North Florida Music Hall of Fame
Abrahams, Karen Texas-born R&B-folk-rocker, lived and performed in Jacksonville for 15 years. Returned to Texas (this time to Austin), where she formed Mozo City Records and scored international airplay with a unique surf-rock/bluegrass remake of Jefferson Airplane's “White Rabbit.” Continues to tour the folk and Americana festival circuit in the U.S. and Europe.
Adderly, Julian (“Cannonball”) Famed alto saxophonist, originally from Tampa, graduate of Florida A&M in Tallahassee. Worked with Oscar Pettiford, Miles Davis (alongside tenor man John Coltrane) and Nancy Wilson. Recorded own albums for Savoy, Riverside, EmArcy, and Capitol. Had a top 40 instrumental hit, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” in 1966, written by pianist/sideman Joe Zawinul. See also Adderly, Nat.
Adderly, Nat Renowned jazz trumpeter, younger sibling of Cannonball Adderly, also grad of FAMU. Worked with Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman Orchestra and Cannonball Adderly’s sextet; formed own group after Cannonball’s death in 1975. Recorded for Savoy, Riverside, EmArcy, Jazzland, Atlantic, Milestone, A&M, Prestige, Steeplechase and Galaxy Records. See also Adderly, Julian.
Aleka's Attic Short-lived Gainesville rock band signed to Island Records in late 1980s. Featured actor River Phoenix; disbanded after his untimely death in 1993. Two other members, Josh Greenbaum and Tim Hankins, went on to form Gainesville band Seraphim.
Alpert, Herman (“Trigger”) Jazz bassist from Indianapolis, moved to NYC in late 1930s. Worked with Glenn Miller Band until drafted in early 1940s. Rejoined Miller in Army Air Force Band during the war. Also worked with Tex Beneke and Benny Goodman. Later became prominent NYC session player, working with Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and many others. Led own band for Riverside Records in 1956. Lives in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Alias Jacksonville-based band formed by guitarist Dorman Cogburn and vocalist Jimmy Dougherty; recorded with four of the surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd (just prior to the formation of the Rossington Collins Band). Released one album on Mercury (1979). Dougherty later became front man for the short-lived Allen Collins Band on MCA. See also Collins, Allen.
Allman Brothers Band Legendary rock-blues-jazz-country sextet formed in Jacksonville in 1969, featured Daytona natives Duane and Gregg Allman, also included members of Jacksonville-based bands The Second Coming (Dickie Betts and Berry Oakley) and The 31st of February (Jacksonville native Butch Trucks). The ABB was the first act signed to Macon-based Capricorn Records; it broke up in late 1970s; later re-formed and signed to Arista; then Epic. Still touring but has no label deal at the moment. See also Betts, Dickey.
Angelo, Mike & the Idols Jacksonville new-wave band with R&B flavor, issued cult favorite “F**k Everybody” on Atlanta’s Hottrax label in 1984, later released album on Low Overhead label, distributed nationally by Important Records (later known as RED). See also Chain of Fools.
APB (Artimus Pyle Band) Jacksonville-based rock band led by former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle; issued two albums on MCA; has at various times included bassist Allen Woody (later with Allman Brothers Band, now deceased), former Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rossington Collins bassist Tim Lindsey (now with Molly Hatchet), and bluesmeister axe-man Greg Baril. See also Lynyrd Skynyrd; Molly Hatchet; Baril, Greg.
Armstrong, Pat Originally from Atlanta, Armstrong came to Jacksonville with his family as a toddler. At Bishop Kenny High School, he got his first taste of the music business hiring local bands for teen dances. After earning a law degree at Mercer University in Macon, he became partners in a booking and talent-management agency with Alan Walden, brother of Capricorn Records founder Phil Walden. The agency’s first client was Jacksonville rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Another was Gainesville-based Mudcrutch, which featured Tom Petty. After falling out with Walden in 1973, Armstrong rebounded with Southern rock band Molly Hatchet, who sold 4 million records for Epic. In the early 1980s, Armstrong moved to Orlando, where he managed the careers of Pat Travers, Quiet Riot and Stranger, and built a state-of-the-art recording studio as well as a Sony-distributed label, PARC Records. His studio has been host to clients like The Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and Britney Spears. Armstrong re-launched the PARC label with distribution through Minneapolis-based Navarre. Besides the music business, he has interests in commercial real estate and banking. See also Molly Hatchet; Lynyrd Skynyrd; China Sky; Mudcrutch.
Attitudes Jacksonville new-wave band, signed to Macon-based Capricorn Records by A&R man Robert Nix (see Nix, Robert) in 1982. The group had the misfortune of signing just as the label was being liquidated by creditors, and its album fell between the cracks. Guitarist Frank Phillips later joined punk godfathers Stevie Ray Stiletto. See also Stiletto, Stevie.
Audio Orange See 3AE; see also Start Trouble
Axton, Hoyt Born in Duncan, Oklahoma 1938, singer-songwriter son of Mae Axton; father a Navy officer stationed in Jacksonville; family settled there in 1949. Axton graduated from Jacksonville’s Lee High in 1956 and left town amidst a furor after burning down — as a prank — Knauer’s Hardware on graduation night. He briefly attended Oklahoma State before joining the Navy himself. He was discharged in San Francisco, where he became part of the local folk scene and hooked up with Steppenwolf's managers. Hits included “Greenback Dollar” (Kingston Trio, 1962), “Joy to the World” (Three Dog Night), “The Pusher” (Steppenwolf), and “The No No Song” (Ringo Starr), among others. Died in Nashville, 1999. See
also Axton, Mae.
Axton, Mae Boren Born in Bardwell, Tex., 1914, but raised mostly in Oklahoma (her uncle and her cousin were both U.S. Senators), Axton came to Jacksonville with her naval-officer husband in 1949, where she became an English teacher at DuPont and Paxon high schools. She also freelanced as a music journalist for Country Song Roundup and served as a regional publicist for Nashville-based concert promoter “Colonel” Tom Parker. Axton was the link between Elvis Presley and RCA Records; she claims in her 1960 autobiography, Country Singers as I Know ‘Em, that she personally introduced Parker to a 19-year-old Presley, and in addition, hounded RCA’s Nashville division head, Steve Sholes, to sign Presley. In 1955, she and local musician Tommy Durden co-wrote Presley’s first million seller, “Heartbreak Hotel,” although some sources say the song had already been written and performed by Durden. In any case, she wrote or co-wrote more than 90 songs for various country singers. She also helped launch the career of Johnny Tillotson, did promotional and public-relations work for Eddy Arnold, Tanya Tucker and others, and managed her son Hoyt’s record label, Bullfrog Records. She died in 1998, in her home in Hendersonville, outside Nashville. See also Axton, Hoyt; Tillotson, Johnny; Garner, Merlene.
Bales, Kevin Originally from Atlanta, winner of 1993 Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville. Now a professor of jazz studies at UNF. Has performed with fellow UNF alumnus Marcus Printup on Blue Note Records. See also Printup, Marcus.
Baril, Greg Hotshot guitarist in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan, originally from Connecticut; moved to Jacksonville in late 1980s. Baril’s band has included former Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rossington Collins members Tim Lindsay (bass, now with Molly Hatchet) and Derek Hess (drums), former Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle, and Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks. Occasionally appears as APB (Artimus Pyle Band). See also APB; Trucks, Derek; Lindsay, Tim.
Beckett, Barry A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Beckett honed his craft as a keyboardist in Pensacola’s fertile club scene in the 1960s. Later recruited to replace keyboardist Spooner Oldham in the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Performed as a session musician on scores of hits for acts like Mel & Tim, The Staples Singers, Delbert McClinton, Traffic, Paul Simon, and many more. After relocating to Nashville in 1990, he became an A&R exec for Warner Brothers’ Nashville division, as well as a top producer, working with such acts as Hank Williams, Jr., Alabama, Bob Dylan and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He now co-owns BTM Productions in Nashville. See also Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Beeks, James Attended Jacksonville's Douglas Anderson School of the Arts; moved to NYC in ’96, where he joined the Broadway cast of Ragtime. Also toured with the road show of Jesus Christ, Superstar.
Beggarweeds Jacksonville new-wave band, formed mid-1980s, released own EP with tracks produced by REM’s Michael Stipe.
Betts, Dickey Vocalist-guitarist and founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. Born in West Palm, raised in Bradenton, where he formed The Jokers with guitarist Joe Dan Petty (later of Grinderswitch); he later formed The Blues Messengers in Sarasota with bassist Berry Oakley (see Oakley, Berry), drummer John Meeks, guitarist Larry Reinhardt (see Reinhardt, Larry) and keyboardist Reese Wynans (see Wynans, Reese). The Blues Messengers relocated to Jacksonville in 1968, changing their name to The Second Coming. After adding Duane and Gregg Allman, the Second Coming became known as The Allman Brothers Band. A pioneer in the country-rock fusion of the 1970s, Betts wrote and sang the ABB’s biggest hit, “Ramblin’ Man.” Betts has led several bands of his own, including The Dickey Betts Band (on Epic), Great Southern (Arista), and BHLT (which included Betts, Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie, Chuck Leavell of Sea Level and Butch Trucks of the ABB). In 2000, Betts again left the ABB and is performing as Dickey Betts and Great Southern. See also Allman Brothers Band; Second Coming.
Bitter Ind Jacksonville-based folk-rock band with own area TV show in mid-1960s; released one single under the name Tiffany System on SSS Intl., a cover of Dino Valenti's “Get Together.” Included drummer Butch Trucks (ABB), guitarist Scott Boyer (Cowboy, Gregg Allman Band), and bassist David Brown (see Brown, David). See also Allman Brothers Band; 31st of February, Cowboy.
Blackfoot Jacksonville rock group led by singer-guitarist Rick Medlocke, one-time drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Originally signed to Island; later signed to Atco, where they scored hits “Train, Train” and “Highway Song.” In 1997, Medlocke rejoined Skynyrd, this time as a guitarist. See also Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Blake, Blind Born Arthur Phelps in Jacksonville ca. 1890s, Blake became a nationally-renowned blues artist in the 1920s for Paramount Records, for which he sold literally millions of “race records.” Blake seems to have utterly disappeared at the height of his success, around 1932; no one seems to know for sure what became of him — some historians believe he was murdered; others think he went into hiding, and another thinks he stumbled in front of a Chicago streetcar.
Blues Messengers Sarasota rock band that became The Second Coming — one of the most influential bands in North Florida — after moving to Jacksonville in 1969. See also Second Coming; Allman Bros. Band; Betts, Dickey; Oakley, Berry; Reinhardt, Larry; Wynans, Reese.
Bonds, Gary “U.S.” Born Gary Anderson in Jacksonville in 1939, son of a Florida State University professor. After his parents divorced, his mother married a Navy man; the family relocated to Norfolk, Va., while Anderson was a child. He was discovered in the early 1960s as a teenager, singing on a Norfolk street corner, by Frank Guida of Legrand Records. Guida re-named him “U.S. Bonds” without telling him. Apparently, Guida knew what he was doing: “Bonds” scored a string of top-10 hits, including “Quarter to Three” and “New Orleans.” In the early 1980s, after a long fallow period, Bonds recorded three albums for EMI-America with producer Bruce Springsteen. Currently lives on Long Island; still tours regularly.
Boone, Pat Born in Jacksonville in 1934, moved to Nashville while a child; in the 1950s became a teen idol on Dot Records, where he had several hits, including “Love Letters in the Sand” and “Aint That a Shame." Graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University while appearing in movies and hosting his own ABC-TV show. Later hosted a Christian-music TV show on Trinity Broadcasting Network in the 1990s, but was canceled after recording an album of hard-rock and heavy metal covers, performed tongue-in-cheek as big-band arrangements.
Boyer, Scott Jacksonville guitarist, performed with drummer Butch Trucks and bassist David Brown in The Bitter Ind and 31st of February; later joined Capricorn Records acts Cowboy and Gregg Allman. See also Bitter Ind, Cowboy, Brown, David.
Bristow, Carol Phenomenal blue-eyed-soul vocalist; sang background with .38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd and was featured singer in Synergy. See also .38 Special; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Synergy.
Brown, David From Jacksonville, bassist with The Bitter Ind and 31st of February; went on to work with Cowboy, Gregg Allman, Al Kooper, Charlie Daniels, Martin Mull, Elvin Bishop, and Boz Scaggs. As a member of TK Records’ studio band, The Zoo, Brown backed Betty Wright, Latimore, Mercy, and others. Also a member of Capricorn act Cowboy, along with former Bitter Ind/31st of February cohort Scott Boyer. Lives in San Francisco. See also Bitter Ind; Cowboy; Trucks, Butch.
Brown, Danny Joe, Band Jacksonville-based rock band fronted by former Molly Hatchet vocalist Danny Joe Brown. The DJBB recorded one album in early 1980s on Epic, a single from which became an early staple on MTV. It also included future China Sky guitarist and current Molly Hatchet bandleader Bobby Ingram. Brown later returned to Hatchet, but retired again in the early 1990s due to poor health. See also Molly Hatchet; China Sky; Armstrong, Pat.
