Thursday, May 16, 2013


Well where do I start with Jack Belle ? Lets take a look at Jack's musical beginnings in Central New York and that goes to the late 1950's. Syracuse bands were expanding not only playing popular instrumental hits of the days from Link Wray, The Ventures, Duane Eddy and others. One of CNY's most popular bands was "The Continentals" from the cities south side that included  Jack Belle (guitar) , Mike Money (guitar, lead vocals) & Dave McQuillan (drums). After winning many "Battle of the Bands", making appearances live on WNDR Radio and playing at Hewiitts, Fayetteville Inn, P.L.A.V (West Genesee), Drumblins, Sports O Rama,, Grant Junior High Talent Shows, CBA, Three  Rivers Inn (June 10, 1962- with national recording stars Frankie Lyman & Timmy Yuro) and many college fraternity parties.....With the departure of Mike Money the band teamed up with Hall of Fame vocalist Don Barber to former Don Barber (had hit with I'll Be Blue") & The Continentals and a full summer playing at Lake George resorts. Following that great summer a new Continentals formed (with Ron Belle, Jack Belle & Dave McQuillan) managed by a third brother Dick Belle.

After some time in college in northern New York State, Jack Belle returned to CNY. It was at this period I met Jack while employed at J.D. Shaver repairing radio & TVs, and also more importantly tending bar at "The Big O". Well...then on to Jack's involvement in concert promotion.

The  "BIG O" is where Jack inched into the concert business with owner Carl Williams teaming to bring to the Syracuse War Memorial- Savoy Brown (Kim Simmonds) & Al Kooper (former Blood Sweat & Tears lead vocalist) September 18, 1971. After that successful venture they tried Jose Feliciano (November 10, 1971) but were disappointed with very poor attendance.

Jack and Carl went their different ways, with Jack staying in the concert business (Eastern Artists)  bring to Syracuse- Canned Heat (June 12, 1972). Well it was all upwards for Jack Belle & Eastern Artists from that point. Next came rock superstar Rod Stewart & The Faces with Badfinger (July 6, 1972), Cactus w/ Duane Hitchings (July 28, 1972) and  Frank Zappa (Oct 28, 1972).

1973 brought more highs first Feb 2, 1973 a sold out ELF Show (Dio, Feinstein Driscoll, Soule) with Dove (Rick Cua, Dave Hanlon, Howie Bartolo, Larry Serifini) & Bib N Tucker (Bob Perry, Dick Murphy, T.J.  Condon, Joe Donelan) at the Shoreline Club in Liverpool.. Then another ELF /Dio show with headliner Fleetwood Mac at the Landmark Theater (March 18, 1973). The remainder of 1973 - King Crimson (Apr 30), Spooky Tooth,  Jo Jo Gunne & ELF (May 15), Leslie West Wild West Show (July 30) and ended the year with Slade (Sept 23).

1974- Johnny Winter & James Montgomery Blues Band (Jan 10) Bad Company & Golden Earring (July 18), Foghat & Montrose (Nov 7) Joe Cocker (Dec 19)

1975- Jethro Tull (Feb 24), Robin Trower (Apr 17), followed by  Edgar Winter w/ Rick Derringer (Feb 6), James Cotton (Feb 5), Gary Wright (Sept 6), Average White Band (Sept 8), Z Z Topp & Slade (Sept 25), Black Sabbath, Santana, J. Geils, Black Oak Arkansas & Foghat..

1976- Santana, Robin Trower, Rick Derringer (June 1976), Freddie King (Aug 15)

1977- Bruce Springsteen (Feb 10 in Utica)

1978- Santana (Feb 19), Doobie Bros & Eddie Money (Aug 26), Bruce Springsteen (Darkness Tour- Syracuse War Memorial  Sept 12), Patty Smyth

1979- J Geils Band (Jan 10 in Albany), George Thorogood (Jan 19), Good Rats (Feb 23), The Police (Mar 23), Ramones w/ Flashcubes (July 23), Peter Frampton (Sept 27 in Albany), Edgar Winter (Sept 17), Peter Frampton (Sept 27)

1980- Humble Pie (June 28), Santana (in Albany- Aug 5), Journey (Aug 12), John Cougar Melloncamp (Oct 4), The Cars (Utica Nov 18).

