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.

Black Tie

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

Promotional copy of Black Tie’s “If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody” (Jimmy Griffin on lead vocals)

Written by Rudy Clark (1961), Produced by Reggie Fisher, Bench Records, 1985

Full-page ad for “If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody”

Radio & Records magazine ~ Sept. 13, 1985

Cash Box ~ Aug. 17, 1985

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).

Album Front Cover
Album Back Cover
Song List
Just in case you hadn’t noticed Randy in the upper left of the album cover

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

Written by Buddy Holly (1959), Produced by Reggie Fisher, Bench Records, 1985

Billboard ~ Dec. 14, 1985
Billboard ~ March 1, 1986

Black Tie during the 1986 Black Tie Tour

L to R: Jimmy Griffin, Randy and 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.

Cashbox ~ Dec. 29, 1990

Billboard ~ JN. 19, 1991

Cashbox ~ Oct. 26, 1991

Black Tie’s Concert Appearances (via Randy Meisner Concert Archive):

* September 28, 1985 ~ Los Angeles Street Scene Festival ~ Los Angeles Times, September 27, 1985
*November 14, 1985 ~ Belly Up Tavern ~ Solana Beach, California ~ Escondido Times-Advocate, November 14, 1985
* Dec. 7, 1985 ~ Madam Wong’s West ~ Santa Monica, CA ~ LA Weekly ~ Dec. 6, 1985
* Jan. 25-27, 1986 ~ Lone Star Cafe ~ Brooklyn, New York (Bernie Leadon performed with the band.) Canarsie Courier (Brooklyn, New York) Jan. 23, 1986
* Jan. 30, 1986 ~ Jonathan Swifts ~ Boston, Massachusetts ~ Boston Globe, Jan. 30, 1986
* Feb. 2, 1986 ~ The Station ~ Wiles-Barre, Pennsylvania ~ Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) Jan. 29, 1986
* Feb. 8, 1986 ~ Harlow’s ~ Atlanta, Georgia ~ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Feb. 8, 1986
* Feb. 9, 1986 ~ Music Row Showcase Club ~ Nashville, Tennessee ~ The Nashville Tennessean, Feb. 9, 1986
* Feb. 11, 1986 ~ Mississippi Nights ~ St. Louis, Mississippi ~ St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 6, 1986
* June 7, 1986 ~ Camp Kiwanis “Music Fest ’86” ~ Scottsbluff, Nebraska ~ (Gering Courier) June 19, 1986
* June 17, 1986 ~ Cinegrill ~ Hollywood, California ~ Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1986
* July 8, 1986 ~ Cinegrill ~ Hollywood, California ~ Los Angeles Times, July 8, 1986
* Sept. 5, 1986 ~ The Golden Bear ~ Kono Hawaii, Santa Ana, California (This show was cancelled.) Los Angeles Times, Sept. 5, 1986

After Black Tie:

Randy and Billy Swan hooked up with Charlie Rich, Jr. and began recording in 1992 as Meisner, Rich & Swan. A Meisner Swan & Rich post will be published shortly.

Jimmy Griffin left Black Tie in 1991 to form The Remingtons with Richard Mainegra and Rick Yancy.

In 2006, a 3-song EP was released as Black Tie Two (Randy, Billy Swan, Jimmy Griffin and Charlie Rich, Jr.) 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 1980s. It also included the 1992 Meisner, Swan & Rich songs “I’m Sure of You” and “Listen to the Radio.”

In Memorian

Jimmy Griffin: August 10, 1943 – January 11, 2005
The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC) Jan. 14, 2005

Share this post


    1. You’re welcome, Peggy! Rob Perkin and Reggie Fisher thought of doing a special project together so they contacted their friend, Billy Swan. Fisher had been working with Jimmy Griffin at the time so he joined. Not too soon after that, Fisher met Randy and after Randy heard about the project he wanted to become a part of it. So Randy didn’t actually start this group, but I agree that he adds so much to every group he’s in. I was flabbergasted when I read that it took six years to complete the album.

Leave a Reply