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Fat City / Bill and Taffy

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Quick Links to pages about: 

(Bill's Music Heritage - Overview)  (Starland Vocal Band)  (Bill & John Denver)

My Space page for Fat City & Bill and Taffy

Albums: 

Fat City

 

Reincarnation

1969

Side A

1. Reincarnation (W. Danoff)
2. Wall Street (R. Weissman)
3. Locked In A Cage (W. Danoff)
4. Angeline (W. Danoff)
5. Prince Of Peace (W. Danoff)
6. Atlantis (W. Danoff)

Side B:

1. You Look Like A Memory (W. Danoff/Taffy Nivert)
2. City Cat (W. Danoff/Taffy Nivert)
3. Easter Island (W. Danoff/J. Williams)
4. Holly Would (J. De Shannon)
5. Sally Anne (W. Danoff)
6. We Don't Live Here No More (W. Danoff)

 

 

Fat City

 

 

 

Welcome to Fat City

 

 

 

1971

Side A

1. Nobody Can Take My Dreams From Me (Bill Danoff)
2. Readjustment Blues (Bill Danoff)
3. Fallin' In A Deep Hole (Billf Danoff)

4. The Jesus Says Hello Tango (Bill Danoff)
5. Morning Go Away (Bill Danoff)

Side B:

1. Workingman's Day (Bill Danoff)
2. O, Say Can You See! (Bill Danoff)
3. I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado (Bill Danoff/Taffy Nivert)
4. Not What We Promised To Be (Bill Danoff/Taffy Nivert)

5. Baby, What's Wrong With You (Taffy Nivert)
6. The Fat City High School Fight Song (Bill Danoff)

 

 

Bill and Taffy

 

 

 

Pass It On

 

 

1973

 

Side A

1. Flyin' Home To Nashville (Bill and  Taffy Danoff)
2. Do You Believe (Bill Danoff)
3. Our Father (Bill Danoff)
4. Didn't I Try (Bill Danoff)
5. There's A Man In China (Bill Danoff)

Side B:

1. She Won't Let Me Fly Away (Bill Danoff)
2. Roll Over (Bill Danoff)
3. Some Sweet Day (Bill Danoff)
4. O Mistress Mine (Bill Danoff/William Shakespeare)
5. Friends With You (Bill Danoff/Taffy Nivert)
6. Pass It On (Bill and Taffy Danoff)

 

 

Bill and Taffy

 

 

 

Aces

 

 

1974

 

Side A

1. Late Nite Radio (Bill and Taffy Danoff)
2. Richard (Bill and Taffy Danoff)
3. Maybe (Richard Barret)

4. Be Happy, Don't Worry (Bill Donoff/Gwen Davis)
5. Janet From Another Planet (Bill and Taffy Danoff

Side B:

1. Dearest Esmeralda (Bill Danoff)
2. Annie (Say It's Gonna Be Alright) (Bill Danoff)
3. How Lucky Can You Be (Bill Danoff)
4. One Another (Bill Danoff/Gwen Davis)
5. Thank You (Bill Danoff)
6. Band Played On (Arranged by Bob Rose and Stan Schwartz)

 

Snapshots of Bill and Taffy's Career: 

(Click on thumbnail photo to see larger version)

Bill and Taffy singing at a private party in 1968.

Photo copywrite: Frand B. Christopher

Bill

Going over music arrangements.

Bill and Taffy recording in the studio.

Bill and Taffy pose at Tamminy Hall, a bar on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, now closed.

Bill and Taffy relaxing and taking in the scenery.

Bill posing. Photo by Taffy

Domestic Bliss!

Performing in the wind.

In Concert

PR photo, posing on the caboose.

Singing at a private party 1971.

Taffy

Taffy with hat.

Cover of the Fat City Music Book

The song that changed their lives.

Taffy singing harmony with John Denver at the Cellar Door, 1970.

(Bill's guitar on the left)

Bill, Taffy and John debuted "Take Me Home Country Roads" at the Cellar Door in Georgetown, Washington, DC, on December 30, 1970

Taffy and Bill at the Cellar Door, 1970; they opened for headliner John Denver.

Taffy and Bill at the Cellar Door, 1970

Taffy and Bill at the Cellar Door, 1970

Taffy singing harmony with John Denver at the Cellar Door, 1970.

Taffy singing harmony with John Denver at the Cellar Door, 1970.

Bill (left, in shadow), Taffy and John performing at the Cellar Door, circa 1970.

Taffy singing harmony with John Denver at the Cellar Door, 1970.

John Denver headlined at the Cellar Door, 1970.

John Denver headlined at the Cellar Door, 1970.

John Denver headlined at the Cellar Door, 1970.

John Denver headlined at the Cellar Door, 1970.

