Black Tie was formed in 1985 by Randy Meisner, Jimmy Griffin (Bread) and Billy Swan (‘I Can Help”). They released one album together called When The Night Falls.

When The Night Falls

Bench Records, Vinyl LP, released in 1985
Produced by Reggie Fisher & T-Bone Burnett

Randy sings lead on one song: Buddy Holly’s “Learning The Game.”
It’s unclear whether he plays bass on all tracks since more than one bassist is mentioned in the credits (i.e. Jerry Scheff and Kerry Morris).

“Learning the Game” (LP version – Randy on lead vocals)

“If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody”

Black Tie’s first single, James Ray’s 1961 hit, “If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody,” was released in the summer of 1985 on Reggie Fisher’s private label, Bench Records. Jimmy Griffin sang lead on the track. The band was honored at L.A.’s La Serre Restaurant following the single’s release.

Cash Box, July 27, 1985
Jimmy Griffin and Randy at L.A.’s La Serre Restaurant

In the following Cash Box article, Randy talked about the differences between the Eagles and Black Tie:

“With The Eagles, as I think it is with any group, you’ve got four or five members and each just gets a little bit. He doesn’t get to do everything he wants to get across. What’s been nice about this is that we’ve been able to do a lot more. There’s a real openness.”

Cash Box, August 17, 1985

Black Tie in 1986 (L-R: Jimmy Griffin, Randy Meisner, Billy Swan)
Photo: Richard Walton

When The Night Falls CD Reissue (1990)

For the CD reissue, Randy’s lead vocal on “Learning The Game” was replaced with Jimmy Griffin’s, although this was not mentioned in ads or articles.

Cash Box, December 29, 1990

Concert History

via the Randy Meisner Concert Archive

September 28, 1985Civic CenterLos Angeles, CALos Angeles Street Scene Festival
November 14, 1985Belly Up TavernSolana Beach, CADebut club performance. Bernie Leadon performs with the band.
December 7, 1985Madame Wong’s WestSanta Monica, CABernie Leadon performs with the band
January 25-27, 1986The Lone Star CafeBrooklyn, NYBernie Leadon performs with the band
January 30, 1986Jonathan Swift’sBoston, MABlondie Chaplin replaces Bernie Leadon
February 2, 1986The StationWilkes-Barre, PA
February 8, 1986Harlow’sAtlanta, GA
February 9, 1986Music Row Showcase ClubNashville, TN
February 11, 1986Mississippi NightsSt. Louis, MO
June 7, 1986Camp KiwanisScottsbluff, NEMusic Fest ’86
June 17, 1986CinegrillHollywood, CA
July 8, 1986CinegrillHollywood, CA
September 5, 1986Kono HawaiiSanta Ana, CAShow was cancelled.

Black Tie Two

Black tie parted ways in 1986. Following the split, Randy toured with Rick Roberts as The Roberts-Meisner Band, then reunited with the original members of Poco for an album, Legacy, and a tour. In 1991, Reggie Fisher reassembled Black Tie, adding a new member, Charlie Rich, Jr, with the hopes of recording a second album. One song was released from these sessions, “I’m Sure Of You,” co-written by Rich and Billy Swan, which became a minor hit on the country charts in 1992. Years later, in 2006, Fisher issued an internet-only, 3-song EP called Black Tie Two (or just Two), which included “I’m Sure of You” and “Listen to the Radio,” as well as a version of “Away In A Manger.”

Below (clockwise from top: Reggie Fisher, Randy Meisner, Jimmy Griffin and Billy Swan)

Meisner, Rich & Swan

Black Tie disbanded for good in 1992. Jimmy Griffin left to focus on his group, The Remingtons, with Richard Mainegra and Rick Yancy. The remaining band members, Randy, Billy Swan and Charlie Rich, Jr decided to stick together and form their own group called Meisner, Rich & Swan.

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