Although they first met in high school in Hollywood, California, John and Mark got musically together in the mystical desert of Las Vegas, Nevada in September 1970.
John, originally from Dayton, Ohio was in a Cowsills type band called the "Loved Ones", featuring soap opera star Patty Weaver and her brothers. He was 15 at the time. They signed with Atlantic Records chairman Ahmet Ertugen and moved west, but the band went nowhere.
Mark, who grew up in Hollywood, California came from a famous musical family. As a teenager, he played in various blues bands and jammed with famous bands like the orginal Blues Image, Jimi Hendrix, and many rock stars in Hollywood clubs.
By 1970, both John and Mark had tired of the Los Angeles scene and were both interested in the new music revolution of the 70s....acoustic music! They re-connected in Las Vegas and started playing acoustic guitars together. They were both heavily in the new sound of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Neil Young, James Taylor, and Simon & Garfunkel. After three months, they had conquered Las Vegas and had enough originals to head back to Los Angeles. By a magic coincidence, Ahmet Ertegun was in Los Angeles and offered to audition them. He immediately signed them to Atlantic Records and produced them himself in legendary Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
The group eventually recorded three albums on Atlantic, Asylum (one of their first releases), and Arista Records. The three A's! They toured for five years with groups like Bread, The Youngbloods, Loggins and Messina, Three Dog Night, Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Seals and Crofts, and every group from that era. They had several regional hits but never broke nationally before they had enough of the business. Batdorf and Rodney were actually before groups like America, Seals and Crofts, and Dan Fogelberg. They were always considered a major influence of that sound.
John Batdorf is currently performing music with Michael McLean and is currently residing in
Los Angeles, California. Yes, we finally heard from John Batdorf. Here is what he had to say:
Check out John's site at
My brother forwarded the info on your web site to me and I thought I'd fill you in a little. I am pretty much into music scoring nowadays. The show "Promised Land" ran for three seasons from 1997 through 1999. I did all the music underscore for that show until it was cancelled. I now work on the show "Touched by An Angel" as the alternate music composer. I also supply them with all source music, car radio/mall music etc., as well as contracting musicians and vocalists when needed. I also do independent projects when time allows and sing whenever anyone asks. I still work with Michael McLean who remains a great friend of mine. The CDs of original songs we did together were instrumental in getting me my TV gig. Michael was the first guy to give me a chance at scoring and I haven't looked back since. By the way Batdorf&Rodney "Life Is You" and the album by Silver are now available on CD.
Check out John's site at John Batdorf
Being the son of Charlie Parker trumpeteer, Red Rodney, he grew up playing and studying jazz and was admitted to the Berklee School of Music in Boston before he met John Batdorf. Once a child television actor, Mark resumed acting in 1980 and has done many parts in movies and television. He still plays occasionally with a jazz trio and with his 18 year old son whis is and alternative rocker with a band.
Click here to read a recent article about Mark Rodney.
Check out Mark's MySpace site at
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