Michael Nesmith & First National Band - Silver Moon (audio)

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Michael Nesmith & First National Band - Silver Moon

Robert Michael Nesmith (born December 30, 1942) is an American musician, songwriter, actor, producer, novelist, businessman, and philanthropist, best known as a member of the pop rock band the Monkees and co-star of the TV series The Monkees (1966–1968). Nesmith's songwriting credits include "Different Drum" (sung by Linda Ronstadt with the Stone Poneys). He is also an executive producer of the cult film Repo Man (1984). In 1981, Nesmith won the first Grammy Award given for Video of the Year for his hour-long television show, Elephant Parts.

As he prepared for his exit from The Monkees in 1970, Nesmith was approached by John Ware of The Corvettes, a band that featured Nesmith's friend John London, who played on some of the earliest pre-Monkees Nesmith 45s as well as numerous Monkees sessions, and had 45s produced by Nesmith for the Dot label in 1969. Ware wanted Nesmith to put together a band. Nesmith said he would be interested only if noted pedal steel player Orville "Red" Rhodes was part of the project; Nesmith's musical partnership with Rhodes continued until Rhodes's death in 1995. The new band was christened Michael Nesmith and the First National Band and went on to record three albums for RCA Records in 1970.

Silver Moon was the third single Michael Nesmith recorded as a solo artist and the second to reach the Billboard Hot 100. Silver Moon was released in 1970 from Nesmith's second solo album, Loose Salute. Nesmith recorded the song with The First National Band and the song reached 42 on the Top 100 and #7 on the Adult Contemporary charts. The track features a pedal steel guitar solo played by O.J. "Red" Rhodes. The song also went to No. 13 in Canada and No. 7 in the Netherlands.

Although Nesmith would release several singles following "Silver Moon", "Silver Moon" would remain his last song to reach a notable status on the charts. On the B-side of "Silver Moon", the track "Lady of the Valley" appears. The now highly collectable quadraphonic 8-track tape release of "Loose Salute" features an extended version of "Silver Moon". In fact, it's the actual full-length rendition of the song with a cold ending.

Similar to Nesmith's earlier single, "Joanne", Nesmith would include "Silver Moon" on his regular set of solo concert tours and has appeared on all three of his live albums: Live At The Palais, Live at the Britt Festival and Movies of the Mind.

Michael Nesmith – vocals & rhythm guitar
John London – bass
John Ware – drums
O.J. "Red" Rhodes – pedal steel guitar
Glen D. Hardin – piano


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