Happy the Man

Happy the Man are an American symphonic-rock band that released two albums on Arista in 1977 and 1978. Known for its lavish and intricate sound, the band largely focused on instrumental works.

Members: Stan Whitaker (guitar, lead vocals), Rick Kennell (bass), Frank Wyatt (keyboards, saxophone, woodwinds), Kit Watkins (keyboards, flute, 1972-79), Mike Beck (percussion, drums, 1972-77), Cliff Fortney (vocals, 1972-75), David Bach (keyboards, 1972), Dan Owen (vocals, 1975), Ron Riddle (drums, 1977-78), Coco Roussel (drums, 1978-79)

Formed in 1974 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Happy the Man attracted a fervent mid-Atlantic following during the mid-1970s and recorded a slew of demos that would later see release on Cuneiform. Securing a deal with Arista, the band released Happy the Man in 1977, followed by the sophomoric Craft Hands in 1978. The following year, the band recorded a third album that was ultimately issued in 1983, after their initial breakup.

Following his split from Happy the Man, Watkins briefly joined Camel for the 1979 album I Can See Your House from Here and subsequently launched a solo career.


  • Happy the Man (1977)
  • Craft Hands (1978)
  • 3rd – “Better Late…” (1983 — recorded 1979)
  • Beginnings (1974/75 demos)

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