Rik Elswit - guitar; Billy Francis - keyboards; Jance Garfat - bass; Dennis Locorriere - guitar, vocals; Ray Sawyer - guitar, vocals; John Wolters - drums
The third of four shows taped at New York's Bottom Line club in January of 1978, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show may have been past their hit making prime, but they were still a viable touring act when these shows were captured for the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
Opening with "Walk Right In," the group slipped back and forth between their funny character-driven songs (mostly written by Shel Silverstein), classic covers, and the band's own pop hits. They play memorable versions of the Silverstein classics, "Everybody's Making It Big But Me," "Carry Me, Carrie," and "Cover Of The Rolling Stone," which took the band into the Top 10 in 1972. They also do a classic cover of Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen." They end with the Shel Silverstein song, "Sylvia's Mother."
Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show is a comedy-driven, country-rock band that originated in Union City, New Jersey in 1968. Consisting of a core of members who were from the South but moved up to Jersey, they were booked into a club show weeks after forming without finalizing a name. When the club owner insisted on a name to advertise the show, one of the members suggested Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, which had been inspired by the traveling snake oil caravans of the Old West.
Singer/guitarist Ray Sawyer, who had been wearing an eye patch after a near-fatal 1967 car crash, was assumed by most fans to be Dr. Hook; in fact the band was jointly fronted by Sawyer, with his natural stage charisma and humor, and Dennis Locorriere, whose distinctive voice and musical talents were trademarks of the band's greatest hits.
Dr. Hook was signed to Columbia Records and scored a hit out of the box in 1971 with the aforementioned, Silverstein-penned love song called "Sylvia's Mother." That song did enough to get them on pop radio, which quickly embraced the band's second album and hit single: "Cover Of The Rolling Stone." The song tells the story of a frustrated rock musician whose only career goal seems to be getting his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. The single went to the Top 10 and propelled the band to have a series of future hit singles which lasted through the late-1970s.
The original band disbanded, but Ray Sawyer has kept the Dr. Hook namesake alive and spearheads a version of the band that still tours on a regular basis.