Black Tie ~ Black Tie Two ~ Meisner, Swan & Rich

Black Tie was an American ‘country rock supergroup’ formed by Randy Meisner, Jimmy Griffin (Bread) and Billy Swan (‘I Can Help’) in 1985. The band released one album together in 1985, ‘When The Night Falls’. The album was remixed and reissued in the early 1990s with Griffin’s voice more prominent on some songs.

Griffin left the group in 1991 to form ‘The Remingtons’. Meisner and Swan hooked up with Charlie Rich, Jr. and began recording in 1992 as ‘Meisner, Rich & Swan’. They would eventually have a big country single ‘I’m Sure Of You’, which made it to the top 20. This was no small feat for an independent label.

Alternatively known as ‘Meisner, Swan & Rich’, the trio toured extensively in the 1990s with Vern Monnett on steel guitar and lead guitar, John Molo on drums, Randy Meisner on bass, Charlie Rich on keyboard and Billy Swan on rhythm guitar. They continued working the West Coast for a few months and then did a European tour with Mark Craney on drums, because John Molo was out with Bruce Hornsby at the time.

In 1992, ‘Meisner, Rich & Swan’ began recording under the name ‘Meisner, Swan & Rich’. Ten tracks were released on an eponymous CD in April 2000 in Japan, 2001 by Varese in the US and 2002 by Rev-Ola in the UK. (The same ten songs were reissued in 2006 and 2008 under the title, ‘The Eagle, The Dove and The Gold’ on the Sonic Past Music label.)

In 2006, a 3-song EP was released as ‘Black Tie Two’ with a version of the classic Christmas carol ‘Away in a Manger’, which had been released to country radio as a Christmas single in the late 1980’s. It also included the 1992 ‘Meisner, Swan & Rich’ songs ‘I’m Sure of You’ and ‘Listen to the Radio’.
Sources: Discogs, Apple Music, and Charlierichjr.com

Black Tie ~ Left to right: Billy Swan, Jimmy Griffin and Randy


Newly formed Bench Records celebrated its first release, a single by Black Tie, ‘If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody’. Black Tie was honored at L.A.’s La Serre Restaurant in the summer of 1985. Cash Box ~ July 27, 1985 ~ p. 53


Jimmy Griffin and Randy at L.A.’s La Serre Restaurant in the summer of 1985


Cash Box ~ Aug. 17, 1985


Promotional copy of Black Tie’s 1985 ‘If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody’ ~ Produced by Reggie Fisher, Bench Records.


This full-page ad for ‘If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody’ appeared in ‘Radio & Records’ magazine on Sept. 13, 1985 (Click to enlarge)


Below is the 1985 Version of Black Tie’s ‘Learning the Game’ with Randy singing lead. (This was remixed and reissued in 1990 as a CD with Griffin’s voice more prominent on this song.)

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This article was written the day of Black Tie’s first club performance at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA. Their first public performance was at the Los Angeles Street Scene in September. Times-Advocate (Escondido, California) Nov. 14, 1985 (Click to enlarge)


LA Weekly (Los Angeles, California) Dec. 12, 1985


Billboard ~ Dec. 14, 1985 (See the Billboard article below dated March 1, 1986)


When The Night Falls’ Bench Records, co-produced by T-Bone Burnett, Vinyl LP, Released 1985. Robb Royer was also credited as a musician on this album. (This album was remixed and reissued as a CD with Griffin’s voice more prominent on some songs in 1990.) (Click to enlarge)


Canarsie Courier (Brooklyn, New York) Jan. 23, 1986


Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) Jan. 29, 1986 (Click to enlarge)


Special to the Globe ~ Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) Jan. 30, 1986;
Proquest Historical Newspapers: Atlanta Daily World, pg. 70


St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) Feb. 6, 1986
(Click to enlarge)


The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb. 8, 1986
(Click to enlarge)


Black Tie make their Nashville debut at the Music Row Showcase Club,
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Feb. 9, 1986 (Click to enlarge)


Billboard ~ March 1, 1986 (See the Billboard article above dated Dec. 14, 1985)


Black Tie, 1986 ~ Left to right: Jimmy Griffin, Randy and Billy Swan


Los Angeles Times ~ June 17, 1986 (Click to enlarge)


Los Angeles Times ~ July 8, 1986 (Click to enlarge)


Ad for The Golden Bear at the Kono Hawaii in Santa Ana, California for Sept. 5, 1986. The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) Aug. 17, 1986 (Click to enlarge) This show was cancelled due to promoters stopping shows at the venue.


