kin vassy

Kin Vassy recorded and toured with Frank Zappa. He can be heard on "Over-Nite Sensation", and on at least a couple of live shows (1973/04/27 and 1973/05/01).

Kin Vassy toured successfully in the 1960s with the group Back'porch majority, before replacing Mike Settle in The First Edition in 1970. The First Edition's front man, Country Legend - Kenny Rogers, once described Vassy as a singer who could sing "Higher, Harder and longer than anyone else". With Rogers he co-wrote "A Stranger in my place", from the top 40 pop album "Something's Burning". Vassy enjoyed further hit singles and albums as a member of the First Edition, one of which (School Teacher) he took the lead vocal.  The group disbanded in 1974 and like Rogers and Terry Williams in the group he went solo.
He recorded for Bell Records (home of The Box Tops, Gary Glitter and The Bay City Rollers) and went onto score two hit singles as a solo act. His Greatest success since the Edition and Majority was as a session singer & writer (working with some of the worlds top musicians including Elvis, Ray Charles, Dottie West, The Osmond Brothers and again with Rogers on his solo projects).
Vassy died in 1994, of cancer, this was a great loss to the underground music world. Two years later Martina McBride took a cover version of his Phone are ringing all over town into the top ten.
His music is undoubtably underrated and he should have been massive, nevertheless he has a glittering back catalogue appreciated by his cult following.

 

selective discography

  kin vassy: gamblin man / tracks run through the city
    (196?, 7", usa, epic)
 
  kin vassy: i think i just found my mind / that's the bag i'm in
    (1969, 7-pro, usa, uni records 55139)
 
  alexander harvey: alex harvey
    (1971, lp, usa, ??) - guitar
 
  kenny rogers: tell it all brother
    (1971, lp, usa, ??) - engineer
 
  wolfman jack: wolfman jack
    (1972, lp, usa, ??)
 

17

the mothers: over-nite sensation
   (1973, lp, usa, discreet)
  roger miller: off the wall
    (1978, lp, usa, ??) - vocals)
 
  duane eddy: duane eddy
    (1979, lp, usa, ??) -
vocals
 
  kim carnes: romance dance
    (1980, lp, usa, ??) -
vocals
 
  kenny rogers: christmas
    (1981, lp, usa, ??) - acoustic guitar, vocals
 
  lionel richie: lionel richie
    (1982, lp, usa, ??) - vocals
 
  lionel richie: can't slow down
    (1983, lp, usa, ??) -
vocals
 
  kenny rogers: we've got tonight
    (1983, lp, usa, ??) - guitar, vocals
 
  kenny rogers: what about me
    (1984, lp, usa, ??) - guitar, vocals
 
  kenny rogers: once upon a christmas
    (1984, lp, usa, ??) - guitar
 
  various artists: usa for africa: we are the world
    (1985, 7", usa, ??) - vocals
 
  kenny rogers: heart of the matter
    (1985, cd, usa, ??) - percussion, vocals
 

67

frank zappa: have i offended someone?
   (1997, cd, usa, ryko)

     

 

random notes

     From: Patrick Neve
Kin Vassy sang "Yippy-Ty-O-Ty-Aye" on Montana, "That's right folks, don't
touch that dial" on I'm The Slime, and also sang on Dinah Moe Humm.


     From: Jon Naurin
I just heard a tape of Princeton, 4/27/73, where the band intros are
audible (this part was very muffled on my old copy). Much to my surprise, Kin Vassy is introduced as lead vocalist! I've been told before that Kin was at the Kent University 5/1 show, but I never heard his name on that tape. But now, as I listen hard to the outros, I hear "...sey on vocals". There's no sign of Kin at the Indianapolis 5/2 show. Those two (4/27 and 5/1) also seem to be the only one where someone else than Frank sings the Yellow Snow Suite - I always assumed this was Sal, but now I realize it must be Kin.
So it seems as if mr Vassy was a member for approx 5 days - a hard-to-beat
record, unless you count Tom Fowler's substitutes in 1974.


