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7 Sep 2016

Blackhawk County "Oregon / Can’t Go Home “ 1974 single US Psych Folk



Blackhawk County  "Oregon / Can’t Go Home “ 1974 single US Psych Folk
Blackhawk County was formed as a folk/rock duo in 1973 by Bill Coleman - vocals/guitars, (seated left) and Scott Riordan - vocals/keyboards, (seated right) while attending Western Oregon State University, then Oregon College of Education. Their complimenting vocal style and high energy show quickly gained popularity in the Northwest, and led to their first recording, “Oregon: I Can’t Go Home,” dedicated to Joann McDaniels, an Oregon native imprisoned in Turkey at the time.
“Oregon” hit the airwaves in 1974, remaining at number one for nine weeks in the Pacific Northwest, and rising to number 16 on Billboard’s national charts. The song played extensively over the Armed Forces Network to military personnel stationed in Europe and the Far East.
Bassist, Spencer Palermo, (standing left) originally from Massachusetts by way of the Olympic Peninsula, joined the band just prior to the “Oregon” recording session at Rex Recording Studio in Portland. Studio musicians; Debbie York - background vocal, Doug Fraser - lead electric guitar, and Joe Graziano - Drums helped with the initial recording. Drummer, Dennis Parrish (Schick) (standing right) from Portland is not featured on the original recording having joined the band as “Oregon” gained momentum, but played on their only album, “Monkee Zoo” released the following year.
The band promoted their hit by touring through out the Northwest and Rocky Mountain states opening for Jerry Lee Lewis, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, The Beau Brummels, Flo & Eddy of the Turtles, etc. as well as headlining their own concerts.
Blackhawk County disbanded in 1978 as Scott Riordan and Bill Coleman pursued solo careers in music. Palermo and Parrish continued performing as side men for other bands in the region until the early eighties. Currently, Dennis Parrish lives in southern California, working for a medical supply company. Spencer Palermo studied cinema at the University of Oregon and was last seen working as an audio engineer in the film industry.

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