The New Colony Six was an American rock band of the 1960s and early 1970s. From Chicago, they placed ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1966 and 1971. Original members were Ray Graffia (vocals), Chick James (drums), Pat McBride (harmonica), Craig Kemp (organ), Wally Kemp (bass), and Gerry Van Kollenburg (guitar). Ronnie Rice (vocals, keyboards, guitar) joined in 1966, replacing Craig Kemp. There were numerous changes in the lineup over the years. Nationally, the band's two biggest hits were "I Will Always Think About You" (#22 Billboard Hot 100, 1968) and "Things I'd Like to Say" (#16, 1969).
Formed in 1964, New Colony Six scored their first major local hit in Chicago in 1966 with "I Confess," featured on their debut album, Breakthrough. Their sound was characterized by Richie Unterberger as "a poppier American Them with their prominent organ, wobbly Lesley-fied guitar amplifications and rave-up tempos", later devolving into "a cabaret-ish band with minor national hits to their credit by the end of the 1960s." Like Paul Revere & the Raiders, they wore colonial outfits on stage.
Ellery Temple briefly joined in 1967, replacing Wally Kemp, and was replaced by Les Kummel. Billy Herman (vocals, drums) replaced James in 1969. Graffia left in 1969 and Bruce Gordon (guitar) and Chuck Jobes (keyboards) joined the band. Bruce Mattey (vocals, guitar) joined in the 1970s.
In 1987, the band played a reunion show at Chicago's Park West. As of 2009, the band continued to perform with founding member Graffia and Mattey in the lineup. New Colony Six was inducted into the Iowa Rockn'Roll Music Association Hall of Fame in 2002.
* Breakthrough (1966, Sentar)
* Colonization (1967, Sentar)
* Revelations (1968, Mercury)
* Attacking a Straw Man (1969, Mercury)
* Colonized!: the Best of New Colony Six (1993 Compilation, Rhino)
* At the River's Edge (1993 Compilation, Sundazed records)