The Fintons
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The Fintons

Arvada, Colorado, United States | SELF

Arvada, Colorado, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Acoustic

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(Denver, Colorado, February 2005)

TASHA:  I am amazed that with all your years of experience in music  that so few people have heard of you. And your music sounds so ... so beautiful and timely. Isn't that strange? Why is that?

KENNY:  Yeah, well, that was really the intention for many years. I always avoided the spotlight and tried to stay in the background as much as possible. I’m basically a pretty shy person. In those days I was also quite insecure.

TASHA:  I heard that you had an interesting experience with the Bee Gees when they were just starting out.

KENNY:  That was a long time ago ... yes, we were all working in Niagara Falls, Canada. My car broke down.  That is a story in itself. I was coming off the ramp of a freeway and when I hit the brakes of the old Studabaker, the pedal went straight down to the floor ...  no brakes at all. I went right through a red light and down the on ramp and into a crowded freeway.  I pulled on what I thought was the emergency brake to stop, but it was the wrong lever. Instead, the hood came up and I could not even see! I had to bend down and peer between the crack of the hood and the body of the car to see where I was going.

TASHA: Wow!  What happened? How did you get out of that one?

KENNY: I rubbed the wheels against the curb and that helped slow the car enough that I could turn over the curb onto an uphill embankment. When we finally were going slow enough, the rest of the band jumped out of the car and held it steady. We put some stones that we used like chocks against the wheels and walked back up to the street and called a tow truck.

TASHA: So what does that have to do with the Bee Gees?

KENNY: Well, we traveled with little money in those days. We moved from gig to gig and the car repair and towing bill set me back to the point that I could not afford a motel room for the guys. We ended up hanging out at the Falls and came across a g group of long-haired hippies from Canada who were just about to record their first album. They invited us over to their room for the night to get out of the chill and we sat around writing songs all night. We wrote these songs one line at a time, each one offering a line and a piece of the melody in rounds. I never kept any copies of these songs and poems, but it was a memorable evening. They told us they were the Gibb brothers. Of course, few had heard of them at that time. We were the Finton Brothers, so we hit it off exceptionally well. I never made any contact with them after that, but I bet they still remember that evening as well as I do.

TASHA: And they wrote a song built from that evening?

KENNY: I don’t know whether they did or not. Some years later I heard the song “Craze Finton Kirk” that they had on one of their first albums. The name Finton is not all that common, so I naturally wondered if it came from that evening. They has a line in it about “his wavy hair continued not to grow” which fit me to a tee. My wavy hair always balls up instead of getting long. The first verse is: “Craze Finton Kirk, see him go on his way. Nobody knows where is is, very very nice, very very nice.”  It certainly captured the essence of who I was at that time. If it was not about either me or my brother, it should have been.

TASHA: And now, after all these years, you are ready to get back into music?

KENNY: Ready, willing and able. I'm better now that I ever was before ... and today's music needs a good dose of the Finton touch.

TASHA: Well. I'm rooting for you, as is the rest of the school. Thanks so much for the visit. Perhaps we can talk again?

KENNY:  Anytime, Tasha. And please thank all these kids for their great support.


- WITH TASHA MICHELSON


Discography

AMERICANA THE BEAUTIFUL
THE GREAT AMERICAN SONG REVIVAL (album)
WHO OWNS THE SUN (album)
"Promise Her Anything" (single)
"Moon on the Mountain" (single)
"So Many Times" (single)
"Cowboys They Love to Be Free" (SINGLE)
IN A NEW YORK MINUTE(album)
THE FINTON BROTHERS AND SHERI (album)

Photos

Bio

Kenny Finton has been performing and writing successful songs since age eighteen, beginning with folk roots music where he performed and wrote songs for The Finton Brothers. Kenny played the eastern and midwest circuit such as The Cafe Wha (New York), Mother Blues (Chicago), The Lemon Tree (Dayton), the Monmarte (Chicago), and numerous other clubs on the folk circuit. Kenny's close friends in the music business were instrumental in encourging him to contInue with his writing and performing, Doug Kershaw (The Ragin' Cajun), Sonny Osborne of the Osborne Brothers, some founding members of the Buffalo Springfield, and a loose jug band that played in Dayton, Ohio that later became The Lovin' Spoonsful.

Kenny eventually moved from Chicago to New York City and immediately got a 3 years deal as a staff songwriter with Big Seven Music on Tin Pan Alley. There he was introduced to other writers and producers and worked as a writer and producer for Atlantic Records, Roulette Records and RCA. At that time, Tommy James and the Shondells, Brook Benton, Aretha Franklin, Billy Vera, and the Sand Pebbles were major recording artists with these companies and Kenny was right in the thick of it all, producing, writing and coming up with new sounds and material for both himself and the stable of well known recording artists.

Even then, Kenny's music was lauded as a breath of fresh air in a somewhat stale New York musical environment.

After Big Seven Music was sold, Kenny lost interest in the business of music, but he never lost interest in his music. He kept on writing great songs year after year. His vocal performance got better and better and so did the songs. The Fintons' lives changed when they met and teamed up with RCA Records chief engineer, Bill Porter (who recorded such legends as Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison), and Roger Miller's keyboard player (who also recorded EXODUS) to record an album in Louisville, Kentucky. Bill Porter was highly impressed with the music and wanted to add his professional touch to the productions. This collaboration awakened THE FINTONS and eventually caused them to get back into the business of music.

The Fintons are ready for the world stage with great new songs that sound like they have been hits for years and hypnotic vocals reminiscent of some of the great singers of yesteryear (The Everly Brothers, Gene Pitney, Roy Orbison, Sonny James). With Chaya, the vocal blend reaches superb new levels reminiscent of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris.