Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jokers Wild, Metros, Liberation, Willie Hobbs, Weejuns





Greg,

I just found out about your interesting web site and book. GREAT JOB!!!! I would love to get a copy. I played for years in several bands in Richmond, starting out with Eddie Martin’s, King Edward and the BDs. Your list brings back many memories, but you have left out one of the best beach/R&B bands EVER formed in Richmond. It was called The Jokers Wild. I attached a photo of some of the original members at a reunion benefit last year in Richmond for injured Buzz Montsinger. I was also in a group called Prince James and the Royal Knights (same time as Eddie’s Band-photo attached) I will be happy to give you some details about the groups. I was one of the founding horn members in the Jokers Wild, along with Buzz Montsinger, Randy Moss, Greg Duncan (Gregory D and the Mainmen), Herbie Atkinson and later Steve Bassett and Howard Awad.

If you have an interest, please give me a call. I now live in Tampa, FL. My contact info is listed below. Happy Holidays!

Paul Thomasson



Paul,

Thank you for the input. We will post today. I wished that the great band, The Jokers Wild, was the only great band that was left out of the book. There were others. Fortunately we able to get one of their recordings in the HBDBM compilation series and if we get to a second printing or a revised edition, we will get more band info. In the meantime, please have any fans, band members etc. make comments on the blog. Never too late.

Regards,

Greg Haynes


P.S.S. The title of the cut on the HBDBM compilation series is: “Gotta Be A Reason”
By Bernard Smith and Jokers Wild



Greg

It’s funny, got Bobby’s autograph on a Tam’s photo, as well as all 5 of the Tam’s. Guess that is the back of the sound man’s head in your picture. (page 71 of HBD) The microphones always seemed to squelch. Thanks again!

Sterling

Sterling:

You're talking about Bobby McCrary who played sax and occasionally had a red streak in his hair? You ever heard any of the music that Bobby, Frank, Drop Shot, Chocolate, etc did while they were called Liberation?

Regards,


Greg

Greg

No, but just like your book says, I had friends that thought they were the Tams, when they were the Metros. How can I get their music? Also for a while the Tam’s orchestra had a girl singer. Am sure that was tough for her with all those guys on the bus. Merry Christmas

Sterling:

Sterling:

The Metros started playing jobs independent of the Tams in 1970. I was lucky enough to book for a couple of parties as social chairman for Phi Delta Theta at UGA. Anyone that saw the Tams' Revue in 1968 or 1969 no doubt knows that “The Revue” was as good as any on the road at that time. Before Ike & Tina came on, the audience had already been thoroughly entertained and that was that same with the Tams' Revue. The Metros band led off with its own great lead singer, Frank Bray. Then before the Tams came on , they would bring on two additional great vocalists, L.C. Junior ( he an I are in a photo together in the book) and Brenda Bee who I know less about but I think she was from the Augusta area. She sang with some of those outstanding Augusta based bands. I really would like to know more about her. I refer to the Metros in the book as the "moonlighting Tams' band" In retrospect, I think that they were slowly but surely going on their own and the cord was finally severed when they changed their name to Liberation ( as in liberated from the Tams) That is purely guesswork.

When I first moved to Atlanta in 1972, I arranged a couple of parties at area apartment complexes with Liberation. I was amazed at how they had really come out of the shadow of the Tams and thought surely they would find a much bigger stage. The quality of the recordings that are included in the HBDBM series on disks No. 3, 6 & 10 would give you reason to think that they were on line to be a national group. By the mid 70s, I hardly ever heard of them again but a couple of former members turned up in a group called Celebrity Ball. The listing of the cuts on the CDs can be found at http://www.heybabydays.com/HBD_CD_3-14.htm


Regards,


Greg


Greg,

I am probably a couple of years late but are you going to print any more books. I played keyboards with the Weejuns out of Burlington, NC in 1965-1966 and just found out about your great compilation of beach music info. The good old US Army got me in late 1966 and now here I am. Please keep up the good work. It was a good time back then especially backing up the Tams at one venue or the other. Getting to meet Major Lance, Barbara Lewis, Junior Walker and others was a trip too. I tell my daughters that playing music and seeing folks enjoy it is one of the most fun things you can do with your clothes on. Take care and God bless.
LTC(R) Paul L. Steele

Paul,

We kept a small supply for musicians like yourself who had not heard about the book until it after it was SOLD OUT. We can sell you the book for $49.95 which includes postage. (Era Musicians Only) Otherwise,
There are still copies in stores especially Barnes and Noble and Books A Million.

Regards,

Greg Haynes

Greg,

Thanks for getting back to me. I could not wait so I found a copy at Barnes and Noble and was blessed to have received a 20% off coupon from them in the mail so the cost was about the same as what you saved for us.

Great job by the way and was I surprised when saw how big it was and then I found the two music CD's in the back? IOutstanding! Also,I could not believe how big it wasand it weighed 12 lbs.

Thanks again for doing something us old timers can appreciate along with our kids and grandchildren. You have made this Christmas very special for an old keyboard player with the Weejuns. I went from the Weejuns to the US Army and ended up retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel so now I have even more special memories to think about. From an old keyboard player and old soldier who really appreciates what you have done, take care and God bless.


Greg,



Thanks…..enjoyed reading some of the blog notes. I haven’t done this before, so congrats on the forum. There was a good singer we worked w/some….Willie Hobbs out of south Florida. Know what happened to him?



Pat


Pat,



Click on this link. Is this the Willie Hobbs you are referring to ?



http://www.sirshambling.com/artists/W/willie_hobbs.htm



Sounds like another performer who didn’t get the recognition he deserved. Any great remembrances from backing him ? Every time I think of South Florida R&B of the 60s, I think of Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders who played at that club they called the House of Soul on the 79th Street Causeway.


Regards,

Greg

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