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Band Information





The band, Mama's Pride, was originally from St. Louis, Missouri USA. In their hometown, they were fondly referred to as "The Pride of St. Louis". The group was formed by brothers Pat and Danny Liston. Members of the original band were: Pat Liston - vocals, slide, electric and acoustic guitars, organ, Danny Liston - vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, Kevin Sanders - drums, percussion, back ground vocals, Max Baker - lead electric guitar, 12-string and acoustic guitars, background vocals, Joe Turek - bass, background vocals, Frank Gagliano - keyboards and synthesizer.

Mama's Pride signed with Atco Records (a division of Atlantic Records) in 1974. They recorded and released their first album a short time later. According to Frank Gagliano, the Muscle Shoals tapes are still the highlight of the band then and now! The reason being is those recordings actually sounded live and in concert! Ten tunes--rhythm tracks--vocals--and overdubs recorded and mixed down in "THREE DAYS"!! David Johnson the engineer recorded all the tracks and we had been playing six nights a week for some time and the band was smoking hot!! All the labels that heard those tracks came to Atlanta to make a bid. Atlantic Records and the whole staff flew down to Tampa, Florida to see the group at a club called the PAC--Performing Arts Center. They offered us a major deal after the first show!! We actually met Amet Ertugen the CEO of Atlantic and he offered us a deal we couldn't refuse!

Frank Gagliano auditioned for Pat Liston in one of the first groups he had in St. Louis. At the time Frank was 14 years old and played accordian. Pat liked the way Frank played but told him to get a Wurlitzer electric piano and the gig was his! Well Frank picked up a used Wurlitzer and called Pat back and he had already hired somebody else, Ten years later Kevin Sanders---Kevin and Frank played together in bands since they were kids-- joined the group in December of 1973 in Tucson, Arizona and Frank hooked up with the group in April of 1974 in Kearny, Nebraska.

Then, the group recorded their second album, "Uptown and Lowdown". There are some interesting facts about the second album. Both Joe Turek and Dickie Steltenpohl are listed as the bass player on the album. However, Joe played on the majority of the songs. The producer, Jim Mason, played bass on the song "The End of Our Road". The reason for the song "The End of Our Road" is that it was used to substitute it for a song that Joe wrote called "Wanderin' Man". Joe left the group shortly after the album was recorded to return to college. Another tidbit about this album: Timothy B. Schmidt (of The Eagles) sang backup vocals on the song "Merry-Go-Round".

The group was then dropped by the label after recording and releasing their second album. Originally, the record label tried to push the group as a southern rock band and paired them with groups like The Outlaws and others on concert bills. However, the members of Mama's Pride never were really comfortable with this label and many audiences, after hearing the group, did not consider them a southern rock group when comparing them to Lynyrd Skynyrd and others.

Finally, in 1982, the group disbanded. There were a number of reasons for the breakup besides being dropped by their record label. Pat and Dan each had personal problems they were dealing with which resulted from the rock and roll lifestyle.

Then, in October 1987, a local radio station in St. Louis sponsored a Mama's Pride reunion concert. The show was a huge success with standing room only. There was hope in their hometown that "The Pride" was back. However, this was a one-time only show and a short-lived reunion of the group. The band had decided against working up any new material for the show or staying together afterwards to record any songs.

In 1992, Mama's Pride decided to have another go at writing and recording some new material. Initially, Pat Liston was not in favor of reforming the band. His younger brother Dan, was the driving force behind making it happen. They wrote and worked on new music with the idea of recording another album. At the time, the idea of playing bars and clubs didn't seem like the thing to do. The resulting album "Guard Your Heart" was released in 1992.

"Guard Your Heart" was much different in sound from their two previous albums. Even though Pat and Dan Liston are each born again Christians, the album is not what would be categorized as "Christian rock". The songs are about real life situations and the lives of the songwriters. The album was produced by Jim Gaines, who has also produced Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana, and Steve Miller.

Mama's Pride released a total of three albums and each is described in the Mama's Pride Discography pages. Their first two albums are out of print and have not been re-released on compact disc. Each of these albums are sought after collectors items. According to Pat Liston, he has approached Atlantic Records, on more than one occasion, about obtaining the rights to the recordings so they could be re-released on compact disc. Pat was able to verify that Atlantic has the original master tapes to the first two albums. However, Atlantic is not willing to allow Pat (or anyone else) the use of the masters in order to press CDs of the albums. Word has it that Atlantic is not even willing to discuss a deal at this time. (Editor's note: With all the other recordings that Atlantic has re-released over the years, you would think they would be willing to come to some sort of agreement. Instead, the masters sit in a vault somewhere of no benefit to anyone. Why Atlantic is holding onto these tapes and refusing to release them is a mystery. Maybe if enough fans were to send e-mails to Atlantic Records, a division of Time-Warner, requesting that these albums be released on CD, something might happen.)

