The Gainsborough Gallery formed in Calgary, Alberta Canada in late 1964 as The Skeptics. Dennis Paul (Planidin) who had previously been with Wes Dakus' Rebels, and Mel Degan (previously with "Priviledge") came down from Edmonton & joined in 1966 and the group became "The Gainsborough Gallery". The name was keyboardist Tim McHugh's idea, after the "Gainsborough (Art) Gallery" in Calgary where the group had their fan mail directed to for pick up.
The group had done their first recordings at the small "Porter's" recording studio in Las Vegas, NV. The studio actually had a 5 minute recording charge "break" because it was located beside a train track and in the middle of recording sessions, would have to stop for 5 minutes as the train would pass by...after that, the clock was back on.
Since that venture brought them no luck, they decided to try Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, NM since Dennis Paul and Wes Dakus had recorded there before. In 1969 the group went there to record a full length album. "Life Is A Song" was released on Petty's Evolution label in December 1969, the title track written by George Tomsco of "The Fireballs". Tomsco came in with acoustic guitar, pitched them the song & they agreed to do a quick few takes of it yet that day. Interesting note is that Petty always tried to do something unique with songs, and in this case - the trumpet part was a young Mexican boy that they basically dragged off the street, who couldn't play overly well & they overdubbed his lead trumpet part for a "dual effect". "Life Is A Song" became their biggest hit, peaking at #54 on January 24th of 1970,and stayed on the Canadian music charts for 10 weeks. The album track "Dreams In A Box Car" features Peter Marley on lead vocals.
Mel Degan: lead vocals
Jae Mack: lead vocals
Peter Marley: guitar & vocals
Dennis Paul: bass, group leader
Ray McAndrew: drums
Tim McHugh: keyboards
Henry Small: vocals, violin