“The Letter” is a pop rock song first recorded by the American group … “The Letter” launched Chilton’s career and inspired numerous cover versions. Also as in the Jefferson Aeroplane version. The Jefferson Aeroplane an American rock band which formed in San Francisco in 1965.
In 1962, 20-year-old Marty Balin recorded two singles for Challenge Records, neither of which were successful. Balin then joined a folk group called the Town Criers from 1963 to 1964. After the Beatles-led British invasion of 1964, Balin was inspired by the success of the Byrds and Simon & Garfunkel in merging folk with rock to form a group in 1965 that would follow that lead. With a group of investors, Balin purchased a former pizza parlor on Fillmore Street, which he converted to a music club, the Matrix, and began searching for members for his group.
Balin met folk musician Paul Kantner at another local club, the Drinking Gourd. Kantner, a native San Franciscan, had started out performing on the Bay Area folk circuit in the early 1960s, alongside fellow folkies Jerry Garcia, David Crosby and Janis Joplin. Kantner has cited folk groups like the Kingston Trio and the Weavers as strong early influences. He briefly moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1964 to work in a folk duo with future Airplane/Starship member David Freiberg (who subsequently joined Quicksilver Messenger Service).
Balin and Kantner then recruited other musicians to form the house band at the Matrix. After hearing female vocalist Signe Toly Anderson at the Drinking Gourd, Balin invited her to be the group’s co-lead singer. Anderson sang with the band for a year and performed on their first album before departing in October 1966 after the birth of her first child.
Kantner next recruited an old friend, blues guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. Originally from Washington, D.C., Kaukonen had moved to California in the early 1960s and met Kantner while at Santa Clara University in 1962. Kaukonen was invited to jam with the new band and although initially reluctant to join he was won over after playing his guitar through a tape delay device that was part of the sound system used by Ken Kesey for his Acid Test parties. Kaukonen came up with the band’s name, based on the name of a friend’s dog. A 2007 press release quoted Kaukonen as saying:
I had this friend [Steve Talbot] in Berkeley who came up with funny names for people,” explains Kaukonen. “His name for me was Blind Thomas Jefferson Airplane (for blues pioneer Blind Lemon Jefferson). When the guys were looking for band names and nobody could come up with something, I remember saying, ‘You want a silly band name? I got a silly band name for you!’
The “classic” lineup of Jefferson Airplane, from October 1966 to February 1970, was Marty Balin (vocals), Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals), Grace Slick (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar, vocals), Jack Casady (bass), and Spencer Dryden (drums). Marty Balin left the band in 1970, and then it officially broke up in 1972 when Kaukonen and Casady moved on to their own band, Hot Tuna. Slick and Kantner regrouped with Balin and recruited new members to form Jefferson Starship. Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and was presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.Wikipedia.org