Steve Miller Band
Ross Valory, born and raised in San Francisco, originally got into music through a friend who suggested he rent a bass guitar and begin playing in a local band. At 16, he joined his first established band, the Mystiques. They eventually became known as Frumious Bandersnatch and this is where Ross first met Herbie Herbert. After Bandersnatch disbanded, Ross went on to play with the Steve Miller Band for a short time, then joined forces with Herbie again to help form JOURNEY.
Journey was born New Year's Eve, 1973 at the San Francisco music hall, Winterland. A contest to name the band was held on KSAN-FM Radio in San Francisco but, after not finding a name that they felt suited them, they chose "Journey" at the sugestion of Herbie Herbert's Assistant John Villanueva. The original unit featured Ross on bass, Neal Schon on guitar & vocals (formerly of Santana), drummer Prairie Prince (who was later replaced by Aynsley Dunbar), guitarist George Tickner (who left after the first album) and, another former Santana member, Gregg Rolie on keyboards & vocals. Ross and this lineup recorded "Journey" (1974), the first of three moderate-selling jazz-rock albums given over largely to instrumentals.
By 1977, however, the group decided it needed a strong vocalist/frontman and hired Steve Perry after Robert Fleischman left. The results were immediately felt on the fourth album, "Infinity" (1978), which had sold a million copies by the end of the year (by this time Aynsley Dunbar had been replaced by Steve Smith on drums). "Evolution" (1979) was similarly successful, as was "Departure". After a live album, "Captured", in 1981 (after which Gregg Rolie left the band and was replaced by Jonathan Cain from the Babys) Ross and Journey released "Escape," which broke them through to the top ranks of pop groups. The album scored three Top Ten hit singles with "Who's Crying Now," "Don't Stop Believin" and "Open Arms." It also topped the album charts and has sold nine million copies to date. "Frontiers" (1983), featuring the hit "Separate Ways", was another big success.
When the group got back together to make a new album, Ross, as well as Steve Smith, were no longer in the lineup. "Raised on Radio" (1986) was made by Neal Schon, Steve Perry, and Jonathan Cain, who added other musicians for a tour. Journey's Greatest Hits album went on to sell over six million to date. The boxed set "Time3" was released in 1992, sold incredibly well, and has been certified platinum (1 million).
Ross went on to form the Storm with Kevin Chalfant of 707, Josh Ramos and two former Journey members, Steve Smith and Gregg Rolie. He recorded their first album on Interscope Records and had a #3 hit with "I've Got A Lot To Learn About Love" and a #10 hit with"Show Me The Way". Steve Smith left the Storm after their first album and went to on to pursue his Jazz roots in Vital Information. Ron Wikso joined the band on drums in 1992 and they went on to provide tour support to Bryan Adams, Peter Frampton and Tom Cochran.
In 1996, Ross rejoined Journey with "Trial By Fire". The album went to number 3 on the charts in its first week with the hits "When You Love A Woman" and "Message Of Love", and has been certified platinum (1 million). Ross is still with the Storm as well, and their album "Eye of the Storm", strikes a perfect balance between whole-grain rock & roll spirit and a visionary high-tech studio approach. Songs like "Don't Give Up", "To Have And To Hold" and "Waiting For The World To Change", a powerful song of hope, relfect a positive message and set the stage for the album's overall jubilant tone. Taken song by song, or as a whole, it is about as good as pop music can get. In January, 1997, the "Frontiers Awards" in London, England gave "Eye Of The Storm" awards for "Best Song" and "Best Album". Ross is a multi-talented performer who not only plays bass, but piano, clarinet, guitar and drums as well. His musical interests are varied and he has a background in rock, jazz, Dixieland, and barbershop quartet.
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