Dewey Martin

Born: September 30, 1940
Chesterville, Ontario, Canada
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Drummer/vocalist Dewey Martin (b. Walter Milton Dewayne Midkiff, Sept. 30, 1940, Chesterville, Ontario) is best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield. However, his colourful career has seen him perform with the likes of Patsy Cline and Roy Orbinson amongst others, and he has also recorded as a solo artist.

Dewey Martin began his career in the mid ''50s playing drums in an Ottawa high school band called The Jive Rockets, featuring future Staccatos guitar player Vern Craig. He then played in several local groups, before moving to the States (where he has lived ever since) for a stint in the army. Following his discharge, Martin based himself in Nashville and spent several years working with a number of country music's legends, including The Everly Brothers, Carl Perkins and Patsy Cline to name a few. However, after a visit to Los Angeles with Faron Young in 1963, he decided to make it his home.

The following year, he formed the band Sir Raleigh & The Coupons and proceeded to record a string of singles for A&M, Jerden and Tower, which were gathered together and released in 1982 on the album, 'One Buffalo Heard.' In early 1966 Martin briefly worked with The MFQ (Modern Folk Quartet) and The Dillards (with whom he recorded a demo single for Capitol Records), before auditioning for The Herd - soon to become better known as Buffalo Springfield. Martin proved to be one of the band's most consistent members and remained with the band from its inception in April 1966 until its demise in May 1968.

Despite the fame he earned as the group's drummer, Martin had a lot to lose from the band's split. It was little surprise then that he subsequently formed 'The New Buffalo Springfield' in September 1968. Martin's band made its debut at the Honolulu International Center, Hawaii with The Turtles on November 16, followed by a much publicised date on December 26 at San Francisco's Holiday Rock Festival, the Cow Palace alongside Steppenwolf and Canned Heat amongst others. Soon afterwards, Stephen Stills and Neil Young took legal action to prevent Martin from using the name and in the ensuing months, Martin lost the case and with it his royalties. Undeterred, he simply shortened the name to New Buffalo and continued to tour until July 1969.

The following month he signed a solo deal with UNI Records and recruited a new band called Medicine Ball, which featured future members of country-rock band, Electric Range. Medicine Ball's first recording was a cover of the country favourite 'Jambalaya (On The Bayou)' coupled with Martin's 'Ala-Bam', but it never got further than the promotion stage.

In May 1970, Medicine Ball recorded their lone album - featuring contributions from fellow ex-Buffalo Springfielder Bruce Palmer. The following month they performed one of their few live dates at L.A.'s Troubadour, but the performance was hampered by numerous personnel changes and Martin's heavy drinking. His composition, 'Indian Child', was released as a single, and was later used in the film 'Angels Die Hard', despite its chart failure. The album, which has moments of excellence, met a similar fate and soon afterwards UNI Records dropped the band.

Later that year a last ditched effort, 'Caress Me Pretty Music/There Must Be A Reason' was released by RCA, before Martin left to pursue production work on an album by Truk called Truk Records, released by CBS in 1971. He also made a rare appearance on a late '70s Hoyt Axton album. Martin however, spent most of the decade and the best part of the '80s working as a mechanic before joining Bruce Palmer's Buffalo Springfield Revisited in 1986.

After dropping out of Palmer's tribute band, Martin formed his own version of the group in 1991 (known as Buffalo Springfield Again). In 1993, he retired from the music business and spent time inventing his own drum rib. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.

Information provided by Nick Warburton, contributing writer.



Instruments Played / Skills:
Drums Songwriter Vocals

Genres:
Psychedelic Rock

Bands That Dewey Martin Has Played For:
Buffalo Springfield

Dewey Martin Has Worked With:
Richie Furay Bruce Palmer Jim Fielder Ken Koblun Jim Messina
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