Bryant, Van Front man for rap group 69 Boys and owner of HomeBass Records in Orlando. Also a DJ on Orlando’s 102 JAMZ. See also Chill Deal Boys; McGowan, Jay; Orange, Nathaniel; 95 South.
Burman, Ron Burman moved to Jacksonville with his family from Philadelphia when he was 12. He attended Wolfson High and the Bolles School. Burman ran student activities at FCCJ’s South Campus, where he hired bands for college shows. He worked at the campus radio station at Florida State University, WVFS, and was talent buyer for FSU’s Student Government Productions. After graduating, he went to Norman, Oklahoma, where he briefly worked as an agent for Bulging Eye Booking — but he took off for Manhattan after only a few months. In New York, he worked for ABC Booking, where he handled Anita Baker, B.B. King, The O’Jays and other R&B as well as reggae acts. He was later hired by the College Music Journal to expand its annual Music Marathon, the expo that presents up-and-coming acts to college talent buyers. In 1997, Burman went to heavy-metal label Roadrunner Records with a plan to bring in rock acts with mainstream appeal. As a junior A&R exec, Burman signed Vancouver, B.C., neo-grunge band Nickelback, which sold more than three million records for Roadrunner and put the label on the map (it’s now owned by GE/NBC-Universal). Burman was duly rewarded with a vice presidency. He lives in Manhattan.
Burn Season Jacksonville “nu-metal” band, signed to Elektra after a protracted negotiation with Flawless’s Fred Durst. Formerly known as Smakt Down.
Butler, Mike Second-edition bassist for Jacksonville punk godfathers Stevie Stiletto & the Switchblades (Butler replaced the original “Stevie Stiletto”); the band relocated to San Francisco in the late 1980s. While the rest of the group decided to return home, Butler stayed and wound up working with heavy metal band Exodus, who signed to Capitol. He later went with Ozzy Osbourne. See also Stiletto, Stevie Ray.
Campbell, JoAnn A Jacksonville Beach Fletcher High School cheerleader, Campbell moved to NYC in the 1950s, signed to El Dorado, Gone and ABC-Paramount labels. Also appeared in the film “Go, Johnny, Go.” She had a minor hit in 1962 with the country- flavored “Girl From Wolverton Mountain” (an “answer song” to Claude King’s “Wolverton Mountain”). Campbell later recorded in Nashville with husband Troy Seals as JoAnn & Troy.
Canova, Judy Born in Starke, 1913, graduate of Jackson High in Jacksonville’s Northside. Started out with family music/comedy act, later had national radio shows on CBS and NBC (1943-1953). Famous character actress, later cabaret singer in Vegas. Appeared in numerous films and on TV; recorded one album. d. 1983.
Captain Beyond Not long after former Second Coming guitarist Larry Reinhardt bolted for Los Angeles to join Iron Butterfly, lead singer Doug Ingle quit the band. Reinhardt and Butterfly bassist Lee Dorman decided to regroup as Captain Beyond. After adding keyboardist and former Second Coming member Reese Wynans, the group relocated to Macon, where it signed to Capricorn Records. See also Reinhardt, Larry; Wynans, Reese; Second Coming.
Carn, Doug Jazz keyboardist and saxophonist from Jacksonville; obtained degree in oboe and composition from Jacksonville University and Georgia State. Carn has recorded with Lou Donaldson, Stanley Turrentine, Earth Wind & Fire and former wife Jean Carn. Has also recorded own albums for Savoy and Black Jazz labels. Currently runs a jazz nightclub in Savannah.
Carr, Pete Renowned guitarist from Daytona Beach, member of Duane and Gregg Allman’s group, the Hourglass, on Liberty Records. Carr later replaced Duane Allman as session player at Muscle Shoals Sound when Allman left to form the Allman Brothers Band. He’s appeared on albums by Joan Baez, Bobby Blue Bland, Paul Simon, Traffic, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, and too many more to list. Also recorded for Big Tree Records with duo LeBlanc & Carr.
Chain of Fools Funk-rock outfit led by vocalist-songwriter Michael Fitzgerald; had one album released nationally on Jacksonville-based Rimshot Records. Fitzgerald’s songs have been covered by Rowdy Roddy Piper (The Wrestling Album, Epic Records, 1987), Karen Abrahams, and zydeco singer C.J. Chenier. Fitzgerald worked briefly with the Allen Collins Band in 1985. See also Angelo, Mike & the Idols.
Charles, Ray Born in 1930, in Albany, Ga.; moved to Greenville, Fla. (near Tallahassee) with his family while still an infant. Attended the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine; lived and performed in Jacksonville in 1945, where he lived at 732 Church Street. After leaving Florida for Seattle, he was signed to Los Angeles-based Swingtime Records in 1947. His first big hit, “I Got a Woman,” would not appear until two years after switching to Atlantic Records in 1952. In 1959, Charles left Atlantic for ABC-Paramount, where he would hit No. 1 with the ground-breakingly eclectic Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music (1962). Later recorded for Columbia and Qwest (Seattle buddy Quincy Jones’s label). Charles had one of the longest and most successful careers of any entertainer, and continued to record and tour actively until his death in June of 2004 from liver disease.
Chill Deal Boys Seminal bass-music quartet featuring Jacksonville natives C.C. Lemonhead (Nathaniel Orange) and Jay (Johnny) McGowan, signed to Quality Records in 1991, where they released four albums. Orange and McGowan would later form — and have monster hits with — 95 South, including “Whoot, There It Is,” on Ichyban, and the Quad City DJs with “Come On and Ride” on BigBeat/Atlantic. As producers, the Orange-McGowan team scored more hits with up-and-coming rap acts 69 Boys, 3 Grand, and Dis-n-Dat. See also McGowan, Johnny; see also Quad City DJs; see also 95 South; see also 69 Boyz.
China Sky Jacksonville-based rock group led by current Molly Hatchet guitarist Bobby Ingram and featured lead vocalist Ron Perry. Signed to Pat Armstrong’s PARC label in late 1980s, a joint venture with Epic Records; released one album that became popular in Europe. See also Molly Hatchet; Ingram, Bobby; Perry, Ron; Armstrong, Pat.
Classics IV Jacksonville pop group, signed to management and publishing deal by Atlanta impresario Bill Lowery in 1967; had two early singles on Capitol, both of which failed to chart. The group later signed to Liberty, where it scored several hits in the mid-1960s, including “Spooky” (No. 2, 1967), “Stormy” and “Traces.” The early lineup — there were many later incarnations — included vocalist and original drummer Dennis Yost, bassist Walter Eaton and future Atlanta Rhythm Section founder J.R. Cobb. Future ARS co-founder Robert Nix served as the group’s session drummer in Atlanta. See also Cobb, J.R.; Yost, Dennis; Nix, Robert.
Cobb, James (“J.R.”) Jacksonville guitarist and songwriter who co-wrote most of the hits for The Classics IV, including their 1967 top-10 smash, “Spooky.” Cobb left the touring band to concentrate on writing and producing, and was replaced by former Thunderbeats guitarist Mac Doss, from Bradenton. He later co-founded the Atlanta Rhythm Section with fellow Jacksonville native Robert Nix, and co-wrote much of that group’s material as well. See also Classics IV; Nix, Robert.
Cold Jacksonville Beach-based, super-heavy rock band, formerly known as Grundig. “Discovered” by Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst; who signed the group to Flip/A&M, now on Geffen. See also Durst, Fred.
Collins, Allen, Band Short-lived successor to Rossington Collins Band; led by Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins, fronted by vocalist Jimmy Dougherty. One album on MCA. See also Lynyrd Skynyrd; Dougherty, Jimmy; Lindsay, Tim; Hess, Derek.
Coolidge, Rita Daughter of a Jacksonville minister; attended Jackson High. Moved to Memphis, where she recorded for the Stax-affliliated Pepper label. Gained prominence as a back-up singer with Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell and Joe Cocker. Later had a top-10 single, “Higher and Higher,” on A&M, which was produced and arranged by her sister Priscilla’s husband, Booker T. Jones.
Conti, Robert Jazz guitarist, born 1945 in Philadelphia, moved to Jacksonville in 1966. Signed to Discovery Records in 1976; relocated to Los Angeles in 1985, where he recorded with Joe Pass and worked for film executive Dino Di Laurentiis. Featured performer at Jacksonville Jazz Festival in 1986.
Cowboy Capricorn Records act featuring Jacksonville guitarist Scott Boyer, bassist David Brown (later with Boz Scaggs) and drummer/percussionist Chip Miller. Boyer also performed in Gregg Allman’s solo band. See also Bitter Ind; Brown, David.
Crawford, Dave A church-trained prodigy on piano, Crawford worked with Albertina Walker, Shirley Caesar and The Gospel Caravans while still a teenager. Crawford gained regional recognition as a WOBS radio personality called “The Demon”; he later did the same at WTMP in Tampa. He co-wrote (often with fellow WOBS DJ Willie “Doctor Groove” Martin) several R&B tunes, including “What a Man” for Stax’s Linda Lyndell (1968). In 1969, Crawford, teamed with “Bad Brad” Shapiro, became a staff producer for Atlantic Records, where he co-wrote and co-produced tracks for Wilson Pickett and DeeDee Warwick. In 1970, he brought his cousin, songstress Jackie Moore, another Jacksonville native, to the label. Crawford and Moore co-wrote her 1970 Atlantic hit, “Precious, Precious” (No. 12 R&B, No. 30 pop). Crawford later worked with several hit acts, including The J. Geils Band (whose Atlantic debut he co-produced with Shapiro), B.B. King (ABC), Candi Staton (he wrote and produced “Young Hearts Run Free,” her 1976 ABC hit), The Mighty Clouds of Joy (“Ride the Mighty High” on ABC, co-written with Willie Martin) and Phyllis Hyman (Arista). After many years in Atlanta, Crawford moved to Los Angeles to form his own label, L.A. Records, in 1974. But his producing career dried up, so he moved to Miami to become a gospel-music radio DJ. Crawford died mysteriously in 1988 in Brooklyn, NY (some say a victim of a robbery attempt), and was buried there – unidentified – in a pauper’s grave. His body was later exhumed and buried in Jacksonville with assistance from cousin Moore. His songs — including a No. 3 version of “Whatta Man” by Salt & Pepa in 1993 — would earn him roughly $500,000 during the decade following his death. See also Moore, Jackie; Martin, Willie; Lyndell, Linda.
Creed Just when everyone thought grunge was dead, Creed exploded on the scene in 1999 sounding like equal parts Pearl Jam and Metallica. The band’s debut album, My Own Prison, recorded in producer-engineer John Kurzweg’s home studio in Tallahassee and released on the band’s own Blue Collar label, got regional airplay — and national attention — thanks to WXSR’s program director Rick Schmidt. After being re-released by Wind-Up Records (a BMG affiliate), the album went double platinum. Creed’s follow-up album sold a phenomenal 10 million units and its third about the same. The group broke up in June 2004, with singer Scott Stapp going his own way, while the other three original members regrouped as Alter Bridge. See also Kurzweg, John.
Crowsdell Early 1990s Jacksonville jangle-rock trio, consisting of vocalist Shannon Wright, bassist Paul Croasdale, and drummer Laurie Anne Wall. The group made a name for itself with several singles on various small indie labels. After signing with British indie Big Cat Records (distributed by Sony) in 1994, the group released its debut, Dreamette, in 1995, migrated to Manhattan and began touring Europe. It followed with an EP in 1996 and another full-length album in 1997. After Big Cat was bought out by V2, the band was dropped from the roster. Wright later went solo and signed with Chicago indie Quarterstick Records. See also Wright, Shannon.
Dana, Don A Jacksonville teen-band impresario during the 1960s, Dana managed several regional acts, including — briefly — the Royal Guardsmen (who had a No. 1 hit on Laurie Records in 1966), the Illusions (who issued two singles on Columbia) and The Bitter Ind (also known as the 31st of February, who recorded for Vanguard and included future Allman Bros. Band drummer Butch Trucks). Dana was responsible for putting Lynyrd Skynyrd on its first tour (which the band dubbed the “torture tour”), opening for Strawberry Alarm Clock – during which the Skynyrd boys met their future lead guitarist Ed King. See also Bitter Ind; 31st of February; Royal Guardsmen; Mouse & the Boys.
Daniels, Billy This Jacksonville native (b. 1915) ran away from home at age 17, supposedly stowing away on a freighter to Manhattan, where he landed a job as a singing waiter. In 1933, bandleader Erskine Hawkins spotted Daniels, and added him as the featured vocalist for his orchestra. Daniels soon became a popular cabaret singer, and began appearing in pictures in the late 1930s. In 1943, Daniels gave new meaning to the Johnny Mercer show tune “That Old Black Magic”; the single went on to sell a staggering 12 million copies. He began appearing on Broadway in 1945, garnered his own TV show during the 1950s, and later appeared in Broadway and London musicals like Golden Boy (1964), Hello, Dolly (1975) and Bubbling Brown Sugar (1977). Even after open-heart surgery, Daniels continued performing in nightclubs, right up to his death in 1988.