1981- REO Speedwagon (Mar 22), Todd Rundgren & Utopia (Apr 12), Santana (Apr 25), Judas Priest & Iron Maiden (July 19), Styx (July 3, Carrier Dome Syracuse ), Foghat,  (Aug 23), Pat Benatar (Sept 8) Journey & Loverboy  (Oct 9), Rossington Collins (Nov 14), Molly Hachett (Nov 28), 38 Special, Van Halen,

1982- J. Geils (Feb 26), Elvis Costello (June 18), Van Halen (Oct 9, Carrier Dome), 38 Special, Triumph, Billy Square & Nazareth (Oct 28), Barry Manilow (Nov 2- Binghamton), The Who (Dec 10 at Carrier Dome)

1983- Tom Petty, Eddie Money (3 times),  Dio (Oct 22, Rochester, NY)

1984- Dio & Dokken (Glens Falls- Nov 4, 1984), Jethro Tull (Binghamton, NY- Oct 14, 1984)

1985- Bruce Springsteen (Jan 26-27, 1985- Carrier Dome- Syracuse, "Born in the USA Tour". Dio (Troy, NY- Sept 4), Supertramp (Oct 6- Lake Placid), Santana, Saga, Barry Manilow (Oct 16, Syracuse War Memorial)

1986-  Point Blank

1987- U2 & Los Lobos (Syr- Carrier Dome- Oct 10, 1987)

Others still working on dates- Boston, Cheap Trick & Bob Segar..if you know the date pass it on..

The final concert that Jack was involved with was U2 & Los Lobos held before some 39,000 fans at the Carrier Dome- October 10, 1987. This event was staged some five month after his death

Jack Belle's / Eastern Artists Company shared an office and secretary with DMR Enterprises for over 10 years, first in the Wilson Building (downtown) and later in Fayetteville, NY.

David Rezak (DMR) maybe the one of all of us that knew Jack the best, here's some of his quotes "I can say without a doubt he was a "Master of Promotions".  There was a reason he had such great track record of successful shows.  Jack brought in acts he believed in, cut deals he knew would be successful and them marketed the heck out of those show brilliantly. He used great professional voices on all his radio & television spots such as Howie Castle, Jim Sims and Rick Charles. They all had a great knowledge of the music industry and he trusted all of them. Jack was meticulous and was involved in every facet of his shows promotion." PS- Look at his list of concerts above- is it amazing or what....

In his concerts, Jack Belle included many local CNY bands as Sandy Bigtree Band, Alecstar, Bib N' Tucker, Dove, Elf w/ Ronnie James Dio & Rock Feinstein, Darlin, also The Velcros and Joe Whiting with Jack's help  became opening acts touring with Van Halen. Velcros were featured on two-segments with Van Halen, while Whiting graced the stage on 32 dates ranging from the Spectrum in Philadelphia (October 19, 1982) to Jacksonville, Florida (Dec 11, 1982). Belle also did studio sessions with producer Ron Wray at George Day's Dayson Studio playing bass on local releases by Nanci Hammond & Max in the mid 1970's. Always giving back, Jack also taught a Music Industry Class at Syracuse University.

Jack Belle was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame (SAMMY's) by his good friend David Rezak at the Landmark Theater  April 22, 1994. Known as Central New York's greatest concert promoter our good friend Jack died on May 1, 1987 after a long illness, he  is buried in Onondaga Valley Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, a sister, and four brothers. Jack my great friend is deeply missed by me every day.. Mostly miss his laugh box calling me at 3 AM and laughing at me.....PS- In the late 70's and early 80's Jack Belle also published "The Wine Times" another one of his great passions.

