Grady, who was born Don Agrati, played previously with the Palace Guard, a folk-rock band. Yellow Balloon formed during the '60s when he joined forces in Los Angeles with Gary Zekley, a songwriter and producer who had initially written the single "Yellow Balloon" for surf duo Jan & Dean. Zekley also released a version of the song, and when it skipped into the Top 30, he and Grady pulled together a band for live performances and put out an album.
Grady culled Braught and Green from a band called Rising Sons in Oregon, and drew Canella and Valdez from Five of Us, an Arizona group. Grady had previously recorded their names in a list he kept of musicians whose skill impressed him when he saw them play while he toured on other business, sometimes with a band called Windupwatchband. When the time came to pull together the band that would be Yellow Balloon, he gave them a call.
After failing to score on the charts again, the group disbanded. Grady went solo for a while and recorded as Don Agrati. Braught, Canella, Green, and Valdez re-formed under the name the Popcorn Explosion. Zekley continued to write hits, among them "Sooner or Later" and "I'd Wait a Million Years" for the Grass Roots. Sundazed reissued Yellow Balloon's lone album as a CD in 1998. The release includes all 11 songs from the original album, plus a few numbers Grady had released as singles, a demo, and a recorded interview with Zekley. ~ Linda Seida, Rovi