Darby, Terence Trent Born in New York City in 1962; Darby moved to DeLand in 1974, where he attended high school. Joined the U.S. Army in 1980; transferred to Germany, where he moonlighted with funk group Touch. After leaving the Army (either with or without leave), Darby landed in London, where his extraordinary vocal talents were heard by Muff Winwood at CBS Records. Darby helped lead the late-1980s British “soul revival” with his No. 1 hit, “Wishing Well,” on Columbia. He was dropped by Columbia after three albums. After a stint on producer Glenn Ballard’s Java label, Darby changed his name to Sananda Maitreya and now records on his own label, Sananda. He lives in Los Angeles.
Davis, Jackie Jazz organist, b. Jacksonville 1920, graduate of Florida A&M University (FAMU); sideman with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Nat “King” Cole, Louie Bellson and others. Also led own bands, recorded for Capitol. A big influence on Jimmy Smith. Died in Jacksonville in 1999.
Deep Six See Mouse & the Boys
Dees, Rick Nationally known radio personality, born in Jacksonville, but grew up in Greensboro, N.C., where he became a DJ while in college. Later went to Memphis, where he hooked up with Stax Records founder Estelle Axton and released comedy record “Disco Duck,” which became a No. 1. single. Now lives and works in Los Angeles.
Delius, Frederick A 22-year-old British trust-fund rebel whose family sent him off for two years of farming in Solano Grove (on the river in western St. Johns County) in 1880s. Duly disciplined, Delius returned to England and eventually became a prominent classical composer.
Diddley, Bo Born Ellas McDaniel in McComb, Miss., Diddley joined the exodus to Chicago in the 1950s, where he recorded several novelty-type R&B hits for Chess Records. Although by the late 1960s, he had been relegated to the nostalgia circuit in the U.S., he retained monumental status in England, where he had become a huge influence on such R&B-inspired acts as The Rolling Stones (who covered two of his songs), The Animals and The Yardbirds (who included Eric Clapton). In the 1970s, McDaniel bought a spread in Hawthorne, just outside Gainesville, but now lives in Archer.
DJ Trans Bass-music rapper/producer signed to Jeff Cohen’s Jacksonville-based Attitude label.
Doctor Hector & the Groove Injectors Jacksonville-based blues/R&B band formed in 1988 by former Grinderswitch singer/guitarist Dru Lombar, signed to Bob Greenlee’s Kingsnake label. Tours the US, Europe and Japan on a regular basis. Lombar also runs his own recording studio (Platinum Audio) and record label. See also Lombar, Dru; Grinderswitch; Johnson, Rick; Greenlee, Bob.
Dougherty, Jimmy Vocalist and drummer with Jacksonville psychedelic rockers Black Bear Angel, Dougherty later became singer for Mercury act Alias, which included four surviving Lynyrd Skynyrd members on its debut album, released in 1979. Dougherty later became front man for Allen Collins’ band on MCA. He also played drums for Mike Angelo & the Idols (on the cult favorite “F**k Everybody”) and seminal St. Augustine “cajun-grunge” band Gunga Din (now know as Crab Grass). See also Collins, Allen; Alias; Angelo, Mike & the Idols.
Dream Weavers Miami vocal duo of Wade Buff and Eugene Adkinson; expanded to a quartet with the addition of Jacksonville musicians Lee Turner (piano) and Eddie Newsom (bass) while all four were students at University of Florida in Gainesville. Landing their own radio show on college station WRUF in 1955, they began using the Adkinson-Buff composition “It's Always Tomorrow” as the show’s theme song. After recording an early version in Jacksonville, the record began receiving heavy airplay in Miami, whereupon the act was picked up by Decca, and the single was re-recorded in Miami and re-released. The Decca version went to No. 2 in the U.S. and No. 1 in England, earning the group an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. “It's Always Tomorrow” was also covered by crooner Jo Stafford.
Driscoll, Phil Seattle-born trumpeter/keyboardist/vocalist; had own nightclub and recording studio in Jacksonville in late 1970s; busted in 1978 for smuggling cocaine. Later moved to Cleveland, Tenn.; became a prominent Christian recording artist; won a Grammy in 1984 for a duo recording with Debby Boone.
Durst, Fred Drst made his mark as front man for Jacksonville rap-rock outfit Limp Bizkit, and almost immediately began putting his connections to use scouting other acts. After Bizkit’s signing with Jordan Schur’s Flip Records, Durst talked his way into an A&R position at the label. His first signing was Jacksonville Beach rock band Cold, now on Flip/Geffen. His second signing was Springfield, Mass., neo-grunge band Staind, who sold three million on Flip/Elektra. When Lim Bizkit’s sales hit the 10-million mark, Durst and Schur were rewarded with high-level positions at Universal Music Group, Flip’s new parent company: Durst became a senior VP of A&R at Interscope. Durst soon unveiled a joint venture with Interscope, dubbed Flawless Records, with the debut album by Puddle of Mudd (produced by Tallahassee musician John Kurzweg). That album sold nearly three million copies. See also Limp Bizkit; Cold; Wimmer, Danny.
Dykes, Doyle Diginally from Jacksonville, a prominent Nashville-based guitarist, signed to Windham Hill Records.
East Coast Horns Originally the horn section for Jacksonville funk band Kudu: saxophonist Cloris Grimes, trumpeter Rod McMorries, and trombonist Alan Prater; the trio was spotted in local club by singer Millie Jackson. Later recruited by The Jacksons to play on their 1984 Victory tour; also toured with Cameo. McMorries is now vocalist with Jacksonville top-40 band KTG.
Eaton, Walter See Classics IV.
Echoes This Jacksonville teen group is most memorable for including future Classics IV singer Dennis Yost — on drums. Not to be confused with the doo-wop group of the same name from Brooklyn, NY. See also Yost, Dennis.
Elson, Kevin Former keyboardist for Jacksonville’s Sweet Rooster (later known as .38 Special); ran live sound for .38, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey and Michael Jackson. Produced several hits for Journey on Columbia and an album for Columbia act Europe.
Felder, Don Member of eclectic Gainesville ensemble The Maundy Quintet in the early 1970s, along with Bernie Leadon. After forming Flow with two former members of Ocala’s Incidentals, the group recorded one album for CTI. Felder later worked with David Blue and Crosby, Stills & Nash. In 1974, he was invited, at Leadon’s behest, to join the Eagles as lead guitarist and fifth member, shortly before Leadon left, due to differences in musical direction. Before the Eagles’ demise in 1980, Felder became an in-demand Los Angeles-based session player, working with Pure Prairie League, Joe Walsh, Bob Seger, J.D. Souther, Warren Zevon and Boz Scaggs, among others. He rejoined the Eagles in 1994 for their”Hell Freezes Over” reunion tour. See also Flow; Maundy Quintet.
Fenwicks Folk-punk-funk-ska duo from New York City, joined by several Jacksonville musicians, including ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle and former Chain of Fools rhythm section Ken Nasta (drums) and Ed Richardson (bass). Briefly based in Jacksonville, and managed by JAM magazine founder Darrell Massaroni in Orlando (who manages Seven Mary Three and My Friend Steve), The Fenwicks garnered one nationally released album on Guitar Acoustic Records, distributed by RED, in the early 1990s. See Also Pyle, Artimus; APB; Chain of Fools.
Flow Originally known as Ginger Bread, this instrumental ensemble featured two former members of Gainesville’s Incidentals, augmented by hotshot guitarist Don Felder. It recorded one album for legendary jazz producer Creed Taylor’s CTI label in 1970. See also Felder, Don.
For Squirrels Gainesville modern-rock quartet, formed in 1993 by vocalist Jack Vigliatura, guitarist Travis Tooke, bassist Bill White and drummer Jay Russell. After releasing two independent collections and touring incessantly in a beat-up Ford van, the band finally landed a deal with Sony/550 Music. The group’s career looked promising, but on the way back from CBGB's in New York, its van blew a tire and flipped. Vigliatura and White were killed. For Squirrels’ debut album, Example, was released a month later. Tooke and Greigo decided to continue as Sub Rosa, but encountered resistance from the label and were dropped the next year.
Garner, Merlene A 16-year-old student and protégé of Jacksonville high school teacher/songwriter Mae Axton, this former Murray Hill Theatre ticket taker had one single in the early 1960s on Hilliard-based Davco Records, along with a very short-lived career in Vegas — due to an untimely pregnancy. See also Axton, Mae.
Goldsboro, Bobby Originally from Marianna, Fla., while a teenager, Goldsboro’s family relocated to nearby Dothan, Ala., where he hooked up with a crew of musicians that became Roy Orbison’s backup band (The Candymen, which later metamorphosed into the Atlanta Rhythm Section). After signing with United Artists as a solo act in 1964, Goldsboro had a small string of hits; he is perhaps best known for his treacly tear-jerker, “Honey,” which became a No. 1 single. He later had his own TV variety show and signed with Epic in 1977. After doing the music for Burt Reynolds’ TV series Evening Shade, Goldsboro found a career in television. He currently writes, produces and directs his own children’s series, Swamp Critters of Lost Lagoon.
Green, Bunky World-renowned alto-saxophonist, jazz artist and session player. Began career in Chicago with Charlie Mingus, Ira Sullivan, Louie Bellson, Yusef Lateef, Sonny Stitt and Ben Sidran. Recorded own albums for Exodus, Cadet, Argo, Vanguard and Delos. Also a popular session player, performed on pop and R&B records with Fontella Bass and Maurice White (of Earth Wind & Fire). Currently head of award-winning jazz studies department at Jacksonville’s University of North Florida. See also Bales, Kevin.
Greenlee, Bob Born in Daytona Beach in 1944, Greenlee settled in nearby Sanford, where he later built a recording studio and nationally distributed record label. Greenlee made his first national splash as bassist with the outrageous Root Boy Slim & the Sex Change Band, whose 1978 debut on Warner Brothers Records rivaled the Sex Pistols for sheer audacity. He later decided to concentrate on blues and R&B with his own band, The Midnight Creepers, originally forming the Kingsnake label to handle Creepers’ product. Greenlee soon found a niche as a producer and label executive, as well as songwriter and session player, helping to kick-start and/or revitalize the careers of Noble “Thin Man” Watts, Kenny Neal, Lazy Lester, Lucky Peterson, Bill Wharton, Ace Moreland, Floyd Miles, Dr. Hector & the Groove Injectors, Eric Culbertson and many others. Greenlee died in February of 2004 after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. See also Root Boy Slim & the Sex Change Band; Midnight Creepers.
Greer, Billy Joined second edition of multi-platinum rock group Kansas on bass and vocals in 1986; group currently records for CMC Intl. Lives in Atlantic Beach.
Grinderswitch Southern-rock band signed to Capricorn in late 1970s, led by former Jokers member and ABB roadie Joe Dan Petty, added Jacksonville vocalist/guitarist Dru Lombar (now leader of Dr. Hector & the Groove Injectors). See also Doctor Hector & The Groove Injector; Petty, Joe Dan; Betts, Dickey.
Haines, Connie Born Yvonne Jasme in Savannah, Ga., in 1921, Haines moved with her family to Jacksonville as a child. At age 9, known as Yvonne Marie, she became a regular on local NBC radio affiliate WJAX in the 1930s. At 17, she moved to New York, where she worked alongside Frank Sinatra in both Harry James’ and Tommy Dorsey’s orchestras. Later recorded solo and appeared in six major motion pictures. Still performing, lives in Clearwater.
Hall, Al Jacksonville-born jazz bassist, worked with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges, Billie Holiday, Helen Merrill, Jack Teagarden, Teddy Wilson and others.
Hall, Randall Guitarist/vocalist with the Randall Hall Band, which has included former Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington Collins and Molly Hatchet bassist Tim Lindsay and former Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. Also worked with top-40 band Synergy (see Synergy; see also Kurzweg, John) and country singer Larry Mangum. Hall briefly hit the big time with the Allen Collins Band on MCA (see also Dougherty, Jimmy) and was later chosen by Collins himself to replace the disabled guitarist in the reconstituted Lynyrd Skynyrd. See also Lynyrd Skynyrd; Collins, Allen.
Hansford, Hal Keyboardist from Palatka; moved to Orange Park in late 1960s, where he hooked up with rock band Richfield (who scored one single on Capitol, the novelty tune “Disco Sucks”). He later opened a recording studio in downtown Jacksonville’s Universal-Marion building (now JEA headquarters). Relocated to Miami in early 1980s, where he engineered records by Blood, Sweat & Tears and The Romantics (including their smash hits, “What I Like About You” and “Talking in Your Sleep”). Now operates his own recording service in Miami. See also Richfield.
