Beverly Bivens

American singer Beverly Bivens

Beverly Bivens (born April 28, 1946) was lead singer with the American West Coast folk-rock group We Five from 1965-67. After her marriage to jazz musician Fred Marshall and the break-up of We Five, she sang for a while with the experimental Light Sound Dimension, but, by the late 1960s had largely left the music scene. After many years of relative seclusion, she sang at the opening of an exhibition in San Francisco in 2009. Her son is the saxophonist Joshi Marshall.
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Santa Ana

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  • 2014
    Age 67
    A memoir by Burgan, touching on Bivens' years in the Ridgerunners/We Five, her impact on the early folk-rock scene and subsequent forty-year seclusion was published in April 2014 by Rowman & Littlefield.
    However, Bivens' career after leaving We Five is not well documented publicly and, until Jerry Burgan published a memoir of the early folk-rock scene in 2014, sketchy information was derived mainly from recollections posted on the Internet.
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    However, most sources, including We Five's Jerry Burgan in his 2014 memoir, have rejected this suggestion.
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  • 2013
    Age 66
    Even when she and Burgan visited Bob Jones during his final illness in 2013, she was unwilling to sing High Flying Bird, which the men strummed on their guitars, an omission for which, according to Burgan, she expressed regret during the return journey.
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    This was subsequently sold and, when Burgan saw her in 2013, she was living in "a warehouse district" between Berkeley and Richmond.
  • 2009
    Age 62
    It is clear from this that Bivens has remained very circumspect about her life since We Five and, apart from her appearance in 2009, has resisted attempts to encourage her to sing again.
    The sleeve notes for Big Beat's retrospective CD of We Five's recordings, released in 2009, contained several reminiscences by Bivens and, on 24 September of that year, she sang High Flying Bird at the opening of an exhibition, mounted by the Performing Arts Library & Museum in San Francisco, of the rock scene in the Bay area in the mid-1960s to early 1970s.
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  • 1999
    Age 52
    Jerry Burgan reported that, when he spoke to Bivens in 1999, she was not singing professionally.
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  • 1978
    Age 31
    Until their divorce in 1978, she and her husband raised two children in Berkeley, California: the saxophonist Joshi Marshall, who was born in Berkeley in 1971, and a daughter, Zoe Terry Marguerite.
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  • 1969
    Age 22
    We Five are sometimes dismissed as a "one hit wonder", although they actually had two charting singles and were the highest charting 1960s band from San Francisco until Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969.
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  • 1968
    Age 21
    In 1968 We Five were among a number of A&M's artists included in an injunction by a Los Angeles court prohibiting the "pirating" of their recordings by a company named Superba Tapes.
  • 1967
    Age 20
    We Five were in the vanguard of the San Francisco bands, including Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, that reached international prominence in the "Summer of Love" of 1967.
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  • 1966
    Age 19
    She herself has confirmed that "A&M called, they wanted me, but I think my husband Marshall, whom she married in 1966 insisted he produce the records... I'd been working hard for a long time and just thought I'd take a break – turned out to be a couple of decades!" On February 13, 1966, at the age of 19, Bivens married jazz bassist Fred Marshall (Frederick Calvin Marshall, 4 October 1938 – 14 November 2001).
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  • 1965
    Age 18
    At that time Bivens' favorite band was the Beatles, "... which is fairly obvious. I haven't really heard any that I really like besides the Beatles". Many years later, she recalled that, when We Five played in Pittsburgh in late 1965 with another English band, the Rolling Stones, she had been ignored by the Stones' lead singer Mick Jagger when she had tried to introduce herself.
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    As regards fashion, photographs show her wearing dresses whose hemlines were well above the knee in 1965, at a time when the mini-skirt, which, in England, became a defining symbol of "Swinging" London, had yet to make a wide impact in America.
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    On 2 October 1965, We Five performed You Were on My Mind live on the ABC television show The Hollywood Palace, on which they were introduced by guest compère Fred Astaire.
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    They recorded their first album, the highly eclectic You Were on My Mind, for A&M records in 1965 after Herb Alpert, founder of A&M, heard them at the "hungry i", a folk/night club on Jackson Street in the North Beach area of San Francisco.
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  • 1963
    Age 16
    In 1963, she and Glen Campbell, who also played banjo, had performed background vocals on Desert Pete, a recording by the Kingston Trio, of which Stewart's brother John (1939–2008) was a member.
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  • 1946
    Born on April 28, 1946.
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