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Randy California and his stepfather Ed Cassidy formed Spirit in 1967. Cassidy cut his teeth performing with legendary jazz musicians Art Pepper and Thelonius Monk; California's heritage was equally rich, having played with Jimi Hendrix in Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. These diverse backgrounds helped forge Spirit's sound -- a heady mix of Hard Rock and jazz, with some elements of blues and country thrown in. The band released a series of critically acclaimed albums in the late-1960s and early-'70s, though "I Got a Line On You" (1968) was their only chart hit. By 1971 various members had drifted in and out of the band; within a year Spirit had broken up. Sporadic reunions and live performances dotted the 1970s. California drowned in Hawaii in 1997.
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