Hardy, Oliver Moved to Jacksonville from Milledgeville, Ga., in 1913; appeared in feature films for the Vim and Metro (precursor to MGM) movie studios. An accomplished singer and drummer, Hardy performed regularly in Pablo Beach (now Jacksonville Beach) bistros before leaving for Hal Roach Studios in Hollywood in 1926.
Hargrove, Linda Born in Jacksonville in 1949, grew up in Tallahassee, where she sang with several groups including country-rock band After All. Relocated with that band to Nashville in 1970. Soon, her songs were being recorded by major stars such as Sandy Posey, Michael Nesmith, Leon Russell, Johnny Rodriguez, Lynn Anderson, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, David Allan Coe, Marty Robbins, B.J Thomas, Olivia Newton-John, Dionne Warwick and Julie Andrews. Released her own album, “Music Is Your Mistress,” on Elektra in 1973, later signed as a recording artist with Capitol (1975-1977). Also served as session guitarist and background vocalist for several major acts and on TV and radio jingles and recorded a Christian album under the name Linda Bartholemew. A bout with leukemia sidelined Hargrove’s career for several years, but she is again active as a writer, publisher and producer.
Harwood, Barry Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter from Jacksonville, sideman with singer Melanie (Safka), also played on Joe South and Lynyrd Skynyrd sessions in Atlanta. After Skynyrd’s sudden demise, Harwood helped form The Rossington Collins band in 1980. He wrote and sang their sole hit, “Don’t Misunderstand Me.” Later worked with Skynyrd members in the short-lived Allen Collins Band alongside newcomers Jimmy Dougherty and Randall Hall; returned to Jacksonville to form the Hlubek-Harwood Band with former Molly Hatchet guitarist Dave Hlubek in late 1980s. Now lives in Nashville. See also Rossington Collins Band; Collins, Allen.
Hasselhoff, David Attended Christ the King Elementary School in Jacksonville, later became star of perennial TV series Baywatch, also singer/recording artist — huge in Germany.
Hess, Derek Drummer with Rossington Collins and Allen Collins Bands (both on MCA). Also worked with notable Jacksonville groups Synergy and Greg Baril Band. Currently performs with Jethro’s Giant Brain. See also Rossington-Collins Band; Collins, Allen; Synergy; Baril, Greg.
Hodges, Kenny St. Augustine resident who met members of 1960s folk-pop group Spanky & Our Gang (from Chicago) on the beach while that group was on vacation; subsequently became the group’s bassist. Later became session player; currently a part-time country musician.
House of Dreams Ocala-based rock quartet. Early albums produced by Tallahassee’s John Kurzweg, released through Atlanta’s Ichyban Records. After Ichyban folded, the group went to Los Angeles to record with famed Fleetwood Mac producer Keith Olsen, who in turn signed the band to RCA. It appears that album was never released. See also Kurzweg, John.
Illusions Teen group from Palatka; in the mid-1960s had its own Jacksonville TV series and a single on Columbia. Managed by Jacksonville impresario Don Dana. See also Dana, Don.
Ingram, Bobby Guitarist and co-founder of PARC/Epic act China Sky; currently leader of CMC Int'l/BMG act Molly Hatchet. See also Molly Hatchet; China Sky; Brown, Danny Joe.
Inspection 12 Formed in 1994, this Jacksonville “skate-punk” quartet, signed with Santa Cruz, Calif.- based Honest Don’s (a division of Fat Wreck Chords) in 2000. Despite the tragic death of drummer Scott Shad in 2001, the group carried on. However, after the band was dropped after two albums, guitarist Pete Moseley left to take the bass position in gold-selling Capitol act Yellowcard. See also Yellowcard.
Jackson, Willis (“Gator”) Jacksonville native, an Atlantic Records jazz/R&B artist in the 1960s, pioneer of jazz-funk fusion and acid-jazz. Married to hit songstress Lavern Baker.
Jamal, Khan Born in Jacksonville in 1946, earned music degrees at Granoff School, Combs College and Temple University. Prominent jazz vibraphonist, based for a time in NYC. Worked with Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society, Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp, Grover Washington Jr., and many others; also led own groups for various labels like Steeplechase, Stash and Storyville. Currently resides in Philadelphia, where he runs his own label, Jambrio, and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. Also founded the Philadelphia Jazz Composers Forum Orchestra.
Jarrett, Marvin (“Jet”) Guitarist with Johnny Van Zant’s 1970s Austin Nickels Band, based in Jacksonville; later moved to Los Angeles after purchasing Creem magazine. After Creem folded, Jarrett founded Ray Gun. See also Van Zant, Johnny.
Johnson, James Weldon Born in Jacksonville in 1871; became principal of then-segregated Stanton High School in 1900. He and his brother Rosamond co-wrote the song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” later to become known as the “Negro National Hymn” (not the “Black National Anthem,” as it is commonly called). Johnson was also a practicing attorney (the first black member of the Florida bar), a poet, and a founder of the NAACP. Moved to NYC in 1901.
Johnson, Rick (“Hurricane”) Sax player and keyboardist, originally from Jackson, Miss., moved to Jacksonville Beach in early 1980s, where he worked with legendary group Synergy. Later led a horn section for Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1987 reunion tour. Recorded and toured for more than a decade with Doctor Hector & the Groove Injectors (Kingsnake Records), Johnson is also a sought-after session player (he appears on albums by Chain of Fools, Tom Lipkins, Sonny Rhodes, The Midnight Creepers, J.D. & The Ravens, and many others). See also Synergy; Kurzweg, John; Hall, Randall; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Doctor Hector & the Groove Injectors; Chain of Fools; Midnight Creepers.
Jones, Glenn Jacksonville-born gospel vocalist, turned R&B singer in 1980; worked with producer/jazz musician Norman Connors. Signed with RCA in 1983, later Jive, then Atlantic. Had a No. 2 R&B hit in 1987 with “We’ve Only Just Begun” (not the Carpenters’ hit).
Jones, Sam Jacksonville-born jazz bassist and cellist; moved to NYC in mid-1950s; worked with Duke Ellington, Cannonball Adderly, Oscar Peterson, Cedar Walton, Illinois Jaquet, Thelonious Monk, and others; also led own big band. Died 1981.
Jon Todd Avante-garde, instrumental rock quartet led by Stripmine Records founder Damien Lee based in Jacksonville. Released one album on nationally distributed Magic Eye Records in 1998.
King Eddie Born Edward Whitt in New Jersey; came to Jacksonville in 1964. During early 1980s, became bassist with Jacksonville’s premiere reggae group, Pili-Pili. Later recorded solo album with producer Butch Ingram (singer James Ingram’s brother) for Philadelphia-based Society Hill Records. Currently performs with Dubmasters and with Pili-Pili. See also Nasta, Ken.
Krantz, Dale Originally from Indiana, Krantz had been a schoolteacher and a backup singer for Leon Russell before coming to Jacksonville in late 1970s to join .38 Special. Later became lead vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd spin-off the Rossington Collins Band; currently backup singer for the reconstituted Skynyrd. Married to Gary Rossington. See also Lynyrd Skynyrd; Rossington Collins Band;.38 Special.
Kurzweg, John Philip Kurzweg, a Tallahassee native, was signed as a singer to Atlantic Records when his then-girlfriend was transferred to Jacksonville in 1988. She and Kurzweg lived in the San Marco area for about a year. Instead of touring to promote his Atlantic album, however, he abandoned the project to join bar-band Synergy (which also featured future attorney Eric Block and future Lynyrd Skynyrd members Tim Lindsay and Randall Hall along with Rossington Collins drummer Derek Hess. After being dropped by both Atlantic and his Jacksonville girlfriend, he returned to Tallahassee to put together a demo studio in his house, where he began engineering and producing recordings for area acts like House of Dreams, The Sight-Seers and newcomers
Creed. Creed immediately scored a major deal and to date has sold a whopping 24 million records (the group broke up in June of 2004). Kurzweg was a virtual fifth member of Creed, overseeing its arrangements, singing backgrounds and playing keyboards on its recordings. He later produced Puddle of Mudd’s debut for Fred Durst’s Flawless label — sales of which hit three million. See also Synergy; Creed; Sight Seers; House of Dreams.
LaVoie, Kent See Lobo.
Leadon, Bernie A Minnesota native, Leadon moved to Gainesville as a youth, where he worked with Don Felder in The Maundy Quintet, playing guitar, banjo and pedal steel. Leadon made the leap to Los Angeles in 1967, where he hooked up with country-rock pioneers Hearts & Flowers and the Dillard & Clark Expedition; he later became a member of Gram Parsons’ Flying Burrito Brothers and a sideman in Linda Ronstadt’s band. In 1971, he became a founding member of The Eagles; he left the Eagles in 1976 after they decided to focus on a heavier, rock-oriented direction. Leadon now lives in Nashville. See also Maundy Quintet.
Lemonhead, C.C. Born Nathaniel Orange, a founding member, along with Johnny (Jay) McGowan, of Jacksonville rap pioneers The Chill Deal Boys. He and McGowan went on to phenomenal careers: They later founded million-sellers 95 South (“Whoot, There It Is,” on Ichyban Records), and the Quad City DJs (“Come On and Ride the Train,” on Big Beat/Atlantic), and co-produced club hits for The 69 Boys and 3 Grand. In addition, Lemonhead is a solo artist on Jacksonville-based Attitude Records. See also Quad City DJs; 95 South; Chill Deal Boys.
Less Than Jake From Gainesville, ska-punk revivalists complete with horn section, signed to Capitol in 1996; later switched to Santa Cruz, Calif.-based indie Fat Wreck Chords.
Liesegang, Brian Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, graduate of Jacksonville’s prestigious Bolles School; met Nine Inch Nails sideman Richard Patrick while at college in Chicago. The two later formed the duo Filter, which broke through with “Hey, Man, Nice Shot” on Reprise in 1995. Liesegang also wrote songs for Nina Hagen and Veruca Salt. He left Filter in 1997.
Limp Bizkit Pitiful underdogs on the Jacksonville scene until lead singer Fred Durst met bassist Fieldy from rap-metal band Korn at an in-store signing. Fieldy openly admired Durst’s tattoos; it happened that Durst was a tattoo artist and offered to fix some work Fieldy wasn’t happy with, and the two became pals. A demo tape sent to Korn’s producer, Ross Robinson, led to an aborted deal with Los Angeles-based Mojo Records, an MCA affiliate. Luckily, at a Jacksonville Milk Bar show, Bizkit had opened for a band signed to Flip Records, owned by Manhattan real-estate scion Jordan Schur. Schur dug Limp Bizkit and agreed to fund the band’s recordings, which led to a deal with Interscope (another MCA affiliate). Constant touring and MTV exposure produced a double-platinum album. The band’s follow-up album sold more than 6 million; its third did more than 8 million. Bandleader Durst used the group’s success as a launching pad for his own career as a record exec, overseeing platinum albums by Staind and Puddle of Mudd. See Durst, Fred; Cold.
Lindsay, Tim Bassist with Synergy, APB, Rossington Collins Band, Randall Hall Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd; currently with Molly Hatchet.
Lipkins, Tom Phenomenal soul singer from Toledo, OH; as lead singer of vocal group The Creations, Lipkins belonged to one of the earliest acts signed to Motown Records, in 1961. Now a truck driver living in DeLand.
Lobo Born Roland Kent LaVoie in Tallahassee, 1943; moved to Winterhaven, where he played in teen band The Rumors alongside Gram Parsons and Jim Stafford. In 1971, with the assistance of producer Phil Gernhard, he would break through as a solo soft-rock act on Big Tree/Atlantic Records with “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo”; two or three more top-ten hits would follow. He also co-produced (with Gernhard) hits for former Rumors bandmate Jim Stafford (“Spiders and Snakes”). Later signed with Elektra; relocated to Nashville; retired from performing in 1998. See also Parsons, Gram.
Lombar, Dru See Doctor Hector & the Groove Injectors; see also Grinderswitch.
Lugnut Jacksonville “Christian punk” band, signed to Calif.-based Screaming Giant Records in 1999. Now performs as Southern rock revivalists The Dirtybirds.
Lynch, Stan A native of Ohio, Lynch grew up in Gainesville, where he met the future members of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, but Lynch didn’t actually join Petty’s band until 1975 in Los Angeles. While playing with the Heartbreakers, Lynch moonlighted with the likes of Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Nicks, The Eurythmics and The Byrds. He also began co-writing and contributing songs for Toto, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Eddie Money, Ringo Starr, The Eagles, Matraca Berg and Meredith Brooks. After being invited to leave The Heartbreakers in 1994, Lynch returned to Florida, where he began recording tracks for Don Henley’s “Building the Perfect Beast” album at Jim DeVito’s home studio in Crescent Beach (some of those tracks included musicians from local band Gunga Din). Lynch also produced Henley’s 2001 comeback album, “Inside Job,” and has produced tracks for The Band and Keith Richards. He currently operates out of Nashville, commuting there from his Crescent Beach home. See also Petty, Tom.
