The Turtles Biography
The Turtles, known for Happy Together, was formed in 1965 with original band members Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman. Howard and Mark both served as lead singers in The Turtles.
“The Turtles were a remarkable harmonic convergence that served up the most innocent psychedelia that California could deliver” (theturtles.com). The Turtles is of the few bands from the ’60’s that continues to have fan base.
The Turtles released their first album, It Ain’t Me Babe, in October of 1965 on White Whale Records. The Album placed No. 98 on the Billboard 200. The tracks “It Ain’t Me Babe” placed No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “The Grim Reaper of Love” placed No. 81. Including their #1 song “Happy Together”, they would go on to score four Top 10 Hits
The group released five albums between 1965 and 1969. Their most successful album Happy Together, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of April 1st, 1967. It charted for 8 weeks before dropping off and sold over 1,000,000 units. Certified gold by the RIAA, the album is notable for displacing “Penny Lane” by The Beatles to take the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the Spring of 1967. Happy Together remains a popular song over forty years after its release, and has appeared in many movies and television episodes, most notably the 2008 The Simpsons movie. On television the song has been featured in That 70’s Show, Scrubs, ER, The Wonder Years and in many commercials.
By 1970, conflicts began to rise between Howard and Mark and White Whale Records. White Whale was struggling financially and was pressuring The Turtles to go into a creative direction they found distasteful. The Turtles wound down, leaving White Whale without any big commercial moneymakers and the label folded as a result. In 1982 Mark and Howard reformed The Turtles as a nostalgia act. Although they would not go on to release any new albums, they would continue to tour.
Mark, also known by his nickname Flo, was born in Los Angeles on April 19th, 1947. His first band was called ‘The Crossfires.” Besides being a talented musician, he had a successful career in Academia, earning a Masters Degree in Fine Arts and teaching courses the Los Angeles Valley College.
Howard, known by his stage name Eddie, was born on June 22nd, 1947 in the Bronx and grew up in both New York City and Los Angeles. He enjoyed a successful music career after the success of The Turtles, working with Frank Zappa in the ’70’s and the band ‘Flo and Eddie’ in the 70’s and 80’s where he would go on to release nine albums.
In 2007 “Happy Together” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Mark and Howard did their last tour, “Happy Together” in 2021 under their stage names “Flo and Eddie.”
In 2015 The Turtles launched and ultimately won a class action lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio claiming copyright infringement on millions of old songs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Did The Turtles Break Up?
The Turtles were an American rock band led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman. The band had several Top 40 hits in the 1960s and 1970s, including “Happy Together” and “She’d Rather Be with Me”. They broke up in 1970, but reformed in 1983.
What Happened To The Members Of The Turtles?
By the early 1970s, the band’s popularity had begun to wane and they broke up in 1970. Kaylan and Volman went on to form the successful duo Flo & Eddie and had a number of solo hits. Nichol became a producer and Tucker toured with various bands. Murray retired from the music business.
The Turtles Greatest Hits?
A compilation album by the American rock band The Turtles. It was released in August 1969 on White Whale Records and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200.
The Turtles – So Happy Together?
The song was written and performed by the band The Turtles in 1967.