Friday, February 3, 2012

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC - CHAPTER 26 - THE SERMON - 1968-71 (Updated)

1968-71 members included veteran musicians Dave Novak (guitar, vocals), Bill Wolfe (drums, vocals), Kal Dee (vocals, trumpet, piano), Bill Weiss (bass), Jimmy Cox (Hammond B-3 organ), Bob Stasko (sax, flute, maracas, vocals) and Bob Papaleoni (drums) who was later added as an addition percussionist.

 The band signed with Thunderbird Records and on their initial release "You're Never Gonna Find Another Love" b/w "What A Day This Could Be" the band was identified as "The Sir-Men" because of a reported conflict with a New York group having a prior claim to the name "Sermon." However, the issue was resolved in time for Syracuse's Sermon to be correctly identified when Thunderbird sold the master to national record giant  the Buddah / Kama Sutra Record group..

"Your Never Gonna Find Another Love" graced the WOLF Radio music survey for nine weeks reaching #1 for two straight weeks September 3 & 10, 1969.

At the same time Buddha/ Kama Sutra Records purchased the master of the Sermon they also bought  "The Rapper" by the Jaggerz. The label decided to promote the latter and The Sermon missed national acclaim. Although the record did receive favorable reviews in various national trade publications thanks to the efforts of  WOLF's  Don Bombard.

A rough demo of the band's proposed follow-up single "It Almost Made Me Cry" written by Carl Falso, appears on the "History of Syracuse Album Series- Volume 3 & 4. The Sermon could be seeing playing the Campus Inn, Red Dog Saloon,  Holiday Bowl  as well as clubs in Rochester and Buffalo and for college parties throughout the region. It should be noted that "The Sermon"  was one of the very first CNY bands to add a full horn section. The Sermon was managed by WNDR  morning disc jockey "Big George" Plavoccos.

For you serious collectors- The Sermon's single "You're Never Gonna Find Another Love" was released by Buddah Records in the country of Peru.

Notes-
Novak, Wolfe, Weiss were all former members of The Nightcaps (with Al McNeil & Joe Nappi)  who released the popular single "Keep on Runnin" b/w "Knock On Wood" (ARC Records #1181) in 1967.

Prior to the Sermon, Kal Dee was the lead vocalist of the Cortland band "Kal Dee & the Showmen" who in November 1963 released the single "Mind Your Mama" b/w "I'm Still in Love With You"  (Lawn Records #223). He then added keyboards on the Don Barber & The Dukes recordings of "The Waddle" b/w "What Your Name" (Thunderbird Records #105) in June 1965. After the Sermon played for a short while with the Kal Dee Trio with Bill Weiss before starting a long solo carrer.

Currently
Dave Novak can be heard  performing as a soloist and with the Fab Cats. Bill Weiss can be seen playing bass with Letizia & The Z Band.. Jiimmy Cox  is back performing as a soloist and with his singer-songwriting daughter Ashley Cox, Television producer Bob Papaleoni is employed by Time Warner.

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