Lyndell, Linda Born Linda Rowland in Gainesville in 1946, Lyndell was a country gal who sang R&B more than convincingly. Her first single was co-produced by Gainesville nightclub owner Dub Thomas and Ocala disc jockey Bob Norris; the B-side was a song written by Jacksonville DJ Dave Crawford. Crawford later became her producer. He brought Lyndell to Jacksonville to record her next single, another Crawford composition; he then took the record to Stax Records in Memphis, which agreed to a production deal. Crawford and Lyndell co-wrote and recorded the original version of “What a Man” (she improvised the song’s verses on the studio floor). That song became a big hit in 1993, redone by Salt & Pepa. Lyndell had to sue Crawford’s estate, however, to get her share of songwriter royalties. After the original “What a Man” tanked — Stax was undergoing a painful divorce from Atlantic at the time — she became disillusioned and retreated from the music business altogether. Lyndell currently lives in Tallahassee. See also Crawford, Dave.
Lynyrd Skynyrd Formed in 1965 by Jacksonville Westsiders Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Bob Burns, Larry Junstrom (now bassist in .38 Special), and Ronnie Van Zant, this group had been a fixture on the Jacksonville scene as One Percent. It changed its name in 1969 as a spoof on Lee High School phys-ed coach Leonard Skinner, who had made them cut their hair. After the Allman Brothers Band moved to Macon to sign with Phil Walden, Skynyrd made the move, too. Originally co-managed by Walden’s younger brother, Alan, in partnership with Jacksonville’s Pat Armstrong, the group recorded an album’s worth of material in Muscle Shoals with producer Jimmy Johnson. Even with the combined efforts of Johnson and Alan Walden, the album found no takers, not even at Capricorn. Soldiering on, the band was later “discovered” at Funocchio’s in Atlanta by producer/musician Al Kooper. Kooper quickly signed the band to his MCA-distributed Sounds of the South label. Manager Walden just as quickly dumped his partner Armstrong as the deal was being done (see Armstrong, Pat). After hooking up with MCA, Skynyrd became one of the biggest and most influential rock acts of all time, owing mainly to the race-baiting “Sweet Home, Alabama.” The group was devastated by a plane crash in 1977 when its tour plane ran out of gas near McComb, Miss. After a decade of short-lived side projects, the remaining members band re-formed in 1987 and have been touring steadily ever since, fronted by Van Zant’s youngest brother, Johnny. See also Rossington Collins Band; Van Zant, Johnny; Collins, Allen; APB.
McGowan, Johnny (“Jay”) See Chill Deal Boys; Quad City DJs; 95 South; Lemonhead, C.C.
McGraw, Tim Famed baseball player Tug McGraw was a pitcher for the Jacksonville Suns in 1966. He lived in Arlington in a apartment directly above Terry Parker High School student Betty Trimble. After Trimble had a fling with McGraw, she found herself pregnant and was sent to Stuart, La. to live with relatives. Trimble and McGraw’s son, Tim, was born in Delhi, La., in 1967. When Trimble returned to Jacksonville in the 1980s, Tim followed. He attended one term at Florida Community College at Jacksonville (FCCJ) and sat in occasionally with a few local bands. He bolted for Nashville in 1989. His father introduced him to Curb Records exec Mike Borchetta in 1994. At Curb, he would score a massive hit with “Indian Outlaw”; a string of hits followed. McGraw was voted No. 1 Male Vocalist by the Country Music Association in 1999, and is married to singer Faith Hill.
Mama-do Born Willetta Smith, she was Jacksonville’s first female rapper to achieve fame, also an accomplished rock musician and an experienced producer. Signed to Jacksonville-based Attitude Records, her 1988 debut, Wild, sold more than 40,000 copies on Jeff Cohen’s Attitude label before being picked for national distribution by WTG, a CBS Records affiliate. She has also produced albums for several other artists such as Assault & Battery, Tic Tak Toe, and I.C. Red.
Maple, Mike Prominent Jacksonville drummer, has toured regularly with the Mark Farner Band and/or Grand Funk Railroad. Also a former member of Vision, along with former Skynyrd members Leon Wilkeson and Billy Powell. Currently performs with retro-funk outfit Diggin’ in Dreamland. See also Vision.
Martin, Willie Former WOBS co-owner and air personality known as “Captain Groovy,” Martin co-wrote several hit R&B tunes with Jacksonville native and fellow WOBS DJ Dave Crawford, including “Call My Name and I’ll Be There” for Wilson Pickett, “Knock It Out of the Park” for Sam & Dave, “Leanin’” and “Ride the Mighty High” for The Mighty Clouds of Joy. Now a freelance radio consultant. See also Crawford, Dave.
Mase Born Mason Durrell Betha in Jacksonville in 1977; Mase moved to Harlem at age 5, He later returned to Jacksonville to attended Lee High. After moving back to NYC, he won a basketball scholarship to SUNY. More interested in music, however, he traveled to Atlanta to attend a music convention, where he hooked up with producer Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. Mase signed to Combs’ Bad Boy label in the late 1990s. After appearing as a guest rapper on several other artists’ albums (including appearances with Brian McKnight and Mariah Carey), his 1997 debut, Harlem World, rocketed to double platinum. Greatly disturbed by the shooting of colleague Biggie Smalls (a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G.) in 1999, Mase decided it was an opportune time to retire from music and become a preacher. He is, however, discussing a comeback, according to a report in the New York Post. He lives in Atlanta.
Masters Family Country-gospel act, started out in Jacksonville as the Dixie Sweethearts, a husband-and-wife duo, featuring Johnnie and Lucille Masters. Appearing regularly on local radio in 1946, their show was picked up by the Mutual Radio Network and broadcast nationwide. Recorded for Rich-R-Tone, Mercury, Columbia and Decca.
Masters, Johnnie Born in Jacksonville in 1913, Masters was the leader and patriarch of the Masters Family gospel group. Masters wrote several gospel standards, including “Cry From the Cross,” popularized by the Stanley Brothers, “Gloryland March,” and “That Little Old Country Church House.” He also wrote hit tunes for country artists like Hank Snow (“Honeymoon on a Rocket Ship,” a top-10 C&W hit), Flatt & Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Don Gibson, Lynn Davis, Molly O’Day, Johnny & Jack and Carl Smith. Died in Jacksonville, 1980. See also Masters Family.
Masters, Owen Born in Jacksonville, 1935, the singing son of Johnnie and Lucille Masters, he joined the Masters Family revue in 1947 at age 12. Later spun off as countrified teen idol — basically the model from which Ricky Nelson was patterned a few years later. Died in 1997. See also Masters Family.
Medlocke, Rick See Blackfoot; see also Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Meices Formerly Three Blind Mice, from St. Augustine; moved to San Francisco in early 1990s; signed with London/Polygram. Unfortunately, the Meices’ debut album didn’t sell well and the group became a casualty of Polygram’s merger with Universal.
Brad Mehldau Jazz pianist, born in Jacksonville, 1970. Studied classical piano from ages 6 to 14. Graduate of Berklee School of Music in Boston. Worked with Joshua Redman Quartet. Formed own trio in 1995; records for Warner Bros. Moved to Los Angeles in 1997.
Midnight Creepers Electric blues band from Daytona Beach, formed by former Root Boy Slim & the Sex Change Band members Ernie Lancaster and Bob Greenlee, along with former Rootie Tootie Band harmonica player Mark Hodgson. Released several albums on Greenlee’s Kingsnake label (through various distributing labels, including Landslide, Ichyban and Select-O-Hits). Also served as backing band for the late Ace Moreland and other Kingsnake acts. Greenlee died of pancreatic cancer in February 2004. See also Greenlee, Bob; Moreland, Ace.
Miller, Chip See Cowboy; see also Moreland, Ace.
Minor, Laura This Tallahassee native, who had also lived in Jacksonville, was earning a doctoral degree at UF in Gainesville when she ran into Jared Flamm from rock band Noah’s Red Tattoo. She showed Flamm some of her poetry; he insisted they write songs together. A demo led to a deal with Oakland, Calif.’s Hightone Records. Her debut album, Salesman’s Girl, was recorded in New York with members from NRT and was released in July 2002 to critical acclaim.
Mofro Kitschy, down-home “swamp funk” purveyors from Jacksonville, fronted by former Alma Zuma singer John Grey. The band was actually formed in London in 1998, after a British deal for Alma Zuma went sour. Grey and cohort Daryl Hance (on guitar) decided to regroup as Mofro. After adding an Australian and a Frenchman to the lineup, they returned to the states. The new band signed with San Francisco’s Fog City label in 2001 and tours regularly.
Molly Hatchet Discovered and developed by former Lynyrd Skynyrd manager Pat Armstrong, Hatchet’s sound was similar to Skynyrd’s. In fact, Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant was a fan and even produced some of Hatchet’s early demos. After Skynyrd’s sudden demise in 1977, Hatchet unexpectedly became the bearers of the southern-rock standard, earning themselves four platinum albums on Epic in the process. Later signed to Capitol, now with CMC Intl./BMG. Still touring, although there are no original members in the band. See also Brown, Danny Joe; Ingram, Bobby.
Moore, Jackie A Jacksonville native, Moore hooked up with Philadelphia DJ Jimmy Bishop in the late 1960s and recorded two unsuccessful singles for Shout and one for Scepter. After hooking up with her cousin, producer (and Jacksonville native) Dave Crawford and his partner, Brad Shapiro, in Miami, she finally hit pay dirt in 1970 on Atlantic with the single, “Precious, Precious” (No. 12 R&B, No. 30 pop), which she co-wrote with Crawford. In 1975, she went with Shapiro’s TK-distributed Kayvette label, where she had several more R&B hits. In 1978 she and Shapiro went to Columbia with the sublime single, “Personally,” which was covered by Karla Bonoff. Moore released one more album on the independent Sunnyview label in 1985. She lives in Tampa. See also Crawford, Dave.
Moreland, Ace A native of Monkey Island, Okla., Moreland came to Jacksonville in 1987 as a member of R&B-rock band Smoot Mahuti, which included former Cowboy percussionist Chip Miller on drums. Moreland quickly attracted the attention of Kingsnake Records owner/producer Bob Greenlee, with whom he recorded five albums. Moreland lived in Sanford and toured nationwide and in Europe, until his death from stomach cancer in February 2003. See also Greenlee, Bob; Midnight Creepers.
Morrison, Jim Born in 1943 in Melbourne, the son of a high-ranking naval officer, Morrison was mostly raised near Orlando and in Alexandria, Va. He attended college at Florida State before transferring to UCLA film school. Morrison met keyboardist Ray Manzarek on the beach in Venice, Ca.; the two co-founded legendary rock group The Doors.
Mouse & the Boys Formerly known as the Deep Six, these teenage white-soul sensations from Jacksonville featured lead vocalist Maurice (“Mouse”) Samples. Managed by Sydney Drashin, the group scored a regional hit, “Love Is Free” b/w “Excedrin Headache No. 69” in 1968 on Rubiyat Records. Later released “Dancin’ to the Beat,” (No. 103, 1968) on Shelby Singleton’s SSS Intl. label, based in Nashville. In 1970, the group re-formed as M.O.U.S.E. and recorded for Bell Records (a subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, later renamed Arista). Samples retreated from pop music to become a Jacksonville minister. See also Rowland, Pete.
Mystics Rock group from Tallahassee (not to be confused with the 1950s doo-wop group of the same name from Brooklyn, N.Y.), their cover of The Night Owls’ 1962 R&B hit “Ooh Poo Pa Doo” made a small splash on Black Cat Records in 1964.
Nasta, Ken A mainstay on the Jacksonville scene since 1984, this hard-hitting drummer has worked with national acts Karen Abrahams (Mozo City Records), The Fenwicks (Guitar Recordings), Chain of Fools (Rimshot), Royal Trux (Virgin, Drag City), and Greg Garing (Revolution). Currently performs with Gainesville jam band Big Sky and with Jacksonville reggae band The Dubmasters (with King Eddie). See also Fenwicks; King Eddie; Chain of Fools; Abrahams, Karen.
95 South Orlando bass-music group featuring Nathaniel Orange (a.k.a. C.C. Lemonhead) and Johnny (Jay) McGowan, formerly of Jacksonville’s Chill Deal Boys. As 95 South, the duo had an immense hit with “Whoot, There It Is” on Atlanta’s Ichyban Records. Now records for Orlando-based Rip-It Records. See also Quad City DJs; Chill Deal Boys; Lemonhead, C.C.
Nightcrawlers Teen-pop legends from Daytona Beach. Led by Sylvan Wells, this group had a top-ten hit in 1967 with the garage-rock classic “Little Black Egg” on Kapp (a div. of Decca/MCA). Part of a close-knit Daytona teen scene that would also spawn the Allman Joys. Wells still lives in Daytona, where he is a practicing attorney.
