9 Songs


About Elyse

Perhaps best known to a select group of late-'60s psych rock fans and revivalists as Elyse, Elyse Weinberg was born in Canada and, after making small waves on the Toronto folk scene in the 1960s (the same place and time as such legendary names as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell), moved to Los Angeles and scored a deal with Bill Cosby's Tetragrammaton Records, a deal helped along from a connection to another star of the time, Mama Cass. Working with a session band -- Touch -- Weinberg soon recorded her debut album, under the moniker (and title) Elyse. A folk-pop record with flourishes of medieval folk and psychedelia -- a pretty standard mix at that point of that particular decade -- Elyse was a minor hit, placing well within the Top 40. Weinberg began hitting the Los Angeles folk circuit, playing shows at such well-known venues as the Troubadour, and even landed an appearance on The Tonight Show on NBC.

Although comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro were made in the mainstream press, and Cher's recording of the Weinberg-penned "Band of Thieves" pointed to the beginning of a illustrious career, the demise of her label -- and the declining interest in the folk-rock sound as the decade ended -- marked the beginning of the end of her career in music instead. With Tetragrammaton out of the picture -- and Elyse's second album (Grease Paint Smile), which featured Neil Young, now shelved -- Weinberg gave it one last go, signing to the Asylum label. There she recorded her third album, Wildfire, but it was to remain unreleased as well.

Eventually, Weinberg faded from performing, and then even changed her identity, taking the name Cori Bishop and moving away from Los Angeles to settle in Santa Fe, NM. By the 1990s, Weinberg -- that is to say, Bishop -- found herself in Ashland, OR, working in an insurance office. In 2000, the former Elyse Weinberg was surprised to receive a phone call from Andrew Rieger of Elf Power, who was hoping to re-release the Elyse album on his label, Orange Twin. Rieger, who had picked up the LP in a shop after liking the cover, contacted Weinberg/Bishop's old songwriting collaborator, Rich Goldman, who then put Rieger in touch with Bishop.

Bishop, excited at the prospect of her work seeing a new audience, jumped at the chance to give her work a CD release. Unfortunately, the original masters had been destroyed, and the new CD had to be culled from a mint-condition copy of the LP. Orange Twin was able to release Elyse to a warm critical reception in 2001. With her work finding new life and new fans appearing to hear her perform, Bishop soon formed a new, more casual band, called Baby Cori & the Buds, and began performing locally. She has also become a member of the Southern Oregon Songwriters Association. ~ Chris True

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