Born Kimberley Tyler Rhodes in Poughkeepsie New York (USA) on 9 August 1965. Since infancy she was called ‘Happy’, and she legally changed her name to Happy Tyler Rhodes at age 16. Rhodes’ parents divorced when she was young. Rhodes has two brothers who are twins.
She received her first musical instrument, an acoustic guitar, as a gift from her mother, at age 11. At 14 she was performing original songs in school shows. She left school early at age 16, choosing to obtain a GED. From age 16 to 18, Rhodes began performing in “Open Mic Nights” at Caffè Lena in Saratoga, New York. During this period, Rhodes met Pat Tessitore, the owner of a recording studio, Cathedral Sound Studios in Rensselaer, and became a studio intern to learn recording techniques. Tessitore was impressed with Rhodes’ voice, with a four-octave range, and songwriting, and volunteered to record all of the songs she had written to that point.
Tessitore introduced Rhodes to Kevin Bartlett, a musician who had his own record label, Aural Gratification, and he urged her to gather up all the songs that she had recorded, to be released on cassette. She had enough songs to release three cassettes at the same time in 1986, ‘Rhodes Vol. I’, ‘Rhodes Vol. II’, and ‘Rearmament’. In 1987, she released the cassette of ‘Ecto’. Her first CD release was ‘Warpaint’ (1991). The first four albums were only available on hand-dubbed cassettes until they were re-released on CD in 1992. Each of the CD re-releases contained bonus tracks not on the original cassettes. Aural Gratification released nine Happy Rhodes albums between 1986 and 1995, including ‘Equipoise’ and ‘RhodeSongs’ in 1993, ‘Building The Colossus’ in 1994 and a collection of rare tracks called ‘The Keep’ in 1995.
In 1998, Rhodes left Aural Gratification. Her tenth album, ‘Many Worlds Are Born Tonight’ was released in August 1998 by Samson Music. Rhodes was dropped from Samson when the label decided to concentrate on other genres of music and Samson transferred rights to the material back to Rhodes, as well as unsold product. In 2001 Rhodes recorded an 11th album, called Find Me, which was released October 19, 2007.
Happy Rhodes incorporated part of the song Running Up That Hill in an acoustic recording of her own song ‘Feed The Fire’ on the album ‘Rhodesongs’. During live shows, Happy Rhodes has performed And Dream Of Sheep.
In October 2016, Rhodes joined The Security Project as lead vocalist, and they began including Kate Bush songs in their repertoire. Her first album with the group was ‘Contact’, released in November 2017. During live shows they played a cover version of Mother Stands For Comfort.
Rhodes married musician Bob Muller in 2006 and they currently live on a farm in central upstate New York.
- Happy Rhodes. Wikipedia, retrieved 4 November 2017.
- Happy Rhodes – And Dream Of Sheep (Kate Bush cover, Toledo version). YouTube, retrieved 4 November 2017.
- Happy Rhodes – And Dream Of Sheep (Kenosha version). YouTube, retrieved 4 November 2017.
- The Security Project with Happy Rhodes “Mother Stands for Comfort” Bull Run, Shirley, MA 11/04/2016. YouTube, retrieved 4 November 2017.