Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Wilkesbury Brigade Band was born in a small unheated garage in Liverpool, NY (just north of Syracuse_ in the spring of 1969, Always known for its steady beats and great hi-harmonies honed music during a great time in our Syracuse Music history those early 1970's.

Their original members included- Paul Bradbury (lead vocals), Tom Nelson (guitar), Joe Rao (organ), Gary Goal (bass) and Joe Maggio (drums).

Members changed frequently during those first two years. In 1972, Wilkesbury had the fine distinction of having of the finest vocalist in the land in the band together- Dan Elliot and Ronnie Leigh. Both are now member of the Syracuse Music Hall of Fame (SAMMYS). 

Beginning in 1972, this awesome band performed at the Poorhouse North on Old Liverpool Road for over 200 consecutive weeks. Including an all-time record of 756 fans on one warm summer night. Here's just a few more names that were band members during their great ride- Garry Jenkins, Bob Petta, Dave Sperra & Brian Meegan.

Wilkesbury Brigade celebrated its 40 year anniversary with a special one-night only live concert in front of a jam packed Pensabene's Casa Grande Rest on State Fair Blvd in Syracuse- September 25, 2016 (5-8 pm). As part of the Dinosaur Radio's History of Syracuse Rock n Roll 'Then and Now" Music series. Members taking the stage this special evening were together in Wilkesbury for the longest period, they are- Two time Sammys Hall of Famer- Tommy Forest (lead vocals), Mike Campbell (drums- formerly with The Alligators and currently tours with Tommy Roe), original member Joe Rao (keyboards), Tim Cleary (bass) and Warren Paschetto (guitar).

 Also taking the stage that evening was Sammy Hall of Famer- Dave Novak & The PartyNuts (John Dancks (another Sammy Hall of Famer) along with , Ed McBarron, J.T. Hall, Mike Kallet, Tom Link Dave Novak and special guest Dave Hanlon)

Roses were given to the first 100 ladies attending as well as digital download of the bands newest release.

The band finally separated in late 1975, with Tim Cleary joining "Loose' and later "Too Loose'. Mike Campbell left to become the new drummer for "The Alligators" later "Pretty Boy" before touring the country with Tommy Roe.

Through the years Wilkesbury Brigade was known for their incredible diverse song list. Thei set list included songs by the Beach Boys, Four Tops, Seals and Croft to a nearly 30-minute Beatle medley. More recently the band released its first Cd "Movin On" recorded a few years ago at the LeMoyne Manor. 

Can you imagine a band that had three of CNY's all-time greatest vocalist- Tommy Forest, Dan Elliott and Ronnie Leight. Well that was Wilkebury Brigade...

1 comment:

  1. If I'm not mistaken in later years Brian Meegan was the drummer.