Bruce Arnold, the founder of the rock band Orpheus and a well-known singer and composer, died recently at the age of 76. Arnold’s death was verified by his family, according to Deadline, although the reason was not disclosed. On his Facebook profile, a memorial post with a photo of him and the caption:
“Bruce Oliver Arnold, 1946-2022”
Arnold’s friend, fellow bandmate, and Worcesterite, Howie Hersh, revealed that Bruce had been ill for a few days and died a few days ago, but his family kept the news hidden until now.
Bruce Arnold formed Orpheus In the late 1960s
Orpheus was created in 1967 by Bruce Arnold and rose to prominence in the 1970s. The majority of the members came from the folk scene and had previously performed in psychedelic bands that specialized in the Bosstown sound. However, the band’s genre was similar to Sunshine Pop, which was popular on AM radio in the 1960s. Stephen Martin, Jack McKennes, Eric “Snake” Gulliksen, Harry Sandler, Robert Emmet Dunlap, and Kathi Taylor were the initial members of the band. Jack and Eric had previously been members of the pop-folk ensemble the Minuteman, while Jack and Bruce had previously formed the pair the Villagers before joining forces with Harry for Orpheus.
Bruce and Eric wrote the majority of the band’s material, and they managed to release three LPs for MGM in the late 1960s, named Brown Arms in Houston and Can’t Find the Time. Their songs and melodies were comparable to those of bands such as the Fifth Dimension, the Association, and the Letterman.
After signing with MGM Records and Bell Records, the band recorded four albums and six singles. They also shared the stage with The Who, Led Zeppelin, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, and Janis Joplin. Bruce Arnold said to the Marin Independent Journal in 2012:
“However, Orpheus did not sound like the music generated by the hip groups. “We had gone off on our own tangent.”
Arnold remained a member of the band when their last album was released in 1971. Steve Martin created the songs and sang them, and he also contributed to the band’s MGM recordings. In 1995, a collection named The Best of Orpheus was issued, which included their LPs as well as previously unreleased songs. Walter Crockett, a Worcester music veteran, said Bruce’s voice was famous, silky, and melded nicely with other voices.
Twitter users pay tribute
Bruce Arnold has received acclaim for his work with Orpheus throughout the years. When word of his death spread, Twitter was inundated with tributes:
Bruce Arnold 76, Dies: Founder Of The Soft Rock Band Orpheus. Born in Worcester, MA, Arnold founded Orpheus in 1967. his group recorded four albums & six singles for MGM and Bell Records, The hit single “Can’t Find The Time,” peaked at No. 80 on Billboard Hot 100 in 1969.😢 pic.twitter.com/LPRuOIRkcp
— Sumner (@renmusb1) October 31, 2022
— Judy Stone (@DrJudyStone) October 28, 2022
Arnold’s wife Judy Arnold, sons John Mark Arnold, Oliver Arnold, and Gray Ainsworth, daughter Erin Fish, brother Les Arnold Jr., and other family members survive him.