Ram Jam was a hard rock group from the late 1970s. They had one hit song called Black Betty. Like with most other one hit wonder groups such as Head East, Mountain or Autograph, most people remember Black Betty, the hit song, but not the music group that made it. Radio stations will never play a song by Ram Jam other than Black Betty, but I listen to both of Ram Jam’s studio albums combined together to form their greatest hits.
Ram Jam was formed by Bill Bartlett who was a guitarist. Ram Jam then made their first album, which featured Black Betty. Ram Jam’s first album made it to the top forty. Ram Jam’s Black Betty song was a cover of a song by another group called Starstruck. A couple of organizations had issues with Black Betty because it was supposedly racist against black women, similar to Mexican Blackbird, which is a now infamous, politically incorrect song by ZZ Top on their Fandango album. However, the song still made it to number eighteen on the charts.
When Ram Jam made their second album, Bill Bartlett had been replaced with Jimmy Santoro. Jimmy Santoro was a guitarist who played with Ram Jam when they were on tour for their first album. Ram Jam’s second album was not as successful as their first album was, and Ram Jam soon broke up after they made their second album. The second album was called Portrait of the Artist As a Young Ram, which is a parody of the title for a book called The Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man. It is now considered a cult, 1970s, metal classic by many people for not having a single hit but still having some great music on it.
Black Betty was remixed in the early 1990s and released as an international hit. Ram Jam only made two albums and three singles. Ram Jam made a compilation album, which combined both of the albums they had made into one. The first two songs from the second album were moved to the end of the compilation, but that was the only difference between the track listing for the compilation album and the two studio albums they had made.
When Ram Jam broke up, all of the band members went their own separate ways. Blauvelt moved from Ram Jam to another music group called Spitball and died from a heart attack. Billy Joel frequently dedicates his song called We Didn’t Start the Fire to Blauvelt who had sung with Billy Joel a couple of times. Bartlett moved to boogie woogie music. Jimmy Santoro went on to play music in New York City and teach music at a public school. Ram Jam was one of six music groups mentioned in a list called Top Six Classic Rock Bands You Didn’t Know Existed.
Ram Jam might have been a small band that only lasted for two years, but they’re still one of my personal favorite music groups and would probably make my top twenty list if I were ever to take on such a difficult and demanding task for my blog.