Some on my great memories of Jack
Drove with Jack through sleet, rain, sometime blinding snow to get to Glens Falls, NY (Nov 1984) to see Dio perform his "Last in Line Tour". We arriving just five minutes before he took the stage. After the show said hi to Ronnie (who was very surprised to see us on such bad night) and drove back though the same bad weather conditions. This event was one of Jack's Eastern Artist shows.

Made the trip to Toronto (May 9, 1976) with Jack, David Rezak, Howie Castle, Sid Marshall, Rick Barry, Bob Perry and I to see Paul McCartney & Wings (w/ Joe English on drums) "Wings Over America Tour". Then after the concert Jack and I drove all night back to Syracuse.

Did Jack & I speak everyday for years....almost.

And then there was Bill Graham and the Rolling Stones...well that's another story.

Jack Belle was a great personal friend, and true legend in our entertainment industry. Through his efforts made Syracuse a better place for all of us to live. - Ron Wray

Those who worked with Jack though the years include-  Special thanks to David & Linda Rezak, Donnalee Peden. Mike Peden, Chuck Chao, Howie Castle, Rick Charles, Jim Sims, Ronnie James Dio, Terry Mulhauser, Pete Shedd, Ron Howe, Sid Marshall, Rick Barry, Carl Williams, Ron Wray, Bob Perry, Gary LaVancher, Dick Murphy, T.J. Condon, Sandy Bigtree, Bill Baldwin, WOLF Radio, WAQX 95X, WSYR FM 94 Rock, and all the folks though the years at DMR Enterprises and Eastern Artists.... more names to be added....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Famed Mouseketeer Annette Funicello was born in nearby Utica, NY on October 22, 1942. Her parents Virginia & Joseph Funicello left CNY for sunny California  when Annette was age 4. There she started performing professional at age 12 eventually becoming a very well know singer,  actress and movie stars in our youth. She was selected as one of Walt Disney's Mouseketeers on his weekday show "The Mickey Mouse Club" (1955-59) where she not only sang & danced but appeared in popular Disney segments such as "Spin & Marty."

This led to many poplar hits records as- "How Will I Know My Love" (1958), "Tall Paul " (1959), Jo Jo The Dog Faced Boy" (1959), "Lonely Guitar" (1959),"First Name Initial" (1959),  "Oh Dio Mio" (1960), "Pineapple Princess " (1960) and "Hawaiian Love Talk" (1961) that mentions Utica all graced the airwaves of both WOLF & WNDR Radio here in Syracuse.

Her amazing popularity shifted to motion pictures  "Shaggy Dog", Babes in Toyland", " many Beach Party movies with Frankie Avalon and " Monkey's Uncle" (with the Beach Boys) to name just a few.

Annette also appeared here in Syracuse. First on November 10, 1961- for a contest run by WNDR Radio called "Have Dinner With Annette" where two lucky winners had dinner with Annette and WNDR's "Dandy Dan" Leonard.  The second back in 1964 for Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars Tour at the War Memorial with Paul Anka, Duane Eddy, LaVern Baker, Bobby Rydell, Lloyd Price and Jimmy Beaumont & The Skyliners.

Sadly Annettte passed away in Bakersfield, Ca. on April 8, 2013 at age 70. Seeing her aways brought us back to our youth.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Jan 29, 1962         Ernie Davis (Heisman Trophy)   Sports O Rama

Feb 2, 1962          Gene Cornish                            3 Rivers Inn
                             Don Barber & The Dukes

Feb 8, 1962          Freddie Cannon                         3 Rivers Inn
                             Don Barber & The Dukes

Feb 21, 1962       Chubby Checker                       Sports O Rama

Apr 22, 1962       Gene Pitney                               Sports O Rama
                            Brian Hyland
                            Jean Thomas  (Moon River)
                            The Eternals (Rozzano, Simmons,  Nicotra etc)
                            The Keystones
                            Paul & The Velvets

