciated reading about your own musical journey. I released my first CD last year, so I know how difficult the process is. Keep on playin'!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      minimoo— Thank you, dear. I am pleased to be of service. Thank you for visiting my Hub and leaving your warm words.

    • minimoo profile image

      minimoo 

      11 years ago

      Wow! That is so cool! A couple of my friends are in bands but they don't seem as comitted as you are. By the way, thanks so much for the comment and prayer. You really boosted my spirits. I was real scared to say those things out loud but it felt real good to finally let go.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Daniel Carter— Thank you very much. I see you are heavily into writing music. Are you a performer as well? I appreciate the kudos from another musician. :-)

    • Daniel Carter profile image

      Daniel Carter 

      11 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

      Great hub. Historically this will be important info as people on the internet want to know more about the group's history. Glad you wrote this! Fun songs!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      David— I don't think he does email. But I'll tell him you said hello. I'm not sure where that was recorded but I remember we played the theme song to "The Munsters." LOL

    • profile image

      David W 

      11 years ago

      Yeah, you did send me that one on one. That was made in Kalamazoo wasn't it?

      Ted Smith, interesting person! Next time you talk to him, say hello for me. Give him my email if you want.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      David W— Do I remember?! I have a copy of us playing "Sinner" live. I thought I sent it to you. Ted Smith is playing on it! LOL. You know, I still talk to Ted on the phone from time to time; and I visit him every few years. He lives in Covert.

      I am going to slip a couple of your photos onto this page right now . . .

    • profile image

      David W 

      11 years ago

      Hey James,

      Remember "Back to The Land" and "Sinner" by URSA Major? Man I used to love to play the the URSA Major stuff! Remember when we played those songs? Ah! Where did the time go?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      tony0724— This is my only fan club except the band has one on Facebook. I think it is called "Fans of the real White Summer band" because there are two impostors out there.

      Thanks, brother.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 

      11 years ago from san diego calif

      Right on James !!! I just wanted you to know I play a mean air guitar . I was just curious do I now have to join a separate fan club or does the current one I am In still here at hubpages still apply ?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      ethel smith— Thank you! I am pleased that you do.

      "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end, we'd sing and dance, forever and a day, we'd live the life we choose, we'd fight and never lose, those were the days." :-)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Love these hubs that offer glimpses into your band life

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Kebennett1— I do miss it very much. But, that was a different life. We might bump it up to twice a year, though. Thank you for visiting. I appreciate the compliment, too.

    • Kebennett1 profile image

      Kebennett1 

      11 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

      James,

      I like your music! You guys should get together and play more often! It sounds like you really miss it.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      gusripper— That's what they said in the movie "Crossroads."

      You do play the guitar, right?

      I wish I had lived and played in Europe. That would have been fun and interesting. I didn't think of it at the time but wish I would have. Thanks for visiting and leaving word that you did.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Mardi— Thank you so much! Your words brought a big smile to my face. :D

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      jiberish— I love coffee! Well, we were just kids. But we did the best we could with what we had to work with. Thank you for your kind comments.

    • gusripper profile image

      gusripper 

      11 years ago

      HAIL MASTER,is it true if i go to south i will meet the devil and sign a contract to learn guitar?ha ha ha ,i told you before,you should lived and played in europe ,your sound is perfect ,and you have "ears of an elephant".

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      11 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Woohoo, great music James! Thanks for this, you guys did great even if it didn't all work out the way you expected.

    • jiberish profile image

      jiberish 

      11 years ago from florida

      James, thanks for the down time, I drank 2 cups of coffee sitting her listening. Enjoyed it, and no need to say Great Hub, as usual.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      quicksand— At the time, critics said our songs were too original and not danceable enough. This deflated us some.

      Thank you for your affirmation! I do appreciate it!