 

 

© Bill Danoff - These photos are copywrited by Bill Danoff and the photographers.  They may not be reproduced, sold, published or used in any way without permission from Bill Danoff.   (To contact Bill, write to webmaster:  Penguins 51)

   
Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert Danoff sing with John Denver on an appearance on the British BBC2 station in 1973

Used with permission.  © Chris Walter

 

 

 

‘Country Roads’ Kept Taffy Nivert Danoff Home

By Tamar Alexia Fleishman

June 3, 2008

"Graffiti"  - website: http://www.grafwv.com

  

Taffy Nivert Danoff is one of the co-writers of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” — the official fight song of the WVU Mountaineers. It’s been played at every home game since 1972. Taffy was a co-collaborator on many other songs that the late John Denver performed, including “I Guess He’d Rather Be in Colorado.” Taffy also was a member of Starland Vocal Express, with their hit, “Afternoon Delight.” For more info, check out www.myspace.com/fatcitybilltaffy.

Graffiti: There are lots of versions of how “Take Me Home, Country Roads” got written ... what’s the real story?  

Danoff: The song began on Clopper Road in Gaithersburg, Md., summer 1970, on the way to a reunion of my mom’s family. Bill started singing “country roads, country roads, country roads.” We had a fan that lived in a commune in West Virginia. As songwriters, we were hard pressed to come up with a phrase that rhymed with “Maryland” and so poetic license took its natural course.

Fat City (Bill and I) opened for John Denver (God rest his soul) at the Cellar Door the last week of December 1970. In the middle of the week, John and Annie and Kris O’Connor and his wife Bonnie came over to our apartment after the gig. There was a car accident in Georgetown en route. John broke his thumb.

After visiting the ER, they showed up about 2 a.m. No one could sleep. John liked our songwriting and wanted to hear more. I suggested to Bill we show him “Country Roads.” He said we should finish it right then. I was the one writing the lyrics down. I lobbied heavily to include the word rhododendron, West Virginia’s state flower, but was rejected by the boys who said it was too “flowery.”

We decided to perform it the next night at the Cellar Door. I held the lyric sheet. Bill was looking over my shoulder at them. John’s thumb was sticking straight up with a cast on it. Long applause. I think we’ve met most of the audience from that night in the years since.

Graffiti: At the time you wrote the song, you had never been to West Virginia? Do you go there now?  

Danoff: Oh, yes, of course! West Virginia is a beautiful short drive from both our homes. It’s everything we said it is.

Graffiti: The song changed John Denver’s career — what did it do for yours?  

Danoff: To quote the Cindy Lauper song — money changes everything. We paid off a $1,500 grocery bill we had run up at Sol and Helen Butt’s mom and pop grocery store in our neighborhood. They believed in us and kept us nourished. Sol dropped the check to see if it would bounce. We moved out of the last remaining slum in Georgetown, D.C. We toured small clubs all over the country as John’s opening act. We would perform, then come out at the end of John’s set and sing “CR” with him. It was a great couple of years in all our lives.

Graffiti: There’s a missing little risqué verse to the song. Has anybody talked about performing it publicly?

Danoff: Bill or I perform it sometimes just for fun and the story behind it. Understand that it was the peak of the hippie era. We thought it was so cool and edgy at the time. John declared it would never get on the radio. We caved and rewrote the verse.

IN THE FOOTHILLS, HIDING FROM THE CLOUDS
PINK AND PURPLE, WEST VIRGINIA FARMHOUSE
NAKED LADIES, MEN WHO LOOK LIKE CHRIST
AND A DOG NAMED PANCHO, NIBBLING ON THE RICE.

John was right.

Graffiti: Lots of people don’t make the connection between you and Starland Vocal Band. It’s very different from folk. Tell me about those days.

Danoff: “Those days,” middle 1970s, were the days past popular folk. The music was evolving. Days of heavy metal sliding into disco. Bill wrote “Afternoon Delight” in 1974. We had not been successful as performers. We knew our limitations. The idea came to record “Afternoon Delight” with great singers. We knew Jon Carroll and Margot Kunkel from the DC music scene. We went to New York to record the single and named the group during the sessions.

Graffiti: Where in the world have you toured/played?

Danoff: Big and small cities and towns all over the U.S.A., Canada, England, St. Croix. Bill and Taffy were second banana on a series of six variety shows on BBC in London in 1973 with John. Fat City/Bill and Taffy have been opening act to John Denver, Tom Rush, Cat Stevens, John Prine, Moody Blues, Roger Miller, Argent, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Roy Acuff, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Sea Train, Cold Blood, Barbara Mandrell, George Carlin.

Graffiti: How did you get started in the music business?

Danoff: Singing along with my radio while doing my homework in high school. I gravitated to any harmony part, thinking I was making the record sound better. Whilst singing along with the jukebox at Clyde’s, a bar in Georgetown, the bartender Bruce Adams asked me if I wanted to join a singing group of a friend of his. I had a day job and nothing to do that week so I said yes. Scared to pieces but willing to try it. I sang loud and a little off-key, but loud and I got in the group that Bill and Jack Williams had started in their spare time.

Graffiti: Have you been in the music business constantly throughout the years?

Danoff: Hey, I got skills. I can type. I’ve had office jobs over and in between. I can type and organize and file and I give great office phone. One of the main reasons for going into show biz blind and untrained was to escape from 9 to 5. Anything but 9 to 5.

 

 

Quick Links to pages about:  (Bill's Music Heritage - Overview)  (Starland Vocal Band)  (Bill & John Denver)

 

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This page was updated: 04/24/2008 02:19 AM