Sunday, November 25, 2012

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC "OFFICIAL SITE" - CHAPTER # 64 - HALL OF FAME FIDDLE KING - HAL CASEY PASSES AWAY

We are sadden to hear of the passing on January 17, 2012 of former New York State Fiddle Champion, &  SAMMY Hall of Famer- Hal Casey.

The areas top fiddle player for six decades started his career at age six. Casey started playing square dances and Irish jig at the Hibernian Club. He studied classical violin and was very active in various orchestras. He formed a jazz group and toured the east coast. This led to a spot on the Grand Ole Opry as a staff musician in the early 50's. Hal has performed with such musical greats as Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe, George Morgan, Randy Travis, Brook Benton, Vassar Clements and Bill Haley & The Comets

He returned to Central New York in the 1950's and resided here ever since. Hal won six fiddle championships in New York State and Canada.  Hal Casey was inducted  into the "Fiddlers Hall of Fame" in Osceola, NY in 1976. Casey has appeared on many albums and released his own album "North Country" on Nashville's King International Records in 1979. During the 80's he also partnered with world class guitarist Loren Barriger.

Hal performed and was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame (SAMMY's) in February 2002. Casey was a musical special guest on Los Blancos album "Cookin' With The Cats" released in December 2004. Casey's latest band was called "Swing This" that included another Hall of Famer Mark Hoffmann. The very talented Hal Casey was 83, he will be deeply missed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC "OFFICIAL SITE" - CHAPTER # 63 - MARK BIALCZYK - HIS DEDICATION HAS NO BOUNDS

I picked up Thursday's Post Standard (Dec 22) and as always read Mark Bialczyk's music article. To my surprise, I found this great article about The History of Syracuse Album series that we started some 41 years ago. I would first like to thank Mark for the nice story about my 48 year quest to tell the wonder story of our Syracuse & Central New York's music history.  Secondly we could not have reached this point without professional & dedicated people like Mark and so many others. My enjoyment of researching, collecting recordings, writing bio's, finding photos and making many great friendships through the years has brought me great joy.

Ron Wray

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC "OFFICIAL SITE" - CHAPTER # 62, CLARK MUSIC (1859-2012) - SYRACUSE MUSIC ICON CLOSES IT DOORS

The Clark Music Company  first opened its So. Salina Street doors in Downtown Syracuse  back in 1859.  Its founder George W. Clark quickly  became Syracuse most popular sheet music retailer. Clarks' changed directions and became Syracuse first phonograph (record player) dealer. They quickly moved into instrumentation selling the cities first harp while becoming the areas most popular dealer of name brand pianos.

 In 1919, Clark Music was owned and manager by George's son, Melville Clark and located across from Dey Brothers in the 400 block of So. Salina Street on the site that would later become Sibleys Department store. Clark Music was then sold in 1960 to  Guido Singer.  It was his decision to relocated to its current location at 2922 Erie Blvd, East in 1966. At this time Clark Music expanded into high-end audio and video products while continuing selling the popular Steinway piano line.  Mr Singer sold his business in the 1980's to current owner Hugh Murphy.  Mr Murphy hired our friend Frank DeFonda (longtime drummer currently with Mark Doyle & the Maniacs) who in his 28 years at Clark Music rose into a corporate management position. Frank was quoted in the Post Standard newspaper as saying- "As of Sunday, August 26, Clark Music becomes history, one that I think many will miss."  There were many reasons for Clark Music's closing, one being that the property was sold to a developer and they would have to move to a different location.

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC "OFFICIAL SITE - CHAPTER 61- QUESTION - RON, DURING YOUR 40+ YEARS IN SYRACUSE MUSIC, WHAT ARE YOUR TOP RONNIE JAMES DIO MOMENTS ?

Wow...That's a hard one as their were so many. But I'll give it a try.. They are in no order..

1. Meeting, spending time and had photos taken with Ronnie backstage during Deep Purple / ELF concert in Syracuse (Nov 9, 1972) as they first played songs from their new EPIC record album "ELF" and being blown away by their greatness. (Ronnie James Dio, "Rock" Feinstein, Gary Driscoll & Mickey Lee Soule)

2. Attending "Ronnie Dio Day" in Cortland, NY  where the City dedicated a street name in his honor "Dio Way" (Nov 15 1988). Stayed outside with Ronnie as he signed autographs for everyone attending (hundreds). Then going to his home as we honored this great man (with his parents, Mickey Lee Soule & "Rock" Feinstein)

3. Watching the spectacular live "Sacred Heart" show on stage in Syracuse (9/7/1985) and then presenting him with a plaque with dignitaries from the City of Cortland (Nick Mazza & John Kane) declaring "Ronnie Dio Day".

