Ram Jam was an American 1970s rock band, best known for their 1977 Top 20 hit "Black Betty".
The band members were Bill Bartlett (guitar), Pete Charles (drums) Myke Scavone (lead singer) and Howey Arthur Blauvett. Bill Bartlett was formerly lead guitarist for bubblegum group the Lemon Pipers while Blauvett played with Billy Joel in two bands the Hassles and El Primo.
Bartlett had also been a member of "Starstruck", a Cincinnati band who had recorded a song called "Black Betty" which had achieved little success. Ram Jam decided to rerecord the song with producers Jerry Kasenatz and Jeff Katz, best-known for their work with The Ohio Express and Buddah Records. The song caused quite a stir with the NAACP and Congress of Racial Equality calling for a boycott due to the lyrics. Ironically, the song was first popularized by African-American singer Leadbelly. Despite the controversy, the song reached number 18 on the singles charts in 1977 in the US and top ten in Australia while the Ram Jam album reached top 40. Also, Ted Demme used the song in the soundtrack to his 2001 film, Blow.