“Fire in the City”: Hendricks & The Dead

Not Jimi, but rather Jon — he of jazz vocal trio, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.

In 1967 Jon Hendricks and The Grateful Dead composed music for the soundtrack of a Jerry Stoll documentary entitled, Sons and Daughters, in which students from the University of California at Berkeley march to the Oakland Army Terminal in 1966 to protest the Vietnam War.  AllMovie.com informs us that “the youth movement protesting the war contrasts with the many defense plants in the area and the fact that soldiers arrive and depart from the port on a daily basis”:

“Fire in the City”     Jon Hendricks & The Grateful Dead     1967

Gratitude to Hooterollin’ Around for the details surrounding this recording session:

“The Grateful Dead still had one more studio episode prior to recording their first album in Los Angeles.  Soon after signing their contract, they spent some time in the studio working with singer Jon Hendricks on the soundtrack to a documentary movie about antiwar protesters called Your Sons And Daughters.  Hendricks was well-known as the leader of the groundbreaking vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross (vocalizing Charlie Parker solos), and Lesh and Garcia in particular were honored to work with him.

The band spent a few days with Hendricks at Columbus Recorders, at 906 Kearny.  Columbus Recorders was a popular studio for commercial work and the like, but it too had a three-track recorder.  The Dead ended up backing Hendricks on two songs, “Fire In The City” and “Your Sons And Daughters,” both released as a Jon Hendricks single on Verve.  However, according to McNally, although the Dead enjoyed working with Hendricks, they were uncomfortable with the overt polemical political stance of the movie and asked that their name be removed from the soundtrack.”

Fire in the City 45 (b)

The Warlocks vs. The Grateful Dead?

Some sources on the web attribute the backing band on “Fire in the City” to be The Warlocks, but this is simply untrue, as credible sources affirm that The Warlocks became The Grateful Dead sometime around November 1965, and this recording on Verve was made in March 1967 – the same month, interestingly enough, as the release of their Warner Bros. debut album.

Note the DJ copy below says “From the American Documentary Films ‘Fire in the City’.”Fire in the City 45 (a)