Rockbrat Introduces You To: DOC HOLLIDAY

When asked who are the best exponents of the genre that is now known as ‘Southern Rock’, most pundits will come out with Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, and also equally siginifcant bands like Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet and The Outlaws. Yet one band who deserves to also be up there is Doc Holliday. As Michael B. Smith for writes, “One of the hardest working bands in the lexicon of Southern Rock was and is Doc Holliday. Oddly, Doc tends to be repeatedly overlooked by authors and writers chronicling the history of the genre. Fact is, they are just as deserving-more so in some cases-of inclusion as their fellow brothers of the road. Sporting an impressive catalog of recordings on A&M Records and a legacy that continues to evolve even today, Doc Holliday still creates tight, funky Southern Rock music.” Doc Holliday hail from Macon, Georgia where Southern rock began with the legendary Allman Brothers Band. Doc Holliday signed to A&M Records in 1980. In 1981 their debut album DOC HOLLIDAY entered the Billboard Rock LPs chart in the top 30. The band then began to receive the attention of the European music press and the second album DOC HOLLIDAY RIDES AGAIN was released at the end of 1981 to critical acclaim. It contains the Southern rock classic ‘Lonesome Guitar’, a song in the tradition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Freebird’. In the early days, the band played close to 200 shows a year with Black Sabbath, Molly Hatchet, Charlie Daniels, Gregg Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Blackfoot, April Wine, Loverboy, Pat Travers, Dixie Dregs, Nantucket, Johnny Van Zant, Point Blank and more. They played at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Santa Monica Civic Center in Los Angeles, and in most major cities in between. In 1983 the band released their third album MODERN MEDICINE. It was an experiment, mixing the techno sounds of the 80’s with Southern rock, and was a complete failure. The pace of touring and lack of acceptance for their third effort, coupled with the explosion of New Wave music, contributed to the band’s breakup in 1984. After some time off, the group was reformed for the 1986 European release DANGER ZONE, on the Metal Masters label. In 1989 they released their fifth album SONG FOR THE OUTLAW-LIVE, followed by the band’s first major tour of Europe playing in Scandinavia, the U.K., Switzerland, and Germany. During the 90’s, the group toured Europe regularly, doing outdoor festivals, concerts and clubs. The next album SON OF THE MORNING STAR came out on a German label in 1993. During this time the band played shows with Blackfoot, U.F.O., Quiet Riot, Nazareth, Foghat, and others. By 1996 when the CD LEGACY was released, it seemed like the group’s touring days were winding down. Unexpectedly, a jolt of new energy came in 1999 when A&M re-issued the band’s first three LPs on compact disc, so touring Europe was on again. Doc Holliday started the year 2000 in style with a show in Berlin, a part of the largest New Year’s Eve party in the world, with an estimated 2.5 million people in attendance. In the spring of 2000, the band was voted into the ‘Southern Rock Hall Of Fame’.  In 2001 Halycon Music in Germany reissued the LP’s DANGER ZONE and SONG FOR THE OUTLAW-LIVE. At the end of 2001, Halycon released a new album called A BETTER ROAD, again to wide critical acclaim. The 2002 Summer A Better Road European Tour included dates in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden.  In the summer of 2003, Phoenix Records in Germany released a compilation called GUNFIGHTER-The Best Of The 90’s, and in the fall the band released it’s 10th album, GOOD TIME MUSIC on Phoenix. The group toured Europe in November 2003 and July 2004 in support of that album. In 2006 Phoenix Records released REBEL SOULS, a collection of cover songs from diverse sources like The Beatles, The Marshall Tucker Band and Bad Company that were chosen to reveal some of the band’s musical influences.  The 25th Anniversary Tour of Europe in the summer of 2006 saw Doc Holliday performing for fans from Scandinavia, U.K., Belgium, France and Germany. Over 100 live tracks were recorded during that tour and the resulting CD titled 25 ABSOLUTELY LIVE came out on Phoenix in 2008. “What the audience heard is what you get on this CD,” said Bruce Brookshire. “The band didn’t do any overdubs at all. Phoenix Records did an excellent job putting everything together.” 2011 marks the 30th Anniversary of Doc Holliday. Here is the video for ‘Lonesome Guitar’. Head to the bands web site here for more info and to pick up their stuff.  

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