Bassist Rick Kennell: “He’s a meticulous guy. He rehearses. He works on his craft.”

The origin of Happy the Man dates back to mid-1972, when guitarist Stan Whitaker and bassist Rick Kennell met at a U.S. Army base in Germany. Rick was a member of Happy The Man during the ’70s. After the band broke up later in the decade, he worked Stanley and his new band, Vision, until the mid-’80s. He eventually moved into the management end of the business and was involved in the reunion of Happy the Man.

Stanley Whitaker — A Happy Man

Interview with progressive rock guitarist and vocalist Stanley Whitaker. He played with such groups as Happy the Man, Oblivion Sun, Ten Jinn and Six Elements.

Stanley Whitaker: Through Triumph and Disaster

You might think it odd for All Things If to devote an entire issue to a progressive rock musician, but if there was ever anyone who has faced both Triumph and Disaster with integrity and an enviable attitude, it is Stanley Whitaker.

Drummer Mike Beck: “…it was just a magic thing that happened.”

Interview – Mike Beck was the drummer for Happy The Man when they recorded for Arista Records. Today, he is a vocalist and plays percussion with his band Dog Talk. Mike has also collaborated on music for theater and dance companies. He plays a variety of ethnic percussion instruments such as djembe, shekeres, and angklung. His collection includes hundreds of instruments from around the world.

“Primary Elements” By Six Elements: “Intelligent thought-provoking music that feeds your soul…”

Review of the album Primary Elements by Stanley Whitaker and Six Elements.

Ken Whitaker: “He Was a Pain in the Ass.”

Interview – Ken Whitaker is Stanley Whitaker’s older brother and was the singer in one of Stan’s early bands. It was Ken who gave Happy The Man its name. Today Ken is a respected software engineer, an author of several books.

Drummer Ron Riddle: “He’s one of the finest guitar players I’ve played with…”

Interview – Spanning four decades and beyond, Ron Riddle’s music career is nothing less than stellar. Perhaps best known as the drummer for Blue Oyster Cult, Ron is also credited with the scoring of music for more than 400 films for national and worldwide broadcast. Ron joined the progressive rock band Happy The Man as their drummer in 1977. He composed one of the best known Happy The Man tunes ”Service with the smile”.

Vocalist Cliff Fortney: “…definitely one of the best guitar players on the planet.”

Interview – When vocals were still part of Happy The Man’s repertoire, Cliff Fortney sang and played flute for the group. Cliff departed the band to concentrate on classical education with flute. Cliff lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, not far from Mike Beck, the former drummer of Happy the Man.

Producer Ken Scott: “…my gut just said “They’re good.”

Interview – Legendary British music producer Ken Scott worked at the age of 16 in the tape library at Abbey Road Studios, and he went on to become a recording engineer for bands you might have heard of—The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Elton John, Procol Harum and America, to name a few. As a producer, his credits include, Supertramp, Devo, Kansas, Level 42, David Bowie, The Dixie Dregs and, of course, Happy The Man’s Crafty Hands.

Keyboardist David Rosenthal: “He is a virtuoso.”

Interview – If you’ve seen Elton John, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Palmer, Cyndi Lauper and a few other legendary rockers in concert, chances are you’ve seen David Rosenthal on keyboards. He’s also known for his work with Britsh rock band Rainbow. In 2000, he joined a reunited Happy The Man, replacing long-time keyboardist Kit Watkins. He recorded one album with them in 2004 called “The Muse Awakens”.