Baddest of the Bad Drummers


A bit of biography


"Born George Miles in Omaha, NE, on September 5, 1947, he started playing the drums at age nine, and joined his father's jazz band the Bebops as a mere 12 year old. As a teenager, he went on to play with several jazz and R&B outfits, most prominently backing vocal groups like Ruby & the Romantics, the Ink Spots, and the Delfonics. In 1966, he joined Wilson Pickett's touring revue, then blues-rock guitarist Mike Bloomfield. Bloomfield invited Miles to join up, and the band Electric Flag made its debut at the Monterey Pop Festival with Buddy singing with Jimi Hendrix; Bloomfield left in 1968 followed by the bass player.With the Electric Flag's horn section in tow, Miles split to form his own group, the similarly eclectic Buddy Miles Express. Signed to Mercury, the group issued its debut album, Expressway to Your Skull, in 1968, with Miles' fellow Monterey Pop alum Jimi Hendrix in the producer's chair. In turn, Miles played on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland album, and later took part in an all-star jam session that resulted in Muddy Waters' Fathers and Sons album. Hendrix also produced the Miles Express' follow-up, 1969's Electric Church, and disbanded his backing band the Experience later that year; shortly afterward, Hendrix, Miles, and bassist Billy Cox formed Band of Gypsys, one of the first all-black rock bands. Bluesier and funkier than Hendrix's previous work, Band of Gypsys didn't last long in its original incarnation; Miles departed in 1970, replaced by Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, but not before his powerhouse work was showcased on the group's lone album, the live Band of Gypsys.After backing John McLaughlin on 1970's Devotion, Miles returned to the role of bandleader and recorded his most popular album, Them Changes, in 1971; it stayed on the charts for more than a year, and the title cut became Miles' signature song. From December 1971 to April 1972, Miles toured with Carlos Santana, which produced the CBS-released concert document Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!; recorded inside an inactive volcano in Hawaii, the album sold very well, climbing into the Top Ten. Miles cut a few more albums for CBS, participated in a short-lived Electric Flag reunion in 1974, then moved to Casablanca in 1975 for a pair of LPs. Aside from a one-off album for Atlantic in 1981 (Sneak Attack), Miles kept a low profile over the next decade, partly to battle personal problems. Miles returned in 1986 as the lead voice in a TV ad campaign that featured clay-animated raisins singing "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"; the ads proved so popular that a kid-friendly musical franchise was spun off, and thus Miles became the lead singer of the California Raisins, performing on two albums (mostly R&B covers) and a Christmas special. Additionally, Miles rejoined his old friend Carlos Santana as the official lead vocalist of Santana during part of the late '80s, making his studio debut on 1987's Freedom. In the early '90s, Miles played with Bootsy Collins (both solo and as members of Hardware), and in 1994 he formed a new version of the Express and recorded Hell and Back for Rykodisc. Miles Away From Home followed in 1997 on Hip-O. Miles toured steadily through the '90s, and subsequently formed a more straightforward blues band called the Blues Berries with guitarist Rocky Athas; their first album, Blues Berries, appeared on Ruf in 2002. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide"

Buddy Miles Band Members

### Electric Flag ####

Mike Bloomfield - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Nick Gravenites - Vocals, Guitar
Buddy Miles - Drums, Vocals
Harvey Brooks - Bass
Barry Goldberg, kybds
Michael Fonfara, kybds
Herbie Rich, org, bar, as
Marcus Doubleday, tp
Peter Strazza, ts
Stemzie Hunter, as

### Band of Gypsys ###
Jimi Hendrix - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Buddy Miles - Drums, Vocals
Billy Cox - Bass

### Buddy Miles Express ####
Buddy Miles - Lead Vocals , Drums, Guitar
Marlo Henderson - Guitar, Vocals
Charlie Karp - Guitar, Vocals
Duane Hitchings
Jim McCarty,
Marcus Doubleday
Terry Clements
Virgil Gonsalves

***Express Active Members***
Mark "Muggie" Leach - organ, Vocals, co-band leader
Rod Kohn - Lead/rhythm guitar, b/u vocals
Hiram Hazley - bass
Byron Bordeaux- Guitar

Michael B. Holden

Charlie Torres- Bass

#### MST ####
Buddy Miles-Drums, Vocals
Kevon Smith-Guitar
Joe Thomas-Bass 

Friends Say

 “Buddy was one of the great eclectic and powerful drummers in Rock and Soul Music. I was as much a fan of his singing as his playing. “You're the One (That I Adore)” from EXPRESSWAY TO YOUR SKULL” is still one of my favorite cuts.”- Bonnie Raitt

   “Buddy was, is and shall always be my friend...and the best drummer ever!!!”- Eddie Griffith

 "Buddy was not only a great drummer but a beautiful human being. I miss him.”- John McLauglin

“Buddy was not only a hard hitting, energetic, power-packed, angry, loveable, Unstoppable Drummer, he was also my friend..."                    -Bootsy Collins


The Estate of Buddy Miles and associated Literary Trust is deeply saddened by the passing of Sherrilae Chambers Miles the widow of the late Buddy Miles'. Sherrilae passed away shortly after midnight Monday January 14, 2013 from pneumonia and lingering heart complications that had progressively worsened over the past two years.

Sherrilae was a tremendously kind and joyous person who loved the arts and music as much as her late partner and spent the last 4 years serving as Executrix of his estate. In her spare time she supported and volunteered for the South by Southwest Music Festival, The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), and other organizations as she firmly believed in the importance of supporting the artistic community in Austin.

Her passion, love, and warmth will be greatly missed, but never be forgotten. The Literary Trust will continue with successor trustee Chealsea Dawn continuing Sherrilae's position within the Estate.

Buddy Miles with stepdaughter Chealsea Dawn


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