Blood, Sweat & Tears

The jazz-rock outfit Blood, Sweat, and Tears (BST) brought a compositional maturity to the rock-dominated mainstream of the late 1960s and 1970s. Formed in New York City in 1967 and originally led by Al Kooper, the group was inspired by horn-led rock acts and jazz bandleaders. Comprised of seasoned musicians who had played with prominent acts, the group signed to Columbia Records and released its debut, Child Is the Father to the Man, in 1968 before Kooper’s departure. David Clayton-Thomas was brought in to replace Kooper on vocals and the resulting eponymous album in 1968 presented a pop-oriented sound that won the group the Album of the Year Grammy over the Beatles’ Abbey Road. The group headlined the 1969 Woodstock festival despite not appearing in the accompanying film. It toured Eastern Europe on a tour sponsored by the State Department in 1970 and returned to the United States to release a third album. Ridicule by the underground for the government tour and participation in the soundtrack for The Owl and the Pussycat led to a general decline in their popularity following BS&T 4 in 1971. Clayton-Thomas left in 1972 and was replaced by Jerry Fisher while the band transitioned toward a jazz-fusion sound. Through the end of the 1970s, BST continued to record original material while its lineup changed almost continuously and members participated in other performance and production projects. The band continued to tour globally amid legal issues surrounding the use of the band’s name. In 2013, former American Idol runner-up Bo Bice was added as the group’s newest touring vocalist. The band runs a scholarship fund to provide aid for music students and received positive attention for its work following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.