4. Being on-stage (also WOLF's Howie Castle) with Ronnie at the Black Sabbath Concert in Syracuse (5/14/1982) presenting him with a Syracuse Music Hall of Fame plaque.

5. Being with Ronnie at his Cortland home (1975) when he told me he was going with Ritchie Blackmore to form Rainbow.

6. Working with Jack Belle & Howie Castle to bring ELF to a Syracuse club for the first time. Note a sell out show at the Shoreline Club in Liverpool, NY on February 2, 1973. Also on the show was Bib n Tucker (Bob Perry, Dick Murphy, T. J. Condon) and Dove (Rick Cua. Dave Hanlon, Howie Bartolo & Larry Serafini),

7. Backstage with Ronnie and ELF when Jack Belle (Eastern Artist) brought  them to Syracuse's Landmark Theater with Fleetwood Mac on March 20,1973. Maybe one of ELF's greatest all-time performance.

8. My son Jeff & I seeing Ronnie perform for the last time with "Heaven & Hell" at the Albany, NY arena on May 14, 2007

9  Backstage for a concert at the Brookside Club in Dewitt (mid Jan 1975) with Ronnie & ELF celebrating the pre-release of the UK album "Carolina County Ball" called " LA 59" in the USA. Also attending- club owner-Rick Barry, Talent Agent- David Rezak, Concert Promoter- Jack Belle and Syracuse NewTimes photographer- Michael Davis.

10. Sandy Bigtree & I spending a great New Year Eve (12/31/1973) with Ronnie and the band at the Brookside Club.

11. Having the honor of working with Wendy Dio & NIJI Entertainment Group to continue honoring the musical legacy of this great man.

12. Through Ronnie meeting and having a 40-year friendship with David "Rock" Feinstein.


 Continue his legacy by having and being a committee member for Dio Day Cortland July 7, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIUC "OFFICIAL SITE" CHAPTER #60 - BUDDY GREALY BAND

During the summer of 1970, The Place (night club) opened at the corner of Rt 11 & Bear Road in North Syracuse. This "Hot Spot" featured the best in national and local talent plus the famed "Sunday Night Jam Sessions" that were opened to all musicians.

One of most popular groups of these jams were the Buddy Grealy Band. The band consisted of members Michael Coward, Dan Coward & Tom McNamara. The trio was originally from Springfield, Mass and was known as "Cin". With Cin break up in the fall of 1970 the Coward Brothers relocated to Central New York as suggested by former talent agent Mike Martineau. As the groups personal changed, John Quatrone replaced Danny Coward on drums, and bassist Tom McNamara spot was taken by Steve Fishman  (formerly of Oates). Lastly another former member of Oates, violinist Reinhard Straub was added during a jam at Saranac Lake, ny.

This lineup was the nucleus of the band "Wind", with Frank DeFonda (formerly of Fat Attic) becoming the new drummer. Wind soon became a huge campus attraction. In the meantime original drummer Danny Coward had joined Jukin Bone and when that band broke up in 1973, he joined his brother Mike, and Wind returned to the name the "Buddy Grealy Band". The brother's Coward, Straub and Fishman packed the Yellow Balloon and Brookside throughout 1974. After New Years 1975, Straub left to play with Rochester's "Wale" and a month later Gary Link of the David Werner Band replaced   Fishman. This final incarnation of Buddy Grealy parted ways in September 1975.               

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC "OFFICIAL SITE: CHAPTER #59 - DO YOU REMEMBER - 1959- 1969 SYRACUSE HITS (UPDATED)

In 1959, Ivy Broadcasting purchased WOLF Radio AM-1490. Between 1959 & June, 1967 WOLF aired many songs that became extremely popular with Central New York listeners, but maybe not at the national level.. Here's a list of a few on them for your enjoyment.

PS-We also added a few from 1969 played by nighttime host Don Bombard (WCBS FM 's Bob Shannon).