May 7, 1962        Santo & Johnny                          3 Rivers Inn
                            Don Barber & The Dukes
                            Daquires (Mike Esposito)

May 25-June 4    Bobby Darin                                3 Rivers Inn
                           Jimmy Cavallo
                           Salt City Six

May 27, 1962     Ernie Maresca (Shout, Shout)          3 Rivers Inn
                           H.B. Barnum
                           Tico & The Triumph  (Paul Simon)
                           Ed Wool & The Nomads

June 4-9, 1962    Frankie Lymon                           3 Rivers Inn
                           Timmy Yuro
                           Eden Kane (Well I Ask Ya)
                           The Continentals (Jack Belle)

June 15, 1962     Ronnie Dio & The Prophets         Forest Hotel- Syl Beach
                           Terry & The Renegades

June 24, 1962     Shelley Fabares (Johnny Angel)  3 Rivers Inn

July 27- Aug 5    Connie Francis                            3 Rivers Inn

Aug 13, 1962     Little Eva                                     3 Rivers Inn
                           Linda Scott (I've Told Every Little Star)
                           Janie Grant (Triangle)
                           Cathy Carol (Jimmy Love)

Sept 5, 1962       Bobby Vee                                  Sports O Rama

Oct 11, 1962      Babs Tino  (Forgive Me)             Sports O Rama
                           Ronnie Dio & The Prophets

Nov 16-18          Sammy Davis Jr.                          3 Rivers Inn

Dec 31, 1962      Jay & The Americans                   3 Rivers Inn


Thursday, May 2, 2013


Being revised



Back on a very snowy day December 1, 1970 the concept of producing a vinyl album that contained and documented our Syracuse Music History came to reality. Don Bombard (now Bob Shannon) at this time had left WOLF Radio and had shifted to my competition WNDR. Don and I teamed together many times at WOLF producing All Request Radio, a nine hour Beatles special, The WOLF Story (a history of WOLF Radio 1940- 1970), 15 hour History of Rock & Roll special, and a complete Woodstock documentary to name just a few.

The History of Syracuse Music- Volume 1 arrived in late January 1971. Each vinyl volume issued was limited to 500 copies. It was very unusual that two people from different competitive radio stations teamed together with one goal to document our Syracuse Music History. My one memory was asking "Dandy Dan" Leonard to be involved since he had produced many of the great records we included. Dan's response "Ron no one's going to be interested or buy an album of just local music." Well here we are 44+ years later still going. We have switched gears a bit after 14 Volumes on vinyl & cd. We currently have this new website and in the process of writing a book, to date has 5,726+ pages.

I would like to thanks the following who were there at the beginning- Jack Abert (Monterays), Chet Andrews, Don Barber,  Jack Belle, Sandy Bigtree, Don Bombard (Bob Shannon), Howie Castle, Ronnie James Dio, David "Rock" Feinstein, Mike Ferrante, Jan Fetterly, Rick Gary, Terry Golden (Madisons), Mike Greenstein, Pete Hennessey, Mark Hoffmann, Mark Kalsuga (Walt's Record Shop), "Dandy Dan" Leonard, Bob Lorenz (New Times), Sue Mackay, Chuck Mellone (The Seven), The Monterays, Larry Monty, Dave Moziak, Rick Mozzo,  Ed Murphy, Dave Murray, Dave Novak, Mickey Palumbo, John Periales, "Little Jan" Perolla, Gary Podsiedlik, David Rezak (DMR), Dave Ridgeway, Rick Ryder,  Pete Shedd, Bob Sherman (Bob Lowry), Tom Shine, Jim Sims, Bebo Singleton, Dave Stevenson (Fallen Angels), Joe Whiting, Al Wolf, WOLF Radio, WNDR Radio,  WNYS TV (now WSYR TV-9),  WCNY TV, Orange Pennysaver, Syracuse New Times, Syracuse One Stop  & The Brookside in Dewitt.