The Merry-Go-Round was an American psychedelic rock, Los Angeles based band, best known for the singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes and featuring Joel Larson on drums, Gary Kato on lead guitar, and Bill Rinehart on bass. The group would gain inspiration from bands like The Beatles, The Byrds, and The Left Banke for its vocal harmonies and instrumental acquisitions. They would utilize their contemporaries' styles to create their own sound.
The band formed in the Summer of 1966. Emitt Rhodes had left his former band, the Palace Guard, and began jam sessions with Gary Kato and friends. Within weeks, they were joined by Bill Rinehart, formerly of The Leaves and Joel Larson, formerly of The Grass Roots .
Recorded demos resulted in the band being signed by A&M Records. By early 1967, the band released their first single " Live"/"Time Will Show the Wiser". "Live" became a sensation in L.A. and reached number 63 on the Billboard Hot 100. The group's next single, "You're a Very Lovely Woman", highly arranged and orchestrated, only reached number 94. A&M, noticing the disappointing listing, would hastily release their debut album before the window of opportunity closed.
The band released their only album, The Merry-Go-Round, in November 1967. It stalled, reaching only number 190 and soon after Rinehart would depart. He would be replaced by Rick Dey of The Vejtables. Two further singles, "Listen, Listen"/"Missing You" and "Highway"/"Til' the Day After" would be released in 1968 but failed to chart. After fan interest in the group dissipated, they decided to disband in 1969.
The Merry-Go-Round performed at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival in 1967 on both days of the music festival. They closed the show on Saturday June 10 and were the second to the show closer on Sunday June 11. This music festival is important for it was a blueprint for future rock concerts of the same scale.
"You're a Very Lovely Woman" was covered in 1971 by Linda Ronstadt on Capitol single 3021 as "(She's A) Very Lovely Woman."
"Live" was covered by The Bangles in on their 1984 album All Over the Place and "Time Will Show the Wiser" was recorded by Fairport Convention on their debut album in 1968, a song still played regularly by Fairport at their Cropredy Festival.
A CD containing their only LP and other existing material was issued in 2005 on Rev-Ola Records.
Their only album was reissued in April 2010 by Sundazed Records, which was remastered from original analog tapes in high quality vinyl.