Nix, Robert Drummer from Jacksonville’s Murray Hill district. While working with an early version of Classics IV, Nix was spotted by Roy Orbison in a Cassatt Avenue nightclub in 1965. He was invited to join Orbison’s backing band, The Candymen, and even played on Orbison’s monster hit, “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Nix later became a prominent Atlanta-based session musician (he played on many of the Classics IV’s hits) and a founding member of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Later, he became head of A&R for Capricorn Records, and signed Jacksonville punkers the Attitudes, just as the label was folding in 1987. Nix lives in West Memphis, Ark. See also Classics IV; Cobb, James; Attitudes.
Oakley, Berry Originally from Chicago, Oakley came to the Clearwater area as bassist with Tommy Roe’s band, The Roemans. He moved to Jacksonville in late 1960s with Sarasota rock group The Blues Messengers (which changed its name to The Second Coming), where he became a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. Killed in a 1972 in a motorcycle accident in Macon — only a block from where Duane Allman had crashed a year earlier. See also Allman Bros. Band; Second Coming.
Oracle Jacksonville heavy-metal band, originally called Prodigy. Signed to German label Massacre Records in 1993; released one album, “As Darkness Reigns.” Drummer Brent Smedley, a UNF grad, went on to play in Tampa metal band Iced Earth.
Orange, Clyde A Jacksonville native, drummer Orange was attending Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute when he met saxophonist-vocalist Lionel Richie. The two would form seminal funk/R&B band the Commodores while still in college. The Commodores would go on to become one of the biggest names in late-1970s R&B. Orange’s voice is featured on the group’s No. 1 hit (and bar-band standard) “Brick House.”
Parsons, Gram Winterhaven native, raised in Waycross, Ga. After moving back to Winterhaven in the early 1960s, Parsons played in a series of teen bands including The Rumors — alongside Kent LaVoie (a.k.a. Lobo) and Jim Stafford. Parsons graduated from Jacksonville’s prestigious Bolles School in 1965, where he led local folk-rock group The Shilos, who had two singles on Columbia. After entering Harvard, Parsons formed The International Submarine Band and bolted for Greenwich Village. Then he just as impetuously leapt to Los Angeles, where the band recorded one album on Lee Hazlewood’s LHI Records. That album is now considered a classic. Parsons left the band and briefly became a member of The Byrds; he performed on and wrote songs for their Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. He soon quit the group, refusing to appear with it in apartheid South Africa. He then began hanging out in Europe with Keith Richards, until he was chased off by an irritated Mick Jagger. Rumor has it that Parsons actually wrote or co-wrote “Honky Tonk Women” as well as “Wild Horses.” Parsons returned to L.A. and formed The Flying Burrito Bros with former Byrds member Chris Hillman, whom he supposedly met standing in line at a bank (they quickly recorded the definitive version of “Wild Horses”). Parsons and Hillman would pioneer the country-rock sound, which became a huge influence on West Coast acts like The Eagles, Poco, Firefall, etc., as well as on The Stones. See also Shilos; Lobo.
Parsons, Longineau Internationally-known jazz trumpeter and vocalist from Jacksonville; currently head of trumpet studies at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. His son is drummer for speed-punk band Yellowcard.
Perry, Ron Detroit singer and guitarist; recruited by Jacksonville’s Molly Hatchet to replace departing singer Jimmy Farrar in 1987; wrote one song for Hatchet, “Take Miss Lucy Home.” Perry was soon displaced, however, by the return of Hatchet’s original vocalist, Danny Joe Brown. Perry later became lead singer for China Sky, which released one album on PARC/Epic in 1988. He later worked with funk-rockers Chain of Fools, acoustic trio Cruel Shoes, and porn-rockers The Perpetrators. He also operated Alan Audio recording studio in Jacksonville. Now leads his own band, The Ron Perry Connection, with one album on nationally distributed Rimshot Records. See also China Sky; Molly Hatchet; Chain of Fools; Armstrong, Pat; Perpetrators.
Perpetrators This faceless group of session musicians recorded one hysterically stupid album, Porno Rock, on Jacksonville–based Rimshot Records. Included vocalist Hugh Jorgen (Ron Perry), guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Peter Fitzperfect (Mike Fitzgerald), drummer Woody P. Ness (Ken Nasta) and guitarist Mike Hunt (Erik Lundgren). See also Perry, Ron; Chain of Fools; Nasta, Ken.
Pettis, Pierce Tallahassee resident, folksinger, songwriter. Big break came in 1979 when Joan Baez recorded one of his songs. Landed own deal in 1984 with High Street (a div. of Windham Hill) Records. Songs covered by Dar Williams, Tim O'Brien and Garth Brooks.
Petty, Tom & the Heartbreakers Pop-rock legends from Gainesville, originally known as The Epics, and later, Mudcrutch. Toured the Southeast for Pat Armstrong’s Macon-based booking agency. Mudcrutch ventured out to Los Angeles in 1975 and immediately landed a deal with Denny Cordell and Leon Russell’s Shelter label, which was distributed by ABC (ABC’s music operation was later absorbed by MCA, where Petty would remain for many years before switching over to Warner Brothers in 1994). Despite having been signed, the band quickly fell apart; Petty was retained by Shelter as a solo act. A year later, Petty would reunite with two Mudcrutch members plus Gainesville drummer Stan Lynch. Together with the Heartbreakers and as a solo act, Petty has had one of the longest and most successful careers in rock, having sold more than 50 million albums, with a career spanning three decades. See also Lynch, Stan; Armstrong, Pat.
Phelps, Arthur See Blake, Blind.
Philip, John See Kurzweg, John.
Phoenix, River See Aleka’s Attic.
Piscopo, Joe Originally from New Jersey; attended Jones College in Jacksonville during early 1970s, became a DJ at several local stations, including WIVY (Y-103). Later became a standup comic, went on to co-star in NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Recorded an album of novelty songs, starred in films.
Pittman, Jimmy Jacksonville Beach-bred guitarist, joined Los Angeles-based one-hit-wonders Strawberry Alarm Clock (“Incense and Peppermints,” No. 1, 1967), a group that also featured future Skynyrd member Ed King.
Printup, Marcus Jazz trumpeter from Conyers, Ga.; studied at Jacksonville’s UNF jazz program and played locally. Moved to NYC in early 1990s, became member of Wynton Marsalis-led Lincoln Center Orchestra, which led to signing by Blue Note/EMI in 1995. See also Bales, Kevin; Roberts, Marcus.
Purify, James & Bobby Cousins from Pensacola; brought to Rick Hall’s Fame studios in Muscle Shoals, AL by DJ/producer Papa Don Schroeder. The duo struck instant gold in 1966 with “I’m Your Puppet,” released nationally on Bell Records. A couple more minor R&B hits ensued, though none would match the success of “Puppet.” Later signed to Casablanca Records. See also Schroeder, Don; Zig Zag Paper Co.
Pyle, Artimus, Band See APB; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Baril, Greg.
Quad City DJs Dance/rap outfit featuring Nathaniel Orange and Jay (Johnny) McGowan, formerly of Jacksonville’s Chill Deal Boys and 95 South. Had one massive hit, “Come on and Ride” on Big Beat/Atlantic. McGowan returned to Jacksonville after several years in Orlando to operate a local recording studio. See also McGowan, Johnny; Orange, Nathaniel; Lemonhead, C.C.; Chill Deal Boys; 95 South.
Ravens Seminal doo-wop group led by Jacksonville bass singer Jimmie Ricks, signed to National Records in early 1950s.
Reeves, Glenn Disc jockey and country singer from Northwest Texas; met Mae Axton while she was in Texas doing a promo tour. Axton helped land Reeves a slot at Jacksonville country station WPDQ. Reeves also sang on Axton’s demo of “Heartbreak Hotel”; interestingly, Elvis Presley imitated Reeves’ demo rendition note-for-note. It was Elvis imitating Reeves imitating Presley, said publisher Buddy Killen. Reeves later had his own single on Decca, “She Traded Her Pigtails for a Toni.” He later became a prominent Jacksonville concert and events promoter. Died in 1999. See also Axton, Mae.
Rein Sanction Formed in Jacksonville in the late 1980s by brothers Mark and Brannon Gentry along with bassist Ian Chase, this super-heavy, “sludge-rock” trio signed to Seattle’s Sub Pop Records in 1991. Sub Pop issued two albums by the band in the late 1980s. Although less than successful — reportedly due in large part to erratic behavior by band members — it is still considered an important band.
Rich Creamy Paint Bubble-gum pop band led by singer-songwriter Rich Painter, son of Jacksonville Christian-rocker Rick Painter and nephew of Nashville artist/producer John Mark Painter (of duo Fleming & John). Uncle John produced RCP’s debut album (on which young Rich played all the instruments himself) and shopped it around, landing a deal with Disney-owned Hollywood Records in 1999. Unfortunately, not much has happened for the group after that. RCP currently consists of Painter and his wife, Mindy, who live in Nashville.
Richfield Late-1970s rock band from Orange Park, featuring two former members of 1960s teen group the Daybreakers, Page Matherson (guitar) and Mac McCormick (drums). The group benefited from having Lynyrd Skynyrd member Billy Powell’s younger brother, Ricky, as its bassist. Through its Skynyrd connection, the group was able to hook up with Muscle Shoals, Ala. producer Jimmy Johnson. Johnson produced a single for the band, which was picked up by Capitol, a novelty tune titled “Disco Sucks.” The band feverishly worked with Jacksonville producer/engineer/keyboardist Hal Hansford to put together some new demos that would impress Capitol; the label, however declined to pick up its option to sign the group to an album deal. The group continued touring throughout the South until about 1982, when it finally fizzled. See also Hansford, Hal.
Reinhardt, Larry From Bradenton, Rheinhart moved to Jacksonville in 1968 with Sarasota band The Blues Messengers, who became The Second Coming; he left that group to form his own Jacksonville-based power trio, the Load. He briefly became a member of Los Angeles rock icons Iron Butterfly, then formed L.A. band Captain Beyond with Butterfly bassist Lee Dorman. The band added Second Coming/Blues Messengers keyboardist Reese Wynans, and got signed to Capricorn as a result of Reinhardt and Wynans’ connections with the Allman Brothers Band. See also Blues Messengers; Second Coming; The Load; Wynans, Reese; Betts, Dickey.
Roberts, Marcus Born Marthaniel Roberts, a Jacksonville native and graduate of Florida State, Roberts is considered to be one of the most important pianists in jazz today. Before signing with RCA’s jazz label, Novus, in 1988, he was a member of Wynton Marsalis’s band. He now records for Columbia.
Rogers , Gamble Born James Gamble Rogers, in Winter Park, 1931, folksinger Rogers joined The Serendipity singers in the late 1960s. After going solo in the early 1970s, he accumulated a cult following as much for his storytelling skills as for his songs. Hit his stride in the 1980s, appearing on a national PBS-TV special and as a regular on Mountain Railroad and as guest commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered. Rogers also wrote several plays. He drowned in 1991 near his St. Augustine home while trying to rescue a stranger.
Root Boy Slim & the Sex Change Band Outrageous Daytona Beach ensemble formed in late 1970s; included future Midnight Creepers Ernie Lancaster and Bob Greenlee; brought to Warner Bros. Records by producer Gary Katz (Steely Dan). This iconoclastic (and utterly hilarious) act challenged every convention of its day, rivaling the Sex Pistols for sheer audacity. Its one and only major-label (Warner Brothers) release is a cult classic, called “one of the most bizarre albums ever made” by The All Music Guide. Quickly dropped by Warners, the group’s follow-up was released in 1979 on Police manager Miles Copeland’s Illegal Records. A 1991 reunion came on Naked Language Records, a division of Atlanta R&B label Ichyban. See also Greenlee, Bob; Midnight Creepers.
Rossington Jacksonville-based rock band formed by Skynyrd co-founder Gary Rossington and his wife, Dale Krantz Rossington, after the dissolution of the Rossington Collins Band in the late 1980s. Two albums on MCA. See also Rossington-Collins Band; Collins, Allen; Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Rossington-Collins Band Short-lived group formed in 1980 by surviving Lynyrd Skynyrd members, augmented by former .38 Special background vocalist Dale Krantz on lead vocals, drummer Derek Hess, and guitarist/vocalist Barry Harwood (a former Atlanta session player who wrote the RCB’s lone hit single, “Don’t Misunderstand Me”). See also Lynyrd Skynyrd Collins, Allen; Rossington; Harwood, Barry; Krantz, Dale.
Rossington, Gary Founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rossington Collins Band. See Lynyrd Skynyrd; Rossington Collins Band; Rossington.