1959
Fireballs                         Bulldog                                      Top Rank 2026
George Hamilton IV     Gee                                            ABC Par. # 10.028
Linda Laurie                  All Winter Long                         Laurie # 5015
Bobby Vinton                A Freshman & A Sophomore    Alpine # 59

1960
Dyna Sores                   Alley Oop                                  Rendezvous  120
Johnny Restivo            Two Crazy Kids                        RCA # 7818
Cliff Richard                Theme For a Dream                 ABC Par. #10195
The Shadows               Apache                                      ABC Par. 10138
Temptations                 Barbara                                    Gold Disc 3001

1961
 Jimmie Beaumont     Ev rybodys Cryin                     May 112
Glen Campbell            Brenda                                      Crest 1087
Kenny Dino                 Your Ma Said You Cried         Musicor 1013
Johnny Gibson           Midnight                                   Big Top  3088
Eden Kane                  We'll I Ask You                         London 1993
Johnny Rhythm        Wouldn't It Be Nice                  MGM 13043
Neil Scott                    Bobby                                         Portrait 102
Velvets                        Tonight Could Be The Night     Monument 45-441

1962
The Big Loser            This Is Monty                            Groove 580012
Sonny Gianatta        Last Blast of the Blasted Bugler   ABC Par 10308
Eddie Rambeau        Summertime Guy                      Swan 4112
The Shadows             Wonderful Land                        Atlantic 2146
Babs Tino                  Forgive Me                                 Kapp 472

1963
Johnny Cymbal         Teenage Heaven                       Kapp 524
Roller Coasters           Spanish Twist                           Delfi 4194
Tornadoes                  Life on Venus                            London 9599

1964
Pixies Three               442 Glenwood Avenue             Mercury 72208
Eddie Rambeau         Come Closer                             20th Century Fox 491
Johnny Tillotson        Judy, Judy, Judy                      Cadence 1437
Van Trevor                Satisfaction is Guaranteed        Corsican  138
Link Wray                 The Shadow Knows                   Swan 4171

1965
Darin D' Anna          We Were Lovers                        World Artist 1045s
The Novas                The Crusher                               Parrott 450045
The Remains            Why Do I Cry                            Epic 9783
The Remains            Once Before                               Epic 10001
Rockin Ramrods      Don't Fool w/ Fu Manchu         Claridge 301
Unit 4 Plus 2            You Never Fell in Love Like This Before - London 9761
Link Wray                Duces Wild                                  Swan 4187

1966
Barbarians               Moulty                                        Laurie 3326
Toni Basil                 I'm 28                                         A & M 791
Bent Bolt & Nuts     Mechanical Man                        MGM 13635
Creation                  Makin Time                                Planet 116
Gerry & Pacemakers   Without You                          Laurie 3337
Golliwogs                Fragile Child                               Scorpio 405
Riot Squad              How Is It Done                           Reprise 0457
Rubber Band          Let Love Come Between Us        Columbia 43796
Troggs                     From Home                                 Fontana F 1548
The Wailers             Out of Our Tree                          Etiquette 21
Link Wray               Ace of Spades                              Swan 4261

1967
Tim Rose                I'm Gonna Be Strong                     Columbia 43958
Bob Seger                Persecution Smith                          Cameo 465
Syndicate of Sound    Mary                                            Bell 666

1969
Cousins                 Take Your Love and Shove It        Shove Love  # 0069
(Note - Later issued under the name Kane's Cousins-  Shove Love 45-500)

Russell Morris       The Real Thing  Pts 1 &2                Diamond 263

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC "OFFICIAL SITE" CHAPTER # 58 - MORE FAMOUS NAMES WHO PERFORMED OR SPOKE IN SYRACUSE 1906-1915

Jan 5-8 1908            James J. Corbett -World Boxing Champion   Bastable Theater
                                    (Staring in "The Bugler and the Lady")

Jan 25, 1908              Grand Vaudeville Show                            Grand Opera House
                                   W.C. Fields, Ed Wynn & Company

May 5, 1910              Billie Burke starring in "Mrs. Dot"             Wieting Opera House

Sept 10, 1910            John Philip Sousa Band - World Tour       Wieting Opera House

March 20-25, 1911   Ziegfeld Revue- Follies of 1910                Empire Theater
                                 (Staring Fanny Brice)

Sept 16, 1911            President William Howard Taft                  N.Y.S. Fair
                                  (President Taft speaks at Syr Chamber of Commerce)