      What I really meant was that if we could have kept this band of three together, we would have gone on to create better songs; played them with more expert musicianship; learned how to perform in the studio environment better; and soon after produced an album that would have put us over. But, alas, it was not to be.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      11 years ago

      I listened to your tracks, and I BELIEVE too!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      quicksand— I never came close to the heights of genius or fame those bands achieved—but I BELIEVED we would.

      Thank you for your kind comments!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      11 years ago

      Delighted to know someone who has walked the same paths as the Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, Led Zep ... Cheers!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      ReuVera— I love that song very much. Give me the "Wall" or even better "Dark Side of the Moon" and I can listen over and over again. That is real genius. I predict, that like Mozart or Beethoven, Pink Floyd will have an audience 200 years from now.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Nemingha— Well . . . I am a lifelong Cubs fan! :-)

      I am working on a book about my band days. Only because I am a philosopher of the power of music; an insider into how the music business works; and I have too darned many anecdotes saved up. Many are hilarious; many exhibit the joys of great expectations; and many show the crushing feeling when defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory.

      Other than that, I think there is not much else to say. :-)

      Thank you for your keen insights.

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 

      11 years ago from USA

      Of course, I have heard it! It makes me sad, though.

      Love Pink Floyd!

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 

      11 years ago

      What an intriguing person you are James. A former rock n' rolling, art collecting, and well-travelled Christian with some strong, and often controversial, political and social convictions. Have I left anything out? And what facet of your complex persona will you choose to reveal to us next? I shall stay tuned!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      advisor4qb— Well, coming from a woman with a golden voice such as yours, this is high praise indeed! Thank you!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      ReuVera— I am sure you did. I didn't care in those days because I was somehow convinced I wouldn't make it to 40 anyway. Now I am 54 and my feeling about it? I am surprised!!!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      ReuVera— "Vera! Vera! What has become of you?"

      Have you ever heard that lyric? I love it. It's from a song by MY favorite band.

      A redhead named White? OK. I'll accept that. :-)

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 

      11 years ago from On New Footing

      You Rock!

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 

      11 years ago from USA

      Oh, believe me, we found our ways to wear and tear! It was hard to find a way to rock music in USSR of those days, but still, we rocked!

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 

      11 years ago from USA

      Whitehead? This would be me! If you didn't know, my name is Vera White! I am serious. Though I am a redhead. LOL

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      ReuVera— You probably saved yourself a lot of wear and tear! Those were halcyon days but rough on the body. :)

      You may have heard us. I understand we were more popular in Europe than in the U.S. Thank you very much for listening and responding.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      ftgfmom— You might want to reconsider if I tell you what our fans were affectionately known as: Whiteheads! LOL

      I appreciate the sentiment.

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 

      11 years ago from USA

      All what is left for me is to regret that in those rocking 70s I lived somewhere, where you had to hide to listen music of this kind. No kidding. In my Soviet youth you would be in trouble if you were noticed listening to foreign (bourgeois, "enemy's") music. My fellows boys were recording such music from radio and we were listening to it on our underground parties. Recordings were dirty, with noise (radio interferencies) and it was so awesome! May be we listened to your band too.... I am a FAN!

    • profile image

      ftgfmom 

      11 years ago

      WOW! I'm a fan forever.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      SEM Pro— Thank you, my friend! And you are welcome.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      gpound— LOL! I have played that song in clubs and the crowd went wild over it. Pretty rowdy, too. I did hear he passed on, as have many rock n' rollers. Somehow, we survived. :D

      Thanks for checking it out. This is kind of a vanity Hub. ;)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Echad— Thank you very much for saying so. :)

    • SEM Pro profile image

      SEM Pro 

      11 years ago from North America

      AWESOME James!!! Thank you :)

    • gpound profile image

      gpound 

      11 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      What A Riot. Did you hear, the singer for Quiet Riot, famed LA Rock metal band know best known for 'bang your head' passed in 2009. Rumour had it he fell and banged his head.

      Glenn

      https://hubpages.com/@gpound

    • profile image

      Echad 

      11 years ago

      Good hub Mr. Watkins.

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