Michael Rothschild Another Bolles grad, Rothschild was born and raised in Jacksonville. He grew up in the San Marco area and attended Landon High School. He also attended Tulane University in New Orleans. After two years in the army, he moved to New York, where he worked for a record distributor, which also owned rock magazine Circus. He became the mag’s business manager. Rothschild moved to Atlanta in 1973, where he formed a movie-production company and co-produced several films. He is currently an executive for Fahlgren Entertainment, which specializes in marketing movies. In 1981, excited by the potential of Col. Bruce Hampton’s band, The Late Bronze Age, Rothschild formed Landslide Records, which would become an Atlanta institution, with titles by The Heartfixers (featuring Tinsley Ellis), The Cigar Store Indians, Nappy Brown, New Orleans kingpin Dave Bartholemew, Widespread Panic, former Susan Tedeschi sideman Sean Costello, and Tedeschi’s husband, Derek Trucks (Trucks signed with Columbia in 2001). Landslide also distributed Bob Greenlee’s blues label, Kingsnake Records. See also Greenlee, Bob.
Rouse, Ervin Originally from Miami, Rouse worked in Jacksonville in mid 1930s as a musician and cabdriver, where he met fiddler and fellow cabbie Chubby Wise, from Lake City. Rouse and Wise co-wrote the bluegrass standard “Orange Blossom Special,” reportedly in the parking lot of Jacksonville’s Union Terminal, while waiting for that very train. See also Wise, Chubby.
Rowland, Pete Drummer for Jacksonville’s Mouse & the Boys, also co-wrote “Annie Fannie” for Nashville group the Diamonds IV. See also Mouse & the Boys.
Royal Guardsmen Ocala bubblegum-rockers; had a No. 1 hit in 1966 with the sappy “Snoopy Versus the Red Baron,” on Laurie Records (produced by Phil Gernhard, who would later produce Lobo). The Guardsmen were briefly managed by Jacksonville impresario Don Dana. See also Dana, Don.
Royster, Vermeytta Noted gospel singer from Jacksonville, joined The Clara Ward Singers as lead vocalist in 1958.
Ryan, Mark Born 1945 in Jacksonville; later moved to San Francisco, where he worked with several psychedelic acts, such as Quicksilver Messenger Service, Country Joe & the Fish, and Jorma Kaukonen (of Jefferson Airplane).
Sadler, Eric Programmer/producer from Hempstead, N.Y.; worked with seminal hardcore rappers Public Enemy. Later worked with solo PE member Ice Cube, LL Cool J, Bell, Biv, DeVoe, Chaka Khan, Vanessa Williams, Jody Watley, New Edition and rapper Ice T’s metal band, Body Count. Sadler owns a recording studio in Atlanta. After visiting former Def Jam record exec Russell Sidelsky in Atlantic Beach in the mid-1990s. Sadler and his wife, Karen, decided to live there. Karen Sadler is a well-known video producer and founder of the Jacksonville Film Festival.
Samples, Maurice See Mouse and the Boys.
Sattin, Lonnie No info available to date.
Schmidt, Rick (“Mookie”) As a DJ at the University of Florida’s WRUF, Schmidt broke Gainesville band Sister Hazel’s single, “All for You,” which was subsequently picked up by Universal Records. Schmidt also broke Creed’s “My Own Prison” while at WXSR in Tallahassee. Currently program director at Tampa’s 98 Rock.
Schroeder, Don (“Papa Don”) This popular WNVY Pensacola radio personality started out as a singer in 1959, recording for several labels, including Ace, Vee-Jay and Philips (Polygram’s U.S. subsidiary). As producer, he was responsible for the breakthrough of James and Bobby Purify (“I’m Your Puppet”), on Bell Records in 1966. See also Purify, James & Bobby; Zig-Zag Paper Co.
Second Coming Psychedelic/blues band formerly known as The Blues Messengers, from Sarasota. Based in Jacksonville’s Riverside district in late 1960s; one of the most influential and important bands from Florida. Led by Bradenton guitarist Dickie Betts, it included Betts’ wife, Dale, on vocals, bassist Berry Oakley, keyboardist Reese Wynans (later with Captain Beyond, Delbert McClinton and Stevie Ray Vaughan), guitarist Larry Reinhardt (later with Iron Butterfly and Captain Beyond), and drummer John Meeks. The group’s core became the foundation for the Allman Brothers Band. Released one single on the local Steady label (“I Feel Free” b/w “She Has Funny Cars”), produced by the band’s manager, WAPE disc jockey Alan Facemire. See also Allman Bros. Band; Betts, Dickey; Oakley, Berry; Reinhardt, Larry; Wynans, Reese.
Shay, Dorothy Singer/comedienne/character actress, born Dorothy Sims, 1923, Jacksonville. Moved to NYC, where she launched a career as the “Park Avenue Hillbilly.” A regular on Spike Jones’ radio show in 1947; also had a No. 4 hit on Columbia with “Feudin’, Fussin’ and Fightin,’” from the 1947 musical, Laffing Room Only. Sold over three million records for Columbia. Also appeared in films and TV. Died in 1978.
Sheldon, Jack Jacksonville jazz trumpeter, moved to L.A. in early 1950s; worked with Art Pepper, Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Gary Burton and many others, as well as own band. Sometime standup comic, also actor in short-lived TV series What Makes Sammy Run?
Shilos Folk-rock quartet led by Gram Parsons while a student at Jacksonville’s Bolles School in the mid-‘60s. Played as far afield as Chicago and in New York’s Greenwich Village. Had two unsuccessful singles on Columbia. See also Parsons, Gram.
Shinedown Group put together around Knoxville, Tenn. singer Brent Smith by Atlantic A&R rep Steve Robertson and Jacksonville engineer Pete Thornton. Includes Jacksonville musicians guitarist Jasin Todd, bassist Brad Stewart and drummer Barry Kerch. Shinedown’s 2003 Atlantic debut, Leave a Whisper, made few waves until the group as a lark performed an “unplugged” version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” on a live radio show on Boston’s WAAF. Album was re-released in 2004 with a hastily recorded version of the song. Guitarist Todd is married to Melody Van Zant, daughter of legendary Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant.
Sight-Seers Power-pop quartet from Tallahassee, produced by John Kurzweg. Later signed to Brendan O’Brien’s Atlanta-based Shotput label in 1996, which apparently was the kiss of death for the group’s career.
Singleton, Charlie (“Hoss”) Jacksonville singer-songwriter, co-wrote numerous successful songs, including “Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean” for Ruth Brown. Most remembered for co-writing the English lyric to Sinatra’s 1966 No. 1 single, “Strangers in the Night” (it had already been an instrumental hit in Germany for Bert Kaempfert). Some of Singleton’s other songs were recorded by Pat Boone, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat “King” Cole, Elvis Presley and a little group from England called The Beatles.
Sister Hazel Modern adult-contemporary (read: “soft-rock”) band from Gainesville; released debut album in 1994 on own Croakin’ Poet label. Thanks to regional airplay generated by WRUF’s Rick Schmidt, Universal Records repackaged and re-released the album in 1996, which spawned a top-10 hit, “All for You.”
69 Boyz Protégés of producers Johnny McGowan and Nathaniel Orange (Chill Deal Boys, 95 South, Quad City DJs), headed by Jacksonville native Van Bryant, who now operates HomeBass Records in Orlando. See also McGowan, Johnny; Orange, Nathaniel; Chill Deal Boys.
SmaktDown See Burn Season
Smith, Rex Born in Jacksonville 1956, raised in Atlanta. Appeared on Broadway in Pirates of Penzance with Linda Ronstadt. Also had top-10 hit in 1979 on Columbia, “You Take My Breath Away,” from the movie Sooner or Later. Later co-host, alongside Marilyn McCoo, of TV series Solid Gold.
Sneed, Troy Graduate of Florida A&M, became FAMU’s Gospel Choir director. Came to Jacksonville to teach elementary school but was recruited by Savoy Records to become director of the Georgia Mass Choir in Atlanta. Sneed and the choir appeared in the Denzel Washington-Whitney Houston movie The Preacher’s Wife. Later produced debut albums for Henrietta Telfair and Rudolph McKissick’s Word & Worship Mass Choir. Lives in Orange Park. See also Telfair, Henrietta.
Stanley Brothers Famed bluegrass duo from Bristol, Va.; Ralph and Carter Stanley were already legends when they moved to Live Oak, where they built the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in the late 1950s. After Carter died in 1966, Ralph left for Nashville and continues to perform. See also Masters, Johnnie.
Start Trouble Jacksonville modern-rock quartet led by vocalist/songwriter Luke Walker, also included former Audio Orange and 3AE guitarist/vocalist Edmund Lowman. As Ten High, the band was signed to Columbia Records in 2001 after then-WPLA DJ Flounder played its recordings on Native Noise, a now-defunct local-music show. Serendipitously, a Ten High song was heard by Columbia A&R rep (and former MTV personality) Matt Pinfield, who happened to be in Jacksonville with his wife, visiting her parents.
Stiletto, Stevie Ray Jacksonville’s godfathers of punk, fronted by the audacious Ray McKelvey. After a series of do-it-yourself releases, the band signed with Jacksonville rap label Attitude Records, which issued one album, American Asshole, picked up in Europe by German label S&F. Still performs regularly.
Stiletto Stevie, & the Switchblades See Stiletto, Stevie Ray
Stills, Stephen Born in Dallas, 1945, Stills attended Gainesville High, where he sang with folk ensemble The Accidental Trio. Soon after, he left for New York City, where he hooked up with the Au GoGo singers, who also included member Richie Furay. After heading for Los Angeles, he supposedly auditioned and was turned down for a spot in the Monkees. He soon, however, became co-founder, along with Furay and Neil Young, of seminal hippie band Buffalo Springfield. After that group’s dissolution, Stills rebounded with Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young). That group signed with Atlantic in 1969 and became immensely successful.
Strickland, Jimmy From Jacksonville’s Northside, this country-pop crooner in the Johnny Tillotson vein had three singles on Hilliard-based Davco Records in the early 1960s; however, no national hits ensued. See also Garner, Merlene.
Sub Rosa See For Squirrels
Swirl 360 Orange Park High School grads, born in Brunswick, Ga. After passing some demos to Hanson’s manager at a music convention, twins Kenny and Denny Scott were signed to Mercury and released their own teen-pop album in 1998. Unfortunately, Mercury’s rock acts were dropped after the Polygram/Universal merger. In 2000, one of the Scott brothers’ songs, “Summer of Love,” was covered by dance sensations The Baja Men, whose debut album sold over three million copies.
Synergy An outgrowth of acoustic duo consisting of Rick Block and Jason Chase, this top-40 band was notable mainly for its addition of some of Jacksonville’s finest musicians, including John Philip Kurzweg (guitar, vocals), Rocco Marshall (guitar, vocals), Tim Lindsay (bass), Derek Hess (drums) Rick Johnson (sax and keyboards) and Carol Bristow (vocals). See also Lynyrd Skynyrd; Rossington Collins Band; Dr. Hector & the Groove Injectors; Vision; Hall, Randall; Lindsay, Tim; Kurzweg, John; Bristow, Carol; Johnson, Rick.
Taylor, Bob Drummer, born 1928 in Calif., became a key figure in the Western-swing scene with Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, and Merle Haggard. Worked with guitarist Duane Eddy (“Rebel Rouser”) in 1960s; later led own band, The Rogues, for many years. Taylor came to Jacksonville in 1994, worked locally with Larry Mangum’s Cowboy Orchestra. Died in 2001.
Tedeschi, Susan Boston-born blues rocker, graduate of Berklee College of Music, signed to Boston label Tone-Cool (distributed by Artemis/RED), her first nationwide release sold 600,000. Moved to Jacksonville in 1999 to live with her boyfriend (now hubby) Derek Trucks, whom she met while opening for the Allman Brothers Band. Her third album was recorded in Jacksonville with veteran producer Tom Dowd (ABB, Eddie Money, Rod Stewart, etc.) and engineer Pete Thornton. Nominated twice for Grammy awards. See also Trucks, Derek; Allman Brothers Band.
Telfair, Henrietta Jacksonville gospel singer, winner of numerous awards. Debut album on Emtro Music, produced by Troy Sneed. See also Sneed, Troy.
Ten High See Start Trouble.
.38 Special Westside Jacksonville band formerly known as Sweet Rooster, later as Alice Marr. Led by Donnie Van Zant, younger sibling of Skynyrd vocalist, Ronnie. Signed to A&M, .38 had no less than 10 hits in the 1980s, including “Hold On Loosely” and “Second Chance,” and remains one of the area’s all-time biggest-selling acts. Replacement bassist Larry Junstrom was a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Donnie Van Zant has also recorded two duet albums with younger brother Johnny, who is lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd. See also Elson, Kevin; Van Zant, Johnny; Lynyrd Skynyrd.
