Commander Cody and the East Coast Airmen

Commander Cody and the East Coast Airmen are an American country rock band founded in 1967. The group's founder was George Frayne IV (alias Commander Cody) on keyboards and vocals. 

 

The band's style mixed country, rock 'n' roll, western swing, rockabilly, and jump blues together on a foundation of boogie-woogie piano. They were among the first country-rock bands to take its cues less from folk-rock and bluegrass and more from the rowdy barroom country of the Ernest Tubb and Ray Price style. The band became known for marathon live shows. 

 

Originally called Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, the group formed in 1967 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Frayne taking the stage name Commander Cody. The band’s name was inspired by 1950s film serials featuring the character Commando Cody and from a feature version of an earlier serial, King of the Rocket Men, released under the title Lost Planet Airmen. After playing for several years in local bars, the core members migrated to San Francisco and soon got a recording contract with Paramount Records. 

 

The group released their first album in late 1971, Lost in the Ozone, which yielded its best-known hit, a cover version of the 1955 song "Hot Rod Lincoln", which reached the top ten on the Billboard singles chart in early 1972. The band's 1974 live recording, Live from Deep in the Heart of Texas features cover art of armadillos by Jim Franklin. 

 

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