Updated Aug. 13 with link to Live Tracks that featured short talks with musicians who played with Gary, plus information about Davis Music Connections program on Aug. 17
We’re sorry to report this news: Gary Lee Yoder, whose Davis band Oxford Circle became part of the San Francisco Sound in the 1960s, died on Saturday, Aug. 7. He was born in 1946.
Gary lived in Davis most of his life, and continued to perform in town after returning to Davis following his time in the Bay Area.
He was also a member of the Davis High School Hall of Fame as a player on the school’s undefeated varsity boys basketball team of 1961-62.
After Oxford Circle broke up, he and band co-leader Dehner Patten formed Kak. The group played fewer than a dozen concerts but recorded a self-titled LP for Epic in 1969, renamed Kak-Ola when released in expanded form on CD. Many listeners consider it to be an obscure gem from the psychedelic era. A live recording of Oxford Circle was released on CD.
After Kak, Gary recorded solo material, and became a later member of Blue Cheer.
At least three KDRT program hosts plan to play some of Gary’s music:
- On Tuesday (Aug. 10) and Wednesday (Aug. 11), Bill Wagman will include recordings by Oxford Circle, Kak and Blue Cheer, and local performances, on Evening Becomes Eclectic (Tuesday at 6 p.m.) and The Folk Brothers (Wednesday at 10 a.m.)
- On Thursday (Aug. 12) at 7 p.m., Live Tracks, the local live music show hosted by Jim Buchanan, will play music from Gary’s career, including songs Jim recorded of Gary playing in Davis. Call-ins are expected from Joe Louis Walker, a renowned blues musician who played with Gary; Jim Keylor and Dehner Patten from Oxford Circle (Dehner was also in Kak); Chris Lockheed, from Kak; Alec Palao, who produced CDs of Gary's music; Dean Sylvester, Davis musician; and Richard Urbino and René Martucci of Cold Shot and According to Bazooka, longtime Davis musicians. Aug. 13 update: Here's the program, now available online.
- On Tuesday (Aug. 17 at 3 p.m.), Davis Music Connections will discuss Gary's music and life, and play songs from Kak and Oxford Circle.
You can also listen to Gary talk about:
- Sports and the Davis High School team on Sports Focus Recap with Preacher in a program from May 2019.
- His music and experiences on Davisville with host Bill Buchanan in programs from 2014 and 2016.
- "Davis loses rock icon Yoder," by Caleb Hampton, Davis Enterprise, Aug. 11
- "His friend Alec Palao remembers one of the coolest rockers around," posted by Ace Records, based in London
We’ll continue to post more information as we have it.