Sometimes credited as Danny Kootch or Dan Kootch or Dan Kortchmar or Kootch (following his teenage nickname), in the early sixties he met James Taylor on Martha’s Vineyard and they began to play folk gigs locally. With Kootch on guitar and James on harmonica, the vocal duo did pretty well, winning the occasional hootenanny contest.
He then emerged as a member of several aspiring New York '60s groups, as the Kingbees and Flying Machine, the latter of which featured his fellow James Taylor.
With the Kingbees, he released three singles on RCA, What She Does To Me/That Ain't Love , On Your Way Down The Drain/Rhythm And Blues  and Lost In The Shuffle/Hardly (part 3) .
None were successful and the band (which included also Joel Bishop O'Brien on drums, John McDuffy on vocals/organ and Dickie Frank on bass) broke up in the fall of 1966, not before being lucky enough to back Peter and Gordon, the Everly Brothers of the British Invasion. (Peter was Peter Asher).
In 1967 Kortchmar and O'Brien started a new band, The Flying Machine, with Zachary Wisner on bass and Kortchmar's old friend, James Taylor on guitar and vocals. They were signed to Euphoria later that year and only released one radio single, Night Owl , peaking at #102 on the national charts. The label never released their album and the band soon broke up. Taylor decided then to move to London and Kortchmar gave him Peter Asher's number.