Early garage bandleader Paul Revere — that was his real name, Paul Revere Dick — died Saturday at age 76 at his home in Garden Valley, Idaho. The cause of death was cancer. With his band the Raiders, Revere had a string of hits in the 1960s and '70s, and the band was a frequent guest on Dick Clark's TV shows Where the Action Is and Happening.
Revere wasn't the frontman — he played organ — but he started the band, at first called the Downbeats, in 1959 in Boise as a way to attract people to his drive-in restaurant (Revere owned his first barber shop at age 18). They were rebranded Paul Revere and the Raiders after moving to Portland, Oregon, and they added Revolutionary War costumes and tri-corner hats to drive the schtick home. Revere is the blond organ player in this Ed Sullivan Show performance of their hit "Kicks." (The singer is Mark Lindsay.)
The Raiders continued performing with different members, and Revere was touring with the band until about six months ago. "We were visual and fun and crazy and were America's answer to the British music invasion," Revere told The Associated Press in 2000. "We just happened to be at the right time and had the right name and had the right gimmick."