Billboard ~ Nov. 17, 1990


Cashbox ~ Nov. 24, 1990


Billboard ~ Dec. 1, 1990


This full-page ad for ‘Learning The Game’ from Black Tie’s first album ‘When The Night Falls’ appeared in ‘Cash Box’ magazine on Dec. 29, 1990 (Click to enlarge)


Billboard ~ Jan. 19, 1991 (Click to enlarge)


Cashbox ~ Oct. 26, 1991


Billed as The Randy Meisner Band with Allan Rich & Billy Swan
Note: Charlie Rich, Jr. started his career as Allan Rich ~ Read about it here.
Desert Sun (Palm Desert, California) May 14, 1993


Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) Aug. 13, 1993


Randy Meisner ~ Meisner, Swan & Rich at the Metro Washington Park Zoo
(Portland, Oregon) Aug. 19, 1993 ~ Photo: Alan W. Dutton


Vern Monnett, Randy Meisner, Charlie Rich, Jr. and Billy Swan ~ Meisner, Swan & Rich at the Metro Washington Park Zoo (Portland, Oregon) Aug. 19, 1993 ~ Photo: Alan W. Dutton


Randy Meisner ~ Meisner, Swan & Rich at the Metro Washington Park Zoo (Portland, Oregon) Aug. 19, 1993 ~ Photo: Alan W. Dutton


Meisner, Rich & Swan with their promoter, Jim Foreman ~ 1994


The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov. 28, 1994


Meisner, Rich and Swan concert held at Pepperdine University on Sept. 23, 1995
Pepperdine student newspaper ‘The Graphic Weekly’ (Malibu, California)
Sept. 28, 1995


Meisner, Swan & Rich open for country singer, Collin Raye, at the Dee Events Center on the Weber State University campus in Ogden, Utah on Jan. 19, 1996

The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah) Dec. 15, 1995


Colin joins Randy in singing ‘Take It To The Limit’ and ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ ~ L to R: Collin Raye, Vern Monnett (Vern was with Meisner, Swan & Rich), Randy, Billy Swan and Charlie Rich, Jr.


The Signpost (Ogden, Utah) Jan. 22, 1996


Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, Wisconsin) Dec. 26, 1996


Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Dec. 28, 1996


Black Tie Two ~ 3-song EP ~ masteringpro ~ Released Aug. 30, 2006


Now known as Meisner, Swan & Rich due to a CD labeling mishap ~ ‘The Eagle, the Dove & the Gold’, Sonic Past Music, CD, Released Oct. 31, 2006 ~ Note: When Griffin left the group to form ‘The Remingtons’, the remaining members, Meisner and Swan, hooked up with Charlie Rich, Jr. and began recording in 1992 under the name ‘Meisner Swan & Rich’. (Ten tracks were released on an eponymous CD in April 2000 in Japan, 2001 by Varese in the US, and 2002 by Rev-Ola in the UK.) The same ten songs were reissued in 2006 and 2008 under the title, ‘The Eagle, The Dove and The Gold’ on the Sonic Past Music Label. (Click to enlarge)


Charlie Rich, Jr.’s memories of Randy ~ charlierichjr.com
(Click to enlarge)


6 comments

  1. My favourite band name was ‘The Eagle, the Dove & the Gold’ Thank you for getting the ever changing band names in order. Perhaps if they’d started with the name Black Tie and they’d stayed together, kept the name, they could have been a super group. Adding a few new members, some moving on. Thanks Kathie.

    • You’re welcome, Leah! Thank you for your comment. ‘The Eagle, The Dove & The Gold’ was the title of a CD that was reissued in 2006. The same ten tracks were previously released on an eponymous CD by Meisner Swan & Rich in April of 2000 in Japan. I agree with you whole-heartedly about Black Tie. They had such a unique sound. I can’t help but think they could have become successful had they given it more time.

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