31st of February Outgrowth of Jacksonville folk-rock trio The Bitter Ind, briefly expanded to a quintet with the addition of Duane and Gregg Allman. Debut album on Vanguard, produced in Miami by Steve Alaimo. Second album, declined by Vanguard, was later issued on Henry Stone’s Bold label as “Duane & Gregg Allman.” See also Allman Brothers Band; Bitter Ind; Brown, David.
Thornton, Pete A Jacksonville native, Thornton graduated from Bishop Kenny High and earned an associate in science degree from Full Sail School of Recording in Orlando in 1994. While working as an engineer at Jasmine Recording in Jacksonville, pal Donnie Smith (former road manager for The Outlaws) brought Thornton an unknown band he was managing named Limp Bizkit. At singer Fred Durst’s behest, Thornton later produced successful demos for Jacksonville Beach hard-rock band Cold. Thornton moved over to Judy (Van Zant) Jenness’s studio, Made in the Shade (now defunct), where he worked with blues-belter Susan Tedeschi and rap-rockers Superfly Rodeo. He also helped Atlantic A&R rep Steve Robertson put together a band for singer Brent Smith, called Shinedown. Thornton worked on Shinedown’s demos alongside Orlando producer Tony Battaglia (Mandy Moore, N’Sync). He and Battaglia later developed Jacksonville rock band 3AE, which signed with RCA Records in 2002. See also 3AE; Durst, Fred; Limp Bizkit; Cold; Shinedown; Tedeschi, Susan.
3AE Jacksonville modern rock band, formerly known as Audio Orange, developed by Orlando-based producers Pete Thornton and Tony Battaglia; signed to RCA Records in August, 2002. See Also Thornton, Pete.
3 Grand Protégés of producers Johnny McGowan and Nathaniel Orange (Chill Deal Boys, 95 South, Quad City DJs), this Jacksonville bass-music trio signed to MCA in 1991, later switching to Ichyban’s Wrap subsidiary in 1992, where they had a huge club hit with “Daisy Dukes.” See also Chill Deal Boys; McGowan, Johnny; Orange, Nathaniel.
Tillotson, Johnny Country-pop teen idol discovered and developed by Mae Axton in the late 1950s (or so she claims in her autobiography, Country Singers as I Know ‘Em). Tillotson, a semi-regular on Toby Dowdy’s McDuff Hayride TV show, won a Nashville talent contest that led to a deal with New York-based Cacence Records in 1958. After a few minor items, he finally broke through in the 1960 with “Poetry in Motion” (No. 2 U.S., No. 1 U.K.). He also hit with “It Keeps Right on a-Hurtin’,” which Tillotson wrote (a cover version became a No. 1 country hit for Billy Joe Royal in 1989). After a stint in the army, Tillotson moved to MGM Records. Between 1958 and 1967, he racked up 14 top-40 hits. Tillotson now lives in the San Fernando Valley, still tours regularly, and remains popular in Las Vegas, Australia and the Pacific Rim. His voice is still heard five nights a week on Nick at Night’s Gidget reruns (he sings the show’s theme song, “Wait ‘Til You Meet My Gidget”)
Charles Tolliver Jazz trumpeter, born in Jacksonville; attended Howard University in Washington, D.C.; moved to NYC in early 1960s. Recorded with Jackie McLean, Max Roach, and Gerald Wilson; also led own bands for Impulse and Black Lion. Formed jazz label, Strata-East, in 1971.
Trouble Is See Start Trouble
Trucks, Derek Nephew of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, slide guitarist since age 9. Started out performing with Jacksonville’s Greg Baril Band. Currently a full-time member of the ABB, plus has his own deal with Columbia. Also works with Butch Trucks’ side project, Frog Wings. See also Allman Brothers Band; Trucks, Butch; Baril, Greg; Tedeschi, Susan.
Van Zant Duo consisting of Van Zant brothers Donnie (of .38 Special) and Johnny (of Lynyrd Skynyrd). Recorded two albums for CMC International. See also .38 Special; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Van Zant, Johnny.
Van Zant, Donnie See .38 Special; see also Van Zant.
Van Zant, Johnny Youngest of the three singing Van Zant siblings. Originally a drummer; formed Austin Nickels Band in late 1970s, signed to Polydor in early 1980s, later with Nettwerk/Elektra. In 1987, he replaced deceased brother Ronnie in the re-formed Lynyrd Skynyrd. Also records on CMC International (Skynyrd’s current label) in duo Van Zant, with brother Donnie. See also Lynyrd Skynyrd; Van Zant.
Van Zant, Ronnie See Lynyrd Skynyrd
Velvet, Jimmy Born James Tennant in Jacksonville, Velvet was a Paxon High student of Mae Axton’s; she arranged his appearances on Toby Dowdy’s McDuff Hayride TV show alongside fellow Axton protégé, Johnny Tillotson. Through Axton, Velvet met Elvis Presley. He became a collector of Presley memorabilia, and later founded the Elvis Museum. As a recording artist for ABC-Paramount in the early 1960s, Velvet remade sappy ballads like “Blue Velvet,” “(You’re Mine and) We Belong Together” and “Teen Angel.” He also covered the Dream Weavers’ “It’s Almost Tomorrow” for Philips in 1965 (see also Dream Weavers). He left music to join the Air Force; returned in 1967 with an album on United Artists. Later acquired Chips Moman’s American Recording studio in Memphis, where Elvis recorded his comeback hits. In 1992, Velvet recorded Did You Know Elvis in Nashville with producer/co-writer David Allen Coe, released on Velvet’s own Music City label. He reportedly sold his Elvis collection for $2.4 million. Now living in Nashville, he is curator of the Legends Collection of showbiz memorabilia that includes many priceless artifacts of pop culture. See also Axton, Mae.
Vision Short-lived Jacksonville Christian-rock band; released one album independently. Members included guitarist/vocalist Rocco Marshall, keyboardist Billy Powell (from Skynyrd), bassist Leon Wilkeson (also from Skynyrd) and drummer Mike Maple (later with Mark Farner). See also Lynyrd Skynyrd; Synergy.
Washington, Teddy Jazz/R&B trumpeter; member of James Brown’s band for seven years; played on several JB hits. Also toured with B.B. King and as session player at TK Records in Miami. Led a house band at The Fontainbleu Hotel in Miami that included future members of KC & The Sunshine Band. Fronts his own smooth-jazz group, a mainstay on the Jacksonville scene; had local TV show for several years.
Waterford, Charles “Crown Prince” Born 1919 in Jonesboro, Ark., Waterford started his career as a blues singer in Oklahoma City in 1936. He later lit for Chicago, where he became a fixture on the Windy City blues scene. Moved to Los Angeles in 1945, where he worked alongside Jimmy Witherspoon in Jay McShann’s band, then returned to Chicago. Recorded for Capitol, Mercury and King. Came to Jacksonville in mid-1960s to attend Edward Waters College and Luther Rice Seminary; became a minister at Greater Hope and Mt. Zion AME churches. Recorded spiritual music in early 1970s. Currently retired, but made a splash at the 2002 Springin’ the Blues festival — at 82.
Watts, Noble (“Thin Man”) Native of DeLand, grad of Florida A&M University (Watts was in the FAMU marching band with both Adderly brothers; see Adderly, Nat; see also Adderly, Julian). In the 1940s through the 1950s, he played tenor sax with Charles Brantley & the Honeydippers; pianist Ray Charles was also a member. Watts went on to work with such notables as Dinah Washington, Amos Milburn, Ruth Brown, Lionel Hampton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and many others. Also recorded as a solo artist on various labels, including DeLuxe, Cub, Enjoy and Vee-Jay; later signed with Bob Greenlee’s Sanford-based Kingsnake Records. See also Greenlee, Bob; Charles, Ray.
Whitman, Slim Born Otis Dewey Whitman in Tampa, yodeling Slim Whitman was already a top-rated country performer with 30 top-50 country singles and 19 gold albums when he bought a spread near Middleburg (southwest of Jacksonville, in Clay County) in 1957. Unbelievably huge in England, at one point he even surpassed the Beatles on the British charts. Made a comeback in the mid-1980s with a greatest-hits collection released via mail order, which was picked up by Cleveland International/CBS.
Wilson, Wesley Pianist/vocalist/songwriter, born in Jacksonville in 1893; worked with Sidney Bechet, Fletcher Henderson, and Coot Grant; his songs have been performed by Billie Holiday, Lavern Baker, Dr. John, Louis Jordan, B.B. King Nina Simone, Diana Ross and others.
Wise, Chubby Born Robert White, in 1915, in Lake City; moved to Jacksonville at 15 to pursue a career as a fiddler. Landed a touring gig with the Jubilee Hillbillies, went on to tour with Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys; later worked with The York Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Hank Snow, Red Allen, and the Stanley Brothers (who lived near Live Oak in the 1960s; see Stanley Brothers). Wise also recorded his own albums for the Starday and Stoneway labels. He is reputed to have been the co-composer (along with Ervin Rouse, who is generally listed as sole composer) of bluegrass standard “Orange Blossom Special.” The story goes that Wise and Rouse were part-time cabdrivers, waiting in the parking lot of Jacksonville’s Union Terminal, when they wrote the song named after the very train they were expecting (the engine of that famous train now sits in that same parking lot). Why Wise was not listed on the songwriter credits has never been properly explained. See also Rouse, Erwin.
Wright, Shannon Former guitarist/vocalist for Jacksonville modern-rockers Crowsdell. Moved to NYC with that band after it signed with Big Cat, a small British label distributed by Sony, in 1995. After the label was sold to Richard Branson’s V2 Records, the group was dropped and never recovered its footing. Wright relocated to rural North Carolina, where she honed her songwriting skills, eventually landing a solo deal with Chicago indie Quarterstick Records, for which she has released four critically acclaimed albums. She lives in Atlanta. See also Crowsdell.
Woody, Bill No info available to date.
Wynans, Reese Organist/pianist in late-1960s Sarasota band The Blues Messengers, which came to Jacksonville to become the Second Coming. Upon that group’s merger with the Allman Brothers, Wynans left to form Jacksonville trio Ugly Jellyroll with vocalist Gary Goddard. He later moved to Macon to rejoin former Second Coming guitarist Larry Reinhardt in Capricorn act Captain Beyond. Doing session work at Capricorn’s recording studio, Wynans hooked up with Texas rocker Delbert McClinton, with whom he would relocate to Texas. While in Texas, Wynans began performing with bluesmeister Stevie Ray Vaughan. See also Blues Messengers; Second Coming; Captain Beyond; Betts, Dickey; Reinhardt, Larry; Oakley, Berry; Allman Brothers Band.
Yanique Jacksonville “quiet-storm” R&B singer, real name Rosa Banks. Released one album on EMI-distributed Bellmark label (owned by former Stax CEO Al Bell), co-produced by Mama-do (Willetta Smith). Now sings gospel exclusively. See also Mama-do.
Yellowcard Jacksonville punk rockers who relocated to Los Angeles in 2000, where they signed with Lobster Records. Now signed to Capitol, the band’s major-label debut has hit “gold” sales status (500,000 units). Drummer Longineau Parsons Jr. is the son of jazz trumpeter Longineau Parsons (see Parsons, Longineau). Recently added bassist Pete Moseley is a former member of Jacksonville’s Inspection 12. See also Inspection 12.
Yost, Dennis This teenage drummer from Jacksonville’s Northside started out on drums with a group called the Echoes. He later became a founding member of the Classics. That group was spotted in Daytona Beach by booking agent Alan Diggs, who worked for Atlanta entrepreneur Bill Lowery, who in turn landed the band a deal with Capitol. Their first two Capitol singles (including “Pollyanna,” written by Joe South) flopped, but the band moved to Imperial, where it scored a No. 2 nationwide hit with “Spooky” in 1967. At that point, lead singer Yost moved up front and was replaced on drums by Alabama musician Kim Venable. The Classics IV scored three top-10 hits, “Spooky,” “Stormy,” and “Traces.” After a period as Dennis Yost and the Classics IV, Yost went solo and signed with Liberty Records in 1969. He lives in Nashville and still tours regularly. See also Classics IV; Echoes.
Yo-Yos From Jacksonville; had one national release in 1966, “Leaning on You,” on Memphis-based Goldwax Records. See also Mouse & the Boys.
Zig Zag Paper Company Despite its psychedelic-sounding moniker, this Pensacola group made its bread and butter backing R&B duo James and Bobby Purify. Released two unsuccessful singles on Bell, produced by Papa Don Schroeder. See also Schroeder, Don; Purify, James & Bobby.
Written and compiled by Michael R. Fitzgerald,
correspondent for The Jacksonville Business Journal, former contributing writer for Folio Weekly and JAM Magazine, and consultant for the Museum of Florida History’s “Follow That Dream” exhibit
© 2004 by Michael R. Fitzgerald
Thanks to Kurt Curtis, Robert Bowman and Stanley Booth for their advice and assistance.
This information is offered as a community service. Although I
have made every attempt to confirm all the facts cited, I can offer no guarantees as to their accuracy. If you have additions or corrections to this listing, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org