Musical Career of Happy Rhodes

Musical Career of Happy Rhodes

By Grayson McMillan

Happy Rhodes is the singer with an amazing voice. Covering a four octave range, her music has inspired and amazed her fans.

Happy’s Life

Kimberley Tyler Rhodes was born in Poughkeepsie, New York on August 9th 1965 to Vernon and Susan Rhodes. Nicknamed “Happy” as an infant, Kimberley legally changed her name to Happy Tyler Rhodes at the age of sixteen. Music was a part of Happy’s childhood, her grandfather Dave Stamper, wrote and composed songs and music for both the Ziegfield follies and Broadway shows. On her eleventh birthday she received her first acoustic guitar from her mother and a star was born.

Growing Up

By the time she was fourteen, Happy was writing and performing original songs for her school, and by sixteen she was ready to make a career out of her love for music. She started performing at “open mic nights” at a club in Saratoga, New York where she was lucky Happy Rhodesenough to meet recording studio owner Pat Tessitore. With a job as a studio intern she was able to learn the recording techniques that would help with her later albums. Her impressive vocal range and song writing abilities also led to Pat Tessitore’s offer to record all of her written music.

Musician Kevin Bartlett suggested that she gather up all of her previously recorded music and release it on his label, Aural Gratification. This meeting led to the release of Happy’s three cassettes in 1986. In 1987, she released her fourth cassette. In 1991, her first c.d. was released, and in 1992 her previously released cassettes were renamed and released again with bonus tracks. Altogether in Happy’s time at Aural Gratification she released nine albums.

By 1998, she was ready for a change, and signed with Samson Music. That August she released her tenth album, and only one with Samson Music. She was dropped from the label after Samson Music decided to concentrate on different music genres.
Her eleventh album was recorded in 2001, but unfortunately was not released until 2007.

Music and Traveling

It has been stated before that Happy Rhodes is impossible to label. Her four octave vocal range allows Happy a type of musical freedom not enjoyed by many other singers. Her name though has been associated with musical genres ranging from alternative rock to art rock.

While there are no tours scheduled, nor has Happy Rhodes toured anywhere outside of the United States, in Philadelphia she sells out every show she has headlined. Her touring schedule has mainly concentrated in New York and Philadelphia, but she has performed in California for the 2001 Ectofest. She won fame for playing twelve songs the same night she had severely cut her finger.
At times her music and especially her lyrics have been called “dark”. Happy has never commented directly on her childhood, other than it was often lonely. Her music was her means of escape, and her lyrics reflect that. Monsters, suicide, aliens, and depression can be found in most of her earlier lyrics.

Happy Today

While Happy Rhodes is not currently touring, she still performs locally. During the day she can be found working for Dangerous Minds building pro stereo equipment. She is also an active part of her upstate New York community where she lives on a small farm with her husband Bob Muller.


3 comments to Musical Career of Happy Rhodes

  • rain  says:

    Thank you for this update. I’m a long time fan of Happy’s and wish her love and all the best.

  • Heather James  says:

    Big fan of Happy Rhodes music – pulled out Equipoise and used it to test a new speaker system – had forgotten just how powerful an album it is … Stay in touch – An album of new music would be great to find! And be well!

  • robert bristow-johnson  says:

    wow! Happy “performs locally”??!! where?? like in Utica?

    if i find out that she is performing somewhere, i will drive there, just to see and hear her again.

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