Matthew Katz Productions, After You Publishing Company started producing music in San Francisco in 1955. After performing himself in San Francisco's Spaghetti Factory and private parties with accessional appearances on Radio and TV, he managed and produced folk music i.e. The Countrymen but realized the audience was ready for amplified music. He let the word out around San Francisco coffee houses where it was known that he was starting a band. At the time he had six Dylan tunes that Dylan had not recorded which he intended to use for this new folk rock group until they wrote original songs. He heard Marty Balin at the Hungry Eye when Marty was in a group called the Town Criers whose leader was Larry Vargo. Matthew complimented Marty on his vocal skill after a set at the Hungry Eye so when Marty called Matthew knowing that he was starting a group Matthew was immediately interested. Marty brought with him Signe Anderson who Matthew had heard at the Drinking Gourd. He also had with him Bob Harvey, who was later replaced by Jorma Kaukonen"s friend, Jack Casady (Hot Tuna)(Now Hot Tuna with Jorma and Jack. " If you don't know Jorma then you don't know Jack." on bass. Together we worked on building staging, lighting, sound at the Matrix which was named by Marty who was there with hammer in hand swinging and directing the design of the club. Which is where the group jefferson airplane named by Jorma, first played to 180 friends.
It was from there that Matthew was able to bring the group to the attention of the record companies,, eventually signing them to an unprecedented record contract with a $25,000 advance with Neely Plumb of RCA Records, also having RCA agreeing to a seven percent royalty and signing the entire group rather than just the singers. When ja first went into the studio in Los Angeles they had not yet written any original songs, Jorma had Embryonic Journey which is a solo guitar piece. Matthew along with his friend Tommy Oliver, produced Jefferson airplane Takes Off using some unknown material i.e. Other Side of This LIfe by Freddy Neil, Get together, "by Dino Valent" and now Marty's first song "It's No Secret" which he wrote on a shirt box in Matthew's car on the way to the airport.. The album was an immediate success which made the record stores across the country happy as they had nothing new to sell as nothing new had been happening after the short lived folk music virtually died. It did not matter that radio had not picked up on the album as the hippies around the country spread the word which not only caused the success of Jefferson airplane but enabled Matthew's dream of having San Francisco (aka Baghdad By The Bay" so named by Herb Cain San Francisco Chronicle), be the place where art and music would become the main focus for other creative young people to come and explore and develop their dreams. Enter, Big Brother & The Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Country Joe & The Fish, Quick Silver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, It's A Beautiful Day.and the hundreds of musicians Neil Young with Buffalo Springfield who played with Moby Grape at the Ark a beached ferry boat in Sausalito, and thousands of young people from all over the world. The 60s were the best of times. Ask anyone who was there.
P.s. There where five of San Francisco's original bands that where financially successful, Matthew produced three of them and helped the others along. Jefferson airplane, Moby Grape and It's A beautiful Day. The other two where grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. Matthew produced two other bands, Tripsichord and Indian Puddin & Pipe. The Pipe being his most loved direction for future musicals but industry politics held that music and those musicians back though both were well received in Europe where the fans where not listening to the American media.