Paper Sun / Freeport / Freeport Express


Cleveland, 1968-72

Paper Sun was formed in early '68 or so. Although not sure of the original lineup, in February 1969 the members included Eric Janson (guitar and vocals), Kevin Raleigh (keyboards and vocals), Craig Holt (bass), and Bill Stallings (drums). With this lineup they recorded some songs at Landen for the ill-fated Abbey Group deal. After Chess pulled the plug on the national distribution, a very limited local pressing of two songs - "Sweetest Thing on My Mind" (written by Phil Okulovich using his "Jason Richards" pen name) and "Here Comes Tomorrow" written by Raleigh - was done on the Abbey label.

Paper Sun, befitting the Traffic-inspired moniker, played a 'progressive' style of late 60s rock sounds, and were popular at teen dances, such as the Hullabaloo clubs, around the area.

At some time the personnel changed where Janson was gone and two guitarists were added - Dennis Stredney and Roger Lewis. Lewis had been in the Poppy but had to quit due to an injury sustained in a band van accident. Either prior to or with this lineup they changed name to Freeport. Freeport was a huge band in the NE Ohio area in 1970 - playing constantly Cleveland and the Youngstown areas (thanks no doubt to Roger Lewis's connections). Otto Neuber was managing them, as he had going back to the Paper Sun period. They recorded an LP in Miami for Mainstream records, which included several originals and the Eric Carmen song "I need your loving'", of which Carmen had recorded a publishing demo.

An additional 45 was also released with two songs not on the LP. The band also used the name Freeport Express but it's not clear if that was a name change. The band contiuned to play into 1971 or 2.

Keyboard player Kevin Raleigh was later a member of the Michael Stanley Band, while drummer Bill Stallings spent some time as a DJ. Roger Lewis was in RMA. For those that own the mildly collectable LP, Man Talk (the "Wardrobe" credit) was a popular clothing store for "hip" fashions