Steppenwolf traces its roots to The Sparrows, a Toronto-based blues–rock band that was formed in 1964. Lead vocalist John Kay joined the group in September 1965 after the departure of Jack London. Shortly after, Goldy McJohn—who had played in The Mynah Birds with Neil Young and Rick James—was added to replace departing member Art Ayre. Steppenwolf hit stride when their third single Born to Be Wild, as well as the Hoyt Axton song, The Pusher were featured in the 1969 film Easy Rider. Born to Be Wild hit #2 on the Billboard charts and sold more than one million copies. Steppenwolf went on to release more albums and had several hits, including Magic Carpet Ride and Rock Me, which went to #3 and #10 respectively. The band then entered an era of highly political albums and songs, starting with Steppenwolf 7 and For Ladies Only, two albums that contained outspoken songs about the era and attitudes of drug problems. Shortly after the release of For Ladies Only, the band broke up and Kay moved on to an inconsistent solo career. Steppenwolf reformed in 1974 and toured and recorded into the 80s. During its run, Steppenwolf sold more than 25 million albums, had eight gold albums and 12 Billboard Hot 100 singles, of which six were Top 40 Hits, including three that made the Top 10.