Buddy Miles Express
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Buddy Miles Express
Buddy Miles Express
OriginUnited States
GenresBlues rock, Psychedelic rock, Soul
1968 - 1970, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s
Buddy Miles
Duane Hitchings
Jim McCarty
Marcus Doubleday
Terry Clements
Virgil Gonsalves
Herbie Rich

The Buddy Miles Express was a group fronted by former Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles. It was formed after the Electric Flag broke up. They released two albums in the 1960s. A couple more albums in the 1970s and 1990s were also credited to the group.



The Buddy Miles Express was formed after the Electric Flag, of which Miles was a member, broke up in 1968.[1] The group also contained four other former Electric Flag members. Billboard announced in its October 12 issue that the group had signed to Mercury Records and was to record under the direction of Lou Reizner, the head of Mercury's London operation.[2] Miles also recruited Jim McCarty, with whom he had caught up with on the west coast. McCarty had been with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. He accepted Miles' offer as he wanted to work with a band that had that "big sound" with its horn section.[3]

It was announced in the November 16, 1968 issue of Billboard that the group to make its first appearance in New York for a benefit concert for Biafra at Bill Grahams Fillmore East. The Express were announced as the headline act.[4]

Their debut album Expressway to Your Skull was released on Mercury SR 61196 in 1968.[5] The liner notes for the album were written by Jimi Hendrix.[6] The November 30 issue of Billboard picked "Train" and "Spot On The Wall" as fuel for the group's chart rise. The single for the album, "Train", was produced by Lou Reizner.[5]


In 1969, Electric Church was released. Jimi Hendrix produced one side and Ann Tansey of Mercury Records produced the other.[7] For the week ending June 7, 1969, their album entered the Billboard Top LPs chart at 147.[8]

Around September 1969, Robert Fitzpatrick took legal action against the group, Mercury Records and the Ashley Famous Agency for breach of contract. He sought around $30,000 in damages and also to stop the group members from being paid until he was reimbursed.[9]

That same year, Jim McCarty left the band and joined Cactus.[10]


On April 25, 1970, the group plus Ballin' Jack opened for Jimi Hendrix at The Forum in Inglewood, California.[11] In May 1972, the group appeared at the 2nd British Rock Meeting Concert, an event which ran from May 20 to May 22. The event, which was held in Germersheim, West Germany, featured acts including Humble Pie, Pink Floyd, Atomic Rooster, Linda Lewis, Osibisa and Curved Air.[12]

The group released their Booger Bear album in 1973. A Billboard reviewer referred to it as a production of the first order. Also mentioned was the time and care put into the material and selections. The direction was more towards commercial rock than hard blues.[13] This album was also released in Quadraphonic SQ Matrix format. It differed from previous releases in SQ and QS in that it didn't stick to the "front of the music" format. There was more directionality in the music and voices on one song, "Louie's Blues" coming from the rear were effective.[clarification needed] The Billboard review mentioned Columbia's engineers really opening up the spectrum.[14] The album entered the Billboard Soul LPs chart at no 56 and remained on the chart for a week.[15]

1980s to 1990s

On December 27, 1984, the Buddy Miles Express played at San Francisco's Kabuki Theatre, an event sponsored by Bill Graham and Radio KRQ, with some of the proceeds going to World Vision to help Ethiopian famine refugees.[16]

Miles reformed the Express sometime after playing with Bootsy Collins in the early 1990s.[17]

The last album release that was credited to the Buddy Miles Express was Hell And Back, released on Rykodisc RCD 10305 in 1994.[18]



Title Release info Year Notes
"Train - Part I" / "Train - Part II" Mercury 72860 1968
"Miss Lady" / "69 Freedom Special" Mercury 72903 1969
"Funky Mule" / "Don't Mess With Cupid" Mercury 72914 1969
"Memphis Train" / "My Chant" Mercury 72945 1969[23][24]
Title Release info Year Notes
Expressway To Your Skull Mercury SR-61196 1968
Electric Church Mercury SR-61222 1969
Booger Bear Columbia KC-32694 1973
Hell And Back Rykodisc RCD-10305 1994[25][26]

Later years

Herbie Rich and his wife Hilda who he had married in 1989 became involved in the Christian ministry. They visited large malls around Atlanta, homeless shelters, schools and nursing homes, spreading the word. He died in Mableton, Georgia on May 12, 2004, at the age of 60.[27][28]

Buddy Miles died in Austin, Texas on 26 February 2008.[29]

Virgil Gonsalves died on October 20, 2008 in Salinas, California.[30]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Classic Rock, By David Luhrssen, Michael Larson - Page 234 Miles, Buddy (1946-2008)
  2. ^ Billboard, October 12, 1968 - Page 12 Talent, Signings
  3. ^ Jim McCarty - Cactus website
  4. ^ Billboard, November 16, 1968 - Page 14 Talent, Quicksilver Fast and Furious, Express Rolls
  5. ^ a b Billboard, November 30, 1968 - Page 77, 78
  6. ^ Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child, By David Henderson - Page 251
  7. ^ Billboard, May 24, 1969 - Page 57 Audio Retailing, 'Church' in Merc. Six-LP Package
  8. ^ Billboard, June 7, 1969 - Page 57 Top LPs
  9. ^ Billboard, September 6, 1969 - Page 8 5 Suits Charging Pact Violations Are Filed
  10. ^ The Guinness Who's Who of Seventies Music, Colin Larkin - Page 70 Cactus
  11. ^ The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World, edited by David V. Moskowitz - Page 352 The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966-1970)
  12. ^ Echoes: The Complete History of Pink Floyd, By Glenn Povey - > May 1972, Sunday 21 May CONCERT
  13. ^ Billboard, November 24, 1973 - Billboard's Top Album Picks, Pop
  14. ^ Billboard, February 16, 1974 - Page 50 Billboard's Top Album Picks
  15. ^ Billboard, December 15, 1973 - Page 21 Billboard Soul LPs
  16. ^ Billboard, January 5, 1985 - Page 3 Ethiopia-Aid Single, Video Take Off - by Paul Grein
  17. ^ Angel Air Is 10: 1997 - 2007, compiled by James McCarraher - Page 206
  18. ^ Jazz Times, 05/01/2004 - Buddy Miles Express: Hell and Back by Bill Milkowski
  19. ^ Discogs - Buddy Miles Express - Expressway To Your Skull
  20. ^ Discogs - Buddy Miles Express - Electric Church
  21. ^ Discogs - Buddy Miles Express - Booger Bear
  22. ^ Discogs - Buddy Miles Express - Hell And Back
  23. ^ Discogs - Buddy Miles Express Discography , Singles & EPs
  24. ^ 45Cat - Buddy Miles Express - Discography
  25. ^ Discogs - Buddy Miles Express Discography, Albums
  26. ^ AllMusic - Buddy Miles Express, Hell and Back, Releases
  27. ^ Find A Grave - Herbert Lewis Rich
  28. ^ Nebraska Music Hall of Fame website - HERBIE RICH
  29. ^ The Independent, Friday 29 February 2008 - News > Obituaries Buddy Miles: Flamboyant Hendrix drummer
  30. ^ Legacy.com - Virgil Gonsalves, Jr., Obituary

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