Some of Mama's Pride's best known songs include: "Blue Mist", "In the Morning", "She's a Stranger to Me Now", "Merry-Go-Round", and "Maybe". To my knowledge, there is only one other recording by the group in existence. (This does not include 8-tracks of their first two albums. Yes, these do exist.) There is a 45 RPM, released in 1980 on Tapestry Records, of the song "Maybe" which contains a different mix than the version on the "Guard Your Heart" compact disc. The song "Maybe" was originally written in 1976. The flip side of the single is a song called "Monkee's Gun" written by Pat Liston. To my knowledge, this song was never released on any other album or CD. This single may still be available in some St. Louis, Missouri USA record stores.

The original Mama's Pride, with members, Pat Liston, Danny Liston, Max Baker, Kevin Sanders, Dickie Steltenpohl and Paul Willett, are currently doing two concerts a year with sell-out crowds at The Pageant Theater in St. Louis. The individual members also continue to play and perform with their own bands and musical projects.

Pat and Danny Liston have both done solo CDs, Kevin Sanders has done CD projects with the Steve Pacaro Band , and Max Baker has done the same with his band, the Baker McClarren Band.





Where Are They Now???

Pat Liston

Pat Liston, of Mama's Pride released his first solo CD in 2004 called "Blue Mist". He has built a recording studio in his new home in O’Fallon, Mo. where he is currently writing and recording music to be released for a 2nd solo effort.

For updated information on when and where Pat will be playing, click here to visit the Pat Liston page. Personal friend, Mike Barada, has a website that you might want to visit because, among other things, he has pix and information on Pat. The site is Mike Barada.

Danny Liston

Danny currently writes his own music and is in the painting and music business. He is also the owner of a restaurant called Seamus McDaniels which is located in the "Winghaven" district of O’Fallon, MO. Danny had this to say about the website: "I was really amazed and honored to see a web site for the band. It is a very humbling thing to think that your music meant enough to someone that they would go to this much work."

Danny, like Pat, has released a solo CD project as well. It’s entitled "Last Call". For more information, visit the Danny Liston page.

Paul Willett

Paul played keyboards on the second album, "Uptown and Lowdown". He is also performing twice a year with Mama’s Pride at the Pageant. He has recently built a recording studio in his basement and is back playing and recording various projects. He still resides in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Dickie Steltenpohl

Dickie played bass on the second album, "Uptown and Lowdown". Like Paul, Dickie is performing with Mama’s Pride twice a year at the Pageant. According to Pat, Dickie worked with him in the studio on his solo CD. Dickie will also be working with Pat on Pat’s next CD. He still resides in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Max Baker

Max Baker, of course, plays the Pageant twice a year with the boys, being a founding member of the band. He also plays locally with his group "The Baker McClarren Band". You can follow his schedule by clicking here.

Kevin Sanders

Kevin is also doing the Pageant shows and according to Pat, Kevin is playing with the Steve Pacaro Band. Here is a link to their website - Steve Pacaro Band

Frank Gagliano

Frank Gagliano played keyboards and synthesizers on the first Mama's Pride album. He still lives in St. Louis and he works as a sound and light man at various St. Louis venues.

Joe Turek

Joe had this to say about the website: "I found the site on a family history search. I am quite impressed with the care and admiration that went into it and it is very much appreciated."

Joe also said: "I left the band in October of 1976, returned to college and received my teaching degree. I've been playing in the Z Band since 1978."

Jeff Schmidt

I recently heard from Jeff and he supplied the following information about the group:

"I played keyboards with Mama's Pride from mid 1978 until 1980 which includes the era when we were Greg Allman's backup band. We recorded enough material for an album but we didn't have a label at the time. We also recorded the demos (and arranged some of the songs) for Henry Paul's (of the Outlaws) solo album. Greg Allman wanted us to record his next album with him but attorneys from his record company forced him to complete contract obligations with the Allman Brothers Band."

"I am a Manufacturing Engineer by day and a member of the Bear Creek Girls Band at night.

Jeff also noted that he is still plays music on a regular basis and lives just outside of St. Louis - I still live in Hermann, Mo."



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