Paul Revere & the Raiders
Three decades before grunge broke, Paul Revere and the Raiders charted out of the Northwest with music that rocked as hard as Nirvana ever would. Keyboardist Revere was actually from Nebraska, but by 1958 he was in the Downbeats with Oregon singer Mark Lindsay. Their name changed, and in 1961 -- three years before The Beatles -- they had their first Top 40 hit, which was already called "Like Long Hair," and based on Rachmaninoff to boot. In 1963 Columbia signed the band for its cover of "Louie Louie"; tragically, the Kingsmen's version hit instead. But the Raiders played frat houses, armories, teen clubs and (according to one 1964 song) Crisco parties, and in 1965 they wound up regulars on Dick Clark's TV show Where the Action Is, dressed up in British Invasion-spurning Revolutionary War outfits. They became, for a couple of years, the biggest American band in America, scoring with R&B-based greaser punkers like "Just Like Me" and the anti-drug classic "Kicks." Big hits lasted into 1967, and smaller hits for another half-decade. But their highest charter -- the Native-American-history novelty "Indian Reservation" -- came in 1971, by which time they were simply called the Raiders.