Dennis Provisor is an accomplished musician and songwriter who began at a very early age. He joined The Grass Roots as their keyboard player in 1969 when original guitarist Creed Bratton left the group. By 1969, The Grass Roots started to change their style from the folk rock of their first few albums to a blend of rock, pop and soul with keyboards and horns becoming predominant elements in their records. Provisor’s background in recording had always been R&B influenced. He recorded on several different labels, including 20th Century-Fox and Valiant, under the name of Denny Provisor. He released some soulful singles as a solo artist. He later joined the groups The Hook and Blue Rose. Provisor is a gifted musician with abilities as a strong lead singer, a versatile keyboard player and a talented songwriter.
He is a Los Angeles native who began playing piano at a very early age. He expanded to electric organ and other keyboard instruments as he joined several R&B or rock and roll cover bands while still in high school. He landed a recording contract with 20th Century Fox Records while he was a teenager. He released a novelty record, a soul styled cover of the "Mickey Mouse" theme song produced by Tommy Oliver. The flip side, a ballad called "Walk On With Him" was more typical of the style of his future and his voice really shines on this song. He didn't write it but it was very much in the style of some of the slower songs he would later write for The Grass Roots, such as "Let It Go" and "I Can Turn Off the Rain". This rare single remains a highly collectible item. About two years later, Provisor signed with the Valiant label and released a couple more singles, including some songs he wrote himself. In 1968, he joined The Hook featuring ex-Leaves fuzz guitarist Bobby Arlin. He wrote a song called “Go” that appears on their “Hooked” album. He also sang lead on this song. He was in a band called Blue Rose when he auditioned for The Grass Roots. Terry Furlong (a future Grass Roots guitarist) was in the band. The Grass Roots actually came to check out Terry for the open position but after seeing Provisor’s musical abilities, they decided on him instead.
Provisor’s first album with the group titled Leaving It All Behind immediately proved the wisdom of their choice. Besides writing several songs for the album, Provisor's powerful voice, both on lead and harmony vocals, added an energetic, soulful tone to The Grass Roots sound. The group scored their first hit single which was written by a member of the group, Provisor's melodic "Walking Through The Country", on which he also sang lead. When he was first signed as a group member, he went out and bought his “dream” car. It was a Corvette in a bright metallic green paint. The first concert in which Provisor played with The Grass Roots was a double bill with Creedence Clearwater Revival. Provisor played his first music festival with The Grass Roots at Newport Pop Festival in 1969 at the Devonshire Downs racetrack in California. They played on Sunday June 22 which was the final day of the festival as their top twenty hit “I’d Wait A Million Years” was hitting the airwaves. Jimi Hendrix, who played at this festival, asked Provisor to play with him but The Grass Roots manager wouldn’t allow it. In Canada, they played at the Vancouver Pop Festival at the Paradise Valley Resort in British Columbia in August 1969.
Provisor and the group went on the Ed Sullivan show and stayed at the Plaza Hotel. He and the group had many appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. The Grass Roots were all set to have their own variety show. The show called “Get It Together” was produced by Dick Clark. The group wrote and performed the show’s theme song. The group taped several skits with their first guest Eric Burdon, but for some reason, the show was never picked up. The record company was constantly releasing hit singles. Many of them had a Provisor composition on the “B” side helping him to gain some writing royalties. The group set a record of 307 weeks on the billboard singles charts. The next Grass Roots album titled More Golden Grass included some powerful Provisor originals including "I Can Turn Off The Rain". This is a song that was included on their album the platinum selling “16 Greatest Hits” even though it was never a single. Also "Come On And Say It" became the second hit for The Grass Roots that the group members had written themselves. It was composed by Grill, Entner and Provisor. It was also the first single to showcase Provisor's soulful vocals set against the main melody at the end of the song. This would become a trademark of the group's sound on subsequent hit songs like "Sooner Or Later", "Two Divided By Love" and "Glory Bound" (which Provisor also co-wrote, with Barri, Price & Walsh). On "Sooner or Later" and "Two Divided By Love", Provisor shares lead vocals with Grill
Provisor officially left the group in 1972 shortly after drummer Coonce left and immigrated to Canada. Provisor signed a recording contract with record producer Clive Davis as a solo artist. He began to record a solo album. Unfortunately, Davis was fired and Provisor’s album was never completed. He was left without a contract or a label. Although Provisor’s picture does not appear on The Grass Roots 1972 album “Move Along”, his stamp is most certainly all over the album. This album contains five songs that he wrote or co-wrote. He also sings lead on two of them ("Someone To Love" and "Only One"). Two other Provisor originals, "Monday Love" and the powerful title cut "Move Along" are on the album and set the tone for the other songs included on it. In South America, Dunhill released the “Move Along” LP in Columbia with a white cover and photo of Coonce, Entner, Grill and Provisor. This shows the dichotomy of this release, as it was produced as old group members were leaving and new ones were joining The Grass Roots during 1971-2.
After leaving The Grass Roots, Provisor continued to write songs. One of his songs was recorded by Rare Earth. Then in 1974, he re-joined The Grass Roots when they signed to Haven Records. Provisor's return re-energized the group after their last album on Dunhill titled “Alotta’ Mileage”. Once again trading off lead vocals with Grill, Provisor helped turn two of the Haven album's cuts, "Something About You" and "It's A Cryin' Shame", into instant classics. He wrote a final Grass Roots song appropriately titled “The Last Time Around”. Provisor continued to tour with The Grass Roots for many more years, including a highly successful tour of Japan. He also worked on the “14 Greatest” album released by Gusto Records with Grill. When Grill decided to produce a solo album titled “Uprooted”, Provisor was right there to help him and he wrote four excellent songs for the album including the very catchy single released titled “Rock Sugar”.
Provisor married and moved to Wisconsin where he built his own home and lives with his wife and children today. His son is a U.S. Open National Champion Greco-Roman 74KG wrestler. His wife is a World Gold Wrestling Club Leader. Musical talent flows throughout the family with his daughter who sings and has performed with his group The Hits. He is still very actively performing with his group The Hits which has a year around performance schedule. He joined The Hits in 1984 marking over two decades with the group. He plays with experienced drummer/guitarist/front man Cookee Coquoz and former Grass Root Glen Shulfer who is one of the few people in the United States that has earned a Masters Degree on classical guitar. Provisor and the group still perform some of his Grass Roots material. The Hits rarely tour outside of Wisconsin, but they have opened shows for many major acts appearing there. These include The Beach Boys, America, The Turtles and The Grass Roots. When not playing music, Provisor enjoys being active on his computer, writing and playing video games. His old band mate Grill passed on a love for fishing many years ago to him and he still enjoys the hobby. He would most like to be remembered for his singer/songwriter contributions to music.