Nov 8-14, 1911        Houdini                                                     Grand -Keith's
                                 (performs Milk Can & Straight jacket escapes)

Dec 30-31, 1913      George M. Cohan                                     Empire Theater
                                 (stars in his own play "Broadway Jones")

Nov 2, 1914             Eddie Foy and 7 Little Foys                      Grand Theater

June 13, 1915          Ty Cobb `                                                 Elks Field Days

Dec 13, 1915          Billy Sunday Spiritual Crusade   Empire Theater- Syr. Tabernacle

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC "OFFICIAL SITE" CHAPTER # 57 - MORE FAMOUS NAMES WHO PERFORMED OR SPOKE IN SYRACUSE BETWEEN 1916-1929

Oct 4-6, 1918     Howard Thurston                       Bastable Theater
                            "World Famous Magician"

Apr 7, 1919        Jack Dempsey Boxing Exhibition
                           (Fought two men in one day)

Dec 8, 1919       Ira Gershwin                              Empire Theater
                          (Appears in Half Past Eight"

June 13-16, 1920   Helen Keller                           B.F. Keiths

July 18-21, 1920    Will Rogers                            Savoy Theater
                              (Starred in Cupid the Cowpuncher)

Sept 19, 1920     John Phillip Sousa Band             Empire Theater

Apr 14, 1923      Rudolph Valentino & Wife         State Street Armory

Nov 4-9, 1923   Jack Benny (Vaudeville)              B.F. Keiths

Feb 21-23, 1924    4 Marx Brothers                    Wieting Opera House
                              (Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo)

June 17, 1924     Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey Circus
                           "The Greatest Show on Earth"  cast of 1,600 w/ 43 elephants

Oct 26-30, 1925     Houdini                                Wieting Opera House
                               "$10,000 Challenge"

July 28, 1927      Charles Lindbergh                      Amboy Airport   
                           w/ Spirit of St. Louis'

Oct 4, 1927         Babe Ruth                                Temple Theater

Dec 2, 1927       Al Jolson                                   Wieting Opera House 
                          (in "Big Boy")

Feb 15, 1929     Ben Turpin / Vaudeville              B.F. Keiths

Mar 17-19, 1929  Kate Smith / Vaudeville           B.F. Keiths                

Sunday, November 11, 2012

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE MUSIC- CHAPTER 56- BIGGEST SHOW OF STARS FOR 1957 RECEIVES RAVE REVIEW

September 17, 1957- The Herald Journal Newspaper entertainment section headline reads Fats Domino "Brings Down The House".  In what we would categorize as one of Syracuse all-time historic live stage shows Fats Domino, wowed the large crowd of 6.000+ in the War Memorial last night. The Star of the "Biggest Show of  1957": sponsored by Super Attractions, delighted his listeners with his lively tunes and atoned for his failure to appear for a performance here April 11, 1957 by swinging through a generous offering of tunes, while police and ushers ordered the aisle dancers back into their seats.

Fats playing keyboards sang "I'm in Love Again", "Blueberry Hill", "When My Dreamboat Comes Home", "Blue Monday" delighting all. The audience applauded every number on the three-hour show. Also appearing were the youthful Frankie Lymon (ABC's of Love,  I Want You to Be My Girl,  Out of the Cold and Goodie, Goodie) and blues singer Lavern Baker (Jim Dandy, Tweedly Dee, Humpty Dumpty Heart).

 The very popular Everly Brothers (Wake Up Little Suzie,  Bye, Bye Love, Should We Tell Him)  and Canadian heartthrob Paul Anka (Diana, Gumdrop).

Also performing  The Drifters, The Crickets w/ Buddy Holly (That'll Be The Day, Peggy Sue),  Bobby Parker, The Spaniels, The Bobbettes (Mr. Lee), Clyde McPhatter, Chuck Berry (School Days), Johnny & Joe (Over the Mountain), Tommy Brown (Crying), Bobby Parker and Harold Cromer- mc

The show started at 8:30 pm, Tickets were priced at $3.50, $3.00, $2.50, $2.00, $1.50

The performers stayed the night in Syracuse (including Buddy Holly Rm 963 ) at the Hotel Onondaga. They left the next day for a show in Rochester, NY

The Syracuse show was reviewed by  Peg Cram on Tuesday September  17, 1957.

Note- This was Buddy Holly's only Syracuse performance.