     From: Tom Tuerff
Kin Vassy died of lung cancer about two years ago. Aside from Zappa, he's
probably best know for being mentioned in the lyrics of a hit song, John Stewart's "Gold":

   My Buddy Kin Vassy's
   Working pumping gas
   He makes two-fifty for an hour
   He's got rhythm in his hands
   He's tappin' on the cans
   Sings rock and roll in the shower

Looks like he wound up working in a gas station...

     From: Patrick Neve
Bonnie Raitt covered his song "My First Night Alone Without You" on her 1975 "Home Plate" album.

    From: Charles Ulrich:
This line is apparently actually "Oh, my buddy Tim Bass he's working pumping gas".

<http://www.clackscellar.com/archives/Jan03/dg010203.txt>
<
http://www.californiabloodlines.com/action.lasso?-database=jslyrics.fp3&-layout=Web%20layout&-response=Detail.html&-recid=62&-search>

 --Charles

     From: Eric Vassy (dvassy@siebel.com)
Saw the name on your website.  Thought you'd be interested in know that my
cousin Kin also sang backup (sometimes uncredited) on some Elvis material as well.
I was very surprised to find he had recorded with Mr. Zappa (of whom I am a
fan) and only found out when reading liner notes.  When I asked about why he never told me (he had been a musical hero since I was a child) he said he didn't really tell many of his family members because of Frank's reputation. Kin came from a pretty conservative southern family. He used to, on occasion, come to family reunions and sing with myself and some other family members, all of whom are fairly musical.  I didn't talk to him much, but know some musicians in Nashville who he helped guide through their careers.  He had 2 top 40 country hits and wrote or co-wrote many songs that were performed by others.
Enjoyed you Zappa site.


     From: Robno57@aol.com
Kin Vassy toured successfully in the 1960s with the group Back'porch
majority, before replacing Mike Settle in The First Edition in 1970. The First Edition's front man, Country Legend - Kenny Rogers, once described Vassy as a singer who could sing "Higher, Harder and longer than anyone else". With Rogers he co-wrote "A Stranger in my place", from the top 40 pop album "Something's Burning". Vassy enjoyed further hit singles and albums as a member of the First Edition, one of which (School Teacher) he took the lead vocal.  The group disbanded in 1974 and like Rogers and Terry Williams in the group he went solo.
He recorded for Bell Records (home of The Box Tops, Gary Glitter and The Bay
City Rollers) and went onto score two hit singles as a solo act. His Greatest success since the Edition and Majority was as a session singer & writer (working with some of the worlds top musicians including Elvis, Ray Charles, Dottie West, The Osmond Brothers and again with Rogers on his solo projects).
Vassy died in 1994, of cancer, this was a great loss to the underground music
world. Two years later Martina McBride took a cover version of his Phone are ringing all over town into the top ten.
His music is undoubtably underrated and he should have been massive,
nevertheless he has a glittering back catalogue appreciated by his cult following.


     From: gloria vassy (day-glow@webtv.net)
hi i was married to kin from 1964 to 1972. during that time, kin was
singing with the back porch majority,had a solo career, joined the first edition,and then zappa. we were separate by the time zappa came around, so i don't know too much about that era.
kin had quite a life. we had a daughter, karla.
in addition to his resume, kn also sang back up for lionel ritchie's all
nite long album my first night alone without you, was written for me when we split up. the song was first recorded by jane olivor and the title of her firstalbum. ray charles also recorded it. don't know which album. maybe you could help me fnd that one.
he overcame many obstacles by working hard on himself and thru all that
became a great person. he helped so many people with their careers, like faith hill. she was his receptionist in nashville. he left nashville in 1992 &came back to la to put a touring version of the first edition, along with terr williams,another former member. this is when he found out he had cancer,& within 6o he died.
he is greatly missed by all & i lost mybest friend. i never in
my life have heard anyone sing like hm & never will.
thank you for your interest in one of the most
brilliantly talented people that ever lived. sincerely, gloria vassy


additional informants:
Charles Pater (charpa@felvonet.nl)
Charles Ulrich (ulrich@sfu.ca)


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