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The Deadly Nightshade at a Glance

Our Timeline

  • 1968-70:  began playing together in the five-woman, alt-rock band Ariel (all from Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges)

  • 1972:  reunited as The Deadly Nightshade: a multi-genre, old school pop/rock/soul/country/electric bluegrass trio

  • Played as many as 250 gigs per year over the next 4 years

  • 1975 memory of a lifetime: serving as the back-up band for the original Supremes member Flo Ballard at her last performance in 1975, as mentioned in the book Dream Girl

  • 1975–1976:  as one of the first all-women bands to sign with a major label, we recorded two albums, 1975's "The Deadly Nightshade" and 1976's "F&W (Funky & Western)" for Phantom/RCA — both were Grammy nominated

  • 1975–76:  appeared on multiple TV shows including "Sesame Street"

  • 1976:  one single from F&W, "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," hit the national Billboard and Cashbox Top 100 pop charts

  • 1976:  opened for Billy Joel on his national "New York State of Mind" tour

  • 1977:  our last official gig (in our first incarnation):  National Women's Conference in Houston

  • 1978:  became the first women's band to be added to the Smithsonian Institute's Women's History collection

  • 1984: Reunited to perform at the National Womens Music Festival, Champagne-Urbana, IL, and New York State Women’s Music Festival, Catskills

  • Mid 1990s:  material from The Deadly Nightshade was added to the Country Music Hall of Fame archives, and was also made a part of the Sophia Smith collection of women’s history at Smith College.

  • 2009–2015:  reunited for gigs ranging from college concert/dances and women's organization events, to nationally-known music clubs (including NYC's Bitter End and New England's Iron Horse)

  • 2013:  released a new CD produced by Grammy-nominated producing/engineering team Roma Baran and Vivian Stoll

  • 2015: Pamela Robin Brandt passed of a massive heart attack in her home in Miami, Florida

  • 2017: Veteran Feminists of America included our videos and photos on the CD played and distributed at their reunion.

  • 2020:  Helen and Anne performed together and with the amazing Lisa Koch before COVID-19 arrived

  • 2021:  Sony Music made The Deadly Nightshade Band's two LPs (The Deadly Nightshade, and F&W: Funky and Western) available for streaming on all major platforms

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