Dino Valenti

A former carnival artist, Dino Valenti became an influential figure in Greenwich Village folk circles during the early '60s. Disillusioned with New York’s restrictiveness, the singer fled to California where he recorded his debut single, "Birdses," for the Elektra Records label. Valenti then moved north to San Francisco, and was about to join the formative Quicksilver Messenger Service when he was arrested and imprisoned on an amphetamine charge, the first of two incarcerations. Valenti subsequently sold the rights to several of his compositions, including the classic "Get Together," in an effort to raise cash. The song was bought by his manager, Jim Dickson, and was subsequently a hit for We Five and the Youngbloods.

The singer’s debut album was released in 1968 (with his name misspelled on the cover). A haunting collection, its dreamy, drifting atmosphere set the precedent for much of the artist’s later work. The following year Valenti founded the Outlaws with Quicksilver guitarist Gary Duncan, but when the concept collapsed both musicians returned to Duncan’s former colleagues. The new six-piece Quicksilver made its debut with Just for Love. Although many mourned the passing of the old band’s improvisatory fire, there was no denying the power of Valenti’s compositions. He remained their frontman for a further four albums, the last of which was the result of an ill-advised reunion in 1975. In the late 80s Valenti underwent surgery to alleviate a brain tumour, and after a full recovery, he resumed performing. He passed away in November 1994.

  • ORIGIN
    Danbury, CT
  • GENRE
    Pop
  • BORN
    Nov 7, 1937

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