Rob Grill was born in Los Angeles and attended California State University with intentions of a career in the legal profession. Taking a part-time job at a recording studio, however, Grill decided upon a musical career.
The Grass Roots were the studio creation of Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan. When a recording of "Where Were You When I Needed You" began to get some airplay, the shopping for a real band to front the single began. Barri and Sloan recruited first the Bedouins and then the 13th Floor to play the part. Just as the 13th Floor was about to become the Grass Roots, one of their number was drafted and Rob Grill was tapped as the replacement.
When the Grass Roots dissolved, Rob released a solo album, 1979's "Uprooted", and then quite literally went fishing.
The oldies revival brought the Grass Roots out of retirement and Rob has spent quite a bit of the last 30 years on the road--the one man who had spanned almost the entire history of the group. Grill suffered from a painful degenerative bone disorder for years and, following the 2008 release of the most recent Grass Roots album, "Live Gold", he removed himself from the regular line-up, although he still made "special appearances" with the group.
The Grass Roots' era fits snugly in that time when few acts were recording Christmas music. They did give a nod to the holiday season in 1971 when they recorded an entry in the Christmas Seals Campaign series; no Christmas songs, but I'd love to hear it if anyone has a copy. The Grass Roots' lone issued Christmas song, so far as I know, is their version of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" included on the charity collection "20 Christmas Stars, Vol. 3" (which carries a 2001 release date on Amazon). Though I've included it above, it really doesn't capture, in any way, the magic of the band I grew up listening to. And, for that reason, we close with a medley of some of their biggest hits from a 1970 television appearance.