Sooner or Later – The Grass Roots

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………on May 19th of 1971 The Grass Roots release their newest single “Sooner or Later”. Written by Gary Zekley, Mitchell Bottler, brothers Adenyi Jacob and Ekundayo Paris, and Ted McNamara. Zekley and Bottler also wrote the Grass Roots’ previous hit “(I’d) Wait a Million Years” among others. It was the Grass Roots’ first Top 10 hit since their hit “Midnight Confessions,” which was released three years before. Keyboardist Dennis Provisor is given a chance to stand out in this song. After the key signature changes, Provisor makes a soulful improvise while the other members sing the verse. In the tale of this song, a man is trying to win the heart of a girl who does not want to love him (she’s allegedly afraid because of past experiences); he tells her that she will succumb to him sooner or later. The name “Grass Roots” (originally spelled as one word “Grassroots”) originated in mid-1965 as the name of a band project by the Los Angeles songwriter and producer duo of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri. Sloan and Barri had written several songs in an attempt by their record company, Dunhill Records (owned by Lou Adler), to cash in on the budding folk rock movement. One of these songs was “Where Were You When I Needed You,” which was recorded by Sloan and Barri. Sloan provided the lead vocals and played guitar, Larry Knechtel played keyboards, Joe Osborn played the bass and Bones Howe was on drums. The song was released under “The Grass Roots” name and sent, as a demo, to several radio stations of the San Francisco Bay area. When moderate interest in this new band arose, Sloan and Barri went to look for a group that could incorporate the Grass Roots name. After two unsuccessful attempts to find a suitable band to record as The Grass Roots the group’s third – and by far most successful – incarnation was finally found in a Los Angeles band called The 13th Floor. This band consisted of Creed Bratton (vocals, guitar), Rick Coonce (drums, percussion), Warren Entner (vocals, guitar, keyboards), and Kenny Fukomoto (vocals, bass). After Fukomoto was suddenly drafted into the army, the group went through two replacements before finding singer/bassist Rob Grill. In their career, they achieved two gold albums, one gold single and charted singles a total of 21 times. Among their charting singles, they achieved Top 10 three times, Top 20 three times and Top 40 eight times. They have sold over twenty million records worldwide. “Sooner or Later” reached #9 on Billboard.